What makes an A* student in A-level English Literature ?Exam board: AQA Literature B Texts; The Kite Runner, The Great Gatsby, Tennyson poetry and Hardy poetry

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lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not exactly sure what you are asking but below is a link to information about the AQA test and what the exam format intends from its candidates.  In order to write a solid essay about any piece of the literature you must remember that there are always two parts to the task:

1.  What literray devices or techniques is the author using?  What are example of events or characterization that are important to the novel/play/poem?

2.  How do the techniques used by the author help to convey the MEANING OF THE WORK AS A WHOLE. 

If you don't connect what you want to say from #1 to the point of the work (#2) then you are only writing a glorified book report or poetry paraphrase.  You must continually ask yourself, "HOW does this detail/action/speech/symbol/event/meter etc. contribute to the meaning of the piece.  You must discuss the theme of the work.

To prepare for the books listed above, takes notes on what you understand to be the important themes of each of the novels, and the key events and characterization that illustrate those themes.  In preparation for the poetry, read several poems by each poet to determine if there are any common themes within a poet's work.  If yes, then examine that.  If not, then identify the themes of several poems and annotate some poems for the poet's use of various literary techniques.  Remember to always ask yourself how do the little things contribute to the whole.


litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Are you asking how you would approach these books? First of all, you need to read them carefully. It is a good idea to review the notes on enotes and literary criticism as well. Then, consider what you can say about each work. You want to be intelligent about then work, but not substitute others' ideas for your own.