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English “Tam O Shanter: A Tale” Robert Burns

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1 English “Tam O Shanter: A Tale” Robert Burns

2 Question 9: P&N 2007 Choose a poem in which the language used impresses you. Say briefly what the poem is about and explain how the language used in it is particularly appropriate and effective.

3 Introduction Refer to the title of the text and the poet’s name (remember to try to make this exciting – use the slides!!!) Refer to all areas of the question and briefly state what the essay will show You may also want to introduce some indication of personal response to the text, if there is a suitable comment to make at this point. Say what that it is important to address various techniques when examining the language of a poem. For example, specific form, language and literary techniques

4 Exemplar Introduction
Robert Burns is without doubt one of the most accomplished poets of all time, thus making him one of my favourite poets. Indeed, his use of language and literary techniques and his choice of specific form bring his poetry to life, creating vivid pictures in the minds of his reader. The majority of his poetry is based in Scotland and relates to his own personal experiences, which make his work appear more true to life, even when they do contain elements of fiction. The poem on which I intend to focus in this piece of writing is “Tam O’ Shanter”, a poem in which the language shows both Burns’ intelligence and creativity.

5 Paragraph One: Summary
After your introduction, the next paragraph should give a brief outline of the content of your poem. This can be prepared beforehand and learned: it will be your second paragraph, regardless of the question. This should include setting, plot, etc. However, do not write too much (six sentences max.) on this or you’ll never get your essay finished!

6 Paragraph Two: Specific Form
Topic sentence! Outline that “Tam O’ Shanter” is a long narrative poem – say why you like this Make sure you include the narrator being part of the group and also an onlooker Explain that it is also a mock epic – make clear what this means State that the narrator is vital to the poem – look at the slides on ‘Specific Form’ Use quotes: Point/Evidence/Explanation Remember the question – you need why these techniques (as part of the language) impress you

7 Paragraph Three: Language
Topic sentence! State that the poem is written in vernacular Scots Why does this make it particularly expressive? (see slides) Use quotes: Point/Evidence/Explanation Explain that Burns use of language shows his intelligence and creativity How does the Scots language impress you?

8 Paragraph Four: Literary Techniques
Topic sentence! You may wish to use the slide on ‘Literary Techniques’. However, remember to say why they add to your enjoyment of the poem. Also, you should mention the rhythm of the poem (octosyllabic couplets). Does this add to the narrative style? Why do these techniques add to your enjoyment of the language?

9 Conclusion An effective concluding paragraph should do the following:
Refer directly back to the question Sum up the main points made in the essay Arrive at a final conclusion about the aspect(s) of the poem highlighted in the question Try to provide an interesting personal concluding response

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