Your opening line
You should begin with a sentence that sums up your whole argument. If your question is think what your answer is, boil it down to a single sentence and start with that. Start with an interesting positive statement - eg,
If the question is you could begin with
Tip: if you had to describe your essay in a single sentence, what would that sentence be? When you've done that, you've got your opening sentence. The rest of the essay is really just showing why you've come to that conclusion.
Completing paragraph one
Once you have made your bold opening statement, you need to explain how you have come to this conclusion. You should therefore list the points you are going to explore in your essay. Ideally, there should be at least five key points, which will show how you have come to your conclusion. You will provide the evidence for these points in the following paragraphs.
Your points will answer exploratory questions.
- Theme: what is the story about (ideas and attitudes)?
- Character: who is in the story (and how do they work with or against each other)?
- Setting: where does the story take place (and what is its impact on characters and action)?
- Technique: how are the themes or the characters expressed in the text?
- Structure: when do certain events happen (and how do they create meaning)?
If your essay gives a good first impression it's more likely that your later points will impress too.
Back to Extended reading index
Removal of OPTEMS
In order to help increase security, and also allow more time for centres to process and submit their centre assessed marks, from Summer 2017 we will only be allowing centres to submit those marks online; via Edexcel Online or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
This will be in keeping with other Awarding Organisations, and will offer the following advantages:
- you will be able to submit marks right up to the deadline
- a reduction in the amount of paper being sent through the system, and stored in centres
- it will eliminate the risk of OPTEMS being lost or damaged in the post
- Edexcel Online will display the latest allocated moderator details, capturing any late changes
If your teaching staff usually complete their own OPTEMS forms, please see the guide below on how you can give senior teachers or Heads of Department the relevant access to Edexcel Online to complete their own electronic submissions.
The only exception to this change will be for Entry Level Certificate (Academic) which will continue to have marks submitted via OPTEMS, as these qualifications are not on Edexcel Online.