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    Does anyone have any good advice for the OCR AS-Level English Literature exam (poetry and prose)? I'm looking to get as high a mark as possible and any advice would be really appreciated.
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    know your specification well, specifically what you are actually being assessed on.

    for example in your prose, you are expected to quote a critic or literary figure on his/her view of the text AO3
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    What novel and collection of poetry are you doing?

    We are doing Frankenstein and WB Yeats
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    I did both of those for AS last year, decided to drop it though
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    You didn't like it?

    Any tips for the exam from someone who has went through it?

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    (Original post by Big-Daddy)
    Does anyone have any good advice for the OCR AS-Level English Literature exam (poetry and prose)? I'm looking to get as high a mark as possible and any advice would be really appreciated.
    I done it last year with Dorian Gray and Edward Thomas poetry. Stick to the structure of A01, A02, A03,A04 then finish off the paragraph with A01 linking back to the question. Examiners like this and I got an 'A' with this structure. Memorise quotes in you're prose for 5 per theme then some character quotes at least. Poetry is quite straightforward make sure you can cross compare (similarities and differences within the collection) because that also counts as A03. You'll have the poem printed also unlike A2. On critics we were told to research them and I would recommend it but if you get stuck make up a name and quite something controversial that you can really debate with. The examiner won't know given their are various sources of critical literature. Really pinpoint your A04 don't just give general context too and say how it influenced the poetry/prose. Try and be original...to an extent, as long as you can support it. Good luck.


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    (Original post by Acruzen)
    know your specification well, specifically what you are actually being assessed on.

    for example in your prose, you are expected to quote a critic or literary figure on his/her view of the text AO3
    Thanks. Any other such tips? Beyond of course "know the novel and poems well"
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    (Original post by Alex360)
    I done it last year with Dorian Gray and Edward Thomas poetry. Stick to the structure of A01, A02, A03,A04 then finish off the paragraph with A01 linking back to the question. Examiners like this and I got an 'A' with this structure. Memorise quotes in you're prose for 5 per theme then some character quotes at least. Poetry is quite straightforward make sure you can cross compare (similarities and differences within the collection) because that also counts as A03. You'll have the poem printed also unlike A2. On critics we were told to research them and I would recommend it but if you get stuck make up a name and quite something controversial that you can really debate with. The examiner won't know given their are various sources of critical literature. Really pinpoint your A04 don't just give general context too and say how it influenced the poetry/prose. Try and be original...to an extent, as long as you can support it. Good luck.


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    Thanks.

    When you say "Memorise quotes in you're prose for 5 per theme", do you mean 5 quotes per theme? How many themes would you come up with for your novel?

    Would you recommend following that format of paragraphing (AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4, then AO1 again) quite formulaically? And I'll have pretty large paragraphs if I do that in each paragraph - would you say do it in each paragraph but then only end up with maybe 3-4 main paragraphs for your points? And would you be quoting throughout your AO2, AO3, etc.?

    Remind me, AO1 is for linking to the question, AO4 is for context (generally meaning critical analysis for the prose, and cross-linking across poems for the poetry) - what are AO2 and AO3, really (without the specification gibberish)?
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    AO1 - How fluent is your piece? Dies it have good SPG? Does it tackle the question directly

    AO2 - Text based analysis. How well have you analysed the text using literary techniques and effect on reader. Linked back into the question

    AO3 - Critics and other readers interpretations of the text discussed and woven into question

    AO4 - Relevant contextual information which does not include any critics or critical analysis

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    (Original post by Big-Daddy)
    Thanks.

    When you say "Memorise quotes in you're prose for 5 per theme", do you mean 5 quotes per theme? How many themes would you come up with for your novel?

    Would you recommend following that format of paragraphing (AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4, then AO1 again) quite formulaically? And I'll have pretty large paragraphs if I do that in each paragraph - would you say do it in each paragraph but then only end up with maybe 3-4 main paragraphs for your points? And would you be quoting throughout your AO2, AO3, etc.?

