English GCSE Revision Tips


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English GCSE Revision Tips

  1. 1. All about writingYour guide to getting the best grade on the writing paper
  2. 2. Section B of your English exam will assess your WRITING SKILLS You will be asked to complete: •Two non fiction writing tasks – the first task is shorter and is worth 16 marks; the second is longer and is worth 24 marks •You will have an hour to complete this section, and must answer both questions •You should aim to spend around 25 minutes on the shorter writing task and 35 minutes on the longer writing task. This should include 5 minutes to check your work once you have completed each task
  3. 3. The tasks• The first writing task will ask you to produce a short non fiction text for example, a letter or an email.• The second writing task will ask you to produce a longer non fiction text, for example, an article for a magazine or newspaper. This might involve writing to argue or persuade• Usually the audience of the text will be mentioned in the task, for example, ‘write an email to a friend to let them know about…’. If an audience is not given, you will be writing for an examiner The following slide will show you an example from January 2011
  4. 4. The exam paper – Section B Section B: Writing Answer both questions in this section. You are advised to spend about one hour on this section. You are advised to spend about 25 minutes on question 6. You are advised to spend about 35 minutes on question 7.6. Write a letter to your head teacher explaining how to improve your school or college.Remember to:•Write a letter•Explain the things that would make your school or college better. (16 marks)7. Write the text for a leaflet to persuade young people in your area to take part in an event forcharity. The leaflet should be about:•The sponsored event of your choice•Which charity the event is for•Why young people should support the charityRemember to:•Write a leaflet•Use language and techniques to help you persuade (24 marks)
  5. 5. Guide toplanning your writing
  6. 6. PLAN YOUR WRITINGTiming:Shorter writing task• Ideally, you want to spend around 25 minutes on the shorter writing task, including around 5 minutes to plan and check your work• The examiner will expect your writing to be around 3 – 4 paragraphsLonger writing task• Spend around 35 minutes, including at least 5 – 10 minutes to plan and check your work• You should aim for around 5 – 6 paragraphs which is approximately two sides if you have average sized handwriting
  7. 7. TRY:Find the PAF in the following examination questions.Write a letter to your school magazine which argues for oragainst homework being set at Key Stage 4.Write a review for a teen website about a film or TVprogramme you have seen recently.Write a report for your local newspaper which offers advice onhow to provide more facilities for teenagers.Write an article for a teen magazine persuading young peopleto stop smoking.
  8. 8. Developing your ideasLook at this example plan:Intro – Formal – Dear Mr or Ms …… state briefly why you are writing to them, that you feelschool needs to change. State that you have a number of suggestions.Para 1 – If school needs to change something fundamental like uniform and school rules explainhow to change and the impact on school.Para 2 – Explain improvements to sporting facilities and equipment. Why important.Para 3 – Explain improvements you would like to see to canteen food. Why important.Para 4 – Explain improvements to lessons. More text books, better computers, more teachers,more interesting lessons? Explain what you’d like to see and why.Conclusion – Summarise your main points and thank your head teacher for reading. Can you thinkof a final sentence to push him or her into understanding why your changes are so important?
  9. 9. Basic skills toimprove your writing
  10. 10. Structuring your writingHere are some handy hints:•Start each new paragraph with a topic sentence. Topic sentences introduce yourparagraph. They let the reader know what to expect.•Link your paragraphs using connectives – words or phrases that show your reader howyour ideas link and work together. Here are some different kinds of connectives: • Time order: At first, Then, Later • Logical order: Therefore, Consequently, As a result • Contrast: On the other hand, In contrast • Simple ordering of ideas: Firstly, Secondly, Finally • Development of ideas: Because of this, Also, Moreover, What is more, In addition
  11. 11. How to uselanguage to get higher marks
  12. 12. This section is all about how to uselanguage creatively. An examiner willsee hundreds of examination papers.How can you get yours to stand out?Try to remember and use some of thefollowing tips in your writing. They willhelp you gain a higher mark. You knowit makes sense!
  13. 13. How to write an effective opening?The job of an opening is to grab the reader’s attention. You must hook the reader straight awayand force them to continue reading.Here are some ways to do this:Fiction (For use in your controlled assessment)Keep it really simple – the fewer words the betterLet me tell you what happened.If you are writing fiction, try introducing your characterSarah zipped up her coat and walked into the blizzard.Be shockingCrash! She felt the shards of metal pierce her leg like hot knives.For non fictionStart with a quotation (real or made up)63% of 16 year olds don’t take enough exerciseA rhetorical questionSchools to close? Teachers to resign? This is not some vision of the future – it is happeningnow….
  14. 14. How to write an effective endingThe conclusion is the ending to your writing – it is the impressionthat you will leave the reader with. For a non fiction essay you needto summarise (not just repeat) your main points and provide a finalperspective on the topic. Try and use anecdotes, or humour orstatistics to conclude.If you take anything from this speech, I want you to rememberthat school uniform is unnecessary, it is ugly and mostparents can ill afford it. Why does this school persist inmaking us students suffer in this way? 97% of students and87% of parents think that students in Year 10 and 11 shouldbe given the choice to decide what they wear. Do the rightthing. You know it makes sense.
  15. 15. Try using these devices even in non fictionWhat is a simile?A simile is a comparison of two things using like or asThe frost sparkled like diamonds on the pavementWhat is a metaphor?A metaphor is a comparison of two things where one thing is anotherThe boxer’s iron fist crashed into the opponentWhat is emotive language?Emotive language is any language that makes people feel emotional i.e. anger, sympathyetc..There are many valid reasons why cosmetics should not be tested on animals. Thishurtful industry causes unimaginable agony to these innocent animals. Would you condoneexperiments conducted on your own child?Don’t forget that you can use statistics, even if you have made them up yourself!
  16. 16. Finally!!Top tips for exam success:1.Read widely and for pleasure.2.Read non-fiction and fiction.3.Listen carefully in class. Your teacher is an expert and wants you to gainthe highest grade possible.4.Try completing as many practice papers as possible at home. This givesyou a feel for the timings and the sort of questions you will be asked.5.Try and extend your vocabulary. Reading will help with this.6.Make a list of your weaknesses – is it spelling, apostrophes, planningetc. and work on them.7.Get a good night’s sleep before the exam.8.Ensure you have at least two black / blue pens. You can do it!!
  17. 17. Either Or 2 GCSEs 1 GCSE ENGLISH ENGLISH + ENGLISH LANGUAGE LITERATUREWritten paper = 40% Written paper = 75% Written paper = 40%Controlled Controlled ControlledAssessment 60% Assessment 25% Assessment 60%