A give back: Marking US lit A levels | jwpblog

I recently set this essay for my Upper 6th.


The results were variable. For many the essay swiftly became an exercise in listing isolated characters or situations and the Assessment Objectives became lost.

The driving AO is AO3 in this question.

Thus any essay which does not foreground contexts will not be well rewarded. These contexts need to be relevant the creation and reception of the text and are contexts which can be derived from the wider understanding of the era and millieux of the texts themselves.

For me, I wish to see each section of argument introduced with topic…

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USA Lit unseen: Richard Wright | jwpblog

This week the unseen is from Richard Wright’s  The Man Who Was Almost A Man. Whilst the book was published in the 1960s, the content and style make it eminently suitable for unseen practice.

Richard Wright’s short story entitled The man who was almost a man, suggests by title alone a tale of frustrated ambition or thwarted dreams.

As the passage opens, we meet ‘Dave’, later identified as ‘David Saunders’, a young black farmhand who seems to be in trouble for the shooting of a mule and who leaves at the end of the passage to seek a new life by travelling the railroad. At once we are…

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American Literature essay presentation: OCR A level | jwpblog

This is a soundfile of an essay requiring students to work with Jefferson’s Independence declaration speech and to link it to the texts studied… The idea is to use it as a basis for discussion.

The essay is printed below the MP3.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.”


This statement made by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence is best…

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