MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

203 views

How do I approach bigger, more intimidating texts?

One of the biggest jumps between GCSE and A Level is the volume of reading that you have to do. Of Mice and Men becomes Jane Eyre; Tess of the D'Urbervilles; Birdsong, or the Handmaid's Tale... etc.

Firstly, know that you are not alone in finding these texts intimidating. They are long and, for the most part, written a long time ago. As a result, their language is different to our own - but not quite as different as you might think. 

For example, Wuthering Heights begins: "1801 - I have just returned from a visit to my landlord - the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with". 

The bigger words are scary when used in the same sentence. One of the best ways to tackle this fear is to imagine a character behind the voice. If you're feeling confident, it can help to read the books aloud and give each character a different tone - see what works for you.

Thirdly, it's okay to read SparkNotes summaries before you tackle the actual book - as long as this isn't where you stop. Read the summary and find which parts of the plot interest you - Wuthering Heights has some great, active female characters; Birdsong is Tragic and heartbreaking in its depiction of the War; and at the very least, being able to talk about a Dickens novel with genuine knowledge will make you look impressive at University interviews.

Whatever you are interested in, A Level texts are chosen for their depth and relevance; if you look hard enough, you can find them interesting and even fun to read. Start with an open mind and you can go a long way.

Lucy S. GCSE History tutor, GCSE Philosophy and Ethics tutor, A Level...

4 months ago

Answered by Lucy, an A Level English tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

41 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£30 /hr

Beth C.

Degree: Human, Social, and Political Science (Bachelors) - Cambridge University

Subjects offered:English, Sociology+ 6 more

English
Sociology
Philosophy and Ethics
Extended Project Qualification
English Literature
English Language
-Personal Statements-

“Hi, I'm Beth and I am from Cambridge University. I have experience in tutoring and want to share my knowledge with those who want to improve their grades, or with those who love to learn.”

£26 /hr

Shani T.

Degree: History and English Literature (Masters) - Glasgow University

Subjects offered:English, History+ 4 more

English
History
English and World Literature
English Literature
English Language
-Personal Statements-

“I am a first-year student currently studying English Literature, History and Politics at the University of Glasgow, working towards a Masters in History.English Literature and History are both huge passions of mine, both being subjec...”

£20 /hr

Anindita B.

Degree: English (Bachelors) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered:English, Maths+ 4 more

English
Maths
History
English Language
.ELAT
-Personal Statements-

“About me: I am an English student at the University of Nottingham, and have always had an affinity for the arts and the humanities. As someone who has had plenty of tutoring experience, one of my main aims is to instil this enthusiasm ...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

£26 /hr

Lucy S.

Degree: English Literature (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:English, Philosophy and Ethics+ 1 more

English
Philosophy and Ethics
History

“About Me I am an English student at the University of Exeter. While I love English (and my A Level subjects), I know what it is like to struggle with work and so I can sympathise entirely with students seeking extra help. I have a ver...”

You may also like...

Posts by Lucy

How do I approach bigger, more intimidating texts?

How do I write a good paragraph?

Other A Level English questions

How should I write a critical analysis in English?

How can I use the PEAL chain to avoid waffling?

How can I get higher grades in my exams?

What are the main themes in "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller?

View A Level English tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok