The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Monday, 7 February 2011

AO3 & 4 HELP

To help you with the A(b) questions, please read the following. These are the relevant AOs and examiners’ comments from the AQA website – based on candidates from the last exam.

AO3 Explore connections and comparisons between different literary texts, informed by interpretations of other readers.

This Assessment Objective is tested in Section A (b) and Section B and therefore students need to see the importance of writing about multiple meanings of texts in a clear and confident way and in ways that are set up by the questions. Some students seemed to have learned endless quotations of what various critics had said about texts and these were forced into the answer regardless of the task. Sometimes students included as many as six critical ideas, none of which coincided with the question.

AO4 Demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received.

The inability to focus on the set tasks was particularly noticeable in the addressing of AO4. This Assessment Objective is only tested in Section A part (b) and the only context that is required is the context set up in the question, [eg. political context, the social context or gender context]. Of course other contexts could be made relevant depending on how the student constructed his or her argument, but several students were so keen to write about contexts they had learned that they ignored the tasks and often the texts.

Much published contextual material is obviously available on many of the texts and students have good knowledge of it, but often the students were so determined to show the examiner that they had the learned background information that they crammed it into answers regardless of relevance. Sadly, sometimes AO4 dominated the students’ responses; some students wrote pages on the cultural milieu of their respective authors and others spent a great deal of time surmising the possible beliefs and opinions the authors .must have had.

Those students who paid scant reference to the task or simply bolted on contextual material scored few marks. Contextual material is only helpful when it illuminates discussion of the question being asked.


  1. Thanks Sir, I will definitely take this on board and try to incorporate some of these things into my next essay

  2. I'll keep this in mind, thank you