Category Archives: Comparative

Advice and notes for tackling the Comparative section.

Comparative Crisps

Let me begin with an admission – this wonderful, creative method of teaching the essence of what the comparative is all about was not my idea. A guy I teach with has a sister who’s a teacher who teaches with a teacher in Castlebar who uses this as a technique to make the comparative clearer for students. If I knew the name of this teacher I’d credit them here but I tried and failed to find out their name – so if it’s you please get in contact! Anyway, it sounded like a stroke of genius to me so I decided to give it a go!

I did this with the entire class (four groups of six, three paper plates x four groups, lots & lots of crisps) but there’s no reason why you can’t try this for yourself at home if you’re a student with a paper plate collection and a decent crisp addiction!

  1. First get three paper plates. Write the names of your three comparative texts on them – in our case Casablanca, Babylon and Sive. Next you need three different packets of crisps – two should be quite similar (we used two varities of cheese & union crisps, one regular, one extra cheesy crinkle cut) and one kinda different (we used salt and vinegar taytos).
  2. Pour one packet out onto the plate of the text you know best – in our case we now had “Casablanca Crisps”. Now select two crisps off this plate – one to look at, one to eat.
  3. Next write an analysis of this crisp – it’s shape, size, texture (thick or thin, flakey, stale, soggy or crunchy), taste and anything else you notice. Remember, not everyone responds in the same way to the same crisps, so remember to focus on how eating this crisp makes you feel!

Once you’ve completed this exercise you now have part (a) of your comparative question done. The individual crisps from the packet are like the key moments in your text. It doesn’t really matter which ones you select as long as they capture the essence of this packet of crisps (text) and it doesn’t matter if other people in the class choose different crisps (key moments).

Another important thing to bear in mind is that the examiner is looking for your personal response to the crisp (text) – not everyone likes things which are extra-cheesy but some people LOVE that shiT! Some people like a really sharp crunch, others perfer a softer, gentler texture. And so it is with movies, plays and novels!

Remember that you CANNOT get your personal response from a notes book, a grinds school or a teacher any more than someone else can TELL you which flavours and textures you like best! If you try this then everyone in the room will be acting as if they all feel exactly the same way about these crisps (texts) but as we all know this is simply NOT believable – in truth everyone has different tastes and responds differently!

Now it’s time to move on to part (b)…

4. Pour the other two crisp types onto the other two plates – we now had Babylon Crisps and Sive crisps! Once again, choose two crisps off each plate – one to look at and one to taste.

5. In the light of your discussion in part (a) above, compare and contrast the other two crisps (texts), focusing on both similarities and differences.

For this answer, you focus on these two new crisps. You may if you wish refer back BRIEFLY to the first crisp you tasted (text you studied) but because you’ve already discussed it in detail in part (a) you only mention it in passing here (if at all). Your focus now is on the other two crisps (texts) that you are now comparing and contrasting!

You must use linking phrases

  • both; also; in the same way;
  • similarly; in a slightly different way; by contrast; unlike;
  • the opposite is the case; these two couldn’t be more different…
  • in some ways they mirror each other; although X is like Y, noetheless, I found myself responding differently, possibly because…
  • despite X difference, one thing they did have in common was..
  • a further similarity was evident in…

When you’ve finished this exercise, underline each linking phrase you’ve used. Every time you make a comparision (both similarities and differences) write a C in the margin – this is what the examiner will do when they correct your exam in June! In our class one student had used 13 linking phrases; most had somewhere between 8 and 11; a few had used only 4 or 5. In the latter case it became immediately clear to them that they probably weren’t comparing and contrasting enough – they tended instead to fall into the mistake of discussing one crisp (text) on its own, then the other crisp (text) on its own but for comparative studies you are not being asked to show off how much you can write about the individual crisps (texts) – you are being asked instead to demonstrate your ability to analyse similarites and differences.

Another way to double check that you are interweaving the texts sufficiently and moving back and forth between them frequently is to now pick up two different coloured highlighters. Each time you are speaking about crisp (text) 2, highlight in pink; each time you are speaking about crisp (text) 3, highlight in yellow and when you are speaking about both simultaneously place the highlighters side by side and drag them along the page together to show that both are being discussed. Now look at the page – if you end up with long blocks of pink followed by long blocks of yellow, followed by long blocks of pink etc… you are writing mini-essays about each but you are still keeping them essentially separate which is kinda wrong! If you look at the page and there is an ebb and flow back and forth between pink and yellow and two-tone pink & yellow sections then you’re probably achieving what you need to which is intertwining a discussion of both!