    Remind me, AO1 is for linking to the question, AO4 is for context (generally meaning critical analysis for the prose, and cross-linking across poems for the poetry) - what are AO2 and AO3, really (without the specification gibberish)?
    Yeah, quotes but remember to embed them. A04 is history e.g what was going on in the authors life/ childhood that inspired them. And the context of the era so e.g. "Oscar Wilde was a homosexual during a time when it was illegal. He expressed homoeroticism throughout the novel, because he was unable to express it openly in public and led the conventional life of having a wife and kids". You're paragraphs won't be that long to be honest, they may seem long in practice but when you get into the exam you'll probably forget some bits. And yes, we're taught to only have 4 points because 5 means your analysis and counter argument (alao A03) would be too brief otherwise and you need depth.The reason for that set structure is that it makes it easier for the examiner to identify that you're hitting all the objectives, they're pretty lazy. Each novel has between 4-7 themes roughly. I would recommend you buy York notes for your text as well, it's about a fiver on Amazon


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    (Original post by Alex360)
    Yeah, quotes but remember to embed them. A04 is history e.g what was going on in the authors life/ childhood that inspired them. And the context of the era so e.g. "Oscar Wilde was a homosexual during a time when it was illegal. He expressed homoeroticism throughout the novel, because he was unable to express it openly in public and led the conventional life of having a wife and kids". You're paragraphs won't be that long to be honest, they may seem long in practice but when you get into the exam you'll probably forget some bits. And yes, we're taught to only have 4 points because 5 means your analysis and counter argument (alao A03) would be too brief otherwise and you need depth.The reason for that set structure is that it makes it easier for the examiner to identify that you're hitting all the objectives, they're pretty lazy. Each novel has between 4-7 themes roughly. I would recommend you buy York notes for your text as well, it's about a fiver on Amazon


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    Thanks!

    If you have any notes for Dorian Gray that you could send to me, I'd very much appreciate it!

    When you say AO3 is counter-argument, I'm unclear - are you saying we should use critical opinions to counter the main argument of our essay, and then debate those critical views and suggest in what way they're right, but also show why they're wrong? And if AO3 only includes critical opinions, then do we need a critical opinion for every paragraph/point we make?

    4 points = 4 paragraphs? All around the same general argument which is the focus of the essay and which I repeatedly link back to the question (AO1).
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    (Original post by Big-Daddy)
    Thanks!

    If you have any notes for Dorian Gray that you could send to me, I'd very much appreciate it!

    When you say AO3 is counter-argument, I'm unclear - are you saying we should use critical opinions to counter the main argument of our essay, and then debate those critical views and suggest in what way they're right, but also show why they're wrong? And if AO3 only includes critical opinions, then do we need a critical opinion for every paragraph/point we make?

    4 points = 4 paragraphs? All around the same general argument which is the focus of the essay and which I repeatedly link back to the question (AO1).
    Unfortunately I have no types revision notes for Dorian, I used York Notes and stuff we highlighted in class so all handwritten. If you don't have a critic you can counter the point you just stated e.g "Alternatively this quote can be seen not as an attack on Victorian attitudes towards class, but used to add comedy/wit which Wilde was famous for" ... Something along those lines. Just think of A03 as evaluation whether it be a critic to support, critic to challenge, you challenging your own argument. Yes it's good to say if you think the critic is right or wrong just don't write "I believe this critic is wrong" instead write "however it can be seen that...". You need A03 in every paragraph in some form to receive the told level which is rewarded for consistency. Yeah 4 points I four paragraphs linked back to the question the end, if you feel it's becoming to long do A03 in a separate paragraph. 4 is usually the most you'll be able to think of anyway as you only have 10-15 minutes to plan.


