English Literature NEA- A Level Please Help!

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chloenix
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Hi,

So I'm starting my English NEA and honestly I've never been so confused. I don't want to be rude about my teacher because she is so nice, but she's not supported us at all, and the only resources she's sent us is a list of potential poetry collections and books to read, and then said I'd like your introductions in by the end of the week. I have emailed her several times about how to go about it without a response.

Would someone be able to explain how the English NEA works? Where do I find the essay question I need to write about etc? I'm so stressed.
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Alexavyv
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we're in pretty much the same position so i had some friends from a few years above explain it to me and now i understand it completely so basically, for exams you study a text or poetry or whatever (in my case its 3 books so far in year 12 literature) then in the exam you are given a question on that text.so for example in gcse we did jekyll and hyde and were given a question about it that we had to answer as normal- with an argument and quotes and all that jazz. and you'd spent loads of time studying the text and learning about it in class ready for your exam.N.E.A. is basically that.... but- you chose your own text, teach yourself everything you need to know about it, then chose your own question that has to relate to the critical anthology in it. so for example, im doing jane eyre by Charlotte Bronte so i need to teach myself everything i can about it and learn quotes and context and whatever else, then i have chosen to use the question; 'Jane Eyre makes very little comment on the problems or gender inequality nor does she show the urge to change womens roles in her society, taking into consideration the evolution of the feminist movement, to what extent can Jane Eyre still be considered a feminist character?'you're question DOES NOT have to be that complex!i couldve just said 'Is jane a feminist character?'now i have to answer that question as well as i can and i can do a million drafts of it and keep writing until my hearts content of my hands fall off, i can have my family or friends help me, teachers can give you there input and you can research it as much as u like online. thats why its called an NEA- non exam assessment.-so u pick a prose text and some poetry,-teach yourself everything you need to know about them-pick a question suited to the text-answer your question and come up with a decent argument-draft and redraft until you are 100% happy with it.i hope that helps and good luck!Alex
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chloenix
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(Original post by Alexavyv)
we're in pretty much the same position so i had some friends from a few years above explain it to me and now i understand it completely so basically, for exams you study a text or poetry or whatever (in my case its 3 books so far in year 12 literature) then in the exam you are given a question on that text.so for example in gcse we did jekyll and hyde and were given a question about it that we had to answer as normal- with an argument and quotes and all that jazz. and you'd spent loads of time studying the text and learning about it in class ready for your exam.N.E.A. is basically that.... but- you chose your own text, teach yourself everything you need to know about it, then chose your own question that has to relate to the critical anthology in it. so for example, im doing jane eyre by Charlotte Bronte so i need to teach myself everything i can about it and learn quotes and context and whatever else, then i have chosen to use the question; 'Jane Eyre makes very little comment on the problems or gender inequality nor does she show the urge to change womens roles in her society, taking into consideration the evolution of the feminist movement, to what extent can Jane Eyre still be considered a feminist character?'you're question DOES NOT have to be that complex!i couldve just said 'Is jane a feminist character?'now i have to answer that question as well as i can and i can do a million drafts of it and keep writing until my hearts content of my hands fall off, i can have my family or friends help me, teachers can give you there input and you can research it as much as u like online. thats why its called an NEA- non exam assessment.-so u pick a prose text and some poetry,-teach yourself everything you need to know about them-pick a question suited to the text-answer your question and come up with a decent argument-draft and redraft until you are 100% happy with it.i hope that helps and good luck!Alex
Omg thank you so so much this was amazing!!! Bless you!
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Wilf G
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(Original post by chloenix)
Hi,

So I'm starting my English NEA and honestly I've never been so confused. I don't want to be rude about my teacher because she is so nice, but she's not supported us at all, and the only resources she's sent us is a list of potential poetry collections and books to read, and then said I'd like your introductions in by the end of the week. I have emailed her several times about how to go about it without a response.

