Real_jenn
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as you may know, English literature does not really have a Rigorous and formulaeic structure as other subjects (I.eEnglish Lang) so it's a bit hard to determine what examiners are looking for. Anyone who got a grade A or above can you please advice me on what I MUST include to be able to get into the top band.If possible may you please direct me to some updated mark schemes so I know what they are looking for.Any additional tips would be highly appreciated.
Thanks in advance ☺️☺️
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math42
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It's not exactly rigorous, but there is a "formula" for getting the marks. Follow the assessment objectives. Look at the specification of whatever exam board you're on, and you will probably find some sections on AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4; they may be specific to certain modules. You can look at these to see exactly what the examiners expect for certain ranges of marks. In general, you want to be able to closely analyse a few quotes - don't have to go insane on it, just have a few where you pick out key words and ideas - and ideally you want to come up with some original and interesting ideas (read this as: you just need to bull**** a bit). Think thematically when analysing. The worst mistake is focusing on characters just going "and the author does this to show how this guy is a meanie" and crap like that which is irrelevant until you tie it in to themes. Add something that sounds clever - although it has to actually be somewhat clever and certainly relevant - "the author does this show how this guy is a meanie and hence reflect on how society forces us into competition with each other" and suddenly you've got top-notch work (minus the colloquial pejorative lol). Support your points with evidence and always link back to the title or at least to something thematic. The idea is PEE: point evidence explain. This is typically AO2.

AO1 is basically just writing an essay, if you're essay is coherent and structured well then that's that; AO3 is generally comparisons. You're usually expected to make intelligent and constructive or illuminating comparisons. You want more ideas to flow from your comparison of different works, rather than just saying "hey this author shows the same thing as this author". And it's also good to contrast, to show how interpretations differ. AO4 is usually context. The common mistake here is launching into a history essay. You want to show how the authors are influenced by context and how it affects what they write, and also what they are trying to say about the period or society in their works. Note that usually at gcse you have AO1-AO3 in some essays, AO1-AO2-AO4 in some others, so AO1-AO2 are constants but you have to find out when AO3 and AO4 are expected. My usual essay writing style was to do an intro, if context is required then do point-evidence-explain on a load of different things, linking each paragraph back to the title and making some comment on context near the end. It wasn't quite as prescriptive as that sounds but that's the general idea. For comparisons, if texts were worth the same I would generally cover each in detail and then make comparisons; if there was a main text I would cover that in detail then compare to the other text.

Credentials are full UMS in GCSE English Lit (and A* in A level; it's not that much different to GCSE)

(Original post by Real_jenn)
as you may know, English literature does not really have a Rigorous and formulaeic structure as other subjects (I.eEnglish Lang) so it's a bit hard to determine what examiners are looking for. Anyone who got a grade A or above can you please advice me on what I MUST include to be able to get into the top band.If possible may you please direct me to some updated mark schemes so I know what they are looking for.Any additional tips would be highly appreciated.Thanks in advance ☺️☺️
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Real_jenn
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
It's not exactly rigorous, but there is a "formula" for getting the marks. Follow the assessment objectives. Look at the specification of whatever exam board you're on, and you will probably find some sections on AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4; they may be specific to certain modules. You can look at these to see exactly what the examiners expect for certain ranges of marks. In general, you want to be able to closely analyse a few quotes - don't have to go insane on it, just have a few where you pick out key words and ideas - and ideally you want to come up with some original and interesting ideas (read this as: you just need to bull**** a bit). Think thematically when analysing. The worst mistake is focusing on characters just going "and the author does this to show how this guy is a meanie" and crap like that which is irrelevant until you tie it in to themes. Add something that sounds clever - although it has to actually be somewhat clever and certainly relevant - "the author does this show how this guy is a meanie and hence reflect on how society forces us into competition with each other" and suddenly you've got top-notch work (minus the colloquial pejorative lol). Support your points with evidence and always link back to the title or at least to something thematic. The idea is PEE: point evidence explain. This is typically AO2.

