Critical Essay Help

For those of you still panicking about writing critical essays, here’s a copy of the Critical Essay Masterclass PowerPoint we went over in class.

Critical Essay Masterclass

Below is also a selection of exemplar critical essays/paragraphs to help see the standards we are looking for:

model essay – Animal Farm

PEE paragraph for CE

Black Mirror Exemplar

And a last minute checklist for any essays you are practising:

Critical Essay Self Assessment

AND some example prose questions for ‘The Kite Runner’:

Higher Prose CE Questions



  • Skyfall revision on climactic scene for timed essay – Monday 4th January. The essay will be written during that day’s lesson. 
  • Creative folio first draft – Tuesday 5th January
  • Liz Lochhead/The Kite Runner revision – ongoing

Your prelim is very soon, so you need to squeeze these in between all the eating and watching rubbish TV.

The Kite Runner Homework

Afternoon dears,

Just a reminder of the homework you need complete over the holidays, due MONDAY 26TH OCTOBER:

  • Read up to Chapter 17 (page 198)
  • Complete your chapter questions for Chapters 7-16
  • Complete the hand-out on Chapter 9
  • Plan and write the critical essay below, using the feedback given in class and the next post to improve your work.

Choose from a novel or short story an incident in which a character makes a decision which you consider unexpected or unwise or unworthy.

Explain the circumstances surrounding the decision and discuss its importance to your understanding of character and them in the text as a whole.

The Kite Runner – Chapters 1 and 2

Please ensure the following questions are complete for Tuesday 29th September.

1.What is the significance of the past for the narrator?

2.What physical feature marks out Hassan?

3.Is it significant that Rahim Khan is mentioned 3 times but Baba only once and even then only after Rahim is mentioned?

4.Compare the opening and closing lines of the chapter.

5.How does the narrator introduce Hassan?

6.Compare the second paragraph on p.5 (bottom of p.4) and the fourth paragraph on p.9 (bottom of p.9).  What do these paragraphs suggest about the relationship each boy has with their father?

7.The boys’ lives run parallel to each other, how are they similar and how different?

8.The themes of childhood and friendship are important in this chapter.  Can you identify another theme the author wants us to notice?

9.What is the effect of only finding out the narrator’s name at the end of this chapter?  What is the significance of the revelation?