Would someone be able to explain how the English NEA works? Where do I find the essay question I need to write about etc? I'm so stressed.
Don't stress! Don't panic! You do need to organise your thinking, though, by the sounds of it. If you give me a couple of details, I can maybe set you off on the right track. So, what exam board and spec are you doing? What were your AS texts, and do you have any ideas at all about the area you want to focus on for your NEA?
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Alexavyv
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(Original post by chloenix)
Omg thank you so so much this was amazing!!! Bless you!
No worries feel free to reply or quote or anything if you have any other questions
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chloenix
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(Original post by Wilf G)
Don't stress! Don't panic! You do need to organise your thinking, though, by the sounds of it. If you give me a couple of details, I can maybe set you off on the right track. So, what exam board and spec are you doing? What were your AS texts, and do you have any ideas at all about the area you want to focus on for your NEA?
Thank you so much!
I'm doing AQA English Literature B.
My AS texts were Othello, Great Gatsby, Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
I've picked the 'Skirrid Hill' anthology to do by Owen Sheers and my question is: "Human culture is affected by the physical world, affecting it and affected by it". To what extent do you agree.
We're only doing the poetry NEA for now, but we will do the novel NEA later.
I've done my plan but I'm just wondering if you have any tips on what to write about, how to get good grades, how to actually write a response really as I've never done anything like this before!
Thank you for your help
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chloenix
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(Original post by Alexavyv)
No worries feel free to reply or quote or anything if you have any other questions
Will do thanks for the support
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Tolgash
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If you're studying AQA's literature B specification, some top-level exemplar material is on AQA's website to aid pupils: poetry essay, first novel essay (low band five) and second novel essay.

This should give you a clearer idea of how you should type your response.

- T. E.
Last edited by Tolgash; 1 year ago
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username4247768
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(Original post by Alexavyv)
we're in pretty much the same position so i had some friends from a few years above explain it to me and now i understand it completely so basically, for exams you study a text or poetry or whatever (in my case its 3 books so far in year 12 literature) then in the exam you are given a question on that text.so for example in gcse we did jekyll and hyde and were given a question about it that we had to answer as normal- with an argument and quotes and all that jazz. and you'd spent loads of time studying the text and learning about it in class ready for your exam.N.E.A. is basically that.... but- you chose your own text, teach yourself everything you need to know about it, then chose your own question that has to relate to the critical anthology in it. so for example, im doing jane eyre by Charlotte Bronte so i need to teach myself everything i can about it and learn quotes and context and whatever else, then i have chosen to use the question; 'Jane Eyre makes very little comment on the problems or gender inequality nor does she show the urge to change womens roles in her society, taking into consideration the evolution of the feminist movement, to what extent can Jane Eyre still be considered a feminist character?'you're question DOES NOT have to be that complex!i couldve just said 'Is jane a feminist character?'now i have to answer that question as well as i can and i can do a million drafts of it and keep writing until my hearts content of my hands fall off, i can have my family or friends help me, teachers can give you there input and you can research it as much as u like online. thats why its called an NEA- non exam assessment.-so u pick a prose text and some poetry,-teach yourself everything you need to know about them-pick a question suited to the text-answer your question and come up with a decent argument-draft and redraft until you are 100% happy with it.i hope that helps and good luck!Alex
hey if youre teaching yourself jane eyre, ive got some resources for you? I did it as a set text for AS so ive got loads of context etc
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chloenix
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(Original post by Tolgash)
If you're studying AQA's literature B specification, some top-level exemplar material is on AQA's website to assist pupils: poetry essay, first novel essay (low band five) and second novel essay.

This should give you a clearer idea of how you should type your response.

- T. E.
I will check it out thanks!!
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englishlitgal03
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I've just done my poetry NEA and have a few recommendations. The key is DON'T PANIC, and you might even enjoy it! And about the confusion, yep I was totally in the same boat but it sort of cobbled itself together towards the end!

