General Tips• Spend sufficient time annotating the text andplanning your answer. You should not bewriting anything for at least 20 mins.• Do not assume things about the text becauseyou are familiar with the author. Don’t jumpto assumptions but back up your ideas withtextual evidence.• Be tentative with your conclusions ….
• For examples use phrases such as “This couldsuggest” “One possible reading” etc.• Read back your work to check it makes sense.• Use the correct terminology when writingabout language.• When writing about the texts start with themeaning – what is the writersaying/portraying.• Once you have decided what the text is aboutthen you can analyse the methods the writeris using to put across their ideas.
Wider Reading• Three is the minimum number of widerreading references you can make – one foreach genre.• Rather than make many brief references, tryto develop the ones you do use by makingreference to the writer’s treatment of thetheme.• Use the correct genre for the question
Which genre would you use for widerreading?• Question 1 is two prose extracts.• Question 2 is a poem and a dramaextract.
Ensure that you know your wider reading wellenough to be able to choose appropriatereferences.You should already have classified the texts intogenre, theme, time of writing.Ensure that you know their title and author!Be prepared to comment not only on contentbut also on treatment – form, structure andlanguage.
How to make LinksDon’t panic if a link does not immediatelyspring to mind. The most obvious link is bytheme e.g. jealousy, betrayal, maternallove etc.However, you can link the texts howeveryou wish as long as you make the link clearand developed.
Here are some examples• Form – sonnet, novel, drama.• Time – written in the same era.• Language – texts that use similar orcontrasting techniques.
AO1The examiner will be rewarding a clear andfluent writing style and the correct use ofterminology.This is why it is essential to plan and structureyour writing rather than write down everythingwhich comes into your head.Begin with an overview before conparing thetexts in detail.
• Use “breadcrumb” quotationsfrom the text to support yourcomments.Point,Evidence,Explain,Link.• Learn your terminology and useit where appropriate.
AO2The examiner will be looking for analysis ofLanguage, Structure and Form.Avoid simply feature spotting. Always try tocomment on how the feature effects the reader.e.g. The short exchanges between Ann andRichard pick up the pace of the scene and createtension and expectation.
Could you recognise the following?• Dramatic irony• Iambic pentameter• Free verse• Pathetic Fallacy• Oxymoron• Onomatopoeia• Metaphor• Simile• Assonance• Personification• Sonnet• Alliteration• Enjambment• Soliloquy
AO3The examiner will be looking forappropriate comparisons betweenthe extracts and links to your widerreading.
AO4Here the examiner will be looking for somereference to context – the circumstances in which itwas produced (historical, social, political, literary)You are not expected to write a history essay justcomment where relevant.For example attitudes towards women and ethnicminorities in Shakespearean England are essentialto our understanding of Othello and Taming of theShrew.