The Turn of the Screw: A Study Guide

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What ghost story inspired James’ novella?

Are the ghosts in the novel real or figments of a neurotic imagination?
How does James use an unreliable narrator to create suspense?
How does James generate such a sinister atmosphere in the story?
For the price of a chocolate bar, you can become an expert on one of the greatest novellas in the language.

This is a detailed study guide for anybody either studying or teaching Henry James’s novella. It is tailored to help students write an excellent piece of coursework on the book, or assist them with studying for an exam — but it will be of interest to the general reader too. For the teacher, it quotes important passages in the book and offers literary analysis of them. The guide is distinctive because it is a) modern in its approach b) encourages a personal response to the text — vital if a candidate is going to get a higher mark in an assessment. There is a detailed discussion of the context in which James’s work arose and an exploration of how different readers might interpret the text now. Lively and engaging, it is written by an experienced teacher who understands what needs to be covered in a study guide. An excellent resource for GCSE and A Level students, or anyone studying the book at school or university.

To sum up, this study guide is useful in the following ways:

It is a great resource for students aiming for top grades;
It offers a fantastic stimulus for encouraging students to develop personal responses to the text, which are vital if they are going to achieve at a high level;
It could prove to be a great classroom resource for teachers too: the important sections of the novel are quoted in full here, together with useful discussion points/comprehension questions;
It is written by an experienced teacher who has taught the text in “real” classroom situations and knows what students need to learn.

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Pride & Prejudice — A Study Guide

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You can buy the book here on Amazon.

Why did Jane Austen never marry?

Who shows pride and who shows prejudice?

How and why does Austen create comedy in the novel?

This is an up-to-date study guide to Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, aimed at 15-19 year olds and the general reader. The guide is modern in its approach and provides all the necessary information to get a top grade in an exam and/or coursework. It is particularly useful because it not only provides the key details about Austen’s life and the social and literary influences upon the text, but also offers a detailed textual analysis of key passages in the book.

If students read the last section of the book carefully, they will not only learn about the vital sections of the text quickly, but also see how top-grade analysis can be conducted. Discussion points are provided so that students can think about the key issues related to the text. The second section of the guide would make a great classroom resource for a teacher wanting to cover the text quickly and thoroughly because students could read the key passages highlighted in the guide and answer the discussion points in their exercise books or in group discussions. This would give them invaluable practice for an exam or coursework.

The study guide is essential reading because:

It’s a great resource for students aiming for top grades;

It encourages students to develop personal responses to the text, which is vital if they are going to achieve at a high level;

It’s a great classroom resource for teachers too: the important sections of the novel are quoted in full here, together with useful discussion points/comprehension questions.

The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Study Guide

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For the price of a chocolate bar, you can become an expert on one of the greatest novels in the language.

Can you answer these questions?

Do you know why “The Hound of the Baskervilles” is the most unusual Sherlock Holmes story?

Why did Conan Doyle feel so ambivalent about the famous detective he created?

How did Conan Doyle employ elements of the Gothic in his story?

Is ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ the first modern detective story?

If you can’t, maybe you should read this guide! This is a detailed, lively study guide on Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. Above all, it is ideal for students studying the text for various examinations and coursework, as well as the general reader. The guide contains a detailed explanation of the contexts of the novella: how and why it came to be written, and the ways in which it invented the concept of the modern detective novel. In contrast to many other study guides, it encourages the reader to develop his or her own personal response to the novel. It does this by including detailed analysis of key passages from the book, together with important discussion points. There is a useful reading list, and a lively, engaging style is adopted throughout.

The guide is written by an experienced English teacher who understands the concepts, facts and literary techniques that students need to learn about when writing about a text. It could be useful to teachers as well, particularly the second section which focuses upon textual analysis and generating a personal response from students.

To sum up, this study guide is useful in the following ways:

It is a great resource for students aiming for top grades;

It offers a fantastic stimulus for encouraging students to develop personal responses to the text, which are vital if they are going to achieve at a high level;

It could prove to be a great classroom resource for teachers too; the important sections of the novel are quoted in full here, together with useful discussion points/comprehension questions;

It is written by an experienced teacher who has taught the text in “real” classroom situations and knows what students need to learn.

Far From The Madding Crowd: A Study Guide

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For the price of a chocolate bar, you can become an expert on one of the greatest novels in the language.

Do you know the answer to the following questions?

Why was ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ so important to Hardy?

Why could it be seen as one of the first “feminist” novels?

Is Hardy’s story really all about sex?

How did the pastoral genre influence the writing of the book?

If you’re wondering what the answers to these questions are, then maybe you should read this guide to Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’. It is ideal for students studying the text for A Level, but could be helpful for high-achieving GCSE students looking for A*s, and could clarify some basic points about literary theory for English Literature undergraduate students if they’re struggling to understand key ideas about contexts, structure and theme, and analysing quotation. This guide really encourages students to think for themselves with searching, open-ended questions which will help them develop personal responses which are vital if they going to attain higher grades.

The study guide is useful in the following ways because it is:

A great resource for students aiming for top grades;

A fantastic stimulus for encouraging students to develop personal responses to the text, which are vital if they are going to achieve at a high level;

A great classroom resource for teachers too; the important sections of the novel are quoted in full here, together with useful discussion points/comprehension questions;

Written by an experienced teacher who has taught the text in real classroom situations and knows what students need to learn.

Jane Eyre — A Study Guide

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You can buy the book here on Amazon.

Can you answer these questions?

How and why does Bronte present sex as a dangerous activity in Jane Eyre?

Why are the elements of earth, fire, water and air important in the novel?

Is Jane Eyre a subversive novel?

