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A* in English Literature - HOW?

How did you get an A* in Lit?

Please share any trips or tricks.

Many thanks!

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Original post by meli77
How did you get an A* in Lit?

Please share any trips or tricks.

Many thanks!

What exam board are you? If you do OCR A-Level I got an A* in my y13 December mock so I don’t mind trying to help
Reply 2
Original post by hamlethoratio
What exam board are you? If you do OCR A-Level I got an A* in my y13 December mock so I don’t mind trying to help

Edexcel
Original post by meli77
Edexcel

i do edexcel too! is there anything specific you need help on? do you hit all the AOS?
Original post by hamlethoratio
What exam board are you? If you do OCR A-Level I got an A* in my y13 December mock so I don’t mind trying to help

What topics do you do?
Reply 5
Original post by hamlethoratio
What exam board are you? If you do OCR A-Level I got an A* in my y13 December mock so I don’t mind trying to help

Can I ask how you generally approach revision and each question? I do OCR too and I’m on an A.
Original post by glloyd.67
What topics do you do?

For the examined components:

Paper 1 -
Hamlet
A Doll’s House, Paradise Lost IX and X

Paper 2 -
American Literature unseen
The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath
Original post by Pichi
Can I ask how you generally approach revision and each question? I do OCR too and I’m on an A.

I do all my revision on my laptop as I find I’m always finding new info and adding to it so it looks more organised in a word doc! I do word docs on context revision and basically research and gather all the context I can find and put it in one doc. Then I subdivide it by key themes in the text.

I do Quizlets to remember quotes from the text and for the comparative essays I memorise them in pairs by theme. I also use Quizlet to memorise critical quotes but for Shakespeare part B as you need to know so many I make a critical quote quiz sheet by character/theme in the play and I do several of the quiz sheets until I’ve remembered it all. I also do quizlets asking about key details from productions of Shakespeare (I have a word doc where I keep all my notes on productions).

In terms of the essay approach, there’s an element of spontaneity to it for me and going with the flow of the essay. But I just make sure to address all the AO’s really.

For Shakespeare part A I do a brief intro outlining the context of the passage (i.e., this is the rising action which was preceded by…) then I do 3 themes in the passage and talk about those with lang, structure and form (don’t forget form as everyone does haha) and then the dramatic effect on the audience. Then in the conclusion I discuss the implications of the scene on the rest of the play.

For Shakespeare part B, I do an intro with a bit of a definition of the statement and usually open with a critic quote through which I write my answer (e.g., ‘Hamlet is a study of emotion’) and then link it back to this quote in all my paras. Then I usually do a minimum of one production and one critical quote per para, making sure to compare them and also that they run across time (not all 21st century critics or productions). Then in the conclusion I link the statement to the play’s denouement and finish off any bits that need addressing.

For the comparative essays I usually do the same thing for Shakespeare part b with the critic opener and then I delve into a bit of context in the intro. After that I do a linking statement for both texts and then delve into one specifically, supporting with super specific context (include dates, literary context, specific names of things) and add in AO5 wherever seems fitting. Then I just do the next text and sort of link them back together at the end.

Then for the conclusion I overall speak of how the authors address the issue in the question and tend to link it back to how it’s relevant today too and the enduring power of literature.

For the unseen, I do it similarly to a Shakespeare Part A in terms of language analysis and just add in a bit of context. I’m basically just saying where it conforms to and subverts American literature’s norms. I make sure to add historical and literary context as literary context is forgotten by a lot of people. I also focus a bit on genre and form, which can link to literary context in terms of modernist conventions for example. Then I just conclude with saying something like “it’s quintessentially American” and say how it is typical (or the opposite) of the genre and period.
Reply 8
Original post by hamlethoratio
I do all my revision on my laptop as I find I’m always finding new info and adding to it so it looks more organised in a word doc! I do word docs on context revision and basically research and gather all the context I can find and put it in one doc. Then I subdivide it by key themes in the text.

I do Quizlets to remember quotes from the text and for the comparative essays I memorise them in pairs by theme. I also use Quizlet to memorise critical quotes but for Shakespeare part B as you need to know so many I make a critical quote quiz sheet by character/theme in the play and I do several of the quiz sheets until I’ve remembered it all. I also do quizlets asking about key details from productions of Shakespeare (I have a word doc where I keep all my notes on productions).

