AQA English Literature A2- Love through the ages (NEW SPEC)

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Kitkat2525
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Hey guys!
This could be the official A2 english AQA thread!
Im currently studying eng lit, and the second paper consists of othello extract, comparison of 2 unseen poems and comparing anthology poems with atonement. Could someone share their past essays on any of the categories or link me to exemplar essays/ student responses i would very much appreciate it😭😭
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Fox Corner
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Hiya! This is a nice exam thread - I've added it to the Exam Thread Directory 2017 Image

If you see any other exam threads threads that aren't in the directory yet - let me know by either tagging me in, or linking it in the directory and I can add it in! You can also find discussions for your other exams there.

If any of your other exams aren't on there yet - feel free to make the exam thread for it yourself Image

Good luck in your exams Image
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Obiejess
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Kitkat2525 Hey, what texts are you doing?
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tryingmybest2015
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I need to see a good Othello essay so bad
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MaryCullen
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Im completely stuck on how to write an unseen poetry comparison essay!!!
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Kkaebsaffy
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(Original post by MaryCullen)
Im completely stuck on how to write an unseen poetry comparison essay!!!
Have your teachers not gone through the structure to answer it by now?
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MaryCullen
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(Original post by Kkaebsaffy)
Have your teachers not gone through the structure to answer it by now?
NO! They are worse than useless! One of my WW1 texts, we have had two lessons on. How would you structure an unseen poetry essay?
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grace2309
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(Original post by MaryCullen)
NO! They are worse than useless! One of my WW1 texts, we have had two lessons on. How would you structure an unseen poetry essay?
SAME!!!
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amygracebroad
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I'm doing Othello, and then comparing Jane Eyre with the pre-1900 section of the poetry anthology (also, if anyone is doing the WW1 section of the other paper - I do Regeneration, My Boy Jack, and then Up The Line to Death)
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MaryCullen
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(Original post by amygracebroad)
I'm doing Othello, and then comparing Jane Eyre with the pre-1900 section of the poetry anthology (also, if anyone is doing the WW1 section of the other paper - I do Regeneration, My Boy Jack, and then Up The Line to Death)
Im doing the same love lit as you! How are you finding revision?
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amygracebroad
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(Original post by MaryCullen)
Im doing the same love lit as you! How are you finding revision?
Ahh good to find someone who's doing the same!!!! I'm finding revision alright, English is my favourite subject so that helps, definitely! I've stuck post it notes with Othello key quotes all over my bathroom, and I've just finished revision notes on the key passages of Jane Eyre (I picked 12 key sections of the novel to analyse in more detail). How about you?
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MaryCullen
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(Original post by amygracebroad)
Ahh good to find someone who's doing the same!!!! I'm finding revision alright, English is my favourite subject so that helps, definitely! I've stuck post it notes with Othello key quotes all over my bathroom, and I've just finished revision notes on the key passages of Jane Eyre (I picked 12 key sections of the novel to analyse in more detail). How about you?
Yeah I've finished a mind map on all the key themes in Jane Eyre with quotes and context etc. Im doing revision cards with all the key quotes for Othello to learn cos bobs its closed book which sucks! And then for poetry Ive done a revision card for each poem. Are you only doing pre 1900 poems? Not post as well?
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amygracebroad
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(Original post by MaryCullen)
Yeah I've finished a mind map on all the key themes in Jane Eyre with quotes and context etc. Im doing revision cards with all the key quotes for Othello to learn cos bobs its closed book which sucks! And then for poetry Ive done a revision card for each poem. Are you only doing pre 1900 poems? Not post as well?
Yeah we've only studied the pre-1900 poems
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Obiejess
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(Original post by amygracebroad)
I'm doing Othello, and then comparing Jane Eyre with the pre-1900 section of the poetry anthology (also, if anyone is doing the WW1 section of the other paper - I do Regeneration, My Boy Jack, and then Up The Line to Death)
Doing all the same texts, except I'm doing Gatsby instead of Jane Eyre!

