English Language Unit 1

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  • Created by: Faolan
  • Created on: 27-05-15 11:19

Personal Writing

  • Writing clearly, effectively and imaginatively to engage the reader
  • Using a style that matches vocabulary to purpose and audience
  • Organising ideas/information logically into sentences and paragraphs
  • Making use of language and structural features for effect
  • Using a range of sentence structures as well as punctuating and spelling accurately.
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Weighting of Marks

The answer is marked out of 24. Marks are split into 16 for content and organization and 8 for sentence structure, punctuation and spelling.

Content and Organisation

  • Have you shown understanding of the purpose and format of the task?
  • Have you shown sustained awareness of the reader / intended audience?
  • Is the content coverage detailed, and fitting for the purpose?
  • Do the paragraphs have a topic sentence?
  • Have you used a range of stylistic devices (rhetorical questions, emotive language etc) adapted to purpose / audience?

For top marks:

  • s there a wide range of appropriate, extended vocabulary and is it used to create effect or convey precise meaning?
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Timing Tips

  • 5-10 minutes planning your response to the task 
  • 25-30 minutes writing your response 
  • 5 minutes checking your work. 


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Paragraphing and Structures

  • Your plan will have allowed you to organise your content into paragraphs. Take care to open each of these paragraphs in such a way as to draw the reader along with you. Here are a few examples: ‘Leading on from this is…’/ ‘Of course an entirely different viewpoint…’/ ‘Is there anyone in the world who likes turnip?’
  • You should aim to vary your sentences in terms of length and structure in order to improve the quality of your writing which will help to engage the examiner’s interest. Consider employing the effects created by the following:
  • Use of short sentences – short, punchy sentences provide dramatic effect. They can be particularly engaging at the beginning or end of a piece of writing or when they follow a longer sentence as they really stand out which is effective
  • Use of longer sentences – allow you to provide detail and are particularly useful for descriptions.
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Writing Techniques

  • Rhetorical Questions: Rhetorical questions directly engage your audience. ‘Do you think it is right that many people struggle to make ends meet while investment bankers earn thousands of pounds in bonuses each year?’
  • Create a rapport with your audience by addressing them directly: ‘I don’t agree with it, do you?’ or ‘Friends/Fellow classmates’
  • Emotive Language: Strong feelings are evoked through this technique. ‘The malnourished skeletal youth struggled to his feet’
  • Indirect involvement: ‘Imagine…/Think of…/Picture…’ The audience will be engaged through your use of this technique
  • Hyperbole: Exaggeration of key points can be very effective. 
  • Assertive Language: ‘Everybody knows…’/ ‘It is undeniable that…’
  • Repetition: ‘Homework! Homework! Homework! – That’s all we ever hear!’ Repetition provides drama and can be used to really emphasise your point
  • Alliteration: ‘Proper preparation is the only way to avoid poor performance’. Repetition of consonant sounds makes your writing more memorable
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Writing Techniques

  • Statistics: These add authenticity to your writing, as they are facts used to support your points. ‘There has been a thirty percent increase in the number of complaints received over the past year’
  • Humour: Very effective when used appropriately - it lightens the tone and can be very engaging for an audience
  • Personal Anecdote: ‘Just yesterday I was walking home from school and was appalled by the amount of litter on the footpaths.’ This technique is personal so will inevitably interest your audience
  • Tone: Think carefully about the tone that you adopt. It must suit the audience and purpose. It can be angry, shocking, disgusted, happy or reflective.
  • Effective opening: Remember that the opening of your piece will provide the examiner with the first impression of your work so it should be interesting. 
  • Strong conclusion: Conclusions are equally important as they leave a lasting impression of your work. 
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  • Full stops and commas: These basic forms of punctuation, generally, do not present problems so they will not be considered here.
  • Colons: Firstly, they are used to introduce lists. For example: ‘There are three things you need to bring: your passport, money and sun cream.’ The first clause explains that three things are needed and the second part after the colon lists the three things. Colons can also be used to provide a definition or explanation, for example, ‘Student: a person who studies a subject.’
  • Semicolons: Used when you want to form a bond between two statements. The statements are usually related to each other or are in contrast to one another. Typically the two statements that you link using a semicolon could stand alone as separate sentences. E.g. ‘Nobody in the room looked; we were all scared by what we would see before us.’
  • Exclamation marks: These allow you to express emotion within your writing. ‘It was such a surprise!’
  • Question marks: They are used to denote a question. Questions can be used very successfully to engage the audience as they allow you to speak directly to them, ‘I don’t see a happy future for them, do you?’
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A Star Answers

