GCSE English Language Revision: Writing a Comparative Poetry Essay

4th April 2017

GCSE Revision – English Language Exam

Top Tips for writing a comparative poetry essay – English Language


It is possible that you will be asked to compare and contrast two or more poems for your English Language GCSE. Check out our handy notes below to help you to remember a helpful structure to follow.


  • You may be asked to compare the way the poems deal with a topic, emotion or event.  You’re going to be looking for similarities and oppositions. Make sure you read the poems until you have a good grasp of the themes, structure and tone.



Refer to the key words in the essay question and set out your initial ideas. Explain which poems you will be discussing and who wrote them.



In each paragraph you will raise a point of comparison. Refer to the title as you go along to tie each strand back to the main point. Comment on the language and the structure of the poems, showing their similarities and differences, and the effect this has on the mood and tone of the piece. Make your point, show evidence (a quote or a paraphrased section) then explain how this supports your point.



Explore the meaning of the poems. Are they positive and hopeful, negative or reflective? How do the poets explore the topic differently? Show insight into the layers of meaning within the poem.



Direct your final paragraph to meet the question. Be convincing and show that you understand the sentiments shown.





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