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Articles, study tips, reviews, opinion pieces and creative writing.

Descriptive Writing: The Pyramids

This is a sample exam answer for the GCSE / iGCSE Descriptive Writing question on the English Language exam. It will be useful for any student studying Descriptive, Narrative or Creative writing on the following exam boards: CIE (Cambridge), AQA, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC, at GCSE or A Level. It’s an...

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Derek Walcott: Analysis of ‘Parades, Parades’

I’ve been teaching Derek Walcott’s poetry recently for the Cambridge / CIE A Level Literature course (9095). Despite trawling through search engines, I’ve found barely any analysis of it anywhere — which is a crying shame because his poetry is sooo good! And pretty hard to understand. Over the...

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Short Story: Tales of the Ming Treasure Voyages

This short story was written by one of our students, at only 10 years old! We thought it was totally amazing and he kindly agreed to let us (anonymously) publish it on our blog. Happy reading! I didn’t know how I got here, nor did I know when I arrived. Looking around, I realized that I was in...

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The Prevalence of Narratives

As a hobbyist storyteller and unhealthily rabid consumer of stories, it’s fair to say that I am interested in narratives. Even though ‘narrative’ in my mind is almost the same as ‘story’, I feel like there is more to this word than just that. I don’t know what narrative means if it doesn’t...

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What Makes a Genius?

“Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have the strength and presence of mind to seize them” I’ve always been skeptical about best-selling non-fictions, deeming them ‘pop psychology’. But, after watching a few Ted talks I was tempted to delve into these mostly (well, for...

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Thomas Hardy Poetry Questions

Thomas Hardy Poetry - GCSE Questions Below is a list of past CIE GCSE English Literature 0486 questions on Thomas Hardy poems, sorted by poem. Those that were originally listed in pairs have been split up to refer to one poem each. These are provided to be used as aids in revision in the run-up...

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5 Key Themes in Macbeth

Are you revising Macbeth this weekend? Here are some Key Themes to get you started.

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More than Zero: The Total Number of Books I’ve Read this Year

I wasn’t a big ‘reader’ until this year, and I always struggled to finish whole books or stay focused when reading stories that are considered to be more literary or high brow. But recently, that all changed when I received a bit of an unusual Christmas present: Less Than Zero by Bret Easton...

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5 Language Features You Need to Know

Here are the top 5 language features that you need to know to be able to write effectively and properly analyse the writing of others.

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Why Motivation is the Key to Success

What separates high achievers in school and university from their peers? How is it that some people appear to get extraordinary marks in everything they do, while others struggle to even hand their work in on time? It would seem that there are a legion of complicated factors at play to make...

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