Fishbone Diagram as Brainstorming for Persuasive Writing

 "Machili Jal Ki Rani Hai" Fish Poem Animated Hindi Nursery Poem Song for Children with Lyrics. "One of the famous kids songs depicting the story of fish and its life . Hindi Poems Hindi Poem Hindi rhymes 2D Rhymes 2D Rhymes 2D Rhymes English Education preschool SchoolWhat is a Fishbone Diagram?

A fishbone diagram, also called a cause and effect diagram or Ishikawa diagram (named after Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa who invented it) , is a visualization tool for categorizing the potential causes of a problem in order to identify its root causes.

Using a Fishbone Diagram in Brainstorming for Persuasive Writing

See my Post regarding the Process for a Persuasive Writing Essay.  I suggest using the fishbone diagram for brainstorming ideas.

The Fishbone Diagram Design

The design of the diagram looks much like a skeleton of a fish. Fishbone diagrams are typically worked right to left, with each large “bone” of the fish branching out to include smaller bones containing more detail.

Blank Fishbone Diagram Template Online Calendar Templates Example

Should Journalists be Bystanders or Moral Combatants in Relation to the theme of Conflict?

Encountering Conflict was part of the old VCE English context curriculum prior to 2017.  Students can use these ideas related to conflict as a theme not a context in their essays.

This information is for general information only and is NOT part of the new VCE curriculum from 2017 onwards.

In the VCE English Exam from 2010, the essay prompt was:

‘It is difficult to remain a bystander in any situation of conflict’.

How to Tackle the Prompt?

Purpose of the piece: To explore the degree of difficulty associated with particular types of ‘bystander’ when confronted with defined ‘conflicts’. In an expository piece, you are essentially exploring the connection between ideas.

Examine the prompt:

  1. What is a bystander?
  2. An impartial observer
  3. An accomplice
  4. A reluctant or eager participant

What situations of conflict are there?

  1. Internal/conscience/external
  2. Interpersonal
  3. Mental/physical
  4. Familial/generational/domestic/class/cultural/racial
  5. National/local community/international
  6. Is it difficult?
  7. The nature of the difficulty
  8. The degree of difficulty
  9. The consequences, how individuals/society respond and react

Some ideas about conflict:

What are the lasting consequences of conflict for individuals, families and communities? Conflicts rarely end once the war is over, or the fight has been won. There are winners and losers in every conflict, who remain affected long after the conflict is over. The consequences may range from trauma, physical and emotional pain to more positive outcomes such as change, opportunity and growth. One thing is certain; people are changed by experiences of conflict.

Some ideas about being a bystander:

We are all bystanders. In the process of our development as individuals we have the chance to both observe and participate in the mass of challenges that confront us daily. This will inevitably force us to question and evaluate our own morals in the context of our upbringing and culture. Our responses will also challenge our own sense of pride and dignity and force us to question ourselves. There are times when we will face forces beyond our control but the test of our character will be in how we respond.

The passive nature of some character’s observation could suggest they approve of what is taking place. At the very least it suggests the bystander does not have the moral courage to intervene or is simply scared to break what is an accepted schoolyard practice. This incident is a microcosm of those who watch others being persecuted in society without taking action.

Expository Essay Response Plan


First:                      Outline what the terms are (place any re-definitions you have here.) Add a Hook that brings the readers into your essay showing you understand the bigger picture behind the context and the text.

Second:                State your contention clearly.

Third:                    Outline your arguments briefly and carefully remembering your points will be used as topic sentences in your body paragraphs.

Body paragraphs

Support your argument. The support comes from the examples you wish to use, be that from the text, big ideas beyond the text, history, the world view, relevant current news, a famous person, your own opinion all relevant to the issue. In an Expository Essay you cannot use your own life or friends experiences, as this is more reflective. What do you want to say about the topic & the text studied? You must use TEEL to build your paragraphs:

  1. Topic sentence: In your topic sentence state your argument. The argument must exist alongside the text even though you spend the majority of the paragraph discussing a particular text or example.
  2. Evidence: State the example you’re looking at.
  3. Explanation: Explain how the example shows your argument, giving more evidence as you do so. Include quotes from the text where relevant.
  4. Linking sentence: Link your argument to your contention and use connective words to link logically onto the next paragraph.


