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Close Reading A revision guide to question types.

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Presentation on theme: "Close Reading A revision guide to question types."— Presentation transcript:

1 Close Reading A revision guide to question types

2 Close Reading To be good at Close Reading, you need to be able to understand and engage with the writers' arguments answer the questions in the way the SQA requires. This presentation will help you with the latter. To be better at the former, READ!

3 In your own words (U) 1. Locate Find the part of the passage where the answer is located 2. Translate Put the words of this part into your own words which show understanding of the central idea; dont just do a Google translate job. This might involve drawing out a general point from an example or a list.

4 Context (U) 1. Give the meaning of the word as it is used in the passage 2. Explain how you could work this out by looking at the relationship of the word to the words around it.

5 Link (U) 1a) Identify and quote a phrase in the sentence which relates back to the ideas which have been discussed previously 1b) Summarise what these ideas are 2a) Identify and quote a phrase in the sentence which introduces the new ideas which are now going to be discussed 2b) Summarise what these ideas are

6 Relevance of Anecdote (U) An anecdote is a wee story, often from the writers own experience or from recent events, which illustrates the writers argument. 1 Pick out the main point in the anecdote 2 Show how this proves the writers overall argument at that point in the passage. (Hint: it can also act as a turning point, to begin to examine the alternative point of view.)

7 Effective conclusion (U) This question type is less formulaic: you need to really read and think. See also Effective conclusion (A) 1 Identify ideas in the paragraph (or line) which relate back to the ideas in the passage 2 Say what ideas they relate back to 3 Look out for what the conclusion is doing: summarising? making a statement about the future? something else?

8 Word Choice (A) 1. Pick out a word which is chosen for its connotations and quote it. 2. Analyse the connotations of this word. CAUTION: give what the word suggests, not what it means. Suggestions are likely to be emotions or attitudes. Repeat as many times as required by the number of marks in the question. Dont try to analyse more than one word at a time. Dont write: The writer uses words like… (Its not words like that: its that word!)

9 Imagery (A) You are expected to 1. recognise the ROOT of the image: what comparison the writer is using, and 2. why this is appropriate to develop the writer's idea. You will not get any marks if you only do the second part. (A common error.) The marks come from recognising and analysing the metaphor or simile. Try the formula: Just as …so too...

10 Sentence Structure (A) Sentence structure refers to the way the words are put together. Look for Punctuation, Pattern and Placing. 1. Identify a feature of sentence structure which is unusual. You cant always quote, but you need to make clear what you are talking about with a line ref or partial quote. 2. Explain what the sentence structure helps to emphasise or make clear: eg it might draw attention to a particular word, idea or feature; it might create a climax or a mood. Repeat as many times as required by the number of marks in the question. The answer will NOT be a long sentence or It has lots of commas.

11 Language (A) Language questions let you talk about either word choice or sentence structure. The question might explicitly ask you to refer to both; if so, you cannot gain full marks without reference to at least one example of each. You must identify language features and make a connection to the effect the writer was trying to create. This is likely to be an emotion or attitude.

12 Effective conclusion (A) This question type is less formulaic: you need to really read and think. See also Effective conclusion (U) 1 Identify the tone of the conclusion 2 Say how the tone is created through language 3 Explain why this language / tone is an appropriate way to end: eg is it a hopeful ending? an angry one?

13 Evaluation Question (E) These questions are hard to predict. They are often combined with Understanding or Evaluation. You are asked to identify why a technique was effective or appropriate, or show a personal reaction to what the writer was trying to achieve. You can be a bit honest and show a reaction to the passage.

14 Both passages (E) Make sure you read and answer the question. First, check whether you are being asked about ideasstyleboth This question is a test of how far you have understood and engaged with the passages as a whole. It is a fairly tough task, but it's really not difficult to do fairly well; markers are looking to reward genuine insight. Write an honest answer, in essay style. You need to refer to both passages, but not necessarily equally. You can use material from previous questions, but try to include some new points.

15 Feeling confident? Have a look at This website is aimed at teachers, but you can use it too. It allows you to mark actual exam answers and tells you if your mark is correct.


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