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AS English Literature AQA B (2745)- How to write an answer!

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    Okay, so I have helped around 5/6 people with this already I think? I thought it might be a better idea to give it its own thread. The exam seems to be popular amongst schools, but no practise papers doesn't help :confused: My teachers went on a course about this exam and I found it very useful, so I thought I'd spread the love a bit more

    Anyway, onto the exam.

    Everyone studies 4 texts- as far as I'm aware it's 2 poetry, 2 novels, one of which must be post-1990.

    It is:
    • 2 hours long
    • You answer one question (in 2 parts) from Section A (1 hour)
    • You answer one question from Section B (1 hour)
    • The exam is 84 marks in total, 21 each from the parts of Section A and 42 from Section B.


    Your teacher has probably told you which one text to answer Section A from, and the other three for Section B. I apologise if this sounds basic, but they've told you so you can learn how to structure a good answer for each section. There were about 4 people in my class who answered on a different text and as a result, didn't do very well. If your text isn't on the first page, keep looking...these people couldn't find it on the first page so just answered another :rolleyes:

    Okay, and onto how to actually write it :o:

    Section A- Question A


    • This question focuses on narrative.
    • It will be a comparison between the narrative of 2 different chapters, or 2 different poems, or a detailed comment on narrative method (e.g. Write about the ways Rossetti tells the story in 'Winter: My Secret'.) [Thanks Indeed ]
    • You are marked on Assessment Objective 2 only. So don't worry about your opinion!
    • You will be asked to look at the form, structure and language, though with most of the focus on the first two.
    • The form asks you to think about the genre of the chapter/poem, and the style that it is written in.
    • The structure is the syntax, paragraph and sentence length, punctuation, etc.
    • The language is obvious- vocabulary use and what it means.
    • Start off with a brief (no more than a long sentence or so) introduction making a clear comparison of the styles.
    • Then produce a few (2 or 3) focused paragraphs on examples you have found to compare.
    • As it is comparison, it is probably better to compare as you go, but if you choose to write separate paragraphs for each chapter you must keep making comparative points.
    • Finish with a brief conclusion where you make an evaluative comparative comment.
    • And remember, you've only got 30 minutes.


    Section A- Question B


    • This question focuses on your personal response.
    • You are expected to give your opinion- whether you agree with the statement or not is irrelevant.[/b]
    • You are marked on Assesment Objectives 1, 3 and 4.
    • AO1 is your written expression- so use formal language with a range of vocabulary.
    • AO3 is your interpretation of the text. You are expected to give your judgment but you must discuss alternative interpretations.
    • AO4 is your focus on contextual factors. This is possibly the hardest to do, but all it means is that you must consider the various genres within the narrative, and consider any other related contexts to the novel/poems.
    • When revising, think about how you would respond to certain claims about your novel/poems (e.g. Is it stereotypical? Is it realistic? etc.)
    • You will be expected to focus on individual words (e.g. so if the word "too" is used, what does that mean in relation to what you have been asked?)
    • Write a briefintroduction giving your specific response to the question.
    • Give 2 or 3 paragraphs that present evidence to support your reasoning.
    • Then conclude with your response.
    • Again, you've only got 30 minutes.


    General Tips

    • Please, PLEASE, answer both parts from one question. It sounds silly I know, but a supposed A grade student in my class did part A on one book and part B on another. Oh dear.
    • Stick to the assessment objectives- you'll get no marks if you start writing your opinion in part A and talking about the language in part B.



    Section B

    • This question requires your response on the importance of something (examples include place, characters, openings, etc.)
    • You are given two choices- so write about the one you feel you can make focused comments upon.
    • You are marked on [b]AO1, AO2 and AO3 (see above descriptions)
    • A short introduction saying why what you are talking about is important will suffice.
    • Then 4 or 5 (or perhaps 6) paragraphs on your response.
    • It isn't necessary to include a conclusion, but if you do just re-state why it is important and that you have just proved why.
    • You've got 1 hour, so a longer response is expected.


    General Tips


    • You must write about all three texts, but don't worry if they're not in equal amounts. That being said, don't write most of your essay on one text and a sentence on each of the others :P
    • Comparison is necessary, but you don't need much. When going onto a new paragraph, write a joining sentence saying how the texts differ.
    • If you're studying a set of poetry (for example Browning, Keats, Hardy, etc) you've probably been given 6-8 poems. You only need to write about 2 or 3- that way they can be detailed enough. Do not write about just 1- you'll get substantially less marks.


