All Junior Cert English posts
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    Should I change my novel? shanemacken2000

    I'm a 3rd year HL English student and am wondering if i should change my novel. In 2nd Year, we did Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck. I didn't really like it though. I read To Kill A Mockingbird however by myself and really enjoyed it. So I'm thinking, should I change my novel to Mockingbird or keep Of Mice and Men? Help!!!

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      roisinl13

      I think if you studied Of Mice and Men in school then you should do that, no point writing about a novel you haven't been taught when the english question's are so specific.

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      shanemacken2000

      Well the questions are generic, they fit the novels on the higher level course and Of Mice and Men and To Kill A Mockingbird are one.

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      granners

      If you did Of mice and men, id stick with that as you'll be revising it in class and you will be practising exam questions especially after the mocks. Its just easier in general as you can ask your teacher for help on detail or how to go at a certain question using the novel, because if they haven't done to kill a mockingbird, it is highly likely that they won't have notes or answers at the same level

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      shanemacken2000

      Only reason I am debating doing To Kill A Mockingbird is because my English teacher we did Of Mice and Men with has moved and we have a new teacher. Not to mention that study notes are everywhere online.

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      granners

      I suppose it comes down to you if you think you can do decent notes and essays on it. Perhaps approach your teacher about it and ask if you did sample essays would they correct them. If you think this would be better and youll put the work into it, then go for it

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      shanemacken2000

      Thanks @granners I think I might take the jump and do Mockingbird!

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      roisinl13

      I would be very careful if you're going to do a novel you haven't studied in class. Good luck either way!

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      shanemacken2000

      Well I think my English teacher might be doing another novel with the class anyway, and I also would feel more comfortable with Mockingbird as I would still have to put work in for Of Mice and Men.

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      shanemacken2000

      Anybody have experience with Mockingbird?

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      granners

      no, i did roll of thunder here my cry

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      shanemacken2000

      I see, was it any good?

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      roisinl13

      I did Good Night Mister Tom which was brilliant!

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      shanemacken2000

      That is a short story, yes?

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      roisinl13

      No, it's a novel

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      shanemacken2000

      I must look into some other options as I would feel more confident writing about a novel that I actually liked!

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      shanemacken2000

      Thanks for all the advice!!!

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      granners

      roll of thunder was pretty good as it was easy to talk about and there wasnt too much hidden meaning in it. i did good night mr. tom in first year. its a full novel, but it was sometimes a bit depressing to read honestly speaking

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      shanemacken2000

      Great thanks!

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      roisinl13

      I did the Boy In The Striped Pyjamas too but wrote about Good Night Mr Tom in the JC, got an A, I found it great, there were sad moments but the ending was very uplifting :)

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      shanemacken2000

      Any tips for the A? I take what I can get from people as English is the subject I badly want an A in due to it being my favourite!

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      roisinl13

      Always include lots and lots of quotes!! I know that's simple haha but in the mock I only got a B due to not including enough quotes (in poetry and talking about the novel). Also I would say don't neglect your poetry thinking about the novel. A lot of people overlook poetry thinking it's not important, it really is to get the A!

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      granners

      as a person who struggled in english and im pretty sure i got about 80% in the actual exam is always use PQE and play the marking scheme to your strengths. i know if you answer the whole question using quotes, have the right structure and have excellent spelling and grammar, your guaranteed close to 70% and if you phrase correctly then your bound to get high marks

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      shanemacken2000

      Poetry and Drama are my strong points but Fiction I will have to focus on as I can right too much. I was always told to use one quote because then I'd have to right two Explanations. I get so confused from sample answers saying one thing, teachers saying another and then everyone else saying something different haha!!!

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      shanemacken2000

      Really appreciate the help, thank you all so much!!!

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      roisinl13

      Haha I know it's confusing but don't worry too much! I know I didn't use enough quotes as the examiner wrote on my mock "This would have been an outstanding answer if more quotes had been included". The more quotes and explanations, the better! Haha

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      shanemacken2000

      Unfortunately time is not my friend in English haha. Didn't know the examiner rights stuff on your paper. Thanks for that!

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      granners

      I think the timing for the English exam really pushes people to follow the cliché quality not quantity as you can't delve in as a deep, but the best piece of advice is to stick to PQE and to use quotes to back everything up

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      shanemacken2000

      Lately I've been limiting studied poetry and drama questions for homework to 25 minutes. I get three pages in total but then again I have gigantic writing (especially when I write really fast). How bad does your hand hurt after Paper 2?

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      roisinl13

      Not gonna lie, it hurts badly! Haha but it will be worth it, imagine opening up the envelope in September and seeing an A :) Also I thought of 1 more tip, I've always been told that for the essay question it's very difficult to write a short story because it's hard to get well developed characters and plot in the time allocated. The thing is, examiners do like a short story as not a lot of people will write one. You have to decide what's best for you, an essay you can finish or a short story you might not finish.

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      shanemacken2000

      How much are you expected to write for the Personal Writing?

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      roisinl13

      I did my JC almost 2 years ago so can't exactly remember, I think it's 3-4 pages, I would guess around four as I'm in 6th yr now and we have to hit the 5 page mark if we even want to dream of a high grade.

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      shanemacken2000

      Ah ok, this is a very heated discussion in class as nobody really knows how much because the Department tell us nothing...

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      roisinl13

      I think I wrote 4, I'm almost certain :)

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      shanemacken2000

      Doesn't sound like a problem to me then considering I've handed up seven pages for an assignment before :)

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      roisinl13

      No bother to you so! :)

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      shanemacken2000

      Thank you again so much, you've been a great help. Best of luck with the Leaving!

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      Roisin3B

      To Kill a Mockingbird is a very enjoyable novel that is very suitable for the questions that come up in Paper Two of the Junior Cert. There are a lot of notes available online, and the movie is brilliant but I have to say that if your teacher corrected some of the questions you completed it would surely be a great help for you. I found that because of the movie, and the length of the book ( It's a lot longer than other books students read for the Junior Cert), there was so much to write about and any question at seemed doable!

      As for the exam itself, and I cannot stress this enough, it's quality over quantity. You can write as much as you want but if it is not of a high standard the examiner will not give out marks easily. Start of with your best question to give the examiner a good impression and be prepared for anything. For Personal Writing I wrote just over two pages and I managed to get an A so don't feel pressured to write too much!

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      shanemacken2000

      That is great help @Roisin3B I most definitely agree that the questions suit Mockingbird really well! Thanks for the tips :)

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      cmjge

      To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the hardest and most complicated novels on the Junior Cert course, however, it has more points in terms of key scenes and characters. The only problem with studying this by yourself is that it will be rather time consuming as you need to create notes. Although there is notes online, these may not be A standard answers and may need to be improve greatly to secure an A grade.

      My advice would be change you novel with caution or maybe choose an easier novel like Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

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      shanemacken2000

      I had debated Mockingbird or Lord of the Flies since I read them both, but one of the teachers in my school said she had notes for Mockingbird that I could use and if I needed any corrections on questions I did, she'd help me. The only reason I feel like changing is, like you said, there is more points to use to answer and the novel is more complex and interesting than OMaM.

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      shanemacken2000

      Thank you for the advice @cmjge!!! Everything helps :)

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      cmjge

      Go with what your gut is telling you. It's your junior cert! It might be beneficial to pick a different novel as it may make you stand out more to an examiner. An examiner will get sick of correcting the same rote learned answer after awhile. So it might better if you go with to kill a mockingbird

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      shanemacken2000

      Thanks! I'll definitely try it in the mocks and if that doesn't go to well, I'll use OMaM for the real deal.

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