eib03
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Hi,

I'm taking the EPQ and need a title soon. I'm going to do an English Literature one as that's what I intend to study at uni. I do Law and Psychology as well, both of which I love almost as much as English. What I'm really struggling with is how this would be formatted, my sixth form's EPQ programme is more geared towards the sciences. I know it would be an essay but not sure how you would research it (with it not being a subject with scientific evidence) or what sort of question would even be allowed. Does anyone have any advice on this, please? I'm also very interested in creative writing so originally wanted to combine the two at EPQ doing an artefact ('Create a novel in the vein of kitchen sink realism'), however I think this would be even more of a gamble with the evidence you would need to provide. I've no lack of ideas for the project , it's just knowing what type of thing is allowed. I love all classic literature, think the Brontës, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, (especially Shakespeare but already studying him twice in English Literature and in my NEA) and lots of more modern classics too, including Sylvia Plath and Angela Carter. My main problem so far has been a lack of research as most of my topics have been quite niche. Sorry for the long post! TIA
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Englishteacher24
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(Original post by eib03)
Hi,

I'm taking the EPQ and need a title soon. I'm going to do an English Literature one as that's what I intend to study at uni. I do Law and Psychology as well, both of which I love almost as much as English. What I'm really struggling with is how this would be formatted, my sixth form's EPQ programme is more geared towards the sciences. I know it would be an essay but not sure how you would research it (with it not being a subject with scientific evidence) or what sort of question would even be allowed. Does anyone have any advice on this, please? I'm also very interested in creative writing so originally wanted to combine the two at EPQ doing an artefact ('Create a novel in the vein of kitchen sink realism'), however I think this would be even more of a gamble with the evidence you would need to provide. I've no lack of ideas for the project , it's just knowing what type of thing is allowed. I love all classic literature, think the Brontës, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, (especially Shakespeare but already studying him twice in English Literature and in my NEA) and lots of more modern classics too, including Sylvia Plath and Angela Carter. My main problem so far has been a lack of research as most of my topics have been quite niche. Sorry for the long post! TIA
I am an EPQ supervisor and an English teacher so hopefully I can help you here.

Your product will be an essay (I believe this is 4-5,000 words) with the usual things: an introduction, main body compiled of analytical paragraphs, and conclusion. It is likely that, in a work of this length, you will be required to analyse multiple texts. You could do this in chapters e.g. to answer a question about Gothic or Romantic literature, you could write three chapters about how the sublime features in similar / different ways across three different texts, either from the same time period or different time periods. Alternatively, you could do this through the comparison of two texts across three different chapters e.g. when researching the Romanticism of different poets, you could arrange your ideas in the following way: nature in the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats (1); emotion in the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats (2); imagination in the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats (3).

Questions need to be focussed and investigative. For the above examples, the questions could be 'how have writers' exploration of the sublime changed or stayed the same between [insert years here]?', or 'between the late 1700s and the mid 1800s, to what extent did writers explore the sublime in a similar way?', or 'to what extent are Wordsworth and Keats similar in their exploration of Romantic ideas?'.

Your "evidence" will be the quotations from your text and the critical theory / essays you engage with.

If you do a creative writing EPQ, your product is short as you usually need to produce an accompanying explanation / exploration of the construction and development of your creative piece which detracts from the word count. It would be a stretch to write a novel. You may be able to produce a short story.

Keep in mind that the texts you choose for the EPQ should not be texts you have already studied or will study as part of your course.
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13Charlotte2001
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(Original post by eib03)
Hi,

