November 08, 2005

Poetry and Society: General Tips After Marking First Assignment

After marking your assignments, I have a few tips to remember in future:

1. Plan your work carefully with an eye to structure. One of the specifications for giving a high mark is 'Highly developed organisation of overall argument'. The organisation of your argument is an extremely important factor in creating a convincing, cohesive argument – the marking criteria mentions the need for 'very effective and persuasive argumentative writing'. If you are having trouble with structuring your essays or creating a cohesive argument, see a Royal Literary Fund Fellow – you can book appointments through the English Department Office.

2. When thinking about what angle or argument you are going to adopt in relation to a text, be ambitious. High marks are given out for an 'ambitious argument or project carried out successfully'.

3. Be detailed in your textual analysis. High marks are given for 'outstandingly perceptive commentary on a number of details of the text'.

4. Show that you are enthusiastic and engaged with the text. By this I don't mean comments such as 'Wordsworth is a very intelligent man' or 'I love this poem'. Rather I mean that you should show your engagement through your felicity of style – the mark scheme mentions 'convincing and vivid presentation of an engaged response to the text'.

5. Research – you need to show that you have knowledge of the subject area that you are writing in and you need to integrate textual citation elegantly. Ultimately you need to show that you have engaged with the arguments of other critics and you needto show how your argument relates to the angles of other critical texts on that subject.

Useful Links

Diana Hacker's Website

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Creative Research Blog

Please note that I also have a blog for ideas and research at:

Women Writing Rape

See this new blog set up to coincide with the symposium, Women Writing Rape: Literary and Theoretical Narratives of Sexual Violence

Practice of Poetry Seminar:

Thursdays 9 – 12 noon in the Mead Gallery, Warwick Art Centre

REMINDER: When bringing poems to be workshopped in class, it would be great to bring extra copies so that we can all see the poem on the page.

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