dsdemona
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CfE ADVANCED HIGHER ENGLISH 2017/18

Hello everyone.

Welcome to the Advanced Higher English thread. This is a thread for those who are studying Advanced Higher English for the term of 2017/18. You are welcomed to use this thread to discuss and ask questions on any aspect of the course, suggest any good resources/textbooks/books/authors etc. Anyone who had previously studied the course would also be more than welcomed to provide any help or advice as well as sharing their experience of the subject as a whole.

The course is broken down to 4 components:
1. Question paper: Literary Study 20 marks
2. Question paper: Textual Analysis 20 marks
3. Portfolio: Writing 30 marks
4. Project: Dissertation 30 marks

Any useful resources and any other vital information/tips suggested will be updated in this top post on a regular basis.

RESOURCES:
- DISSERTATION IDEAS: http://www.shetland-library.gov.uk/d...gbysubject.pdf


Best of luck x
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dsdemona
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Anyone got any ideas for their dissertation project?

I'm thinking about doing:
- The study of race inequality in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The Colour Purple by Alice Walker.
- The study of jealousy in Othello and The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare.
- The study of power in King Lear and Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare.
- The study of love/marriage in Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion by Jane Austen.
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2012theyear
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I have no idea what to do for the dissertation, do you think I could use a book from my higher since I found it really easy and then get another book (i have no idea what) to compare it to? I don't know, my teacher didn't explain it that much, or I wasn't listening properly. Most likely the latter.
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rebeccas23
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(Original post by 2012theyear)
I have no idea what to do for the dissertation, do you think I could use a book from my higher since I found it really easy and then get another book (i have no idea what) to compare it to? I don't know, my teacher didn't explain it that much, or I wasn't listening properly. Most likely the latter.
Hey - I did AH English this past year. You can't do a book you did at Higher in your dissertation, it must be one that you haven't studied prior in school. There's a site on the Shetland Library with a list of potential dissertation topics if you search "advanced higher English dissertation", maybe take some inspiration from that. But make sure you like your chosen literature before you start, as you'll analyse it to death throughout the year.
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Puppo
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(Original post by rebeccas23)
Hey - I did AH English this past year. You can't do a book you did at Higher in your dissertation, it must be one that you haven't studied prior in school. There's a site on the Shetland Library with a list of potential dissertation topics if you search "advanced higher English dissertation", maybe take some inspiration from that. But make sure you like your chosen literature before you start, as you'll analyse it to death throughout the year.
Hi, I returned to school on Monday and have been considering AH English as I have many gaps in my timetable due to my AH classes being only 2-3 periods a week. Can I ask how difficult you found it and how great a jump it was from higher? English is one of my stronger subjects which is why I am considering it, but I do not want to take it only to find it is too great a workload with my other subjects. I found there wasn't a great difference between N5 and Higher but I imagine AH will be a significant jump. Lastly, how many periods did you get a week?
Thanks much.
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Lauren84
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Could someone please explain what is meant by a dissertation? I'm doing advanced, but the teacher neglected to mention anything about the course.
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dsdemona
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(Original post by rebeccas23)
Hey - I did AH English this past year. You can't do a book you did at Higher in your dissertation, it must be one that you haven't studied prior in school. There's a site on the Shetland Library with a list of potential dissertation topics if you search "advanced higher English dissertation", maybe take some inspiration from that. But make sure you like your chosen literature before you start, as you'll analyse it to death throughout the year.
It sucks that we're not allowed to do a text that is previously studied at Higher level. I really enjoyed studying Othello.

I just took a look at that website and it is filled with so many good ideas. Thank you for the suggestion.

(Original post by Puppo)
Hi, I returned to school on Monday and have been considering AH English as I have many gaps in my timetable due to my AH classes being only 2-3 periods a week. Can I ask how difficult you found it and how great a jump it was from higher? English is one of my stronger subjects which is why I am considering it, but I do not want to take it only to find it is too great a workload with my other subjects. I found there wasn't a great difference between N5 and Higher but I imagine AH will be a significant jump. Lastly, how many periods did you get a week?
Thanks much.
2-3? I'm going to get 5 periods of each AH class a week. You must have so many free periods.

I'm also a bit nervous for AH English as from what I've heard from my friends, the workload is quite big. But I'm sure we'll be fine as long we will put in all the work and effort.