Identify the discoveries and insights you have made. These should be clearly evident in your explanation. Use these insights to conclusively state what it is to be a bystander, the specific nature of the difficulties faced and how comparable these outcomes are to the various types of conflicts you have explored. Conclude with your text studied so that your readers are clear on how it is difficult to remain a bystander in any situation of conflict for the characters of the text you are studying.

Using the text Everyman in this Village is a Liar by Megan Stack we ask this question:

Are journalists bystanders or moral combatants when reporting on conflicts?

Consider these 2 questions in your expository or imaginative hybrid essay:

  1. Should journalists ditch the pretence of neutrality and express an emotional “attachment” to the good guys in any given conflict?
  2. If journalists allow themselves to become moral combatants, crusaders against “evil” rather than mere reporters of fact, is there a danger that they will be treated as combatants?

Megan Stack as a reporter of conflict

At first the 25-year-old Stack is avid and “naïve”, as any young reporter maybe, to be thrown unprepared into a war zone:

“I was a reporter,” she recalls, “who didn’t really know how to write about combat, covering America from outside its borders as it crashed zealously into war and occupation… It would be my generation’s fate, it seemed, to be altered by September 11. I got excited and felt that I was living through important times and went rushing in, and years later came away older, different, with damage that couldn’t be anticipated beforehand and can’t be counted after.”

And later, the awareness that to be there, on the spot, brings cachet among peers and the profession: “It was something we strove for, competed for fiercely, a privilege. And when we were done with it we simply went away again.”

In emphasising attachment over neutrality and emotionalism over objectivity, the new breed of attached reporters become more like an activist, an international campaigner, rather than a dispassionate recorder of fact and truth.

They become moral players in, rather than simply observers of, foreign wars. Other people in the media criticise the “bystander journalism” of the past – what was once known as being objective – and praise those new journalists who have self-consciously made themselves into “players” in conflict zones.

Inevitably Stack’s book ends as it has begun, with the line, “You can survive and not survive, both at the same time”. The emotional damage is palpable. There is no “redemption” – a favoured American urge to resolve a narrative – no explicable “clarity of vision” of this Middle Eastern excursion. Maybe, she implies, it will never come.

Journalists as Passive Bystanders to Stakeholders

When reporting a story as a foreign journalist, at what point do journalists transform from being a passive bystander to a stakeholder in the story being covered? The tension between these two identities raises questions that journalists have searched their souls about for generations: When does the reporter put down a notebook to try to change the outcome of a tense situation? Or is it enough simply to describe what others are doing? When should a photographer drop the camera and intervene? When is snapping the picture a way of intervening, rather than just a form of recording? Does the risk of an emotional wound bear on whether the journalist should act or stand by?

The idealistic journalists, with a moral conscience, may put aside the camera or notebook when there’s a reasonable chance their actions will help others or prevent harm. In the process, they can recognize the symptoms of stress and emotional injury in themselves and others, and they can better convey the emotional dimension of their stories.

People who are not willing to be bystanders in conflict

In Every Man in this Village is a Liar Atwar Bahjat a female Iraqi reporter is an example of a journalist who was not prepared to be a bystander but a moral combatant. It is individuals like Atwar Bahjat who act defiantly, and yet non-violently, in a regime that tries to repress them that must be recognised for their nobility. The horrific and suppressive nature of conflict has the ability to suspend individuals in fear and immobilize any chance of societal progression. It is this paralysis that oppressors in a conflict rely on to ensure that they can maintain the way of life that they demand.

Megan Stack’s memoir documents the ongoing religious conflict in Iraq, a country “united in fear”. She exposes the degradation of women and the divide between Iraqi Sunnis and Iraqi Shiites. Western readers are overwhelmed by the violent and bloody history of Iraq and are confronted with the peculiar perception that it is an accepted part of life. However, Stack challenges this perception and shows that just as in any conflict, there are insurgents that are essential to leading the way for societal advancement.

