English Language - How to answer each question

A quick summary of how to answer each question effectively on the English Language paper.

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  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 02-06-13 18:19

Question 1

'perceptive' - show that you understand the writer's overall intention and effect on the reader.

'appropriate' - use well selected quotes, e.g. not long rambling quotes that take ages to copy out and explain.

  • Look for short and simple quotes to use as evidence for your points.
  • New sentence/paragraph for each point. (good structure)
  • Always refer back to what the writer has done, e.g. talked in the third person, or has used a variety of sentence lengths for effect.
  • Flow through the text, analyse from start to end.

'The writer starts off by...'

'They then go on to...'

The writer then says...'

'In conclusion the writer makes us think about...'

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Question 2

Headline, sub-headline and image.

  • Zoom in on specific quotes in the text, explain how they link to the headline, sub-headline or image.
  • Explain the effect on the reader, e.g. the use of an ellipsis in the headline draws the reader in to read on.
  • Consider the tone of the text, e.g. if the tone is a happy, this can be reflected if upbeat, rhythmic alliteration is used, this propels the reader to view the headline in a lighthearted manner, foreshadowing the nature of the content of the text.
  • Give an alternative analysis, invigilators will get bored, by writing something original will make them feel more willing to give you marks.

'One of the things I notice about the source is...'

'This makes the reader think/feel...'

'It does this by...'

'It does this because the text is trying to...'

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Question 3

thoughts and feelings

  • Describe the situation they're in, e.g. Connor's team have a big match coming up and are busy training hard to ensure that they win, unfortunately it was raining. Connor hates training in the rain and really didn't want to get up early to have a miserable time.
  • Describe the characters thoughts, e.g. Connor is thinking that it would be best for him to get up and go to training because he doesn't want to let his team down.
  • Describe how the characters feel, e.g. Connor is feeling comfortable where he is, he knows that going out in the rain will make him miserable.
  • Do not enumerate (repeat).
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Question 4

Comparing the use of language

  • Effect of the language, the feeling that it provokes and how this links to the aim/audience/tone.
  • Zoom in on specific words and phrases from both texts, use these quotes as evidence.
  • Engage in detail, describe and explain your points using detail to help show the reader that you clearly understand the point you are making.
  • Make an alternative analysis, don't make the obvious points, look a little deeper. Make an interesting point to engage the invigilator. 

Introduction - explain what both texts are and state that they both use language for effect

Aim to make two comparisons (4 paragraphs)

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Question 5

general structural devices

  • Clearly demarcated sentences - punctuation and paragraphs.
  • Well sequenced ideas - make an obvious plan.
  • Vary paragraph and sentence lengths.
  • Discourse markers that allow writing to flow. E.g. 'however', 'on the other hand' and 'moreover'.
  • Clear into and conclusion
  • Follow expectation of the genre e.g. a greeting is needed for a letter.
  • Creative approaches; direct address, indented sections, dialogue or bullet points for example.
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Question 6

writing to persuade or argue

  • Include features listed for question 5. (see Question 5).

Persuasive and Argumentative Features

  • Power of three
  • Rhetoric
  • Emotive language
  • Alliteration - more persuasive
  • Direct address
  • Plosive language - aggressive noise 'p'
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