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The Great Gatsby. Chapter Two. What are the ingredients of a successful 1(a) question?. (particularly when you’re dealing with a novel rather than a poem). In groups, your first task:. Read through the essay on Chapter 2

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The great gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Chapter Two

What are the ingredients of a successful 1(a) question?

(particularly when you’re dealing with a novel rather than a poem)


In groups your first task
In groups, your first task:

  • Read through the essay on Chapter 2

  • Take 3 different coloured highlighters: one for Form, one for Structure, one for Language

  • Highlight the essay with the relevant colour wherever you feel that feature is being discussed

  • Next to each highlighting, and using the mark sheet, try to suggest the band you think the discussion deserves


Swap groups now task t wo
Swap groups. Now, Task Two:

  • In the margin, write a brief summary for each paragraph of the role you think that paragraph plays within the essay

  • (for example: for paragraph 1, you might write: locates Ch. 2 within the structure of the novel – relating back to Ch. 1 and forward to the ending)


Another swap now task three
Another swap; now, task three:

  • Using your response to the model essay, discuss within your group this question:

  • If you’re writing about narrative methods in a chapter of a novel, what would you say are the key elements that a good essay should include?


Supplementary question
Supplementary question:

  • How well does this model essay meet the criteria you have decided on?


General advice
General advice:

  • Remember that the mark scheme does not specify content: any relevant discussion should be rewarded

  • However, there is a danger that too much concentration on details – however well managed – will overlook the idea of the chapter’s role within the novel


This might be a helpful rule of thumb
This might be a helpful rule of thumb:

  • Introduce your essay looking at the chapter’s function in the plot (what important things happen?)

  • Always write about voice (ticking the “form” box) and aim to address 2 other aspects of narrative (settings; time and sequence; characterisation; point of view ....)

  • Aim to discuss at least 3 different uses of language

  • Conclude by linking the chapter into key themes in the novel, and glancing ahead to what comes next.


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