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How to Write an A-Level English Literature Essay

A young woman is immersed in writing an A-level English Literature essay in a quiet café.A young woman is immersed in writing an A-level English Literature essay in a quiet café.

Writing an A-level English Literature essay is like creating a masterpiece. It’s a skill that can make a big difference in your academic adventure. 

In this article, we will explore the world of literary analysis in an easy-to-follow way. We’ll show you how to organise your thoughts, analyse texts, and make strong arguments. 

The Basics of Crafting A-Level English Literature Essays

Essay notes on a desk for 'How to Write A-Level English Literature Essays.'

Understanding the Assignment: Decoding Essay Prompts

Writing begins with understanding. When faced with an essay prompt, dissect it carefully. Identify keywords and phrases to grasp what’s expected. Pay attention to verbs like “analyse,” “discuss,” or “evaluate.” These guide your approach. For instance, if asked to analyse, delve into the how and why of a literary element.

Essay Structure: Building a Solid Foundation

The structure is the backbone of a great essay. Start with a clear introduction that introduces your topic and thesis. The body paragraphs should each focus on a specific aspect, supporting your thesis. Don’t forget topic sentences—they guide readers. Finally, wrap it up with a concise conclusion that reinforces your main points.

Thesis Statements: Crafting Clear and Powerful Arguments

Your thesis is your essay’s compass. Craft a brief statement conveying your main argument. It should be specific, not vague. Use it as a roadmap for your essay, ensuring every paragraph aligns with and supports it. A strong thesis sets the tone for an impactful essay, giving your reader a clear sense of what to expect.

Exploring PEDAL for Better A-Level English Essays

Going beyond PEE to PEDAL ensures a holistic approach, hitting the additional elements crucial for A-Level success. This structure delves into close analysis, explains both the device and the quote, and concludes with a contextual link. 

Below are some examples to illustrate how PEDAL can enhance your essay:

Clearly state your main idea.

Example: “In this paragraph, we explore the central theme of love in Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.'”

Pull relevant quotes from the text.

Example: “Citing Juliet’s line, ‘My only love sprung from my only hate,’ highlights the conflict between love and family loyalty.”

Identify a literary technique in the evidence.

Example: “Analysing the metaphor of ‘love sprung from hate,’ we unveil Shakespeare’s use of contrast to emphasise the intensity of emotions.”

Break down the meaning of the evidence.

Example: “Zooming in on the words ‘love’ and ‘hate,’ we dissect their individual meanings, emphasising the emotional complexity of the characters.”

Link to Context:

Connect your point to broader contexts.

Example: “Linking this theme to the societal norms of the Elizabethan era adds depth, revealing how Shakespeare challenges prevailing beliefs about love and family.”

Navigating the World of Literary Analysis

Top view of bookmarked books arranged neatly, symbolising literary exploration and analysis.

Breaking Down Literary Elements: Characters, Plot, and Themes

Literary analysis is about dissecting a text’s components. Characters, plot, and themes are key players. Explore how characters develop, influence the narrative, and represent broader ideas. Map out the plot’s structure—introduction, rising action, climax, and resolution. Themes, the underlying messages, offer insight into the author’s intent. Pinpointing these elements enriches your analysis.

Effective Text Analysis: Uncovering Hidden Meanings

Go beyond the surface. Effective analysis uncovers hidden layers. Consider symbolism, metaphors, and imagery. Ask questions: What does a symbol represent? How does a metaphor enhance meaning? Why was a particular image chosen? Context is crucial. Connect these literary devices to the broader narrative, revealing the author’s nuanced intentions.

Incorporating Critical Perspectives: Adding Depth to Your Essays

Elevate your analysis by considering various perspectives. Literary criticism opens new doors. Explore historical, cultural, or feminist viewpoints. Delve into how different critics interpret the text. This depth showcases a nuanced understanding, demonstrating your engagement with broader conversations in the literary realm. Incorporating these perspectives enriches your analysis, setting your essay apart.

Secrets to Compelling Essays

Structuring your ideas: creating coherent and flowing essays.

Structure is the roadmap readers follow. Start with a captivating introduction that sets the stage. Each paragraph should have a clear focus, connected by smooth transitions. Use topic sentences to guide readers through your ideas. Aim for coherence—each sentence should logically follow the previous one. This ensures your essay flows seamlessly, making it engaging and easy to follow.

Presenting Compelling Arguments: Backing Up Your Points

Compelling arguments rest on solid evidence. Support your ideas with examples from the text. Quote relevant passages to reinforce your points. Be specific—show how the evidence directly relates to your argument. Avoid generalisations. Strong arguments convince the reader of your perspective, making your essay persuasive and impactful.

The Power of Language: Writing with Clarity and Precision

Clarity is key in essay writing. Choose words carefully to convey your ideas precisely. Avoid unnecessary complexity—simple language is often more effective. Proofread to eliminate ambiguity and ensure clarity. Precision in language enhances the reader’s understanding and allows your ideas to shine. Crafting your essay with care elevates the overall quality, leaving a lasting impression.

Mastering A-level English Literature essays unlocks academic success. Armed with a solid structure, nuanced literary analysis, and compelling arguments, your essays will stand out. Transform your writing from good to exceptional. 

For personalised guidance, join Study Mind’s A-Level English Literature tutors . Elevate your understanding and excel in your literary pursuits. Enrich your learning journey today!

How long should my A-level English Literature essay be, and does word count matter?

While word count can vary, aim for quality over quantity. Typically, essays range from 1,200 to 1,500 words. Focus on expressing your ideas coherently rather than meeting a specific word count. Ensure each word contributes meaningfully to your analysis for a concise and impactful essay.

Is it acceptable to include personal opinions in my literature essay?

While it’s essential to express your viewpoint, prioritise textual evidence over personal opinions. Support your arguments with examples from the text to maintain objectivity. Balance your insights with the author’s intent, ensuring a nuanced and well-supported analysis.