However, I need to clarify two things here.

First of all, you cannot compromise the FLOW of your writing – so sometimes in order to make your point in a clear and detailed manner you may need to discuss one crisp (text) in a bit of detail on its own and this is fine! Secondly, it isn’t enough to simply have loads and loads of C’s in the margin – you don’t want your essay to become some kind of hyper-active mess where you are jumping all over the shop. Instead remember this – the examiner is not going to simply do a crude exercise in counting; he or she is NOT going to give you more marks the more linking phrases you use. Instead, he or she will in the case of each comparison ask “Is this a really obvious similarity/difference? Or is a more subtle and sophisticated point being made here?

In other words, it’s not quantity but quality that matters. Have a look at these examples below:

The Babylon crisp and the Sive crisp are similar in texture – they are both thin and crumble in the mouth. The Babylon crisp is cheese and onion flavoured while the Sive crisp is salt and vinegar flavoured. The Babylon crisp has a sharp aftertaste while by comparison the Sive crisp leaves only a taste of potatoes in the mouth. One difference is the calorie count – the Babylon crisp is cooked in oil while the Sive crisp is baked in the oven. Another difference is the colour – the Babylon crisp is very light, almost cream while the Sive crisp has shades of beige and brown running through it in a marble-like pattern“.

In the example above there is NO DEPTH – none of the points are developed in any detail and the reader almost feels dizzy because the writer is jumping all over the shop. There is also an annoying tendancy to blandly state facts when the writer should be discussing how he/she feels about these facts (the flavours, textures, colours etc…)

Now look at the example below:

I really enjoyed the texture of both crisps, the way they crumble in the mouth makes the experience of eating them almost effortless. However, this is where the similarites end for me! The Babylon crisp had a very strong, almost overpowering cheese and onion flavour which I personally found quite unpleasant, particularly the sharp aftertaste which lingers in the mouth long after you have swallowed. By contrast, the Sive crisp had a refreshing sharp tang of salt and vinegar; it offers a much more pleasant sensation for the palette than the Babylon crisp. Nevertheless, I must admit that, like the Babylon crisp, the Sive crisp also left me with a significant aftertaste except this time it was the strong impression that I had just eaten a plate of potatoes. There are some who would argue that this makes the Sive crisps more authentic – after all, the major ingredient of crisps IS potatoes – but I just found it irritating and felt like washing out my mouth with soap and water!

This person has made fewer points – they only wrote about texture, flavour and aftertaste whereas in the first example the writer discussed texture, flavour, aftertaste, calorie count and colour. However, they would still do better, getting an A rather than a C+ grade. So let’s ask why?

Well firstly their discussion has both DEPTH and FLOW – they offer a detailed instead of a superficial analysis and there is a lovely smooth flow from one point to the next. They don’t try to cram in too much, instead choosing to focus on fewer details but developing each point they do make to the maximum! Furthermore, there is an elegance in the writing style and choice of vocabulary which makes the first example seem a little childish/bland.

Secondly, this example shows personal engagement and explores the experience of eating the crisps (reading the texts) rather then reducing them to a series of bland facts (which is what the first example does!).


Once you’ve eaten all the crisps it becomes harder to remember them – they become a memory which you must strain to bring to the forefront of your mind rather than something that is there immediately in front of you. It becomes harder to write about them because they are not there anymore. And I’m going to be really mean and insist that you don’t look back on your notes.

7. Take a blank page and a pen and answer the question below (the equivalent of the 70mark exam question):

We are all different and thus we respond differently to different crisps (texts)”

Discuss in relation to the three crisps you have eaten (texts you have studied).

You can select any crisps you remember from each packet (any key moments from the texts) but you must compare and contrast; you must use linking phrases; and you must focus on your personal experience and opinions. Remember it’s not about the number of factors / moments you discuss but rather about offering a depth in your discussion and creating a flow in your writing.

Most of my students found this much more difficult, particularly because they were grasping to retrieve their memories of the experience. This is one of the reasons why many students and teachers find the comparative frustrating – by the time you are ready to write about all three texts, the experience of watching/reading (or in the case of the crisps eating) feels long ago and far away! In our class we discussed how Casablanca (which we studied last May) feels quite fuzzy in their memory now and agreed that an essential part of their weekend needed to be watching the film again to unfuzzify it in their brains (I promised I’d watch it again too to unfuzzify it in my head too!).

