Essays for Portfolio Writing

Hi, I am a really strong essay writer and have consistently received E8 in all of my essays this year. My English teacher has advised me that I can submit two essays for this internal. Although the first part of the excellence criteria regarding structuring and developing ideas effectively overlaps with the portfolio and written text external, I am concerned about the second part, regarding commanding attention. I personally feel that my essays achieve this but can anyone advise me on how I can best ensure that my essays will command attention from the reader. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Hi there - welcome to Studyit :slight_smile:

It is great to see that you are closely looking at the marking criteria and reflecting on whether or not your pieces meet this - well done.

The good news is, if you are getting E8s on your essays - it is likely that you are already writing with flair and sophisticated vocabulary - which also tie in to an essay which commands attention.

I would suggest a couple of things - these are things you could check your essays for to see if they are already there, or perhaps consider adding them in.

Things to look for

  • Some sort of interesting hook for an introduction that you tie back to in your conclusion.
  • A range of ways that you weave in your quotes and examples - sometimes in an essay we get into the habit of doing it the same way over and over - it can be good to vary this.
  • Look at your sentence lengths - are they all quite similar or have you already varied them (and potentially the punctuation) for effect? Do you have perhaps a question, a list, an em-dash, a mix of simple/compound/complex sentences etc?
  • Emotive and evaluative language tends to command attention in an essay - is it vivid, powerful, breathtaking, heart-stopping, striking, etc.

It can be a good idea to go through and highlight the bits that YOU think command attention, then show it to someone else (someone honest) and see if they agree with you.

Hope that helps!