AQA Lit B - LITB1 Aspects of Narrative Retake 18th January 2013

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Poll: What did you do for section B?
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zakkaz
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Thought I'd be the first to start this thread since there is literally only 18 days basically away now. If you're new it's probably best that you put the texts that you study up so that people will know who to pm for advice.

The texts I'm studying are;

Section A:
Tennyson

Section B:
The Great Gatsby
The Road - (This is my back up for section A)
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Good Luck to ALL!
:cool:


Results to be released on the 6th to centres and on the 7th to students, good luck with all your other exams.


I'd like to thank Unsworth who helped a whole bunch of people on this thread!

Be back on the 6th of March, as this thread will become a how did you do/results thread!

Polls are in:

Protagonist: 51.72%
Suspense: 48.28%


1 day to go guys, how do you think you did?

Grade Boundary: Available on 6th March 08:00

LITB3 Gothic Thread

LITB3 Pastoral Thread
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paleophelia
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I am gutted I have to resit this
I'm doing The Great Gatsby, The Kite Runner , Thomas Hardy and Robert Browning.
I started revision today at lunch wah
Good luck to you too
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Unsworth
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Sorry for those who are still getting in contact with me but I can't give advice out on this any longer since I sat this exam two years ago in May 2012! The only thing I can suggestion is to read my revision guide a couple of posts below which I made after the exam

If anyone wants any advice for this exam be it on structure, content, analysis, context, whatever, feel free to PM me - I loved it to bits and got 120/120 ums for it in the summer.

The texts I studied were The Great Gatsby, The Kite Runner, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Robert Browning poems.
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ALNoguera
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Unfortunately I have to resit this exam as I only got a D last June. I am studying Great Expectations, Kite Runner, Browning and Hardy. Does anyone have any advice they could give? I really want to be pushing an A.
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Unsworth
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No longer able to give advice to those who are still asking for it I'm afraid since it's been two years since I sat this exam!

Right guys, as a couple of you have requested I will try and best explain how to structure your answers for this exam.

For anyone taking LITB3 - The Gothic, here is the revision guide I have made for it: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2347942

Section A - Question 1

This question is out of 21 and will be a question along the lines of 'How does Author X tell the story in Chapter ___?'

The key thing to note with this question is you are marked only for AO2 - which essentially is about analysing how the author uses structure, form and language to shape meanings. Therefore, logically it makes sense to structure your answer so that you have a paragraph or so dedicated to each of these three components of the AO2. This question is not about writing what 'something could mean, but on the other hand what others may think it means', it is about detailing to the examiner the different literary techniques or the aspects of narrative used by the author.

Before you delve into this though, I would advise to include a short introductory paragraph which outlines what happens in chapter X. This only needs to be two, maybe three sentences long at most, just so it puts your answer into context, and demonstrates to the examiner that you know what happens in this chapter.

So, the way to structure your answer to this question is as follows:

1. Short introductory paragraph which outlines the main events that happen in the chapter.

2. Paragraph on the author's form/language. An example of this would be from The Great Gatsby where you could comment on Carraway's 'educated and poetic prose' and 'technically fluent style' and how this shapes the readers view of Carraway. Other things to comment on could be the language used in relation to the narrator's feelings. Is the narrator happy or melancholic? Then comment on how this is significant. Does the narrator's language change during the chapter, or does his tone change? If so then comment on this and say how it adds significance to the chapter. Further, you can comment on any of the above then relate it to its purpose/destination, does the component you talk about affect anything later on in the novel?

3. Paragraph on the structure of the chapter. You should use this paragraph to talk about whether the chapter is told chronologically or not, and how does this then shape the reader's view of the novel. Comment on whether the author has purposely created gaps in this chapter or missed out a certain time period, or suddenly gone from Spring to Summer in the chapter, etc. Commenting on time and how it passes in the chapter can sometimes be quite a unique, but effective thing to talk about in the question. These are all significant components of how the author tells the story - if these are present, then pull them out and comment explicitly on how they shape meanings. Is there a cyclical structure to how the chapter is told? How does the structure of this chapter go on to affect other chapters later on or previously in the novel? Obviously, you don't need to comment on all of these ideas, the best way is to just pull out one or two of these points then expand on them.

