2 Close Reading Formulae Learning IntentionsTo explore the basic formulae for approaching Close Reading questions in the Higher and Int 2 examination.To practise what has been learned in the first few categories of Understanding questions.Success CriteriaFor pupils to emerge with an appreciation of the various formulae to be used when approaching Close Reading examination questions and, in particular, to have some practical experience of applying these to some Understanding questions.
3 Close Reading Formulae You will be issued with a sheet outlining the three basicquestion-types in Close Reading examinations:Understanding QuestionsAnalysis QuestionsEvaluation QuestionsYour sheet will also show that within the broad Understanding andAnalysis headings there are several more precise types of questionwhich you are usually asked.Do not lose this sheet as it is a vital reference tool for you to usethroughout the year.
4 Close Reading Formulae Understanding Questions1. Own words:Identify the relevant section of the passage.Change the key words, to demonstrate your understanding of the section.2. Quotation:Lift out relevant the word / phrase.3. Context:State what the word means.Quote the word or phrase that helps you understand the meaning.Explain how your quote does this.
5 Close Reading Formulae Understanding Questions (contd)4. Summary:Identify the key points / issues from the relevant section.Change these points into your own words.5. Link:Summarise what is being said in the section before the link.Quote a word from the linking sentence / paragraph and explain how it links back.Summarise what is being said in the section after the link.
6 Close Reading Formulae Analysis Questions1. Tone:Identify the tone of the extract (NB: The tone will NEVER be ‘normal’).Quote the words that help you identify this tone and explain how they do so.2. Word Choice:Quote the example of word choice.State the denotation of the word (meaning).State the connotations of the word (associations).State how the word choice deepens your understanding of the passage.
7 Close Reading Formulae Analysis Questions (contd.)3. Imagery:State what the image is (e.g. metaphor, simile, personification etc.)Quote the image and state what is being compared to what (own words).State the connotations of the comparison.State how the use of imagery adds to your understanding of the passage.4. Sentence Structure:Give the example of sentence structure used (e.g. short / complex sentences, punctuation, word order, grammar).Say how the use of sentence structure adds to your understanding of the passage.
8 Close Reading Formulae Analysis Questions (contd.)5. Contrast (usually a question which expects analysis of anyof 1 to 4 above to demonstrate contrast):Summarise the subject of one side of the contrast.Quote a word / phrase to demonstrate this.Summarise the other side.Explain how the two opposing ideas contrast.
9 Close Reading Formulae Evaluation QuestionsHow effective?Usually based on the whole passage, often comparing two passages.Give a statement answering the question (e.g. how effective it is).Give a quote(s) to back up your statement.Explain how the quote(s) backs up your point.You can often use material from an earlier answer in an evaluation question.
10 Understanding – Own Words Badgers are often viewed as shy, gruff but loveable creatures, such as the wise Mr Badger in ‘The Wind in the Willows’. Some people however have a very different view. Badgers are gassed and hunted by farmers due to the belief that they spread tuberculosis. They are also despised as badger sets, which can run for miles, can weaken the foundations of small buildings and disturb valuable farming land. At worst badgers are persecuted for their strength and potentially aggressive nature, exploited in for the so called ‘sport’ of badger baiting, they are set against dogs such as terriers.In your own words explain why badgers are disliked or mistreated by some people. (3)
11 Understanding – Own Words Possible answers –Badgers are disliked die to the ideas people have about their ability to distribute harmful diseases.Their underground homes can be extremely long which can ruin and damage the structure of undersized constructions.Badgers have a reputation of being very strong and, at times, dangerous.They are misused and taken advantage of by people who use them in dangerous fights with other animals.
12 Understanding – Own Words The actor Boris Karloff once made some wise remarks abouthorror movies:‘Horror’ means something revolting. Anybody can show youa pailful of innards. But the object of the roles I played is notto turn your stomach, but merely to make your hairs stand onend. The descriptive word should have been ‘terror’.Using your own words, explain the distinction Boris Karloffmakes between ‘horror’ and terror’. (2)
13 Understanding - Quotation The men argued like children over who owned the land at the bottom of the garden. This petty rivalry led to all manner of infantile behaviour: rubbish bins were over turned, scratches mysteriously appeared on cars and mail was even stolen or destroyed. Who could have imagined that grown adults could have been reduced to squabbling brats over such a matter?Quote a phrase that shows the writer feels the men’s dispute was trivial or pointless. (1)
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