Comparing literature texts in an exam

Excellent blog post here on how to help students compare poetry with sophisticated writing skills. Marvellous. Loved the links to Ovid, too, as I focused on his Metamorphoses and Pygmalion for my undergrad thesis.

Mark Roberts Teach

In this blog series I started out with a few general principles for comparing texts. Then I moved on to comparing unseen texts in a GCSE language exam. This final (I think) blog on comparison will put forward my preferred method for teaching links between literature texts with some examples, and will also look at how to make sophisticated comparisons.

Firstly, a reminder that pupils who turn up with the intention of winging it by finding comparisons on the day rarely do well. As an examiner you can just tell when they are grabbing at straws and making increasingly tenuous links between the texts. Bear in mind again that the most effective way to compare – in my experience – is to analyse the key quotes that you fancy and then link the respective effects on the reader (or themes or feelings, which is often the same thing). So it makes perfect…

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