• Stay focused on the extract if it is a passage based question. (If details such as the setting etc are relevant to the essay title but are not part of the extract then mention them briefly in the introduction)
  • The introduction should give an overview of the story relevant to the essay title and should not have quotations in it
  • Every point that is made must relate back to the essay title; this is not a general commentary on the short story. Ensure that you only include relevant ideas. (For example, although the relationship between the narrator and Perkins is important to the overall story it is irrelevant when discussing how tension is created in the short story)
  • Make sure your topic sentences are analytical:
The car itself is personified in this story to bring out the strain that it is experiencing and the fact that it might quickly give in to the rough terrain, adding a sense of anticipation in the reader.
is better than:
The car groans under the strain and this shows how the narrator cannot handle the car.
  • Link your paragraphs- there should be a logical sequence of ideas followed through the essay. When you make your mind-maps remember to number your ideas to get a clear outline of the structure of the essay
  • use literary terms with accuracy and in your explanation discuss how the use of literary devices helps enhance the meaning of the story

Exemplar 1: Abhay Nainan with teacher comments (in a pdf file)
Exemplar 2: Minoshka Narayan with teacher comments (in a pdf file)