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    Okay so I’ve just started my AS courses with English literature, maths and geography. Basically, I feel like I am at such a loose end with English literature at the moment. In class it is mainly discussion based and we make some notes but no where near the same amount as my other subjects.
    I’m struggling because I don’t really know how to revise English literature. Or at least, what I can do throughout the year to keep on top of it.
    At GCSE I got a grade 9 in it although I had no strong revision method so I was wondering if anyone had any advice on what I can do to keep up with English literature?? If it helps I’m studying The Great Gatsby, Othello, Persuasion as well as poetry.
    Thank you!!
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    I've been feeling a similar thing, and the best thing to do is independent research. Watch videos and read other peoples papers on the texts you study, read up about the authors and their lives to give context, and read up on writing techniques (language, structure and form for poetry).

    Summarising the main points from discussions is also a good idea, so take notes as people speak (I think you can get marks for multiple perspectives?). Keep reading and re-reading your texts, and summarise lessons after (try and fit it all in one page, or do a mind map or something. Rummaging through boring pages of notes is gonna suck so make it fun and easy!). If you think you're struggling or missing out on something ask your teacher about it!
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    (Original post by crocodile_ears)
    I've been feeling a similar thing, and the best thing to do is independent research. Watch videos and read other peoples papers on the texts you study, read up about the authors and their lives to give context, and read up on writing techniques (language, structure and form for poetry).

    Summarising the main points from discussions is also a good idea, so take notes as people speak (I think you can get marks for multiple perspectives?). Keep reading and re-reading your texts, and summarise lessons after (try and fit it all in one page, or do a mind map or something. Rummaging through boring pages of notes is gonna suck so make it fun and easy!). If you think you're struggling or missing out on something ask your teacher about it!
    Thank you!!
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    Hi, I take literature at A level and am predicted an A*. I'm not going to lie and pretend I do loads of work outside of class for English because I don't do as much as I should but I do have some general advice! My first would be, whenever you do a piece of assessed work make note of the teacher's feedback so you can implement it on your next piece of work. If your assignment has Ao4 assessed (Context), wider reading on the historical and political context of the texts is a really good way to start. If you include an interpretation from a critic in your work and evaluate it, you'll attract more marks as well, so if you watch and read some critical interpretations of your drama/poetry this will be really useful.
    Honestly, you get a lot of your marks at A level literature through how you structure your argument. You need to constantly be asking yourself if the points you're making are relevant to your thesis and your question. Be concise, but eloquent with your writing. The more literature criticism you read, the better your expression will get and your teachers will love it so if you're going to do anything, this is what you should do!
    In terms of revision, I find making mind maps with the key themes and quotations really useful. But since we haven't done any AS exams for literature, I haven't really trialled this out in full and our mocks were on an unseen passage so it was a little different!
    With coursework, choose a question that gives you a lot of scope to work with so you can come at it from different angles and have lots of choice in terms of developing an argument. Think deeply and wisely about your texts, read critical reviews for some inspiration. With my first piece of coursework which we just completed, I had a thesis about the author depicting the protagonist as an emblem for the flaws of the human condition. You've got to really unpack the meaning of the text and think about it in the wider context (even if you have to go crazy like me.) Since you got a 9 at GCSE, you'll be absolutely fine! I remember my first piece of work I got a B and I was really disappointed but you'll adapt to the demands of A level literature soon. Ill be really surprised if you don't come out with an A*! Good luck
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    I dropped English Lit at the end of year 12 but I got an A in the AS level so I'll tell you what I did (I was on OCR).
    - I always did the essays the teacher set even if they were optional, and really took on the advice they said so I could improve. I also (nearer the exams) always wrote in timed conditions so was used to the timings. The only other thing I can say is focus on the question throughout your essay and make it flow well (so you're showing the examiner you know what they're asking you)
    - I read all my texts at least twice and for the ones with films/play adaptations I would watch some of them as it reinforces the story and can be good for interpretation (if that's an assessment objective)
    - Following on, it's so important to learn your assessment objectives e.g. If one paper is 50% context, you need to be really good on context and if one paper is say 40% language analysis you need to know that. This way you know what the examiners are looking for when marking!
    - Learn your quotes!!! Learn plenty but only learn them if they're useful and you can make a point out of them - not just for the sake of it. I learnt them by chapter and character and because I learnt quite a few for every text, it was so easy to think of them in the exam!

