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Do you need to quote critics for A Level Lit?

A05 says "Explore literary texts informed by different interpretations."

I already need to memorize a ton of key quotes so having to add more stuff to memorise, seems a headache.
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 1
If you're doing AQA, I think that means your own critical interpretation of the text, but for AO4 you do need critics from other texts, but you don't have to directly quote them, just reference
Original post by sophie.i.t
If you're doing AQA, I think that means your own critical interpretation of the text, but for AO4 you do need critics from other texts, but you don't have to directly quote them, just reference


AO4 is just similarities and differences between other texts right?
Reply 3
a05 is a marking point DIRECTLY related to critical quotes and critical essays. if you dont use any critical quotes you'll miss out on all the ao5 marks. so yeah you do have to memorise quotes from different critical essays about the text. my advice is to try and find versatile quotes that don't just talk about 1 specific theme; they can be applied to 2 or 3 as that saves you from having to memorise loads. also dont memorise more than 4 for each theme – dont worry about what other people tell you about memorising loads and loads.
Original post by zws
a05 is a marking point DIRECTLY related to critical quotes and critical essays. if you dont use any critical quotes you'll miss out on all the ao5 marks. so yeah you do have to memorise quotes from different critical essays about the text. my advice is to try and find versatile quotes that don't just talk about 1 specific theme; they can be applied to 2 or 3 as that saves you from having to memorise loads. also dont memorise more than 4 for each theme – dont worry about what other people tell you about memorising loads and loads.


do you have any versatile ones you can share? anything on shakespeare or the romantics would be nice
Reply 5
I did Othello so my quotes are more related to that
AC Bradley - Othello feels constantly threatened and profoundly insecure
Daniel Stanley - the conventional fool often states truths and has licence to say thing others can’t
Eileen Newman - Shakespeare’s heroines are ciphers upon which the tragic impulses of the plays’ male characters are enacted

some key things to remember are to treat your quotes like you would a line or phrase from the text – it should be used to back up your point and its ok if your quote disagrees with an idea that's being presented – as it is a CRITICAL quote after all
Original post by zws
I did Othello so my quotes are more related to that
AC Bradley - Othello feels constantly threatened and profoundly insecure
Daniel Stanley - the conventional fool often states truths and has licence to say thing others can’t
Eileen Newman - Shakespeare’s heroines are ciphers upon which the tragic impulses of the plays’ male characters are enacted

some key things to remember are to treat your quotes like you would a line or phrase from the text – it should be used to back up your point and its ok if your quote disagrees with an idea that's being presented – as it is a CRITICAL quote after all


cool, we do the same text.

more about critical quotes - let's imagine a scenario in the actual exams. a question comes up that wouldn't fit the critical quotes you've memorized.

couldn't you just use the critics name - then make up what they said (if you have the skill to make it up under time pressure).
the examiner apparently spends only 6 or 8m marking a paper so they won't have the time to check each individual critic mentioned.
Reply 7
Original post by McDonaldsEmploy
cool, we do the same text.

more about critical quotes - let's imagine a scenario in the actual exams. a question comes up that wouldn't fit the critical quotes you've memorized.

couldn't you just use the critics name - then make up what they said (if you have the skill to make it up under time pressure).
the examiner apparently spends only 6 or 8m marking a paper so they won't have the time to check each individual critic mentioned.

ah nice – what are your other texts?
I mean I guess you could – but on the off-chance that the examiner knows their stuff, you might look kind of silly if you make stuff up and also, is it worth the risk?? something I did was either not use one at all in that paragraph or find a way to bring my argument around to a place where I could use it
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by McDonaldsEmploy
A05 says "Explore literary texts informed by different interpretations."

I already need to memorize a ton of key quotes so having to add more stuff to memorise, seems a headache.

You do have to memorise a few to get the top marks, but you only really need 3 (as a minimum). You can also give your own interpretation (ex. This could infer…) which also counts as Ao5.
Original post by zws
ah nice – what are your other texts?
I mean I guess you could – but on the off-chance that the examiner knows their stuff, you might look kind of silly if you make stuff up and also, is it worth the risk?? something I did was either not use one at all in that paragraph or find a way to bring my argument around to a place where I could use it


probably would work if you used some minor, obscure critic e.g. not using someone well-known as Stephen Greenblatt for shakespeare.

Tragedy texts
Othello (play)
Death of a Salesman (play)
John Keats' anthology

Protest texts
Blake's anthology
Hard Times (novel)
Kite Runner (novel)
Reply 10
Original post by McDonaldsEmploy
probably would work if you used some minor, obscure critic e.g. not using someone well-known as Stephen Greenblatt for shakespeare.

Tragedy texts
Othello (play)
Death of a Salesman (play)
John Keats' anthology

Protest texts
Blake's anthology
Hard Times (novel)
Kite Runner (novel)

you're aqa right? I did edexcel (othello, a streetcar named desire, 1000 splendid suns, Tess of the d'urbervilles, Christina rossetti's anthology)
yeah, if you quoted a really obscure critic they probably wouldn't know it, but I also think that ao5 is less about just stating the quote and more about how you use it in your argument to support/refute the point
Original post by zws
you're aqa right? I did edexcel (othello, a streetcar named desire, 1000 splendid suns, Tess of the d'urbervilles, Christina rossetti's anthology)
yeah, if you quoted a really obscure critic they probably wouldn't know it, but I also think that ao5 is less about just stating the quote and more about how you use it in your argument to support/refute the point


AQA. yes you're right - you have to imagine you are talking to the critics themselves, agreeing or disagreeing.

I looked at the Edexcel spec and was blown away by the choice of texts, in AQA its very limited. Does the school choose it for you or can you pick?
Reply 12
Original post by McDonaldsEmploy
AQA. yes you're right - you have to imagine you are talking to the critics themselves, agreeing or disagreeing.

I looked at the Edexcel spec and was blown away by the choice of texts, in AQA its very limited. Does the school choose it for you or can you pick?


the school chooses for us (which was fine with othello, streetcar and 1000 splendid suns, but Tess of the durbervilles was so boring I wanted to cry). however for our coursework we got to choose whatever texts & question we wanted (I did the awakening by Kate Chopin & wide Sargasso Sea by jean Rhys)
Original post by zws
the school chooses for us (which was fine with othello, streetcar and 1000 splendid suns, but Tess of the durbervilles was so boring I wanted to cry). however for our coursework we got to choose whatever texts & question we wanted (I did the awakening by Kate Chopin & wide Sargasso Sea by jean Rhys)


honestly these teachers should

1) let us choose texts to make it more fun.

2) only focus lessons on teaching the literary devices, analysis skills and essay writing skills (not waste time doing boring class reading - we won't have the teachers to interpret each chapter for us during the exam)

3) if anyone needs help with their own text - do a broad lesson one day e.g. shakespeare lesson, victorian texts lesson, modernism lesson.

sadly tis not to be.
(edited 11 months ago)

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