How to write comparison essays in an exam

When you start writing essays this seems really complicated, but breaking it down can help. Remember these two simple facts: 1. Comparison means similarities and differences 2. Comparison means there has to be some link or connection The similarity, specifically literature and English Language, can be either technical – looking at a way of writing, for example a specific use of metaphor – or thematic – the way a similar idea is represented. Ideally the comparison is knitted together, so interwoven that you can’t pull one text apart from the other. That’s the ideal, but there are some ways to …

How to write brilliantly: Blogsync English

Ok, so I’m a little behind, but I do like the blogsync idea – a team of twitter teachers all blogging about the same topic each month. I’m pretty sure “great writers” was May, but hey  it was half-term. This time around, it was all about how to create “convincing and compelling” writers. In the teaching of writing it’s easy to condense writing into frames and acronyms – PEE, PEA, PEAL, PETAL, WETRATS and so on. While these do have some merit, in making sure students understand basic paragraphing, I’d argue that by the time students get to thinking about …

Why I don’t write #6: Because it’s a blank page

There’s maybe nothing as intimidating as a screen o white, or a page with nothing but rows and rows of blank lines. But then again, shouldn’t there be nothing as exciting as these possibilities ?I’s all a question of perception, the old half-full-half-empty dilemma, which is all about interpretation. There’s nothing good or bad without thinking makes it so, and sometimes my thinking is my biggest barrier. Worries crowd out creative thought – but you can’t put off writing until the creative faucet hits, because you’ll find that soon there’s just something else to worry about instead. Writing needs to …

Writing feedback: Joy

Received some very helpful feedback on a story today: We thought ‘Joy’ was a good short piece, somewhere between flash fiction and a short story. That said, there was rather too much telling and not enough showing. The fairy tale air gave it a very ethereal quality, but it writing needs to be less descriptive in order to leave more to the imagination. It’s always interesting how different people see writing – I liked the fairy-tale element (which was designed to be more told, because of the slightly distanced nature of fairy-tales, which they picked up on) that this story …

Why I don’t write #5: Because I didn’t write yesterday

I really should even have to go into the obvious nature of this one. I think it’s maybe one of the by-products of reading a lot bout habits and how to be active and successful, The importance of forming good habits – doing things every day at the same time every day, having cues to help you get on with whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. But in my case, that nagging voice has turned this into: “So, you didn’t write yesterday? FAIL! Why bother today!” Obviously, this is ridiculous. It wouldn’t apply to any other section of my …