What is Genre?

You may have heard the word genre before at school or have seen it written somewhere.

A definition of genre is a style of text or written language where each piece has a purpose (what are we writing for) and an audience (who are we writing for).

There are two types of Genres – Literary Type and Non Literary Type Genres:

  1. Literary Type Genres – are written to entertain
  2. Non-Literary Type Genres – are written to inform

1.        Literary Type Genres:

Personal Recount: a personal recount is basically a retelling or recounting of events that have happened. You can write a recount after a special event or day, like what you did on Australia Day; after an excursion or field trip; or after the holidays. The basic outline of a recount includes -:

  • Orientation: when and where it happened and who was there
  • Sequence of Events: tells about what happened in the order they happened
  • Ending: tells how the experience ended and gives a personal opinion of events

In a personal recount there is the use of verbs, describing events and sentence joining words like after, then, next and that.

 Narratives: a narrative is basically a story told based on true events or the imagination. The outline or structure of a narrative includes -:

  • Orientation – beginning of the story, introduces who the main characters are and sets the scene, describing where and when the story takes place.
  • Complication/Problem – something goes wrong or a problem arises. As in most stories you read, there is something that happens to one of the main characters. Here you can write information building up to and describing this problem or complication.
  • Resolution – problem or complication is solved. This can be a good or bad resolution. The resolution also includes the ending of the story – tying up of loose ends.

There are a number of narrative styles that you can develop to include short stories, mysteries, adventures, plays and fairy tales.

Poetry: Poetry can include rhyming verse, ballads, songs, haiku etc

2.     Non Literary Type Genres These can be broken down into transactional, procedural, report and expository type genres.

Transactional: these include greetings, invitations, apologies, introductions, vote of thanks, telephone conversations, personal letters and advertisements.

Procedural: include instructions, lists, recipes, science experiments and rules for games.

Directions: these can be written or spoken. Directions need to include:

  • Goal: where you want to go
  • Steps: the steps needed to get to your goal

Instructions: Instructions are used to make or do something. Instructions include recipes and science experiments and includes the following structure:

  • Goal: what you want to achieve
  • Materials/Ingredients: list what you will need to achieve your goal
  • Steps: sequence the steps needed.

Instructions often include many action verbs and are written in present tense.

Report: includes information reports, book reports, descriptions and news reports.

Information Reports: Information reports at school are mainly written to give information about either animals, plants or places. The structure needed in an information report includes –

  • Title – what you are writing about
  • Introduction – give a description or definition about the topic
  • Body – this can be broken down into categories – each having a sub-heading
  • Illustrations, photos and diagrams – to help describe the topic
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary – can include a list of words that are particular to the topic and may need defining.

Expository: type genres include explanations and display advertisements.

Explanations: are written to explain how and why things are. The basic structure for an explanation includes:

  • Title – a how or why statement or question
  • A Basic Statement – a basic definition about the title topic
  • Explanation – explains in logical steps the statement or question process as in the title.

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.


Text Response Essay Plan

Text Response Essay Plan in Preparation for a SAC or Exam 

In preparation for a text response essay as a SAC or an exam, it is crucial to create a plan.  Since the topic is not known until a student sits the SAC or exam, it should be expected that you understand the text back to front.

In planning for a text response essay, planning starts when you open the first page of that text

That first page opens a whole new world, and is the time to start preparing for that SAC and exam on which you will be assessed.  Here are a few of my tips on how to make the very most of your analysis by using detailed notes:

  • Background information – before reading a text, it is a good idea to find some background information that could be useful in connecting different concepts and ideas in the text.  Do a bit of personal research on the text and the author, and find out anything that may be useful for your essay.
  • Write summaries as you go – when reading the play, write down a summary for every chapter, scene or other distinct section of the text.  These can be paragraphs and sentences, dot points, etc.  Just make sure that you are able to easily recall and understand what has happened.  My tip is to mark up the text in your book with pages highlighted.  This makes it easier to go back to when you are putting your plan together for your essay.  It also lines up with the next point, on note taking.
  • Take any other notes as you go – if you come across something, or your teacher has pointed out something really important in the text; make a note of it on the page of the text in your book.  Or if you don’t want to write on your book, keep a section in your English work book for notes with page numbers referenced for future.  This exercise will be time consuming at first but incredibly helpful in your exam and SAC preparation.
  • Quotes, quotes, quotes – jot down any quotes that you think stand out in the text and what they mean.  If you are given quotes by your teacher, keep these handy.  When looking for quotes, find ones that show a character’s feelings, emotions, thoughts, etc, and those that are very thematic to the text.
  • Character analysis – with every key character, write some sort of short analysis on it.  Write about the character’s feelings, emotions, thoughts, events they were involved in, relationships with other characters and provide a few quotes to      provide evidence for these reasons.
  • Theme analysis – after reading a text, your teacher may give you the themes of the given text.  These are very important when writing up your essay.  With each theme, write a short synopsis explaining the theme and examples of it in the text.  Also, find about 3 or 4 quotes to accompany each theme.  Keep these with your notes.  If your teacher has not given you themes, ask about them because they are crucial in analysing your texts and writing essays that are relevant.
  • Review your notes – after reading the text, gather up what you have accumulated.  Make your notes relevant to how you learn.  If you are visual/spatial then draw a concept map, or diagram to show relationships between concepts in the text.  Also do a detailed character study and review your summaries.  It is important to make sure you know which events happen when, so then it will be easier to find quotes.  My tip is to draw a timeline and a character map showing the relationships between characters.
  • Review your notes again – now is a good time to create your essay plan if this is a SAC.  Simplify your notes to the limit given.  Take things that are only really important.  A good plan of handwritten notes would contain the key themes,      quotes (you should have lots of them by now, but use about 15-20 important      quotes, so you have a wide range), simplified character analysis and any other really important information.  Review this to check if it is OK, and then you are ready for that assessment.
  • Do a trial essay/s – if you would like more practice on essay writing under exam conditions, it would be a good idea to do a few sample essays.  This will help you familiarise yourself with the conditions, how you will go in the real SAC or exam and to get the form of the essay under control (as in intro, body paragraphs, conclusion, etc.) and keeping to the time limit.  Ask your teacher for some trial essay topics or research some for yourself looking at past exam papers in your school library or on the VCAA VCE website.

Now that you have a myriad of notes and a whole lot of practice and reviewing from reading one single text, you are more than ready to tackle that essay.  Stay focused 100% and you will do it in no time.

Finally, during reading time, choose your topic and how you will plan your essay:

  • Develop your contention
  • Create an ‘answer’ to the contention and include it in your introduction
  • Use your TEE essay plan for all paragraphs (topic sentence, explanation,      evidence)
  • Make sure all your explanations and evidence link to the contention
  • Conclude with the same answer to the contention, do not say something totally      different to what you said in the introduction

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.



Historical Context of Macbeth

Macbeth was written in 1606 by popular English playright William Shakespeare.  It is believed to have been performed during the reign of King James 1 as the play reflects James 1 interests and obsessions.  Politically the play has marked relevance to the reign of James 1 as it is about treason and the betrayal of a legitimate monarch.

Shakespearean Drama is Multi-Dimensional

Macbeth can be seen and taken in many ways and many levels.  It seems a simple story with a moral that crime does not pay, the goodies win in the end.  It can also be seen as a thriller with evil at every turn. The witches assist the audience in displaying the idea that the play has supernatural evil in it.  They are malicious, gossipying and spreading rumours and yet terrifying because we consider that there might be a supernatural consciousness within the play.  All the imagery of darkness has a subliminal point.  This dark play dramatises the wilful disrupting of harmony and paints a bleak picture of what happens when that is undone.  Disorder, and its political equivalent, tyranny, can only lead to suffering and unhappiness.  In Macbeth, the nightmare continues until the evil-doer who has disordered nature is despatched.  Then harmony is restored.

