English Language Question Outlines

  • Created by: amy
  • Created on: 03-04-13 11:54

English Language Section A

The language paper is 2 hours and 15 minutes - you should spend 15 minutes on reading the texts and 1 hour answering section A (questions 1-4)

What is the question asking and how does the examiner want you to answer it?

The Exam (section A)

  • get 3 texts
  • 4 questions on these 3 texts
  • check which source each question is on

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Genre, subject, audience and purpose (especially in question 3 and 4) as this effects the text written. 

The Questions

This is how they have been asked from previous papers, however they may decide to change them around or ask something different so make sure you Read the Question.

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Question 1


What do you learn from the article about the issues? 8 marks

This question is asking you to pick out information from the text and to be able to identify the main points 

What i need to do

  • 12 minutes for 4 paragraphs
  • Pick out 4 key points from the article
  • Write 4 short paragraphs using connectives-firstly, secondly, furthermore, finally
  • For each paragraph you must have at least 1 quotation. You should aim to intertwine 4 short quotes (1-5 words).
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Question 2


Explain how the headline, sub-headline and picture are effetive and how they link to the text. 8 marks

You need to interpret and analyse the headline and sub-headline, looking at the language and how it relates to the article as a whole. With the picture, you should look at the connotations of colour, body language, facial expressions, layout etc

What you need to do:

  • 12 minutes and 3 paragraphs
  • make 2 points about the headline (language, how it interests the reader) and explain how it links to the text. Use quotes. Paragraph 1
  • Make 2 points about the sub-headline (language, how it gives extra information to engage the reader) and explain how it links to the text. Use quotes. Paragraph 2
  • Make 2 points about the picture and how it links to the text. Paragraph 3
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Question 3


Explain some of the thoughts and feelings the writer has about...8 Marks

This is asking you to pick out opinions and interpret how the writer is feeling. It wont say 'i felt nervous', this will be implied and you will need to pick it out.

What you need to do:

  • 12 minutes, 4 paragraphs
  • Pick out 4 thoughts/feelings from the text
  • Write 4 short paragraphs using connectives-firstly, secondly, furthermore, finally
  • For each short paragraph you must have at least 1 quotation. You should aim to use short quotations (1-5 words) incorporated into your sentences. 
  • Use sentence ideas such as: This indicates that he feels..., Petit shows feeling of...when he writes..., he is thinking...which shows...
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Question 4

Example: Compare the ways in which language is used for effect in the two texts. 16 marks

You need to analyse the language and compare the ways in which language is used for effect in the two texts. One will be named and the other one, you will need to choose. Make sure that you always compare to two-look at the way they use language in relation to their intended audience/purpose.

What you need to do:

  • 24 minutes, 5 paragraphs where you looks at both texts
  • Paragraph 1-briefly explain the subject and intended purpose and audience of both texts
  • Paragraph 2-5-in every paragraph, analyse a language technique of text 1 and the effect on the reader. Use a connective and then analyse a language technique in text 2 and whether it has a similar/contrasting effect on the reader
  • use connectives:in contrast, however, likewise, similarly, whereas
  • You must use quotaions-at least 4 frome each text
  • Analyse language techniques
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Language to look out for

  • Facts and opinions
  • Language techniques-similes/metaphors/personification etc
  • Rhetorical Devices- questions/facts and figures/anecdotes/quotes/professional opinions
  • Style-narrator/humour/sarcasm/empathy/emotive/formal/informal
  • Writing Technique-punctuation/sentence structure/vocabulary

The most important things to remember:

Read the question and work out what it is asking you to do

use quotations

compare when you have to

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Question 5


Write a brief article for a website of your choice telling your readers about an interesting or unusual journey or travel experience you have had. Explain why it was memorable.(16 marks)

You need to write a piece that informs/explains/describes on a subject that is in the question, in this example an article informing your readers about a journey you have had. You must use ACOASTMAP, spelling and punctuation.

What you need to do:

  • 25 minutes (20 minutes writing, 5 minutes checking), 16 marks
  • Write a piece of writing informing/explaining/describing about a subject specified in the question
  • Write no more than two sides
  • Use acoastmap techniques, check spelling and check punctuation, you are marked on accuracy
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Question 6


Your school or college is inviting entries for a writing competition. The topic is “Dangerous sports activities and pastimes are selfish, often put others at risk and should be discouraged.” Write your entry arguing for or against this view. (24 marks)

You need to argue/persuade for a view of your choice to do with the subject specified in the question asked. You must use AFOREST techniques along with accurate spelling/punctuation. 

What you need to do:

  • 35 minutes (30 minutes writing, 5 minutes checking) 24 marks
  • You must argue/persude your case
  • You must use description and strong points
  • AFOREST TECHNIQUES must be used
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Section B Techniques to use

For section B, you must use:

  • uses complex grammatical structures and punctuation with success
  • organise writing using sentence demarcation accurately
  • employs a variety of sentence forms to good effect including short sentencs
  • show accuracy in the spelling of words from an ambitious vocabulary
  • use standard english cosistently

Find extended descriptions of these techniques on the following cards...

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Complex Sentences

  • Complex Sentences: these are sentences that have extra information seperated using commas-this must be part of the sentence, it shouldnt make sense on its own. 

 E.g. As i write this letter, the world around me is rapidly changing or Forests are special places, with shimmering rays dancing from every leaf and limb

  • Colons: introduce an idea or example

E.g. I know what the result of this decision will be: chaos or We would loose everything: our friends, our happiness, our pride.

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Semi Colons

  • Semi Colons: Link two closely related sentences. The main rule is that both halves of the sentence must make sense on their own. In other words, the semi-colon replaces a full stop. 

Eg. Rain pelted the street from the grimy sky above; people rushed through ever increasing pools on the pavement or the steel mil has shut down;unemployment benefits have run out.

  • Apostrophes: Show possession 

E.g. Justin Bieber's haircut or the sun's rays.

  • or for omission-where a letter is left out e.g. there's or hasn't
  • NOTE: you only use it's when you could put IT IS in its place.
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Sentence lengths

A really good way to raise your grade in language exams are to use a variety of sentence lenghs. The essay should include simple, compound and complex sentences, as well as very short sentences for effect and a one word sentence.


Dangerous. Thats what the older generation think about teenagers. They stereotype us and think that we all hang around the streets at night and cause trouble. When do we have a say? I have plenty of friends at school who, despite owning hoodies, are carers at home or spend weekends volunteering. We shouldn't be judged.

One word sentence     Rhetorical Question

Simple sentence         Complex

Compound sentence   Short for effect

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Starting your sentence in a variety of different w

One of the best ways to ensure that your reader is bored is to keep starting your sentences in the same ways. Particularly look out for: HE, SHE, IT, THE, THEN, I

Here are some more exciting ways...

  • -ing words

Grabbing the bottle... or Starting to cry...

  • -ed words

Exausted from the run...or Trained to kill...

  • -ly words (adverbs)

Greedily...or Frantically, the crowd hurdled...

  • Prepositions (where or when something is)

Above the water came...or below, beyond, within, among, during

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more ways to start your sentences...

  • Connectives for example...

While, as, although, however, similarly, likewise, whereas, furthermore

  • Adjectives (these can be more effective in pairs) for example...

Weary and anxious, she entered the dreary house...

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Similies/senses/semicolons/short sentences

The rule of three



Personification/pathetic fallacy

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Alitteration (repetition of the same letter), addressing the audience, anecdote (short personal story)

Facts, first person (i)

Opinions, opposition

Rhetorical questions, repitition

Emotive language, exaggeration


The rule of three/tricolon

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