Complete Guide: A1 Leaving Cert English Notes and Sample Answers 2017

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PAPER II

Single text


Hamlet

1. How to approach the text from the angle of the essay title

2. Sample Answer and Detailed Approach Breakdown:
a. 2011: “Revenge and justice are finely balanced themes in the play, Hamlet.” Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with suitable reference to the text.

3. Sample Answers:
c. 2011: "Cladius can be seen as both a heartless villain and a character with some redeeming qualities in the play, Hamlet." Discuss both aspects of this statement supporting your answer with suitable reference to the text.
d. "The portrayal of Hamlet as an outsider allows Shakespeare to critique the values of society."

The Great Gatsby

3. Short Notes:
a. 2016: “Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby possess a variety of character traits that contribute to the dramatic and tragic aspects of the story.” To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Support your answer with reference to the novel, The Great Gatsby.
b. 2016 “Fitzgerald’s effective use of a range of contrasts helps to create a clearly unequal world in the course of his novel, The Great Gatsby.” Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to the novel.

Poetry


1. Eavan Boland

Detailed poem notes & essay writing hacks:
The War Horse, Child of Our Time, The Famine Road, The Shadow Doll, White Hawthorn in the West of Ireland, Outside History, The Black Lace Fan my Mother Gave Me, This Moment, The Pomegranate and Love.

Sample Answer:

2. John Donne

Detailed poem notes & essay writing hacks:
The Sunne Rising, Song: Go, and catch a falling star, The Anniversarie, Song: Sweetest love, I do not goe, The Dreame (Deare love, for nothing less than thee...), A Valediction Forbidding Mourning, The Flea, Batter my heart, At the round earth’s imagined corners and Thou hast made me.

Sample Answer:
a. 2008: "John Donne uses startling imagery and wit in his exploration of relationships." Give your response to the poetry of John Donne in the light of this statement. Support your answer with suitable reference to the poetry on your course.


3. Gerard Manley Hopkins 

Detailed poem notes & essay writing hacks:
God’s Grandeur, Spring, As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame, The Windhover, Pied Beauty, Felix Randal, Inversnaid, I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day, No worst there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief, Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend

Sample Answer:
a. 2013: "Hopkins’ innovative style displays his struggle with what he believes to be fundamental truths." In your opinion, is this a fair assessment of his poetry? Support your answer with suitable reference to the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins on your course


4. John Keats

Detailed poem notes & essay writing hacks:
To one who has been long in city pent, Ode To A Nightingale, On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer, Ode On A Grecian Urn, When I have fears that I may cease to be, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, To Autumn and Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art

Sample Answer:
a. 2008: “John Keats presents abstract ideas in a style that is clear and direct.” To what extent do you agree or disagree with this assessment of his poetry? Support your points with reference to the poetry on your course

5. Paul Durcan

Detailed poem notes & essay writing hacks:
Nessa, “Windfall”, 8 Parnell Hill, Cork, The Difficulty That Is Marriage, Wife Who Smashed Television Gets Jail, Parents, En Famillie, 1979, Madman, Sport, Six Nuns Die In Convent Inferno, The Girl With The Keys To Pearse's Cottage, The Arnolfini Marriage, Ireland 2002 and Rosie Joyce.
b. 2016: “Durcan takes a narrative approach to explore a variety of issues in poems of great emotional honesty.” Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to the poetry of Paul Durcan on your course.


6. Sylvia Plath

Detailed poem notes & essay writing hacks:
Poppies in July, Finisterre, Black Rook in Rainy Weather, Morning Song, Child, Pheasant

Sample Answers:
b. Sample: "Suffering and a vivid imagination are evident in the poetry of Sylvia Plath". Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to both the themes and language found in the poetry of Sylvia Plath on your course.
c. Sample: "Reading the poetry of Sylvia Plath can be a disturbing experience." Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to both the themes and language found in the poetry of Sylvia Plath on your course.

7. T.S. Eliot

Detailed poem notes & essay writing hacks:
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, from The Waste Land II. A Game of Chess, Journey of the Magi, Preludes, The Four Quartets East Coker IV

Sample Answer:


8.  Elizabeth Bishop

Detailed poem notes & essay writing hacks:
First Death in Nova Scotia, In the Waiting Room, Sestina, The Prodigal, The Fish, Filling Station. 

Sample Answer:
a. 2013: “Bishop’s carefully judged use of language aids the reader to uncover the intensity of feeling in her poetry.” To what extent do you agree or disagree with the above statement? Support your answer with reference to the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop on your course.

Short Notes:
b. 2016 “Bishop uses highly detailed observation, of people, places and events, to explore unique personal experiences in her poetry.” Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop on your course.

Unseen Poetry

1. General Approach
2. Sample Answer:
a. 2015: Based on your reading of the above poem, identify the emotions expressed by the poet and explain how these emotions are conveyed in the poem

Comparative

1. How to use link words
2. General Vision and Viewpoint: Concepts and Short Sample
3. Theme or Issue: Concepts and Short Sample
4. Literary Genre: Concepts and Short Sample
5. How to make comparisons and never forget them
Please note that with the exception of Hamlet, The Great Gatsby and King's Speech, specific texts on the comparative are not covered. We decided against writing 7,700 sample essays to cover all possible combinations of texts on the syllabus. This is not just a matter volume, but due to the focus on comparison rather than detail in this section.

PAPER I

Section I and II: Approach
Discursive Essay/Language of Argument
Report/The language of Information
Personal Essay
Letter
Article
Short Story

What does the guide not cover?
The guide has a wealth of useful information. As the syllabus required each student to choose from over 40 individual texts and over 50 poems it was neither required, nor feasible to cover everything. Please note that we do not cover:

- Specific comparative texts except The Great GatsbyHamlet and King's Speech

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Can I print it?
Yes. All notes are printable.



Intended to replace a revision course, it is a 299 A4 page (81,500 word) document with only the most relevant material for your English Higher Level A1. You can use it as a reference, or read it start to finish.

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