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ENGLISH LITERATURE

NOTES:
ESSAY WRITING TIPS:

1. It is important that the candidate understand and know what the examiner is looking for,
IN ACCORDANCE WITH the demands of the syllabus. The same breakdown of marks
according to the syllabus will be the marking scheme to be followed by the examiner.
The marks will be allocated as follows:
a. KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
b. APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE (This section is weighted the heaviest)
c. ORGANIZATION OF INFORMATION
2. The examiner looks primarily for knowledge/ familiarity of the text. Students must be
very careful that they are not re-telling the plot outline while trying to demonstrate their
knowledge of the text. Students must also be careful of spelling character’s names,
character and incident references as well as character analysis according to what
happened in the text. When students demonstrate knowledge of the text, they must be
able to show that they know not just what took place and when and where, but the
analysis must show WHY.
3. The examiner wishes to see references to extra-textual issues such as historical
referencing, critical sources, philosophical references, contextual references as well as
authorial/ poet’s/ playwright’s biographical references. Candidates are to use accurate
vocabulary when applying them to the specific genre that is being discussed. This
demonstrates knowledge of the understanding of the relationship between form of text
and content.
4. The examiner wishes that the student would demonstrate familiarity with the
FEATURES of the genre by using the terminology associated specifically with that
genre. This knowledge must show the relationship between structures, content and
thematic concerns. Therefore, students must as far as possible use the vocabulary
associated with that specific genre, for example:
a. POETRY- Discussion of scansion, metre, lineal structures, free verse, blank verse, point
of view, all literary devices (simile, metaphor etc) etc.
b. DRAMA- Act, scene, denouement, set, aside, soliloquies, dramatic unities, disguise,
conventions, dramatic irony etc.
c. PROSE- Narrative techniques, point of view, style, characterization, setting, interior
monologue, flashback, bildungsroman, allegory, motif, foreshadowing etc.
5. APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE: This shows how the candidate uses the above
knowledge to answer the SPECIFIC set question. Candidates should be mindful of the
following:
a. THE THESIS STATEMENT.
b. APPROPRIATE EVIDENCE e.g. Quotes
c. Evidence must be from the text AND other sources.
d. Proper essay structure- Introduction, fully paragraphed body and conclusion.
6. Candidates must be mindful of the use of Language, Mechanics and they must ensure to
write in the argumentative style. They must also ensure to have a well structured and well
built paragraphed essay: PEAL- P= Point; E= Explanation; A= Analysis; L= Logical
Linkages. OR: SEX: S= Statement/ Topic Sentence; E= Evidence for paragraphs that will
be Explained; X= Explanation of what is being written.
7. PROBLEMATIC AREAS TO BE MINDFUL OF:
a. Intertwining critics with answering the questions: Candidates must ensure that they now
only know the quotes from the text, but that they can also quote from critics and other
critical sources when building evidence in their questions.
b. Application of knowledge: Candidates may get caught up in plot re-telling, therefore
candidates must be mindful of writing an adequate thesis, which would help direct them
in the question they are to answer and how they are to structure the answer to the
question after they have analyzed the question.
SUMMARY:
1. Look carefully at what the question is asking you.
2. Remember the exam will be marked as follows: Knowledge and understanding,
Application of Knowledge and Organization of information.
3. Application of Knowledge is the most heavily weighted because it demonstrates the
students’ ability to show that they can merge what they know via the interpretation of the
exam question and the text.
4. The ability of the student to incorporate critiques’ notes within their discussion as well as
demonstrate a personal response while interpreting the question accurately. Candidates
should therefore use their knowledge appropriately to apply it to the question asked in the
exam.
5. The craft of the candidate matters, i.e. the candidate’s writing skills. The examiner will
pay attention to their language and essay structures.
6. Knowledge of the FEATURES of each genre is very important. Students must be able to
show that they have knowledge of genre features and link those features to the question
asked in the exam. This is especially important in the drama paper, whereby students
must discuss features of the drama such as stage directions, impact of props and other
conventions to the question asked. However, this must be effectively done for ALL
genres.