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    (Original post by Alex360)
    Unfortunately I have no types revision notes for Dorian, I used York Notes and stuff we highlighted in class so all handwritten. If you don't have a critic you can counter the point you just stated e.g "Alternatively this quote can be seen not as an attack on Victorian attitudes towards class, but used to add comedy/wit which Wilde was famous for" ... Something along those lines. Just think of A03 as evaluation whether it be a critic to support, critic to challenge, you challenging your own argument. Yes it's good to say if you think the critic is right or wrong just don't write "I believe this critic is wrong" instead write "however it can be seen that...". You need A03 in every paragraph in some form to receive the told level which is rewarded for consistency. Yeah 4 points I four paragraphs linked back to the question the end, if you feel it's becoming to long do A03 in a separate paragraph. 4 is usually the most you'll be able to think of anyway as you only have 10-15 minutes to plan.


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    Thanks again.

    AO1 = linking back to the question; AO3 = evaluation whether it be a critic to support, critic to challenge, you challenging your own argument (for the prose); AO4 = context regarding the author's life and times (for the prose), cross-links between the other poems and the questioned one (for the poetry)

    How do we score AO3 on the poetry? And what is AO2? (So I can follow the structure of link to question, AO2, evaluation with critics/other interpretations, context regarding other poems or the author's life, then link back to the question again.)
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    (Original post by Big-Daddy)
    Thanks again.

    AO1 = linking back to the question; AO3 = evaluation whether it be a critic to support, critic to challenge, you challenging your own argument (for the prose); AO4 = context regarding the author's life and times (for the prose), cross-links between the other poems and the questioned one (for the poetry)

    How do we score AO3 on the poetry? And what is AO2? (So I can follow the structure of link to question, AO2, evaluation with critics/other interpretations, context regarding other poems or the author's life, then link back to the question again.)
    A03 on poets is quite difficult in terms of critics. But you can find similarities and differences between other poetry of the era. E.g for Edward Thomas i would mention other Romantic poets such as Keats etc. but I'm pretty sure in the poetry section A03 is less important at AS. A02 is analyse of language (metaphors, imagery), form and structure (verse structure) but more importantly the EFFECT, so what does it show, what does it mean, what were the authors intentions when using that similie. Yeah Follow the structure and you'll get an A/high B at the very least.


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    (Original post by Alex360)
    A03 on poets is quite difficult in terms of critics. But you can find similarities and differences between other poetry of the era. E.g for Edward Thomas i would mention other Romantic poets such as Keats etc. but I'm pretty sure in the poetry section A03 is less important at AS. A02 is analyse of language (metaphors, imagery), form and structure (verse structure) but more importantly the EFFECT, so what does it show, what does it mean, what were the authors intentions when using that similie. Yeah Follow the structure and you'll get an A/high B at the very least.


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    AO3 is unassessed in Poetry. Only AO1, A02 and AO4 are assessed in the poetry section.

    So, for poetry, you need no critics what so ever.
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    (Original post by Alex360)
    A03 on poets is quite difficult in terms of critics. But you can find similarities and differences between other poetry of the era. E.g for Edward Thomas i would mention other Romantic poets such as Keats etc. but I'm pretty sure in the poetry section A03 is less important at AS. A02 is analyse of language (metaphors, imagery), form and structure (verse structure) but more importantly the EFFECT, so what does it show, what does it mean, what were the authors intentions when using that similie. Yeah Follow the structure and you'll get an A/high B at the very least.


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    So for some of the paragraphs, I mention other poetry from the era and its relevance to the question and the poem at hand; for others, I simply offer other possible interpretations which challenge mine?
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    (Original post by ConorF)
    AO1 - How fluent is your piece? Dies it have good SPG? Does it tackle the question directly

    AO2 - Text based analysis. How well have you analysed the text using literary techniques and effect on reader. Linked back into the question

    AO3 - Critics and other readers interpretations of the text discussed and woven into question

    AO4 - Relevant contextual information which does not include any critics or critical analysis

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    Thanks. Am I right to say AO4 with regards to the poetry basically means drawing on other poems from the same poet and linking them to the question at hand?