I'm taking the EPQ and need a title soon. I'm going to do an English Literature one as that's what I intend to study at uni. I do Law and Psychology as well, both of which I love almost as much as English. What I'm really struggling with is how this would be formatted, my sixth form's EPQ programme is more geared towards the sciences. I know it would be an essay but not sure how you would research it (with it not being a subject with scientific evidence) or what sort of question would even be allowed. Does anyone have any advice on this, please? I'm also very interested in creative writing so originally wanted to combine the two at EPQ doing an artefact ('Create a novel in the vein of kitchen sink realism'), however I think this would be even more of a gamble with the evidence you would need to provide. I've no lack of ideas for the project , it's just knowing what type of thing is allowed. I love all classic literature, think the Brontës, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, (especially Shakespeare but already studying him twice in English Literature and in my NEA) and lots of more modern classics too, including Sylvia Plath and Angela Carter. My main problem so far has been a lack of research as most of my topics have been quite niche. Sorry for the long post! TIA
Heya,
My EPQ was a bit of a mess since it was 'technically' a literature one, but didn't really lean on the texts too much. But I thought I'd have some answers to your questions. My first attempt at a question was "To what extent is the 1863 novel Les Miserables still relevant" looking specifically at Hugo's prologue which details his own thoughts on the book's continuing relevancy. However, this didn't work out because literally no one else had an opinion on it and this is a critical part of your epq. You need to debate your own ideas with what other critics have said. Luckily for you, there is a whole world of literary criticism and if you love all classic literature, you'll definitely find a ton of critics that have thoughts about whatever texts you're looking at. So, for research, you'll be reading literary criticism and articles on your topic.
What I ended up doing was 'Which out of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World is the more realistic dystopian future' and then compared aspects of each novel with the current climate split into chapters. My sources were books on Orwell's politics, Huxley's essays, Orwell's essays, a book about 'amusing ourselves to death' in terms of our consumption of media. So, in short, you need to find a question that lots of people have an opinion on.
I'm not sure about the creative writing aspect. Is it possible to contact an epq supervisor about it?
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eib03
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(Original post by Englishteacher24)
I am an EPQ supervisor and an English teacher so hopefully I can help you here.

Your product will be an essay (I believe this is 4-5,000 words) with the usual things: an introduction, main body compiled of analytical paragraphs, and conclusion. It is likely that, in a work of this length, you will be required to analyse multiple texts. You could do this in chapters e.g. to answer a question about Gothic or Romantic literature, you could write three chapters about how the sublime features in similar / different ways across three different texts, either from the same time period or different time periods. Alternatively, you could do this through the comparison of two texts across three different chapters e.g. when researching the Romanticism of different poets, you could arrange your ideas in the following way: nature in the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats (1); emotion in the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats (2); imagination in the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats (3).

Questions need to be focussed and investigative. For the above examples, the questions could be 'how have writers' exploration of the sublime changed or stayed the same between [insert years here]?', or 'between the late 1700s and the mid 1800s, to what extent did writers explore the sublime in a similar way?', or 'to what extent are Wordsworth and Keats similar in their exploration of Romantic ideas?'.

Your "evidence" will be the quotations from your text and the critical theory / essays you engage with.

If you do a creative writing EPQ, your product is short as you usually need to produce an accompanying explanation / exploration of the construction and development of your creative piece which detracts from the word count. It would be a stretch to write a novel. You may be able to produce a short story.

Keep in mind that the texts you choose for the EPQ should not be texts you have already studied or will study as part of your course.
Thanks so much! That's really helpful, especially your example titles, I think I'll avoid a Creative Writing EPQ, it'd be easier for me to find the evidence for an English Literature one.
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eib03
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(Original post by 13Charlotte2001)
Heya,
My EPQ was a bit of a mess since it was 'technically' a literature one, but didn't really lean on the texts too much. But I thought I'd have some answers to your questions. My first attempt at a question was "To what extent is the 1863 novel Les Miserables still relevant" looking specifically at Hugo's prologue which details his own thoughts on the book's continuing relevancy. However, this didn't work out because literally no one else had an opinion on it and this is a critical part of your epq. You need to debate your own ideas with what other critics have said. Luckily for you, there is a whole world of literary criticism and if you love all classic literature, you'll definitely find a ton of critics that have thoughts about whatever texts you're looking at. So, for research, you'll be reading literary criticism and articles on your topic.
What I ended up doing was 'Which out of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World is the more realistic dystopian future' and then compared aspects of each novel with the current climate split into chapters. My sources were books on Orwell's politics, Huxley's essays, Orwell's essays, a book about 'amusing ourselves to death' in terms of our consumption of media. So, in short, you need to find a question that lots of people have an opinion on.
I'm not sure about the creative writing aspect. Is it possible to contact an epq supervisor about it?
Thanks! It's really helpful to see real titles from other students. I'll make sure to pick something with lots of sources.
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