Is Rochester a hero or villain?

If you’re stuck for answers, then maybe you should read this study guide. For the price of a chocolate bar, you can become an expert on one of the greatest novels in the language. This is an extremely useful guide to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. It is ideal for students studying the text for A Level or equivalent qualification, but will be helpful to able GCSE students looking for high marks. This guide really encourages students to think for themselves with searching, open-ended questions: this helps to develop personal responses which are vital to attaining higher grades.

The study guide is useful in the following ways because it is:

A great resource for students aiming for top grades;

A great classroom resource for teachers too: the important sections of the novel are quoted in full, together with useful discussion points/comprehension questions;

Written by an experienced teacher who has taught the text in real classroom situations and knows what students need to learn.

Frankenstein — A Study Guide

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You can buy the book here on Amazon.

What dream led to the writing of Frankenstein?

Do you know the answer to these questions?

Why is the novel also called The Modern Prometheus?

Why has “Frankenstein” become the most famous horror story ever written?

What famous philosophers influenced the writing of Frankenstein?

Why is the Monster such a tragic figure in the novel?

This is a study devoted to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which will help both teachers and pupils. It contains a lively series of essays on the different contexts of the novel, its structure and themes, and also offers a great deal of analysis of the text itself. While it is authoritative, it encourages readers to think for themselves — which is vital if they are going to attain at a high level.

To sum up, this study guide is useful in the following ways:

It is a great resource for students aiming for top grades;

It offers a fantastic stimulus for encouraging students to develop personal responses to the text, which are vital if they are going to achieve at a high level;

It could prove to be a great classroom resource for teachers too; the important sections of the novel are quoted in full here, together with useful discussion points/comprehension questions;

It is written by an experienced teacher who has taught the text in “real” classroom situations and knows what students need to learn.

How To Get A Great English Degree

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Are you studying English at university either as your main degree or as a subsidiary subject? Are you finding it challenging? Is some of the reading very difficult? Are you struggling to write good essays? Are you uncertain about how to use references and sources? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then this lively, short guide to studying English at university could be what you’ve been looking for!

Written by an experienced teacher and university lecturer, this book covers all the basics you need to know to achieve highly on an English course at university. It discusses:
how to tackle difficult reading lists,
how to write brilliant essays,
how to analyse most literary texts including poetry,
how to get to grips with literary theory,
the texts you really need to know about, including a section on “The Bible” and the different literary eras;
the websites you really need to look at.

This book is ideal for students just starting their English degrees, or for someone seriously considering embarking upon one. Undergraduates in their second and third years should find it useful to help them double-check they’ve got the basics covered. The book contains a number of useful case studies based on real students’ experiences of doing English at university and is jammed packed with advice from students themselves who have overcome their difficulties.

Star-crossed: Romeo and Juliet for Teenagers

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Written by a teacher who is also a best-selling author, ‘Star-crossed’ is a modern version of Romeo and Juliet which updates Shakespeare’s classic play in a very entertaining fashion. In some ways, it is faithful to the original text, providing a modern translation for every speech in the play. In other ways, it uses poetic licence to make Shakespeare’s language accessible to teenagers: bad language has been used when appropriate to the dialogue. This play-script is not suitable for children under the age of fifteen.

Songs of Innocence and Experience: A Study Guide

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Why did William Blake call his book of poetry “Songs of Innocence and Experience”?

Why do some critics say his poem “The Tyger” is about the French revolution?
Why did he illustrate his poems with pictures?
Why is Blake’s rose “sick”?
What is the “youthful harlot’s curse” in the famous poem “London”?

This is the ultimate study guide to William Blake’s classic poetry collection “Songs of Innocence and Experience”. Written by an experienced teacher and author, it not only contains all of the relevant verse , but also includes substantive comprehension questions and thorough analysis of every poem. Furthermore, there are sections which discuss Blake’s life and the context of his work in depth, the poetic techniques he deployed, and how students can gain a good grade when writing essays on him. Above all, this guide is “Blakean” in spirit; it provides links to the author’s video explanations and performed versions of the poems. While it is highly informative — offering all the analysis required to gain a top mark in an exam or coursework — it also aims to provoke a genuinely personal response to the poems.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde: A Study Guide

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For the price of a chocolate bar, you can become an expert on one of the greatest novels in the language!

Can you answer these questions about Stevenson’s famous horror story?

How was Stevenson influenced by a dream to write the story?

What famous murderers and grave-robbers inspired the most gruesome aspects of the novella?

Is this novel about sexual deviancy?

If you’d like to know the answers to these questions and much more, then you should read this study guide on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. It discusses the background to the book and provides a great deal of analysis of the actual text itself, with a focus on the kinds of questions that are asked at GCSE and A Level. The guide contains:

Detailed discussion of the contexts of the novella;
An analysis of the book’s structure and themes, and the ways in which the structure is influenced by the themes of the story;
In-depth analysis of key passages in the book;
Links to YouTube videos the author has made which explain the background, structure and key quotes in the novel.

Crucially, the study guide focuses upon the text of the book, providing generous quotations from the text itself, followed by detailed analysis written in the formal academic style expected in coursework and examinations. An excellent way of revising the book would be to read through the second half of this study guide, absorbing the key quotes, reading the analysis, and answering the discussion point questions either in your head or on paper. This would provide a very firm grounding for taking an exam or completing coursework on the novella. It is written by an experienced teacher who has taught the book for many years in the classroom and can be contacted through his website if there are any other further questions: http://www.francisgilbert.co.uk

“Clearly Francis Gilbert is a gifted and charismatic teacher.” Philip Pullman, former teacher and author of ‘Northern Lights’.