Thinking of becoming a famous author one day and finding yourself immersed in the world of literature all day?

If you have just answered yes to these two questions, you are no doubt the ideal candidate to take the Literature in English subject as a Form 6 student.

But first, we'll look at the syllabus and also the exam format for your STPM Literature in English paper.

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What Is The Overall Syllabus That You'll Learn From Semester 1 to Semester 3?

The syllabus specifications for STPM Literature in English consist of two parts.

Part 1 deals with critical appreciation skills throughout the 3 semesters whereas Part 2 deals with the various genres of literary texts revolving around poetry and short stories (Semester 1), plays (Semester 2) and novels (Semester 3).

Each paper consists of 3 sections, where each section requires students to provide their answers in an essay.

The duration of the whole paper is 2 hours and the total mark is 75%. The weightage of each semester is 33.33%.

The list below contains the components that students have to learn for this subject.

Critical Appreciation Skills

  • Theme 1: Literature, Language, and Form
  • Theme 2: Literature, History, and Culture
  • Theme 3: Literature and Gender

Poems

  • 1. Sonnet 75 by Edmund Spenser
  • 2. Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare
  • 3. A Poison Tree by William Blake
  • 4. The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth
  • 5. She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron
  • 6. Love‘s Philosophy by P. B. Shelley
  • 7. To Autumn by John Keats
  • 8. My Last Duchess by Robert Browning
  • 9. A Bird Came Down by Emily Dickinson
  • 10. I Look into my Glass by Thomas Hardy
  • 11. At Tea by Thomas Hardy
  • 12. When You are Old by William Butler Yeats
  • 13. Mending Wall by Robert Frost
  • 14. After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost
  • 15. On Growing Old by John Masefield
  • 16. Piano by D. H. Lawrence
  • 17. Snake by D. H. Lawrence
  • 18. I Thank You God For Most This Amazing by E.E. cummings
  • 19. The Magpies by Judith Wright
  • 20. Aunt Jennifer‘s Tigers by Adrienne Rich
  • 21. Warning by Jenny Joseph
  • 22. Digging by Seamus Heaney
poetry english stpm
Poetry is a beautiful component of literature studies.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Short Stories

  • 1. Ratnamuni by K.S. Maniam
  • 2. Pasang by Pretam Kaur
  • 3. A Certain Cry by Cynthia Anthony
  • 4. Birthday by M. Shanmugalingam
  • 5. Through the Wall by Pretam Kaur
  • 6. Pictures in My Mind by Pretam Kaur
  • 7. The Dream of Vasantha by K.S. Maniam
  • 8. The Touring Company by Shirley Lim
  • 9. No Visitors Allowed by John Machado
  • 10. A Love of the Past by Stella Kon
  • 11. Removal in Pasir Panjang by K.S. Maniam
  • 12. As the Buffaloes Bathed by Pretam Kaur

Plays

  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Novels

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Dive deep into the marking scheme of your STPM Literature in English paper here.

What Do Examiners Look For In A Grade A Student For STPM Literature In English?

Ever wonder how are you graded for your papers? Examiners basically focus on how well candidates perform in the critical appreciation components and how well they compose their essays for the three sections.

Let's look at the grade assessments for these two categories.

For Critical Appreciation

  • Candidate shows an excellent critical understanding of the poem or excerpt.
  • Candidate addresses all aspects of the question very well.
  • Candidate demonstrates a critical, sensitive, and original response to the poem or excerpt.
  • Candidate writes fluently and clearly.
  • Candidate shows logical and coherent development of ideas.
  • Candidate supports argument with appropriate textual evidence from the particular poem or excerpt.

For Essay Writing

  • Candidate shows detailed knowledge and an excellent understanding of the text.
  • Candidate addresses all aspects of the question with sustained relevance to issues.
  • Candidate exhibits the ability to identify, analyse, and evaluate tone, attitude, character, form, structure, and language.
  • Candidate demonstrates a critical, sensitive, and original response to the text.
  • Candidate shows an informed response to the text.
  • Candidate writes fluently and expresses complex ideas clearly.
  • Candidate displays logical and coherent development of argument.
  • Candidate supports the argument with appropriate textual evidence.

Gain more tips and insights to score for your STPM Literature in English paper.

What Are Some Resources To Help You Ace Your STPM Literature in English Paper?