Can I use quotes from literary critics in my essay, and how do I integrate them effectively?

Yes, incorporating quotes from critics can add depth. Introduce the critic’s perspective and relate it to your argument. Analyse the quote’s relevance and discuss its impact on your interpretation. This demonstrates a broader engagement with literary conversations.

How do I avoid sounding repetitive in my essay?

Vary your language and sentence structure. Instead of repeating phrases, use synonyms and explore different ways to express the same idea. Ensure each paragraph introduces new insights, contributing to the overall development of your analysis. This keeps your essay engaging and avoids monotony.

Is it necessary to memorise quotes, or can I refer to the text during exams?

While memorising key quotes is beneficial for a closed text exam, you can refer to the text during open text exams. However, it’s crucial to be selective. Memorise quotes that align with common themes and characters, allowing you to recall them quickly and use them effectively in your essay under time constraints.

How can I improve my essay writing under time pressure during exams?

Practise timed writing regularly to enhance your speed and efficiency. Prioritise planning—allocate a few minutes to outline your essay before starting. Focus on concise yet impactful analysis. Develop a systematic approach to time management to ensure each section of your essay receives adequate attention within the given timeframe.

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how to write english a level coursework

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Funky Pedagogy

A Level Literature Ideas – #1: Writing Introductions

Introductions and conclusions always seem like quite abstract things, threatening to book end an essay with vague statements and ‘summing up’. However, done right, an introduction serves as the perfect vanguard of a well crafted argument.

There are tons of different ways to teach introduction writing, but the most successful in my experience is ‘Discuss, Define, Refine’ (DDR). Here is a brief outline:

Discuss: Introduce the key terms of the question, showing that you are fully aware of the given theme/issue/area. Often constitutes a simple re-wording of the question. e.g. “Madness is a topic which clearly fascinates writers across all of literature.”

Define: Define the key terms in the question, showing that you appreciate a range of ways to interpret the topic. e.g. “‘Madness’ could refer to a range of human emotion and conditions, such as the brief madness caused by grief, the intoxicating madness of love, or the tragic madness of severe mental illness.”

Refine: State clearly how YOU are interpreting the question/terms for this particular essay, bringing the question to your specific text(s). Ensure that the final sentence of the introduction firmly establishes your key argument. e.g. “Perhaps the most significant presentation of madness in literature is that of King Lear as he succumbs to old age, confusion, anger and dementia, destroying his family and, for a time, losing his humanity. In Lear, Shakespeare presents a king who loses his mind, his country and his children; this is not a play about greed or evil, but about a frail and vulnerable man in the throes of mental instability.”

This structure effectively ensures that students begin with a very wide concept, and then narrow this concept down to their own specific argument. I use an upside-down triangle to show my students how this works:

Intro Slide

The other very pleasing thing about the triangle shape is that we could see it as an arrow, literally pointing towards the rest of the essay…

line of argument slide

The resource below is a writing frame using the triangle/chevron shape, which students can use to plan their introduction. The shape is really helpful in emphasising the fact that students have to start in general terms, and gradually become more specific, ending in a final, very clear, narrow focus for their argument.


The finished introduction is here:

“How do writers present male dominance in Victorian literature? Consider one prose and one drama text.

Male dominance pervades Victorian literature in everything from plot to setting to characterization. The writing community itself was almost all male, with only a handful of notable female writers to create any sense of balance. Male dominance could refer to depictions of powerful men and domestic hierarchies which were typical of the period. It could also refer to the way in which masculinity and misogyny are ingrained in the very fabric of novels, plays and poetry.  The most potent example of male dominance in these texts is the very real and oppressive way in which characters such as Torvald Helmer and Lord Henry control and manipulate those around them. These writers present their male oppressors as villains who exemplify all that is wrong in a male dominated society.”

I’d be really interested to hear other A Level intro structures you have used or developed @FunkyPedagogy

My next post on the A Level Literature Ideas series will be on essay planning…

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  • How to Make Your Coursework as Good as It Can Possibly Be

how to write english a level coursework

Many GCSE and A-level subjects are assessed in part by coursework in addition to exams, meaning that the mark you receive for coursework contributes to your overall grade. Many students prefer coursework, because it’s a chance to showcase your academic abilities away from the high-pressured environment of the exam room, making it ideal for those who don’t perform to the best of their abilities in exams. However, the time you have available for coursework, in contrast with the time constraints of the exam room, can lull some students into a false sense of security. Coursework is arguably just as challenging as exams, just in different ways – and, given the fact that you have more time, much higher standards are expected of you in coursework than in exams. Careful planning and research are needed for successful coursework, as well as strong data-gathering and essay-writing skills. In this article, we look at how to produce excellent coursework, from planning to proofreading. This information might also be useful to you if you’re planning on attending an Oxford Summer School this summer.

What is coursework?

GCSE and A-level coursework typically takes the form of an extended essay or project. Its objectives vary from one subject to another, but there’s usually an emphasis on the student conducting independent research into a topic of their own choice. Thus coursework often takes the form of some sort of investigation; it may, therefore, help to have your ‘detective’ hat on as you explore, investigate and analyse your topic. You can usually work on your coursework at home, though it’s sometimes completed under controlled conditions through sessions at school. To give you a better idea of how coursework varies from one subject to another, here are some examples:

  • English – English coursework usually takes the form of an extended essay with a title of your choice. You’re usually given a choice of themes and/or texts to explore, and you could choose a format such as a comparison between a set text and another one.
  • Geography – Geography coursework usually focuses on the gathering, reporting and interpretation of data designed to answer a particular geographical question. You could investigate usage of a shopping centre, for example, or look at erosion on a particular beach.
  • Sciences – coursework for science subjects often takes the form of a scientific project or experiment that you conduct and report on yourself.

Before you start work on your coursework, it’s essential that you have a thorough understanding of the rules. Failing to conform to the rules – inadvertently or not – may result in your coursework (or possibly even your entire qualification) being disqualified, so it’s a serious matter.