Meanwhile, for now we’re going to ignore the fact that once you go into an exam you are operating purely from memory and you are not allowed to look at your notes. It’s better instead to focus on what you can do to preserve the experience of reading/watching your texts – basically if you make really good notes on the text as you are studying it (the Department refer to this as a “personal response journal“) then it won’t feel so fuzzy when you get to the end of the process and start trying to weave the texts together. By contrast, if you don’t tune in and turn on when studying the texts in class you’ll find it really really hard to write about the ‘experience’ of the text because you won’t remember it as an experience, in fact you probably won’t remember much of it at all!

Just as we were finishing this exercise (note to teachers – it took us an entire double class) the daily intercom announcements came on: “Students are reminded that the canteen is open for all breaks and there should be absolutely no eating in the school building” – at which point we fell around laughing, stuffed the remaining evidence of our crisp picnic in the bin and agreed to take our secret to the grave!!! But if you’re doing this exercise at home, your only problem will be convincing your parents that analysing crisps (with the side benefit of having to eat them all) qualifies as ‘studying’!

Comparative 30/40 split

I’ve just received this email:

First of all I’d like to say that this site is a great resource and is of great benefit this close to exams.
However I have a question regarding the comparative section that I can’t find the answer to on the site.
In 2011 one comparative question was as follows:
2. “The study of a theme or issue can offer a reader valuable lessons and insights.”
(a) Identify and discuss at least one valuable lesson or insight that you gained through the study of a theme or issue in one text on your comparative course. (30)

(b) Compare at least one valuable lesson or insight that you gained, from studying the same theme or issue (as discussed in (a) above), in two other texts on your comparative course.
The valuable lesson or insight may be the same, or different, to the one discussed in (a) above.

Does this mean that for part (a) you discuss solely one text, for example Dancing at Lughnasa, without making a comparison to the other two texts, or mentioning them at all?
And in part (b) do you discuss only the other two texts (Inside I’m Dancing and How Many Miles to Babylon) without referencing Dancing at Lughnasa at all?

Thank you for reading and I hope you can help. This issue is not one we have discussed in class and I’m not sure of what to do.



Dear M,

This sounds more complicated than it is but in an exam the uncertainty it creates could be very off-putting. In my opinion the comparative is already complex enough and this kind of long-winded unwieldy question can throw students – so New Examinations Manager in English (they appointed someone new this year), if you’re out there and listening, you need to work on your “clarity of purpose” and “coherence of delivery” in setting these questions next year!!! Sometimes less is more!

Anyway, to answer your question, YES you just discuss ONE TEXT in part (a). You look at ONE theme and at least ONE valuable lesson or insight. You don’t mention the other two texts at all. I’ve checked this in the marking scheme to be doubly sure.

For part (b) you discuss TWO OTHER TEXTS. You must discuss the SAME THEME. Again, you must discuss at least ONE valuable lesson or insight – doesn’t matter if it’s the same insight as part (a) or a different one.

Finally, you wondered if you need to refer back to TEXT 1 (in your case Dancing At Lughnasa). This is entirely up to you. The marking scheme says that you are free to completely ignore TEXT 1. So if you want to focus on TEXT 2 and TEXT 3 ONLY in part (b) you can choose to do so and won’t be penalized.

However, if you choose to refer back to the points you made in part (a) that’s fine too. You might feel this adds to the overall coherence of your answer. If it does then do it. But if you feel it just confuses you and makes your answer stray all over the place then don’t do it.


Sometimes for the 30/40 mark split answer, part (b) includes the phrase “in the light of your discussion in part (a) above”. In this case you may refer back briefly to some of the points you made in part (a) but if you didn’t you wouldn’t lose any marks. As long as you discuss the same theme you’re fine. In 2004 the Literary Genre question contained this phrase but the marking scheme said students were free to choose the same aspect of storytelling OR a different one. So reading the question carefully and underlining the specific directions is important.

To summarise, when the question is split into 30marks/40marks:

  • You discuss one text on its own.
  • Then you discuss the other two texts.
  • As to whether or not you link parts (a) and (b), all of the marking schemes basically say you can if you want to but you don’t have to.

Read the specific question to decide whether you need to discuss the same theme/ same aspect of literary genre / same aspect of cultural context. In general the rule seems to be that you must stick with one theme for (a) and (b) but you can choose any aspect of storytelling or cultural context and it doesn’t have to be the same one in (a) and (b).

Hope this helps clarify this issue!





What the heck is GV&V ?

