Please note that both parts of the TMA are compulsory. Fifteen per cent of the marks are allocated to your reflective commentary and 85 per cent to your essay.
Part 1 asks you to reflect upon the feedback you have received from your tutor on your two previous assignments. This means that you will need to look carefully at the remarks made on the Assessment Summary (PT3) feedback and the marginal comments on your first two assignments. Begin by summarising what the tutor has suggested as ways you might improve your writing of future assignments, then detail which parts of this advice you intend to work on in the essay, and how you propose to do it. Here is an example of a reflective exercise:
One way feedback from my tutor will inform my approach to TMA 03 is in the writing of introductions. On my second TMA my tutor writes, ‘I’d like to see you step up to writing more informative introductions’. The way I have tried to approach this is to introduce more specific details about the texts I am studying and be clearer about the stages the essay will follow instead of simply re-stating the question.
Another thing kept coming up: the lack of a clear focus on the question. My tutor explained that she knew I had understood the question, and had responded positively to the two passages in TMA 02, but I had ‘spent too little time dealing with the actual demands of the question, which involves close textual analysis’. There were other pointers, but the main issue I need to reflect on is how I sustain my focus on the close reading aspect of the question. This was confirmed when I looked back at TMA 01 and I saw similar comments there. When I looked more closely at my tutor’s comments on both assignments, I could see that although I didn’t do a bad job of identifying different literary techniques used in the passages, I needed to spend a lot more time explaining the effects produced by those techniques.
As I prepare for TMA 03 I am going to go back and look at the way the authors of the module material discuss the effects produced by different literary techniques, making notes on the way the passages are written, trying to be specific about how this affects the way I respond to them. Then I will work my way through the sections of the online skills tutorials, as advised by my tutor on TMA 02. This will help me to gauge whether I have understood the techniques clearly and can identify them in different examples. It should also help me to think about how the two passages are similar to one another and how they are different. (347 words)
In preparing your answer for Part 2, you should read the extracts from Wordsworth’s Home at Grasmere and the extract of Shelley’s ‘To a Skylark’ carefully several times, as this is an exercise in close reading and analysis. The extracts from both poems are printed above, but also appear in the Reading Supplement for Romantics and Victorians where you will find explanatory notes which will be important for your understanding of the poems.
The online poetry skills tutorial will be essential for your close analytical readings of the poems, and you should also re-read ‘Reading a poem: formal aspects’ in the introduction to Chapter 1 on Wordsworth (Romantics and Victorians). Above all, remember that detailed attention to poetic techniques such as form, rhyme, rhythm, tone, imagery, caesura, enjambment, alliteration and assonance are important if you are to do well in this assignment.
Before you start, read the subsection on ‘Textual analysis’ in Section 4.2 of this Assessment Guide, which will remind you of what your tutor will expect from this assignment.
All sections of the ‘Skills tutorial: poetry’ will be helpful, and you should aim to have completed these in preparation for writing your assignment; but you will find the sections on structure and form, sound patterns in poetry, rhythm and metre, and figurative language especially helpful. You can find guidance on the role or figure of the poet in the works of Wordsworth and Shelley in Romantics and Victorians, especially Chapter 1, pp. 29–32 (the section entitled ‘Reading a poem: biographical aspects’) and pp. 42–6 (the section entitled ‘Writing the self’) and more generally in the discussions of the role of the ‘poet-speaker’ in Shelley’s poetry in Chapter 2.