your introduction sets the tone for your essay and this could not be more true.A shallow introduction is like missing the start of your running race, or even worse arriving at a party just before it ends! Without being overly hyperbolic, here are a four essential tips that will ensure your assessor sees you as a high-scoring student right from your first sentence.- Answer the question in your first sentence (even if it is in a broad manner) and always link back to the essay topic – this will show the assessor that you are answering the question given rather than presenting them with a sneaky memorised essay!Or on other occasions, they have no introductory sentence and instead launch straight into their poetry analysis.
Immersed in the Christian traditions of his time, Donne’s exploration of Death emanates from the Elizabethan acute awareness of the brevity and vanity of human life; however, with his sensual elevation of reciprocal love and his deep spiritual belief in the resurrection of Christ, Donne meditates upon his belief and celebration of eternal life.Time and time again students fall into one of two traps.
They either try to start each paragraph with a lengthy (and often beautiful) phrase trying to encapsulate every idea they plan to introduce in the paragraph.
playful wit, rich imagery, language, challenging intellectual argument) as well as the ideas and values they endorse (i.e.
elevation of reciprocal love, belief in the resurrection of Christ, celebration of eternal life)- Wow your assessor with unique vocab (i.e.
Verbs such as demonstrates, elucidates, illustrates, exemplifies, illuminates and augments are ‘must haves’ in your poetry tool-box as they will ensure that you are analysing not summarising.
Here is a sample paragraph for you to consider (notice how I always link back to the idea of mutual/reciprocal love and experiences every time I introduce a new poetic technique or quote)While much of Donne’s oeuvre comments on the pleasure of carnal experiences, his more harmonious poems reveal the beauty of relationships in which one can experience a deep sense of mutuality and stability.- Utilise the right terminology when outlining the type of poet and era they wrote in (i.e.metaphysical poet, Renaissance era, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth)- Outline the main poetic techniques for which the poet is known for (i.e.Intertwining the elegant conceit of a compass to represent the love that connects the speaker and his mistress, Donne garners the notion that no matter how far ‘’one doth roam’’ the intellectual bond between the couple will remain ‘’firm’’ and enable the pair to overcome any form of physical separation.Hence, Donne illuminates the complex and impermeable bond that this serene form of human experience can foster.To say it plainly, writing with unique and refreshing vocabulary is enough to send your grade SOARING. Utilising the correct poetic metalanguage every time you introduce a new quote or line of poetry will ensure that your analysis remains both specific and detailed.It will not only render your ideas and discussion ever more complex, but has the power to enlighten and stimulate your assessor (and this is something we all want to do… As seen in the paragraph above, discussing the poetic techniques provided me with another form of evidence (rather than just the quotes from the poem) to elucidate how these different forms of human experience are illustrated in each of Donne’s poems.To assist you further, here is some metalanguage for the poetic techniques and structures that frequent John Donne’s poetry:- Sibilance, alliteration, imagery, paradox, conceit, metaphor, simile, personification, rhyme structure, tone, volta, enjambment, metre (i.e.)- DON’T mention the poem you will use as evidence in your topic sentence- DO answer and link directly to the essay topic- DO use linking words to link the ideas in different paragraphs And here are three STRONG topic sentences for each paragraph of this essay (note how I always link back to the topic of human experiences and link ideas between paragraphs)- Rewriting the conventional trope, Donne’s oeuvre explores the joy of erotic love and ones’ lustful desire to engage in these sexual experiences.- While much of Donne’s oeuvre comments on the pleasure of carnal experiences, his more harmonious poems reveal the beauty of relationships in which one can experience a deep sense of mutuality and stability.- Silhouetted against the backdrop of the Elizabethan reign, Donne’s more metaphysical poems demonstrate the struggle of the process of dying and individual corruption, and the manner in which it leads to the acquirement of God’s love and grace.What makes a poetry essay so unique is that your paragraphs are based on broad ideas rather than the motifs and behaviours of characters in novels.This means that when planning your essay you must ensure that each paragraph has only one idea and that each paragraph is based on a different idea.illuminate, emanate, meditate)And here’s a sample introduction to help you even more: John Donne’s anthology, “Selected Poetry” illuminates the human condition and thus provides much commentary on life and death.A metaphysical poet of the Renaissance era, Donne combines a playful wit, rich imagery, and perhaps most importantly language, to challenge intellectual argument and celebrate various aspects of sexual desire, mutuality and faith.