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Aspects of Narrative | AQA Specific Exam Tips

Steve Campsall | Sunday October 09, 2011

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Guide Navigation

1. Introduction
2. AQA Specific Section: Assessment Objectives, etc.
3. A Critical Vocabulary
4. Tips for Improving Exam Grades
5. Guide to Narrative: Narrative Frameworks
6. Guide to Narrative: Narrative Concepts
7. Focalisation and Diegesis
8. Mimesis
9. Narrative Forms and Structures
10. AQA Specific Exam Tips
11. Help with Exam Revision
12. Analysis of Cousin Kate, poem by Christina Rossetti

What do AQA Examiners say successful students do?

Section Aa

  • Only AO2 is tested here. Students who do well write about how narrative works and apply their knowledge to the chapter, poem, story or part of the text specified.
  • You will score highly if you write confidently about narrative structures, narrators, settings (if applicable), form and language with some depth and understanding.
  • If you simply identify features, you will do much less well; and if you choose only to ‘re-tell the story’, you will do even less well.
  • If you write about the content of the chapter (plot, character and themes) you are not answering the question and you will often receive marks in the lowest bands, 1 or 2.
  • If you understand technical terms such as ‘biased unreliable narrator’, ‘focaliser’, ‘exposition’, ‘development’, ‘narrative crises’, ‘climax’, ‘dénouement’, ‘resolution’, ‘prolepsis’, ‘destination’ and use these relevantly, it will be helpful.
  • Avoid writing one paragraph on form, one on structure and a third on language as this is likely to constrain and limit your approach.
  • Do not retreat completely into ‘micro-analysis’ and exaggerate claims about such things as ‘alliteration’ or even ‘commas’ as this is not a very helpful way to explore narrative.
  • Think about the story each chapter or poem has to tell and then write about some specific methods which are most interesting to write about in the 30 minutes of writing you have.
  • You can only write about some points but the points you...

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