“Eavan Boland’s reflective insights offer fresh perspectives on a range of universal themes.”
It seems that with all our Snapchat efforts, people are starting to write in shorter, clearer sentences! However, structure is another major issue people struggle with.
|Structure, an elusive character in Leaving Cert mythology|
Most essays have a structure, but don't signpost it well enough by stating their main argument at the beginning of each respective paragraph. However, before you can do that, you need to be clear in your own head. For this you need a plan.
This is an example of a brilliant plan: it's not made for show, it consists of buzzwords that make sense to the author.
This is an example of an essay structured by abstract idea rather than by poem. Such an essay can only be written by someone quite confident in their knowledge. If you aren't at that point yet, you can start with going poem by poem. Many an A1/H1 essay have been written poem by poem, so don't obsess about it one way or the other.
The point of this is to show how clear you should be on what you are writing before you sit down to actually write the essay.
There is no need to write out a plan like this in the exam. It doesn't have to be this pretty. For me (got an A1), this was a frantic list on the margins, but the point is: you need a plan.
This author signposted her paragraphs really well. Let's look at her respective opening lines:
2. Oppression and marginalisation of women
As a woman, I was only too delighted to study Boland’s views on the feminine condition. She is fearless in her stark analysis of marriage in “The Shadow Doll”.
3. War and Violence
These days, it is impossible to watch the news without hearing of yet another dreadful act of violence. It was no different, perhaps even worse, when Boland heard the tragic news of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings in 1974. “Child of Our Time”
4. Breakdown in Communication
I mentioned in my introduction that Boland adopts a detached quality in most of her poems. “Love” is certainly the exception. In this work, Boland explores the complexities of marriage and the importance of communication within one.
Boland supplements her topical ideas with marvellous use of poetic techniques. A unique feature of her work is punctuation.
It cannot be denied that Boland is always determined to convey her insights on important issues. Her use of repetition contributes to this.
Symbolism plays a significant role in the portrayal of Boland’s insights.
Here is another variant.
Don't take this as gospel. Use this as a starting point to make your own - because the outcome will be better.
Leaving Cert Sample Essays and Notes