1. A* writers are fluent, assured, confident and often individual or quirky. They take risks in their writing.

2. Most importantly, A* writers use a variety of simple and complex sentences. Sentence variety is the key. They may start a paragraph with a short, simple sentence. They may use some sentences which coordinate ideas with “and”, “but” or “or”. They will also use complex sentences. But the key is variety – no single style dominates.

3. A* writers use vocabulary which is descriptive (but not too flowery), precise, visual and occasionally unexpected. They use simple, familiar words as well as more complex ones. Their writing helps us to see what they are describing or to understand the ideas they are explaining

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Multi Modal Texts

In these comparison questions you must:

  • explore how the writers communicate their ideas and perspectives
  • comment on how the writers use presentation and language
  • include examples to illustrate the points you make.
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Analysis of multimodal texts

In most multimodal texts, presentation and layout are always carefully chosen to aid the audience in following and understanding the text. Ask yourself HOW the text's presentation and layout help it appeal to its audience or achieve its purpose.

Multimodal texts have a series or combination of purposes:

to entertain/to explain/to inform/to advise/to persuade/to instruct

1. How are facts being used? Frequently in multi-modal texts that are intended to be persuasive, they are carefully selected and presented in a way that portrays the ‘product’ in its best possible light – they are biased.

2. How are opinions presented? In persuasive texts, opinions are never balanced and are given a sense of authority and influence. Work out how this is being done. It's important to be able to sort out fact from opinion and to be able to judge how balanced or otherwise the facts and opinions really are.

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Use of language

  • Rhetorical language – increases the persuasiveness of a text.
  • Emotive language – to create an emotional response from the reader (anger, shock, guilt)
  • The use of the personal pronoun 'you' for direct address. This adds a personal touch and engages the reader; it sounds friendly, inviting and even confiding.
  • Personal viewpoint or 'direct address' (‘when I... / We... speaks to you...’ ) can create a friendly tone and involve the reader.
  • The use of the inclusive pronoun 'we'. This can make the reader seem to be a part of a special group of people (e.g. 'We're all in this together, aren't we?').
  • The use of interesting, short anecdotes adds interest and engages the reader's attention (e.g. 'Let me tell you about the time I went to Paris ...').
  • The use of hyperbole can create a persuasive impact (e.g. 'This is an absolutely fantastic experience which will blow your mind away!').
  • Description creates imagery that can be very engaging and involving, even persuasive. It can be made very vivid and used to create mood and emotion (e.g. 'Like a sphere of shiny steel, the sun floated in the heavens'). Look for the use of effective metaphors, similes and emotive language.
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Use of language

  • Facts and opinions are used to support a writer's point of view or argument but you must be able to separate worthwhile from biased facts and facts from factually stated opinions, always exploring how reasonable and effective the evidence really is. · Rhetorical questions engage and help to persuade the reader. They help make a point in a more powerful and emotional way.
  • Repetition and lists of three can be effective persuasive devices. .
  • Tone - a formal tone can add authority and sound authentic or sincere. However, an informal, or even conversational tone can add warmth and enjoyment.
  • Quotations and evidence from expert sources are used to provide support and create added authority.
  • Sentence style can be varied to add interest - and a very short sentence can add dramatic impact.
  • Captions add meaning and steer the reader to respond in a certain way to an illustration or a photograph
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Use of Presentational devices