Atwar Bahjat, a female, Iraqi reporter, is symbolic of a united Iraq; undivided by religious differences. Regardless the restraints put on her as a woman in a patriarchal society, Bahjat used her access to the media as a means to stimulate discussion of an alternate future for Iraq. Although Bahjat’s death may be perceived as a failed attempt for change, her presence in Iraq was essential to stimulate discussion and demonstrate the courage required to peacefully challenge the status-quo.


Identity and Belonging Theme

Identity and Belonging

Identity and Belonging was part of the old VCE Context curriculum and is NOT included in the 2017 English curriculum from 2017 onwards.  Please use this information on Identity and Belonging as a theme only.

The Main Issues around the Theme of Identity and Belonging are:

  • Nature or nurture – what makes us who we are?
  • Defining ourselves through others – the paradox of belonging
  • The cost of belonging – sacrificing the self
  • Challenging and developing our identity – our identity develops as we grow and change
  • Choosing not to belong –being an outsider in mainstream society can be difficult

Here are my Essay Ideas for Identity and Belonging

Nature or Nurture

Ideas for an essay

Style and Purpose  =          persuasive essay / hybrid imaginative

Form                       =          deliver a speech at the wedding of your brother

Audience                =           guests at the wedding

Language               =           personal tone, descriptive, simple sentences, some humour

Explains speech

Tell the guests about the relationship you share with your brother, what it means to you, what you have learned from your brother and the impact they have on the family.

Defining ourselves through others

Ideas for an essay

Style and Purpose       =       imaginative writing

Form                           =        personal letter of refugee in Australia

Audience                     =        relative back in home country of refugee

Language                   =         personal tone, descriptive words used by family members

Explains letter

Write to an aunty left behind in the homeland about feelings of estrangement and alienation that came from being uprooted and transplanted on foreign soil.  The perilous journey to get to Australia.  Missing the sense of tradition and extended family. Remaining connected to the land and place where they once belonged.

The cost of belonging – sacrificing the self

Ideas for an essay 

Style and Purpose     =         imaginative / reflective piece

Form                           =         reflective piece in a diary entry

Audience                    =         only the author of the diary

Language                   =         personal tone, first person, anecdotes, unspoken feelings

Explains reflective

Masking the true self in order to belong.  Using a stream of unconscious and unspoken feelings never told to the family before.  Pain at having to disguise true feelings so that the family group would not disapprove.  Not wanting to go to university to study medicine like all the other family members.  Having to be always the ‘good’ child but afraid of disappointing parents.  Wanting another career totally different from parent’s expectations.

Some Other Ideas for you to Consider Writing Essays / Expository or Imaginative:

  • Stolen generation children now adults loss of both identity and belonging in society.  Not accepted as white or black and unable to relate to either groups.
  • Being homosexual in mainstream society / multi-cultural society and coming out
  • Realising you are trans-gender as a child or adult born in the wrong body
  • Unemployed youth who are struggling to find employment and they feel that they lack a purpose and a sense of belonging
  • Being subjected to racist principles that are “skin-deep”.  Your feelings when white people cannot see beyond superficial aspects such as your colour or appearance.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on how to answer a prompt.  However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.





What is Metalanguage in English?

What is Metalanguage in English?

This is a question many students ask.  They see it on criteria sheets for assessment tasks but never really understand the term or how it is used.

The Answer is:

Metalanguage in English is a language that describes language

One of the key skills required by students in VCE is using ‘appropriate metalanguage to discuss and analyse [your] own and others’ authorial choices’. Metalanguage is simply the words used to describe the language choices authors have made, and the choices you have made about your own writing.

I have put together a list of metalanguage terms with an explanation of each that you might find useful when asked to describe language used in your set texts.  Once you read through this list I am sure you will already know many of the terms mentioned below:

Allegory: Simply put, it’s a story in which the characters or  incidents symbolise key ideas that are usually ethical. Allegory is usually used to describe longer versions of the ‘fable’ form.

Ambiguity: Double meaning, often used deliberately by authors.

Antagonist: The character who sets himself or herself against the protagonist.

Anti-climax: A sudden ‘descent’ in excitement or effect, sometimes deliberately used by authors.

Audience: The intended readership for this piece of writing. Is it for an adult audience? A specialist audience who would understand the technical terms? A younger audience?

