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Close Reading The can’t fail guide.

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Presentation on theme: "Close Reading The can’t fail guide."— Presentation transcript:

1 Close Reading The can’t fail guide


3 Imagery Simile Metaphor Personification
Imagery – or figures of speech – means any of the three terms above YOU SHOULD NEVER TALK ABOUT IMAGERY WITH ANALYSING WHY IT’S BEING USED.

4 So what are metaphors? A metaphor is an unusual way of describing something. A metaphor says something is something else. e.g. Tony is a tower of strength. Louise is green with envy. Wayne Rooney is a goal machine. IF IT’S NOT LITERALLY POSSIBLE, IT MUST BE A METAPHOR ie – Louise is not LITERALLY green. It is used to suggest how ‘off colour’ she is, not to be chosen.

5 Personification The wind sang her mournful song through the falling leaves. The rain kissed my cheeks as it fell. The water beckoned invitingly to the hot swimmers. HERE INANIMATE OBJECTS are being compared TO LIVING THINGS


7 PERSONIFICATION You have to say WHY the writer is using the image
Eg – The writer is using personification here IN ORDER TO CONVEY the idea that the water is almost tempting the swimmers in, inviting them into its coolness. The personification here emphasises the heat of the day and bring the delights of the river alive for us.

8 Similes When we say something is like something else we are using a simile. Similes contain the words ‘like’ or ‘as’. They can be used to make our writing VIVID and bring our writing to life. It allows the reader to imagine what the writer is describing in his mind’s eye.

9 IMAGERY QUESTION When you’re analysing imagery
‘…as though they were crossing a minefield’ This SIMILE is effective as literally when you’re crossing a minefield you have to tread carefully because only one false step could kill you. It is effective in this context as – just like in the spelling competition – one wrong letter brings ‘sudden death’ to your chances of winning. Make sure you link the use of imagery to its LITERAL meaning.

10 imagery STEP 2 The say why you think the writer is using this image
STEP 1. Make sure you link the use of imagery to its LITERAL meaning. STEP 2 The say why you think the writer is using this image ‘IN ORDER TO’ – suggest/ imply/ convey/ depict…

11 imagery “He hung off the cliff, clutching the fraying rope as if it was the holy grail” The writer uses this simile in order to effectively convey a sense of the climber’s desperation and fear as he faces a traumatic decision. The holy grail is literally a precious and rare object and this image suggests how precious this rope is to him as the only means of preserving his life.

12 Analysing imagery You are usually asked how EFFECTIVE the use of imagery is You should therefore use the word EFFECTIVE in your answer Just like in the minefield example 1. Explore the image literally 2. Explain how effective the comparison is.

13 Sentence Structure Lots of verbs could suggest a lot of action happening simultaneously If there’s NO VERB the writer might be using an INCOMPLETE SENTENCE to draw our attention to how the characters are feeling – or that something isn’t being said (maybe deliberately…)

14 Sentence Structure: There are three steps:
1 = identify the punctuation or technique being used 2 = say why you think the writer’s using it 3 = say what the effect is

15 Sentence structure eg Here the writer is using REPETITION of ‘ONE BY ONE’ He is doing this IN ORDER TO emphasise how hard it is to remember the names of them all Which makes his hopelessness very humorous (effect)

16 Here the writer is using the short sentence
He is doing this IN ORDER TO emphasise how how he is feeling simple despair Which makes his hopelessness very humorous (effect)

17 Sentence structure Types of technique: 1= repetition
Writers repeat words and phrases to emphasise their idea Often for humorous or comic effect 2 = question marks Writers use these to: involve the reader Suggest that whatever’s going on is confusing Suggest a lot is going on at once

18 3 = Lots of verbs Verbs are action words and lots of them in one sentence can depict lots going on all at the same time/ busy ness/ stress

19 Link Question You need to make sure that you can explain which words in the sentence refer BACK to what was being talked about in the previous paragraph (quote) Then your next task is to say which words refer FORWARDS to what the next paragraph will be about.(quote)

20 Link Question ‘Paul’s difficulties with spelling had been raised throughout Primary School. His teachers had observed a hesitation in recognising sounds. He had always found spelling tests extremely challenging and also spelled phonetically whenever he could. Paul’s problems in spelling continued throughout secondary school, until he was referred to Mrs Wentworth who persisted with various solutions until there began to be a difference. Her determination to increase Paul’s confidence began with reading aloud regularly. He was soon recognising spelling patterns and starting to spell words on his own…

21 Link Question E.g This link sentence is effective as ‘problems in spelling’ refers back to the paragraph that talks about Paul’s difficulties and ‘various solutions’ refers forward to the next paragraph that will talk about the way that the teacher was trying to help him cope.

22 Link Question So the technique is: QUOTE “problems in spelling”

23 Link example answer ‘that’s not what I’m worried about’
‘THAT’S’ – refers back to paragraph 2 where he talks about being attacked ‘WHAT I’M WORRIED ABOUT’ –refers forward to paragraph 3 where he’s talking about his ACTUAL WORRIES of being so inexperienced

24 Word Choice Questions 1.It is vital that you QUOTE the word that you’re trying to analyse 2. Analyse the connotations of the word e.g what the word suggests or implies “slimy” has connotations of something vile and disgusting. It suggests that Pelagia found the snails revolting and was repulsed by them.

25 Word Choice Questions Follow this example:
“The boys sat, waiting to go into the competition, fidgeting and squinting at their revision cards with clammy hands.” WHAT DOES THE WRITER’S WORD CHOICE CONVEY ABOUT THE BOYS’ FEELINGS? The writer’s word choice effectively conveys the boys’ nervousness. The word ‘fidgeting’ has connotations of anxiety and tension and the fact that they are ‘squinting’ with ‘clammy hands’ also implies that the boys were getting very worked up about their forthcoming test. The word choice is very effective in suggesting their nervousness at the idea of the spelling bee.

26 Punctuation A COLON precedes a list E.g
I bought lots of new things for my holidays: a pink t-shirt; a stripy hoodie; a pair of cropped trousers and a huge spotty bag. Notice the semi colon separating items in the list (;)

27 COLON The colon can also be used to precede an explanation.

28 CONTEXT QUESTION Explain how the context enables you to work out the meaning of ‘hirsute’ That means you have to try and work it out from the words around it. Billy was extremely hirsute. He had to shave twice a day and was perpetually running out of both razors and shaving foam. Hirsute clearly means very hairy. I can understand this from the context as it says that he had to ‘shave twice a day’ and the fact that he was always running out of ‘razors’ and ‘shaving foam’ suggests that his facial hair was a big problem.

29 CONTEXT QUESTION Billy was extremely hirsute. He had to shave twice a day and was perpetually running out of both razors and shaving foam. Hirsute clearly means very hairy. I can understand this from the context as it says that he had to ‘shave twice a day’ and the fact that he was always running out of ‘razors’ and ‘shaving foam’ suggests that his facial hair was a big problem. THERE ARE TWO STEPS TO REMEMBER: 1. STATE CLEARLY WHAT YOU THINK THE WORD MEANS 2. SHOW WHICH QUOTES ENABLED YOU TO WORK OUT THE WORD’S MEANING.

30 Punctuation “What should she do? Who should she ask? What was the best method of cooking snails anyway? How long were they meant to take? Pelagia put her head down, hard, on the kitchen table.” A string of questions usually suggests confusion and uncertainty

31 Punctuation The writer uses lots of questions in a list here. This clearly conveys a sense of Pelagia’s confusion and uncertainty about cooking the Captain this meal. SAY WHAT FEATURE OF PUNCTUATION YOU’RE GOING TO ANALYSE THEN TRY TO SHOW WHY THE WRITER HAS USED IT!

32 Ellipsis The writer uses (…) ellipsis
to convey a sense of something being UNFINISHED 1.This might be thoughts, actions, things being said etc I wonder… 2.When someone is speaking it can imply uncertainty/ reluctance to continue I think…er…I would like…erm… 3.It can create a sense of mystery/ suspense/ tension as we wonder what will happen next too He burst into the room and saw…

33 Punctuation Parenthesis.
Mr Brown, a man of almost 80, had climbed Everest fourteen times in the last five years. The writer uses the parenthesis here to add in additional information. It usually affects the way you see the rest of the paragraph

34 Parenthesis. The fact that the writer inserts the phrase ‘a man of almost 80’ in parenthesis changes the way we see Mr Brown’s achievement and increases our admiration for Mr Brown’s perseverance and bravery. It is far more remarkable that a man so old can still achieve such an amazing feat.

35 Parenthesis. However, the phrase may not always increase our positive reaction: ‘Jim, who already got £100 a month as his allowance, stole his mum’s chequebook and embezzled £500. Here we are clearly affected negatively by the statement in parenthesis. We feel even angrier at Jim for stealing the money because his mum is clearly being generous to him already with his pocket money.

36 Parenthesis. It can also be used to include an ‘aside’ or personal comment by the writer to let you see how he feels about something more clearly. I wanted to go to the play – not because I loved the theatre – and see what all the fuss was about. PARENTHESIS CAN BE A PAIR OF: COMMAS ,xxxxxxxxxxx, BRACKETS (xxxxxxxxxxxx) DASHES – xxxxxxxxxxx -

37 Contrast question If you’re asked to talk about a CONTRAST
YOU NEED TO TALK ABOUT BOTH SIDES Eg Angelina Jolie contrasts with Susan Boyle Angelina= “slim, gorgeous, glamorous” Susan= “grey haired, homely, dumpy”

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