The Divine Right of Kings, Order versus Disorder and the Chaos Theory

As a classical drama the play has a strong moral element to it.  The natural order in the play is broken by Macbeth’s actions.  Elizabethans believed that God alone was responsible for the appointment of a person to kingship.  Therefore any attempt to remove a king was a crime against human nature and a crime against God that would result in chaos.  Killing a good king and usurping his throne throws up the forces of darkness and disorder.  Macbeth breaks the cosmic pattern and unnatural acts follow.  Elizabethans believed also that disorder and chaos were symbols of evil so that the order of the universe is disrupted by evil deeds (Act 2.4:10-13).  The doctor says of Lady Macbeth’s illness ‘Unnatural deeds / Do breed unnatural troubles’ (Act 4.2:75).

Genre, Structure and Style of Macbeth

Macbeth is an Elizabethan tragedy in 5 acts written in blank verse.  Generally the most important note in approaching Macbeth is that it is a tragedy.  Macbeth is set in the wild Scottish Highlands.  The murders occur at night and often during storms.  The witches are found on a barren, wind-swept heath (moorland).

The main conventions Elizabethan audiences expected in a play was:

  • 5 acts with little or no scenery
  • themes such as love, jealousy, greed, ambition, the divine right of kings and the supernatural
  • noble characters (using blank verse) and submissive characters (using prose)
  • lots of conflict
  • chaos, sword fighting and possible deaths
  • resolution of conflict and re-establishment of the order at the end of the play

The main conventions / perspectives of Macbeth are similar to the conventions expected by Elizabethan audiences:

  • Macbeth butchers an old king (Duncan) in his sleep, murders 2 servants, orders assassinations of the wife and child of his enemy and is still seen as a tragic hero
  • How did Shakespeare make Macbeth a tragic hero?  He did so by giving Macbeth a conscience and making him suffer guilt
  • Macbeth is an exploration of ambition and evil
  • The protagonist, Macbeth is not alone in his fatal ambition.  Lady Macbeth is equally to blame
  • Are the supernatural powers responsible for Macbeth’s fate?

Language of Macbeth

Shakespeare’s language is complex and rich in colour and meaning.  Shakespeare used dramatic irony in Macbeth where one scene, event or line contrasts sharply with another.  For example Duncan’s line “he was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust” is immediately followed by the stage direction ‘Enter Macbeth’ (Act 1.4:13-14).  The audience has only moments ago seen Macbeth thinking of murdering Duncan.

Shakespeare also uses verbal irony (that is saying one thing but meaning another).  For example when Macbeth says to Banquo “Fail not our feast” (Act 3.1:29), knowing that Banquo will never arrive, because he will be murdered by Macbeth’s hired killers.  The audience already knows this but Banquo does not.

 The Plot of Macbeth Simplified

  1. Witches’ prophesy
  2. Macbeth and Banquo return from battle – witches’ prophesy
  3. Duncan murdered
  4. Malcolm flees
  5. Banquo murdered
  6. Fleance flees
  7. Dinner party – Banquo’s ghost
  8. Witches’ prophesy
  9. Macduff’s wife and children murdered
  10. Malcolm and Macduff raise army
  11. Lady Macbeth descends into madness
  12. Camouflage in ‘woods of Birnam’
  13. Lady Macbeth suicides
  14. Macbeth is slain by Macduff

