Part 3

  • Part 3: Literature - texts and contexts invites us to look at literary texts in the contexts in which they were written and read.
  • The requirements for Part 3 are presented in this section, along with suggestions on how to meet them. 
  • Strategies on how to meet the learning outcomes can also be found in this section. 

Selected Pages


Requirements Wednesday 6 November 2013

Part 3 - Literature: texts and contexts focuses on how context influences both the composition and the interpretation...


Outcomes Thursday 12 July 2012

Below are the three learning outcomes that should be met while studying Part 3 of the English A: Language...


Critical Discourse Analysis Tuesday 5 June 2012

By Debra William-Gualandi Critical discourse analysis (CDA) covers a number of methods and theoretical underpinnings...


Works Saturday 18 February 2012

The nature of Part 3 means that lessons are organized around literary works. Because Part 3 works should be contextually...


Theoretical reading Tuesday 27 December 2011

What is the philosophy behind Part 3: Literature - text and context? By reading more background information on literary...

Stylistics Tuesday 5 June 2012

By Debra Williams-Gualandi Stylistics as it has developed in the twentieth century may be considered the study of how...

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Comments 19

Jo Balci 7 September 2016 - 01:29

For Part 3 SL - Is Persepolis classed as a 20th or 21st Century text in translation?
I really hope the answer is 21st....if not could A Doll's House be paired with The Things They Carried (my 2nd text)

Tim Pruzinsky 7 September 2016 - 23:59

Hi Jo,

The PLT has it as written in 2000. I think it'll be okay to classify that as a 21st century text. So, it's up to you if you want to teach Persepolis or A Doll's House.


Syed Abbas 12 October 2016 - 14:19

I had asked earlier if Heart of Darkness (a novella) by j Conrad could eb sued a Part 3 work, & your said that it can be.
But can I use it as a standalone text in itself or do I need to complement it by another text in order to make up for it by virtue of it being a novella?
Thanks & regards

David McIntyre 13 October 2016 - 01:36

It will be fine on its own, Faheem.

At what point does a short story become a novella become a novel? You can't entirely know, so the issue becomes one of professional judgement.



Syed Abbas 12 October 2016 - 14:21


Is there any issue in using all prose for Part 3 works that do make for different geographies & time periods?

I do have a play, a prose work & an anthology of a poet in/for Part 4.

Thanks & regards

David McIntyre 13 October 2016 - 01:32

Hi Faheem,

The requirements for period, genre, and place are across parts 3 and 4 in combination. You can, therefore, have three novels in part 3.

Best regards,


Syed Abbas 13 October 2016 - 12:03

Thanks David.

jonathan pitale 17 November 2016 - 17:27

Good day, gentlemen!

I was wondering if you would recommend using two texts of the same genre in Part 3. I am currently slated to teach Carter's short stories, a novel, and a play ("Oedipus"), but we had a recent discussion surrounding the possibilities of replacing the novel with another play.

Your thoughts? Experiences?
Jon P

Ps-- found this site you might find interesting...I'm especially enjoying their fiction lists:
thewhatlist.c /


Tim Pruzinsky 17 November 2016 - 23:24

Hi Jon,

It depends. I've tried both ways and like them about equally, but for different reasons. I would focus on your students when making the decision. Are they readily able to switch between genres and do they find it easy? Can they negotiate - in timed writing - the difference between a play and a novel, an author and a dramatist, the use of flashback using time and the use of flashback using light and sound? If so, pair the texts that work best in your eyes.

On the other hand, if you have students who struggle with these demands, who in a timed essay keep calling "Oedipus" a novel and aren't able to switch between discussing the chorus in the play and the narrator in a short story, I'd do the same genre.

I want to give my students the ability to shine in the exam and achieve their potential. That might mean different genres and that might mean the same genre. It depends and changes every year. I'd argue that you know your students and are in the best position to make that decision.

And thanks for the link: I plan on buying "Multiple Choice" which someone talked about on the site! Looks fascinating.


Laura Callen 12 April 2017 - 19:05

Wondering if I can run some ideas by you?
Can you tell me if these work?
For L&L SL Part 3: Things Fall Apart (novel, Nigeria 1870-1890, written 1958) & Persepolis (autobiographical graphic novel, 1970s Iran)
For L&L SL Part 4: Grapes of Wrath (novel, 1930s) & The Kite Runner (novel, 1970s) (or I could do Hamlet instead of Kite Runner - if you think I need a drama)


Laura Callen 12 April 2017 - 19:11

Or I could do Part 4: Grapes of Wrath & selected poems of Langston Hughes

David McIntyre 13 April 2017 - 03:33

There is a lot to think about here, Laura.

If you go for your initial option (i.e. sans Hamlet), do you have a second period represented in your selection, where period refers to the time in which the text was published, not the historical setting of the text?

