How to answer English Lit Exam Questions!

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: georginah
  • Created on: 12-04-14 18:08
Preview of How to answer English Lit Exam Questions!

First 576 words of the document:

A Q1 = AO2 only ­ NARRATIVE TECHNIQUES
A Q2 = AO1, A03 and AO4 ­ CONTEXT AND LANGUAGE ANALYSIS
B = AO1, AO2 and AO3 ­ NARRATIVE, SYMBOLISM, IMAGERY, THEMES, CHARACTERS ETC ETC
Section A - Question 1
`AN APPLE GATHERING' AND `IN THE ROUND TOWER AT JHANSI...' ARE LIKELY TO COME UP
The key thing to note with this question is you are marked only for AO2 - which essentially is about
analysing how the author uses structure, form and language to shape meanings. Therefore, logically
it makes sense to structure your answer so that you have a paragraph or so dedicated to each of
these three components of the AO2. This question is not about writing what 'something could mean,
but on the other hand what others may think it means', it is about detailing to the examiner the
different literary techniques or the aspects of narrative used by the author.
Before you delve into this though, I would advise to include a short introductory paragraph which
outlines what happens in chapter X. This only needs to be two, maybe three sentences long at most,
just so it puts your answer into context, and demonstrates to the examiner that you know what
happens in this chapter.
So, the way to structure your answer to this question is as follows:
1. Short introductory paragraph which outlines the main events that happen in the chapter.
2. Paragraph on the author's form/language.
An example of this would be from The Great Gatsby where you could comment on Carraway's
'educated and poetic prose' and 'technically fluent style' and how this shapes the readers view of
Carraway. Other things to comment on could be the language used in relation to the narrator's
feelings. Is the narrator happy or melancholic? Then comment on how this is significant. Does the
narrator's language change during the chapter, or does his tone change? If so then comment on this
and say how it adds significance to the chapter. Further, you can comment on any of the above then
relate it to its purpose/destination, does the component you talk about affect anything later on in
the novel?
3. Paragraph on the structure of the chapter.
You should use this paragraph to talk about whether the chapter is told chronologically or not, and
how does this then shape the reader's view of the novel. Comment on whether the author has
purposely created gaps in this chapter or missed out a certain time period, or suddenly gone from
Spring to Summer in the chapter, etc. Commenting on time and how it passes in the chapter can
sometimes be quite a unique, but effective thing to talk about in the question. These are all
significant components of how the author tells the story - if these are present, then pull them out and
comment explicitly on how they shape meanings. Is there a cyclical structure to how the chapter is
told? How does the structure of this chapter go on to affect other chapters later on or previously in
the novel? Obviously, you don't need to comment on all of these ideas, the best way is to just pull
out one or two of these points then expand on them.

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Paragraph on the narrative perspective.
This is something that will vary quite a lot dependant on the text you are doing. Personally, this was
fantastic to use for Gatsby as it features a narrator whose reliability can be questioned, so there is
lots to write about. Aspects to include in this paragraph are things like what form of narration is
present - is it first person, is it a modified first person narrator (like Nick Carraway is) etc.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Typical questions asked will be along the lines of: "How far do you agree with..." "What is your view
of author X's use of..." "To what extent is..." just to give you a rough idea of what you may encounter.
Now for this question, you get most of your marks for AO3 - which is analysis and evaluation of
different interpretations of carefully selected references (e.g. quotes). So here you need to make
sure that rather than saying 'Author X does this because...…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

Section B
This question is out of 42 and is the big one of this exam. Here you must write about three texts (I did
four myself) and write a piece on them.…read more

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all resources »