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A Level English Literature Guide to Unit 4 LITA4

Ruth Owen | Monday November 11, 2013

Categories: Drama, A Street Car Named Desire, Hamlet, Measure For Measure, Othello, Hot Entries, Prose, Enduring Love, Notes on a Scandal, Revolutionary Road, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Plays, Writing, Analytical Writing, Essays, Literary Analysis, AQA A Level English Literature A, LITA4, KS5 Archive, AQA A Level

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LITA4 Extended Essay and Shakespeare Study

This unit of study provides an excellent opportunity to explore the theme of love through literature, which is also the topic of your examined unit, Unit 3, LITA3

You are required to write a sustained essay on three texts of your own choice, one of which must be a play by Shakespeare. The three texts must be linked by either the theme of ‘Love through the Ages’ or by any other theme of your own choice but agreed with your teacher.

The two texts other than the Shakespeare play can be of any genre: drama, prose or poetry; but you cannot use any of the texts you studied during Year 12, your AS year.

This unit is worth 20% of your whole A level.

You are expected to write approximately 3,000 words and to develop your research skills by drafting and redrafting your work as appropriate.

Texts should be chosen by you in negotiation with your teacher. You must take careful note of the assessment objectives. These are simplified in the four bullets points below:

  • Comparison
  • Appreciation of writers’ choices of form, structure and language
  • Exploration of their own and other readers’ interpretations
  • Some understanding of the significance of context

You will need to bear in mind that you are writing a literary essay. Through this comparative task you will show that you:

  • understand the content of all three texts
  • analyse closely the different ways the writers present their subject matter and ideas
  • express independent views about the texts and consider and use other readers’ views to develop your own
  • show awareness of relevant contextual information to your interpretations

All these requirements make choosing your texts really important. Whichever texts you choose they must enable you to discuss plot, characters and themes.  Just as importantly, they also need to provide the opportunity to comment on and explore:

  • the writers’ style and technique
  • choices of genre
  • ...

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