Higher English Tutor

Written by Higher English Tutor

This profile is a platform for a range of Higher-experienced English teachers to post information that will help students, and their parents, with preparing for students' Higher English exams. By following the below advice, we are confident that a student can improve their English grade, but individual motivation, perseverance and other factors must also be taken into account. This platform presents an approach to Higher English; we do not claim it is the only approach. It has worked successfully for other students.

Higher English – Finishing your critical essay

A disappointing ending carries more weight than it is worth. You know what it is like when you watch a film or read a book. You have really enjoyed the film or the book, then you get to the end and you find that the ending is obvious, or too quick, or badly done for whatever reason. You feel really disappointed! In fact you’re so disappointed that it can ruin the whole book or film.

Well, it can be sort of similar with conclusions for Higher English critical essays whether it is drama, poetry or prose. An examiner can really enjoy and admire your essay for all the skills it shows, however an underwhelming conclusion will leave them deflated and disappointed. You’ll still get credit for all the good things you did; but not the credit you might have gotten. Crucially, you don’t want the examiner to be in a negative mindset when they grade your paper. Unlike Maths, in English, an examiner has to go with a gut feeling, based on experience, about an essay, and it’s more art than science, and feelings play a part in that. So, having a good feeling about an essay is a good thing.

How do you avoid the negativity of a bad conclusion. Follow these steps:

  1. State clearly what your essay has done to show you’ve been focused
  2. Summarise very briefly the points you have covered in your essay
  3. Try to finish on a high showing thought and emotion

How do you finish on a high? Write what you’ve learned about the time period the text was set in, or what you’ve learned about the themes and issues involved in the text…OR….you could write about what every English teacher in their heart secretly desires: how the text they put in front of you in a boring, old classroom is actually relevant to you, society and the world out there. The text isn’t just existing in a vacum; it has meaning, to you and to the world. Every English teacher dreams that that is true, and in your essay you can turn that dream in to a reality by saying why.

Here’s the video:

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