Just a VERY quick one – most of a musing, really. Having spent the day moderating coursework – aka reading All The Essays – it is so clear that the great introduction is so important. It creates an argument, it sets the tone – it proves that you know what you’re doing.
It doesn’t make up for an essay that doesn’t deliver on the introduction’s promise. But it sets the expectations – and then it’s up to you to prove them.
What about the difference between these:
“In Soeur Louise, Rossetti explores the role of desire in relationships using language and structure. She has two opinions: that desire is appealing and seductive, and that it can also destroy.”
“Rossetti’s Soeur Louise is typically contradictory when it comes to the character’s expression of desire. Like many of her poems it explores the passionate attraction of romantic desire, but also the destruction and moral “mire” it can create, leaving only ash and a turn from the earthly to the divine.”
Both, in essence, say the same thing – and the first is competent and could lead to an accomplished essay. The second has more of an overview with the “typically” comment, but [practically – they are the same: the poem is ambiguous. Yet which would you rather read? The second, for me, is far more convincing- the interpretive language, the understanding of the type of destruction.
Have fun with your writing – make it sound awesome, and playful, and entertain the examiner as well as telling them what you know!