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Kkaebsaffy
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(Original post by MaryCullen)
NO! They are worse than useless! One of my WW1 texts, we have had two lessons on. How would you structure an unseen poetry essay?
Oh my God that's bs, which war texts are you doing? I mean I have some useless teachers but I think I know how to approach all the questions.
SO for unseen poetry I'll try to give an overview

Okay so the question is laid out with 2 unseen poems we'll be given along with a comparative statement about the 2. Using the statement you're supposed to compare the 2 poems in light of it whilst outlining the extent to which you agree with the statement. This analysis would be expected to be including majority FSL (Form, Structure, Language) but any contextual points you can include will be good to support some of your claims.

This being said, the 1st thing I've been told to do - which is a useful starting point - is to identify which time period each poem is from E.G. Renaissance or Victorian Era; it's a bit annoying to learn but if you can remember the time period dates & something about their typicality it can really help you formulate an understanding of the poem. For example, if from Renaissance Era you'd be thinking of poets like Shakespeare which can help you remember to look out for use of sonnet form or iambic pentameter & what that means in light of the statement.

As a general point, when annotating each poem I try to be as specific as possible just as I would for the Anthology love poems but since it's unseen, try to have alist of the common language & form devices in poetry i.e. enjambment, caesura, rhyme, repetition, different semantic fields or lexis etc. It sounds so patronizing & simplistic but it's better to remind yourself because exam conditions stress us all out & can make us forget even the most basic things.

So when I formulate my response I'll tend to have 2 fully annotated poems for specific points for & against the statement. Most likely, the statement will be really easy to prove so I tend to weigh my argument with 2 points for & 1/2 against it, especially since we are limited with time BUT as far as I know, you don't get penalized for differing in the weight of your argument. Also the most important thing I've learned this year from my English class is that everyone structures their answers differently anyway, so long as you keep on track with the question & are being sophisticated & in depth it's all good, there's no set number of points either. Trust me I'm usually the one who writes 3 sides when people write 5 but can do just as well if not better. ANYWAY

Introduction - For my intro I tend to use the question wording & make clear confidently whether I agree more with the statement or not. I would also mention here the time period of the poems & how that it is relevant since it's good for contextual points. So I might say a poet writing in the modern era tends to present a looser, fragmented structure against maybe a more rigid Renaissance era poem which could reflect society's values or perhaps the love presented as a linked point. (IDK if that makes sense I'm sorry) Either way though I link it back to love & will compare through my own words to sum up my argument often embedding a couple of very short 1/2 word quotes to substantiate my claim.

Body paragraphs - These really aren't that different to any other comparative essay you will have written. I often start with the best language devices I can find in order to explain my argument & always remember to actually analyze the quote I include since that's where a lot of my peers often lose marks & I used to do this too. Anyway I simply sum up my agreement to the statement because the poet shows this through use of repetition (for example) to support the claim that the love presented is obsessive (once again, for example xD) as there is pressure to respond & repetition connotes to impatience & strong desire or whatever - you get it you know how to analyze FSL I am sure. To ensure I'm on focus though I include 2 similar points on each poem together in a paragraph/section to further make clear why my argument is correct & will always remember to include structural points because so often it's the little details like this which people forget & lose marks on. Since it's poetry, I always look out for lyrical poems, specific rhyme schemes & syllable stress patterns, iambic pentameter, rhyming couplets, & simple things like whether it's split into quatrains or the use of onomatopoeia &/or plosive words etc. Just remember to use discursive markers too so your argument is structured well & so your points link. Certainly, if you get to an opposing paragraph make it clear it's different with these markers & just generally try to go for a more in depth analysis especially if you don't like the poem just be very critical of it to the point that you would be of your own work (if that makes sense).