Author: The creator of a text.

Autobiography: The story of a person’s life, usually written by that same person. Sometimes you might talk of a story or novel having ‘autobiographical elements’ – pieces of personal history made into the creative work. Romulus My Father, is autobiographical.

Character: A person in a novel, short story or play.  Can be either major or minor characters.

Characterisation: The writer’s skill in creating realistic or effective sounding characters.

Cliché: An over-used or outworn phrase that has lost its effectiveness.

Climax: The point of greatest intensity in a narrative.

Context: The historical, social and cultural environment in which the narrative is set, such as a particular country during a war.

Counterplot: A sub-plot which contrasts with the main plot, often used to add meaning to the main plot.

Crisis Point: A point of significant conflict or tension.

Dialogue: Conversation between characters in a novel or story.

Dramatic conventions: Departures from reality which the audience is used to accepting when watching a play.

Epigraph: A short quote or statement, usually at the start of a book or chapter.

Epilogue: A short final section of a novel or play.

Fable: A short narrative in which some moral truth is shown through a story.

Figurative language: The opposite of literal language, figurative language is the language of imagination, and it makes demands of the reader to understand the meaning.

Flash-back:  A very common technique in film, but also in novels where the narrative returns suddenly to an earlier time in the story.

Form: The overall format of your piece of writing: short story, poem, blog entry, film script etc. Each form has a general set of expectations and conventions that have developed over time.

Genre: The ‘kind’ or ‘type’ of writing. The style within the form; ‘detective fiction’, ‘love poetry’. Genres often have certain conventions or expectations which you can follow, or sometimes break with, to great effect. Famous genres include the detective fiction genre, the romance genre and the gothic genre.

Idiom: The natural speech of the person being represented.

Imagery: Images are pictures in words, a common feature of poetry. Similes (‘the moon was sailing across the night sky like a balloon’) and metaphors (‘the moon was a balloon sailing across the night sky’) are typical of how images are constructed.

Indirect speech: The reporting, in a story or novel, of what someone else has said.

Irony: A figure of speech in which the meaning is the opposite of what is spoken.

Jargon: Technical or difficult language specific to a profession or sub-culture.

Metaphor: A figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things by stating one as the other.

Monologue: A speech by one person in a play; think of Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ speech.

Montage: A dramatic effect built up by a series of short scenes or impressions, often in apparently random order where the effect is more important than the content of each scene.

Narrative: Simply put: a story. The events occur in the order they appear.

Narrative perspective: The source of the story telling, the way the story is told.

Narrator: The person or ‘voice’ that tells the story.

Orientation: The moment at which the story begins.  For example a character has just made a discovery, or a shipwreck survivor has just made it to shore.

Person: The authorial perspective, first person ‘I’, second person ‘you’, or third person ‘she/he/they.

Personification: Giving human qualities to non-human objects such as animals, the sea, the wind, etc.

Plot: The framework of the story and the conscious arrangement of its events.

Point of view: Is this piece of writing told from a particular perspective or from the point of a view of a character with unique views of their own?

Prologue: Literally, a ‘before speech’, a short speech or introduction before the main story begins.

Prose: The opposite of poetry, prose is direct expression without rhyme and with no regular rhythm. Almost all novels are written in prose.

Protagonist: The main character in a narrative.

Pun: A play on words where a word is used in two senses.

Purpose: Often, this might be more about multiple purposes, but revolves around what this piece is trying to do: to persuade, to inform, to record and document, or to make the reader feel something specific?

Register: The variety and scope of language related to a specific type of communication setting, such as a formal register, or in the register of educational discourse.

Resolution: The section in which conflict is resolved.

Rhetorical Question: A question put for effect, that requires no answer, and expects none.

Setting: Where a novel or play takes place, often a real or historical place (the play A Man for All Seasons is set in historical England) but it may be imaginative (Nineteen Eighty- Four is set in an imaginary London of the future).

Stage direction: An instruction or explanation by the playwright as to how the play should be staged, but sometimes more than this to involve a description of the intended mood or a character’s feelings. Arthur Miller uses long and detailed stage directions in The Crucible.