Themes of Macbeth

  1. Ambition: The main theme being central to the play is Macbeth’s ‘vaulting ambition’ that leads him to murder and his own self-destruction. Macbeth says he possesses “Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself / And falls on the other (Act I, Scene 7).  While Macbeth is a Scottish general who is not inclined to commit evil deeds, he deeply desires power and advancement.  He kills Duncan against his better judgment and afterward stews in guilt and paranoia.  Toward the end of the play he descends into a kind of frantic, boastful madness.  The real driving force behind Macbeth’s ambition is Lady Macbeth.  She pursues her goals with great determination as she urges Macbeth on to murder Duncan.  Yet she is less capable of withstanding the repercussions of her immoral acts.  The problem, the play suggests, is that once one decides to use violence to further one’s quest for power, it is difficult to stop.
  2. The Tragedy of Pride: Linked with ambition above.  In all Greek tragedies the hero is a person whose basic nature is good, but who, through some fatal flaw, falls from his state of grace.  The most common of these tragic flaws in classical literature was pride.  Macbeth represents the terrible temptation of taking advantage of someone else for gain, commiting a wrong act simply because it suits him.  Macbeth understands at the end that what he has done is wrong and it has ruined him.
  3. Good versus Evil and Supernatural: Macbeth depicts the dark side of human life with a profound vision of evil.  The supernatural theme enables evil to be explored via the witches and shown in Lady Macbeth when she calls on the dark forces to help her (Act 1.5:36-52).  Darkness permeates the play with the greater part of the action taking place in the murk of night.  We see a man (Macbeth) who conceives a goal (killing the king and seizing the throne), and who decides to pursue that goal at the expense of all other considerations. By seeing his own desire for power as the only thing of significance and abandoning notions of loyalty, legality and pity, he moves from humanity (the person he was at the outset of the play), to what he implies with his metaphor of ‘bear-like’, an animal, and what Malcolm eventually calls a ‘butcher’.  We can take the essence of the play to heart ie. the nature of evil and its fatal consequences, not only for the evil-doer but for all those whom he affects.
  4. The Corruption of Power Unchecked and ‘Kingly Virtues’:  Malcolm describes what a ruler ought to be “The king-becoming graces / As justice, verity [truth], temp’rance, stableness / Bounty [generosity], perserverance, mercy, lowliness / Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude …”  This scene establishes what are the desirable qualities of good leaders but in the play Macbeth represents all that a ruler should not be.  Macbeth’s nature is clearly defined as his selfish desire to ‘climb up’ and take what is not rightfully his by any means, an immoral motive that brings him down.  In contrast, the ‘good’ kings are seen to be motivated by nobility of mind and loyalty to their people.
  5. The Relationship between Cruelty and Masculinity: Characters in Macbeth frequently dwell on issues of gender.  Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband by questioning his manhood equating masculinity with naked aggression.  The problem of misogyny centres on two damning portraits of feminine evil – Lady Macbeth and the witches.  Can Macbeth be excused of his wrong decisions because he was seduced into evil by women?  The aggression of the female characters in the play is striking because it goes against prevailing expectations of how women ought to behave.  Lady Macbeth’s behaviour certainly shows that women can be as ambitious and cruel as men.

Motifs of Macbeth

  1. Hallucinations: Visions and hallucinations recur throughout the play and serve as reminders of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s joint culpability for the growing body count.  When he is about to kill Duncan, Macbeth sees a dagger floating in the air.  Covered with blood and pointed toward the king’s chamber, the dagger represents the bloody course on which Macbeth is about to embark.  Later, he sees Banquo’s ghost sitting in a chair at a feast, pricking his conscience by mutely reminding him that he murdered his former friend.  The seemingly hardheaded Lady Macbeth also eventually gives way to visions, as she sleepwalks and believes that her hands are stained with blood that cannot be washed away by any amount of water.  In each case, it is ambiguous whether the vision is real or purely hallucinatory; but, in both cases, the Macbeths read them uniformly as supernautural signs of their guilt.
  2. Violence: Macbeth is a famously violent play.  Interestingly, most of the killings take place offstage, but throughout the play the characters provide the audience with gory descriptions of the carnage, from the opening scene where the captain describes Macbeth and Banquo wading in blood on the battlefield, to the endless references to the bloodstained hands of Macbeth and his wife.  The action is bookended by a pair of bloody battles: in the first, Macbeth defeats the invaders, in the second, he is slain and beheaded by Macduff.  In between is a series of murders: Duncan, Duncan’s chamberlains, Banquo, Lady Macduff and Macduff’s son all come to bloody ends.  By the end of the action, blood seems to be everywhere.
  3. Prophecy: Prophecy sets Macbeth’s plot in motion – namely, the witches’ prophecy that Macbeth will become first thane of Cawdor and then King.  The weird sisters make a number of other prophecies: they tell us that Banquo’s heirs will be kings, that macbeth should beware Macduff, that Macbeth is safe till Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane, and that no man born of woman can harm Macbeth.  Save for the prophecy about Banquo’s heirs, all of these predictions are fulfilled within the course of the play.  Still, it is left deliberately ambigous whether some of them are self-fulfilling – for example, whether Macbeth wills himself to be king or is fated to be king.  Additionally, as the Birnam Wood and “born of woman” prophecies make clear, the prophecies must be interpreted as riddles, since they do not always mean what they seem to mean.

