Bernard MacLaverty was born in Belfast in 1942, and moved to Scotland in 1975, where he lived in Edinburgh, on the Isle of Islay, and now in Glasgow. After leaving school he became a Medical Laboratory Technician, later studying at Queen’s University, Belfast and becoming an English teacher
As you read, make connections between the writer and Irish Catholicism. What evidence of strong beliefs can you find in the story? (Do some research if necessary)
Vocabulary can be used to change the way a reader feels about a scene. By changing just a few key words a setting can be made much more interesting to read. For example, a church might be a typical part of the setting of a ghost story. The vocabulary choices can be used to create a sense of fear for the reader.
Task 1: come up with at least 3 words/phrases to replace the following words:
Include the 5 tasks in a presentation to share in classroom.
Choose one of the following prompts to write a story. Include the vocabulary you have been working on. (600-900 words)
You have had a strange feeling for a few days now. Today you’ve been feeling very energetic and tired at the same time. You sit, exhausted and full of energy, at your desk. Your arm has been itching. It’s killing you now. You look at your forearm and see it for the first time. Something is moving under your skin. It is shifting around. Your muscle spasms and you realize there are dozens moving toward the surface.
You open your eyes to complete darkness. The last thing you remember is the dog running out into the road, the brightness of the day light, and your car headed off the road. As your head clears you realize you are hanging upside down. Your feet and legs are completely mobilized. You can hear something breathing in the room.
Your driving on a country road. It is late at night. You are far from home. You realize, as you check your mirrors, there is a man you do not know, hiding on the floor of your back seat.
It’s 3 am. Your room is dark, but you can see that there is someone, standing at the foot of your bed. You can just make out that he or she is wearing a clown costume, and you are pretty sure, from the glare and the little bit of reflection, that it has a knife.
A literary analysis essay is an academic assignment that examines and evaluates a work of literature or a given aspect of a specific literary piece. It tells about the big idea or theme of a text you’ve read.
You are not supposed to write about what the text is about, but to offer a personal response, a piece of literary criticism, a response to an essay question.
Preparing an essay answer
It is obviously going to make a difference whether you are writing the essay for an examination or as coursework, how many words you are expected to write and – in the case of an examination – how long you are given. For this sample, we are assuming an examination answer of 45 minutes, and a target of 350 words or more, depending on writing speed.
In an examination, give yourself ten minutes to plan, and five minutes to check, your answer. You will have to work quickly in the examination, but it is worth planning carefully when you are practising essays.
Structure of an essay
Literary devices are things the author uses to tell the story or make a point. They could include alliteration, imagery, metaphors, allusions, allegories, repetition, flashback, foreshadowing, or any number of other devices the author employs to write the story or poem
When you’re reading for pleasure, you’re mainly focused on emotions and visualizations of the scenes and characters. You’ll still pay attention to those elements of the reading process, but you’ll also be analytical towards the book. You’ll consider these elements: