katie091000
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This might be a little bit confusing to explain, but I’m going to try my best.
In the recent A Level exams, I did OCR English literature and I’m not sure if I messed up on my context for paper 1. I did A Dolls House and Rossetti for my 30 marker.
Basically, I accidentally started writing context for Ibsen, (A Dolls house,) and visa versa. So for example I’d be like, ‘In No Thank you John (A poem by Rossetti,) we see.. blah blah blah.. Context relating to this can be seen in Ibsen’s life.../ this link a contextually to Ibsen...

These authors had (I think) a gap of 50 years between their works, so I don’t know if the examiner will read that and be like ‘well it doesn’t link to (eg) Ibsen because the poem by Rossetti wasn’t based off of Ibsen,’ or if they’ll think ‘context is context.’

If this needs further clarifying, please let me know as I understand this is a lot to process
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海龙1
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Hello,

I think it entirely depends on what aspects you decided to compare.

For example, if you talked about female archetypes and mysogny; and tied them to language analysis in both texts, then you’ve provided a highly insightful comment. Both Ibsen and Rossetti lived in a time in which women lived under an oppressive patriarchy.

However, if you talked about Norwegian politics, or the contemporary tragedy, you can’t clearly discuss Rossetti. Likewise, if you talked about Victorian propriety, or romantic poetry, then you cannot make a tenable link to the Doll’s House.

As with any context in literature, it shouldn’t form the main part of your essay. If your response also included loads of sensitive and accurate analysis of form, structure and language, then any faults you think you’ve made when discussing context will be looked past by the Examiner.

It’s all about the words on the page
(Original post by katie091000)
This might be a little bit confusing to explain, but I’m going to try my best.
In the recent A Level exams, I did OCR English literature and I’m not sure if I messed up on my context for paper 1. I did A Dolls House and Rossetti for my 30 marker.
Basically, I accidentally started writing context for Ibsen, (A Dolls house,) and visa versa. So for example I’d be like, ‘In No Thank you John (A poem by Rossetti,) we see.. blah blah blah.. Context relating to this can be seen in Ibsen’s life.../ this link a contextually to Ibsen...

These authors had (I think) a gap of 50 years between their works, so I don’t know if the examiner will read that and be like ‘well it doesn’t link to (eg) Ibsen because the poem by Rossetti wasn’t based off of Ibsen,’ or if they’ll think ‘context is context.’

If this needs further clarifying, please let me know as I understand this is a lot to process
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Tolgarda
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I want to be honest. You probably flunked it. Out of the two possible examiner interpretations that you mentioned in your post, the former will most likely be the one. Remember, this is A Level, so errors like this won't be taken lightly. I assume that you did this throughout the essay, which is even worse. I think you'd be very lucky to get away with it.

________________________________ ___________________________

Also, just to say something else here...

(Original post by 海龙1)
As with any context in literature, it shouldn’t form the main part of your essay. If your response also included loads of sensitive and accurate analysis of form, structure and language, then any faults you think you’ve made when discussing context will be looked past by the Examiner.
From this, I can confidently infer that you are not aware of the exam rubric. In this question, context (AO3) is the core element. It counts for half of the marks that can be awarded - the greatest weighting out of all the assessment objectives for the question. Also, form, structure and language (AO2) are not assessed in this question. Apart from context, your critical analysis of the narrative and writing style (AO1), ability to make connections across texts (AO4) and ability to include relevant critical interpretations (AO5) are assessed.

My point? Context does pretty much form the main part of the essay. A response including 'loads of sensitive and accurate analysis of form, structure and language' would not help at all in this situation. In fact, it might irritate the examiner and show a lack of preparation. For this question, that would be a waste. In this paper, that is better used for the first question on the Shakespeare play.
Last edited by Tolgarda; 8 months ago
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海龙1
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Hello,


Ok – sorry. Clearly I’m not aware of the OCR assessment criteria. Although, as a side note, it seems very odd that they want you to understand social and historical factors OVER the nature of the language. Apologies.

BUT I don’t think you have totally flunked it if you have made some coherent comment on the Ibsen/Rossetti context, so, stay positive!


