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May 23, 2024, 04:17:52 pm

Author Topic: Mainstream English or Literature  (Read 4254 times)  Share 

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Mainstream English or Literature
« on: March 07, 2021, 02:55:45 pm »
Hi Iím not sure if anyone will see this but I need some advice. I am currently in year 10 doing English (SEAL). 

Im just thinking about next year and Iím not sure if I should do:

- Year 11 Unit 1 and 2 Lit, then Year 12 unit 3 and 4 lit


- Year 11 Unit 1 and 2 mainstream english , then Year 12 Unit 3 and 4 main stream English

I  have read a lot of threads on this forum where they suggest doing main stream English ďbecause it's a compulsory subject and  it's filled with people who don't care, and so you will get a better mark. In Lit you will be competing with the people who are fairly good and interested in the subject.Ē

For most ppl, they seem to do lit cos they are actually passionate about it. However I want to do literature instead of English because I hate persuasive and source analysis. I think I like lit better because it focuses it on reading and text responses I believe. Ngl I am a total nerd because I have bad anxiety where if I donít do all the work and try my hardest, I will panic. Hence I have always gotten good grades across all my subjects. I usually get 80-90% on my English essays. I also know that lit will be structured very differently to to normal English. I donít rlly know that much the subjects or the actual exams. I would appreciate if someone could clarify the major differences between English and lit, how that would differ in terms of the workload and exams.

So I guess the big question is: Is doing lit worth it, if Iím not even that passionate about English? Itís just that I find that normal English covers a lot of different areas of English. But I really donít want to do any more source analysis and persuasive stuff. I would much rather focus on books and do passage analysis.

Would rlly appreciate some advice! Thanks in advance :)


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Re: Mainstream English or Literature
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2021, 08:47:29 pm »

Listen, this is a really subjective topic but I'll try my best. I'm doing 3/4 Literature at the moment and I'm really enjoying it. I think the biggest reason I chose it was because it is so open to discussion and doesn't really have a set structure for the essays. You're awarded higher in some cases by examiners by having a more 'free-flowing' essay.

Try and see who is teaching Lit at your school. For me, one of my favourite teachers was teaching 1/2. He is really open to discussion and gets all of his students to really dig as deep as they can into the true meaning of the texts. If you vibe with your teacher, you'll have a good time.

On top of this though, you might find it tricky if you don't have a passion for literature. I personally don't read a lot anymore, but I still really enjoy a good book and hella respect it. It's a very open-ended subject and you might find yourself getting into ruts if you don't love the subject.

Research a little more into how Literature is set up as a subject and then go on from there :)

 Ė Hunter

literally lauren

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Re: Mainstream English or Literature
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2021, 12:31:41 pm »
^^^Really good advice above!

In terms of the workload difference between English and Lit, that depends on your strengths/texts/teacher. If analysing texts is easier and/or more enjoyable for you, then you'll probably find the Lit workload more manageable (since close text study = 100% of the course!) whereas you may get stressed or frustrated by the different kinds of assessment tasks in English (i.e. media analysis, giving persuasive speech, etc.) Or you might have some typically 'easier' texts like films or short plays that are easy to analyse, whereas the other subject might have very long (400+ pg) novels that just require more time to read and study.

The assessment might be slightly different by the time you get to Year 12, but it'll be something like the current structure:

Throughout the year:
- Creative writing task based on a text
- Text analysis essay
- Analysing persuasive media articles
- Persuasive oral presentation
- Comparative essay based on two texts

- 1 x Text analysis essay
- 1 x Comparative essay based on two texts
- 1 x Analysing persuasive texts

Throughout the year:
- Comparing a text to an adaptation (e.g. a novel that's made into a film)
- Creative writing task based on a text
- Close analysis essay
- Literary perspectives essay

- 1 x Close analysis essay
- 1 x Literary perspectives essay

Basically, there are some similarities, though the Lit course is a bit less broad and gives you more time to focus on your texts and 'deep dive' into language and meaning. The nature of the analysis essays between subjects is also quite different - in English there's more of a focus on themes, the key ideas within a text, and your interpretation of these ideas. Meanwhile, Literature is very language-focused; you still build up to talking about ideas, but you're expected to spend much more time analysing the text on a micro-level!

The simplest way to explain the difference is that English is a bit of a 'top-down' subject where you start from 'big picture' ideas/themes/arguments and then delve into the text to find evidence for them. By contrast, Literature is a 'bottom-up' subject where you start with all of the evidence on the ground level and gradually work your way up so that you can examine how language creates meaning.

So if you don't know who your teachers will be or which texts you'll study, maybe think about whether you're a 'big picture/top-down' kind of thinker, or a 'ground level/bottom-up' one?  :D

If in doubt, you could try both in Year 11 if you have the room. Otherwise, I would say it's easier to go from Literature in Year 11 --> English in Year 12 than it is to start with English and then try and move to Literature. If you're keen on passage analysis though, definitely stick with Literature! (I promise not everyone doing that subject is a freakishly passionate, hyper competitive book person - most students just like close analysis or want something a bit different from mainstream English!)