    As for AO3, does this include your own counter-arguments towards your main argument (i.e. other interpretations of the novel, answering the question, which your essay does not agree with, and evidence for these interpretations)? Or does it refer exclusively to critical opinions and reflecting on them?

    (Original post by ConorF)
    AO3 is unassessed in Poetry. Only AO1, A02 and AO4 are assessed in the poetry section.

    So, for poetry, you need no critics what so ever.
    I see, thanks, this was useful to know. Does that also mean you only need your own, single interpretation for the poetry? (You don't need to consider alternatives, etc.)
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    (Original post by Big-Daddy)
    So for some of the paragraphs, I mention other poetry from the era and its relevance to the question and the poem at hand; for others, I simply offer other possible interpretations which challenge mine?
    Referencing other poems inside the collection - or outside the collection by the same poet - counts as material for AO4 (Contextual Information.) As a rule of thumb 75% of your essay should focus on the said question and 25% should focus on relevant and informed contextual links to other poems in the collection.

    You do not need to offer interpretations by critics or any other individual through AO3 because it has no mark weighing in the poetry section.

    As far as I recall:

    AO1 = 5
    AO2 = 15
    A04 = 10

    That is for the poetry
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    Dropping in. I did Yeats and Dorian last year. The poetry is absolutely fine if you do timed essays beforehand, have your structure sorted, know your stylistic terms etc. The second half of the paper was painful for me last year to be honest - and for most of my friends, we had crying in the exam hall which is always good for concentration :rolleyes: - because I hadn't done anything much under proper timed conditions. Especially for Dorian, do not overcomplicate it, just hit the assessment objectives (it's so depressing for English Lit but hey). AO2 shouldn't be a problem by now but I agree that you should learn some critics for AO3 and definitely learn some context for AO4. They love context on OCR. My teacher's maxim for critics is to always find something generic which you can disagree with, because disagreement is much easier to identify as engagement (for a marker) than agreement. I'd also echo the York notes point on Dorian. It covers general Gothic themes which you wouldn't expect to come up, but did last year - I think the other question was on setting, which nobody in my year had learned anything for because it seemed pretty minor. If you are well-prepared it'll be a good exam!
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    (Original post by SixteenHundred)
    Dropping in. I did Yeats and Dorian last year. The poetry is absolutely fine if you do timed essays beforehand, have your structure sorted, know your stylistic terms etc. The second half of the paper was painful for me last year to be honest - and for most of my friends, we had crying in the exam hall which is always good for concentration :rolleyes: - because I hadn't done anything much under proper timed conditions. Especially for Dorian, do not overcomplicate it, just hit the assessment objectives (it's so depressing for English Lit but hey). AO2 shouldn't be a problem by now but I agree that you should learn some critics for AO3 and definitely learn some context for AO4. They love context on OCR. My teacher's maxim for critics is to always find something generic which you can disagree with, because disagreement is much easier to identify as engagement (for a marker) than agreement. I'd also echo the York notes point on Dorian. It covers general Gothic themes which you wouldn't expect to come up, but did last year - I think the other question was on setting, which nobody in my year had learned anything for because it seemed pretty minor. If you are well-prepared it'll be a good exam!
    For timed essays, where would you find the titles? There are about 6-7 past paper titles to look at but surely that's not enough practice?

    If I aim to have 1 AO3 point per paragraph (which would make around 4 in total), then would you say each one has to be a critical view which you disagree with? How about sometimes debating another interpretation which you yourself came up with - would that get you the AO3 points for that paragraph?

    And would you also advocate the proposed structure of "link to question, make points/evidence to support your claim, critical argument/debate, context from the author's life, link all this back to the question" (for prose), and "link to question, make points/evidence to support your claim, context from other poems and how this backs up the point, link back to question"?
 
 
 
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