Lots of students – and teachers if we’re honest – struggle to define the concept of general vision and viewpoint. It can seem kind of vague and wooly beside the others modes, which are pretty straightforward once you get a grasp of them.

I guess there are two main elements to gv+v
Element one: first let’s think about the person who creates the text. When a writer writes a book or a play or directs a film they have a particular view of the world and of the human beings who live in it! In really really simple terms, if their stories always have a happy ending, if the characters triumph over adversity, if true love conquers all, if good is rewarded and evil punished, then the vision of the world they offer is positive and their viewpoint is optimistic. Very few texts will be this straightforward however. Often bad things happen to good people in texts and the vision never stays the same the whole way through – but we’ll come back to this later!
For now though, let’s keep it simple!
So as described above the first element to gv&v is created by the writer.
The second element however is something the writer cannot control – and this is the way the reader/viewer responds to the vision they have created. I, for example, don’t like romantic comedies. I think they are formulaic, predictable, simplistic and sickly sweet. So even though the person who wrote it might want me to respond positively to the vision they are offering, I probably won’t.
Now let’s look at a specific exam question:
I think the wording of the question might be confusing at first. Keep this in mind – ultimately YOU decide what vision of the world is being offered. Thus you could write this sentence in your essay: “In my opinion, the director offers a very romantic and idealistic vision of relationships in the scene where……..(fill in specific details) but I personally find this viewpoint overly simplistic and cliched. He wants the viewer to be swept up in the drama, and uses a sweeping violin score to achieve this, but I found myself rolling my eyes rather than sighing wistfully“.
And then of course you have to tie this into another text, and then another. To see how this is done, have a look at my post “Cracking the Comparative
You may also have noticed a third, related element to gv&v which is HOW the vision is communicated. This refers to HOW the mood and atmosphere is created – for example through close-ups of facial expressions, through music, through symbolism, through flashbacks (to create nostalgia or to add backstory), through the relationships between characters & how they treat each other, through the way the society is presented to us in a positive or negative light.
Bearing all of this in mind, what kind of questions can you be asked?
  • A straightforward question will just ask you to discuss the writer’s viewpoint (element 1).
  • A slightly more complicated question will ask you to focus on your feelings – on how you respond to the view offered by the writer/director (element 2).
  • A variation on a simple vision question is one which asks you to discuss the writer’s view and look at how this is communicated to the reader (a combination of element 1 and element 3).

As I mentioned above, the gv&v changes during the course of any text. One exercise I did with my class was to draw up a graph – see photo above. The vertical axis went from tragic at the bottom to blissfully happy at the top. The horizontal axis went from the beginning (on the left) to the end (on the right) of the text. Then we picked maybe eight key moments and plotted them on the graph. This gave us a clearer sense of how the gv&v changed, ebbed and flowed over the course of the text from beginning to end. However it is a little simplistic – you need to offer a more complex discussion  than “happy/sad” (nostalgia, longing, frustration, injustice, tragedy, triumph, humour are all more specific words that spring to mind!) AND you need to think about whether the author offers you a positive, fond and uplifting view of human beings or a deeply pessimistic indictment of human beings’ flaws and foibles. Think about the writer/director’s vision of the society the characters inhabit. What decisions has the writer/director made as to how the text begins and ends. Does the story begin and end at the same point (as in Babylon)? Have the characters achieved anything in the intervening period? Is the text a gradual journey towards enlightenment and self-fulfillment? Or does everything end badly, despite the characters best efforts to achieve happiness?
Because the concept is quite multi-faceted, try to simplify your overall essay structure.
Compare the beginning gv&v of each text.
Then compare gv&v about a third of the way in.
Next compare gv&v about two thirds of the way in.
Finally compare the gv&v of the endings.
And of course the most important thing is to tie them together in the way that I described in the post “Cracking the comparative“.
Hopefully that will clarify things somewhat!

Cracking the comparative ;-)

If this is how you feel when you think of the comparative, you are not alone, so don’t panic. I’ll try my best to simplify what is actually the most complex essay structure on the course.

There are two fundamental errors you’re in danger of making when writing your comparative answers.

1. You fail to answer the question.

2. Your links are weak and superficial.

It’s impossible to know what the question will be until you open the paper, but if you want to see what type of questions generally come up, click here on ‘Theme or Issue questions‘, ‘Literary Genre questions‘ and ‘General Vision and Viewpoint questions‘ (note: these are the modes for 2012, they’ll be different if you’re doing the leaving in 2013).

So let’s imagine the question is “What did you enjoy about exploring the general vision & viewpoint of the texts you studied?”