In terms of the essay approach, there’s an element of spontaneity to it for me and going with the flow of the essay. But I just make sure to address all the AO’s really.

For Shakespeare part A I do a brief intro outlining the context of the passage (i.e., this is the rising action which was preceded by…) then I do 3 themes in the passage and talk about those with lang, structure and form (don’t forget form as everyone does haha) and then the dramatic effect on the audience. Then in the conclusion I discuss the implications of the scene on the rest of the play.

For Shakespeare part B, I do an intro with a bit of a definition of the statement and usually open with a critic quote through which I write my answer (e.g., ‘Hamlet is a study of emotion’) and then link it back to this quote in all my paras. Then I usually do a minimum of one production and one critical quote per para, making sure to compare them and also that they run across time (not all 21st century critics or productions). Then in the conclusion I link the statement to the play’s denouement and finish off any bits that need addressing.

For the comparative essays I usually do the same thing for Shakespeare part b with the critic opener and then I delve into a bit of context in the intro. After that I do a linking statement for both texts and then delve into one specifically, supporting with super specific context (include dates, literary context, specific names of things) and add in AO5 wherever seems fitting. Then I just do the next text and sort of link them back together at the end.

Then for the conclusion I overall speak of how the authors address the issue in the question and tend to link it back to how it’s relevant today too and the enduring power of literature.

For the unseen, I do it similarly to a Shakespeare Part A in terms of language analysis and just add in a bit of context. I’m basically just saying where it conforms to and subverts American literature’s norms. I make sure to add historical and literary context as literary context is forgotten by a lot of people. I also focus a bit on genre and form, which can link to literary context in terms of modernist conventions for example. Then I just conclude with saying something like “it’s quintessentially American” and say how it is typical (or the opposite) of the genre and period.

oh my this is some really amazing advice. God bless u<3
Original post by hamlethoratio
For the examined components:

Paper 1 -
Hamlet
A Doll’s House, Paradise Lost IX and X

Paper 2 -
American Literature unseen
The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath


Can you remember the theme of your hamlet section b question? I'm trying to collect a bank of all possible themes which they have/ haven't done. Thanks x
Original post by glloyd.67
Can you remember the theme of your hamlet section b question? I'm trying to collect a bank of all possible themes which they have/ haven't done. Thanks x

So you mean in the Y13 mock? As my teachers wrote their own paper for that I believe. But I’m not 100% sure, our theme was about madness as a strength. :smile:
Original post by hamlethoratio
I do all my revision on my laptop as I find I’m always finding new info and adding to it so it looks more organised in a word doc! I do word docs on context revision and basically research and gather all the context I can find and put it in one doc. Then I subdivide it by key themes in the text.

I do Quizlets to remember quotes from the text and for the comparative essays I memorise them in pairs by theme. I also use Quizlet to memorise critical quotes but for Shakespeare part B as you need to know so many I make a critical quote quiz sheet by character/theme in the play and I do several of the quiz sheets until I’ve remembered it all. I also do quizlets asking about key details from productions of Shakespeare (I have a word doc where I keep all my notes on productions).

In terms of the essay approach, there’s an element of spontaneity to it for me and going with the flow of the essay. But I just make sure to address all the AO’s really.

For Shakespeare part A I do a brief intro outlining the context of the passage (i.e., this is the rising action which was preceded by…) then I do 3 themes in the passage and talk about those with lang, structure and form (don’t forget form as everyone does haha) and then the dramatic effect on the audience. Then in the conclusion I discuss the implications of the scene on the rest of the play.

For Shakespeare part B, I do an intro with a bit of a definition of the statement and usually open with a critic quote through which I write my answer (e.g., ‘Hamlet is a study of emotion’) and then link it back to this quote in all my paras. Then I usually do a minimum of one production and one critical quote per para, making sure to compare them and also that they run across time (not all 21st century critics or productions). Then in the conclusion I link the statement to the play’s denouement and finish off any bits that need addressing.

For the comparative essays I usually do the same thing for Shakespeare part b with the critic opener and then I delve into a bit of context in the intro. After that I do a linking statement for both texts and then delve into one specifically, supporting with super specific context (include dates, literary context, specific names of things) and add in AO5 wherever seems fitting. Then I just do the next text and sort of link them back together at the end.

Then for the conclusion I overall speak of how the authors address the issue in the question and tend to link it back to how it’s relevant today too and the enduring power of literature.

For the unseen, I do it similarly to a Shakespeare Part A in terms of language analysis and just add in a bit of context. I’m basically just saying where it conforms to and subverts American literature’s norms. I make sure to add historical and literary context as literary context is forgotten by a lot of people. I also focus a bit on genre and form, which can link to literary context in terms of modernist conventions for example. Then I just conclude with saying something like “it’s quintessentially American” and say how it is typical (or the opposite) of the genre and period.

Thank you
Reply 12
Original post by hamlethoratio
So you mean in the Y13 mock? As my teachers wrote their own paper for that I believe. But I’m not 100% sure, our theme was about madness as a strength. :smile:

also would be kind enough to PM me some of your essays that got top marks? i need some exemplars! many thanks
Original post by meli77
also would be kind enough to PM me some of your essays that got top marks? i need some exemplars! many thanks

Me too please. thanks xx
Reply 14
Original post by hamlethoratio
I do all my revision on my laptop as I find I’m always finding new info and adding to it so it looks more organised in a word doc! I do word docs on context revision and basically research and gather all the context I can find and put it in one doc. Then I subdivide it by key themes in the text.

I do Quizlets to remember quotes from the text and for the comparative essays I memorise them in pairs by theme. I also use Quizlet to memorise critical quotes but for Shakespeare part B as you need to know so many I make a critical quote quiz sheet by character/theme in the play and I do several of the quiz sheets until I’ve remembered it all. I also do quizlets asking about key details from productions of Shakespeare (I have a word doc where I keep all my notes on productions).

In terms of the essay approach, there’s an element of spontaneity to it for me and going with the flow of the essay. But I just make sure to address all the AO’s really.

For Shakespeare part A I do a brief intro outlining the context of the passage (i.e., this is the rising action which was preceded by…) then I do 3 themes in the passage and talk about those with lang, structure and form (don’t forget form as everyone does haha) and then the dramatic effect on the audience. Then in the conclusion I discuss the implications of the scene on the rest of the play.

For Shakespeare part B, I do an intro with a bit of a definition of the statement and usually open with a critic quote through which I write my answer (e.g., ‘Hamlet is a study of emotion’) and then link it back to this quote in all my paras. Then I usually do a minimum of one production and one critical quote per para, making sure to compare them and also that they run across time (not all 21st century critics or productions). Then in the conclusion I link the statement to the play’s denouement and finish off any bits that need addressing.

For the comparative essays I usually do the same thing for Shakespeare part b with the critic opener and then I delve into a bit of context in the intro. After that I do a linking statement for both texts and then delve into one specifically, supporting with super specific context (include dates, literary context, specific names of things) and add in AO5 wherever seems fitting. Then I just do the next text and sort of link them back together at the end.

Then for the conclusion I overall speak of how the authors address the issue in the question and tend to link it back to how it’s relevant today too and the enduring power of literature.

For the unseen, I do it similarly to a Shakespeare Part A in terms of language analysis and just add in a bit of context. I’m basically just saying where it conforms to and subverts American literature’s norms. I make sure to add historical and literary context as literary context is forgotten by a lot of people. I also focus a bit on genre and form, which can link to literary context in terms of modernist conventions for example. Then I just conclude with saying something like “it’s quintessentially American” and say how it is typical (or the opposite) of the genre and period.

can you show me an example of one of your essays as that would be a massive help!! than yoouu
Original post by meli77
also would be kind enough to PM me some of your essays that got top marks? i need some exemplars! many thanks

Yes I’ll do it tomorrow evening when I’m organising my english stuff!!
Original post by glloyd.67
Me too please. thanks xx

Yes I’ll do it tomorrow evening xx
Original post by ThyNDS
can you show me an example of one of your essays as that would be a massive help!! than yoouu

Yes I’ll PM you one tomorrow evening
Reply 18
Original post by hamlethoratio
Yes I’ll PM you one tomorrow evening

Thanks i will be waiting for the message!!
Original post by hamlethoratio
What exam board are you? If you do OCR A-Level I got an A* in my y13 December mock so I don’t mind trying to help

i do ocr pls help LOL my mocks tomorrow morning so doubt you'll reply in time, but still worth the knowledge for real exam. thank u sm:smile:

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