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supporting your argument effectively

PEE or PQC!

POINT > EXAMPLE > EXPLAIN / POINT > QUOTATION > COMMENT

This key technique is the way to support and comment each of the points you make that form the bulk of your essay.

Here is an example of this method of analysis in action, based on a poem called 'Stealing' by Carol Ann Duffy.

1. First make a relevant statement or point about the text that helps directly answer the essay question. In a good argument-style essay (see here) this will be a point that helps to explain and support the overall main point you  made in  your opening paragraph.

What fascinates me about many of Duffy's poems is the unusual style she uses. It is so different from many other poems I have read on my GCSE course. An example of this is in her poem, 'Stealing'. Right from the start of the poem she begins in a very 'unpoetic' conversational tone:

Be sure that the point made helps to answer the main point of your essay and so, naturally, helps answer the essay question. Always introduce or explain the point if necessary.

2. Next provide a solid a piece of evidence from the text itself to support your point as you can find (scour the text for suitable quotations to do this - they will always be there! But... remember to keep quotations as short as possible and ALWAYS put them inside quotation marks.

'The most unusual thing I ever stole? A snowman.'

Notice that this brief quotation is sufficient to provide good evidence to support the point made.

3. Finally, discuss and explore what your evidence shows. For example:

This part of your analysis gains most marks as it allows you to look as deeply into the author's methods and intentions as your knowledge, powers of insight and time will allow. Here is what could be said about the Duffy quotation:

This style of writing catches the reader's attention easily and quickly because it stands out as different. The reader just want to read on - after all, who would steal a snowman? Duffy writes in a style that almost allows the reader to 'hear' the young person's voice. The words Duffy chooses language and the way she structures these two sentences with the second a short 'minor' sentence makes the poem look and sound unusual. In class, we heard Duffy say in a video that she likes her poems read aloud, as 'performance poetry'. This poem is no exception.

 


 

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