GCSE English

For English GCSE Exam including Language and Literature

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  • Created by: Gary
  • Created on: 16-10-09 18:15

Paper One, Section A


spot fact and opinion

-look at the order and structure of texts

-understand how writers use language for effect

-understand how writers use presentational devices to create effect

make comparisons between texts

-use quotations and evidence in answers

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Understanding The Question


-If the question asks HOW or aks about EFFECTS you need to use POINT/EXAMPLE/ANALYSIS

-If the questions says "WHAT" or asks you to find information there is no need for analysis

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FACTS can be proven and so they MUST be true;

Park Hall Academy is in Birmingham

OPINIONS cannot be proven, They are someone's personal belief;

Mr B is good-looking

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Finding an Opinion

Opinions can be very sneaky and disguise themselves as facts;

"Everyone knows that the English Department at

Park Hall is the best in the whole wide world."

Sounds Convincing...

but it is not a fact

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Understand how writers use LANGUAGE to create effe

Think about the tone of the words chosen;

Formal, negative, informative


Informal, positive, personal

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Understand how writers use presentational devices

Find the features...

analyse the effect;

-Bullet points, columns, seperate sections can break up text or draw the reader in

-Captions appear under pictures and can help readers understand what is going on

-Colours reinforce messages; Blue is modern, crisp, cold and clean; Red can mean passion or danger; Green can mean natural

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Presentational devices continued...

-Fonts have meanings too - Classical, modern, trendy, soft shapes, rigid shapes

-Graphs make information clear and help support an argument

-Headings help organise information

-Headlines grab attention and communicate meaning quickly

-Italics, underlinings and bold type emphasise points

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Presentational devices continued...

-Logos represent ideas and organisations.

Prestigious logos make things seem important

-Pictures create emotional responses; what is happening in the pictures that have been
used? Why do you think they have been chosen?

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Making comparisons between texts

You will be asked to compare any of the following;


One text will usually be more factual in this case

Look at the effectof the more impersonal, factual style, and how it compares to the more personal informal text.

Which is most persuasive for example? They might both be persuasive but in different ways!

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Comparing how writers use layout

If you are asked to compare layout, one text will be more visual.

Look at the effect of any pictures, graphs, large headlines, colours and fonts.

You don't want to say one is more boring than the other - or that one is better than the other - This doesn't show your analytical skills.

What you ought to look at is how each is good at working for a particular purpose.

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Comparing How writers use Language

One text will usually be more creative in its use of language - or at least more informal than the other.

Look for any use of slang, any metaphors or similes, any attempt at humour and contrast these to more formal language and facts.

Again, you don't want to say that one is better than the other. What you ought to look at is how each is good at working for a particular audience.

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Comparing order and structure of texts

Brace yourself because this is the hardest comparison.

Firstly quickly reread both texts with a pen in your hand. Write one or two words next to each paragraph to summarise what it is trying to do.

Try and look for a pattern. Does one author change their point of view or perspective? Does one begin with a story or a joke while the other opens with facts and a clear point of view?

Pay close attention to the way each text ends...

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How to Compare

Do it in the P and A

P In text A, the Author uses...

E An example would be;

A This shows that...

P In text B however.../ In the same way text, text A also...

E An example would be...

A This is different/similar to text A because it shows that...

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Read the questions first, then the texts

Read with a Pen in your Hand

Underline things that make you go "hmm.."

If in doubt look for PALL - Purpose / Audience / Language / Layout

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