  • No plagiarism – this is particularly dangerous given the ready availability of relevant information on the internet these days. Make sure everything is in your own words; you’ll need to sign a declaration stating that it’s your own original work.
  • There’s only so much help your teacher can give you . They can provide guidance on what you need to include, and on what the examiners will be looking for. You can ask them questions, but they’ll usually only be able to check through your first draft once and offer broad hints on updating it.
  • Check the word count , and stick to it. Find out whether footnotes, appendices and bibliographies are included in the word count.
  • Check what topics you’re allowed to do your coursework on; if there’s an exam on this topic, you’ll almost certainly have to choose a different one for your coursework.

Choose your topic wisely

Ideally, choose something you’re genuinely interested in, as your enthusiasm will come across and you’ll find it more enjoyable to write. If there’s something you’ve been working on for the course so far that you’ve particularly enjoyed, you may be able to focus more on this as part of your coursework. For science coursework, you’ll need to choose something to investigate that you can measure, change and control; it should be what’s called a ‘fair test’, meaning that you have to acknowledge all the controls you use in the experiment and why. Try not to pick a topic for which the scope is too vast, as you’ll struggle to research it properly and you’re unlikely to do it justice, and it’ll be hard to keep within the word limit. Ask your teachers for some guidance on choosing your topic if you’re not sure what to write about; they might even tell you a bit about what previous students have done to give you some inspiration.

Plan how long it’s going to take

Never leave your coursework until the last minute, even if this is your normal approach to essays and it usually works for you. Make sure you understand when the deadlines are, including time for submitting a first draft for comments from your teacher. Then schedule blocks of time for working on it, allowing plenty of time before the deadline to cater for any unexpected delays. Allow ample time for making corrections based on teacher feedback on your first draft, and keep some time aside before the deadline for final editing and proofreading. Because actual deadlines are few and far between, you’ll need to take responsibility for the writing process and impose some deadlines on yourself to ensure it’s finished in time. Write down your deadlines on a calendar, with the coursework broken into stages and dates assigned to each, by which time each task should be complete. You can base your stages on the next few points in this article – research and data gathering, a structure plan for the piece of work, writing up, and so on.

Conducting your research and gathering data

As coursework is primarily a research exercise, the research phase is crucial, so don’t be tempted to skimp on it and go straight to writing up. Use as many different resources as you can to gather data: books, journals, newspapers, television, radio, the internet and anything else you think might be relevant. For science and Geography coursework, you’ll need to base your work on a hypothesis, so the research stage should start by coming up with at least one hypothesis, otherwise your research will lack direction. The research phase for some subjects may involve site visits for gathering data, so allow plenty of time for this, particularly if you need your parents to drive you somewhere to do so. If it’s a scientific experiment you’re conducting for your coursework, you’ll need to pay careful attention to planning the experiment using rigorous scientific methods (also noting what Health and Safety precautions you are taking), as well as reading up on the background and theory so that you have an idea of what to expect from the outcome of your experiment. In the research stage, make notes about what you expect to happen, so that you can later compare your expectations with what actually did happen. The experiment itself also forms part of the research and data-gathering stage for your science coursework; in the write-up stage, which we come onto shortly, you analyse and write up the results.

Plan your structure

Once you’ve completed your research, the process of writing up begins. Before you get down to the actual writing, however, it’s advisable to write a plan for how you’re going to structure it – essentially an essay plan for English coursework and other subjects for which the coursework is based on an extended essay. It’ll look slightly different from an essay plan for science subjects and others that revolve around project work, but the principle is the same: plan out what order you’re going to present your information in. For big projects, this is particularly important, because with a lot of information to convey, you risk being disorganised and waffling.

Writing up your project

For any coursework, but particularly coursework based around an extended essay, you’ll need to perfect your essay-writing abilities. For science coursework, writing up your project also involves data analysis, as you interpret the results of your experiment and work your notes into formal scientific language. Follow the links below to find lots more useful advice on writing great essays.

  • How to write dazzlingly brilliant essays
  • How to write more original essays
  • Techniques from creative writing that can improve your essays

When you’re writing up, it’s important to find a place where you can work quietly, without distractions that could cause you to make careless errors. You wouldn’t want noise or distractions when you were in an exam room, so treat your coursework with the same reverence.

Supporting materials and images

For some subjects, namely the sciences and Geography, it would be appropriate to include images, graphs, charts, tables and so on in your coursework. For example, for Geography coursework, your extra material could include annotated images and maps of the site you’re talking about, plus tables, graphs and charts. An appendix could then detail your raw data; if, for example, your coursework focused on the results of a survey, you could put the raw survey responses in an appendix and provide summaries and analysis in the main body of the coursework.

Footnotes and bibliography

As we said earlier, it’s important that you always use your own words in your coursework to avoid the possibility of falling foul of plagiarism rules. However, it’s acceptable to quote from another source, as you would in any piece of academic writing, but you must make sure that you state where it is from and use quotation marks to show that it’s a quote from somewhere else. The best way of citing another work is to use a footnote; word processors will allow you to insert one, and it just puts a little number at the end of the sentence and another in the footer of the document, into which you put the name of the author and work, and the page within that work that the quote can be found. At the end of your piece of work, include a bibliography that includes a list of every external source you’ve used in the creation of your coursework. Stick to a set formula when including books. A common format is: Author Surname, Initial. (Date) – Title of Book , page number For example: Lewis, C.S. (1960) – Studies in Words , p. 45 When you get to university, you’ll be expected to include footnotes and bibliographies in all your essays, so it’s a good habit to get into and coursework gives you good practice at it.

The final pre-submission check

Having completed a first draft, received feedback from your teacher, and honed your work into a finished piece of coursework, have a final check through it before you send off your coursework for submission.