Style: The overall direction and voice of the piece; how the writer says things. It might be in a ‘realistic’ style, an ‘exaggerated’ style, etc.

Structure: The way the elements of the text are arranged.  The text may happen chronologically, in parallel or move backwards and forward in time using flash-backs and/or flash-forwards.

Sub-plot: A minor or secondary story underneath the main story, very often paralleling the main story in some way.

Symbolism: The use of something simple and concrete to represent much more complex ideas or concepts. In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a glass paperweight comes to symbolize something about the beauty and fragility of the past.

Tense: Is the piece set in the past, present or future? Present tense might be something like, ‘I am walking along the beach. The sun is shining.’

Tone: The sound of a voice at specific moments in the piece of writing. Of course this will change through a piece, but if you are striving for a particular or specific tone at a particular point it might be worth saying so. You will also need to comment on the tone of a piece of writing in your language analysis tasks.

Theme: A major issue running through and explored by the text, such as friendship or growing up.

Tragedy: A representation, often in plays, of a human conflict ending in defeat and suffering, often due to some weakness or flaw in the character of the main tragic ‘hero’.

Turning Point: A point at which decisive change occurs.

Values: Qualities that the author and/or characters believe are important, such as loyalty and integrity.

Voice: The overall sound of the writing.

World View: The author’s overall view of the world as illustrated by the text.  For example the author may portray the world and human beings as doomed or capable of improvement or redemption.  In Girl with a Pearl Earring, the world view presented is that choices made in life when young often determine people’s future directions and that those choices can be limited by historical context, gender and class.

Use the list above for describing the metalanguage of novels and short stories and how the language constructs meaning for the reader in these texts.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.









A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Synopsis of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Set in the 1840s on Christmas Eve, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens chronicles the personal transformation of the protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, the proprietor of a London counting house.  A wealthy, elderly man, Scrooge is considered miserly and misanthropic: he has no wife or children; he throws out two men collecting for charity; he bullies and underpays his loyal clerk, Bob Cratchit; and he dismisses the Christmas dinner invitation of his kind nephew, Fred.  Moreover, Scrooge is a strong supporter of the Poor Law of 1834, which allowed the poor to be interned in workhouses.

As he prepares for bed on Christmas Eve in his solitary, dark chambers, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley.  In life Marley was very similar in attitude and temperament to Scrooge: remote, cruel, and parsimonious.  In death he has learned the value of compassion and warns Scrooge to reform his ways before it is too late.  Marley announces that Scrooge will be visited by three more specters: the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge back to his unhappy childhood, revealing that the young boy’s experiences with poverty and abandonment inspired a desire to succeed and gain material advantage.  Unfortunately, Scrooge’s burgeoning ambition and greed destroyed his relationship with his fiancée and his friends.

The Ghost of Christmas Present is represented by a hearty, genial man who reminds Scrooge of the joy of human companionship, which he has rejected in favor of his misanthropic existence.

Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come appears in a dark robe and shrouded in mystery.  Silently, the ghost reveals the ambivalent reaction to news of Scrooge’s own death. Scrooge realizes that he will die alone and without love, and that he has the power and money to help those around him – especially Bob Cratchit’s ailing son, Tiny Tim.  Scrooge begs the ghost for another chance and wakes in his bed on Christmas morning, resolved to changing his life by being generous and loving to his family, employees, and the poor.

Classifying A Christmas Carol

For some readers A Christmas Carol resonates as a gothic ghost story, at times chilling and terrifying and at other times, extremely funny.  Other readers see the story as a time travel narrative.  Dickens in effect blended realism and the supernatural to create a world in which the gothic and the mundane sit side by side.  Dickens himself said he was here taking old nursery tales and “giving them a higher form” (Stone, Harry 1999, ‘A Christmas Carol: Giving Nursery Tales a Higher Form’).  With its dark, chilly setting and its supernatural visitors, A Christmas Carol draws on elements of the gothic novel when Scrooge’s door-knocker turns into Jacob Marley’s face.  The narrator provides a number of descriptions in which gothic elements are interwoven with freezing, icy imagery to emphasise the atmosphere of mystery and to remind us of the protagonist’s icy heart.

A Christmas Carol as a Cultural Myth

According to Juliet John, A Christmas Carol has become a “cultural myth” providing “a parable for the modern, commercial age” (John, Juliet 2011, ‘Dickens and Mass Culture’).  As a morality tale, in which evil is exposed, virtuous characters like the Cratchits are rewarded, and everyone celebrates at the conclusion.  However, there are issues raised in A Christmas Carol that remain unresolved at the conclusion of the novel. The sinister children of Want and Ignorance, do not go away just because Scrooge has been reformed, but the narrator tells us nothing of their future.  Their role is more allegorical than that of other characters. Dickens uses them as an important warning to his readers and to Scrooge as the frighteningly ugly face of 19th century poverty.  Unless social reform takes place urgently, Want and Ignorance will grow into hungry, resentful predators.  The fact that Dickens even raised the issue of the miserable lives of street children at all marks an important attempt by him to make his readers ponder their own social responsibilities.

Historical Context of A Christmas Carol 

While A Christmas Carol is primarily received as a ghost story, it is also a damning expose of social inequality in 1840’s Britain.  Dickens was deeply agitated by what he perceived as the inertia of the British government and wealthy middle classes to help those less fortunate than themselves.  A Christmas Carol was written at the beginning of the ‘Hungry Forties’ a period that encompassed the catastrophic Irish potato famine, as well as intense suffering for the English working classes.  Dickens uses A Christmas Carol to not only attack the Utilitarian philosophy of Jeremy Bentham, who justified the centralisation of Poor Relief in workhouses, but also to lambast the work of Thomas Malthus in his Essay on the Principle of Population.  Whilst in abstract these principles might seem logical, when applied to suffering individuals, their underlying brutality becomes obvious.

Ebenezer Scrooge

For most readers Scrooge represents the worst charactertistics of his society.  Fixated with material goods at the expense of all human connection, particularly with his clerk Bob Cratchit, Scrooge is an allegorical embodiment of the forces of capitalism underpinning Britian’s economy in the 1840’s.  For Dickens, he represented everything that was wrong with society in an increasingly industrialised world where human relations took second place to profits.

Dualism in Dicken’s Writing

The world of the early Dickens is organized according to a dualism which is based in its artistic derivation on the values of melodrama: there are bad people and there are good people, there are comics and there are characters played straight. The only complexity of which Dickens is capable is to make one of his noxious characters become wholesome, one of his clowns turn out to be a serious person. The most conspicuous example of this process is the reform of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol shows the phenomenon in its purest form.

We have come to take Scrooge so much for granted that he seems practically a piece of Christmas folklore; we no more inquire seriously into the mechanics of his transformation than we do into the transformation of the Beast into the young prince that marries Beauty in the fairy tale. Yet Scrooge represents a principle fundamental to the dynamics of Dickens’ world and derived from his own emotional constitution – though the story, of course, owes its power to the fact that most of us feel ourselves capable of the extremes of both malignity and benevolence.

Redemption in A Christmas Carol 

Can A Christmas Carol be seen as a tale about redemption in a man who has ostracized himself from his society?  While the narrative is focused on Ebenezer Scrooge’s learning experiences and his reintegration into the community, his story also forms part of a broader allegory through which Dickens invites his readers to consider Christmas as a time of renewal and hope and to think about how they themselves might redeem and be redeemed.

The ‘Scrooge Problem’ – the Questioning of Scrooge’s Transformation

Elliot L. Gilbert’s essay: ‘The Ceremony of Innocence: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol’ addresses ‘the Scrooge problem’, that is, the critical tradition of questioning the sincerity of Scrooge’s sudden transformation from being mean-spirited to kind-hearted.  Gilbert admits that his support for Scrooge’s change of heart is not free from doubt, as similarly to House and Johnston, he feels that the ease of Scrooge’s alteration is questionable. Furthermore, to accept the overnight metamorphosis of a man who has spent a lifetime bullying clerks, revelling in misanthropy and grinding the faces of the poor, is ‘to deny all that life teaches in favour of sentimental wishful thinking.’

