30 May 2015

Notes on GCSE exam part 2

Question 3 (8 marks, 15 min)

Explain some of the thoughts and feelings (keep in mind 3 things: what, how and why and use PEED to structure your answer.)
  1. Start your response with an overview sentence to show you have a grasp of the whole text before going into detail. 
  2. Select part of a text which convey some of the thoughts and feelings of a character (or characters). These parts may include what is happening, what is character saying, or what the character is doing. About four quotations which you will be able to explain. 
  3. Identify the thoughts and feelings of a character (or characters) from the parts of the text that you selected. 
  4. Interpret the thoughts and feelings of a character (or characters) from the parts of the text that you select. This is the most important part of your explanation. To interpret something means to read 'between the line'. Like in the previous questions - try to give an alternative explanation, or extended one: perhaps .... 

Even if you are being asked to identify only thoughts - discussing feelings is implied. !!

Some advice
Do not take the most obvious quotations such as 'I was happy' to claim that 'she feels happy'. 
Choose something you can be able to dwell on such as 'It was a magical animal'. Now you can say that 'she is happy, feeling like in a world of a fairy tale rather than in the real one'. She is in a state of marvel, overwhelmed by the surrounding nature and strange but beautiful animals. The reader feels that it is an experience beyond anything she experienced before, maybe a lifetime one. Perhaps she will never forget about this strange creature and it will contribute to her attitude toward the nature.
The reader is enchanted by the imagery depicted by the author and share the feelings of awe with the writer, trying to imagine every detail of the (here the details from an article; never say something which is too general).

One quote to explain the feelings, thoughts and back up maybe with another quote to get the transitional like to another though/feelings. 

Another advice: try to jump into the character's shoes and experience the text through your senses. 

Do not analyse the language devices but be aware of them - they will lead you to choosing the best quotes, full of emotions and statements; especially a dialogue is the best place to look for hidden feelings and thoughts. 

Question 4 (16 marks, 30 min) Language comparison 

Do not analyse: the audience, purpose or structure and context of the text but the language used. Keep in mind 3 things: what, how and why and use PEED to structure your answer.
  1. Start with the Source 3 - select the example of  the language features you might use to analyse. Be specific and choose up to four features. Do not even try to analyse the whole text. 
  2. Choose the second Source to compare and state in the first sentence which two texts you are going to compare. 
  3. Focus on similarities or/and differences between them. You need to connect the point made about one text with the point made about the other and develop your point on them both.
  4. Analyse your chosen quotes and comment on the effect of them on the reader. 

After you state your point of the language feature, quote the evidence- 2-3 words quotation. Try to follow at least some of these points, it will help you to structure your answer. Remember of PEED.
  1. Identify usage (metaphor, hyperbole, simile, onomatopoeia, alliteration, list, complexity/simplicity of vocabulary, discourse markers, type/variety of sentence structures, adjectives (emotive, dramatic, visual language), exaggeration (visual, verbal, dramatic imagery), sensory language, tenses, directives (imperative, commands, 'you' sentences), repetition of sounds (alliteration, assonance, consonance, sibilant, plosive), repetition of words or words very similar, type of narration, something unusual, like starting sentences with conjunctions, humour, irony, foreshadowing, pathetic fallacy, personification, oxymoron, facts and statistics...  
  2. Explore meaning 
  3. Consider the meaning in the immediate context 
  4. Interpret
  5. Consider the meaning in broader context
  6. Analyse and evaluate (intended purpose and audience)
My two examples how to try to answer the question 4.

The writer in Source 2 uses similes to depict Robert's character. She writes that Robert 'walks like a duck', which is very suggestive of the way Robert moves. This short and harsh word 'duck' gives a visual effect of awkwardness and the writer's negative feelings toward Robert. She uses this simile to emphasise that Robert walk with a waddle, which is quite awkward for a man. It suggests that he is socially awkward, not behaving as is expected and that he does not like the social life. The word 'duck' is evocative of a bird that feels much better in water, but also of someone who does not care much about the opinion of the other people. Further, she calls him a 'geek', who likes only computers and hiking, whereas she is a girl of nightclubs. Hence, it is possible that Robert is perceived as someone who does not really like to fit in with the others. He is independent and confident, and for sure does not like spending time in the nightclubs. The juxtaposition of Robert and the author's characters creates a tension, and the reader may wonder about this clash of characters.

Similarly, the author in Source 3 uses similes too, but for a different effect. The writer says that her daughters are like 'glimmers of golden life' and this tells the reader of her feelings towards her children. She uses the evocative language to express her motherly love throughout her life. The word 'glimmer' is evocative of sparkling and beauty; it is coupled with the word 'golden' which has connotations of something precious, therefore it suggests the wonderful life, rich in positive experiences and fulfilments. The word 'golden' has also connotations of a mature person, and this indicates that Mary is probably at least about 40-50 years old. The writer uses alliteration of the letters 'g' and 'l' which are soft and longish sounds. It reinforces the feeling of the happy life of these three women.The reader is pleased with their happiness and perhaps he wonders over their life. Will it be a life story or does it indicate a change?


Some expressions for making the point and linking this to the other text.

Both Text A and Text B are produced by charities, which presumably are both aiming to raise awareness and gain more supporters.

Both writers use extended metaphors, but with very different effects.

The writers of Source 3 and Source 2 both use facts but the effect is different.

Source 3 is very descriptive and the author uses lots of similes to show how exciting he thinks ....

to immerse the reader in the writer's experience of ... which means much of the writer's language is vivid and descriptive

Source 1, however, has more factual tone because it is reporting on .... so the author's decision to include imagery is interesting.

Source 2 uses metaphors rather than similes, for example....

Both writers use the language to ... (similarity)

Both writers use language to create a sense or urgency or danger.

Text A seems to be focused on directly engaging the reader in an attempt to make them empathise with the victims of the torture whilst text B is more of an informative text, perhaps partly designed for current supporters who want an updated on the work of MSF. Both texts use presentational and language features for different reasons and with different effects.

The article is not only to re-counter the experience but also to entertain the reader.

The writing addresses the reader directly using 'you' and 'your'. This is intended to make the text personal and directly relevant to the reader

The author embellished the story with true, colourful details and vivid descriptions that enhanced the beauty of the story.

Key words:

A writer's idea concerning the reader is: to influence, to affect, to impact, to imprint, to manipulate, to colour, to persuade, to carry, to dominate, to shape, to cause, to make, to incline, embellish. 


Some important words to learn when talk about what author wants to do with the message by using a particular technique: to highlight, accentuate, deepen, stress, emphasise, underline, underscore, enhance, intensify.

Here is the list of connective words, useful whilst comparing texts. 

Tomorrow questions 5 and 6. 

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