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How to Write: MFL Essays


Continuing with the theme of revision, below is pretty much everything I know about writing an essay for MFL. While it is designed for the essays on the books/films that my exam board set, some of this can also be used for the topic-based essays that the others have.

As always, if you have any resources, please comment below with links.

Structure Checklist:

  • An introduction – I usually include an overview of the work as a whole, before explaining how the question is a relevant topic. This may be in the form of introducing the character’s/theme’s role in the work, or by explaining why the statement/question is debatable. Many exam boards have a word limit on essays, so I would not recommend writing too much.
  • Your argument – With a yes/no question, this comes in the form of equally weighted paragraphs for and against. I tend to do two for each side when there’s a 300-word limit. With an analyse/explain question, this should be paragraphs of individual points. See below for a checklist for within your argument.
  • conclusion – This should be the point where you really answer the question. Many people reuse the words from the question to really emphasise what they’re doing. Whether or not you have an opinion, you should come to a clear conclusion.

Argument checklist:

  • A topic sentence – Clearly state the point that you’re going to make.
  • Some evidence – This may be in the form of quotes, but not necessarily. If you don’t think you can remember a quote, it’s probably best not to use it. Instead, just use a scene as an example, or an action of a character.
  • An explanation – Explain how your evidence backs up your point, but also how your point answers the question. This may re-use the words from the question to emphasise it.
  • The context – Use your knowledge of the time period or social issues to reinforce your point. This could be as an explanation of the writer/director’s choices.

Linguistic Checklist:

  • Subjunctive
  • Compound Tenses
  • Idioms
  • Topic-specific Vocab
  • Essay Phrases

Many revision websites such as Quizlet or Memrise have courses designed specifically for A level students. Personally, I use Memrise, and have made my own courses:



On the menu above you can find revision posts for each film and book I have studied for MFL.

As always, good luck!


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