Calling A Grade English Lit Students A-Level

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TheAlchemistress
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When I write essays I normally get 12-13/25 marks, so it is like a grade D/C, but I don't know how to improve. I have been told by my teacher AO2 and AO3 needs to be strengthened, but I still can't seem to do it. She said that I know the play well and I can jumped 2-3 levels, but I want it to strengthened now, so I can get used to writing like this.
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username2911200
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(Original post by TheAlchemistress)
When I write essays I normally get 12-13/25 marks, so it is like a grade D/C, but I don't know how to improve. I have been told by my teacher AO2 and AO3 needs to be strengthened, but I still can't seem to do it. She said that I know the play well and I can jumped 2-3 levels, but I want it to strengthened now, so I can get used to writing like this.
How are you structuring your essays? How much outside reading for context are you doing? How concise are you being and how much are you writing? I'm consistently getting full marks in A2 class essays.
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by Glassapple)
How are you structuring your essays? How much outside reading for context are you doing? How concise are you being and how much are you writing? I'm consistently getting full marks in A2 class essays.
Introduction
PEE point, evidence, explanation
conclusion

I read the whole book twice to jog my memory.
I write around 3 pages, double sided in an hour.
My paragraphs are like a page long.
I define terminology and the I add context and the impact it has on the audience.
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TheAlchemistress
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The Empire Odyssey
Stiff Little Fingers
Kvothe the Arcane
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auburnstar
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Hi, I got an A* in English Literature (A* in all papers).

My main advice is the following:

1. Have a clear argument -> this is the most important thing. English lit essays are essentially argumentative - you answer a question through elaborating and proving a particular view (that eg Othello is a tragic hero, or that The Wife of Bath is a figure without morals etc).
2. Answer the AOs in every single paragraph, check that you are hitting each assessment objective. I did Edexcel, so in certain essays, we would have to consider a critical viewpoint and refer to both socio-historical context and literary analysis.
3. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence - a sentence that sums up your main kernel of the argument for that paragraph. End each paragraph with a sentence summarising what you have analysed and discovered. These serve as "bookends" for your argument and are useful for an examiner who is short on time.

I have some examples of A* essays, including an essay very similar to an exam essay (same topic) that received an A* in the exam. If you want examples, I can provide some. English lit is really about nailing what they want, and once you figure that out it becomes a lot more intuitive (and it took me a while, I got a B at AS!).
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username2911200
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(Original post by TheAlchemistress)
Introduction
PEE point, evidence, explanation
conclusion

I read the whole book twice to jog my memory.
I write around 3 pages, double sided in an hour.
My paragraphs are like a page long.
I define terminology and the I add context and the impact it has on the audience.
You really should be using PEEDAE at this point; PEE is GCSE level. Your paragraphs are way too long so you're not being concise enough at all. If your essay is around 3 pages and each page is a paragraph then that's a massive reason why you're not getting above a C or D. Even if you write more than that and each paragraph is a page long that's really, really bad essay writing.
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by auburnstar)
Hi, I got an A* in English Literature (A* in all papers).

My main advice is the following:

1. Have a clear argument -> this is the most important thing. English lit essays are essentially argumentative - you answer a question through elaborating and proving a particular view (that eg Othello is a tragic hero, or that The Wife of Bath is a figure without morals etc).
2. Answer the AOs in every single paragraph, check that you are hitting each assessment objective. I did Edexcel, so in certain essays, we would have to consider a critical viewpoint and refer to both socio-historical context and literary analysis.
3. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence - a sentence that sums up your main kernel of the argument for that paragraph. End each paragraph with a sentence summarising what you have analysed and discovered. These serve as "bookends" for your argument and are useful for an examiner who is short on time.

