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English A Language and
Literature
Paper One
Standard Level
Paper 1
• You are given two texts.
• Choose one of them and write a commentary /
analysis on it.
• It will be a non-literary text i.e. not from a novel,
short story or poem.
• Texts: article, biography, advertisement, news
report, film review, speech, set of instructions,
etc.
• There might also be an image with the text.
Comment on how the image works together
with the text.
The instructions on the exam paper
Write an analysis on one of the following texts.
Include comments on the significance of
context, audience, purpose, and formal and
stylistic features.
Goal of the analysis
• How do they (context, audience, purpose,
formal and stylistic features) work together
to create the message and its meaning to
fulfil the writer’s purpose?
• How effective is the text as communication?
How well does it achieve its purpose?
WHAT’S IMPORTANT?
1.PLANNING!
2.PLANNING!!
3.PLANNING!!!
WHAT YOU BRING TO THE TASK
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ORGANIZATION
STRUCTURE
KNOWLEDGE
SKILLS
INTUITION
IMAGINATION
EMPATHY
VOCABULARY AND WRITING SKILLS
Basic approach
The Big 5
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Audience / purpose
Content / theme
Tone / mood
Stylistic devices
Structure
Structure of essay
• Write one paragraph for each of the topics in
The Big 5.
• Study the sample answers in your Paper 1
dossier.
• Study the opening paragraphs.
• Analyse the structure of the commentary.
• Study the conclusions.
Opening paragraph
• What kind of text is it?
• Who wrote it?
• When was it published?
• Where was it published (if known)?
• What are the main ideas and supporting ideas
• What is the *purpose?
• Who is the *audience?
* You will need to collect evidence to justify these
points in more detail in the next paragraph.
Context
• External factors which influence the purpose,
content and style of the text.
• Study the information given about the text.
• Year and place of publication
• Type of publication (commercial website,
newspaper, government office, etc.)
• Gives you idea of possible audience.
Audience
Make an informed guess but look for clues:
• In the context information.
• In the way the text is presented e.g. images,
headlines, type face, etc
• In the content of the text.
• In the language style and tone of the text.
• Could be for the general public or a specific
group (age, education, interests, level of
expertise, etc).
Purpose
• Every text is written with a purpose in mind.
• Every writer wants to produce an effect on a
reader.
• The effect could be «to take some kind of
action» , «to feel something», «to think
something», «to know something».
• See the next slide for purpose verbs.
Purpose words
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to inform
to explain to the reader …
to persuade the reader that …
to convince the reader that …
to argue that …
to entertain readers of … by …
to express (regret, sorrow, anger, joy, confusion … etc)
to demonstrate that …
to set the scene
to evoke a sense of .... / a feeling of ... / memories ... / associations with ...
to celebrate the fact that ...
to promote the view that ...
to criticise ...
to make the point that ...
to highlight ...
... add some more verbs of your own (use a Thesaurus to help you)
Formal features
structure and structures
News report / article
• headline, type face, attention grabbing
introduction, newsworthy content, short
paragraphs, interviews and quotes, balance,
sensationalism, facts and figures, expert
opinion, etc
Formal features
structure and structures
Advertisement
• Image
• Copy (= text)
• Slogan
• Signature or logo
Stylistic features
Language
• What types of vocabulary (diction) are used?
Why?
• What tone is created by the diction?
• Is the register formal or colloquial or a mixture?
• How do the register and diction match with the
audience and the purpose and the context?
• What stylistic devices can you spot in the text?
