Close reading understanding the meaning - higher-2
CLOSE READINGU Tests your Understanding of the writer’s ideas.A Tests your skills of Analysis by looking at word choice, imagery, sentence structure, toneE Asks you to Evaluate how successful or effective the writer is in using particular techniques.
Introduction… There are 3 types of questions that will test your understanding of the meaning of a passage. Using your own words. Context Questions. Link Questions. All these questions are marked with a “U” beside them on the question paper.
Using your own words… Means simply, re-wording something or explaining the meaning of something, but using your own words to do so. You must NOT “lift” or copy parts of the passage. You will get no marks! You must look at the number of marks beside the question, to see how detailed you need to be.
Task 1… Look at the example on page 7 of the Higher Language Skills book. Now try questions 1-4 “For Practice” on pages 7-8.
Task 1 – Answers…Question 1. His hair was not as short/grown very long. His cheeks had less colour (unhealthy colour) Clothes were torn He was smaller/thinner than he used to be. He was double the age he used to be.(Any 4 = ½ mark each)
Task 1 – Answers…Question 2(i). The work was difficult and physically demanding. The people had to do everything manually and had little control over the speed of crops growing or the weather.(Any two: 1 mark each)
Task 1 – Answers…Question 2(ii). Villages were far apart/isolated The roads were not used very often. The only modes of transport were walking or by horse. No motorised vehicles(Any 3 = 1 mark each)
Task 1 – Answers…Question 3. Ordinary people were in control. The buildings were used by ordinary people. Walls had radical graffiti on them. Churches had been damaged.(1 mark each)
Task 1 – Answers…Question 4(i). He was not interested/bored with the simplicity of Titian’s shapes and colours. The art was beautiful, but did not stir people’s emotions. Titian’s paintings did not bring the religious stories to life.(1 marks for each)
Task 1 – Answers…Question 4(ii). He wanted people to appreciate/feel excited and moved by the scenes he was painting.(1 mark)
Context Questions… Context questions ask you to explain how the context of a paragraph helps you to understand the meaning of a word or phrase. You are usually asked to do two things: 1) Explain the meaning of a word/phrase. 2) To show how you worked out the meaning (by looking at the words around it).
Answering context questions… Question Suggested answer“Show how the context “The word/phrase ______helped you to arrive at the means ______________. meaning of _____” I can work this out from the context because it says __________ which also means _____________.”
Task 2… Look at the example on page 10 of the Higher Language Skills book. Now try questions 1-3 “For Practice” on page 10.
Task 2 – Answers…Question 1: The word implacable means unstoppable or relentless. (1 mark) I can work this out from the context because it says “years of patient searching” and “showed no mercy” which also mean he could not be stopped or was relentless (1/2 mark for each point)
Task 2 – Answers…Question 2: The word vacillated means to sway between alternative options. (1 mark) I can work this out from the context because the question , “Should he .. Or.. “ reveals his options. The word, “hesitation” also means he could not decide and kept swaying between his choices. (1/2 mark each)
Task 2 – Answers…Question 3: The word minorities means children or young people. (1 mark) I can work this out from the context because it says “no adult succession” which also means children or young people are involved. (1 mark)
Link Questions… Link questions test your understanding of the way paragraphs can link on from each other. The “link” sentence will usually refer back to the previous paragraph and ALSO introduce the idea that will be discussed in the new paragraph.
The 5 Step “Link Question” answer…1. Quote the word/s in the linking phrase that relates BACK to the previous topic.2. Explain WHAT the previous topic was about.3. Quote the word/s in the linking phrase that introduce the new topic.4. Explain WHAT the new topic is going to be about.5. State the Conjunction that links the two ideas if there is one. (e.g. However, but, regardless, whilst)
Answering link questions… Question Suggested answer “The phrase _(1)____ links“Show how the sentence back to the idea of _____ acts as a link in _(2)____ discussed previously. the argument” The phrase __(3) ___ introduces the idea of __(4)___ which will be discussed next.” The conjunction linking the two ideas is ____(5)__.
Practice Link Question“This is not the first book that Bronson has written from behind bars, having already published Birdman Opens his Mind, which features drawings and poems created by Bronson while in prison. And he is not the first prisoner to discover creative expression while residing at Her Majesty’s pleasure.Jimmy Boyle, the Scots sculpture and novelist, discovered his artistic talents when he was sent to Barlinnie Prison’s famous special unit, which aimed to help inmaes put their violent pasts behind them by teaching them how to express their emotions artistically.
And (he is not the first prisoner) (to discover creative expression) while residing at Her Majesty’s pleasure.The phrase “to discover creative expression” links back to the first idea of Bronson discovering his creative ability in prison.The phrase “he is not the first prisoner” links forward to introduce Jimmy Boyle …The conjunction/linking word between the two ideas is AND.
Task 3… Look at the example on page 12 of the Higher Language Skills book. Now try questions 1-3 “For Practice” on page 12-13.
Task 3 – Answers…Question 1: The phrase “the illicit grandeurs of her forbears” links back to the idea of an important past, discussed previously. The phrase “ordinary poverty” introduces the idea of a difficult life, which will be discussed next. The conjunction which links the ideas is “But”
Task 3 – Answers…Question 2: The phrase “the position” links back to the idea of a fixed place, discussed previously. The phrase “little benefit” introduces the idea of no positive effect, which will be discussed next. “However” is the conjunction which links the two ideas.
Task 3 – Answers…Question 3: The phrase “the appearance” links back to the idea of her looks, discussed previously. The phrase “also the character” introduces the idea of her personality, which will be discussed next. The conjunction that links the two ideas is “but”.
In summary… Using your own words: Never quote. Context Questions: Use the suggested answer template. Include the meaning AND how you worked out the meaning from the passage. Link Questions: Show how the sentence refers back and forward using the 5 steps.