AO1 is basically just writing an essay, if you're essay is coherent and structured well then that's that; AO3 is generally comparisons. You're usually expected to make intelligent and constructive or illuminating comparisons. You want more ideas to flow from your comparison of different works, rather than just saying "hey this author shows the same thing as this author". And it's also good to contrast, to show how interpretations differ. AO4 is usually context. The common mistake here is launching into a history essay. You want to show how the authors are influenced by context and how it affects what they write, and also what they are trying to say about the period or society in their works. Note that usually at gcse you have AO1-AO3 in some essays, AO1-AO2-AO4 in some others, so AO1-AO2 are constants but you have to find out when AO3 and AO4 are expected. My usual essay writing style was to do an intro, if context is required then do point-evidence-explain on a load of different things, linking each paragraph back to the title and making some comment on context near the end. It wasn't quite as prescriptive as that sounds but that's the general idea. For comparisons, if texts were worth the same I would generally cover each in detail and then make comparisons; if there was a main text I would cover that in detail then compare to the other text.

Credentials are full UMS in GCSE English Lit (and A* in A level; it's not that much different to GCSE)
Well done on your results!! Thank you soooo much! You are honestly God sent! If I may ask what exam board was you on when you did GCSE English lit?
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math42
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(Original post by Real_jenn)
Well done on your results!! Thank you soooo much! You are honestly God sent! If I may ask what exam board was you on when you did GCSE English lit?
Thanks, no worries. I did WJEC. I have checked out other boards before and from what I recall the assessment objectives are basically the same, but there will be some stuff unique to certain boards and each will have a different idea of what makes a great essay. But I can't imagine context, analysis, structuring essays and comparing texts won't come into it so I guess most of my advice should be pertinent for any board...
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celloel
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
Thanks, no worries. I did WJEC. I have checked out other boards before and from what I recall the assessment objectives are basically the same, but there will be some stuff unique to certain boards and each will have a different idea of what makes a great essay. But I can't imagine context, analysis, structuring essays and comparing texts won't come into it so I guess most of my advice should be pertinent for any board...
Hiya,
In regards to your A* at A Level - did you have to memorise quotes (i.e. was it a closed book exam?)
I did open book for GCSE and the thought of memorising quotes makes me want to scream. How do you memorise them?

Sorry for the questions and thanks in advance
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math42
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(Original post by celloel)
Hiya,
In regards to your A* at A Level - did you have to memorise quotes (i.e. was it a closed book exam?)
I did open book for GCSE and the thought of memorising quotes makes me want to scream. How do you memorise them?

Sorry for the questions and thanks in advance
Yeah for A2 I did. I had a big document full of them and just said them out loud; tried to get used to their rhythm and think about their meaning and context within the play to make them stick. I remembered a lot from The Tempest by doing this and just reading and rereading. The Wife of Bath, being essentially in a different language, was more of a brute force effort. So on the off-chance you have to do any Chaucer, expect to have to go for some hardcore rote memorisation...otherwise it should be a more organic and less stressful process. Key thing is to read the text a lot and think about the quotes.
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celloel
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
Yeah for A2 I did. I had a big document full of them and just said them out loud; tried to get used to their rhythm and think about their meaning and context within the play to make them stick. I remembered a lot from The Tempest by doing this and just reading and rereading. The Wife of Bath, being essentially in a different language, was more of a brute force effort. So on the off-chance you have to do any Chaucer, expect to have to go for some hardcore rote memorisation...otherwise it should be a more organic and less stressful process. Key thing is to read the text a lot and think about the quotes.
Thank you very much! The "Booklet of Quotes" sounds like a great idea
My teacher is looking at doing Chaucer's "The Merchant's Prologue and Tale" - I've actually asked her not to make us study that, considering we could study Tennyson instead.
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math42
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(Original post by celloel)
Thank you very much! The "Booklet of Quotes" sounds like a great idea
My teacher is looking at doing Chaucer's "The Merchant's Prologue and Tale" - I've actually asked her not to make us study that, considering we could study Tennyson instead.
I definitely advocate your attempts to avoid Chaucer. Although reading Chaucer did have the strange benefit of making Shakespeare suddenly seem comprehensively comprehensible. It was so hard to know what was going on I spent my lessons prime factorizing the line numbers in my book...
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