Leaving Certificate. English. Ordinary Level

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1 Leaving Certificate English Ordinary Level Leaving Certificate English is made up of two examination papers. Paper One is a language paper and Paper Two is a literature paper. General Tips: Always make a PLAN and include this with your work Make sure you attempt all questions and don t leave any BLANKS Use the full time limit of the exam do not leave early. 10% of marks go for spelling, punctuation, grammar and structure so read over your work and make corrections. All good pieces of work have an INTRODUCTION, BODY OF PARAGRAPHS and a CONLUSION try to keep paragraphs the same length do this when you are planning. How do I revise? Paper One the best method of revision is to practice lots of exam questions. You should time yourself doing these questions (see timing guide below). Ask your teacher to mark these questions and aim to improve your technique and your grades each time. Students often ignore Paper One as there is no content but, remember, Paper One is 50% of the marks. Section I, Question A: Choose one Question A from the three texts Question A will be made up of three parts two worth 15 marks and the third is divided into two parts worth 10 marks each. When answering make one paragraph (6-8 lines) for every 5 marks for example you should make 3 paragraphs for a 15 mark question and 2 paragraphs for a ten mark question. How to write a paragraph make a statement, explain the statement and support with evidence from the TEXT (i) ¾ page (ii) ¾ page (iii) ½ page each Section I, Question B questions: You are not allowed do Question A and Question B from the same TEXT. Question B will involve writing one of the following: letter, diary, speech, article, report or review for 50 marks. When answering this question be aware of using the correct type of language (NARRATIVE, PERSUASION, ARGUEMENT, NARRATIVE, AESTHETIC) Plan your answer carefully and include all planning in your answer book. 2 3 pages Section II Composition: This is your most important question in the whole of the two papers because it is worth 100 marks 25% of your total exam result. Choose one out of seven questions there will be a personal essay, the text of a talk, argument or speech, and a short story. Know the features of the five types of language. Remember to divide your work into paragraphs and be aware of language use. Include an introduction, body of paragraphs and a conclusion. 1

2 4-6 pages Paper Two: The Single Text ~ At Ordinary Level you will be studying one of the following texts: Maeve Binchy Circle of Friends; Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights; F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby, Jennifer Johnston How many miles to Babylon; John B. Keane - Sive; Hugh Leonard Home before Night; Doris Lessing The Grass is Singing; William Shakespeare Macbeth; Sophocles Antigone. Section A The Single Text Know your chosen text well in terms of PLOT, CHARACTER and THEMES Similar to Paper 1 you should write one paragraph for every 5 marks. They should be a little longer than Paper One answers as you have more time. Always use evidence from the text to back up your answer. 1 (a) ¾ page 1 (b) ¾ page 1 (c) ¾ page 2 (i), (ii) OR (iii) 2-3 pages When studying the Single Text you need to make notes on Plot, Character and Themes. Plot: Break the text up into Chapters or Scenes (if it is a play) and make notes on each of these scenes (see example below) Character: Make notes on the main character under the following headings: the character at the start, key moments that act as catalysts to change the character and the character at the end. 2

3 Example of Scene Summary William Shakespeare ~ Macbeth Act I, Scene I ~ Notes: Where: Somewhere in Scotland ~ the home of the witches Who: The three witches; also referred to as the three Weird Sisters What happens: The play opens with thunder and lightning which indicates to the audience that great events are going to happen. The three witches talking to each other arrange to meet upon the heath where they will intercept Macbeth when the battle is lost and won. Quotes: When shall we three meet again, in thunder, lightning or in rain (witches) Fair is foul and foul is fair (witches) Themes: Disorder in nature the storm. Appearance vs. reality: Fair is foul and foul is fair Superstition: three witches Act I, Scene II ~ Notes: Where: The King s camp near the battlefield of Forres Who: Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox with Attendants, meeting a bleeding Sergeant (Captain) and Ross What happens: This scene is to inform the audience of the context of the play. The bleeding sergeant tells the audience that there is a war going on. Malcolm (the King s son) recognises the sergeant from the battlefield and asks the wounded soldier about news from the battlefield. The sergeant says the battle was undecided but that Macbeth bravely defeated Macdonwald (a Scottish rebel) and killed and beheaded him. The sergeant says that as he was leaving the battlefield due to his wounds the King of Norway had just arrived on the scene with fresh men. When Duncan (the king of Scotland) asks what happened the sergeant says that Macbeth and Banquo were attacking the Norwegians as he left. Ross (another Thane) then enters as the sergeant leaves. He describes the final stages of the battle as Macbeth and Banquo drove the enemy from the field. In short the day was won by the bravery of Macbeth. Duncan is delighted. He pronounces the death sentence on the Thane of Cawdor, promoting Macbeth in his place. The audience do not meet Macbeth in person until Scene III but an impression of a powerful courageous fearless and loyal thane is portrayed in this scene is this a contrast to Duncan s character? Quotes: For brave Macbeth--well he deserves that name-- Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valour's minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave, Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps, And fix'd his head upon our battlements (Bleeding sergeant) No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive Our bosom interest: go pronounce his present death, And with his former title greet Macbeth (Duncan) Themes: Blood throughout the scene. Section II The Comparative Study Know your TWO texts well PLOT and CHARACTER Compare your texts under the headings: ASPECTS OF STORY: TENSION or CLIMAX or RESOLUTION; THEME, SOCIAL SETTING. Two of these three themes will come up in the exam. (a) 2-3 pages (1 st text) (b) 2 ½ - 4 pages (2 nd text) Section III - Poetry The Unseen poem (20 marks) will be printed on the exam paper. Choose your poem carefully there are 4 poems printed on the paper. Use evidence (quotes) from the poems to support your answer UNSEEN POEM Q1. ¾ page Q2. ¾ page PRESCRIBED POETRY 1 (a) ¾ page 1 (b) ¾ page 3

4 1 (c) ¾ page 2 (i), (ii) OR (iii) 2-3 pages Timing of the Paper: Paper One = 200 marks 170 minutes COMPREHENSION AND COMPOSTITION You must answer three questions in total Section I = 100 marks Question A Question B Section B = 100 marks Paper Two = 200 marks 90 mins mins 40=45 mins 80 mins 200 minutes You must answer three sections in total. Section A The Single Text = 60 marks. Section B (Comparitive Study) = 70 marks. Section C (Poetry) = 70 marks Unseen Poetry Prescribed Poetry 60 mins 70 mins 50 mins 70 mins 20 mins 3 Useful websites: (the State Exams Commission this site has all the past LC exam papers under it s Exam Material Archive) (useful notes on all the texts but not a substitute for the text itself!) (this site is good for poetry notes) Revision guide for English ORD LEVEL Paper One Revised Date Section I Comprehending Question A. Section I Comprehending Question B (Language). Information. Persuasion. Argument. Narrative. 4

5 Aesthetic. Section II Comprehending. Short Story. Speech/Article. Personal essay. Paper Two Revised Date Section I The Single Text Plot. Character. Themes. Section II The Comparative Study ASPECTS OF STORY: TENSION or CLIMAX or RESOLUTION; THEME, SOCIAL SETTING. Text I. Text II. Aspects of story: Tension or Climax or Resolution. Theme. Social Setting. Section III Poetry Unseen. Elizabeth Bishop. Adrienne Rich. Sylvia Plath. Gerard Manley Hopkins. Thomas Kinsella. Derek Mahon. William Shakespeare. W.B. Yeats. 5

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