  • Sense check : have a read through your completed piece of work and check that it all makes sense. Make sure you haven’t contradicted yourself anywhere, or repeated yourself, or laboured the point. If there are any facts that you may have meant to look up to double check their accuracy, do so now.
  • Word count : ensure that the completed work falls within the word count, and double check whether the bibliography should be included in the word count. If you’ve exceeded it, you’ll need to work through the piece and tighten up your writing, omitting unnecessary information, reordering sentences so that they use fewer words, and so on.
  • Proofread : check your spelling and grammar, and ensure that there are no typos. Don’t just use the spellcheck – go through it with a fine toothcomb, manually, and if you can, ask someone to read through it for you to see if they spot anything you haven’t.
  • Formatting : check that you’ve included page numbers, and that the font and line spacing is consistent throughout the work. Ensure that the font is plain and easy to read, such as Arial or Times New Roman.
  • Bibliography : check that you’ve included everything, that the format is the same for all sources mentioned, and that the right information is included for each.

Once this stage is complete, you’re ready to submit your coursework along with your declaration that it’s entirely your own work. Get ready for a feeling of immense satisfaction when you finally send off your hard work!

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how to write english a level coursework

How to Write a Coursework

how to write english a level coursework

Coursework projects do not resemble essays, research papers, or dissertations. They are the combination of all three. Students spend less time writing coursework than on making a term paper, but this type of work requires more time and efforts than an ordinary essay - it is made of several essays. Thanks to our guide, each student can discover how to write coursework. If you are running out of time or lack experience to complete the specific coursework, we recommend using our coursework writing services to hire professional academic writers.

What is Coursework and Why Does It Matter?

Coursework definition: General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) coursework is a typical academic assignment, given in the course of study to evaluate the student’s knowledge, skills, and identify the final grade. Many students face this type of writing in the US colleges. One of the examples is a coursework UTD (The University of Texas at Dallas) - the requirements of this institution are strict, and many students fail to submit their papers and pass the corresponding courses.

Such type of assignment helps to have the ‘detective’ hat on: a student observes, examines, and evaluates the chosen topic using credible, up-to-date, and relevant sources. Working under controlled conditions is important. Participating in every school class will help to prepare good coursework by the end of the term. Take a look at the examples of what students of various profiles may face:

  • English Composition - English coursework is an extended essay in most cases. A student has a right to pick the topic. The tutors provide their students with the list of recommended titles to choose from, sources to observe & analyze, and a format (e.g., a comparison between different relevant articles)
  • Sciences - coursework for science is a complicated assignment. Such type of work appears in the form of a scientific paper to test what a writer investigates and reports independently.
  • Geography - geography coursework is about collecting, reporting, and explaining information to reply to a certain geographical question or offer solutions to the problem. One idea is to explore the usage of a shopping mall or analyze the recent tornado. No matter whether you have to prepare a coursework Columbia or such paper for other educational institutions, keep in mind these differences!

Types of Coursework Explained

English Language coursework is the most common type of this assignment. At advanced GCE level, the student will be expected to write a couple of essays, totaling 3,000 words. Every assignment is 20 marks maximum.

Types of Coursework

An analytical essay : Evaluate, compare, & contrast 3 different sources of data interconnected by a common theme; written /spoken / multimedia content. Discuss different uses for targeting various audiences. Learn more on our blog.

Original essay with a supportive commentary : A student will have to come up with a single piece of media writing in the observed modes (written, spoken, or multimodal). Add a supporting piece with details about the aspects of English language. English Language & Literature coursework is a bit different. The basic requirements are the same, and the parts are:

An analytical study : Sharing an analysis of the chosen piece and its relation to the related content. It will show how well the writer understands the original piece. Tutors grade such works based on the:

  • Use of the proper terminology and the coherence of the written words;
  • Understanding & evaluation of the way a structure, form, and language create the written & spoken word;
  • Opportunity to observe relationships between various pieces of writing.

Creative writing & commentary : Produce a creative piece that imitates the style of the assessed text. Share comments to backup your understanding. The goal is to show the knowledge, prove the competence, and use appropriate language skills in communicating with the target audience. You will also need a relevant coursework resume (review) in both cases. Keep on reading to learn how to write coursework of A level.

How to Write a Coursework: Guide for Students

Several factors may lead to the coursework being disqualified. It is a serious matter! The risk factors include:

  • Plagiarism - it is the worst thing that could happen to any type of academic assignment. Lots of relevant information is available on the world wide web today, and the tutors are strict about the issue of plagiarism. Write everything in your own words! If you decide to insert the quotes from the sources, apply the suggested citation format and develop a list of references. Sign the declaration claiming it is your original project. If you're unsure about how to approach this, seeking professional help by choosing to write my coursework can be a wise decision.
  • Word count - do not ignore the specific requirements concerning the length of the coursework. Specify if the footnotes, appendices, & references are included in the word count.
  • Topics - go through the list of available themes. If there is an examination planned on the specific topic, try to pick another idea for the coursework.
  • Tutor’s assistance - do not ignore the help of your instructor, ask them to provide guidance on what to write. Ask the questions to learn more details, but keep in mind they can go through the 1st draft once and just offer some general recommendations.

