How to Write a Better Answer for Poetry in Exams


Well, writing an answer in exams is a process of thinking about the question given and answering the question. Some students tend to write all the things they know about the poem which is not accurate. It is required to understand the question and write a good response to the issues raised in the questions. For example: if the question asks about the theme bravery, you should show how the poet show it in his lines. There is no static model about writing answers. It is good if you can have your own way of writing. However, your answer should be analytical and touch the key points asked in the question. You may follow following steps to write a response in exams.

Read and Mark the Key Points in the Question

It is required to understand the question properly before answering. Some students fail to understand the question and write something else which is a grave mistake. While reading the question you can underline important points shown in the question which show what the question requires you to write in the answer.
Ex: Power forces the possessor to be lonely. Do you agree? Describe the above statement with regard to the poem The Eagle by Alfred Lord Tennyson. 

Marking key points helps you to form a good outline to the answer.

Outline Your Answer

Planning is the key for a good written answer. It helps your answer to be well organized and to avoid unnecessary details. You can write down all the important information related to the question including quotations. You can use a mind map, chart or any method depending on your choice. Now that you have information to write the answer; Cut off unnecessary points and select the most important information according to an order. This may be the most important information first and others depending on the importance. Write your quotations under the point. Well, you are ready to go.

Write the Opening Paragraph

Opening paragraph is the compass. It shows the direction of your answer. In this paragraph you have to show the examiner what and how you are going to answer. Good start is always half the job done. Here you can introduce the answer you are going to produce.
Ex: Power has positive and negative effects on the possessor. Because of its force the possessor has to live alone from other. The poem The Eagle by Alfred Lord Tennyson explores what factors create such force…

Prove the Points Put forward.

After writing the first paragraph, it is the time to produce an analytical answer using the points you gathered earlier. You have to prove the points using the details in the poem. Whatever the point you have you should have evidences form the poem to prove them. First you have to introduce the point you are going to prove. Then you can introduce a quote from the poem and then you can describe how that quote supports your point. If it is about the lifestyle of ‘The Eagle’ that kept him away from others: show it and prove from a quote in the poem and describe how so it happens.

Provide a Good End

Ending can be the summery of your answer. Here you can restate what you have written in the answer. You have to clearly define what your answer to the question. If it is yes, it should be clearly mentioned. Do not rewrite the first paragraph. If it is about power issue, restate what reasons you have brought forward and write the final effect created. Here the possessor has to be alone.

There can be a number of ways to produce a better answer. You have to have your own way of answering. For that, you have to keep reading good model answers, read books and keep on writing. The best formula is reading and writing. Those are the key elements for every student who needs to write a good piece of writing. 
You may have better ways of answering. Why don’t you share them with us. Leave a comment below.


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