Being able to distinguish a B grade GCSE English lit essay from an A or A*... Watch

Rainbow-Dream
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I have my GCSE English lit AQA A exam on Tues, and am so confused with the marking of the poetry. I'm predicted an A* in english lit, but cannot seem to achieve any higher than a B- and my teacher said he's not harsh with the marking. Having read an exemplar A* essay, I honestly don't know where I've gone wrong (sorry that sounds kinda big headed) because usually I can, but I'm so confused. Do you just get an A* from waffling a lot and writing a lot? Also, are you supposed write an equal amount on form, structure and language, so that form is 33%, structure is 33% and lang is 33%? I'm so confused...
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Aelred
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If you're not going wrong anywhere, you'll probably do better in the exam itself. Waffling a lot will only work if you waffle about the right things. I don't think you need to worry about the exact percentages of what you write about form, structure and language. If you write something about all three then you should be fine (if that's what you've been told to write about - I did the exam in 2006 and can't remember much about it now). What I do remember is that you need to analyse the language and say what effects the various literary devices have. Retelling the story will get you little or no credit.
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Basmati
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just remember to include a range of images with alternative interpretations of each, PEEL paragraphs, as many devices you can find the time to write about as well as a few personal opinions.
its what tends to get the marks in my experience, but then my teacher might be a nice marker
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Mango Juice
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Key things you need to do for higher grades:

1. Analyse with multiple/innovative interpretations.
2. Historical context
3. Different audiences
4. Writers intentions
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roosel
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(Original post by Mango Juice)
Key things you need to do for higher grades:

1. Analyse with multiple/innovative interpretations.
2. Historical context
3. Different audiences
4. Writers intentions
For intentions do you mean feelings and attitudes?
Historical context could be parallels with religious language (potato digging etc)

I am not 100% sure what you mean by the other 2..

audiences such as different cultures who can interpret the poem differently or link strongly to it?

And is multiple interpretations is just looking at the poem from different "angles"?

Thanks
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Basmati
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for writers intentions can you just put "and this line shows that the writer intends the audience to be shocked" etc?
and different audiences? :O i have never been asked to write about them, thanks for the hint
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Basmati
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(Original post by roosel)
And is multiple interpretations is just looking at the poem from different "angles"?
basics, take an image (simile etc), give one layer of meaning, then say ALTERNATIVELY and give another, can totally contradict if you like


OH THE JOYS OF WRITING UTTER RUBBISH
i (L) eng lit GCSE :P
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roosel
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(Original post by Basmati)
basics, take an image (simile etc), give one layer of meaning, then say ALTERNATIVELY and give another, can totally contradict if you like


OH THE JOYS OF WRITING UTTER RUBBISH
i (L) eng lit GCSE :P
excellent thank you, I think i know enough rubbish for an A, especially for lord of the flies
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Basmati
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(Original post by roosel)
excellent thank you, I think i know enough rubbish for an A, especially for lord of the flies
no probs, just be thankful youre not doing the WORST book known to man/woman
of mice and men
:/
after tuesday i will NEVER EVER touch it EVER again.
Ever.
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silliva
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(Original post by Basmati)
no probs, just be thankful youre not doing the WORST book known to man/woman
of mice and men
:/
after tuesday i will NEVER EVER touch it EVER again.
Ever.
Ah, me too - part from i will touch that and my anthology with a bit o' lighter fuel :headfire:
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Zimmerbie
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Personally, I think it is how you structure a reponse that gets you and A or A*, I can analyse language easily, but I struggle to compare effectivley or analyse how structure is used. This is probably the problem for most of you. ALso it is the historic context of a poem that differentiates lit. with lang.
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Kinesthetic
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Hi,
I've been told numerous things, and we have also spoken to the assistant principal examiner for AQA English.

The main things distinguishing between Grades B and Grades A (and above) are:
-A close textual analysis critically comparing techniques
-Deep understanding of why techniques used, and the effect of these
-Layered interpretations are given in response to specific points of the poem, and then compared (or other; based on the question)
-Alternative interpretations given
-Appreciation for the poems that is convincing and imaginative

My advice would be to be original, and write a lot about a little. One example of this would be:
"The word 'delicate' is used in Laboratory to show the narrator's feelings for the poison, in turn, making the reader feel either sympathy for her because of her state of mind, or feel a slight sense of confusion because of the context (fantacising over a poison). This links in with the word choice in 'Anne Hathaway', describing that their sexual intercourse is like a fantasy world (quote the text here, I don't have my anthology with me!)."
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Basmati
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(Original post by silliva)
Ah, me too - part from i will touch that and my anthology with a bit o' lighter fuel :headfire:
its all about the bonfires
summer evenings, friends, BBQ, drinks, GCSE notes burning
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TheMeister
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(Original post by Rainbow-Dream)
I have my GCSE English lit AQA A exam on Tues, and am so confused with the marking of the poetry. I'm predicted an A* in english lit, but cannot seem to achieve any higher than a B- and my teacher said he's not harsh with the marking. Having read an exemplar A* essay, I honestly don't know where I've gone wrong (sorry that sounds kinda big headed) because usually I can, but I'm so confused. Do you just get an A* from waffling a lot and writing a lot? Also, are you supposed write an equal amount on form, structure and language, so that form is 33%, structure is 33% and lang is 33%? I'm so confused...
OP, as a point of interest, would you be disappointed if you achieved an A grade in Literature?
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crazylady_012
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Go and ask your English teacher! She/He has marked it so they know where you have dropped the marks. They are there to help, so use them. Go to them and say you want to improve your grade and where wondering what you were missing. Ask if you can read a few mark schemes but seriously, your teacher (s) will be the most useful. They know you and your writing style. Just ask.
Hope this helps.
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emilyjane_09
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a bit of original interpretation, and a generally well-written essay are a must.
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BJack
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Are you using the Best Words book? The information on the right-hand pages is very useful.
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kalexa
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What's the Best Words book?? and where can I find it online?
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