How to anlayse media texts (in exams)

These are some of the notes I made from my class and from my revision guide. It gives advice on how to break down a media text and what sort of things are required from you to achieve a good grade in your English Language GCSE.

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  • Created on: 04-06-10 15:41
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How to analyse Media Texts
In an exam you have 15 minutes to break down a piece of text. By breaking
down a media text you can grasp the underlying message that the writer is
trying to send. In order for you to do this effectively we must investigate the
following things in the media text.
Facts ­ Theses are statements or statistics that cannot be argued
Opinions ­ the view that somebody (the writer) holds about the issues in question.
Usually in a newspaper article we can obtain the writer's overall opinion in the concluding
Literary Techniques ­ these are the techniques that the writer will use to express their
opinions or to persuade the reader. E.g. metaphors, similes, sarcasm and imagery.
Tone - the way somebody says something as an indicator of what that person is feeling or
thinking. (when identifying the tone, support it with a quote) It is usually tailored to a specific
audience. Different types of writing will use different types of tones. E.g. Political speeches
have a passionate and personal tone.
Structure ­ The way the text is organised and laid out can tell us a lot about the text, like who
the audience is and what kind of text it is(e.g. article, letter or leaflet)
In the exam
1. You have got about 15 minutes in the exam to read the question. Go through the text at least
twice, slowly and clearly. You will have read the question so you will be able to pick out the
relevant bits to the question.
2. By keeping track of the argument it will help support the key points.
3. Think about the language and the tone and write anything else that occurs to you.

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Writing your answer...
Start your answer confidently
Always use impersonal language (e.g. "It seems", rather than "I think").
Your first line should show exactly what the question is asking, and reword the question as a
statement, and make certain that you sound self-assured.
Don't just copy from the text
Try and find interesting ways to rephrase your key points. The examiner wants to know you have
thought about the text and not just looked at it.…read more

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What questions do you have that are left unanswered by the source.
Ask questions - it will show the examiners that you really have thought about the text. This
will also show that you have higher thinking skills which is needed for an A grade.
Compare and contrast the texts
Be sure to compare the bits of texts that you are given in the exam, if they ask you to do
this in the question.…read more

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Mention the layout
Different layouts are aimed at different audiences. You should be able to work out who the audience
is, for each text.…read more

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Top Tips
Always back up points with evidence.
P -oint
Don't drone on about one point, and there is no use in waffling about something irrelevant.
When you get the paper underline the `clue words'. E.g. `Write a letter ARGUING and
PERSUADING' This gives you three clues
Answer the question ­ referring to the question in you answer will impress the examiner.
Try to be interesting/ discuss the issue from an unusual point of view.…read more

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Make your writing flow.
Ordering Consequence Continuation Simultaneity Concession Conclusion
Firstly Because of this Furthermore Meanwhile However Finally
Secondly Therefore Moreover At the same On the one In conclusion
time hand...…read more


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