Gilbert’s essay provides a new hypotheses to explain the reader’s misgivings regarding the plausibility of Scrooge’s radical conversion; he is merely returning to his childhood innocence. He explains why he views A Christmas Carol to be metaphysical; it is because it portrays the journey of a human being trying to rediscover his own childhood innocence. Such innocence Gilbert claims is evident in Scrooge’s encounter with the ghost of Christmas past, when Dickens has Scrooge’s fiancé break off their engagement, because the man she sees before her is not the man she first knew. Here, he reveals that Scrooge was not always bitter and mercenary, and therefore not so different from the man we are shown at the end of the novel. Thus, Scrooge’s new self is believable as it is in part his old self.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.


Word Choices

Word Choices are Important

Many students over-use simple words like bad, good, big, happy, nice, said, silly and many other words in essays.  There are alternative word choices to consider rather than the commonly over-used words.  The alternative word choices will give you more scope to develop your essay writing skills, stop you repeating the same simple words, and gain A+ for English.  The alternative word choices list below is similar to looking up words using the Thesaurus but I have done the work for you.

Here are Some Alternative Word Choices you can use in your essays:

  1. Bad is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: abominable / beastly / brutal / cruel / corrupt / detestable / disgusting / disobedient / evil / false / horrible / horrid / ill-behaved / malevolent / nasty / naughty / objectionable / rotten / unworthy / vicious / vile / wicked
  2. Big is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: ample / bloated / broad / bulky / capacious / colossal / considerable / corpulent / deep / cumbersome / enormous / extended / extensive / full / giant / gigantic / grand / great / huge / immense / inflated / large / lengthy / lofty / long / magnificent / mammoth / massive / mighty / spacious / stout / swollen / substantial / sizeable / significant / towering / important / vast / wide / whopping
  3. Scared is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: afraid / alarmed / anxious / apprehensive / cowardly / concerned / fretful / fearful / dismayed / distressed / nervous / panicky / startled / terrified / terror-stricken / timid / troubled / worried
  4. Good is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: able / accomplished / agreeable / beneficial / blameless / benevolent / capable / clever / competent / decent / delightful / enjoyable / excellent / fine / first-class / great / healthy / helpful / high quality / honest / just / moral / noble / pious / pleasant / pleasing / pure / reliable / respectable / safe / satisfactory / satisfying / serviceable / skilful / sound / splendid / suitable / superior / talented / true / trustworthy / upright / useful / valid / valuable / virtuous / worthy
  5. Happy is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: blissful / bright / cheerful / cherry / delighted / elated / exultant / ecstatic / content / contented / glad / gleeful / gratified / high-spirited / jovial / joyful / pleased
  6. Nice is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: amiable / attractive / beautiful / captivating / charming / comely / dainty / delicious / pleasant / good / kind / polite / fine / lovely / neat / pretty / tasteful / tasty / tidy / trim
  7. Said is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: accused / addressed / admitted / advised / agreed / alleged / announced / apologised / appealed / argued / asked / babbled / began / begged / believed / bellowed / blustered / bragged / breathed / cautioned / chuckled / commenced / complained / confessed / confided / congratulated / cried / decided / declared / groaned / denied / disputed / enquired / exclaimed / explained / hissed / howled / mumbled / murmured / objectived / praised / promised / proposal / protested / questioned / reasoned / recalled / rejoined / remarked / repeated / replied / revealed / roared / scoffed / scolded / screamed / screeched / shouted / shrieked / snapped / snarled / sniggered / snorted / sobbed / spoke / stammered / stated / stuttered / supposed / taunted / thundered / understood / wailed / warned / wept / wheezed / whined / whinged / whispered / yawned / yelled
  8. Silly is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: absurd / brainless / cretinous / foolish / idiotic / impractical / inane / laughable / ludicrous / moronic / ridiculous / stupid / unwise
  9. Small is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: brief / dwarfish / little / marginal / minimal / meagre / miniscule / minute / paltry / petty / scanty / short / shrivelled / shrunken / slight / slim / stunted / squat / thin / tiny / trifling / trivial
  10. Surprised is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: amazed / astonished / astounded / bewildered / confused / dazed / dumfounded / flabbergasted / overwhelmed / shocked / staggered / startled / stunned / taken aback

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.