Symbols of Macbeth

  1. Blood: Blood is everywhere in Macbeth, beginning with the opening battle between the Scots and the Norwegian invaders, which is described in harrowing terms by the wounded captain in Act 1, scene 2.  Once Macbeth and Lady Macbeth embark upon their murderous journey, blood comes to symbolise their guilt, and they begin to feel that their crimes have stained them in a way that cannot be washed clean.  “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?”  Macbeth cries after he has killed Duncan, even as his wife scolds him and says that a little water will do the job.  Later, though, she comes to share his horrified sense of being stained “Out, damned spot; out, I say … who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?”  she asks as she wanders through the halls of their castle near the close of the play.  Blood symbolises the guilt that sits like a permanent stain on the consciences of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, one that hounds them to their graves.
  2. The Weather: As in other Shakespearean tragedies, Macbeth’s grotesque murder spree is accompanied by a number of unnatural occurrences in the natural realm.  From the thunder and lightening that accompany the witches’ appearances to the terrible storms that rage on the night of Duncan’s murder, these violations of the natural order reflect corruption in the moral and political orders.

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.


Grammar Guide for Students

A Grammar Guide for Students who find ‘Grammar’ Difficult to Understand

‘Grammar’ is not the scariest word in the English language.  It is not difficult either.  Your starting point is to use my Grammar Guide for Students to work through the main nine parts of speech.  Once you know the main nine parts of speech you have the Metalanguage you need to discuss your work grammatically.  Look at the nine parts of speech first and then follow on to combine that knowledge when you put words together to form sentences.

There are Nine parts of Speech:

  1.  Noun = Definition: The name of a person, place, animal, thing, quality or condition.  There are 4 types of nouns: (1) proper noun = always begin with a capital letter and name people, places and titles eg. Mr Jones, Melbourne.  (2) common noun = name general things around you eg. trees.  (3) collective nouns = name groups of people or collections of things eg. choir.  (4) abstract nouns = name emotions, states of being, qualities eg. love.
  2. Pronoun = Definition: A word that takes the place of a noun.  There are 2 main types of pronouns:  (1) personal pronouns = I, me, he, she, we, they, them.  (2) possessive pronouns = mine, my, his, hers, ours, theirs.
  3. Adjective = Definition: A word that adds meaning to a noun or pronoun eg. horrible Harold.
  4. Verb = Definition: doing, being and having words eg. jump, have, own.  Verbs made up of one word are called main verbs.  Verbs made up of two or more words are called complex or compound verbs eg. was reported.  Auxiliary verbs are am, are, is, was, were, being, would, may, might, must, had, can, could, shall, should, will, has, have did, does, do and been.
  5. Adverb = Definition: A word that adds meaning to a verb (or an adjective or another adverb) eg. slowly compose, run fast.
  6. Preposition = Definition: A word that links nouns and pronouns to another word in a sentence eg. to, over, underneath, across, beside, with, in, on, above, after, between.
  7. Conjunction = Definition: A word that connects or links various words or groups of words eg. because, since, although, whenever, and.
  8. Interjection = Definition: A word that expresses a feeling or attitude but has no grammatical function eg. great, cool, hey, wow.
  9. Article = Definition: There are two types of articles:  (1) indefinite article = a, an.  (2) definite article = the.

