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You may be able to do coursework as an alternative to the topic/texts paper. Usually you have to do 2 essays, one of about 500 words and one of about 1000 words.

Topic choice:

Choose your topics carefully. They must be topics you are interested in and also where research is going to be reasonably easy. You may be able to choose a 'creative' style essay.

Topic title:

Once you have chosen your topics, work out your titles. Spend some time on this. It is important that it is not vague but quite specific - maybe a question?


Make a plan. You should note down the main points of your:

  • Introduction
  • Main point
  • Conclusion
At this point you can still discuss your work with your teacher who can offer you some help and guidance. A good plan will stand you in good stead and will help you when you are writing up.


Use as many resources as you can e.g.

  • Film
  • TV programme
  • Radio programme
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Books
  • Internet
The internet is brilliant but often it is hard to sort through the vast amount of material it brings up. Don't depend on it solely, use a variety of sources.

Always record your research. You will need to make up a bibliogrpahy, i.e. a list of your sources at the end of your essay.


Make (and keep to it!) a timetable of your work. Don't leave writing up the essay until the night before the deadline date!

For example:
  • October 1 : Decide on topic and title
  • November : research and notes
  • December : Draft essay and check
  • January : Write up

  • When you write up make sure you give concrete examples for each point you make.
  • Check your word count. (your computer can do this for you!). Adjust it as necessary. Word process your work using double spacing.
  • Check the accuracy of your French. Check spellings and verbs in particular.

You will get a good mark if you:

  • write clearly
  • use your research well
  • give your opinions well
  • plan and sequence your work well
  • are accurate and use a variety of structure

Look at your course book. Some of the chapters might give you ideas e.g.

  • Feminism
  • Enviroment
  • Health and Fitness
  • Travel

Don't forget: Your work must always be firmly rooted in France or French culture.

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You may be able to link your coursework with a particular topic you are interested in e.g 'Combatting Racism in French football' or 'A French film director', or link to another subject you are studying, e.g. an aspect of French theatre.

You should make sure however that it's not like an essay you are doing for another subject!

If you read French newspapers and magazines, watch French films you may find other ideas to work on.