A selection of essential resources which will ensure that you achieve the best grade possible in your English course.
In addition to these resources, your class teacher may be able to direct you to specific materials related to the texts your are studying in class.
Links to teachers’ individual wikispaces or blogs can be found on the Teachers page.
Course timelines can be found on the For Parents page.
Newspaper Analysis Instructions and Examples – Instructions and example of Newspaper Analysis. Also includes instructions and example for Comparative Newspaper Analysis.
Discursive Essay Guide (for Nat 5 and Higher)
From the SQA:
National 5 & Higher Folio SQA Template – copy and paste both folio pieces into this template. Put your SQA candidate number in the footer boxes. Type word count at the end of each piece. Do not include your name. Do not staple pages together.
SQA Candidate Guide: Close Reading – everything you could possible need to know about your close reading exam. Highly recommended reading.
SQA Advice on 2011 changes to Close Reading: the final ‘comparative’ question – the final ‘comparative’ question changed in 2011. This document explains why and how it has changed, the way the marks are allocated, and the best way to tackle this potentially make-or-break 5-mark question.
SQA Candidate Guide: Critical Essay – everything you could possibly need to know about your critical essay exam. Highly recommended reading.
SQA Candidate Guide: Writing Folio – Excellent advice on writing for the folio, including all the ‘need-to-knows’ like word limits and layout advice.
SQA Past Papers – familiarise yourself with the structure of the exam papers here.
General resources and tools
BBC Bitesize – Higher English – hints, tip, notes and guides to close reading, folio writing & some major texts you may have studied in class.
Education Scotland: Knowledge of Language – brush up on the basics. Particularly useful when writing for the folio.
Bristol University Grammar Tutorials – a wealth of information, examples and quizzes about every aspect of punctuation and grammar.
Pupils who read regularly get better grades than pupils who never read: fact.
This doesn’t just mean novels. In your National 5 and Higher years it is absolutely vital that you are exploring a wide range of non-fiction too. Ideally, this will be in the form of broadsheet journalism: articles from the more sophisticated newspapers like The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Herald or The Times. (Not tabloids like The Express, The Sun or The Daily Mail)
Here are links to some fantastic (free!) sources of quality non-fiction writing on the net. You are bound to be able to find something that interests you, so get reading and raise your grades!
Broadsheet Journalism and Non-Fiction Reading
BBC NEWS – news from one of the world’s most reliable sources.
BBC NEWS: Magazine – a selection of interesting, fun and unusual articles, quotes and quizzes inspired by the news.
BBC NEWS: Special Reports – articles grouped around major news topics.
The Guardian: Comment is Free – opinion pieces from Guardian columnists.
The Guardian: Comment is Free Weekly Videos – as above, in video form
The Independent: Voices – opinion pieces and commentary on current events
The Observer: ‘The Debate’ – a series of articles debating controversial topics from both sides. Useful for discursive writing.
The Telegraph: Comment – the opinion section of The Telegraph
The Telegraph: Personal View – the latest opinion pieces by Telegraph columnists.
The Herald: Columnists – opinion pieces (with a Scottish focus) from The Herald.
The New York Times: The Opinion Pages – comment articles from one of America’s most respected newspapers
ABC News – the top stories from one of America’s less biased news organisations.
Intelligent Life – sophisticated lifestyle magazine for thoughtful people. The language may be challenging at times, but some amazing and fascinating articles if you look for them. Includes excellent writing on pop culture, food, music, film, tv and art too!
Focus Magazine – a science and technology magazine.