Student Guides to A Level OCR Set Topics

Dystopia Student Guide is endorsed for the 2015 A Level OCR English Literature specification.

Component 02: Comparative and Contextual Study
  • The Gothic
  • Women in Literature
  • Dystopia
  • American Literature

Comprehensive overview of the topic covering all key aspects of the paper...

...The clarity of the materials and their focus on key topics enable us to use this for first teaching or revision

A Amrane, KS5 Coordinator & Customer (on American Literature)

Arm your students with an arsenal of ideas!

Give students a firm grounding in your chosen topic with student-friendly notes, essential context, and activities on carefully-chosen key aspects. A broad selection of extracts from set texts and unseen prose are analysed against topical features to prepare for the exam.

I will be redesigning my teaching ... to use and incorporate this guide, as I think it is such a valuable resource

J Hathaway, HoD & Peer Reviewer (on The Gothic)
Key areas include…
  • Authorial Techniques
  • Characterisation
  • Themes and Motifs
  • Context
  • Setting
  • Literary Criticism
...and many more topic-specific areas

Target exam skills

  • Extract analyses model critical appreciations for unseen extracts
  • Reflective activities – matched to the AOs – encourage engagement and consolidate learning
  • Exam preparation questions build confidence and develop essay-writing skills
  • Practice essay questions and peer/self-assessment mark schemes track student progress

Answers included for easy delivery and marking

What do teachers say about this resource? (7218)

Another superb resource. Thorough, interesting and extremely relevant in meeting the specification.

Detailed focus on critics and explanations which help independent evaluation. The start is great with the way it handles the broader reading by not only making suggestions, but gives overviews on how they link to the Gothic.

It makes broader reading more accessible and offers a selection of texts. Also, concise and clear is the language, form and structure section which will work with a student at any level and can be extended for more able students. I especially like the sample essay extracts for individual and peer review. Very good coverage of critics.

It develops a student's self-evaluation skills as well as making comparisons on a wider spectrum. Furthermore, as it runs parallel with course delivery, there is support for student and teacher throughout with reading and short tasks to encourage independent and collaborative learning.

The resource covers the specification from all angles e.g. wider reading, understanding genre, marking assessment and writing. It really maps the specification well. It is well thought out.

A superb stand alone guide and will work with any other related texts or ZigZag guides.

L Churchill, English Teacher & Peer Reviewer

Really well put together. I liked the fact that it had a range of different extracts from different Gothic novels, both set texts and wider reading... Would act as a brilliant starting point to introducing pupils to the Gothic... The presentation and layout were excellent... There were regular activities, and the focus on examination skills was present throughout.
I liked the various 'Applying this to your set texts' questions. The educational value of this resource lies not just in the high-quality information, but also in the clearly thought through questions that give pupils the chance to practise key skills and develop their writing. This guide is so comprehensive that it would be enough to give to a new member of staff in order to get them going on teaching this topic... It is targeted at the specification with precision. Regular links to various Assessment Outcomes, exam-style questions and development of knowledge specifically linked to the exam featured throughout... The self- and peer mark grids were really useful to encourage pupils to reflect on their learning and identify any areas to develop... I will be redesigning my teaching in the first few weeks to use and incorporate this guide, as I think it is such a valuable resource.

J Hathaway, HoD & Peer Reviewer (on The Gothic)

A thorough resource for the topic and provides students and teachers with a methodical way to approach the course... Good focus on the AOs, always focusing students’ response to the questions... It introduces the main elements of Gothic fiction using extracts from a range of well-judged texts. It is focused on building students’ ability to critical appraise texts, which is crucial for this specification.

E Iles, Teacher & Peer Reviewer (on The Gothic)

What do teachers say about this resource? (8200)

Excellent resource which has been embraced by Year 13 for revision and by Year 12 as a basis of their understanding of the topic... It is well thought out and comprehensive... The resources focus the wide topic of American Literature into manageable ideas... It is comprehensive and easily usable but more importantly gives students references to the wider reading for the course... It is worth the cost even if you only use it for revision... Excellent match to the specification.

N Phipps, HoD & Customer (on American Literature)

Excellent – right focus – varied materials – easy to use... Background, contexts 100% relevant... All ZZ resources [are] good because they hit the right level of challenge/guidance... Definitely get it – will save you many hours of work and give both you and your students renewed confidence.

C Campbell, HoD & Customer (on American Literature)

Comprehensive overview of the topic covering all key aspects of the paper... It has lists of key words for each section and further reading opportunities to support the least able and stretch the most able... The clarity of the materials and their focus on key topics enable us to use this for first teaching or revision... The format is great too as you can easily photocopy single pages and then cut to suit your students needs... More versatile than other resources.

A Amrane, KS5 Coordinator & Customer (on American Literature)

I like the focus on a variety of texts and the summary of different topics and themes. The titles and structure are clear, and the text is very accessible for students and teachers alike. It provides a useful starting point for key areas... It condenses a great deal of important information and looks across a variety of texts, which is very time-consuming for a teacher to do. It is essentially a resource which summarises and saves time... It sets the scene for the texts studied, looks widely over surrounding reading, and provides valuable context... It deals with the AOs very well and clearly focuses on the requirements of the exam... The indicative content at the end of the resource is great!

C Hughes, Teacher & Peer Reviewer (on American Literature)

What do teachers say about this resource? (8237)

A useful way to think about the conventions of a dystopia... It offers lots of opportunity for the unseen element of the exam. Context is worth 50% and there is plenty of contextual information in this guide... Contains a useful glossary of terms they can refer to for essay practice or reading tasks... It uses a wide range of texts and has extension tasks that are clearly related to the exam... It provides an excellent base for the study of dystopia in context. The students enjoy the extracts and some are keen to read on as a result... Perfect match OCR.

N Bonner, Teacher & Customer