Your revision will not be complete without the right tools. Here are 3 main resources that you can rely on as you prepare for your exams throughout the 3 semesters.

a) Past year questions analysis 

Practising with your past year questions will certainly help you to improve your clarity and enhance your confidence when you're preparing for the paper. You'll know what to expect for Section A, Section B and Section C throughout the semesters when it comes to topics relating to short stories, poetry, plays and novels.

Don't forget that you can download the annual report for your STPM Literature in English papers from the Malaysian Examination Council (MEC) website to also see the general comments (good and bad examples, common mistakes made by students)  for individual questions that were asked.

You can also access more information about the past year collection of STPM Literature in English paper here.

b) Literature themed blogs and books 

Seize every opportunity to look for various physical and non-physical learning resources for English Literature! You can get the relevant textbooks/reference books from your school library or bookstores.

Also, remember that the Internet is your oyster. Look out for blogs that are curated by former students and passionate educators who are well versed with the current syllabus of your STPM Literature in English studies. After getting all these learning resources, compile them into concise notes that you can easily refer to and review during your revisions.

c) A reliable English Literature tutor from Superprof

We're obviously saving the best resource for the last here. An English Literature tutor is essentially the best of both worlds that combined the first two resources that we have mentioned earlier.

Your tutor will not only teach you accordingly to the syllabus in terms of critical appreciation skills and prescribed texts but also guide you accordingly to answer questions for your actual exams. You don't have to worry about the lack of preparation, exercises, learning materials throughout your three semesters.

tutoring english literature stpm
You can take English Literature lessons from an online tutor at Superprof.
Photo by Vanessa Garcia from Pexels

Why do we recommend Superprof out of other options for private tutoring?

  1. Superprof is a verified and student-friendly educational platform that has around 18 million tutors.
  2. Students and tutors get to explore 1001 subjects (at this time of writing).
  3. Students can tutors can choose the learning modes that they prefer (online/face to face/ or both)
  4. Affordable hourly rates (Students can select the tutors based on their maximum budget)
  5. Students get to access teaching qualifications, teaching experience, teaching methodology of tutors before deciding.
  6. Students and tutors are guaranteed effective support from the Superprof team throughout the process.

Head to the Superprof homepage to get started!

How To Consistently Cultivate The Habit of Critical Reading And Writing?

Now, let's talk about your dream to become an author earlier. Apart from mastering the technical aspects of your STPM Literature in English paper, you have to take your leisure reading hobby to the next level by cultivating the habit of critical reading and writing when you're reading now.

Here are a few steps to step up your game that'll help you greatly on the route to being a good author one day.

a) Be intentional to read from a wide range of authors and genres

You should be able to tell from the prescribed texts in your STPM Literature in English syllabus that you will definitely read beyond your comfort zone. You may not even know that these writers existed before you took this subject.

While it's normal to have your favourite genre and author, you'll certainly gain some insights when you get to compare different writings. For instance, it gives you a totally different experience when you read and compare detective fiction from a Western perspective and a South-East Asian perspective. The setting, plots,  characterisation and recurring theme would have a strong contrast. That's when you can "analyse" and "critic" effectively.

One effective way to broaden your reading range is to look up Bookstagrams accounts and search for various reading reviews of various genres. One Instagram page that we recommend you to follow is Two Book Nerds Talking. You can find many well-written book reviews and book recommendations on their page.

b) Re-read and reflect on your thoughts and observations in a journal/ essay notebook

Don't just stop when you've reached the final page of the book. After reading, jot down the questions, interesting quotes and write about your favourite/least favourite scene, dialogues and characters in a separate book. Identify the theme of the story and why is it significant to you or in modern society.

Doing these exercises regularly can help you to organize your points systematically and make you more confident when you're answering the actual questions during the exams.

critical writing stpm literature
You can write down your thoughts and questions as a reading reflection.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

c) Have discussions with your friends/ tutors about the books that you have read

If you are a person who loved to actively engage and exchange ideas after reading, you can consider joining a book club community or organising an online sharing board like Padlet to kickstart your sharing.

At times, you might discover a new angle of interpreting the theme of the book that you're reading from other readers. You can even use this platform as a group study effort with your fellow friends who are taking this subject. That way everybody gets to contribute their ideas and learn from one another effectively!

We hope this article will propel you to greater heights in your English Literature studies for your STPM and your goal as a future author!

That's why literature is so fascinating. It's always up for interpretation and could be a hundred different things to a hundred different people. It's never the same thing twice. - Author, Sara Raasch

 

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An avid reader and writer, Joycelyn loves the art of communication and is passionate about all kinds of media.