(Original post by Lauren84)
Could someone please explain what is meant by a dissertation? I'm doing advanced, but the teacher neglected to mention anything about the course.
A dissertation is a long essay, approximately 2500-3000 words, on a particular topic. You are required to choose two texts (prose/poetry/drama) which share a common theme and analyse them in depth. You are not allowed to write about a text you have previously studied at Higher level and the assessment is graded A-D. It is worth 30% of your final grade.
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dsdemona
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The Shetland website on dissertation topics has been added to the list of resources in the top post.
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Puppo
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I get 32 periods a week and have 21 study periods haha my school is **** tbh. Sucks though as I feel having less teacher time (currently one period a week for chem for example) is going to disadvantage me. At least it'll be good practice for the future. Hopefully my school is running AH English this year but I've heard it isn't which is odd considering 6+ people have chosen it compared to chem which is running and has 2 students. If I end up taking it I'm sure I'll collate resources which I'll post here.
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rebeccas23
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(Original post by Puppo)
Hi, I returned to school on Monday and have been considering AH English as I have many gaps in my timetable due to my AH classes being only 2-3 periods a week. Can I ask how difficult you found it and how great a jump it was from higher? English is one of my stronger subjects which is why I am considering it, but I do not want to take it only to find it is too great a workload with my other subjects. I found there wasn't a great difference between N5 and Higher but I imagine AH will be a significant jump. Lastly, how many periods did you get a week?
Thanks much.
Personally, I found AH probably twice as hard as Higher, although it's subjective for each individual. IMO, you have to put A LOT more of your own time and effort into keeping up with deadlines for dissertation and folio drafts as well as practice exam essays, etc. The exam paper itself isn't too much more difficult - one textual analysis essay (think an extended close reading) and one essay on a poet/playwright/author - but it's the dissertation and folio I found most time consuming and stressful. You have to be really self-motivated and driven in order to do well. I'd really recommend getting sorted on your dissertation topic before summer so you're not faffing about for months into the course trying to find two linked texts - wish I'd done this

I got 6 periods of AH English a week; four were with a teacher, two were not. We changed teacher halfway through the year which made it even more difficult to keep up with the workload of drafts and constant studying. However I do think AH English is a really rewarding subject, and if you're very passionate about literature then you'll do well Any more questions I'd be happy to help!
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Puppo
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Thanks for getting back and I hope you get the grade you want I asked my school today if it is running and they said yes but only one period a week so may leave it as I'm already doing a lot of self study, I'll think about it over the weekend.
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leoq8
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Hey everyone! I am also studiyng AH English this year.

I have no clue what to do my dissertation on but I quite like individual work like assignments and dissertations etc., so I want to make sure it's decent.
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dsdemona
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(Original post by leoq8)
Hey everyone! I am also studiyng AH English this year.

I have no clue what to do my dissertation on but I quite like individual work like assignments and dissertations etc., so I want to make sure it's decent.
Don't worry, we've still got plenty of time to get it sorted out. I suggest you look at the Shetland website (thanks to @rebeccas23) I posted in the top post which has got loads of good dissertation topics. Please don't hesitate to ask here for help


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r.kelly13
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Hi everyone! I did Advanced Higher English last year and I thought I'd offer you all some helpful advice that I received! One thing I would REALLY emphasise when choosing your dissertation topic and books is that you choose books of significant literary merit (if you are choosing fiction novels) because speaking to a teacher who actually marks the dissertations - they always do much better and have far more critics to also add to the dissertation. So rather than books like 'The Help' or 'The Lovely Bones', maybe think more like 'Jane Eyre', 'Brave New World', 'The Bell Jar', 'On The Road' and so forth. When it comes to actually researching and gathering evidence for your dissertation, choosing books of literary merit will have FAR more helpful critical analysis to build on your topic (plus you'll likely get a higher mark!!). I would also recommend to think outside the box or look at something a bit different for your topic. For example taking two books commonly paired together, like '1984' and 'Brave New World' or 'Jane Eyre' and 'Rebecca' - but focus on an aspect of the novels not commonly written about, because this will be more refreshing for the markers. Most of all I will say to pick books, or plays, or poetry that you LIKE and actually ENJOY! I read nine books before picking the two that I enjoyed the most and thought went well together. This way the dissertation won't be quite so painful.... Please let me know if you have any other questions or queries - happy to help.
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jamesg2
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(Original post by r.kelly13)
Hi everyone! I did Advanced Higher English last year and I thought I'd offer you all some helpful advice that I received! One thing I would REALLY emphasise when choosing your dissertation topic and books is that you choose books of significant literary merit (if you are choosing fiction novels) because speaking to a teacher who actually marks the dissertations - they always do much better and have far more critics to also add to the dissertation. So rather than books like 'The Help' or 'The Lovely Bones', maybe think more like 'Jane Eyre', 'Brave New World', 'The Bell Jar', 'On The Road' and so forth. When it comes to actually researching and gathering evidence for your dissertation, choosing books of literary merit will have FAR more helpful critical analysis to build on your topic (plus you'll likely get a higher mark!!). I would also recommend to think outside the box or look at something a bit different for your topic. For example taking two books commonly paired together, like '1984' and 'Brave New World' or 'Jane Eyre' and 'Rebecca' - but focus on an aspect of the novels not commonly written about, because this will be more refreshing for the markers. Most of all I will say to pick books, or plays, or poetry that you LIKE and actually ENJOY! I read nine books before picking the two that I enjoyed the most and thought went well together. This way the dissertation won't be quite so painful.... Please let me know if you have any other questions or queries - happy to help.
This is excellent advice. I agree that choosing your book - and also wanting to gain the highest marks - the book must have gravitas. Looking at other book choices I would put it this way. It is perfectly possible to gain an outstanding advanced higher grade choosing Enid Blyton. However - and here is the problem - the quality of analyse and your thinking needs to be extraordinarily high to overcome the limitations of an author like Enid Blyton.