This is the kind of answer that will get you a D2:

“I really enjoyed studying the general vision and viewpoint of my three texts. The opening scene of DAL is quite nostalgic as Michael looks back on his childhood in Donegal but it’s also pessimistic because he says things weren’t really what they seemed and he mentions Fr. Jack coming home but not being nearly as impressive as they expected. We then see the Mundy sisters together, they are a close family but Kate tends to boss them around and the others resent this, particularly Agnes. When she decides they can’t go to the harvest dance the sisters are pissed off but Kate thinks it wouldn’t be right. Similarly the opening scene of IID is quite pessimistic. Michael sits on his own in Carrigmore home for the disabled and he can’t communicate because he is handicapped and can’t speak properly. He tries to warn one of the workers that there’s a cable that might get snagged and someone will trip but they don’t understand what he’s trying to say. He seems really frustrated and I would hate to be in his situation. The first scene in HMB is also pessimistic. Alec is waiting to die and he won’t get in touch with anybody in his family to tell them what’s happening. He doesn’t seem to even care and when the priest comes in he sends him away after making jokes about his own death. So I enjoyed seeing how awful some people’s lives can be because mine is way better and that made me happy”

Before you read on, I made up this answer. So no I’m not slagging off a real student’s work.

What’s wrong with this answer? Let me count the ways:

  1. Question is thrown in at the beginning and end of the paragraph but no effort is made to actually engage with the question.
  2. Sentences go on – and on – and on. The writer clearly has no control over what they’re trying to say. It comes out as a stream of consciousness ‘vomit’ onto the page.
  3. Informal conversational language and slang “she bosses them around” “pissed off” “he doesn’t even care” “mine is way better”
  4. Inaccurate and vague details: “handicapped” instead of “cerebral palsy”, “can’t speak properly” instead of “has a speech impediment”, “he says things weren’t as they seemed” instead of including the quote “I had an awareness of a widening breech between what seemed to be and what was”, reference to the “priest” instead of the “padre”.
  5. Texts dealt with separately with superficial links barely established “similarly” “also”.
The simplest way for me to explain why this is the greatest mistake you can make is through a knitting analogy. Have a look at this stripy jumper:

Each colour is knitted separately. They only touch briefly.

Now let’s say white represents the times when you’re talking about all three texts.

Dark grey represents DAL.

Light grey represents HMB.

Purple represents IID.

Each section exists on its own, never mingling with the other colors, only briefly linking with them, perhaps for a line or sometimes just for a single stitch (or ‘link’). All of the ingredients are there but they never get mixed up together. In fact you could just take out each color and knit four separate jumpers if you wanted to.

Now let’s have a look at how to do it properly:

“Studying the general vision and viewpoint of my three texts offered me a fascinating insight into the quiet lives of desperation many people lead and I found myself on tenterhooks, rooting for the central characters as they attempted to create a better life for themselves. The opening scene of DAL is full of nostalgia as Michael the narrator launches into a flashback of the summer when Fr. Jack returned from the missions. Despite the closeness of the family unit (Michael remembers his aunts dancing wildly to the music from the wireless) there is an aura of mystery and foreboding, an awareness “of a widening breach between what seemed to be and what was”. This aura makes DAL in many ways similar to HMB (from the beginning of both texts the reader feels something bad is about to happen) but the atmosphere of fear and foreboding are much more pronounced in HMB. The opening scene fills us with unease as Alec waits to die. Unlike the Mundy sisters (DAL) we have no sense that he feels close to his family – in fact he bluntly admits “I love no living person, I am committed to no cause…I have not communicated with either my father or mother”. I found his indifference to his plight deeply unsettling. Thus although I felt compelled to read on, I cannot say I ‘enjoyed’ watching him suffer. The same is true of IID, where the central character’s difficulties fill the reader with sympathy. Michael’s cerebral palsy and speech impediment isolate him from the other residents but what makes this film subtly (yet significantly) different to HMB is that in IID we can see Michael’s frustration, through a series of close-ups of his face as he tries to communicate with Eileen and warn her of the impending accident (he has seen a vacuum cable snag and knows it will trip someone up). By contrast Alec (HMB) expresses no desire to escape the awful situation he finds himself in. Yet there are also interesting similarities between HMB and IID , for example the complete lack of family support and in some ways this makes DAL the most positive of the three – no matter what their difficulties at least the Mundy sisters have each other.  Thus I can honestly say that all three texts captured my imagination, roused my curiousity and engaged my sympathy for the central characters in the opening scene, thus adding to my enjoyment and compelling me to read (or watch!) on.

