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How can I get 30/40 or more in French A-Level Writing?

I'm hoping to get an A/A* in French, but my writing keeps dragging my other papers down! My strongest points are speaking and listening. My reading is less strong, but only really on the reading summaries in the LRW paper. My writing is the biggest issue! I make grammatical errors in my writing (A03) so I'm trying to do some grammar practice, does anyone recommend specific things I need to cover to get my mark up? I lose even more marks in the analysis (A04) part of the writing, even though I'm using PEEAL/PEE structures and quotations, and was quite capable in English Lit GCSE...I study Un Secret (book) and La Haine (film), but any general advice on the writing that will get my marks up is fine too. I really appreciate the help!
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by ff005
I'm hoping to get an A/A* in French, but my writing keeps dragging my other papers down! My strongest points are speaking and listening. My reading is less strong, but only really on the reading summaries in the LRW paper. My writing is the biggest issue! I make grammatical errors in my writing (A03) so I'm trying to do some grammar practice, does anyone recommend specific things I need to cover to get my mark up? I lose even more marks in the analysis (A04) part of the writing, even though I'm using PEEAL/PEE structures and quotations, and was quite capable in English Lit GCSE...I study Un Secret (book) and La Haine (film), but any general advice on the writing that will get my marks up is fine too. I really appreciate the help!

I got an A* in Spanish and an A in French and do both at Uni now - I did La Haine so I don't mind selling A* or 40/40 essays, you can PM me for the amount I usually charge. In terms of general advise:

Here are tips for PAPER 2:
for the film it's more important to talk about the specific scenes and briefly what occurred. For the book it is very important to quote as this is the only way to back up what you are arguing. To revise for paper 2 I personally made sure I was very familiar of the film and the book.

For the book I would learn key quotes for each character and theme because they can ask you on either of these. Then I would look online for questions and devise essay plans for essays you haven't completed yet and maybe see after you've revised them if you can blurt you're essay plans without looking at your notes. Once you've done this try a timed essay, I know its a long process and no one really wants to do it for certain themes and characters but if u only stick to ur favourite/ best themes and characters when it comes to the exam if u get a slightly trickier question it'll be worth it.

For the film rewatch it and for each scene just summarise whats happened, see what techniques are used (panoramic shot, dolly shot etc.). Try think about they key themes and characters in ur film and jot down the top scenes for these characters. Same as before ur gonna wanna turn these into essay plans, blurt and write in timed conditions. Once you've done this for pretty much everything (its fine if u miss out like 1 character / 1 theme because u get 2 to choose from in the exam), then just learn ur essay plans.
Maybe learn like one key scene and try write a para on it for different characters / themes - if this works for ur film u can memorise this and put it in ur essay in the exam. e.g. if there is a scene with all the main characters and it has all the key themes (violence, jealousy etc.) then this scene is easy to learn.

Don't overdo it with memorising quotes because then if a question comes up and you've learned a quote ur gonna wanna fit them all in even if they are irrelevant. I always try keep my into the same so maybe memorise one and learn the key definitions for the key themes. For example my best way is to do something like this - example from an essay on Bonjour Tristesse:

Examinez comment la jalousie est présentée dans le roman.

Il faut bien reconnaître que Sagan aborde plusieurs thèmes dont la jalousie en fait partie. Afin de répondre à cette question, il est important de considérer la définition de la jalousie ; le sentiment hostile qu'on éprouve en voyant un autre jouir d'un avantage qu'on ne possède pas ou qu'on désirerait posséder seul. J’ai l’intention d’explorer dans cet essai comment Sagan la présente quant aux personnages du roman.    

So for a themes question i'd just switch out jalousie to ur theme and change ur definition. Then I'd try link it to the social context (shows why this theme is relevant in the book/film - broader idea) - then I'd just learn a sentence like: J’ai l’intention d’explorer dans cet essai comment Sagan présente ___

Try if you can to mention at least one other theme, character and stylistic technique in ur essay if you can - for example if for La Haine the question is whether it is an anti-flic film or not - u can do a para on a character (e.g. Samir) who does/does not portray this theme, do a second para on police brutality (another theme which you can refer to one particular scene in depth - police station scene with Hubert and Saïd) that links well with the idea of anti-flic, third para you can focuse on the style and descriptions e.g. way it is filmed, use of sound, use of lighting etc - for the book this can be use of structure, adjectives, is it first person etc.

HOPE THIS HELPS!
Original post by simrankc26
I got an A* in Spanish and an A in French and do both at Uni now - I did La Haine so I don't mind selling A* or 40/40 essays, you can PM me for the amount I usually charge. In terms of general advise:
Here are tips for PAPER 2:
for the film it's more important to talk about the specific scenes and briefly what occurred. For the book it is very important to quote as this is the only way to back up what you are arguing. To revise for paper 2 I personally made sure I was very familiar of the film and the book.
For the book I would learn key quotes for each character and theme because they can ask you on either of these. Then I would look online for questions and devise essay plans for essays you haven't completed yet and maybe see after you've revised them if you can blurt you're essay plans without looking at your notes. Once you've done this try a timed essay, I know its a long process and no one really wants to do it for certain themes and characters but if u only stick to ur favourite/ best themes and characters when it comes to the exam if u get a slightly trickier question it'll be worth it.
For the film rewatch it and for each scene just summarise whats happened, see what techniques are used (panoramic shot, dolly shot etc.). Try think about they key themes and characters in ur film and jot down the top scenes for these characters. Same as before ur gonna wanna turn these into essay plans, blurt and write in timed conditions. Once you've done this for pretty much everything (its fine if u miss out like 1 character / 1 theme because u get 2 to choose from in the exam), then just learn ur essay plans.
Maybe learn like one key scene and try write a para on it for different characters / themes - if this works for ur film u can memorise this and put it in ur essay in the exam. e.g. if there is a scene with all the main characters and it has all the key themes (violence, jealousy etc.) then this scene is easy to learn.
Don't overdo it with memorising quotes because then if a question comes up and you've learned a quote ur gonna wanna fit them all in even if they are irrelevant. I always try keep my into the same so maybe memorise one and learn the key definitions for the key themes. For example my best way is to do something like this - example from an essay on Bonjour Tristesse:
Examinez comment la jalousie est présentée dans le roman.

Il faut bien reconnaître que Sagan aborde plusieurs thèmes dont la jalousie en fait partie. Afin de répondre à cette question, il est important de considérer la définition de la jalousie ; le sentiment hostile qu'on éprouve en voyant un autre jouir d'un avantage qu'on ne possède pas ou qu'on désirerait posséder seul. J’ai l’intention d’explorer dans cet essai comment Sagan la présente quant aux personnages du roman.    
So for a themes question i'd just switch out jalousie to ur theme and change ur definition. Then I'd try link it to the social context (shows why this theme is relevant in the book/film - broader idea) - then I'd just learn a sentence like: J’ai l’intention d’explorer dans cet essai comment Sagan présente ___
Try if you can to mention at least one other theme, character and stylistic technique in ur essay if you can - for example if for La Haine the question is whether it is an anti-flic film or not - u can do a para on a character (e.g. Samir) who does/does not portray this theme, do a second para on police brutality (another theme which you can refer to one particular scene in depth - police station scene with Hubert and Saïd) that links well with the idea of anti-flic, third para you can focuse on the style and descriptions e.g. way it is filmed, use of sound, use of lighting etc - for the book this can be use of structure, adjectives, is it first person etc.
HOPE THIS HELPS!

This is amazing! I'm also taking French A-Level and struggle to get above 30 in essays but this is fabulous advice and I'll definitely be putting it to use! Thanks so much :smile:)

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