English Language Exam Reminders

Quick Reminders for the Non-fiction, Media and Information Paper, 'Argue, Persuade, Advise', 'Inform, Explain, Describe'.

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  • Only summarise what the question outlines, there's no point doing the rest when you could be spending that time on the rest of the paper
  • Try not just to paraphrase the text
  • Make sure you have clear separate points, by highlighting them in the text before you start writing
  • At the end, get rid of any points you have repeated, the examiner will mark you down for repetition
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Stylistic Analysis

  • Make sure you comment on Structure, Language, and Form.
  • Talk about the layout of information (including pictures and titles) and how the information develops as the piece goes on
  • Talk about the language used by the author, whether it is suited to the audience, if it uses field specific lexicon , and what the author is trying to achieve through their use of it (persuasion etc)
  • Talk about what the form is (newspaper article, website, interview) and how this will be effective in getting people to read it e.g. a piece for teenagers is likely to be posted on the internet.
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Inform, Explain, Describe

  • Even if the question says 'In your opinion' this shouldn't be entirely from your point of view - you can write about something that relates to your opinion but don't make your writing opinionated, e.g. if it asks you to write about someone you admire don't make it somebody personal to you, describe them and their life and add your opinion on why you admire them at the end.
  • The introduction should be brief and quite general
  • Then go on to describe the topic you are talking about e.g.if it was a sport then you would talk about the origins of that sport and the aim of the sport
  • Afterwards you explain a bit more about the topic: if we use the sport example again you would outline some of the rules of the sport, and why people enjoy watching/ playing it.
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Argue, Persuade, Advise

There are many techniques you can use in this piece of writing:

  • Rhetorical questions
  • Appeal to the heart (emotions)
  • Appeal to the head (logic)
  • Threatening
  • Hard evidence (facts)
  • Soft evidence (opinion)
  • Offering an incentive
  • Exaggeration
  • Involving reader/ audience by directly addressing them
  • Use three part lists to add strength e.g. strong, capable, intelligent people
  • Strong statements of belief/ assertion
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