Conclusion - Always end with a bang, idk if you've heard this on the internet before but if it helps try to think that you'd drop a mic at the end of your essay so you know you've got that confident, critical voice. Remember that all examiners see us as is a number to mark & so we want to make it nice for them to read as well as clear for them to give us marks i.e. sum up your argument using the question wording so they KNOW you've answered the question & then identify specific feelings the poem emits which you can usually link to the purpose of the poem i.e. if it was for entertainment, criticism, philosophy etc. I personally like to end my essays with more embedded quotation & any context I can include. It's by no means necessary but if you can reference a text of the same era or with a similar message you can address your poems' typicality & if not, you can always refer to societal values like gender norms & religious influence. Also when referring to how the author shapes meanings try to be specific by summarizing some of the key techniques they used like conceit or hyperbole etc. I think the important thing with unseen is that because it is unseen they can't expect loads of extra info you don't see on the poem so it's really just about being as in depth with close textual analysis as possible.

I'm so sorry if this sounds basic or stupid or isn't helpful. I tried to help & god knows I hate when teachers give us less guidance & I mean if it helps I don't think I'm too horrible at this type of question, I was happy with my last timed essay on this section Q in class because I got 22/25 just by following these kind of simple steps & in timed conditions too, thank god XD Ahh I hope this was somewhat sensical

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MaryCullen
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(Original post by Kkaebsaffy)





Oh my God that's bs, which war texts are you doing? I mean I have some useless teachers but I think I know how to approach all the questions.
SO for unseen poetry I'll try to give an overview

Okay so the question is laid out with 2 unseen poems we'll be given along with a comparative statement about the 2. Using the statement you're supposed to compare the 2 poems in light of it whilst outlining the extent to which you agree with the statement. This analysis would be expected to be including majority FSL (Form, Structure, Language) but any contextual points you can include will be good to support some of your claims.

This being said, the 1st thing I've been told to do - which is a useful starting point - is to identify which time period each poem is from E.G. Renaissance or Victorian Era; it's a bit annoying to learn but if you can remember the time period dates & something about their typicality it can really help you formulate an understanding of the poem. For example, if from Renaissance Era you'd be thinking of poets like Shakespeare which can help you remember to look out for use of sonnet form or iambic pentameter & what that means in light of the statement.

As a general point, when annotating each poem I try to be as specific as possible just as I would for the Anthology love poems but since it's unseen, try to have alist of the common language & form devices in poetry i.e. enjambment, caesura, rhyme, repetition, different semantic fields or lexis etc. It sounds so patronizing & simplistic but it's better to remind yourself because exam conditions stress us all out & can make us forget even the most basic things.

So when I formulate my response I'll tend to have 2 fully annotated poems for specific points for & against the statement. Most likely, the statement will be really easy to prove so I tend to weigh my argument with 2 points for & 1/2 against it, especially since we are limited with time BUT as far as I know, you don't get penalized for differing in the weight of your argument. Also the most important thing I've learned this year from my English class is that everyone structures their answers differently anyway, so long as you keep on track with the question & are being sophisticated & in depth it's all good, there's no set number of points either. Trust me I'm usually the one who writes 3 sides when people write 5 but can do just as well if not better. ANYWAY

Introduction - For my intro I tend to use the question wording & make clear confidently whether I agree more with the statement or not. I would also mention here the time period of the poems & how that it is relevant since it's good for contextual points. So I might say a poet writing in the modern era tends to present a looser, fragmented structure against maybe a more rigid Renaissance era poem which could reflect society's values or perhaps the love presented as a linked point. (IDK if that makes sense I'm sorry) Either way though I link it back to love & will compare through my own words to sum up my argument often embedding a couple of very short 1/2 word quotes to substantiate my claim.