So I agree when choosing your book look to the classic authors. As R. Kelly pointed out, it is with these authors that you are likely to find the kind of support you need. One author that I am looking at is Walter Scott. There is some astounding support material on him - maybe because Edinburgh University have recently published his entire catalogue in a new academic version.

As for two works, I am not a great fan of that. I have never been convinced that the two works ever get the kind of focus that a single work commands.

I agree with R Kelly that you should choose something you like OR - and equally important - something you have always been interested in but never got round to looking at. Curiosity is just as important as "liking" and "wanting" to study.

However - and I will end on this point - whatever work you do choose the more gravitas the work has the easier your dissertation might be because you then have call on years of research carried out by respected academics.
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dsdemona
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(Original post by jamesg2)
This is excellent advice. I agree that choosing your book - and also wanting to gain the highest marks - the book must have gravitas. Looking at other book choices I would put it this way. It is perfectly possible to gain an outstanding advanced higher grade choosing Enid Blyton. However - and here is the problem - the quality of analyse and your thinking needs to be extraordinarily high to overcome the limitations of an author like Enid Blyton.

So I agree when choosing your book look to the classic authors. As R. Kelly pointed out, it is with these authors that you are likely to find the kind of support you need. One author that I am looking at is Walter Scott. There is some astounding support material on him - maybe because Edinburgh University have recently published his entire catalogue in a new academic version.

As for two works, I am not a great fan of that. I have never been convinced that the two works ever get the kind of focus that a single work commands.

I agree with R Kelly that you should choose something you like OR - and equally important - something you have always been interested in but never got round to looking at. Curiosity is just as important as "liking" and "wanting" to study.

However - and I will end on this point - whatever work you do choose the more gravitas the work has the easier your dissertation might be because you then have call on years of research carried out by respected academics.
Guys, thank you so much for your helpful advice! I have a few further questions:
1. Which classic authors would you consider to be worthwhile to take look at?
2. What sort of topics/themes does the SQA like reading about?
3. One of my teachers is pushing my class towards writing about two novels but I've been considering doing two Shakespeare plays. Would this have the same potential as two novels would?
4. My other teacher said that I could write about a text that I have studied previously at higher level. What would the SQA think of this?

I'm sorry this is a lot of questions haha




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liukangvsryu
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Also doing adv English this year. Does anyone have any idea on the portfolio part of the course? My teacher mentioned that it's to be comprised of 2 essays. I did a reflective essay and a persuasive essay for my higher portfolio. Is it much the same at adv or are the topics or/and requirements disparate?
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r.kelly13
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(Original post by dsdemona)
Guys, thank you so much for your helpful advice! I have a few further questions:
1. Which classic authors would you consider to be worthwhile to take look at?
2. What sort of topics/themes does the SQA like reading about?
3. One of my teachers is pushing my class towards writing about two novels but I've been considering doing two Shakespeare plays. Would this have the same potential as two novels would?
4. My other teacher said that I could write about a text that I have studied previously at higher level. What would the SQA think of this?

I'm sorry this is a lot of questions haha




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So glad you found it useful!
1. Generally I'd say it is all really down to personal taste, for example I really enjoyed studying dystopian/science fiction classic authors such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury and Philip K ****, whereas one of my friends fell in love with Charles Dickens! I'd dip into various classic authors just to see what you enjoy the most because it'll be very different for everyone.
2. In all honesty I'm not 100% sure, however I really believe it is the depth of knowledge and analysis on the topic itself that they are impressed by, having looked at ones with high marks. For example I looked into the role of language in two of my novels societies, whereas others I know looked into the theme of madness or the relevance of setting. I have been told by teachers who mark dissertations that its good to be rather specific in your topic as you are able to go in far greater depth than that of a broad topic with far more to cover!
3. Again, I really think it is up to your own taste but I would definitely recommend looking into Shakespeare ('The Winter's Tale' and 'The Tempest' go excellently together!) as there is so so so much to look at in all of his plays with plenty of analysis and tons of critics!! I wrote about Shakespeare in my final exam and actually enjoyed it a lot.
4. I am almost completely sure that the SQA marker will have no knowledge of what you have studied at Higher when they mark your work so it should not matter - but personally I think for English that trying out new texts is not only refreshing but it will improve your ability to analyse and understand a wider variety of texts.
Hope this is helpful!
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hannahahmed
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I don't know what to do for my dissertation.
I was thinking about doing depression/mental health, and using The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Is this a good choice?
I also really love Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, but I don't know what i would compare it with, or if it is even a good text for dissertations.
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JM_1998
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I studied cfe AH English 2015-16, got an A1 and I'm going into 2nd year at uni for English Lit @ St Andrews - coasting on 75%+ so if anyone wants any advice about AH English or English Lit at uni hmu
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