What are Sentences and Clauses in Grammar?

  1. A simple sentence in English is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.  A simple sentence has one clause beginning with a noun group called the subject.  The subject is the person or thing that the sentence is about.  This is followed by a verb group, which tells you what the subject is doing, or describes the subject’s situation.
  2. The verb group may be followed by another noun group, which is called the object.  The object is the person or thing affected by the action or situation.  After link verbs like ‘be’, ‘become’, ‘feel’ and ‘seem’, the verb group may be followed by a noun group or an adjective, called a complement.  The complement tells you more about the subject.
  3. The verb group, the object, or the complement can be followed by an adverb or a prepositional phrase, called an adverbial.  The adverbial tells you more about the action or situation, for example how, when, or where it happens.  Adverbials are also called adjuncts.
  4. A compound sentence has two or more main clauses, ie. clauses which are equally important.  You join them with ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘or’.
  5. A complex sentence contains a subordinate clause and at least one main clause.  A subordinate clause gives information about a main clause, and is introduced by a conjunction such as ‘because’, ‘if’, ‘that’, or a ‘wh’ word eg. ‘who’.  Subordinate clauses can come before, after, or inside the main clause.

What is the Correct Word Order in a Sentence?

Using the correct word order is important in English because word order can change meaning.  The normal word order in an English sentence is as follows:

(1)Subject:We (2)Verb:watched (3)Object:a video (3)Place:at home (4)Time:last night

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.



Persuasive Techniques in Language Analysis

Persuasive Techniques in Language Analysis are Biased

All persuasive texts are biased and all authors of persuasive texts use a combination of persuasive techniques and structure their argument to position their audience so that the audience agrees with their point of view.

Learn how to use Persuasive Techniques in Language Analysis

It is important to learn the types of persuasive techniques used by writers in language analysis and the effects of these techniques on the reader.

Follow my persuasive techniques, examples and effects table below to help you in Language Analysis:

  1. Technique = the writer uses the technique of establishing validity of viewpoint / Example = when the writer says “I have lived here all my life” / The Effect of this Technique = is to encourage the reader to regard his view as valid and worth consideration
  2. Technique = the writer uses the technique of appealing to our sense of nostalgia / Example = when the writer says “In all these years … many pleasant hours… “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to remind the reader of simple pleasures in life
  3. Technique = the writer uses the technique of mounting a scathing attack on an identifiable group / Example = when the writer says “Selfish, careless, unthinking parasites… “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to diminish any consideration the reader might have for other side of the argument, gains our sympathy, alignment
  4. Technique = the writer uses the technique of posing a rhetorical question / Example = when the writer says “Why should we be disadvantaged by the actions of others? “ / The Effect of this Technique = serves to align the reader with the writer’s point of view
  5. Technique = the writer uses the technique of appealing to our patriotism, nationalism / Example = when the writer says “This is an un-Australian, unacceptable thing to do “ / The Effect of this Technique = serves to make the reader agree with the writer through implied sense of shared value system, shared national understanding
  6. Technique = the writer uses the technique of a ‘call to arms’ / Example = when the writer says “It’s time, we must stand together “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to get the reader to align himself, get involved, feel proactive in effective positive or necessary change
  7. Technique = the writer uses the technique of proposing a solution / Example = when the writer says “There is an obvious solution to this “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to present the writer as willing to engage in proactive solution seeking rather than passive objections to other’s proposal
  8. Technique = the writer uses the technique of inclusive language, flattery, empathy / Example = when the writer says “We …. Us …. All Australians …. Our “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to include the reader, making the audience feel like an outsider if they don’t agree
  9. Technique = the writer uses the technique of using anecdotal evidence / Example = when the writer says “I’ve been there … “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to give the writer credibility and personalise the text
  10. Technique = the writer uses the technique of simplifying the issue/ Example = when the writer says “It all boils down to … ” “Really, it’s simply a matter of …” / The Effect of this Technique = is to bring the issue down to the level of the audience, so the audience is more likely to be persuaded if they are not confronted by a complex or difficult argument
  11. Technique = the writer uses the technique of including statistics or an expert opinion / Example = when the writer says “Studies show” or “Research indicated” or “60% of students admit they love homework” / The Effect of this Technique = is designed to reinforce the argument, give authority and credibility to the argument with figures such as percentages made to look impressive to the reader
  12. Technique = the writer uses the technique of Jargon ie. language specific to a particular discipline / Example = when the writer says “Any computer expert would understand the ramifications of bytes, CD-ROM and interactive programming “ / The Effect of this Technique = serves to portray the writer as intelligent, sophisticated and knowledgeable in the particular field, it can also make the reader feel intimidated by the superior knowledge of the writer
  13. Technique = the writer uses the technique of colloquialism ie. slang / Example = when the writer says “I’d rather hang out with my mates “ / The Effect of this Technique = serves to lighten the tone, bring the audience identification as the writer is seen as approachable ie. ‘one of us’
  14. Technique = the writer uses the technique of repetition of words and images / Example = when the writer says “Never had I felt so alone … never had I felt such despair … never would I forget “ / The Effect of this Technique = serves to reinforce a point, stressing its importance and impact, however, too much repetition can weaken an argument
  15. Technique = the writer uses the technique of appealing to a value system or ideology / Example = when the writer says “Clearly this is unacceptable behaviour”  “this is abhorrent and discriminatory” / The Effect of this Technique = sets up the writer as ethically, morally aware, thus trying to get the audience to aling themselves with his/her own viewpoint
  16. Technique = the writer uses the technique of alliteration / Example = when the writer says “Motor-mouth moggy” / The Effect of this Technique = is to make the words easy to remember by using words that begin with the same consonantal sound, this is commonly used by writers in headlines and titles
  17. Technique = the writer uses the technique of using humour, sarcasm, puns and satire / Example = when the writer says “Warne is king of spin “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to use humour to help persuade an audience, a pun is a play on words and has two meanings, often used in headlines and satire is making fun of serious content