Tone words
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The feeling(s) a text creates through the use of certain
jubilant, joyful, exhuberant, enthusiastic, dramatic
dark, sad, sombre, melancholy, gloomy, solemn, earnest, serious
longing, despairing, helpless, pleading, begging
light, playful, flippant, good-humoured, dreamy
satirical, mocking, sarcastic, ironic, cynical, irreverent
angry, bitter, harsh, stubborn, dogmatic
impersonal, detached, dispassionate, clinical, cold
personal, intimate, emotional, lyrical, poignant, sentimental, warm
calm, philosophical, reflective, gentle, mellow, tranquil, tender
conversational, matter-of-fact
self-mocking, self-critical, self-confident, over confident
formal, grand style, pompous
subservient, eager to please, ingratiating, flattering
… add more words of your own (use a Thesaurus to help you)
Language
Stylistic devices in non-literary texts
• Imagery
• Alliteration
• Irony – sarcasm - satire
• Symbolism
• Humour / Pathos
• Rhetoric – hypophera, anaphora, tricolon, etc
• Allusion
• Metaphor – simile
• Analogy
• Emotive language (also for diction)
Tips for revision
• Work through the examples in your dossier
for Paper 1.
• Study the sample texts and the two answers
for each text.
• The answers are numbered: 1.1, 1.2, etc.
• The 1.2, 2.2, etc answers are the good
commentaries.
Tips for revision
• What would you expect to see in a good
commentary? Create a checklist and read a
sample response. Did you find all of the items
in your checklist?
• Read a very good sample commentary. Now it’s
your turn to write a commentary on the same
texts.
• Read a very good sample commentary and
write an outline for it. If the student had written
an outline before writing this commentary, what
would it have looked like?
Tips for revision
• Compare a good and bad commentary. Draft a list of
features that are characteristic of good commentaries,
and a list of things to avoid.
• Take three different-colored highlighters. With one colour,
highlight all of the points or statements made in a good
sample commentary. With another colour, highlight all of
the examples and references to the text. With the final
colour, highlight all of the explanations. Do you see a
pattern?
• Find all of the vocabulary (adjectives) used in a sample
response to describe the tone of the texts. Rank the
words used from most effective to least. What words
would have been better to describe the tone of the piece?
Tips for revision
• Read a good sample response. Create a table with
several boxes: sequencing words, expanding words,
explanation words, contrasting words, comparison
words, concluding words. Find examples to put in
each box.
• Find examples of how quotes and illustrations are set
up. How many different strategies can you find for
embedding quotes and illustrations in a
commentary?
• Use the assessment criteria to assess a sample
response.
Individual work
Each person in the group writes two paragraphs.
1.
2.
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5.
6.
Content, theme
Audience and purpose
Diction, tone and mood
Stylistic devices
Structure
Conclusion
POINT
• The main idea for the paragraph. The
POINT YOU WANT TO MAKE some
aspect of the text.
• TOPIC SENTENCE Make a strong, clear
statement or claim about the topic of
the paragraph e.g. structure.
POINT
(Paragraph on similarities – theme)
Although both texts are different types of texts, they
comment on people’s preconceptions of gender
roles.
ILLUSTRATION
EXAMPLE
• Use quotes, paraphrases of passages
to support your POINT.
• Integrate these well into your writing,
using a suitable phrase such as: “For
example, in line 26 the author
remarks…”
ILLUSTRATION
The comic clearly states that it is about gender stereotyping in
the first frame, where Cathy says, “This is our baby’s one
chance to get to meet people totally free from gender
stereotyping.” The nurse claims that the baby is ‘strong,
mischievous and tough,’ and therefore must be a boy.
EXPLANATION
Explains how the example illustrates the
main point.
Cathy is frustrated by this stereotype and argues that
girls can be strong too. The nurse continues in her
stereotyping once she learns the baby is a girl, by
saying that she has “precious dimples.”
PIE
(P) Text 2 has the purpose to purely inform and
convince the audience. (I) The passage really
comes across as a promotional piece of text, as
you read lines like “taking that extra time
conching (stirring constantly in a vessel that looks
like a conch shell) our chocolate to bring out the
intense flavour that has become our trademark.”
(E) By using jargon (“conching”) the writer
convinces the reader of his level of expertise,
which in turn persuades the reader to buy the
chocolate.

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