Choosing a Topic for Your Project

Dedicate enough time to this extra important question. Select the field of your interest if it is possible to relate it to the course. That is the golden rule of choosing a coursework topic - keep in mind the rest of the hints:

  • Analyze the offered list of topics or develop yours
  • Pick a topic from the area of your expertise related to the studied subject
  • Select the topic you are interested in
  • Choose the topic you’ve started to observe in the past
  • Check how much relevant, up-to-date information is available on the Internet about each of the topics
  • Pick what you can measure, change, & control (they call it a ‘fair test’)
  • Use the ideas of previous researchers and students
  • Do not choose a topic with a vast scope - you risk struggling to research it correctly

10 Good Coursework Topics

  • Non-traditional Forms of Poetry with TC Tolbert
  • Documentary Foundations: Usage of Oral Histories with Beth Alvarado
  • Traditional Forms of Poetry
  • Hermit Crabs: Type of Fiction
  • Writing the Autobiographical Poem
  • Creative Non-Fiction on the Examples of New Journalists
  • Authors without Borders
  • Writing the Sticky Stuff
  • Socially Engaged Literary Arts
  • Common Vocabulary

Research & Data Collection

Research is an integral part of coursework. Have you written research papers before? If yes, you will find it easier to select proper primary & secondary sources and gather the necessary information (evidence to support the main point - thesis). Depending on the required paper format, cite & reference the following sources:

  • Books & e-Books

Base the project on a specific hypothesis. The research must start with minimum one hypothesis. The research stage for some topics may consist of visiting websites to collect information. Leave another time for collecting the data as it is the heart of the research. Three methods of data collection are known:

  • Direct personal investigation : The one an author does individually (using literature and findings from previous studies);
  • Interview/Questionnaire : The researcher should gather the data from the respondents asking questions regarding required data;
  • Discussion with community leaders : Community leaders are approached to fetch information for the necessary data.

In case a student works on a scientific experiment, they should pay attention to planning the analysis with the help of rigorous scientific methods (keeping in mind the Health & Safety precautions you take). Review background information and theories. Take notes to express what you expect to occur to compare & contrast it to what happened in real life. In the write-up stage, one has to evaluate and present the findings.

6 steps to writing a good introduction

Writing a Coursework Outline

The writing process follows the research. Do not start it without preparing an action plan and scheduling the work - a paper pin for English coursework is based on an extended essay . An outline will look different for the science coursework projects. The goal of creating a plan is to prevent a writer from being disorganized and waffling.

Writing a Coursework Outline

Let us explain coursework outline on the specific example - a project on the global pursuit of lower costs and the role of human rights.

Start with the brief introduction explaining why it might be a topic of interest for many people. Mention those vast corporations like Wal-Mart abuse human rights by choosing and using child labor in the factories.

Provide an overview of the problem . Define human rights and costs. Pick the definitions from the official dictionaries and cite them properly when inserting in the text. Try to explain the terms in your own words.

Develop a body of the coursework , start with the case for & against ethical business practices. Using evidence and examples, list the arguments supporting ethical business practices and another side of the coin. Include a business case for ethical practices after the opening body paragraph.

Move to discussing ethical responsibilities ; explain why business organizations should care about the ethical aspects of their activities. After three sections of the body, one can conclude the paper. It can be a good idea to share a fact or statistics stressing the importance of research problem in the essay conclusion. End up with the reference list that may look this way:

  • Klein N (2000) No Logo (Flamingo, London)
  • Marcousé I, Gillespie A, Martin B, Surridge M and Wall N (2003) Business Studies 2e (Hodder Arnold, Oxon)
  • Royal Dutch Shell (2006) 4th Quarter Financial Report at (site example)


Additional Elements

Supporting materials and pictures are a must! The sciences & geography projects require tables, charts, graphs, and other types of images to illustrate the complicated topic. Not only should you add the pictures - it is essential to interpret and reference each of them. A separate part of the coursework where the student list and explains every visual element is Appendix , and it is an optional part. The presence of appendix increases the chances to earn an A+.

How to Write an Introduction for Coursework?

Most of the students underestimate the role of introduction & conclusion when it comes to writing an essay. An eye-catchy introduction is a key to success. The primary purposes of a coursework introduction are:

  • To grab the reader’s attention
  • To introduce the topic
  • To explain the research importance
  • To come up with a compelling thesis statement

The opening paragraph shows the depth of the writer’s acquaintance with the topic. Look at the expert tips below. They will help to learn how to write a coursework introduction to make the tutor want to read your entire paper.

What Is an Introduction?

The introduction of GCSE coursework is the opening paragraph that aims to interpret the central questions and purposes of the entire paper. It should have several elements to be effective. Those are:

  • A hook sentence
  • Background information
  • Problem significance
  • Solid thesis statement

Advice from our Experienced Writer

How to write an introduction to coursework? The quality of this part predetermines paper’s success. Look at some common mistakes writers do while working on the coursework introduction - try to prevent them!

Ignoring the prompt. Many students tend to neglect the tutor’s instructions. It is critical to read the prompt several times, highlight the main points, research question, rules, and grading rubric details.

Missing a plan. The prompt does not always say to develop a coursework outline. Without a plan for every separate section, it is impossible to write a flawless piece step-by-step. No matter whether you have to write a term paper, research paper, dissertation, or C3 coursework, get ready with the detailed plan. Once you understand how to write an introduction, it will be easier to develop the rest of the paper.

For those who need a helping hand in ensuring their work meets all the standards and deadlines, don't hesitate to buy coursework from trusted professionals.

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

how to write english a level coursework

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

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Programmes & Qualifications

Cambridge international as & a level english language (9093).

  • Syllabus overview

Cambridge International AS and A Level English Language provides learners with the opportunity to study English language and its use in communication. Learners will be encouraged to respond critically to a wide variety of texts in a range of forms, styles and contexts, and to promote skills of communication, reading, research and analysis.

Through their study, learners will develop an ability to read and analyse material, gaining further knowledge and understanding of English language features and issues. Learners will also develop the skills of writing clearly, accurately, creatively and effectively for different purposes and audiences.

Changes have been made to this syllabus for first examination in 2021 onwards. Please see the 2021-2023 syllabus for detailed information.

The syllabus year refers to the year in which the examination will be taken.

  • -->2021 - 2023 Syllabus update (PDF, 163KB)
  • -->2024 - 2026 Syllabus update (PDF, 136KB)

Syllabus support

  • -->Support for English Language (PDF, 1MB)

Syllabus updates

We worked with teachers, subject expert panels and universities around the world to update our Cambridge International AS & A Level English subject group as part of our on-going review process. We have made some changes to the syllabus for examination in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Many teachers told us that they offer more than one English subject from this group, so we have made some changes so that the syllabuses work together regardless of whether a student is studying one or more subject from this group. To make it clearer for teachers, we have separated this syllabus from our other English Cambridge International AS & A Levels.