- we live in a world of Google, and lots of academic articles are available on texts. Utilize this as a springboard (and for AO5 marks), but then ensure your narrative voice is heard. They want your opinion and your ideas.
- ensure you link lots to your critical anthology, it should drive the argument not just add on to the end!
- do analyse structure and form, but integrate it, don't bolt it on.
- think about the poem lots, then choose the question, not the other way round. You want to write about something you know well.
- 1500 words is really really hard as it's short, but it forces you to be concise and minimize the waffle.

The other main thing I'd push is that you need to like, or at least have a small bit of interest in what you're doing, if you don't then you're less likely to spend time on it to make it as good as possible. So try and find a part of the collection you like, or a strand of thought and then go for it. You can't be wrong if you back it up- that's the total joy of English!
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chloenix
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(Original post by annamtuck)
I've just done my poetry NEA and have a few recommendations. The key is DON'T PANIC, and you might even enjoy it! And about the confusion, yep I was totally in the same boat but it sort of cobbled itself together towards the end!

- we live in a world of Google, and lots of academic articles are available on texts. Utilize this as a springboard (and for AO5 marks), but then ensure your narrative voice is heard. They want your opinion and your ideas.
- ensure you link lots to your critical anthology, it should drive the argument not just add on to the end!
- do analyse structure and form, but integrate it, don't bolt it on.
- think about the poem lots, then choose the question, not the other way round. You want to write about something you know well.
- 1500 words is really really hard as it's short, but it forces you to be concise and minimize the waffle.

