Word Limit Advanced Higher English Dissertation Titles

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: http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~crumey/gray1.html


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!

File Attachments


    Hello everyone.

    Welcome to the Advanced Higher English thread. This is a thread for those who are studying Advanced Higher English for the term of 2017/18. You are welcomed to use this thread to discuss and ask questions on any aspect of the course, suggest any good resources/textbooks/books/authors etc. Anyone who had previously studied the course would also be more than welcomed to provide any help or advice as well as sharing their experience of the subject as a whole.

    The course is broken down to 4 components:
    1. Question paper: Literary Study 20 marks
    2. Question paper: Textual Analysis 20 marks
    3. Portfolio: Writing 30 marks
    4. Project: Dissertation 30 marks

    Any useful resources and any other vital information/tips suggested will be updated in this top post on a regular basis.

    - DISSERTATION IDEAS: http://www.shetland-library.gov.uk/d...gbysubject.pdf

    Best of luck x

  • Anyone got any ideas for their dissertation project?

    I'm thinking about doing:
    - The study of race inequality in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The Colour Purple by Alice Walker.
    - The study of jealousy in Othello and The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare.
    - The study of power in King Lear and Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare.
    - The study of love/marriage in Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion by Jane Austen.

  • I have no idea what to do for the dissertation, do you think I could use a book from my higher since I found it really easy and then get another book (i have no idea what) to compare it to? I don't know, my teacher didn't explain it that much, or I wasn't listening properly. Most likely the latter.

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