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Answering Essay Questions. Understand the question- read the question carefully and pick out relevant information Plan- this will make it easier when you start writing as you will have a brief outline Convey your thoughts in an organized manner

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Understand the question- read the question carefully and pick out relevant information

  • Plan- this will make it easier when you start writing as you will have a brief outline
  • Convey your thoughts in an organized manner
  • Use relevant technical terminology to answer the question
  • Support your answer with evidence and/or examples
vocabulary and structure
Vocabulary and Structure
  • Relevant and complex vocabulary
  • Clear structure
  • Variation of simple and complex sentence structures
  • Linking paragraphs
  • Topic sentence
embedding quotations
Embedding Quotations
  • Put inverted commas at the beginning and end of the quotation.
  • Write the quotation exactly as it appears in the original.
  • Do not use a quotation that repeats what you have just written.
  • Use the quotation so that it fits into your sentences.
  • Keep the quotation as short as possible.
examples of embedding quotations
Examples of embedding quotations
  • When he listens to his mother talking about the Hooper's, Kingshaw hates the voice that she uses, “He hated the voice she put on for talking about the Hooper's”.
  • Listening to his mother talking about the Hooper's, Kingshaw “hated the voice she put on”.
  • Mrs Kingshaw’s opinion that Warings is “so satisfactory, so safe” is an ironic example of her limited understanding and self deception.
task embedding quotations
Task- Embedding Quotations

Find and use a quotation from the second chapter to illustrate Hooper’s attitude towards Kingshaw. Try to embed the quotation into your analysis.

referring to themes and symbols
Referring to Themes and Symbols








Red Room



Always refer to themes and symbols from the text in your essay. Back up your points with quotations!

sophisticated interpretation
Sophisticated Interpretation

To write a good essay, we must take the basic summary of plot, characters and style into a deeper and more meaningful discussion. We do this through the in-depth discussion of the implicit meanings of the aforementioned items in relation to the broader themes and the subtext. This could focus on few specific aspects of the novel, or more broadly into the author’s diction or narrative style. For example, Susan Hill writes mostly from the perspective of Kingshaw, which provides a deeper insight into the character’s thoughts and feelings.

task sophisticated interpretation
Task- Sophisticated Interpretation

Discuss the symbols and their connotations from the crow scene.

evaluation and conclusion
Evaluation and Conclusion

The conclusion brings closure to the reader. All it needs is three or four strong sentences. When you write your conclusion the main danger is that the conclusion may come across as a pile of previously unmade or under-developed points. Try and summarise all of the points you have already made, in your conclusion.

  • 1. Make an essay plan.
  • 2. If possible type it up on word. This will allow you to correct mistakes.
  • 3. Introduce argument in first paragraph.
  • 4. In the following paragraphs develop this argument with details, examples and other possible points of view.
  • 5. Sum up your argument in one sentence.
  • 6. Make sure you answer the question.
  • 7. When completed, go back over it and proofread – eliminate careless errors and improve expression.
  • 8. Read it many times to make sure it makes sense.
essay tips
Essay Tips
  • Set aside some time at the start of your work to plan what you have to do.
  • List all the points that you feel are needed to cover the task.
  • Use a highlighter to collect quotations which could be helpful.
  • Focus on main points of essay.
  • Write the essay, remembering all the time the central point you are making.
  • In the closing sentence try to sum up your argument in one sentence, for example:


  • A closing statement about a character:
  • Fielding’s role is to represent normality as the happy product of a loving family, providing a strong contrast with Hooper and Kingshaw.
  • A closing statement about an opinion on the setting:
  • I believe that the description of Warings provides an appropriate background for the disturbing events of this story.
  • A closing statement about a judgement of a theme:
  • In her exploration of the characters of Hooper and Kingshaw, I believe Susan Hill has created a disturbing and accurate impression of the loneliness of childhood.

When forced into closed proximity, Hill still portrays each character as isolated figures unable to relate with others. For example, Hooper’s first words to Kingshawwere, “I don’t want you to come here”. Hill uses this brief callous sentence to convey the sense of seclusion; perhaps not loneliness, but certainly the resentment Hooper feels at the intrusion to his life. This sense of isolation between the characters is further exponentiated at the marriage of Mr Hooper and Mrs Kingshaw. Traditionally performed as a union of love, Mr Hooper describes the marriage as “physical”. Hill’s usage of such depiction suggests that the contemplation of marriage does not actually bring forth mutual affection or esteem, but merely sexual gratification.

Embeds the quotation to explore the feelings of the characters. examines isolation as a theme and shows it at another point in the book.

How does Hill make Hooper such an unpleasant character? Support your answer with details from the text.

Hill uses a variety of techniques to give the impression that Hooper is a very unpleasant character. Throughout the novel the reader sympathises with Kingshaw, who Hooper bullies mercilessly, and is left wondering whether Hooper’s loveless upbringing is to blame for his apparently amoral behaviour or whether he could be considered to be inherently evil.