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Edexcel GCSE English Literature

Hello. I've been trying to study literature for this years exams but I really can't find an effective way. I got a grade 4 overall (without much revision) but would like to try and push for a 6.
I've got all the textbooks, I've tried looking online but honestly I'm just completely unsure on how to use them effectively.
For now I will start understanding the plots in the books (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Romeo and Juliet, Animal Farm) as I understand the very basics of it but not sure on the order but after that I'm lost.
Reply 1
That's a good place to start. At GCSE level, it's good to build a small foundation of knowledge on all aspects of a text, inc. plot, characters, themes, and context. Usually, doing a bit of research on the writer's intentions or moral can help you make sense of those aspects and create a clearer picture of what the text is about. This may give you confidence and clarity, and it may act as a springboard for your own ideas.

Aside from showing signs of some understanding of the text's meaning (after all, a text's moral is often pretty mature), your task is to explain your point or idea in response to a question. This usually includes using close-reading analysis (like taking a magnifying glass to a piece of text to work out why they wrote it the way they did) and context, and how they come together to certify your point or idea.

With close-reading, literary terms become your tools, so that's definitely something to look into when you're done learning about the text. Close-reading is all about picking words and sentences that echo your point or idea, stating what literary device is used, and spending some time looking into how the word or sentence sways or affects the reader in seeing, thinking, feeling your point or idea. It can be really good to practise this using small sections of a text at random or by using past paper questions to guide you. As a tutor, I can tell you that what I've described pretty much sums up Eng Lit in its simplest form 😊 so I hope this helps!

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