Why is this so good by comparison?

  1. The question is fully engaged with throughout by the writer.
  2. Sentences are complex but highly controlled (writer uses brackets if adding something significant that would make the sentence unwieldy).
  3. Formal language of critical analysis is used at all times.
  4. Details are accurate and specific, including occasional use of quotes (perhaps four or five in total in your essay is more than sufficient).
  5. Texts are interwoven; links are complex, recognising obvious similarities and differences but also going further to establish subtle distinctions.

Again the knitting analogy is useful.

This pattern also has all of the ingredients necessary but if you look at the body of the jumper (ignore the sleeves) you’ll see that the person knitting this jumper begins a line with one color but then switches to another – or sometimes switches to a different colour for one line but then switches back again.

In your essay the texts need to be interwoven in this way. You need to establish complex links. You can keep your basic pattern – I’ll mostly discuss DAL, then HMB, then IID – but you must be willing to link them in subtle and meaningful ways. If the examiner feels like they could easily separate your essay out into three separate essays (unravelling this jumper would be a lot more complicated than unravelling the one above) then you have a problem.


If you chose to answer a 30 / 40 mark split you will deal with one text entirely on it’s own.

 So let’s say this cream jumper represents DAL.

You completely ignore the other two and just discuss DAL on its own.



Then when you move on to the 40 mark discussion of your other two texts (HMB and IID in this example) you weave the two texts together. In this example, the charcoal can be HMB and the light grey can be IID. You can occasionally refer back to DAL (cream) but not in any great detail.

Pay attention to how the question is phrased. If it says “in the light of your discussion above” then you must deal with the same ideas, issues etc.. If it doesn’t you don’t have to – but it’s probably easier.

I have no idea if that makes things any clearer but I don’t know any other way to make you aware of how important it is to have interwoven your texts together, rather than simply treating them as three separate entities. Ultimately, answering the question asked and having in-depth quality comparisons (both similarities and differences) make the difference in doing well or doing badly in comparative studies.




Literary Genre Questions

Sample 70 mark questions:

  • “The unexpected is essential to the craft of story-telling.”Compare how the authors of the comparative texts you have studied used the unexpected in their texts. You may confine your answer to key moments in the texts.
  • “The creation of memorable characters is part of the art of good story-telling.” Write an essay comparing the ways in which memorable characters were created and contributed to your enjoyment of the stories in the texts you have studied for your comparative course. It will be sufficient to refer to the creation of one character from each of your chosen texts.    (70)
  • Write a talk to be given to Leaving Certificate students in which you explain the term Literary Genre and show them how to compare the telling of stories in at least two texts from the comparative course.    (70)
  • “Literary Genre is the way in which a story is told.” Choose at least two of the texts you have studied as part of your comparative course and, in the light of your understanding of the term Literary Genre, write a comparative essay about the ways in which their stories are told. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts.    (70)
  • Write an essay on one or more of the aspects of literary genre (the way texts tell their stories) which you found most interesting in the texts you studied in your comparative course. Your essay should make clear comparisons between the texts you choose to write about.

Sample 30/40 mark questions

“Aspects of narrative contribute to your response to a text.”
(a)With reference to one of your chosen texts, identify at least two aspects ofnarrative and discuss how those aspects contributed to your response to that text.    (30)
(b)With reference to two other texts compare how aspects of narrative contributed to your response to these texts.
In answer to question (b) you may use the aspects of narrative discussed in (a) above or any other aspects of narrative.    (40)

“A good text will have moments of great emotional power.”
(a)With reference to a key moment in one of your texts show how this emotional power was created.    (30)
(b)Take key moments from the other two texts from your comparative course and compare the way in which the emotional power of these scenes was created. (40)

“Powerful images and incidents are features of all good story-telling.”
(a)Show how this statement applies to one of the texts on your comparative course.    (30)
(b)Compare the way in which powerful images and incidents are features of the story-telling in two other texts on your comparative course. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts. (40)

“No two texts are exactly the same in the manner in which they tell their stories.”
(a)Compare two of the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of the above statement. Support the comparisons you make by reference to the texts.    (40)
(b)Write a short comparative commentary on a third text from your comparative study in the light of your discussion in part (a) above.    (30)

“Texts tell their stories differently.”

(a)Compare two of the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of the above statement.    (40)
(b)Write a short comparative commentary on a third text from your comparative study in the light of your answer to question (a) above.    (30)