4. Paragraph on the narrative perspective. This is something that will vary quite a lot dependant on the text you are doing. Personally, this was fantastic to use for Gatsby as it features a narrator whose reliability can be questioned, so there is lots to write about. Aspects to include in this paragraph are things like what form of narration is present - is it first person, is it a modified first person narrator (like Nick Carraway is) etc. It is best to state what type of narration is featured at the start of your paragraph. Then, you can comment on whether the narrator is reliable, or if he is biased. Comment on how the narrator deals with integrating with other secondary characters, and the effect this might have on his narration/storytelling. Comment on any use of different view points during the narration, and how this is significant to the story, and what implication might come about because of this. Always link these back to the 'overarching' story - how they give effect to the rest of the novel.

5. Paragraph on setting. This can be a shorter paragraph that would be nice to end on. Commenting firstly on where the narrator has started off in this chapter and where he ends up (in context of the setting) and why this may be significant. An example of how to utilise setting in this question would be: 'The settings of the chapter are mainly Daisy and Tom's house and New York, as well as the Valley of Ashes as the site of Myrtle's death. Carraway describes the day as hot and stuffy calling it "certainly the warmest, of the summer". This weather provides a suitable atmosphere for the argument between Tom and Gatsby; the conversation gets heated which is reflected by the "large and stifling" room in which it takes place.' So by commenting here on the whether and linking this in nicely with the overall setting, you can see how it would begin to shape up in an essay. Of course that isn't the whole paragraph, you would follow this up with another couple sentences at least, but you get the idea.

Done. This question doesn't need a conclusion to it in my opinion. Yes you could write a line or two to finish it off neatly, but ultimately you aren't going to get any marks for doing this, so I don't see the point. Remember, you don't get marked for AO4 in this question, so don't waste your time talking about context, as that is used in the next question.

This question can be quite challenging if you don't know how to structure it. If you know the chapter well and get the introductory bit sorted at the start, then I found that really helps to get it fresh in your head so you can talk extensively about it.

NOTE ANYONE DOING GATSBY FOR THIS QUESTION - Only chapter 6 hasn't come up yet since this exam has been made. Every other chapter has come up once. Make of it as you will, but personally I think chapter 6 will come up in January, as they have to include all the chapters at some point. But don't let that distract you from revising the other chapters too, as AQA may be annoying and do a chapter that has been done already.


Section A - Question 2

Again, this question is out of 21, however the type of question asked here will vary immensely, so it is hard to detail a specific structure to your answer. This question will be linked to the previous question in section A - although it may not seem like it. The examiners choose this question carefully with the view that it has a relation to an event or something specific from the question asked on telling the story in chapter X. Therefore, you should try and make some sort of small connection in your answer that links to the chapter you previously spoke about.

Typical questions asked will be along the lines of: “How far do you agree with..” “What is your view of author X's use of..” "To what extent is.." just to give you a rough idea of what you may encounter.

Now for this question, you get most of your marks for AO3 - which is analysis and evaluation of different interpretations of carefully selected references (e.g quotes). So here you need to make sure that rather then saying 'Author X does this because..' you should say things like 'It could be seen that author x does this because... however, others may be of the view that author x does this due to...' Those aiming for the top marks may include an evaluation point following that, so something like 'Overall, the more fitting view is that...' or 'The latter is more likely/has more weight as...' I cannot tell you what specific references to include from your texts, as there is such a variety of good points to include. But what you really get marks for is saying why the author has included this, what effect it may give, what effect it may not give, etc.

Something I saved from reading through the examiners report on past papers for this exam is this: Strongest candidates are those who agree with the statement and give alternative interpretations on meaning and give both sides to arguments. This underlines what I have said. The bad answers will be those that just outline a balanced argument, which leaves the examiner in limbo until you finally conclude it, thus letting the examiner know whether or not you agree/disagree with the question. The best answers will be those who have a strong view at the foundation of their argument, one where the examiner knows whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with the question throughout your answer, rather than having to leave it to the end to find out. You can do this and still give alternative interpretations which go against what you are arguing, just make sure that it is clear.

A final thing to comment on in this question, you are marked on AO4 - Context. This is in my opinion the hardest thing to do well in this exam, as you have to be able to think up your own relevant piece and apply it to a certain part of your answer. What I found worked for me is I made a list of different context sentences, which I tried to memorise the core parts to, and then used 2/3 of these in my answer to the question. An example of one I used was: "Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald was driven by his love for a woman (Zelda) who symbolized everything he wanted, even as she led him toward everything he despised." It isn't anything special, just a small bit of context that can seamlessly be woven into your answer, but it gets you the vital AO4 marks. Context needs to be worked into your answer well, it will make the examiners cringe if they see context which has been evidently forced into your essay, just so you can 'tick the AO4 box'. So like I said, the best way to do this is to try memorise 4/5 context sentences, which you can adapt and apply to your answer.

