STANDARD GRADE – CLOSE READING - Saint Roch’s Secondary School
CONTENTS Introduction to Close Reading (slides 3 – 6) • Write down an expression/word/quote questions (slides 7 – 13) • In your own words questions (slides 14 – 21) • The writer's attitude (slides 22 – 27) • Sentence structure questions (slides 28 – 34) • Punctuation and punctuation questions (slides 35 – 44) • Word choice questions (slides 45 – 52) • Questions about effectiveness (slides 53 – 56) • Context questions (slides 57 – 61) • Questions about how ideas are carried on/illustrated/developed (slides 62 – 68) • Linking questions (slides 69 – 73) • Figures of speech (slides 74 – 75) • Contrast questions (slides 77 – 80) • Tone Questions (slides 81 – 84) • Final questions (slides 85 – 88)
Introduction • This PowerPoint is designed to help you improve your Close Reading skills. • Your Close Reading Exam grade, along with your Reading Folio pieces make up your final Standard Grade level for Reading, so it is very important that you try your hardest in the exam. • The exam lasts for 50 minutes whether you are sitting the Foundation, General or Credit papers. You will be given a passage to read and a set of questions to answer on the passage. • In the Close Reading papers you are trying to show the examiner that you have understood the text.
To begin: • You should read through the passage twice carefully. If you are not a fast reader then you could read through the passage once thoroughly and then when a question asks you to look at a certain paragraph make sure that you read that paragraph again. • You should then have a quick skim through the questions before you begin. If you feel that you do not have time to do this then you should at least skim through the questions page by page as you come to them. • Ensure that you know whether the passage is fiction or non-fiction and study any accompanying photographs. If there is one, remember to read the introduction to the passage, as it will give you a general idea of what theme / topic the passage deals with.
When tackling the questions: • Read the questions very carefully and ensure that you know what you are being asked to do before you begin. • Check for bold type in the question. This is very important as information / instructions in bold type highlight important sections of the question. • The passage will direct you to look at certain paragraphs – in bold type. Only take your answer from that paragraph. If you take from any other you will lose marks. • Identify key words in the question – eg. quote, write down, one word etc. • Check whether answers are worth (2,0) or (2,1,0) marks. • Quote from the passage if asked to, otherwise, use your own words. This is very important! Easy marks are often lost because candidates do not follow instructions. ALWAYS QUOTE when directed to do so and ALWAYS USE YOUR OWN WORDS if instructed.
Write down an expression/word/quote questions This type of question is asking you to find an expression/word/quote (or group of words) in the paragraph that you are directed to which tells us something important. Usually this piece of information is so important that it is worth two marks. So normally you will see 2 / 0 against the question. This means you write down one thing, but get two marks for it.
For example… • If a question said “Write down an expression which tells us Jo is angry” • then you know to go looking in the paragraph for words which carry the idea of “angry”. • It could be “I was fuming” or “I almost lost the head”, etc. • You just have to find it and write it down. • Do not write down the whole sentence. • Remember, an expression is not a complete sentence.
Example: 2004 Credit paper • There was a stranger seated at the kitchen table, a most horrible and wild stranger who looked worse than the brigands of childhood tales. • Question: Quote the expression that sums up Pelagia's impression of the stranger. • Answer: most horrible and wild.
Example: 2001 General Paper • Behind them, all kinds of people are perched on the tailgates of a variety of vehicles. Is this some bizarre store for recycled rubbish? Well, in a way it is. In other words, you have found yourself in the middle of your first car boot sale. Question: Write down an expression which shows that the writer thinks this 'junk' makes a strange collection. Answer: bizarre store
Example: 2002 General Paper He waited at their corner, hands deep in pockets, his shoulder to the dirty, grey sandstone wall. The bell was ringing and he could hear the children streaming out into the playground. When she spotted him she broke into a trot and he retreated round the' corner a little to swoop suddenly with a mock roar, bearing her laughing wildly up into his arms. As he set her down he asked quite formally what kind of morning she'd had. She began to speak, and her enthusiasm breathed upwards into his smiling face and beyond in the chill air. • Question: The man is shown to be thoughtful and caring towards his daughter. What evidence is there of this in the passage? • Answer: He makes her laugh, and he asks her about her morning at school.