(Original post by Tolgarda)
I want to be honest. You probably flunked it. Out of the two possible examiner interpretations that you mentioned in your post, the former will most likely be the one. Remember, this is A Level, so errors like this won't be taken lightly. I assume that you did this throughout the essay, which is even worse. I think you'd be very lucky to get away with it.

________________________________ ___________________________

Also, just to say something else here...



From this, I can confidently infer that you are not aware of the exam rubric. In this question, context (AO3) is the core element. It counts for half of the marks that can be awarded - the greatest weighting out of all the assessment objectives for the question. Also, form, structure and language (AO2) are not assessed in this question. Apart from context, your critical analysis of the narrative and writing style (AO1), ability to make connections across texts (AO4) and ability to include relevant critical interpretations (AO5) are assessed.

My point? Context does pretty much form the main part of the essay. A response including 'loads of sensitive and accurate analysis of form, structure and language' would not help at all in this situation. In fact, it might irritate the examiner and show a lack of preparation. For this question, that would be a waste. In this paper, that is better used for the first question on the Shakespeare play.
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katie091000
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Perhaps I should have explained this more. I didn’t do this throughout my entire exam, or even the entire 30 marker. I think I did it twice. So an example is I would be talking about A Dolls House and how’s Nora feels shut out from society because of patriarchy, and that this linked to Rossetti because she had a religious break down which made her feel shut out from society and links to her poem, ‘shut out.’ I then went back and said, however, linking to the author of a Dolls House, Ibsen, this links contextually to him because... etc

(Original post by 海龙1)
Hello,

I think it entirely depends on what aspects you decided to compare.

For example, if you talked about female archetypes and mysogny; and tied them to language analysis in both texts, then you’ve provided a highly insightful comment. Both Ibsen and Rossetti lived in a time in which women lived under an oppressive patriarchy.

However, if you talked about Norwegian politics, or the contemporary tragedy, you can’t clearly discuss Rossetti. Likewise, if you talked about Victorian propriety, or romantic poetry, then you cannot make a tenable link to the Doll’s House.

As with any context in literature, it shouldn’t form the main part of your essay. If your response also included loads of sensitive and accurate analysis of form, structure and language, then any faults you think you’ve made when discussing context will be looked past by the Examiner.

It’s all about the words on the page
(Original post by Tolgarda)
I want to be honest. You probably flunked it. Out of the two possible examiner interpretations that you mentioned in your post, the former will most likely be the one. Remember, this is A Level, so errors like this won't be taken lightly. I assume that you did this throughout the essay, which is even worse. I think you'd be very lucky to get away with it.

________________________________ ___________________________

Also, just to say something else here...



From this, I can confidently infer that you are not aware of the exam rubric. In this question, context (AO3) is the core element. It counts for half of the marks that can be awarded - the greatest weighting out of all the assessment objectives for the question. Also, form, structure and language (AO2) are not assessed in this question. Apart from context, your critical analysis of the narrative and writing style (AO1), ability to make connections across texts (AO4) and ability to include relevant critical interpretations (AO5) are assessed.

My point? Context does pretty much form the main part of the essay. A response including 'loads of sensitive and accurate analysis of form, structure and language' would not help at all in this situation. In fact, it might irritate the examiner and show a lack of preparation. For this question, that would be a waste. In this paper, that is better used for the first question on the Shakespeare play.
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katie091000
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Throughout the rest of the essay I did use correct context for each text- eg I said about the feminist movement during Ibsen’s time period and Rossetti and the New Romantics, it was just a few times I made this mistake. I actually found your response very helpful, so thank you!
(Original post by 海龙1)
Hello,


Ok – sorry. Clearly I’m not aware of the OCR assessment criteria. Although, as a side note, it seems very odd that they want you to understand social and historical factors OVER the nature of the language. Apologies.

