I am a Literature teacher. I must tell you, it is a very interesting subject. it is fun to teach and to learn Literature. It is however quite disheartening to see the rate at which students fail Literature. This should not be happening at all and that is why I have decided to write this article to help students avoid things that are likely to make them fail Literature examinations.
Most students do not read their recommended texts:
This is because they rely on summaries of poems, stories and plays. This is wrong because each text has hidden messages that can only be gotten from in-depth and critical reading. Questions in examinations can demand that students should talk about the relationship between two characters for instance, to answer such a question, a student asked to discuss how these characters relate with one another, their feelings for each other, their thoughts about the other person's actions and other sensitive materials that can only be gotten from reading a text.
Poor sentence construction:
If you are a true Literature student, then sentence construction should not be a problem. Your sentences should not only be correct they should be creative and captivating. This is however not the case of many Nigerian students. For examiners, especially of Literature and English language, bad sentence constructions are really disappointing. If you want to pass a literature exam excellently, then you must learn to write captivating, grammatically correct and interesting sentences. You can easily achieve this if you read. Make it a habit to read literary works written by notable writers both foreign and Nigerian.
Answers in Literature should not have headings:
Many students make the mistake of treating literature like other subjects. They answer questions this way:
Relationship between Fofo and her mother: Fofo and her mother, Maa Tsuru do not have the regular mother and daughter relationship.
in literature this is a no no. Don't write a heading followed by a colon then a short note. Instead write your number and just write out your thoughts like you would for an article but without the heading.
Answers must be as comprehensive as possible:
Another thing that is responsible for students failure in this amazing subject is that they're too lazy to write. When answering questions on Literature, you should have it at the back of your mind that you have to write a lot. Don't just give four lines and conclude that a question has been answered. That's why you have enough pages in your answer booklet. Now I'm not asking you to write meaningless things because you want to fill up your pages that's why you need an in-depth knowledge of the text you're handling. Write creatively comprehensively and captivatingly.
Lastly, answers should be divided into paragraphs:
Your answers should be divided into coherent, independent and meaningful paragraphs. Before writing, is it advisable to make an outline on a rough sheet just like you do for English Language. The outlines will help you constructs coherent and independent paragraphs. Each paragraph should be dedicated to a part of your answer. Start with an introduction, go to the body and further explain your points. If you have more than one point, you can split them into paragraphs, then write a captivating conclusion. Don't forget to pick excerpts from the book or lines from the poem to support your points.
Thanks for reading, I hope you've learnt one or two things. Please share to Literature students like you know this can be of use to. if you have more questions, I'll be waiting in the comments section. Also watch out for more educative articles on Literature and English Language.
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