I have some examples of A* essays, including an essay very similar to an exam essay (same topic) that received an A* in the exam. If you want examples, I can provide some. English lit is really about nailing what they want, and once you figure that out it becomes a lot more intuitive (and it took me a while, I got a B at AS!).
Thanks, I am doing edexcel too.
Studying: Dr.Faustus, The Handmaids tale, Romanticism, Poems of the decade, Frankenstein.
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auburnstar
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(Original post by TheAlchemistress)
Thanks, I am doing edexcel too.
Studying: Dr.Faustus, The Handmaids tale, Romanticism, Poems of the decade, Frankenstein.
I did all of those texts, except Romanticism was replaced by the Wife of Bath and we also did Othello.
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by Glassapple)
You really should be using PEEDAE at this point; PEE is GCSE level. Your paragraphs are way too long so you're not being concise enough at all. If your essay is around 3 pages and each page is a paragraph then that's a massive reason why you're not getting above a C or D. Even if you write more than that and each paragraph is a page long that's really, really bad essay writing.
What is PEEDAE?
My teacher did say that my paragraphs has to be long, and she didn't tell me that they are too long.
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LeapingLucy
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(Original post by TheAlchemistress)
When I write essays I normally get 12-13/25 marks, so it is like a grade D/C, but I don't know how to improve. I have been told by my teacher AO2 and AO3 needs to be strengthened, but I still can't seem to do it. She said that I know the play well and I can jumped 2-3 levels, but I want it to strengthened now, so I can get used to writing like this.
Which exam board? The AOs vary.
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by auburnstar)
I did all of those texts, except Romanticism was replaced by the Wife of Bath and we also did Othello.
I think we are doing Othello too.
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by LeapingLucy)
Which exam board? The AOs vary.
Edexcel, AO2 would be analysis and A03 context,
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username2911200
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(Original post by TheAlchemistress)
What is PEEDAE?
My teacher did say that my paragraphs has to be long, and she didn't tell me that they are too long.
Point, Evidence, Explain, Develop, Analyse and Evaluate; this is literally the first thing my English teacher told us at AS and said to forget about PEE completely. You're saying that in a 3 page essay (with your paragraphs being a page each), you're doing a paragraph/page for the introduction, a paragraph/page for the main body and a paragraph/page for the conclusion? Again even if you're writing more pages than that, a paragraph really shouldn't be a page long at all. The examiner will rightly think that you have no concept of how to be concise and no concept of how to separate points from each other.
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by Glassapple)
Point, Evidence, Explain, Develop, Analyse and Evaluate; this is literally the first thing my English teacher told us at AS and said to forget about PEE completely. You're saying that in a 3 page essay (with your paragraphs being a page each), you're doing a paragraph/page for the introduction, a paragraph/page for the main body and a paragraph/page for the conclusion? Again even if you're writing more pages than that, a paragraph really shouldn't be a page long at all. The examiner will rightly think that you have no concept of how to be concise and no concept of how to separate points from each other.
Introduction is like 4-6 lines.
Each paragraph is long, depends on handwriting, sometimes fluctuates.
I write around 3-4 paragraphs.
Conclusion is like 5 lines.
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TheAlchemistress
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lionawilliams
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(Original post by Glassapple)
How are you structuring your essays? How much outside reading for context are you doing? How concise are you being and how much are you writing? I'm consistently getting full marks in A2 class essays.
Could you possibly send a picture of what your work looks like? We'd like to see how you structure it and what points you make, seeing what it takes to be a top scorer. Personally I get between 17 - 22, personally for me that is not good enough, I want top marks. Is there a certain style, structure that you have begun using?
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by lionawilliams)
Could you possibly send a picture of what your work looks like? We'd like to see how you structure it and what points you make, seeing what it takes to be a top scorer. Personally I get between 17 - 22, personally for me that is not good enough, I want top marks. Is there a certain style, structure that you have begun using?
I don't have anything on me because everything is kept at school. But I could possibly type one up.
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lionawilliams
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(Original post by TheAlchemistress)
Introduction is like 4-6 lines.
Each paragraph is long, depends on handwriting, sometimes fluctuates.
I write around 3-4 paragraphs.
Conclusion is like 5 lines.

In regards to developing your point? How would that be done and in regards to analysis, what should I look for? Analysing techniques?
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lionawilliams
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(Original post by TheAlchemistress)
I don't have anything on me because everything is kept at school. But I could possibly type one up.
I would honestly appreciate that so much and if you could help by pointing out how you came to that style, structure and etc. Then, this would also be very much appreciated. I'd be happy to give you rep and put a great message on your profile for TSR peers to see, as a thank you.
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by lionawilliams)
In regards to developing your point? How would that be done and in regards to analysis, what should I look for? Analysing techniques?
Layers of interpretations. Context. There isn't much just AO2 and AO3.
In regards to developing my analysis I would use a terminology and say how it has affected the character and the impact it has had. I would give a counter balanced argument sometimes, but I mostly stick to one side. I would try and give interpretations for Dr. Faustus, but that doesn't help I find it more easier to do it for romanticism.
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