How I got an A in English Literature
Updated: Sep 25
Hey guys, welcome back to the blog, today we're going to learn how to effectively study English Literature, the subject that spoke to my heart. This was definitely my favourite subject and I came out with an A+ in IGCSE and an A in my A-levels. Although a thorough and deep subject, when done properly English Lit is a fun subject to learn.
I used these methods throughout my course, from 'The Merchant of Venice' and 'Twelfth Night' by Shakespeare to 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Brontë. In this post, we're going to cover the tips and tricks I used to get better grades in my literature exams.
Tip#1. Don't panic at the Start
It's important to stay levelheaded if you're not doing your best at the start, this is a new subject or level and you're not supposed to be an expert the moment you begin. Instead, it's actually more beneficial if you are making mistakes because that means you can learn from them and improve significantly.
I wasn't happy with my first Literature assignment, I was struggling to bridge the gap between IGCSE and A-levels, however, after reviewing what I was doing wrong, I was able to become one of the best students in my module.
So pace yourself, take a step back and look at what you're doing wrong, take your tutor's feedback into consideration and redo any work you find lacking and try to improve it.
Tip#2. Skim Read first
Before making any notes, it's important to skim read the chapter/poem/play first to get an understanding of it. After scoping the material, you can now delve deeper into the analysis.
Tip#3. Annotate & Make notes Early on
If you own the book, feel free to annotate it, each one of my literature books was filled with sticky notes and comments. This makes exam revision much easier when you have to reread the book.
Don't simply rely on the material you're given by the tutors, do some wider reading because, in Literature, there are various ways to interpret writings as long as there is evidence to support it. Therefore, research about context, different analysis and meanings to add to your notes.
Tip#5. Format Your Notes
You most likely know that you're required to use P.E.E in your literature papers; point, evidence, and explanation/analysis. Therefore, it's beneficial to structure your notes that way, so for every point, you make in your notes ensure that you follow up with evidence and its analysis.
These are only some of the tips and I'm going to be sharing more advice and resources in the next post, you can subscribe to get notified when it comes out! For now, thank you for reading and I hope you found something useful here.
What are some of your concerns about studying Literature? Let me know down in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them.