    Good luck, you'll be fine. In one of my texts I basically got Cs all year so really don't worry if you feel lost with English at the moment! I also only got an A at English Lit GCSE so the fact you got a 9 puts you in a really good position x
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    Hi, I've just started year 13 and I'm doing English Lit. too - and I can totally see where you're coming from. I agree with the others - doing background research for context is a great idea, although different papers weight each AO differently, so I'd check which ones of yours need it as some don't have any marks for context (I'm doing OCR, and my dystopian novels and pre-1900 play/text weight it the most). Different perspectives and interpretations are useful too, so you could watch different adaptations, if they exist? (If you want to reference them in your papers, remember to always use the director's name, not an actor!) Reading reviews and general pieces of writing on them will help too, but make sure that anything that you reference in writing is by a reputable critic - it's generally best to stay away from sites like Wikipedia, and random independent blogs, because anyone can put anything they want on them! I'd recommend Connell Guides - I've checked and there's one for each of the things you're studying - they're really handy little books that are full of so much juicy stuff to help you understand what you're studying! And if I'm not mistaken they also have a list at the back of further reading you can do, and you know that they're all from genuine, reputable sources too.
    A final tip, for exams - plan! Plan, plan, plan. It is SO important. I never used to plan my essays in exams, because I thought it took up too much time, but I did for my end of year exams last summer (my school isn't doing the new AS exams) and it genuinely helped me SO much. I absolutely bombed my GCSE lit. exam, but I managed to get 88% in summer because of my planning.
    I hope I've helped! Good luck, and remember that if you're really stuck with an essay or something, you can always go and talk to your teachers - that's what they're there for!
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    (Original post by hopefulmedic101)
    Hi, I take literature at A level and am predicted an A*. I'm not going to lie and pretend I do loads of work outside of class for English because I don't do as much as I should but I do have some general advice! My first would be, whenever you do a piece of assessed work make note of the teacher's feedback so you can implement it on your next piece of work. If your assignment has Ao4 assessed (Context), wider reading on the historical and political context of the texts is a really good way to start. If you include an interpretation from a critic in your work and evaluate it, you'll attract more marks as well, so if you watch and read some critical interpretations of your drama/poetry this will be really useful.
    Honestly, you get a lot of your marks at A level literature through how you structure your argument. You need to constantly be asking yourself if the points you're making are relevant to your thesis and your question. Be concise, but eloquent with your writing. The more literature criticism you read, the better your expression will get and your teachers will love it so if you're going to do anything, this is what you should do!
    In terms of revision, I find making mind maps with the key themes and quotations really useful. But since we haven't done any AS exams for literature, I haven't really trialled this out in full and our mocks were on an unseen passage so it was a little different!
    With coursework, choose a question that gives you a lot of scope to work with so you can come at it from different angles and have lots of choice in terms of developing an argument. Think deeply and wisely about your texts, read critical reviews for some inspiration. With my first piece of coursework which we just completed, I had a thesis about the author depicting the protagonist as an emblem for the flaws of the human condition. You've got to really unpack the meaning of the text and think about it in the wider context (even if you have to go crazy like me.) Since you got a 9 at GCSE, you'll be absolutely fine! I remember my first piece of work I got a B and I was really disappointed but you'll adapt to the demands of A level literature soon. Ill be really surprised if you don't come out with an A*! Good luck
    Thank you for such a lovely reply!! It’s so helpful to hear someone’s ideas on how best to revise and I have found mind maps v. helpful in the past so I’ll try that. And a few people have mentioned using critics opinions so I’ll try and give that a go,
    Thanks again!!
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    (Original post by Cxletteee)
    I dropped English Lit at the end of year 12 but I got an A in the AS level so I'll tell you what I did (I was on OCR).
    - I always did the essays the teacher set even if they were optional, and really took on the advice they said so I could improve. I also (nearer the exams) always wrote in timed conditions so was used to the timings. The only other thing I can say is focus on the question throughout your essay and make it flow well (so you're showing the examiner you know what they're asking you)
    - I read all my texts at least twice and for the ones with films/play adaptations I would watch some of them as it reinforces the story and can be good for interpretation (if that's an assessment objective)
    - Following on, it's so important to learn your assessment objectives e.g. If one paper is 50% context, you need to be really good on context and if one paper is say 40% language analysis you need to know that. This way you know what the examiners are looking for when marking!
    - Learn your quotes!!! Learn plenty but only learn them if they're useful and you can make a point out of them - not just for the sake of it. I learnt them by chapter and character and because I learnt quite a few for every text, it was so easy to think of them in the exam!

    Good luck, you'll be fine. In one of my texts I basically got Cs all year so really don't worry if you feel lost with English at the moment! I also only got an A at English Lit GCSE so the fact you got a 9 puts you in a really good position x
    Thank you!! At GCSE I never thought to find out how weighted the AOs were so I’ll deffo ask my teacher before the next essay we do!
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    (Original post by bethany_s)
    Thank you!! At GCSE I never thought to find out how weighted the AOs were so I’ll deffo ask my teacher before the next essay we do!
    Yes I never knew it at GCSE either but I really made an effort at AS and found it really useful - it's also very helpful for planning as if one AO is double the weighting of another, you can plan to make double the number of points (for example)
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    (Original post by sophie_schell)
    Hi, I've just started year 13 and I'm doing English Lit. too - and I can totally see where you're coming from. I agree with the others - doing background research for context is a great idea, although different papers weight each AO differently, so I'd check which ones of yours need it as some don't have any marks for context (I'm doing OCR, and my dystopian novels and pre-1900 play/text weight it the most). Different perspectives and interpretations are useful too, so you could watch different adaptations, if they exist? (If you want to reference them in your papers, remember to always use the director's name, not an actor!) Reading reviews and general pieces of writing on them will help too, but make sure that anything that you reference in writing is by a reputable critic - it's generally best to stay away from sites like Wikipedia, and random independent blogs, because anyone can put anything they want on them! I'd recommend Connell Guides - I've checked and there's one for each of the things you're studying - they're really handy little books that are full of so much juicy stuff to help you understand what you're studying! And if I'm not mistaken they also have a list at the back of further reading you can do, and you know that they're all from genuine, reputable sources too.
    A final tip, for exams - plan! Plan, plan, plan. It is SO important. I never used to plan my essays in exams, because I thought it took up too much time, but I did for my end of year exams last summer (my school isn't doing the new AS exams) and it genuinely helped me SO much. I absolutely bombed my GCSE lit. exam, but I managed to get 88% in summer because of my planning.
    I hope I've helped! Good luck, and remember that if you're really stuck with an essay or something, you can always go and talk to your teachers - that's what they're there for!
    Thank you!! I will definitely check out the Connell guides. I also 100% agree with the whole planning thing, I never used to do it as I thought it wasted too much time but it is the best way to get a good grade
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    (Original post by Cxletteee)
    Yes I never knew it at GCSE either but I really made an effort at AS and found it really useful - it's also very helpful for planning as if one AO is double the weighting of another, you can plan to make double the number of points (for example)
    Ooo yeah I didn’t think about it like that!
 
 
 
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