BUT I don’t think you have totally flunked it if you have made some coherent comment on the Ibsen/Rossetti context, so, stay positive!
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海龙1
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No worries. It seems like like you’ve done really well – discussing women and the romantics sounds excellent to me!!
(Original post by katie091000)
Throughout the rest of the essay I did use correct context for each text- eg I said about the feminist movement during Ibsen’s time period and Rossetti and the New Romantics, it was just a few times I made this mistake. I actually found your response very helpful, so thank you!
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by 海龙1)
Hello,


Ok – sorry. Clearly I’m not aware of the OCR assessment criteria. Although, as a side note, it seems very odd that they want you to understand social and historical factors OVER the nature of the language. Apologies.
A lot of literary criticism doesn't seem to focus on the nature of language, but rather the nature of the plot and its characters (at least from what I have read). There's a much greater weighting on the ability to write like a literary critic at A Level, and sociohistorical factors play quite a large role in that. From what I have learnt, a critical writing style and acute awareness of context work in tandem when analysing literature. Incorporating critical interpretation is also important. That is why context is 50%, and writing style (in the form of AOs 1, 2 and 5) is also 50%. While it might seem strange at first (and it still kind of is for me), this is how I think it can be validly justified.
(Original post by katie091000)
Perhaps I should have explained this more. I didn’t do this throughout my entire exam, or even the entire 30 marker. I think I did it twice. So an example is I would be talking about A Dolls House and how’s Nora feels shut out from society because of patriarchy, and that this linked to Rossetti because she had a religious break down which made her feel shut out from society and links to her poem, ‘shut out.’ I then went back and said, however, linking to the author of a Dolls House, Ibsen, this links contextually to him because... etc
If you've only done it twice, the adverse impact the errors will have on your final mark will be less severe.
Last edited by Tolgarda; 8 months ago
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海龙1
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Admittedly, context plays a significant role in any critical theory approach. However, at A-level, I think there should be more focus on close reading skills of a given text; as opposed to the cultural surroundings of a writer’s oeuvre. That belongs more in a History syllabus, for me.

It also seems very strange that they are splitting the analysis of form, structure and language and the analysis of context; when a real literary critic would incorporate both aspects (or ‘assessment objectives’) into an essay or journal. This sense of concurrent discussion between the text itself and the wider context is recommended by all other English Literature exam boards.

My apologies for misunderstanding OCR’s exam rubric; but I think we can agree that it is just plain weird
(Original post by Tolgarda)
A lot of literary criticism doesn't seem to focus on the nature of language, but rather the nature of the plot and its characters (at least from what I have read). There's a much greater weighting on the ability to write like a literary critic at A Level, and sociohistorical factors play quite a large role in that. From what I have learnt, a critical writing style and acute awareness of context work in tandem when analysing literature. Incorporating critical interpretation is also important. That is why context is 50%, and writing style (in the form of AOs 1, 2 and 5) is also 50%. While it might seem strange at first (and it still kind of is for me), this is how I think it can be validly justified.


If you've only done it twice, the adverse impact the errors will have on your final mark will be less severe.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by 海龙1)
Admittedly, context plays a significant role in any critical theory approach. However, at A-level, I think there should be more focus on close reading skills of a given text; as opposed to the cultural surroundings of a writer’s oeuvre. That belongs more in a History syllabus, for me.
History of art maybe, but in literature, this weighting is perfectly valid. It just means that the sociohistorical factors that influenced a writer's oeuvre should be woven into every point made in the essay.

Your close-reading skills (AO2) are assessed more in the NEA, but half of the second paper consists of a close-reading analysis of an unseen excerpt for one of the specification's genres. AO2 is also in the first question of the first paper. It's there, but it now has much stiffer competition from AO1 compared to GCSE. I think I've seen more AO1-like analysis when reading literary critique than AO2.

AO2 feels more like a GCSE skill at this point, at least with OCR's spec it does.
(Original post by 海龙1)
It also seems very strange that they are splitting the analysis of form, structure and language and the analysis of context; when a real literary critic would incorporate both aspects (or ‘assessment objectives’) into an essay or journal. This sense of concurrent discussion between the text itself and the wider context is recommended by all other English Literature exam boards.
OCR does not split context-based and plot-based analysis. Although the way I explain it makes it appear that way, AO1 and AO3 should be concurrent. I just like to break it down because it is simpler and thus easier to understand (for me at least). A failure to incorporate a concurrent discussion of context and plot restricts your answer from moving to the higher levels in the mark scheme. OCR is no different from the other awarding bodies in this respect. I think the greatest difference is actually the fact that it is the only one with closed-book exams at A Level.
(Original post by 海龙1)
My apologies for misunderstanding OCR’s exam rubric; but I think we can agree that it is just plain weird
It's not a big deal. I just thought that I would explain it because it might have influenced your initial response. It might be plain weird, but we just have to abide by it.
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海龙1
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Agreed - we’ll just have to deal with it. I am impressed with your extensive exam knowledge; and I’m slightly lost with what AO means what. Thankfully, I’m not taking OCR!

I do STILL disagree with you RE: the context/language weighting. The large focus on the contextual factors could encourage some students to veer into discussion of irrelevant biographical information, that might be useful from a deconstructionist perspective; but not from a mainstream, formalist approach. I know for a fact that some exam boards do not insist on the 50/50 context/language split.

If you’re remotely interested, take a glance at the Cambridge Pre-U Syllabus. It has a really clear division of AOs that even I’m able to grasp!
(Original post by Tolgarda)
History of art maybe, but in literature, this weighting is perfectly valid. It just means that the sociohistorical factors that influenced a writer's oeuvre should be woven into every point made in the essay.

Your close-reading skills (AO2) are assessed more in the NEA, but half of the second paper consists of a close-reading analysis of an unseen excerpt for one of the specification's genres. AO2 is also in the first question of the first paper. It's there, but it now has much stiffer competition from AO1 compared to GCSE. I think I've seen more AO1-like analysis when reading literary critique than AO2.



OCR does not do this. Although the way I explain it makes it appear like that, AO1 and AO3 should be concurrent. I just like to break it down because it is simpler and thus easier to understand (for me at least). A failure to incorporate a concurrent discussion of context and plot restricts your answer from moving to the higher levels in the mark scheme. OCR is no different from the other awarding bodies, apart from the fact that it is the only one with closed-book exams at A Level.



It's not a big deal. I just thought that I would explain it because it might have influenced your initial response. It might be plain weird, but we just have to abide by it.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by 海龙1)
Agreed - we’ll just have to deal with it. I am impressed with your extensive exam knowledge; and I’m slightly lost with what AO means what. Thankfully, I’m not taking OCR!
Haha, it's drilled into me. Anyway, the AOs that I list are actually the same for all of the other A Level qualifications (they are listed in the DfE's requirements):


  • AO1 - critical writing style and analysis of characters and events in the plot (no analysis of language, structure or form)
  • AO2 - language, structure and form analysis (close-reading skills basically)
  • AO3 - context
  • AO4 - making connections across texts (basically the ability to compare them)
  • AO5 - including apposite critical interpretations in your essay (e.g. a literary critic's analysis, an interpretation from a film director etc.)


I just mentioned this in case you happen to encounter someone mentioning this stuff with a different awarding body (e.g. Edexcel). It's all the same for any A Level qualification in English literature.
(Original post by 海龙1)
I do STILL disagree with you RE: the context/language weighting. The large focus on the contextual factors could encourage some students to veer into discussion of irrelevant biographical information, that might be useful from a deconstructionist perspective; but not from a mainstream, formalist approach. I know for a fact that some exam boards do not insist on the 50/50 context/language split.
Fair enough. It's not like I agree with it anyway, but it's just something I've become accustomed to after having to write with it in mind for the whole of the academic year.

(Original post by 海龙1)
If you’re remotely interested, take a glance at the Cambridge Pre-U Syllabus. It has a really clear division of AOs that even I’m able to grasp!

I probably will actually. I've never really seen what the Pre-U syllabus is like.
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sean1665
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Hi, so I was wondering if you could still get marks in level 5(top band) if you don't have a conclusion(ran out of time in exam but the rest of the essay was pretty good). Thanks!
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katie091000
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I very rarely do conclusions and usually get A’s so yes
(Original post by sean1665)
Hi, so I was wondering if you could still get marks in level 5(top band) if you don't have a conclusion(ran out of time in exam but the rest of the essay was pretty good). Thanks!
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