How has the syllabus changed?

  • We have included a specific subject content section that sets out what students should study across the Cambridge International AS & A Level.
  • After feedback from teachers, new content has been added within Paper 3 that focuses on the analysis and intrepretation of language data.
  • We have increased the number of assessment objectives from three to five and have updated the wording so the expectations of each assessment objective is clearer.
  • The levels of response mark schemes have changed based on feedback from schools to make sure we maintain valid and reliable assessments.
  • Text and context
  • Meaning and style
  • We have added a list of command words and their meanings to help learners know what’s expected of them in the exam.

How has assessment changed?

  • Changes to the papers have been made to update and retain the strengths of the current model. We are keeping the assessment model for English Language as a four component, exam only model.
  • The A Level Paper 3 will have stimulus texts that will be accompanied by some quantitative language data, in graph and table form. This change is based on feedback from teachers who feel the skill of data analysis would be valuable for students and engage their interest.
  • Language acquisition has been moved to Paper 3 from Paper 4 as this topic represents language analysis more than a language topic.
  • English in the World - a new title for the current English as a global language
  • Language and the self - a new topic that concentrates on the relationships between language and thought, and language and social identity. This change was made after consultation with centres, who felt the current topics in Paper 4 were not discrete enough.

When do these changes take place?

The updated syllabus will be assessed in June and November 2021, 2022 and 2023. It is also available in March 2021, 2022 and 2023 (India only). Please see the 2021-2023 syllabus above for full details.

Coming soon

We are developing a wide range of support to help you plan and teach the 2021-2023 syllabus. Visit our School Support Hub from April 2019 onwards.

Look out for our comprehensive support package to help you deliver the 2021-2023 syllabus including a Scheme of work, Example candidate responses and Specimen paper answers. There will also be Teacher and Learner guides from April 2019 onwards through our School Support Hub .

Endorsed resources

View the latest resources that are being developed for the Cambridge International AS & A Level English Language syllabus (9093).

 AS & A Level English Language)

Helps students gain an understanding of how language works for different audiences and purposes. Improve reading skills through analysis of different text types – from blogs to letters – and create imaginative, discursive and critical writing.

Read more on the Cambridge University Press website

Collins A Level English

Build skills and knowledge in a clear sequence and help students to apply skills to a range of language tasks, with up-to-date coverage of the syllabus topics and a stimulating range of international texts.

Read more on the Collins website

Important notices

Find out more about our range of English syllabuses to suit every level and ambition.

For some subjects, we publish grade descriptions to help understand the level of performance candidates’ grades represent.

We paused the publication of grade descriptions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the temporary changes to the awarding standard in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

As the awarding standard has now returned to the pre-pandemic standard, we are working to produce up-to-date grade descriptions for most of our general qualifications. These will be based on the awarding standards in place from June 2023 onwards.

School Support Hub

Teachers at registered Cambridge schools can unlock over 30 000 teaching and learning resources to help plan and deliver Cambridge programmes and qualifications, including Schemes of work, Example candidate responses, Past papers, Specimen paper answers, as well as digital and multimedia resources.

Schemes of work

Example responses, past papers, specimen paper answers.

Register your interest in becoming a Cambridge School

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Sign up for updates about changes to the syllabuses you teach

  • Past papers, examiner reports and specimen papers
  • Published resources


Thoughts about teaching, literature, and teaching literature

A Student Guide: How to Reference for A Level Coursework

The below guide as to how to write references for A Level coursework uses the MLA citation style. This is of course not the only citation style and is not inherently better than others, but the key is to be consistent.

Italics Vs Quotation Marks

  • If you are citing any complete work, for example, a novel, a volume of poetry, an anthology, a film, a TV series, a play, or a newspaper then you should cite that text using italics.
  • For example, The Great Gatsby, The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Spring and All, Death of a Salesman, Hamlet, The Guardian, The Wire, Game of Thrones, Forrest Gump .
  • But, if you are citing a work that is contained within another work, for example an individual poem, a television episode, an essay, a journal article, or a short story then you cite that using single quotation marks.
  • For example, ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’, ‘The Death of an Author’, ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’, ‘Sonnet 101’, ‘The One with the Candy Hearts’, ‘In the Penal Colony’.
  • However, not every poem goes in quotation marks. It just depends if it was published within a volume or as a self-contained entity. For example, The Waste Land is in italics because it was published in book form. Paradise Lost is also in italics because it is a self-contained book and was not published within another work.
  • Also, if a poem is titled the same as the volume that doesn’t matter. You would write: ‘Spring and All’ is contained within Spring and All .
  • Finally, what do you do if a complete work is contained with a larger work, for example an anthology?
  • For example, Death of a Salesman is contained within The Norton of American Literature .
  • You need to go back to the original publication: Death of a Salesman was originally published as a self-contained work so it will always be in italics
  • It doesn’t matter if Hamlet or The Waste Land is in an anthology; they will never be ‘Hamlet’ or ‘The Waste Land’.

Double Spaces

  • Always double space
  • Everything, other than footnotes, must be double spaced
  • How to double space: highlight the text, right click, go to paragraph, go to line spacing, click on the drop down box and choose double.

Quotation Marks

  • When quoting something, always use single quotation marks
  • Double quotation marks are the American version
  • So, ‘ The Waste Land is amazing’ not “ The Waste Land is amazing”.
  • The latter is tantamount to writing color instead of colour
  • If you are quoting within a quotation then you can use double marks. For example, Just above the writer wrote ‘According to Bob, The Waste Land is “an amazing poem that changed the tone of poetry forever”’.

