Tag: techniques

Ode on Melancholy: John Keats – iGCSE Poetry, Literary Techniques


Keats repeats the word ‘sorrow’ to emphasise the theme. The reader is forced to dwell on the theme of melancholy.

Imagery & Personification

Keats personifies ‘Beauty’ and a variety of emotions and traits. The use of capital letters in the words ‘Beauty’, ‘Joy’, ‘Pleasure’, ‘Delight’, and ‘Melancholy’ is used to create this type of imagery. It is through this personification that the poet develops the idea that beauty never lasts (‘beauty that must die’).


The simile ‘like a weeping cloud’ is used to show how suddenly the emotion of sadness may set in.

Can you find any other techniques in this poem? Let us know in the comments below!

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Storm on the Island by Seamus Heaney: Literary Techniques. Power & Conflict Poetry Anthology – GCSE English Literature


‘spits like a tame cat turned savage’ – the sea is described as an unpleasant and uncontrollable animal.

‘space as a salvo’ and ‘we are bombarded by the empty air’ – the situation is described as warlike, making it seem as though there is an attack going on by an unseen army.


‘the wizened earth’ – the earth is described as intelligent.

‘can raise a tragic chorus’ – this is when the leaves and branches are hit.

‘that it pummels’ – pummels means to hit something quickly, often used when describing a fight.

‘the sea is company’ – the sea is described as a cure for loneliness.


‘strafes invisibly’ – the storm is described as a fighter plane.


‘stacks’ – haystacks, formed piles of hay

‘stooks’ – groups of sheaves stood up to dry in a field

‘salvo’ – the firing of several guns or weapons

Can you find any other techniques in Storm on the Island?

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5 Ways To Improve Your Spelling

Make sure you learn the exceptions to each spelling rule. An oft-quoted rule is “I before E except after C”. You’ll need to learn the exceptions to avoid tripping up. There’s no easy way to learn these exceptions.

Examples: height, weird

It can sometimes be helpful to break the word into syllables to help you remember the spelling. Many people get confused with the word “several” because it looks and sounds similar to “separate”. You could remember “several” by breaking it down into “sev-ER-al”. “Desperate” is another tricky one because it sounds as though it should be spelt in the same way as “separate”.

Internet forums and social networking sites are a hotbed of poor spelling and grammar. People make less effort with spelling and grammar when they’re on the internet. You may end up learning incorrect spellings without even realising it. Try to limit your exposure to English to high-quality written sources.

This is a fun one. If you’re trying to learn a particular word, look at the correct spelling first, then try writing it down with your eyes closed! It’s fun to see what your writing comes out like, but it also helps your brain to remember the action of writing the word.

My final tip is my favourite one. Take care when you’re practising the spelling of a word. Use a nice pen. Write it slowly. Create a doodle around the word. Paint it. Draw in bubble letters… Anything like this will help your brain to remember the process of spelling a word. Plus, it’s a nice relaxing way to practise!

How do you practise your spellings? Have you tried any of these techniques?

Tell us in the comments below!

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