Guide for Unit AS1 The Study of English Literature Guide for Unit AS 1: The Study of Drama Internally Assessed Component

Detail of Unit AS 1 can be found on pages 6 and 7 of the GCE Literature specification. Guidance on Internal Assessment begins on page 18 of the specification.

Texts should be taught for themselves and for the pleasure of experiencing meaning which arises between text and reader. However, teachers will want to take responsibility for directing candidates' focus towards those aspects of the text which will give rise to an appropriate assignment title, and thus allow candidates to fulfil their potential by addressing the relevant Assessment Objectives.

Assignment titles should be negotiated between candidate and teacher. Candidates should be encouraged to follow up their interests and also to frame their assignment task within the terms of the Assessment Objectives. Consideration of the process of task setting should ensure that candidates are engaged in their work, and also that they address the issues which can be rewarded through the mark scheme for this section of the specification.

A word limit of 1,500 words is recommended for each task.

Section A: The Study of Shakespeare

The aim of Section A is to introduce candidates to a detailed textual study of one Shakespeare and the contexts in which it was written, thereby enabling candidates to express informed and relevant responses to Shakespeare. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate, depending on the play chosen for study, relevant knowledge of generic conventions and display critical understanding of the ways in which Shakespeare’s stagecraft and dramatic methods, such as structure, form and language shape meaning. There should be an understanding of the ways in which Shakespeare’s drama is determined by the social and historical context in which it was written.

AOs being assessed

• AO2 - demonstrate detailed critical understanding in analysing the ways in which structure, form and language shape meanings in literary texts;

• AO4 - demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received.

It is anticipated that candidates’ awareness of literary concepts and terminology (AO1) will be a learning outcome of this study however the assessment will focus on AO2 and AO4.

Task setting

The most effective tasks are likely to have the key terms of the Assessment Objectives embedded within the stem of the title. Further guidance can be provided within bullet points ensuring that candidates focus both on methods and on context.

It is helpful to candidates that the elements of method, language (including imagery), tone, form and structure are explicitly included in the question. Similarly, it is helpful to candidates that consideration of a particular contextual feature be specified within the stem or bullet points.

In particular, in keeping with the focus of this Unit, "The Study of Drama", candidates should be directed to consider the writer's stagecraft and dramatic methods. Candidates should be directed to consider the specific contexts in which the writer's work was written and has been performed and received.

Critical and analytical writing are expected in this section.

Section B: The Study of a Twentieth Century Dramatist

The aim of Section B is to give candidates the opportunity to compare and contrast two texts by an individual dramatist, affording candidates opportunities to reflect creatively on aspects of this playwright’s work. Candidates will articulate informed and relevant creative responses to a dramatist whose work has impacted significantly on the dramatic during the twentieth and/or twenty-first centuries.

AOs being assessed

• AO1 - articulate creative, informed and relevant responses to literary texts, using appropriate terminology and concepts, and coherent, accurate written expression;

• AO3 - explore connections and comparisons between different literary texts.

Task setting

It is helpful to candidates that relationships between the two plays are clearly built into the assignment task chosen. AO1 requires informed responses to the works studied and the task chosen should allow candidates to demonstrate their awareness of the plays as whole texts.

It is helpful to candidates that they are encouraged to select among a range of approaches to the two texts studied.

Creative approaches might consider: • an account of plans for staging the two plays, or scenes from the two plays, allowing opportunities for comparison and contrast;

• developing additional scenes, for example: where a character from one play faces a situation drawn from the other play; where a character from one play meets a character from the other play; where a dramatic technique (e.g. dream sequence, flashback) is taken from one play and employed in the other play.

In creative tasks AO1 requires the use of terminology and concepts appropriate to the task e.g. if developing an additional scene language should be appropriate to the playwright and/or character.

Informed creative writing is expected in this section.


AS Unit 1 engages candidates in opportunities to write at length and with focus on a range of texts and to find a sense of personal engagement with advanced level study. It is also important that teachers guide candidates carefully in the selection of tasks so that they also benefit from the opportunity to develop their analytical and writing skills to advanced level.

Candidates will be expected to ensure that:

• text is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate so that meaning is clear;

• a form and style of writing is selected which is appropriate to purpose;

• an appropriate Bibliography and Webography are appended to each assignment.

Teacher Supervision of Internal Assessment

Task setting

When planning the assignment it is expected that the teacher will give guidance to the candidate on the requirements of the tasks. This guidance may include:

• discussion on an appropriate title;

• research techniques;

• advice on structuring an assignment;

• recommended reading;

• time management and planning;


The responsibility for developing a piece of work is entirely the students. Students should have opportunities to develop their work following discussions with the teacher or with other members of the class. At no time should a teacher provide a detailed structure for a coursework assignment or correct an assignment in detail and return it to the student to write up a fair copy.

Teachers can: • review the assignment with the candidate – discuss the appropriateness of the title; content; structure; references.

Teachers should not:

• give detailed indication of errors or omissions;

• give advice on specific improvements needed to meet the criteria;

• give outlines, paragraph or section headings, or writing frames for the assignment;

• personally intervene to improve the content or presentation of the assignment.

Generally one review would be expected to be sufficient to enable candidates to understand the demands of the assessment criteria.

Final submission

Once a student has handed in an assignment and a mark has been awarded to it, that mark is final and no further work should be carried out by the student. Adapting coursework after it has been submitted for final assessment would constitute malpractice.


Students should acknowledge sources and references in a bibliography at the end of each assignment. If candidates use the same wording as a published source, they must place quotation marks around the passage and state where it came from. Candidates must give detailed references even where they paraphrase the original author

Lack of referencing by students should be identified by the teacher in early drafts of coursework. Use of sources which have not been acknowledged should be regarded as plagiarism and the student’s work assessed accordingly.


Written coursework must include:

• the teacher’s comments and corrections;

• a mark for each assignment assessed;

• key comments or use of symbols such as appropriate ticks etc throughout the text;

• a succinct summative comment based on the assessment criteria at the end of the piece;

• annotation or information on the extent of advice given to the candidate, which helped inform the mark awarded.


Centres must authenticate the work as being that of the individual candidate. The candidate record sheet must be signed by both the candidate and the teacher.

If a candidate requires additional assistance in order to demonstrate aspects of the assessment criteria, the teacher should award a mark which represents the candidate’s unaided achievement. The authentication statement should be signed and relevant information given on the Candidate Record Sheet.

Compiling a Bibliography and Webography

Candidates must include a bibliography which lists the full details of publications used to research and support their coursework, even where these are not directly referred to.

References to a printed book or journal should show the name of the author, the year of publication, the title, and the publisher e.g. Morrison, A (2000) Mary Queen of Scots, : Weston Press.

References to internet material must give the precise page, not the search engine used to locate it. This can be copied from the address line e.g. www.ccea.org.uk/english_literature/gce_revised/support/index.asp

Further guidance on conducting internal assessment and drawing up centre procedures for same is available from www.jcq.org.uk/exams_office (the Joint Council for Qualifications website).