How to Cite within an Essay

  • It is essential that any work that you make use of within the essay is cited appropriately and accurately.
  • You are using the MLA style, which means you do not cite with footnotes, but rather parenthetically.
  • Footnotes can still be used in your essay, but they would be discursive, which means they can add information that is relevant, but does not fit in the main body of the essay. Do this sparingly.
  • So, each time you quote from any text, whether it is the primary text or an article, you insert a page reference in brackets next to that quotation
  • For example: When Faulkner writes that the sun was ‘glistening’ (106) he accentuates its beauty.
  • If you are analysing one specific passage and quoting from it frequently within a short space in your essay then just reference the final quotation. For example, When Faulkner writes that the sun was ‘glistening’ and that it was like a ‘jewel’, which had been ‘pocketed in the sky’ (106) he accentuates its beauty.
  • If it is not clear where the quotation is from either because you do not state the writer in the main body or because you reference more than one text from that writer include this information parenthetically. For example, just as the sun was ‘glistening’ (Faulkner 106) so too Eliot describes the moon as ‘shining’ (334).
  • The idea is that a reader would be able to look at your quotation and know the author and text (both usually evident in the main body of the essay) and also page number (cited parenthetically) and then look at the relevant entry in the bibliography and as such find the full and precise reference.

How to Write a Bibliography

  • The bibliography is a complete list of all sources that you have referenced throughout the essay and it comes at the end of the essay
  • Surname, forename. Title of text including editor if relevant. (Place of publication: publisher, date). This is for anything other than a journal article.
  • For example, Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson ed. by Alfred R. Ferguson et al. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971)
  • Frost, Robert. ‘The Pasture’, Frost: Collected Poems, Prose, & Plays , ed. by Richard Poirier & Mark Richardson (New York: Library of America, 1995)
  • Eliot, TS. ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’, The Complete Poems & Plays , (London: Faber & Faber, 2004)
  • Faulkner, William. Light in August . (London and New York: Vintage, 2002).
  • If you are citing a journal article then use the following format: Surname, forename. Name of article using ‘’. Name of journal using italics. Issue number. Publication date. Page numbers of the article within the journal.
  • For example: Brinkman, Barth. ‘Scrapbooking Modernism: Marianne Moore and the Making of the Modern Collage Poem’. Modernism / modernity . 18.1. (2011). 43-66.

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Coursework Narrative Writing for IGCSE First Language English 0500/0990

Coursework Narrative Writing for IGCSE First Language English 0500/0990

Subject: English

Age range: 14-16

Resource type: Unit of work


Last updated

11 May 2024

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how to write english a level coursework

13 lesson unit for IGCSE First Language English 0500 for Narrative Writing, specifically for the Coursework route . The theme of this unit is fantasy narrative writing.

Included is a 239 slide PowerPoint and 81 page student workbook with all activities included, such as the do nows, planning sheets, extracts, etc.

Planned by an experienced 0500 teacher and IGCSE English examiner. Find me on Youtube by searching Taughtly for 0500 video lessons.

Find the Paper 2 exam adaptation of this same unit here:

Lesson topics:

  • Introducing the fantasy genre
  • Show don’t tell
  • Characterisation
  • Plot mountain
  • Clues and tension
  • A* exemplar
  • Rank ordering three example stories
  • Generating story ideas
  • Planning my story
  • Writing my story
  • Redrafting my story

Free sample lessons:

  • Unpicking an exemplar A* story:
  • Identifying show don’t tell:

Tes paid licence How can I reuse this?

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Transcription Center logo

Virginia Education, School Reports, Teachers Monthly School Reports, Nov. 1865–Apr. 1869, Part 3

About the project.

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Superintendent of Education for Virginia, Series 4: School Reports. 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page . Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Virginia during the Reconstruction Era.

Monthly school reports of teachers, November 1865 and January 1866–June 1871, are arranged chronologically and were prepared on forms devised in the Office of the Superintendent of Education. The forms contain statistical data furnished by individual teachers concerning the number of pupils enrolled; attendance; subjects taught in day, night, and Sabbath schools; and the amount of tuition paid by students. Some forms also contain more lengthy narrative remarks by teachers. Some of the reports apparently pertain to non–Bureau schools. Filmed directly after the school reports is a bound register containing the names of teachers to whom forms and envelopes were sent, May 1869–June 1870; the names are arranged alphabetically by name of county.

About Project Difficulty

Level 1 - beginner.

Content: all typed Language: English Format: letters, diaries, flyers, pamphlets, and one-page documents Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Content: mostly typed, handwritten in print, or otherwise very clearly written/readable Language: English Format: memorabilia, advertisements, image captions, telegrams, diaries, letters, notes Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required


Content: typed and handwritten materials in cursive or print Language: English Format: newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters/diaries/notes that may include annotations or margin notes Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: experience reading cursive writing may be useful

Content: handwritten materials, primarily in cursive or somewhat difficult to read (predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries) , audio recordings that are relatively easy to hear/decipher, and scientific materials Language: English and/or other languages that use Roman script but may require the use of diacritics (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.) Format: audio recordings, letters, diaries, notes and other written materials, projects with templated fields and special instructions Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: some knowledge of non-English Roman-character/script languages and diacritics may be useful, as well as experience reading cursive handwriting. A general knowledge or familiarity with scientific terminology.

Level 5 - ADVANCED

Content: handwritten materials in cursive (from the 19th century or earlier) or in a non-Roman script language, audio recordings that are difficult to hear or are not in English, specialty materials/projects such as numismatics projects and the Project Phaedra notebooks Language: foreign languages that use non-Roman characters (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek/Cyrillic, Native American and Indigenous languages, etc.) and English Format: audio recordings, columned data/tables, manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, currency sheets, coins Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: knowledge of a specific language and access to a keyboard with the characters in that language may be required for certain projects. Experience reading cursive handwriting and familiarity with 19th century (or prior) handwriting and conventions/abbreviations may be useful, as well as knowledge of scientific terminology, astrophysics data, or linguistics.