The other main thing I'd push is that you need to like, or at least have a small bit of interest in what you're doing, if you don't then you're less likely to spend time on it to make it as good as possible. So try and find a part of the collection you like, or a strand of thought and then go for it. You can't be wrong if you back it up- that's the total joy of English!
Thank you so much, this has actually made me kind of excited to do it! I've already done the introduction and I'm carrying on from there so thanks
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Wilf G
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(Original post by chloenix)
Thank you so much!
I'm doing AQA English Literature B.
My AS texts were Othello, Great Gatsby, Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
I've picked the 'Skirrid Hill' anthology to do by Owen Sheers and my question is: "Human culture is affected by the physical world, affecting it and affected by it". To what extent do you agree.
We're only doing the poetry NEA for now, but we will do the novel NEA later.
I've done my plan but I'm just wondering if you have any tips on what to write about, how to get good grades, how to actually write a response really as I've never done anything like this before!
Thank you for your help
Your AS texts are great! I love ‘Gatsby’, especially! As for your NEA, it sounds like you’re not at all disorganised, if you’ve got a plan going already. (Is the quotation you’re using as the starting-point ‘Human culture is connected to the physical world … ‘ etc, rather than ‘affected by’? )
If you’re looking at Sheers’ poetry through the lens of ecocriticism, then unpicking Cheryll Glotfelty’s statement will have led you to a (maybe vague) idea of the extent to which you agree/disagree with it. Define what you think ‘human culture’ means. Beyond art etc, what do the words connote, for you? That’s your starting-point, so start thinking about which poems will best serve your arguments.
Your aim is to make your case convincingly, so obviously you need to deconstruct and analyse the poems’ content, as well as their structure and language, to achieve that. I’d say it’s now a case of taking one poem (to begin with), and thoroughly annotate it. What I do is get a blank sheet of A3, and do a mind map of what I think the poem is about – who’s the narrative voice? Is it actually the poet? What is being said? Divide your ideas into categories, and just write them all down on the A3. (I use pens of different colours to organise my thoughts. I find it’s a good visual memory aid! )
I look at the linguistic devices the author uses, and consider the effect on the audience. Don’t just feature-spot; if an author uses a device, there’s a reason. It’s up to you to discuss how the device impacts the reader/listener. What is the structure of the poem – end-stopped lines, rhyme scheme, internal rhyme?
The key for you is to get your head round what Sheers’ ‘message’ is. Perhaps it’s a question of how the environment is interconnected with other aspects of human experience.
I hope this helps you along a little bit. Let me know if it does!
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chloenix
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(Original post by Wilf G)
Your AS texts are great! I love ‘Gatsby’, especially! As for your NEA, it sounds like you’re not at all disorganised, if you’ve got a plan going already. (Is the quotation you’re using as the starting-point ‘Human culture is connected to the physical world … ‘ etc, rather than ‘affected by’? )
If you’re looking at Sheers’ poetry through the lens of ecocriticism, then unpicking Cheryll Glotfelty’s statement will have led you to a (maybe vague) idea of the extent to which you agree/disagree with it. Define what you think ‘human culture’ means. Beyond art etc, what do the words connote, for you? That’s your starting-point, so start thinking about which poems will best serve your arguments.
Your aim is to make your case convincingly, so obviously you need to deconstruct and analyse the poems’ content, as well as their structure and language, to achieve that. I’d say it’s now a case of taking one poem (to begin with), and thoroughly annotate it. What I do is get a blank sheet of A3, and do a mind map of what I think the poem is about – who’s the narrative voice? Is it actually the poet? What is being said? Divide your ideas into categories, and just write them all down on the A3. (I use pens of different colours to organise my thoughts. I find it’s a good visual memory aid! )
I look at the linguistic devices the author uses, and consider the effect on the audience. Don’t just feature-spot; if an author uses a device, there’s a reason. It’s up to you to discuss how the device impacts the reader/listener. What is the structure of the poem – end-stopped lines, rhyme scheme, internal rhyme?
The key for you is to get your head round what Sheers’ ‘message’ is. Perhaps it’s a question of how the environment is interconnected with other aspects of human experience.
I hope this helps you along a little bit. Let me know if it does!
Oh my god I really can't thank you enough!
That was honestly so so helpful, it's so kind of you for taking the time to write so much!
Yes that is the quotation I meant, I wrote it wrong for some reason!
And I will do all of these tips straight away and I'll update you on how I get on xx
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Jamilla19
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So i have to find all my texts for my NEA by the end of this week and i have no idea what to do or what themes. If anyone has any theme ideas or texts which you can say a lot about please could you help me out i’m really stressing over this as it feels like everyone in my class is prepared and i’m not. Especially with there being no school its been even more difficult! Thanks
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chloenix
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(Original post by Jamilla19)
So i have to find all my texts for my NEA by the end of this week and i have no idea what to do or what themes. If anyone has any theme ideas or texts which you can say a lot about please could you help me out i’m really stressing over this as it feels like everyone in my class is prepared and i’m not. Especially with there being no school its been even more difficult! Thanks
Hi there, our school provided us with a selection of three anthologies and potential themes and essay questions for each. I can show you what they recommended if you want?
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Jamilla19
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(Original post by chloenix)
Hi there, our school provided us with a selection of three anthologies and potential themes and essay questions for each. I can show you what they recommended if you want?
Oh sure ! Thank you that’d be great
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chloenix
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(Original post by Jamilla19)
Oh sure ! Thank you that’d be great
So we were given three collections, we had to pick one and analyse it from an eco-critical perspective:
-Skirrid Hill Owen Sheers
-High Windows-Philip Larkin
-John Betjeman- Collected Poems
I found my copy of Skirrid Hill on ebay. I suggest you buy one (only around a few pounds), do some eco-crticial annotations and then come back here and I'll tell you the reccomedned essay questions for the anthology you've chosen

There's loads of others though!
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Alexavyv
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(Original post by Amelia 123)
hey if youre teaching yourself jane eyre, ive got some resources for you? I did it as a set text for AS so ive got loads of context etc
Wow thank you that would be amazing! How could I get them from you?
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Avac16
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Firstly you need to do ALOT OF research on books you can do. You can’t do any on the syllabus. Also you need a theme such as justice,identity,feminism or otherwise that links two books well my advice is to search a book with a theme eg “what goes well with Dorian Gray on the theme of identity for the English NEA” You will need to narrow the theme down such as identity= influenced by others. persevere and you’ll be fine. An introduction is saying what books you chose what your theme is and the key differences of the books approach to the theme eg “I’m doing this book and this book with the theme of identity. This book addresses identity as duplicitous whereas this book implys identity is created in the soul”
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