Saturday, February 18, 2006

Y13: Further advice on your A2 coursework: LA5C Literary Connections

The best titles concentrated on comparison.
Examiners took marks away where comparative commentary was inadequate.
‘The best candidates approach comparison through a well-structured analysis which includes detailed exploration of form, structure and language.’
Pay attention to the different kinds of literature- prose is different from poetry.
Keep the assessment grid (which I've given you in class) near you as you write the essay as a reminder of what the assessment objectives are and what their weightings are.
The words ‘compare’ and ‘presentation’ are useful in titles because they guarantee you are addressing the AOs (as long as you actually answer the question you set yourself!)
Form, structure and language are your bread and butter. Get into it on the first page.

Successful candidates:
Compare throughout (AO2ii)
Concentrate closely on the chosen texts (AO2ii)
Use short extracts to explore and analyse language use. Make these quotations part of your argument (AO3)
Compare language, form and structure (AO3)
Are aware of the differences between prose, poetry and drama (AO3)
Make it obvious the author shapes meaning- use the writers’ names! (AO2ii and AO3)
Write a succinct, clear, cogent essay (AO1 and AO4)
Look at alternative viewpoints (AO1 and AO2ii)
Check their work for daft errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar and matters of fact. (I’m never again going to waste my time correcting an essay that says ‘Clouds’ every time the candidate means ‘Claudius’- spell chequers wood knot notice anything wrong with this sun tense and grammar checkers are usually American and can do daft things even when they’re English. Use them, by all means, but check the work yourself as well. I also have no intention of correcting essays which announce that Shakespeare was ‘a nineteenth century book writer’ or that the Great War was between 1939 and 1945).
Think for themselves: re-hashed ideas from teachers, York notes and books of literary criticism do not demonstrate ‘independent literary judgements’ (AO4) and there are no marks for using comments by critics, although they are sometimes useful.

Presentation and that sort of thing (use this as a checklist)
Word-process. The examiners do accept handwritten work, but that’s irrelevant because I don’t.
Keep to around 2,500 words. About a hundred words either way is fine, but don’t go much beyond that.
Give a word count (the word-count function is under ‘Tools’ if you use any version of ‘Word’)
Use double spaces between lines (in ‘Word’, the icon you want is usually on the right side of the toolbar and looks like four lines with two blue arrows next to them) and decent-sized margins.
Use one side of the page only.
Use a ‘header’ that gives your name, the page number and the title of your essay as long as it’s short enough not to look intrusive. The ‘header’ function is under ‘View’ on the toolbar, and if you select the little icon of the page with the # on it the pages will number automatically.
Provide a bibliography, including everything you have used, even websites and stuff, even if you haven’t quoted from them directly.
Use a twelve point font-size, and certainly no smaller.
Print in black.
Use a clear font like ‘Times New Roman’ (this sheet is in TNR and ‘Word’ usually defaults to it anyway). No curly-wurly eyestrainers, please.
Block your paragraphs, leaving a line between them. Justify both margins or just the left margin if you prefer. Don’t ‘centre’ anything apart from your title.
Ensure quoted lines of poetry are lineated properly- if the poet starts a new line, you do too.
Titles like Regeneration go in italics, not quotation marks.
Refer to writers by their full name the first time you mention them and by their surnames (Barker, Owen etc.) thereafter. Refer to characters by their surnames too, unless they’re always called something different (like ‘Curley’s wife’ or ‘Piggy’).
Secure your essay with one staple or treasury tag through the top left. No plastic pockets, no covers, no spiral bindings, no double staples that mean you can’t read the first five words of every line. Make it easy to read and mark!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read all the stuff on the site now. Some useful things there. Thought i'd leave a comment to proove i have bothered to look at the site.
Ed. P.S. Whats Crazy Ape Bonkers all about???

11:04 AM  

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