Example: 2003 General Paper • We were in Dracula's castle sited on the remote Tihuta mountain pass where the Victorian Gothic novelist Bram Stoker based the home of his fictitious vampire - two days' carriage ride from Bistrita in northern Transylvania. Question: Give two pieces of evidence which suggest that Bram Stoker wrote the novel Dracula more than one hundred years ago. 2 1 0 Answer: (i) reference to carriage (1) (ii) reference to Victorian (novelist) (1)
IN YOUR OWN WORDS QUESTIONS. • Unless you are sure you are being asked to quote, you should always answer in your own words. • This is the only way to show that you really understand what the writer is saying.
Some advice on tackling these questions: • When you read this you know that the answer is right there in the paragraph you are told to look at. • You can take confidence from this. • You only have to look carefully at the lines or paragraphs you are told to look at, find the answer/line/idea and put it into your own words • These questions are testing your vocabulary. • You must say the same thing, but use other words to do so.
Example: 2003 General Paper • Downstairs was Count Dracula's coffin in a narrow vault, the walls painted with the dramatic scenes of human victims, wolves, skulls, skeletons and the black-cloaked monster himself, red blood dripping from his pointed fangs. So far on our Romanian holiday the only blood-sucking had been from the mosquitoes in Bucharest. Luckily we had decided to send their father down first as a guinea pig to test out how scary this experience was likely to be for our seven-, five- and two-year-olds. Question:In your own words explain fully why their father was sent down first. 2 1 0 Answer: to find out/see (1) if it was too scary/frightening/if it was suitable for the boys (1)
Example: 2003 Credit Paper • Round in shape with a plume of tall feathers, the bird stood about three feet high, the size of an overstuffed turkey or swan. Its wings were small and useless, its head surrounded by a hood of fine feathers giving it the appearance of a monk's cowl. Yet most distinctive of all was its unfeasible looking bill. It was huge and bulbous, possessing a business like hook at the end. Question:In your own words, what does the writer's use of the expression 'unfeasible-Iooking' tell you about the dodo's bill? Answer:It appeared / seemed /looked (1) as if it would not work/as if it would not be any use (1)
Example: 2008 General paper ‘Professional competitive surfing has two tours: the WQS and the World Championship Tour (WCT). The WCT is the premier division, with the WQS being used as a platform for professionals to move up into the big time. Around 160 upand-coming wave riders are expected to take part in the Thurso event. Prize money of $100,000 (£57,000) is up for grabs, along with vital tour points.’ Question: In your own words, explain the difference between the two professional surfing tours, WCT & WQS ? 2 1 0 Answer:WCT gloss of “premier division” eg best competitors/higher status (1) WQS gloss of “platform ... to move up into the big time” eg step towards the better competition (1) accept reference to lower status (1) LINK TO MORE EXAMPLES!!!
For practice… Task Look at these words and phrases you might find in questions. Which expressions tell you that you ought to quote in your answer and which ones suggest you write in your own words? • Why do you think…? • Which word…? • Explain fully…? • Find an expression…? • How does the writer…? • Write down the word…? • Which expression…? • By close reference to the text….?
ANSWERS… • The phrases that tell you that you must quote in your answers are: • Which word…? • Find an expression…? • How does the writer…? • Write down the word…? • Which expression…? • The phrases that suggest that you write in your own words are: • By close reference to the text….? • Why do you think…? • Explain fully…?
The writer's attitude • Note that this question - type asks about the writer's attitude. • Not a character within the text, but the writer himself. • “Attitude” simply means what the writer is thinking about a subject.
Some advice on tackling these questions: The easiest way for any writer to convey his attitude is through word choice. For example, read these two sentences and think of the attitude of the person who wrote them towards the subject. • My teacher is an angel. • My teacher is a prince. • My teacher is a saint. • My teacher is a clown. • My teacher is a genius. • In four of the above the writer is complimentary and positive. • In one however, she is negative and derogatory. IMPORTANT: So when asked for the writer's attitude think of how words may suggest this attitude.