This chapter can often be very nice if you get a favourable question that appeals to you. With this question you will only really get good through practising essays on a variety of titles, rather than trying to get a structure fixed into your head, something which you can do for the previous question in my opinion.



Section B


This question is out of 42 and is the big one of this exam. Here you must write about a minimum of three texts (I did four myself) and write a piece on them. However, I would advise you not to get caught up in trying to compare the different texts extensively, obviously link them in the topic sentences to one another, but make sure the main bulk of your writing on each text is about that text, rather then about trying to avidly compare and contrast it with the previous one you spoke about.

This answer is assessed on everything except AO4 - context, so again there is no point including specific contextual references as there are no marks gained for them. Focus on talking in this answer about things like imagery, symbolism, themes, structure, form, language, contrast, any foreshadowing, juxtaposition, use of narrator and these different aspects of narrative and literary devices in your answer. Talk about how these narrative methods shape meanings, add significance to the text, why they may have been used, what the reader thinks as a result of them and the like. Make sure you really utilise your AO3 again here giving a variety of interpretations, but also evaluate these to make it clear which you think has more strength to it.

Your answer here again is hard to structure beforehand as the variety of questions asked is so vast, but if you focus on the above and apply them to the question you are given then you should gain good marks.

Something you might want to consider, although it is by no means essential, is to include a critical quote. If done well and seamlessly, it will demonstrate further reading and understanding to the examiner, and will look very impressive. The best way to do this is to research these beforehand, perhaps finding say three and try to memorise them. If you are clever in your research then you will pick three that are quite versatile so you are able to apply them no matter what the question is. In my answer I included two critical quotes, (one of which was only seven words long) but I do not have a record of what they were exactly. However, one I found I had saved somewhere is perfect for anyone doing Gatsby for this question: “Although Fitzgerald isn’t an out and out modernist, he does use modernist ideas and modernist perceptions in his work” – Nicolas Tredall. Now that maybe isn't so versatile in this question, but that would be fantastic to use possibly in Section A, Question 2 if possible. The bottom line is that something like a critical quote, worked well into your answer will look great, so I would advise you dedicate some time to finding two or three, with the view of using only one, maybe two in the real thing.

Similarly to Question 1 of Section A, you don't need a conclusion in this answer. I ran out of time in my exam so didn't conclude it at all, yet still achieved top marks for it. So you won't be penalised for not including one if you do run out of time, obviously a summing up paragraph at the end would make your answer flow nicely, but it won't get you any bonus marks in my opinion.

Make sure you have a good idea of what three/four texts you will use for this question, and that you know what key, juicy features of them you can pull apart in your answer. Making a list of a few key quotes from each text is always a good idea, as a lot of them will be applicable to any question given if you use your literary knowledge well.




I hope this helps, feel free to ask about anything else related to this exam.
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ALNoguera
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(Original post by Unsworth)
Right guys, as a couple of you have requested I will try and best explain how to structure your answers for this exam.
You don't know how much this will help me. Everything is now clear for me and I can finally start practice essays and study for this! I cannot possibly thank you enough!!
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Unsworth
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(Original post by ALNoguera)
You don't know how much this will help me. Everything is now clear for me and I can finally start practice essays and study for this! I cannot possibly thank you enough!!
Haha you're welcome
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suncake
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(Original post by Unsworth)
x
That was 10x more insightful than any of the advice I was given by my teachers. Wish I knew all that before my exam!

Not actually sure if I'm resitting LITB1 yet... Was predicted A and got a low B, leaving me 2 UMS off an A overall. Grr. I've asked for my resit entry to be removed, but if I end up still having to do it, I will follow your awesome advice and hopefully see an improvement!
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Unsworth
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(Original post by suncake)
That was 10x more insightful than any of the advice I was given by my teachers. Wish I knew all that before my exam!