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.






What are Connectives?

Connectives are words and sometimes short phrases which we use to link or connect sentences, ideas and whole paragraphs together.

How are Connectives Used?

Connectives are used to:

  • introduce quotations
  • give an example or evidence in an essay
  • introduce an alternative point of view
  • add a contrasting example to your essay
  • enable your writing to be more balanced and objective

Connectives are Grouped According to Linking Ability and Used in Essays in the Following Format:

  1. Qualifying Connectives: although / unless / except / if / yet / as long as / apart from /  despite
  2. Cause and Effect Connectives: because / so / therefore / thus / consequently / stemming from this / as a result / an upshot of / hence
  3. Contrasting Connectives: whereas / alternatively / instead of / otherwise / unlike / on the other hand / in other respects / on the contrary
  4. Emphasising Connectives: above all / in particular / especially / significantly / indeed / notably / obviously / clearly
  5. Illustrating Connectives: for example / including / such as / for instance / as revealed by / in the case of / these include / as exemplified by
  6. Comparing Connectives: equally / similarly / in the same way / likewise / as with / in that respect
  7. Additional Connectives: and / also / as well as / moreover / too / in addition / additionally / furthermore
  8. Sequencing Connectives: firstly / secondly / lastly / next / then / finally / meanwhile
  9. Time Connectives: before / during / earlier / later / since / meanwhile / whenever / till / until / by the time / now / straightaway / already / afterwards / next time / hitherto
  10. Placing Connectives: on / inside / within / outside / throughout / near / beyond / among / below / to / beneath / from / towards / into / out of / off
  11. Listing Several Points Connectives: Firstly / To start with / To begin with / My first point / Secondly / Next / Furthermore / In addition / Thirdly / Adding to this / also / Further to this / Moreover / Finally / I would also like to make the point that / On top of / According to / One could also consider / To end with / To finish / Lastly / To sum up / In conclusion

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.





Animal Farm by George Orwell is an Allegory

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm

What is an Allegory?