Example: 2003 General Paper • As we walked up to the main lobby there was 'Vampire' red wine for sale, glass vials of red liquid, wooden stakes and probably some garlic stashed under the counter. As these tacky, souvenirs revealed, it wasn't the real Dracula's castle but Hotel Castel Dracula, a threestar hotel built in the mountains to service some of the nearby, ski slopes. Question: In your own words, what is the writer's attitude to the various goods for sale in the hotel lobby? Answer: She thinks they are touristyrubbish.
Example: 2003 Credit Paper • Surely this ridiculous bird, fat, flightless and vulnerable, had simply been caught and eaten to extinction? Too weak or stupid to defend itself, too trusting of humans, the dodo had met its inevitable end. According to ornithologist Julian Hume the fat, comical appearance of the bird is grossly exaggerated. Julian has travelled to Mauritius to investigate what the bird was really like and how it lived. It is here that the only two complete skeletons of the bird exist which have proved just how misrepresented the dodo has been. Question: Which one word sums up the writer's sympathetic attitude to the dodo. Answer: Misrepresented
Example: 2003 General Paper • The architecture (1980s mock castle) reflected the Dracula movies but the setting amid the dramatic scenery of the Tihuta pass is stunning. The "castle" is circled by bats every night and the surrounding forests have more wild bears and wolves than anywhere else in Europe. Question: In your own words what is the writer’s opinion of the setting of the Hotel Castel Dracula? 2 0 Answer: magnificent/thinks it is very beautiful/very attractive (2) Intensity must be present
Sentence structure questions: • Questions on the structure of sentences are asking you about how the sentence is put together. • The writer has done something important or unusual in putting this particular sentence together.
Some advice on tackling these questions: • There are two things for you to do here. FOLLOW THIS FORMULA!!! A) You must note what the structure of the sentence is. AND… B) You must explain what effect this has on a reader, what it makes the reader think.
Types of structure. Some Structures Effect They Achieve Short, dramatic, attention - grabbing. “Failure!” “Who ? Me ? Why ? How ? “ Questions show either doubt or mystery He failed his exam. A simple statement of an idea. He failed English, maths, science, art and history A list suggests quantity, a lot of items. An explanation usually what comes after the semi-colon qualifies what came before. He failed everything; he never paid attention. He failed English, his maths just didn’t add up science was a bad experiment for him, art was surreal and he could never remember dates. A series of sentences join to make one long sentence to suggest quantity. He is now worrying about the future; he is now regretting his laziness; he is now looking for job sweeping the streets; he is now a sorry boy. A list of sentences joined together as one contain verbs in the present tense. This suggests a lot of action / lots of things going on.
Example: 2002 Credit Paper • The transaction seemed to fluster her, as if she might not have enough money to pay for the few things she'd bought. A tin of lentil soup. An individual chicken pie. One solitary tomato. Maybe she did need the avocados - or something else. Question: How does the writer emphasise that the woman had bought 'few things' through the use of sentence structure? Answer: Each item (1) is given a sentence on its own (1)
Example: 2003 General Paper • Gingerly, he tried to reopen the envelope but it was stuck fast and the flap ripped jaggedly. Question: How does the structure of this sentence emphasise the man's care in opening the envelope? Answer: (The word) gingerly is placed (1) at the start of the sentence (1)
Example: 2007 General paper Ken is lucky that Julie can drive one of the trucks, change the 2 feet high tyres, make sure Alex does his school lessons on his laptop, cook, make sandwiches and dish out the £2 tickets. • Question: How does the structure of the whole sentence help to reinforce the idea of how busy Julie is between Easter and October ? 2/1/0 • Answer: the sentence is a long list (1) to show the many things she has to do (1).
Punctuation and punctuation questions. • There is rather an overlap here with questions about sentence structure since punctuation is used to shape sentences and to organise the words within them. • However, you may also get more specific questions about the use of punctuation marks. • It is therefore important that you know your punctuation!!!
