Close Reading Advice The more difficult topics
Link Questions • Link questions act as a link between understanding and analysis, so although it is officially coded u, there will be similarity between this type of question and analysis questions. • Remember links always go backwards and forwards in some relevant way.
Showing How the Link Works • In answering link questions fully, you must consider/identify four things: • What word or phrase in the sentence links back to the idea(s) of the previous section? • What word or phrase links forward to the ideas in the rest of the present section? • Explain what the backward word/phrase refers to from the previous paragraph. • Explain what the forward word/phrase refers to from the following paragraph.
Understanding Summary • Understanding questions give you a chance to show how well you have understood the writer’s ideas, and how the passage is structured. • Recognise that completing understanding questions helps you to grasp the central ideas of the passage, and so can often help you complete the final question. • Remember that link answers usually should have four specific parts.
Analysis • Analysis questions ask you to consider and explain what a writer does to make their point. • When to analyse: • the question is coded A • it asks “show how” • a particular feature or technique is named in the question • there is an instruction to look at the writer’s language.
1st Category: ignorance Candidates assume language simply means meaning , and so paraphrase the lines Pupils don’t know the difference between word choice and imagery. 2nd Category: fear Pupils allow analysis questions to intimidate them, so either don’t attempt these questions or do so rather half-heartedly. Assuming they’re too difficult, candidates fail to realise a systematic approach works. Common Mistakes in Analysis
Analysis Question Types Word Choice • This is a simple idea. • Why did a writer use that word? Not just what does it mean? More, what does that word offer that another does not? in other words, what are the connotations of that word? • Rule: always use the word connotation in a word choice answer.
Word Choice Answer System • Quote exactly what word or (short) phrase you are going to consider. • Explain the connotations of this word, and so the effect of the writer’s word choice. • In most cases choose a second example and follow the first two steps above; it really depends on the question. • End by checking you’ve answered the question.
Summary of Word Choice • You get no marks for picking out the interesting or relevant words. • You get no marks for picking out the words and then explaining only what they mean. • All the marks arise from the discussion of the connotationsof the relevant words.
Imagery • Imagery does not mean descriptive writing. Often good descriptive writing does contain examples of imagery. • Technically, imagery relates to three figures of speech: simile, metaphor and personification. • You must understand that imagery works with the literal and the figurative, it uses comparisons to clarify ideas.
Imagery Questions These questions ask you to analyse the effects of imagery. Steps to follow: • Identify the technique being used • Show you understand the literal • Describe the effect of the image (explain how the literal and metaphorical come together).
Breaking Down Literal and Metaphorical • Imagery answers must show you’ve grasped the literal origin of the image. Use the phrase “literally”. • E.g. Show how writer’s use of imagery clarifies people’s concerns about immigration (2) “swamped by a tidal wave of immigration” • Metaphor “tidal wave” • literally a huge destructive force of water • Image suggests immigration is a massive problem which is out of control and endangers people. For more marks, say a 4 mark question, you’d need to go into more detailed explanation in part 3.
Structure An effective article will have an identifiable structure Most common: • A proposition (argument) • A discussion • A conclusion Look out for the first words in paragraphs acting as signposts. Also consider topic sentences as signals to progress in the argument. Links between paragraphs are also helpful.
Sentence Structure • These questions ask candidates to explain how the writer’s structure of a sentence(s) reinforces meaning. • When considering sentence structure remember • S4P WLV • The most common ones to come up are the following:
Punctuation and lists (patterns) • Length of sentence • Patterns: use of climax or anticlimax • Patterns (again): Repetition • Word order Remember, don’t simply identify the feature of structure. Rule: Always comment on the feature’s function and effect.
Tone, Mood and Atmosphere • Tone is important in your appreciation of the passages you read. • It is important to take an overview of the passage. As you read it for the first time you should try to identify the tone. As you read ask how does the writer feel about this topic? This answer will give you the obvious tone of the passage.
Common Mistakes Tone, Mood Atmosphere • Avoid writing four or five different words to identify the tone in the vain hope that you will pick the right one at some point. Choose one or two and back it up with examples from the passage.
Evaluation • These questions ask you to explain how well a writer achieves a particular effect. • Although these questions are asking you to evaluate, to do so, you must analyse too. • Watch out for questions coded E and another letter.
Questions on Both Passages • You must read these final questions particularly carefully. • Work out whether the question is asking you to consider style, ideas or a combination. You must approach each type of final question in a slightly different way. • It is definatly worth spending some extra time on this answer, as it can be worth a high number of marks. • Unlike previous questions, you should write a mini-essay in response to this question.
Questions on Both Passages Style • This covers how the writer makes their points i.e. all the work you’ve done on analysis Possible things to consider: imagery, word choice, tone, structure etc Ideas • Thiscovers the content and argument of the passage i.e. all the things you’ve considered from your understanding of the passage.
Both Passages Top Tips • Always do this question, even if your not going to finish the paper. • you must refer to the passage frequently. • Use the PEE chain. • Be realistic about how much you should write. • Aim to write intro addressing the question and four or five explained examples in support of your answer. If time, add a very brief conclusion.
Final Words • Watch time • Be succinct; note form until last question • Use question strategies • Always end by checking you’ve actually answered the question • Attempt every question • Good luck!