An Allegory is a narrative that can be read on more than one level. Allegories are generally understood as rhetorical, and as a form of rhetoric, are designed to persuade their audience.  George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an example of this rhetorical device; as an allegory it extends its representation over the course of the entire novel.

How is this Story Allegorical?

As an allegorical tale about the dangers of tyranny, Animal Farm uses the story of Napoleon, Snowball and Boxer as a form of rhetoric.  In this novel Orwell is using the story of Manor Farm’s animal rebellion to caution people against the encroachment of tyranny.

Animal Farm Characters as an Allegory of the Russian Revolution

Critics often consider Animal Farm to be an allegory of the Russian Revolution matching in great details the story’s characters to historical persons.  For example, linking the power struggle between Napoleon and Snowball to the historical feuding between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky for control of the Soviet Union.  Old Major represents Karl Marx who dies before realising his dream.  Other comparisons include Moses as the Russian Orthodox Church, Boxer and Clover as workers, the sheep as the general public, Squealer as Stalin’s government news agency, the dogs as Stalin’s military police and Farmer Jones as Czar Nicholas II.  The farm’s neighbours, Pilkington and Frederick are said to represent Great Britain and Germany.  While Mollie suggests the old Russian aristocracy, which resists change.

What did George Orwell Believe Animal Farm Represented?

George Orwell wrote in the first edition of Animal Farm in 1945 that his novel: ‘… is the history of a revolution that went wrong and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of the original doctrine’.

George Orwell uses Satire to expose what he saw as the Myth of Soviet Socialism

In a Satire, the writer attacks a serious issue by presenting it in a ridiculous light or otherwise poking fun at it.  Orwell uses satire in his novel Animal Farm to expose what he saw as the myth of Soviet socialism.  Thus, the novel tells a story that people of all ages can understand, but it also tells us a second story – that of the real-life Revolution.

Background to the Russian Revolution

Many of the events of Manor Farm in Orwell’s Animal Farm are closely linked to political events in Russia during the first half of the 20th century. In the early 1900’s, Russia’s Czar Nicholas II faced an increasingly discontented populace.  Freed from feudal serfdom in 1861, many Russian peasants were struggling to survive under an oppressive government.  By 1917, amidst the tremendous suffering of World War I, a revolution began.  In two major battles, the Czar’s government was overthrown and replaced by the Bolshevik leadership of Vladmir Lenin.  When Lenin died in 1924, his former colleagues Leon Trotsky, hero of the early Revolution, and Joseph Stalin, head of the Communist Party, struggled for power.  Stalin won the battle, and he deported Trotsky into permanent exile.

Once in power, Stalin began, with despotic urgency and exalted nationalism, to move the Soviet Union into the modern industrial age.  His government seized land in order to create collective farms.  Stalin’s Five Year Plan was an attempt to modernize Soviet industry.  To counter resistance (many peasants refused to give up their land), Stalin used vicious military tactics.  Rigged trials led to executions of an estimated 20 million government officials and ordinary citizens.  The government controlled the flow and content of information to the people, and all but outlawed churches.

Animal Farm is the Story of an Animal Revolution

The animal residents of Manor Farm, spurred on by the dream of the pig, Old Major decide they will change their “miserable, laborious, and short” lives.  They overthrow Mr Jones, their master, and take over the management of the farm.  Rather than living under the heel of their human master, the animals of Manor Farm decide they will take control of the products of their labour, working for the good of the farm and other animals, rather than for the good of humans.

Tyranny by any other Name

George Orwell’s Animal Farm and his other novel 1984, are often cited as works that are designed to show the weaknesses of Communism.  These works took aim at the Soviet Union, however Orwell’s larger target was tyranny, in whatever form it appeared.  He was as much concerned with the repression of rights and the injustice of the economic system in his own England as he was about Stalinist Russia.

George Orwell’s 1945 novel Animal Farm is an allegorical indictment of tyranny which utilises the historical events and players of the Russian Revolution and the subsequent rise of Stalin as a cautionary tale.

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.