AD's English Literature : Technical Tips for Writing a Good Essay: Presentation of Critical Writing

Technical Tips for Writing a Good Essay: Presentation of Critical Writing

To describe the conventions generally agreed for the form and presentation of critical writing – what is understood by the term ‘Scholarly method’ – can be an extensive business. But you will appreciate that, in principle, some regularly in the way we communicate is very advisable. It helps us to write efficiently, economically and clearly, besides making the text of our criticism more agreeable to the reader’s eye. This last point is particular importance when, denied the neat and impressive packaging of typescript or the benefits of word-processor, our arguments rely on handwriting to make their effect.


(a) Titles: Underline titles of works-referred to. This is very important where, say, a play takes its name from the chief character (such as Coriolanus) and you run the risk of ambiguity if you fail to adopt this convention. If you refer to the title of a chapter, poem or essay, which is part of large volume, place it in double or single quotation marks.   
(b) Prose quotations:  All ,prose quotations of no more than three lines should be incorporated into the body of your text within single or double quotation marks .Where there is a quotation within a quotation, use either single quotation marks within double or double within single. Longer quotations should be separated from your script without quotation marks and indented from the margin.
(c) Poetry quotations: All poetry quotations of no more than two lines should be incorporated into the body of your text within single or double quotation marks. Line divisions should be indicated by the sign. Longer quotations should be separated from you text without quotation marks and indented from the margin, following the pattern of the original.
(d) Omissions and additions: If you are omitting a section from any quotation you are using, mark this by the use of three dots. If you are including something within any quotation which is not a part of it, enclose the insertion in square brackets.
(e) Emphasis: With handwriting where italics are unavailable, you should underline for emphasis – but do so very sparingly.

Throughout your writing aim for consistency of notation and you will be on the right lines.

Hollow responses can be spotted a mile off. By no means believe, as a rule, that you must inevitably be facing some jewel of English literature, which demands your lip-service of approval, you’re forcing a reaction in glowing terms, perhaps along then the lines critically alluded to in the passage. Of course you might well feel rightly and adjectives which say nothing about the text itself. Ensure that the choice of your terms derives from your analyses. And do, generally avoid the use of slang or colloquialisms. Where unseen’s are involved, it could well be that you are confronting something less a general rule, however, too many students deem to think that they have got to say something approving, when their hearts are not really in it, and betray themselves into conspicuously unfelt writing when doing so. This can be evident in unseen, where there is such a need rapidly to say at least something; and it is often detected at the ends of essays when, tired, anxious to come up with a substantial conclusion, the student makes a final, self defeating effort to gain more marks. Make conclusions emerge from the substance of your criticism, where your debate has adopted a logical and interestingly argumentative manner. Over all, aim for an honest reaction.

The intelligent you apply to the literacy text is no different from that required in the pursuit of other disciplines. We have countered the mystique English ‘letters’, but we would do well to remind you that the literary response is not some emotive pulse divorced from other experience, which temporarily anaesthetizes the intellect. Proceed methodically, shifting the evidence, as you are encouraged to do in other subjects.

(f)    Language: Do try to vary the language of your responses in terms of pace, tone and vocabulary. Attempt to make your inquiries vital and alive. After all, the creative writers themselves are generally trying to interest you, the reader, and it would be unfortunate if your criticism, in its own way, did not reflect that engagement, for in its turn it needs to involve the person marking it. It is likely that any genuine commitment will result in vigorous writing.
(g) Vocabulary: The vocabulary of critical discrimination is rather limited; and it will be to your advantages if the unseen you are challenged by and the set texts you study have been chosen from different literary genres stretching over a broad range of subject-matter and period. Much depends on your ability to say things in different ways, so the more you develop thin facility the easier, better, and – where time is of the essence – more effective your performance.  
(h) Examiners: Do remember that examiners, teachers, lecturers are only human. Imagine, then, the beneficial effects if, after scrutinizing scores of scripts, the wilting marker is suddenly invigorated by a pertinent parallel made between your set text and some other work you have absorbed. Of course there is the matter of balance here, and you must not get side-tracked. But no writing exists in clinical isolation. In conclusion, the talents you acquire from each section of your studies are mutually supportive if you deploy them cleverly. 

Ref:1. Wiki
     2.Inspired Topic- Dr. F. B. Goni

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