Sairah, 15, Birmingham.

Shakesphere? No Problem: The Student’s guide to studying for English

I’m going to start this off by saying that for the longest time, I had no idea how to study for English. I’d always read the book way before anyone else in my class, listen to a brief discussion of themes, write out my essay, and boom, A/A+. But late last year, I started wondering why I never do any work for English, but put tons of effort in studying for all my other subjects. My immediate response is that you can’t study for English, but looking back, I definitely know you can. So this set of tips are for those of you who are doing well in English but want to boost up your scores, or for those of you who have this “you either get it or you don’t” mentality about English. 
1. Annotate your book
Some people get really antsy about writing in the novel they’re analysing, but its way easier than writing everything out on another piece of paper. As you read your novel, get out your highlighters and a pen and highlight important quotes for your essays  and write specific themes or notes about the characters as you come across them. I found that with a lot of my classmates, they’d technically read the book from cover to cover, but had no idea what the themes were and since that’s important in essays, a lot of them found it really hard. If you’re active about writing stuff down and highlighting, the story will even be easier to remember. 
2. Don’t be obsessed with reading Sparknotes/Cliffnotes
These two websites are so helpful in understanding parts of the novel, finding themes and understanding characters but if you just read the analysis and basically write down what it says, you don’t really get the book, you’re just copying what someone else says about it. In essays, you can really tell the difference between someone that knows the book and someone who just read spark notes and think they do. My suggestion is that before you look at any online sources, brainstorm a list of themes yourself. That way, you know you understand what’s going on, and you can get more from websites later. 
3. Possible Essay Questions
I only ever got one essay question from my teacher, so I recommend going online and finding different essay questions. Try to pick essay questions that cover different themes so you’ve covered all your bases for exams or tests, or if you already know what theme the exam will be focusing on, look for specific questions that relate to it. Write your practice essays and find people to give you feedback, weather its online, or your teacher or your friends. Specifically ask what they think you could improve on (especially from your teacher) because this is how to boost your grades. 
4. Make a study guide
Whatever your novel is, look online for discussions on themes, characters, questions, whatever you can find. Copy paste these into whatever word processor you use and either print them out, or just have it saved. Now, annotate it. If you’re reading a paragraph on theme for example, write down appropriate quotes that relate to it, characters that might tie into it, simplify things, etc. Learning and remembering this stuff is all about the act of taking notes, not re-reading them, so make sure they’re detailed. 
5. Dictionaries
I had no idea how useful a dictionary actually is, and I feel like its so underrated in schools. Even if you’re good with almost all words and consider yourself to have a high vocabulary, there are going to be words that stump you, and these words might actually be the key to a whole new level of understanding. Seriously, keep some kind of dictionary with you and look up words. 

So those are my tips for acing English! As a side note, I’m studying Fahrenheit 451 at school right now, so if anyone needs any help with themes or just don’t understand, don’t be afraid to send me an ask!



welcome to the world of tranquil magic ☠♚

✞☯ come to the world of unicorns and softgrunge etc ☯✞

no  come to my world guys

Ok I think this is the most perfect picture I’ve ever seen


 (by littlesleepingdragon)