Contributing members

Total pages

Main navigation

  • Overview of the Faculty
  • Dean's Welcome
  • Information for Faculty
  • Alumni and Giving
  • Overview of Information for Students
  • Undergraduate
  • Postdoctoral
  • Departments & Programs
  • Research Overview
  • Research Excellence
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Revealing the Treasures of McGill’s Writing Centre: A Discussion with Dr. Yvonne Hung

Discovering McGill's French Language Centre

how to write english a level coursework

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For many students coming to McGill from across Canada and other countries around the globe, one of the many advantages of pursuing a degree at McGill is that students are immersed in Montreal’s unique bilingual culture.

McGill’s French Language Centre is one of the university’s best assets in promoting learning opportunities for students in any academic program throughout the university with its course offerings of credited and non-credited courses that encompass writing and oral communication.

Students from McGill’s various professional schools, such as the School of Social Work, and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, turn to the FLC for crucial French language training that will benefit them not only during their time at McGill but beyond when they leave to pursue professional careers in Quebec.

Beginner Level Courses for All McGill Students 

For students across academic disciplines, from the Faculty of Arts to the Faculty of Engineering, the FLC offers placement tests to ascertain a student’s level of comprehension and skill in the French language and offers 5 different levels of courses, which follows the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, a global standard for grading language proficiency. The levels on offer range from level A1, absolute beginner, to level C1, which is a full command of the language.

Alida Soucé has been a Faculty Lecturer at the French Language Centre for close to ten years now, and, along with the Centre's other instructors, is responsible for creating, coordinating, and teaching beginner level French courses at the FLC. Alida currently coordinates and teaches the near beginner course, FRSL 103 and the elementary French course, FRSL 206/207.

“These courses are built and based on research in applied didactics,” says Alida. “Most of our instructors are constantly reflecting on improving course offerings so that students have access to the most innovative academic courses in the field of French as a Second Language.”

Living and learning in a bilingual city such as Montreal gives students the opportunity to use their newly acquired French skills in a multitude of settings on and off campus.

“We equip students with solid, academic French courses that are centered in a Montreal context” says Alida. “Thanks to our exceptional setting in Quebec, the courses we teach can help students whose goal is to become bilingual.”

“We also organize many extracurricular activities in which students can further strengthen the skills we teach in the classroom,” says Alida.

The FLC organizes a series of cultural outings such as a historical and cultural tour of popular Montreal neighborhoods like the Mile End and Old Montreal, and events such as a French Improv Night, conversation workshops and a series focusing on French in the workplace, all of which give students the opportunity to develop their oral skills in informal settings with other students enrolled in FLC courses.

Alida prides herself on being able to offer her students a personalized approach to learning and her courses are often filled with a strong sense of community.

In some anonymous student feedback received by Alida, many students attest to the excellent learning environments they experienced in her classroom.

“It’s always been one of my goals to speak French, and it’s in part why I moved to Montreal,” says one student who took a FLC course this winter. “My anxiety always got in the way, and it wasn’t until [Alida’s] class that I was able to work through that productively, something I'll be taking with me when I move to London this fall and continue working towards fluency.”

Another student noted how thankful they were for the extra time Alida devoted to providing detailed feedback on tests and writing/oral practice. “[Alida’s] encouragement and support [inspired] me to keep participating and improving my French skills in my daily life.”

Teaching French for Specific Purposes 

Ariel Mercado came to McGill with over 20 years of experience teaching French and English as a second language in Spain. It was in Spain that Ariel developed his interest in teaching language for a specific purpose, such as teaching English and French for the tourism industry and in the healthcare sector.

Ariel later moved to Quebec to pursue his studies, and it was during his PhD in Linguistics that Ariel’s interest in healthcare and languages solidified.

Working closely with the administration of the FLC, Ariel created French courses for health sciences and social work , which are offered during both Fall and Winter semesters, as well as a May intensive course. The courses are designed to give written and oral communication skills to students from a variety of disciplines in the health and social work sectors, as well as French skills for students studying dietetics and nutrition.

These courses are offered through a partnership with Dialogue McGill, which is funded by Health Canada under the Action Plan for Official Languages, which aimed to “build and maintain the capacity of bilingual health and social services professionals in Quebec.”

“My focus in these courses is especially oral communication with patients, with caregivers and with other professionals, and to prepare students for that,” says Ariel. “Writing skills are also important- students have to know how to write a chart for another professional or in layman’s terms for the patient.”

The Centre works closely with the Professional Schools Committee, which includes representatives from the various McGill schools in healthcare. The courses are formulated with the feedback of doctors, social workers and dieticians so that the courses are tailored to specific skills and requirements students will encounter in their future professions.

“We have around two meetings per semester in which I participate,” says Ariel. “I have had ideas for courses from these meetings. For example, they tell me we need our students to know how to write a chart in French, I ask for material that they can share (without personal identification details) so that the examples we give students are accurate and can be adapted to their learning levels and needs.”

Focusing on real tasks that they will have in their professional lives is an important objective in Ariel’s courses. In order to pass the courses and to be able to work in their respective fields in Québec, students must pass the French exam for their discipline which is designed and administered by the Office Québécois de la langue française ( OQLF).

“I know the OQLF exam very well and I try to integrate in-class activities for the exam,” says Ariel. Ariel runs around 2 or 3 dedicated workshops to prepare his students for the OQLF exam.

“I tell students that this or that in-class activity is similar to a section of the OQLF exam so they know what to prepare for,” says Ariel.

To learn more about course offerings at the FLC and its event programming, you can consult their website and follow them on Facebook .

Department and University Information


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    how to write english a level coursework


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    At the end of your piece of work, include a bibliography that includes a list of every external source you've used in the creation of your coursework. Stick to a set formula when including books. A common format is: Author Surname, Initial. (Date) - Title of Book, page number. For example:

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  13. Cambridge International AS & A Level English Language (9093)

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  15. A Student Guide: How to Reference for A Level Coursework

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