Books For Advanced Higher English Dissertation

  1. 09-10-2007, 03:35 PM#1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Fitzgerald - Adv Higher English Dissertation help needed!

    Right. So, for my Advanced Higher English I have decided to study 'The Beautiful and Damned' and 'Tender is the Night' by F Scott Fitzgerald.

    I wanted to re-do The Great Gatsby, seeing as I'm an avid fan, but seeing as I did it at Higher, alas I cannot study it at Adv Higher :-(

    So basically, I was wondering if any of you who are familair with the two novels could help me in anyway come up with a really good question to compare the two texts?

    I was thinking something along the lines of how he portrays the complexities of marriage/relationships using different linguistic techniques etc, but I feel there is probably something I could study in far more depth that would get me a better overall grade! I've always been awful with thinking up questions like such so any help at all would be much appreciated!

    Thanks :-) x
    Her voice is full of money.

  2. 09-12-2007, 12:40 PM#2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Bensalem, PA 19020
    How about from the point of view...comparative female characters in both works...also comparative to Zelda, Fitzgerald's unusual wife

  3. 05-17-2008, 01:15 AM#3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    The interior dialectic of Fitzgerald seen through his works. I know Lionel Trilling wrote an essay about it in The Liberal Imagination called "F. Scott. Fitzgerald" where he talks about Fitzgerald's struggle compared to Gatsby's, and other works. That may be interesting to write about.

  4. 05-20-2009, 07:09 AM#4
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    New York
    Blog Entries
    I have not read those novels. I wish I have. Some day perhaps. Best of luck.

  5. 05-20-2009, 07:12 AM#5

  6. 09-28-2012, 05:40 AM#6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Do you know what it is in those two novels that draws you to studying them? Once you get an idea of that, it becomes easier to form it into a question.

    Although I must say that some topics will have been done to depth, like the links between Zelda Fitzgerald and the women in Fitzgerald's novels. You could always argue that you don't see the parallels as being fundamental to his work. Look at some of the things we generally think about Fitzgerald and ask yourself what such thoughts bring to a study of his work.

  7. 09-28-2012, 02:10 PM#7

    Well, Kelby, seeing as this request was made five years ago, you may be a little late with that advice by a day or two.

Advanced Higher

Use this page to find information and useful links related to the New Advanced Higher (as from August 2015).



Advanced High Course Breakdown

Component 1: Literary Study – Final exam – 20 marks.

  • You will choose one question from a range of questions and write a critical essay.
  • You will use texts we study in class

Component 2: Textual Analysis – final exam – 20 marks.

  • You will choose one question on an unseen literary text and write an extended critical analysis of it. You will select from poetry, prose, prose non-fiction or drama.

Component 3: Writing Folio – 30 marks.

  • You will produce two pieces of writing for two different purposes.
  • These pieces can be persuasive, informative, argumentative, reflective, poetry, prose fiction or drama.
  • 1000 word minimum, no maximum.

Component 4: Dissertation – 30 marks.

  • You will produce an extended critical essay showing your knowledge and understanding of an aspect or aspects of literature.
  • 2500 word minimum, 3000 word maximum.
  • The text(s) chosen must not be the same as those used in ‘Literary Study’. It will usually be done on two texts that are linked in some way, or one substantial text.
  • You will also undertake two units (‘Analysis and Evaluation’ and ‘Creation and Production’) as part of the course. These will be part of the process of preparing for the four components above.




The dissertation is worth 30% of your overall award—so it’s important to take it very seriously.


Authors, texts and topics that are central to your work in one component of course assessment (for example, Literary Study) may not be used in any other component of course assessment (for example, your Dissertation). You will be required to record your Dissertation texts and topic on your answer booklet.


You have to make an independent study of and produce a dissertation on an aspect or aspects of literature.


The first stage in the process is the selection of texts or topics and the formulation of a brief descriptive statement of what you propose to study. This proposal must be approved by your teacher  in order to ensure that the materials are appropriate to an English course and worthy of study at this level and that the study itself is manageable. Your study should explore a limited area and examine it in detail with lots of appropriate supporting evidence.

