Iceberg essay structure
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Iceberg essay structure. The KEY is to start with the OBVIOUS first, then explain the DEEPER meanings. Point – OBVIOUS The point is concise (normally one sentence) and explains WHAT the writer is trying to achieve and the language or structure techniques he/she is using to achieve it.

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The KEY is to start with the OBVIOUS first, then explain the DEEPER meanings.

Point – OBVIOUS

  • The point is concise (normally one sentence) and explains WHAT the writer is trying to achieve and the language or structure techniques he/she is using to achieve it.

    Evidence (Quotes) – OBVIOUS

  • The evidence (Quote) is well selected – only the necessary words are given

  • embedded within a sentence.

  • selected carefully -an opportunity to write in detail about the language used.


  • Explanation (Analysis (in detail) and Evaluation (Zoom out/big picture)) – DEEPER

  • Must be the longest and most detailed part of the paragraph (writing A LOT about a little)

  • Must refer directly to the language in the quote (EVIDENCE) and support (prove) your POINT – ie the word “…” suggests….

  • Must explain and explore the different impact of specific words, phrases and/or techniques on the reader’s opinions, thoughts and feelings.

  • Might, where appropriate, evaluate how effective/successful the techniques have been.

  • Might, where appropriate, link the point you have made to the text’s historical context or overall themes and ideas.


The out/big picture)) – DEEPERKEY to understanding the writer’s intention (and UNLOCKING the purpose/audience) is seeing that characters and events SYMBOLISE something out of the text, in the real world. For example, a character might represent the poor in society, or an event might represent the war. So how do you write about the writer’s intention? Use the checklist below to ensure you have hit the base of the iceberg.

Exploring the writer’s intention – what is the PURPOSE/AUDIENCE.

This bit of your essay is the part that will push you up into the ‘B’ grade levels.


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