Body paragraphs - These really aren't that different to any other comparative essay you will have written. I often start with the best language devices I can find in order to explain my argument & always remember to actually analyze the quote I include since that's where a lot of my peers often lose marks & I used to do this too. Anyway I simply sum up my agreement to the statement because the poet shows this through use of repetition (for example) to support the claim that the love presented is obsessive (once again, for example xD) as there is pressure to respond & repetition connotes to impatience & strong desire or whatever - you get it you know how to analyze FSL I am sure. To ensure I'm on focus though I include 2 similar points on each poem together in a paragraph/section to further make clear why my argument is correct & will always remember to include structural points because so often it's the little details like this which people forget & lose marks on. Since it's poetry, I always look out for lyrical poems, specific rhyme schemes & syllable stress patterns, iambic pentameter, rhyming couplets, & simple things like whether it's split into quatrains or the use of onomatopoeia &/or plosive words etc. Just remember to use discursive markers too so your argument is structured well & so your points link. Certainly, if you get to an opposing paragraph make it clear it's different with these markers & just generally try to go for a more in depth analysis especially if you don't like the poem just be very critical of it to the point that you would be of your own work (if that makes sense).

Conclusion - Always end with a bang, idk if you've heard this on the internet before but if it helps try to think that you'd drop a mic at the end of your essay so you know you've got that confident, critical voice. Remember that all examiners see us as is a number to mark & so we want to make it nice for them to read as well as clear for them to give us marks i.e. sum up your argument using the question wording so they KNOW you've answered the question & then identify specific feelings the poem emits which you can usually link to the purpose of the poem i.e. if it was for entertainment, criticism, philosophy etc. I personally like to end my essays with more embedded quotation & any context I can include. It's by no means necessary but if you can reference a text of the same era or with a similar message you can address your poems' typicality & if not, you can always refer to societal values like gender norms & religious influence. Also when referring to how the author shapes meanings try to be specific by summarizing some of the key techniques they used like conceit or hyperbole etc. I think the important thing with unseen is that because it is unseen they can't expect loads of extra info you don't see on the poem so it's really just about being as in depth with close textual analysis as possible.

I'm so sorry if this sounds basic or stupid or isn't helpful. I tried to help & god knows I hate when teachers give us less guidance & I mean if it helps I don't think I'm too horrible at this type of question, I was happy with my last timed essay on this section Q in class because I got 22/25 just by following these kind of simple steps & in timed conditions too, thank god XD Ahh I hope this was somewhat sensical



This is SO SO SO helpful oh my goodness!! Its crazy how someone on TSR can be more helpful than two English teachers that I've had for 2 years!! Our war lit texts are 'Journey's End', 'First Casualty' (which we haven't acc studied...great) and the Oxford War Anthology!
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MaryCullen
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I think my school must be the only school that has taught us two love texts and we get to pick in the exam! So they have taught us both Jane Eyre and Great Gatsby and then we get to choose.
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amygracebroad
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(Original post by MaryCullen)
I think my school must be the only school that has taught us two love texts and we get to pick in the exam! So they have taught us both Jane Eyre and Great Gatsby and then we get to choose.
we were taught Rebecca last year (because we did the AS exam and we had to compare the two) but then this year our teachers decided that Jane Eyre was a better comparison text, so we just don't do Rebecca anymore
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Kkaebsaffy
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(Original post by MaryCullen)
This is SO SO SO helpful oh my goodness!! Its crazy how someone on TSR can be more helpful than two English teachers that I've had for 2 years!! Our war lit texts are 'Journey's End', 'First Casualty' (which we haven't acc studied...great) and the Oxford War Anthology!
Ahh I'm glad I could help smh I can't stand incompetent teachers & us struggling students gotta help each other out TBH If you wanted to talk about anything more you can always pm me cause I find it useful talking it through either way ^^

Ooh rip I do 'Journey's End' too otherwise you have a different second text & anthology to me cause we do 'A Long Long Way' & then the 'Scars Upon My Heart' anthology. TBH at least 'Journey's End' is alright & as for your teachers not teaching you your other text, defo look out for any study guides & stuff online because although I don't personally like study guides for English, you sadly have to teach yourself because of your stupid teachers
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Iloveowls16
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(Original post by Obiejess)
Doing all the same texts, except I'm doing Gatsby instead of Jane Eyre!

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Doing the exact same!
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