It should be noted that texts and topics:

  • must be personally selected by you (under the guidance of your teacher)
  • must be accepted by your centre as suitable choices
  • must not be the subject of teaching in this unit
  • must not be the subject of teaching or assessment in other units of the Advanced Higher English course or in the units of other courses.


You should:

  • write, type or word-process the dissertation on one side of A4 paper only
  • use italics or underlining to indicate titles of texts
  • set in from the margin all quotations of more than one line so that they are clearly distinguishable from the text of the dissertation
  • use footnotes and page references where appropriate to identify quotations from and references to primary sources
  • use footnotes and page references at all times to identify and acknowledge quotations from, references to and information/ideas gleaned from secondary sources
  • provide an accurate bibliography
  • give footnote and bibliography references in the following form:

    D.Gifford and D. McMillan, A History of Scottish Women’s Writing, EUP, 1997.

Advice on the presentation of your dissertation

Title page

Your title page should include:

  • your centre name
  • your centre number
  • your name
  • your candidate number
  • your title/topic/texts.


If word-processed, your dissertation should observe the following conventions:

  • each page should be numbered, including the title page and the bibliography
  • each page should be single-sided
  • each page should be typed in single line spacing
  • the font used should be Times New Roman (BOO!)
  • the font size should be 12 point
  • your text should be left-justified
  • titles of texts - novels, plays, poems, critical or reference works - should be in italics, without quotation marks
  • quotations, unless only a few words long (when quotation marks should be used), should be preceded and followed by a double line space AND indented.


Citing references in the body of your dissertation

Footnotes should be kept to a minimum and numbered sequentially from the beginning to the end of your dissertation.

  • The first reference to a text cited or quoted from should be given in full as follows:
  • Bennett, Joan, Four Metaphysical Poets, (London, 1953), p23.
  • The normal convention for subsequent references is: Bennett, p47.
  • It is acceptable to abbreviate lengthy titles in footnotes or textual references. For example: All's Well That Ends Well can become AWTEW.
  • Simple references, such as line numbers or page references of quotations from a book or a play or a poem already cited in full, can usually be incorporated in the text, normally in parentheses after quotations.
  • Internet sources should be referred to thus:
  • Crowley, J, New York Times (1985), Review of Lanark. Available:


Listing sources in your bibliography

You should take a fresh page for your bibliography.

  • Make separate lists of primary texts (those chosen for study) and secondary sources (critical or reference works, periodicals, Web documents).
  • List sources in alphabetical order, according to the author's surname.



The dissertation you produce must be between 2500 and 3000 words in length, including quotations but excluding footnotes and bibliography. You should note that, in order to achieve consistency in this area, any dissertation that falls outside these limits of length will not be accepted. You must indicate on the dissertation flyleaf the actual number of words used.



While you should of course consult secondary sources, you must be careful not to rely on them excessively and you must never copy them without acknowledgement. Always remember that to plagiarize is to cheat—and this could lead to your disqualification from any award. Markers are instructed to report all instances where plagiarism is suspected for further investigation (so be warned!).





The Folio is worth 30% of your overall award—so it's important to take it very seriously.


You must show that you can write in more than one genre by submitting for assessment two pieces of writing. The genres from which you can choose are

  • reflective essay
  • prose fiction
  • poetry
  • drama
  • persuasive
  • informative
  • argumentative


Other than poetry, where length should be appropriate to subject and form, each piece of writing should be at least 1000 words in length. You are required to indicate on the folio flyleaf the actual number of words used in each piece. You should also note that, although there is no prescribed maximum length, excessively lengthy pieces are usually self-penalizing.


Always remember that to plagiarize is to cheat—and this could lead to your disqualification from any award. Markers are instructed to report all instances where plagiarism is suspected for further investigation (so be warned!).


The distinctive characteristics of the specified forms of creative writing require close attention. We will explore examples and create pieces in a variety of genres. What is important is that you choose genres that excite you, and run with them!

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