in AQA, English Language, Essay Technique

Below, you’ll find an answer on how to get top marks in the AQA Power and Conflict Exam Question. This question can be a bit tricky! The first thing to do is understand all the themes and ideas of each poem. Then, practise planning and writing until you feel like the essay’s easy to do! Plan at least five essays, and write at least three before you take the exam. Try to get feedback in between each essay that you write.

For the L7-L9 grades, examiners look for depth and complexity – I should know, I’m an AQA examiner and I must have marked hundreds of answers on this question in my time! Rather than being basic and just thinking about how the poem shows ‘power’ or ‘conflict’, try to go deeper and more precisely into your interpretations. You can use revision guides to help you understand how to do this; if you just react to the poems yourself then you’ll only have very basic ideas.

We made a full course on Power and Conflict poems, check it out here if you need help with them.

Each poem is broken down in great detail, including looking into context, meaning, attitudes, language techniques and speaker/voice. There are also video lessons on the poems, sample essay answers and tips for how to write perfect essays.

How to write the Power and Conflict Essay:

It’s a comparative essay that you have to write, with one given poem and one of your choice. The exam question looks like this:

Compare how poets present the effects of memory on people in Poppies and in one other
poem from Power and Conflict.

Power and Conflict Poetry Anthology List – English Literature

You can see that it has a remind to ‘COMPARE’ – this means to write a comparative essay. The best structure to use is this:

  • Intro – a sensitive, thoughtful point of comparison or contrast between the poems
  • PARAGRAPH 1 – one topic to do with the question
  • Poem A: Explore the topic
  • Poem B: Explore and compare back to what you said about Poem A
  • PARAGRAPH 2 – a different topic to do with the question
  • Poem A: Explore the topic
  • Poem B: Explore and compare back to what you said about Poem A
  • PARAGRAPH 3 – a different topic to do with the question
  • Poem A: Explore the topic
  • Poem B: Explore and compare back to what you said about Poem A
  • CONCLUSION – summarise your strongest ideas again

Thanks for reading! If you need more help with Power and Conflict poems, take a look at our full course.

Each poem is broken down in great detail, including looking into context, meaning, attitudes, language techniques and speaker/voice. There are also video lessons on the poems, sample essay answers and tips for how to write perfect essays.

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