Writing successful GCSE English essays


A slide set taking learners through the steps and methods needed to write effective essay responses to GCSE English exam questions. PLEASE NOTE! This resource is focused on one particular method of planning and writing essays which meets the requirements of GCSE English exam boards. Other courses and other levels of academia have different methods.
Sarah Holmes
Slide Set by Sarah Holmes, updated more than 1 year ago
Sarah Holmes
Created by Sarah Holmes almost 8 years ago

Resource summary

Slide 1

    Writing successful GCSE English essays.
    Throughout your GCSE English course will have to write many essays so it is important to understand exactly how to do this for this course.Although you may have written essays in the past or may, indeed be doing so now, for different courses, in terms of GCSE English there is a recognised format that the examiners are expecting to see which has its own particular set of rules and requirements.Over the next few slides you will shown the various components that make up successful GCSE English essays and have the opportunity to put your knowledge to the test through a series of interactive, quiz-style activities.As you work through the interactive quizzes, you can check your answers at any time by clicking the 'Check Answers' button on the screen.

Slide 2

    Understanding the question
    This may seem obvious, but if you don't understand what the question is asking you to write about then you will not be able to write an effective essays response.Often, people do badly with essays simply because they haven't read the question careful, identified the key words and understood precisely what it is they are being asked to write an essay about.Every text that appears on a GCSE exam paper  is multi-layered and a rich source of exam question; that is why it is there! Exams questions however, will only ask you to focus on one or two specific aspects of the text. You never need to write everything you know about a text!The first step to writing successful GCSE English essays i sto read the question carefully, identify the key words and work our exactly which aspect of the text(s) you are being asked to write about and how you are being asked to do it.

Slide 3

    Creating a plan
    Having identified the key words of the exam question and worked out exactly what you need to focus on in your response, you are then ready to start planning your answer.Even tough you under timed, exam conditions it is still very important to create a plan before you start writing your essay. The examiners are looking for essays that work logically through the text being analysed, have linked PEED paragraphs which work together to develop and sustain perceptive interpretations of the text.If you simply launch straight into to writing your essay, writing down points as they occur to you and frantically trying to find an appropriate quote to support what you are saying, you wil not end up with a well-structured analytical essay!

Slide 4

    Writing effective introductions
    Every essay you write should start with an introduction. This is an important part of any essay as it is the first thing the examiner reads and therefore, you need to make a good impression.You introduction should indicate to the examiner that you have read an understood the question that has been set and that you have some interesting a relevant points to discuss in response to it.Use the resources opposite to develop your understanding of what is required for effective essay introductions.

Slide 5

    Linked PEED paragraphs
    The main body of any essay needs to be made up of a series of linked PEED paragraphs.You need to use topic sentences to link your paragraphs and each PEED paragraph should contain AT LEAST 2 direct quotations or references. If you are using direct quotations these should be embedded into your own writing and make sense within the sentence you are writing.Please watch the video lesson opposite which will teach you how to write effective linked PEED paragraphs.
    Caption: : Please watch this video which introduces you to PEED paragraphs
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