Hello, new Advanced Highers!

As ever, I’m looking forward to geeking out with this class over the next year.

Our texts this year will be:

  • Poetry: Sylvia Plath’s nature poetry (booklet here)
  • Prose: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
  • Drama: A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen

I would recommend you all buy your own copy of these texts – for the Ibsen plays, a good one is the Bloomsbury Student edition.

In the meantime, some reminders about deadlines (already, I know):


  • Dissertation texts and topic decided on: before summer holidays
  • Dissertation primary texts read: August 2019
  • Dissertation draft 1: Friday 11th October 2019
  • Dissertation draft 2: Friday 15th November 2019
  • Dissertation draft 3: January 2020

Suggested texts for dissertation (very helpful):



Literary Study texts

  • Prose texts read: August 2019
  • Drama texts read: January 2019



  • Draft deadlines: throughout year
  • Final draft: Friday 3rd April 2020


Below are the handouts given out so far, in case yours go astray:

Dissertation Guide

Dissertation Making notes

Advanced Higher English Course Guide

Advanced Higher English Dissertation Guide




Example Advanced Higher work

Afternoon dears,

Have a look at the SQA’s Understanding Standards website – it’s got example scripts and commentary from markers, so you can see what kind of thing scores well, and what needs more work.

This will help prepare you for your Literary Study essay next week.



Dover Beach Textual Analysis Feedback

  • Need to establish a clear overall argument/evaluative stance – what is the significance of the scene Arnold describes? What themes/concepts are explored? How does he do this?
  • Only a couple of you actually mentioned pathetic fallacy as a technique – TECHNIQUES ARE ESSENTIAL!!!
  • Not many people picked up on the shift in atmosphere, moving from positive imagery to a sense of loss as the poem progresses.
  • Some of you thought this was a war poem – interesting interpretation, but it’s not.
  • Also, a lot of people shied away from the structure here – don’t be afraid of it, as dealing with it head on can really enhance your analysis, i.e. the ‘muddled’ rhyme scheme here is actually a mixed up sonnet in the first section of the poem, not only breaking with tradition, but creating a sense of disharmony and uncertainty.
  • Lots of people not annotating their poems – so helpful, please try to do this, as well as plan.
  • Some responses particularly short and lacking depth – what you have is fine, but there’s nowhere near enough of it. You have an hour and a half. Get to it.