  • Layout can be used to aid understanding and to make the piece more eye-catching.
  • Catchy/Eye-catching titles capture the reader's attention.
  • Colour adds eye-appeal, impact and emphasis.
  • Different font styles and sizes are important in attracting and directing the reader’s eye
  • Headlines, captions and subheadings add impact and clarity.
  • White space creates clarity and attractiveness.
  • Short paragraphs and sentences are easier to follow and grasp.
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Use of Presentational Devices

  • Bulleted or numbered lists aid clarity.
  • Formatting: bold, italic and underline can create emphasis and impact.
  • A logo can create a high level of trust in a product or service, e.g. 'Coca Cola'
  •  Illustrations and photographs add interest, clarity and emotional impact.
  • Graphs and charts ease understanding (but can be very selective in what they show).
  • Cartoons add humour and attract attention.
  • Maps may be helpful in certain cases.

Three main resons for presentational devices are 

  • Mood- Pictures, font, colours, quotes
  • Memory- Bold text, headlines and sub headings, bullet points, diagrams, maps and ilustartions
  • Clarity-bold text, bullet points, sub-headings, paragraphs, colour,images and captions, quotes
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  • Gray/Grey: gloomy, depressing, bland, stability, wisdom, old age, boredom, decay, dullness, dust, pollution, urban sprawl, balance, neutrality, mourning
  • White: purity, neutrality, cleanliness, truth, snow, winter, coldness, peace, innocence, simplicity, surrender, cowardice, fearfulness, unimaginative, bland, empty, unfriendly (interior
  • Black: death, funerals, the bad guy, evil, power, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, style, fear, seriousness, rebellion, slimming quality (fashion)
  • Red: passion, strength, energy, fire, love, excitement, speed, heat, arrogance, ambition, power, danger, blood, war, anger, revolution, aggression, summer, stop, communism, Mars (planet)
  • Blue: seas, men, peace, harmony, sadness, tranquility, calmness, trust, coolness, confidence, water, ice, dependability, cleanliness, depression, coldness, obscenity, Earth (planet), strength, steadfastness, light, friendliness, conservatism (UK & European politics)
  • Green: nature, eco-friendly, spring, fertility, youth, environment, wealth, money (US), good luck, vigor, generosity, go, grass, aggression, jealousy, illness, greed, envy, renewal, natural abundance, growth, health, calming
  • Yellow: sunlight, joy, happiness, wealth (gold), summer, hope, air, liberalism, cowardice, illness, hazards, weakness, summer, friendship, a sign of hope (yellow ribbon)
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  • Purple: royalty, wisdom, nobility, spirituality, creativity, wealth, ceremony, arrogance, flamboyance, gaudiness, mourning, riches, romanticism (light purple), delicacy (light purple), penance, bravery (purple heart)
  • Orange: energy, enthusiasm, happiness, balance, heat, fire, flamboyance, playfulness, arrogance, warning, danger, autumn, royalty
  • Brown: boldness, depth, nature, richness, rustic, stability, tradition, fascism, dirt, dullness, filth, heaviness, poverty, roughness, down-to-earth, wholesomeness, steadfastness, dependability.
  • Pink: femininity, sympathy, health, love, marriage, joy
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Comparative words

  • however
  •  in spite of this
  • whereas
  • on the other hand
  • In other respects
  • nevertheless
  • differs from
  • on the contrary
  • rather
  •  elsewhere
  • Instead
  • on the other hand
  • also
  • in that respect
  • alternatively
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Other words for suggests

  • means
  • creates
  • conveys
  • implies
  • reflects
  • gives rise to
  • demonstrates
  • highlights
  • indicates
  • emphasises
  • reinforces
  • strengthens
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