Organizing Your Literature Essay

NOTE:  This Q and A format has been adapted from Suzanne Choo’s and Robert Yeo’s ‘Sharpening The Senses.’  The text used here is  Animal Farm.

Question: Based on your understanding of the Battle of the Cowshed, what was Snowball’s role in it?

(i) The Introduction

It is advisable to start your answer with a statement that answers the question and states your standpoint.

In my opinion/Based on my understanding, Snowball played an important role in this battle.

(ii) The Body

(a) Point

Then, begin the first sentence of your paragraph with a point that
answers the question.

Point 1
Snowball was a brilliant strategist.

(b) Evidence

Take note that every point you make should be substantiated with evidence
from the text.

Evidence for point 1
This is evident as he “had studied an old book of Julius Caesar’s campaigns …” – Direct quote

(iii) Elaboration

After stating the point and providing the relevant evidence to support it,
you must elaborate your point to explain how your evidence
connects and proves the point you made.

Elaboration of point 1
After Snowball had studied the book, he implemented what he had learnt. He planned the battle in such a way that there were three stages to attack the humans. Firstly, he got the pigeons and geese to “mute[d] upon them” and “peck[ed] at the calves” first, to disorientate the men. Then, he signaled Muriel, Benjamin and the other animals to “prod[ded] and butt[ed]” the men. However, the men retaliated and Snowball signaled them to retreat. When the humans, blinded by the fact that they thought the victory was going to be theirs, rushed after the animals to the yard. Snowball anticipated this and signaled the animals who were lying in ambush to attack the men. The men were taken aback as the animals had an advantage over them. They fled the moment Boxer gave one of the stable lads the “first blow.”

(iii) Conclusion – personal response

You have already provided a detailed analysis of the question. To
conclude your essay, you must now write your personal response to the
characters or main issues raised by the question.

Conclusion after analyzing the role of Snowball in the Battle of the Cowshed.

It can be seen from the above example that Snowball’s role was extremely crucial in ensuring the victory of the animals. Without his foresight and preparation, the battle would not have been successful for the animals.

Complete Answer With Direct Quotes

In my opinion/Based on my understanding, Snowball played an important role in this battle.

Snowball was a brilliant strategist. This is evident as he “had studied an old book of Julius Caesar’s campaigns.

After Snowball had studied the book, he implemented what he had learnt. He planned the battle in such a way that there were three stages to attack the humans. Firstly, he got the pigeons and geese to “mute[d] upon them” and “peck[ed] at the calves” first, in order to disorientate the men. Then, he signaled Muriel, Benjamin and the other animals to “prod[ded] and butt[ed]” the men. However, the men retaliated and Snowball signaled them to retreat. The humans, blinded by the fact that they thought the victory was going to be theirs, rushed after the animals to the yard. Snowball anticipated this and signaled the animals who were lying in ambush, to attack the men. The men were taken aback as the animals had an advantage over them. They fled the moment Boxer gave one of the stable lads the “first blow.”

It can be seen from the above example that Snowball’s role was extremely crucial in ensuring the victory of the animals. Without his foresight and preparation, the battle would not have been successful for the animals.

Common faults:

1. Never read the question properly.

2. Never focus on key words.

3. Irrelevant answers (out of point).

4. The desire to ‘regurgitate’ everything by heart.

5. Inability to refer to the text properly.

Points to take note of:  

1. You are working on a time constraint. Be selective of your material. You cannot include all of them.

2. Plan your essay first.

3. Connect your paragraphs using appropriate linking words (conjunctions).

4. Quote, if possible.

5. Ensure that your conclusion reiterates what you have discussed.

Thanks for sharing :)

Thanks for sharing 🙂

tks for sharing

tks for sharing

Thanks for the Lit tips

Hi Autumnbronze

Your Lit tips came in handy. Thanks a bundle.   Wish u are my dd’s Lit teacher 

Thanks autumnbronze, wish I

Thanks autumnbronze, wish I had this when I was doing my Secondary School’s Literature

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