A level English Literature Help

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Christabel.
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#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
Hi, the NEAs have already been submitted and i know how much they are to the final grade. However, my teacher has already sent it off and apparently its at a band 2. Is there any advice that anyone can give me for the essays to get a great a level grade for the actual exam. The only way i can get an okay grade overall is if i do well in these exams but even now so im stuck at a band 3
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Sophie47
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#2
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best way to really increase your marks in literature essays is to constantly go on about writers methods and their significance in terms of the question. i'm doing aqa english lit so idk if my tips will be useful, but if you let me know what texts you do i could maybe give you a better detailed answer
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Christabel.
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Sophie47)
best way to really increase your marks in literature essays is to constantly go on about writers methods and their significance in terms of the question. i'm doing aqa english lit so idk if my tips will be useful, but if you let me know what texts you do i could maybe give you a better detailed answer
That does make a lot of sense. I know how to include the writers methods but how would i write about them in depth to secure band 4/5? Also, I'm doing Othello, Death Of A Salesman and Keats' poetry.
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Sophie47
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(Original post by Christabel.)
That does make a lot of sense. I know how to include the writers methods but how would i write about them in depth to secure band 4/5? Also, I'm doing Othello, Death Of A Salesman and Keats' poetry.
i do Othello, death of a salesman and a doll's house. I'm presuming this is for tragedy? they way i get my essays into the band 5 area is with this kind of structure:
-introduce each paragraph with a topic sentence which introduces how your addressing the question with a link to the writer e.g. one way tragedy is shown in Othello is through Shakespeare's characterisation of Desdemona as a tragic victim etc...
-then analyse why this chosen method is useful for what you're talking about, it would be useful to include a quote of something to back up your argument here
-bring in another aspect of what you're talking about e.g. furthermore, Desdemona is further shown as a tragic victim when... and then analyse this as well
-maybe do this one more time, and don't forget to include some context e.g the inferior position of women during Shakespeare's time
-finally, conclude your paragraph with a therefore... etc to remind the examiner of what your overall argument is
- you will also get marks for alternative interpretations in your essay, so make sure you acknowledge and talk about other possible interpretations in your essay
-and a very important aspect of english essays is to not be dogmatic- don't write like your opinion is fact, you have to give your argument whilst also acknowledging that it isn't objectively true. Eg. always start your interpretations of the text with words such as 'arguably'- it makes the essay sound much better
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Christabel.
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#5
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by Sophie47)
i do Othello, death of a salesman and a doll's house. I'm presuming this is for tragedy? they way i get my essays into the band 5 area is with this kind of structure:
-introduce each paragraph with a topic sentence which introduces how your addressing the question with a link to the writer e.g. one way tragedy is shown in Othello is through Shakespeare's characterisation of Desdemona as a tragic victim etc...
-then analyse why this chosen method is useful for what you're talking about, it would be useful to include a quote of something to back up your argument here
-bring in another aspect of what you're talking about e.g. furthermore, Desdemona is further shown as a tragic victim when... and then analyse this as well
-maybe do this one more time, and don't forget to include some context e.g the inferior position of women during Shakespeare's time
-finally, conclude your paragraph with a therefore... etc to remind the examiner of what your overall argument is
- you will also get marks for alternative interpretations in your essay, so make sure you acknowledge and talk about other possible interpretations in your essay
-and a very important aspect of english essays is to not be dogmatic- don't write like your opinion is fact, you have to give your argument whilst also acknowledging that it isn't objectively true. Eg. always start your interpretations of the text with words such as 'arguably'- it makes the essay sound much better
This is very helpful. Thank you
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vicvic38
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#6
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#6
Fundamentally, what you want to know is what are the key themes of the work, what does it say about them, and how does it say it? You also want to know what is being marked: for instance there's no point going on about context when context gets no marks.

One thing that I remember getting a lot of attention (especially when discussing plays) was different interpretations of the text. For instance, for our Shakespeare, I talked a lot about the numerous versions I had seen of our play as each director had pulled different parts and themes out to put them on display.

Something that you can surprisingly ignore somewhat is actual textual analysis (given it's not on the markscheme.) I remember not using any quotes from the texts at all in my exam answers (aside from ones where a passage is given) as those answers didn't get any credit for language analysis. Instead, we learned quotes from critics about the works, again giving reference to alternate interpretations.

I've managed to dig out my coursework essays. They won't be exactly like what you want to write for your exam, but they still seem to be a fairly good example of the sort of argumentative writing you might like to do. I'll PM links to you.

Knowing what is being examined on each question is paramount, as I say. No point putting in context if that gets you no marks, and leaving out interpretations could cost you dearly, if its a lot of marks!

Oh, I ended up getting an A, on the current A Levels. Just so I don't look like I'm talking rubbish!
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