    And just some nice tips for general writing...

    • Refer to the author when writing. Yes you probably know this, but we tease a friend of mine that she believes the characters are real because she doesn't do this Also, you'll lose marks.
    • Use integrated quotation- so much neater
    • If you don't understand a question, or a word in a question, give it a good guess anyway. In my mock I didn't understand what "contrived" meant, but guessed. Turns out I'd answered on something they were looking for but not quite hit the high marks, so I still got a C
    • And remember- you can definitely do it :yep:


    I have a good sample answer for Section A part A if anyone wants it. I don't have any others on here, but if anyone does and is willing to offer theirs, just say so EDIT: If you want this, just PM me directly for it, I don't check this all that often and you'll actually get a reply if you do this.Not PMing any more unless you've already asked me and I've not replied yet. Am going to revise at some point which involves avoiding TSR :yep:Further edit...I lost the answer, which sucks for me

    Any questions just ask me. Thankyou!

    *Disclaimer*- This is all information I have been given by my teachers, who have gotten it from AQA sources. If anything sourced directly from AQA contradicts what is written here, then please use the AQA information.

    The AQA information on this exam can be found at http://www.aqa.org.uk/qual/gce/eng_lit_b_new.php .

    So, the exam's on the 20th...good luck everyone!
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    Thanks, this is really helpful!

    (I did find one mistake by the way, Section A - Question A:
    It will be a comparison between the narrative of 2 different chapters, or 2 different poems.
    This section isn't always a comparison, just sometimes. I think it depends on the length of the extract the question is about.)
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    Ahh thankyou What is the question if it's not a comparison question then, do you know? Just so I can add it in
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    Just a detailed comment on narrative method, e.g. "Write about the ways Rossetti tells the story in 'Winter: My Secret'." (:
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    Very helpful, but you don't need to compare for section B.
    Well at least that's what our teacher stresses, as she went on this course about it.
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    No, you don't much. But we were told a conjoining sentence is necessary as it is part of the AO3 specification.
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    very helpful
    isnt 2-3 paragraphs too little though? hmm
    could u send me the sample for part a ^^?
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    Hi, I'd like the sample if that's OK!

    Thanks very much, and a very helpful post.
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    Thankyou this so helpful

    Can i have a sample please ?
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    heya
    this is such a wicked post thankz it really helps this new course is soo not clea. im tryig soo hard to fit in enlgish revison with m y other subjects but it is soo demanding.
    lol

    thankx this lcears up a lot infromation.
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    (Original post by Anna_The_Giant_Banana)
    very helpful
    isnt 2-3 paragraphs too little though? hmm
    could u send me the sample for part a ^^?
    Well, when I say 2-3 paragraphs that's 2 or 3 main ideas you focus upon in paragraphs :] 2 or 3 longish paragraphs is all I can write in half an hour, anyway.

    Anyone who has asked for the essay I shall be sending it in a minute :yep:
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    kl thnx
    and for part b if u were doing poetry would u say ur point for the 2 poems and treat them as a whole text or would u write different points for them/ write paragraph on each of them seperately?
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    could you send me the sample answer too, please?
    I'm finding the specification really difficult to understand. Why can't we just talk about language and themes!
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    On their website do they have an exam breakdown which supports this breakdown of AO's?
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    (Original post by rather game than revise)
    On their website do they have an exam breakdown which supports this breakdown of AO's?
    Not sure, search the link I put in the post. I've been given a lot of breakdowns by my teachers.
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    (Original post by MewMachine)
    Well, when I say 2-3 paragraphs that's 2 or 3 main ideas you focus upon in paragraphs :] 2 or 3 longish paragraphs is all I can write in half an hour, anyway.

    Anyone who has asked for the essay I shall be sending it in a minute :yep:
    Please can you send me the essay as your notes made everything clear at last!
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    Could i also have a copy of this please?

    Very helpful thread, thank you very much!
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    I've been told you do not need to compare, just need to make links?

    Also does any one know what the Tennyson questions were for the 2009 January exam?
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    Thank you so much for this thread. Could I also have a copy of that model answer?
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    I think we would all like a copy of the model answer? Please??
    Cheers
Updated: September 9, 2012
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