How To Write A Commentary For English Literature Coursework

This resource makes teaching commentaries suddenly seem pretty easy. Anyone teaching AQA Creative Writing should get a copy of this resource; it will save them hours of work! It gives clear and precise advice on how to do a commentary. Lots of examples and particular guidance. Excellent matching of the syllabus requirements. R Lodge, Head of English & Independent Reviewer

The notes, exercises and examples will help your students to develop the right tools for analysing their own writer’s process, to approach the reflective commentary with a clear grasp of what's required, an opportunity to gain confidence and to enjoy the process of reflecting on their own work.

  • How to approach the commentary for Units 2 and 4 and different ways into self-critiquing
  • Writing the commentary for prose fiction, poetry, dramatic scripts, radio drama, screenwriting and prose non-fiction
  • How to reference and how to construct the bibliography for Unit 4
  • Example Reflective Commentary

Drafting chart, reading log, quotation log, and commentary checklists all included.

  • Useful vocabulary and key terms for specified genres
  • Recommended reading list
  • Additional exercises on narrative and clichés

The rationale for this post has been explored here .  My intention is to provide an outline and resources to help students in Year 10/11 approach “the Beast” – the 6 poem coursework extravaganza that gives 40% of their IGCSE marks…

The task requires careful planning and is the nearest i get to a scaffold at this level.  I try to encourage clear planning of each paragraph, let alone the essay as a whole and I am working on a model of roughly 3 paragraphs for each “major” essay with the “minor”poems being used as links between the majors – roughly a single paragraph for each.

Here is the teaching outline: coursework 2015


I also referred in the original post to John Thomsett’s excellent post on Janus Sentences: janus sentences


This booklet was prepared by a colleague: Jade Boyle.  It is a cracking piece of work.

Y10 Lit coursework booklet

I attach a set of EDEXCEL sample essays for information and recommend that all students look at these.  It is brilliant to write in a manner which is a consistent comparison, but Edexcel are clear that direct comparison is not needed and I recommend the 3-1-3-1-1-3 outline as a good starting point.

Examples High Mark Courseworkf

Exemplar Materials 4ET0 03 June 2014

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