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How to write essays also close reading papers

Wed May 31, 2006 2:02 pm

I have just had a test in close reading and I didnt get a "reader" I really found it difficult! I have an essay question tomorrow and I am hopless at starting them off ie introductions also endings. I think my writing is very immature and I dont have a lot of vocabulary. Im sure I am going to end up with foundation in English. I dont sit my standard grades until next year can anyone give me some help so that I can at least make a start now trying to bring my grades up?

Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:23 pm

I find this really hard sometimes too-i was doing an essay today actually and really didnt know how to begin. But basically in your intro, you should say something like; "In my essay I am going to look at how/why (refer to the question) and I am going to do this by (say how you are go about answering the wuestion). If you get stuck in the essay, keep referring back to the question and if it's on a text, say why you think things happen dont just tell the story. (I speak from experience!!). In your conclusion, draw everything together and give your opinion. Hope this helps

Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:28 pm

In the English standard grade exams regardless of what level you are sitting you can use these hints and tips ... in the close reading paper ... read through the whole passage then read the qusetion ... the question will also tell you what lines to refer to in the passage .. read these lines again and UNDERLINE the keywords in this section of text and the question. (btw if you have a record of needs drawen up the school are required to support you during your exams and inportant tests ... its worthwhile talking to the head of support for learning and saying that you didnt feel you did well in your class tests and you would defenetly benifit from having a reader and a scribe for the other tests and make sure you have one for the atual exam. If you feel uncomfortable about doing this talk to you guidence teacher. Also say that you would feel really uncomfortable being in a foundation \ general class because you feel you wont achieve as well as you can because of the neds (you might want to phrase that diffrently when talking to the teacher) It might aslo be benifical discussing your problems about being worried about next years standard grade exams with your english teacher ... dont let the class tests throw you in anyway .. u still have time! .... if you need a reader scribe get one! after all they are required to give one to you... if they refuse get your parents to write in a letter to the headteacher outlining the reason why they should give you one ...

I failed my 3rd year exams .. but with help from learning support and a bit of time i gained a general 3 overall in both my prelims and the final exam. For the writing section i gained a 2 in my prelims only because i didnt have to focus on the actual writing part!

I have now done all my standard grades , intermediates and highers so if you have anymore questions about exam tecqunique dont hesitate to ask!
Last edited by Ross Millar on Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:58 pm

soz got a bit carried away anf forgot the essay tips! You are given a lot of choice for the essay which is good so choose very carefully!! read the question carefully and make sure you fully understand ... underlike the keypoints in the question.... remember its your exam paper and aslong as you dont have to hand it in you can mark it and draw on it all you like (dont draw on it its distracting). NEVER start an essay by saying "in this essay" or "im going to write about" this will loose you marks ... talk to your english tracher about this. (for example if it is about crime and is it getting worse you could start it something like this "Crime is a major problem but is it getting worse? where did all those neds come from and has the government got a grip on crime or are they loosing control? ... refer to the question and outline what exactly you aim to write about in the essay this will help if you end up having a mental block halfway through ... u are also allowed to make a plan ... please remember to score it out!!

1. in the intro refer to the question
2. see if your teacher has any examples of credit level answers to the writing section. This will give you an idea how to gain marks.
3. reword the question in the introduction ... this shows the examiner you understand fully the question
4. In your conclusion pick out the main points from each paragraph you have made ... add each point to the conclusion and draw a sensible final conclusion from the points giving personal thoughts
5. seek advice afterall thats what your teacher is payed for!!

Sun Jun 11, 2006 2:33 pm

Ross you said that you failed your 3rd year exams (English) I wasnt even allowed to try the credit paper for my third year just general Foundation. Anyone that I know that sat the credit paper says it was a lot easier than the general. I really dont think its fair I would have liked to try. :(

Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:22 pm

I tried the higher paper once, I managed the essay well but got a D for it. Stick to what you find easiest, C is enough.

Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:08 pm

The Scottish education system is far more flexable than it used to be! Although you really wanted to try the credit paper and wanted the chance to do it ... personally i would stick to building up your skills gradually. A grade 3 is perfectly acceptable grade to get. If you decide to stay on for 5th year you can take intermedate 2 english which is the equivelent to credit. You need to remember that we all develop at diffrent rates. Im glad i took the option to do the Int 2 course as i gained a B in 5th year but i knew i would of prob failed the credit in 4th year!

Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:52 pm

Does the exam system mean that if I get a 3 or 4 I can sit an int 2 in fifth year? or does it have to be a 3 for int 2? Also what do you do in sixth year if you stay on? I would like to work with children when I leave school I dont quite know if its teaching or nursing yet and I am worried that they wont accept me into college if I have taken longer to get the acceptable grades first time round. :cry:

Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:11 pm

The system is flexable but can be complicated as well ... so here it goes ..

if you gain a 5 or 6 you can go and do an intermedate 1 - which is an equivilent to a general

If you gain a 4 or 3 you can go on to do an Intermedate 2 - which is an equivelent to a credit

If you gain 1 or a 2 you can go on to do the higher

In 6th year there is lots of choices of subjects which you can take. The levels that you do in 5th year you can also do in 6th year

3rd and 4th - Standard grades

5th year levels - Intermedate 1
- Intermedate 2
- Higher

6th year levels - Intermedate 1
- Intermedate 2
- Higher
- Advanced Higher

Im sure you will gain the grades to do what you want! in 3rd year i was wondering how i was goin 2 gain anything and get the grades to do what i want but now looking back on it i was wondering what i was getting so uptight over ... i have just completed 6 th year and 4 higher exams. Mainly thanks to the flexabillity of the intermedate step! .. hope this helps .. talk over any concerns with your guidence trecher and your subject teachers. Talk with the teachers about options and progression throughout your school career to help you achieve... Im more than certain that you will do it!! ... This is really weard for me ... focus on this year and do your bestit like me reflecting back on myself sharing similer concerns

Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:07 am

Thanks Ross I feel a little better about things now mind you I am really starting to worry about how I am going to study for every subject especially when they are all so close together and you dont get any time between exams.

Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:17 pm

cool glad i could help! dont worry about revision to much at this stage. Study leave is given by most schools and this is useful if you use your time correctly. Worrying about what might happen or how r u going 2 find time to do revision isnt any going to be good for you at all. If you stress your self out over things like time and workload you wont learn well ... its not the brain doesnt want to learn.. it cant if you are stressing your self out. The best avice i was given by my best m8s big sister was after the prelims keep up the revision now and again because it isnt long to the actual exams.

- It would be really worthwhile to get yourself a set of past papers from the bookshop as these are actual exams and they come with answers. It allows you to see what trhe examner is looking for.

- I hated my course notes so what i did was bought coursenote books from the bookshop and then took notes from that for my revision

- If you type your notes use diffrent colours for your notes not all the same colour and not black... this helped me a lot! ... if you want try printing on collourd paper

- Everone does things diffrently so find your own way to do things that work

- The avice i gave prevoulsly about int 2 int 1 and highers etc... dont worry at all about them and talk to a teacher! There more qualified that i am in the exam system

-Anything you want to know i will be happy to help
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