English Language - The purpose of the text

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  • The purpose of the text
    • The purpose is given in the question
      • The question will tell you the reason you're writing the text. For example: "Choose a time when you have been very angry and EXPLAIN why you felt that way." Explain is the purpose
        • The purpose tells you how your writing should affect your reader. Choose your details and language to create the right effect.
          • Think about the purpose of your writing when you start planning your answer - and make sure your finished piece matches your purpose all the way through.
    • Each exam question focuses on different writing purposes
      • You have to answer two different questions in your exam.
        • The first writing task involves informative or descriptive writing, e.g. "Write a letter to a friend explaining why you want to get a pet.". This question is fairly short, and will probably include details of your own experiences.
          • The second writing question wants you to take a particular viewpoint e.g. "Some people think that teenagers should be taught to look after their finances at school. Write an article for or against this idea." This question is a bit longer - you need to keep up your argument all the way through.
    • Sometimes a question has more than one purpose
      • There could be a question  in the exam with more than one purpose e.g. "Write a letter to a local business arguing that schools need more support and persuading them to help" Make sure you cover both purposes in your answer.
    • Structure your writing to suit the purpose
      • Work out the best structure for your answer. It depends on what you want your writing to achieve. Writing to persuade the council should be structured differently from writing to advertise spot cream.
        • Here's an example of an exam question: "Write an article for your school paper in which you argue that teenagers are given a bad press."
          • And here's one way the answer to this particular question could be structured: 1) Start by stating the problem. 2) Then give some examples of unfair report and attitudes. 3) Go on to say why they're wrong 4) Give some positive examples. 5) Finish with what you want to happen now.
    • Choose your language carefully
      • The language you use has to suit your purpose. For example, your letter to the council should be formal and serious, but your advert for spot cream can be  chatty and fun.
        • No matter what you're writing though, your vocabulary needs to be 'sophisticated' to get the top grades. Make sure you're using language that'll get you plenty of marks.
          • "Like me, you must be weary on the incessant criticism. We're intelligent and aware young citizens with a mature understanding of the issues threatening our plant. Why are we ignored?"
            • Words like "incessant" show off your vocabulary.
            • "Why are we ignored?" Use a rhetorical question to get your audience involved.
            • "Like me, you" This shows the audience is other teenagers
    • Adapt writing techniques for different purposes
      • Good writing techniques work really well for all sorts of purposes - you just need to adapt them.
        • E.g. you can use questions in loads of ways: Persuade a head teacher - "What would you say to a 100% success rate for your students?"
          • Introduce an explanation - "How does the money help?
            • Advise teenagers - "So what's the big deal about road safety?"
              • Describe a fear - "What is it that grips my heart in an icy clutch?"
                • Use a range of details to suit your purpose. E.g. if you're writing to persuade, include some emotive examples and shocking statistics.
                  • If you're writing to describe put in details from all five senses.


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