Punctuation you need to know!!! • to separate items in a list. • to introduce a quote. • to introduce direct speech. • to make the reader pause at certain times in a sentence. When do we use commas ? , • to give extra information in a sentence. • to make the reader take a pause. • to mark out a word or phrase from the rest of the sentence (Maths is great – not.) When do we use dashes ? - • to show the words actually spoken • to show that we are talking about the title of a book or film or poem, etc. • to show that we are quoting someone else and these are not the writer’s own words. When do we use Inverted commas ? “ ”
More punctuation…. When do we use semi colons ? ; • to join two (or more) related ideas. • to separate items in a list when there are commas in the sentence already. • to join several sentences into one very long one. When do we use colons ? : • to introduce a list. • to introduce a quote. • to give more information about an idea • .to punctuate a play. When do we use ellipsis ? …. • Dots used to tail of a sentence. • To show gaps in a piece of writing. • at the beginning of a sentence. • for names. • for initials. • for the beginning of a section of direct speech. • for titles of books, newspapers, films, etc.for acronyms (like BBC or STV or CSI) When do we use capital letters ?
Example: 2001 General Paper • After all there's a little collection of pressed glass over there that is so irresistible, and the old hand-knitted Shetland shawl that nobody seems to have spotted, and isn't that a genuine stone hot-water bottle lurking among the rubbish. . .? Question: Why does the writer use ellipsis at the end of the final sentence? Answer: To show that the list could continue / be endless OR that there could be more examples. 2 marks for either
Example: 2002 General Paper • It was now well into the rush hour: traffic gushed by or fretted at red lights and urgent pedestrians commanded the pavements and crossings. Question: Why does the writer use a colon? Is it to introduce a quotation, to elaborate on an idea, or to introduce an explanation? Answer:To elaborate on an idea (2)
Example: 2002 General Paper • At the last corner before the school's street they both halted in an accustomed way and he squatted down to give her a kiss. She didn't mind the ritual but not outside the gates: her pals might see and that would be too embarrassing. Question: Why does the writer use a colon? Is it to introduce a quotation, to elaborate on an idea, or to introduce an explanation? Answer: To introduce an explanation (2)
Example: 2003 General Paper • We were in Dracula's castle - sited on the remote Tihuta mountain pass where the Victorian Gothic novelist Bram Stoker based the home of his fictitious vampire - two days' carriage ride from Bistrita in northern Transylvania. Question: Why does the writer use dashes in this paragraph? Answer: To provide additional information /detail /parenthesis (2)
Example: 2003 General Paper It wasn't the real Dracula's castle but Hotel Castel Dracula, a three-star hotel built in the mountains to service some of the nearby, ski slopes. The architecture (1980s mock castle) reflected the Dracula movies but the setting amid the dramatic scenery of the Tihuta pass is stunning. The 'castle' is circled by bats every night and the surrounding forests have more wild bears and wolves than anywhere else in Europe. Question: Why does the writer put the word 'castle' in inverted commas? Answer: Being ironic / to show it's not really a castle / to show it's really a hotel (2)
Example: 2001 Credit Paper • The driver opened the back door of the taxi and my 'aunt', as we referred to her - really my mother's aunt's daughter divested herself of the travelling rugs. Question: What is the function of the dashes? Answer:Giving additional information / parenthesis (2)
Word choice questions Words are chosen for effect – words can make you think of more than just their literal meaning. • Words have connotations. These are the associations we give to words, the ideas we are made to think of when we hear or read any given word. Lisbon 67 Seville 03 CELTIC FC Rangers Henrik Ireland Scotland • When a question asks you to comment on word choice think of the associations the identified word(s) will conjure up in a reader’s mind.
Another example… • Think of the ideas we associate with the word “butterfly”. • We think of delicate things, light, beauty, erratic flight, unpredictability, etc. • If the word is then used to describe a person then these qualities are associated with that person.
Some advice on tackling these questions: • These questions are asking you to do two things: • First identify and write down the word/s which are being used for effect. • 2. Then, explain what their effect is. The effect is what the word makes you think. • This phrase (“makes us think”) should appear in your answer. • When a question asks you to comment on word choice think of the associations the identified word(s) will conjure up in a reader’s mind.
When you answer you should use the formula below: • The word "..........X............" suggests that ............................................ • OR • "......X......." makes us think about ...............................................
Example: 2002 Credit Paper • The transaction seemed to fluster her, as if she might not have enough money to pay for the few things she'd bought. A tin of lentil soup. An individual chicken pie. One solitary tomato. Maybe she did need the avocados - or something else. Question: How does the writer emphasise that the woman had bought 'few things' through the use of word choice? Answer:Use of a / an / one / individual / solitary