If you include Hamlet, you are fine for periods.

Is The Kite Runner on the PLA (I haven't checked)? If it isn't you can't use it in Part 4. Hamlet would work in this respect.

If you include The Gapes of Wrath, that is a big novel that will take a lot of time to cover. Do you have enough time in your teaching? You may have, and you may see benefit in reading a big, canonical text. However, against this is the time taken from other potential teaching and learning opportunities.

If you teach Persepolis in Part 3, students will write about it in their paper 2 exam. It is a popular text, but it may be said that many students come to the paper 2 exam without a sound understanding of the text as an aesthetic construction, and do poorly in criterion C. So, something else to consider.

I am not offering you much in the way of answers - that's not my place, I feel; rather, I am asking you to think about the implications of your text choice.

The stipulations that exist around period, place, genre, the PLA and the PLT are all absolutely non-negotiable, and clearly outlined in the course study guide. Thus, whatever other decisions you make, you have to ensure you get this right.

I hope this helps, and do come back with further questions when you have a clearer idea of what you will teach.

Best regards,


Laura Callen 13 April 2017 - 16:20

Thanks David,
Based on your advice, here is what I have come up with...
For L&L SL Part 3:
Novel: Things Fall Apart (novel, Nigeria 1870-1890, written 1958)
2 Novellas: The Bluest Eye (novella, 1970 ) & The Heart of Darkness (novella, 1901)

For L&L SL Part 4:
Hamlet (drama, 17th century)
Great Gatsby (novel, 1920s)


David McIntyre 14 April 2017 - 00:36

It doesn't quite work, unfortunately, Laura.

In Part 3, you require one text in translation chosen from the PLT (at SL). Please refer to the 'syllabus content' section of the course study guide. Whilst a text originally written in English may be on the PLT, you cannot choose these texts; you can only choose texts originally written in another language.

One further thing: At what point does a short story become a novella become a novel? You would almost certainly be fine to use either The Bluest Eye or Heart of Darkness (for the purpose of responding to a Paper 2 prompt). You can decide if the time you have for teaching is best spent on other things, or if you wish to teach both Morrison and Conrad. I think, anyway, that without much argument, The Bluest Eye can be classified as a novel.

I hope this helps. By all means, write back when you have revised your list.

Kind regards,


Cassandra Van Oort 9 May 2017 - 15:51


I am considering using The Crucible and Persepolis for my Part 3 texts in Standard Level. Is Persepolis acceptable given it was originally written in English?


David McIntyre 10 May 2017 - 03:30

Hi Cassandra,

Persepolis was originally written in French. It is on the PLT, and therefore it is an acceptable Part 3 choice.

I hope this helps,


Jason Fox 15 May 2017 - 15:01

I am wondering about your experience using a collection of short stories for Part 3. I can imagine the variety of characters and themes might be an advantage when choosing a Paper 2 question, but I can also envision students having trouble keeping track of characters.

Specifically, my students are interested in reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and I'm trying to choose between her short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck and her novel Half of a Yellow Sun. I've read a few of the stories and am halfway through the novel, and while they both seem appropriate for Part 3 in my judgment as a relatively new teacher, I'm hoping for advice from those of your who have used those texts or possibly another short story collection.


Tim Pruzinsky 16 May 2017 - 10:27

Hi Jason,

I haven't used short stories for Part 3. I have a colleague who teaching "The Thing Around Your Neck" in the Literature course and loves it. But that's a whole different assessment and she uses it in a whole different part of the syllabus.

I've used short stories before for the IOC and I didn't love it. Students had to remember so many different plots, characters, ideas, and so on that I thought it unnecessarily complicated things.

I'm of two minds. You can play it safe and go with the novel. It will work for Paper 2 and can be used quite well. There's nothing that should stop you from using it. However, if you want to experiment with your teaching, push yourself, and take a risk so that you can improve even more, I would say go for the short stories. See what happens. Maybe you will find it rewarding and exciting and your students will be really engaged and into them. Maybe they won't love or be interested in or even be able to talk intelligently about all of them, but a couple will stand out. And that will be worth it for you.

It sounds as if with either text you would put together thoughtful and meaningful lessons. It also seems like you would make sure they were prepared for the exam with either text. Both can work.

My sense is that if you are new, go with what feels comfortable. For most of us, that would be the novel. I do believe that experimentation rarely hurts our students though, and that it helps you become a stronger, more capable teacher. Some of my best moments have been when I have failed, reflected about the failure, learned from it, and made improvements for the future. And I don't think my students ever knew and I don't think they were at a disadvantage because of it.

Go with your gut on this one.


Jason Fox 16 May 2017 - 13:33

Dear Tim,
Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments.
Best regards,

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