Character and Voice Poetry: Aiming for A*

In order to get an A* in the exam, you should be imaginative with your response, ‘salt and pepper’ it with short, embedded quotations and ‘zoom in’ on the details. As I’ve said time and time again, it’s not about showing how much you know about the poems, but rather about how well you can analyse details to support your response to the poems. A* responses are fully engaged with the themes and ideas, making perceptive comments and interpretations. They also focus on the key skill – COMPARING! Here are some things to look for when comparing poems:


Here is a detailed comparison of My Last Duchess and The River God:


And another detailed comparison of The Ruined Maid and Singh Song!:


Of Mice and Men: 10 Essential Revision Links

Our post on the 10 Essential Revision links for The Crucible has been so popular, that I thought I’d do one for Of Mice and Men.




The Crucible – Planning a response

Although time is precious in the exam, it’s well worth spending 5-10 minutes creating a plan for your essay. Use that time to decide what your main points will be and choose the quotations to evidence these points.

Here is a plan we looked at in class. The introduction and first paragraph has been written. To revise, you could write up a paragraph for one of the other points. If you want to share. you can email it to me or post a comment at the bottom of this post.

How to plan:

Crucible planning

Example introduction and first point:

crucible paragraph

Three more points – revise by writing one (or all) of them:

crucible second

crucible third

crucible final