Not actually sure if I'm resitting LITB1 yet... Was predicted A and got a low B, leaving me 2 UMS off an A overall. Grr. I've asked for my resit entry to be removed, but if I end up still having to do it, I will follow your awesome advice and hopefully see an improvement!
Ah how annoying.. Well the advice I got from my teachers was just simply a few lessons on analysing some quotes, and just writing a couple of essays. So they weren't very helpful in terms of teaching us all how to actually structure what we write, what to include, what to not include etc, hopefully this clears that up a bit for others who have had the same sort of teaching aha
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zakkaz
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Suddenly my revision is going good.
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suncake
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(Original post by Unsworth)
Ah how annoying.. Well the advice I got from my teachers was just simply a few lessons on analysing some quotes, and just writing a couple of essays. So they weren't very helpful in terms of teaching us all how to actually structure what we write, what to include, what to not include etc, hopefully this clears that up a bit for others who have had the same sort of teaching aha
Yeah, pretty much the same here! So if it wasn't from your teachers, how did you learn so much about how to be great at this exam?
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Unsworth
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(Original post by suncake)
Yeah, pretty much the same here! So if it wasn't from your teachers, how did you learn so much about how to be great at this exam?
Urmm I'm not too sure really ahah. I really loved Gatsby so just naturally found it so easy to write about. Our class was taught to do Kite Runner for section A, but I hated it and so did the opposite to what we had spent our lessons in class learning about basically! Then because I found Gatsby easy I did that for Section A as half your marks come from talking just about one text, whereas in Section B I just spoke about The Kite Runner for 2 paragraphs as it was just blergh.

Looking at examiner's reports was useful as they say what generally worked and what didn't in answers. But hmm I'm not sure really, I just seemed to 'get it' in some strange way.
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paleophelia
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Has anyone got any past paper questions?
I forgot what the questions look like, not for the one where I am doing Gatsby but for where I mention The Kite Runner, Robert Browning and Thomas Hardy.
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awkwardusername
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Did anyone else do really badly in the June 2012 exam?
I was getting full marks in all my class work, and then ended up only just getting a D in the exam...
My coursework was full marks so it pulled me up to a C, but I was really disappointed!

Also, any tips on how to actually REVISE for it?
Last time I read the texts (Gatsby, Kite Runner, Hardy and Browning) about a million times each, made notes on them all and bullet pointed all key ideas etc, but I'm not sure what else to do?
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brendonbackflip
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(Original post by Unsworth)
x
^ Thanks for that, very helpful. I'm quoting you because you seem to know a lot but it's a question for anyone that can help me.

For the first question in Section A, we've been told to write a paragraph for Structure, Narrative Voice, Setting and Characterisation , yet no where else have I seen it to be 'accepted' to talk about this. All other sources, whether that's essays and the student room and a talk I've been too, seem to want to talk about Form - and I'm not even sure I know what that is Is my teacher right in making us write about Character? I'm checking with a couple of people at my college but not in my class if they're also doing a paragraph on this, so it's not just my class, but I'm pretty worried as a whole...thanks if you can help!
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Unsworth
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(Original post by brendonbackflip)
^ Thanks for that, very helpful. I'm quoting you because you seem to know a lot but it's a question for anyone that can help me.

For the first question in Section A, we've been told to write a paragraph for Structure, Narrative Voice, Setting and Characterisation , yet no where else have I seen it to be 'accepted' to talk about this. All other sources, whether that's essays and the student room and a talk I've been too, seem to want to talk about Form - and I'm not even sure I know what that is Is my teacher right in making us write about Character? I'm checking with a couple of people at my college but not in my class if they're also doing a paragraph on this, so it's not just my class, but I'm pretty worried as a whole...thanks if you can help!
The first three definitely talk about, as for the latter, I think it is fine. Characterisation would still get you AO2 marks which is all you are being assessed on, I just think it is easier to talk about form/language instead.

But if you feel like doing characterisation is a problem, then don't let your teacher force you into doing it. At my school our teachers taught us all to do The Kite Runner for section A and Gatsby for section B, however I just hated The Kite Runner so did it the other way around!

Characterisation is fine to write about, so yes your teacher is right making you write about it, but if you find writing about other things such as form easier, then do that instead.
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emmahebron13
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(Original post by Unsworth)
Right guys, as a couple of you have requested I will try and best explain how to structure your answers for this exam...
Do you know if this structure is the same for LITA1 (World War One Literature)?
It would be tremendously helpful if this were the case!
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Unsworth
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(Original post by emmahebron13)
Do you know if this structure is the same for LITA1 (World War One Literature)?
It would be tremendously helpful if this were the case!
Not a clue sorry, haven't ever looked into Literature A as I do B ahah.
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MirrorPixie
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Does anybody know the Keats poem used for Part a?
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somebodyguideme
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[QUOTE=Unsworth;40226955]NOTE ANYONE DOING GATSBY FOR THIS QUESTION - Only chapter 7 hasn't come up yet since this exam has been made. Every other chapter has come up once. Make of it as you will, but personally I think chapter 7 will come up in January, as they have to include all the chapters at some point. But don't let that distract you from revising the other chapters too, as AQA may be annoying and do a chapter that has been done already.

I wish they'd make it easy haha .. Just a correction - I think it's only chapter 6 that hasn't come up because chapter 7 came up for June
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