Writing Folio

Writing Folio

For more detailed information on the folio at Higher, Intermediate 2 and Intermediate 1, click on the links below.







From session 2010 – 2011 onwards, candidates at Higher, Intermediate 2 and 1 English will submit a folio of writing as part of the External Assessment. The folio will account for 20% of the final grade with the Close Reading and Critical Essay accounting for 40% each.

At Higher and Intermediate 2, two pieces must be submitted, one of a broadly creative nature, and one of a broadly discursive nature. At Intermediate 1, one piece must be submitted, either creative or discursive.

Candidates must sign a declaration that the writing pieces are their own work.

The folio is sent to the SQA for external assessment. You will be given a date in March (before the Easter holidays) for completion of the folio.



  • a personal reflective essay
  • a piece of prose fiction (e.g. short story, episode from a novel)
  • a poem or set of thematically linked poems
  • a dramatic script (e.g. scene, monologue, sketch)


  • a persuasive essay
  • an argumentative essay
  • a report


 Higher:             650 – 1300 words

Intermediate 2: 500 – 1000 words (Where a candidate has dropped from Higher to Int 2 late on in the course, the upper limit of 1300 may be applied.)

Intermediate 1: 300 – 800 words (note change for 2012)

A piece which falls below the minimum number of words will be awarded less than 50% of the marks available.

It is unlikely that a piece at or just above the minimum number of words will be able to score in the higher range of marks. However, a piece which exceeds the upper limit will be penalised.

The word count must include quotations but exclude titles, footnotes, lists of sources etc.


All pieces will be marked out of 25 and will be assessed using category descriptors and mark allocations similar to those introduced in 2008 for Critical Essay in Higher.

At Higher the total mark for the folio will be divided by 2 and added to the scores for Close Reading and Critical Essay.

At Intermediate 2 the total mark for the folio will be divided by 2 and added to the scores for Close Reading (divided by 3 and multiplied by 5) and Critical Essay.

At Intermediate 1 the total mark for the folio will be added to the totals for Close Reading (divided by 3 and multiplied by 5) and Critical Essay (multiplied by 2).


Pieces of writing submitted for the folio should be typed, word-processed or neatly handwritten.

Margins should be of a reasonable size.

Only one side of the page should be used.

Word-processed submissions are encouraged and the following format is strongly recommended:

  • a standard font – e.g. Times New Roman, Ariel, Calibri
  • point size: 12
  • alignment: left or justified
  • margins: standard
  • print colour: black (except possibly graphs, diagrams etc in a Report)

A piece of writing submitted in the folio for external assessment can be the same as that assessed internally for Unit purposes, but does not have to be.

Project or essay work for subjects other than English may be suitable for submission in the writing Folio but only if they meet all the requirements for English in terms of length, genre, level of teacher/lecturer input, acknowledgement of sources, and authenticity.


Acknowledgement of sources (discursive writing)

All principal sources consulted must be acknowledged. If no sources have been consulted, this must be stated explicitly.

Specific details of sources must be given – eg dates and writers of newspaper articles,specific web pages, titles and dates of publication of books; it is not acceptable to say, for example, “various newspaper articles” or ‘environmental websites” or “the internet”.

Any direct quotation from sources must be clearly acknowledged by the use of quotation marks.

Unacknowledged use of others’ material such as copying and pasting from the internet or any other source, or re-wording or summarising information from another source and passing it off as your own (other than in a formal report as defined in the Arrangements documents for English) is plagiarism, and this carries severe penalties.

Give bibliography references in the following form:

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

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