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National 5/Higher English

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1 National 5/Higher English
Critical Reading Paper: Scottish Text

2 The Scottish Text This paper makes up one half of the Critical Reading Paper in the exam. In the Scottish Text section you will be asked to read an extract from a text you have previously studied in class (Carol Ann Duffy poem), and then answer questions on it. This paper will be worth 20 marks.

3 Before you Begin Read the poem through before you start, even if you know it well. Read the questions carefully. Work out exactly what they are asking before you answer. Check how many marks each question is worth and think about how these marks will be allocated.

4 Question Types - Understanding
Identify two of the main concerns in the text… ‘Identify’ means finding an idea and putting it into your own words. When asked about the main ideas / concerns of the text show your understanding of poem’s story and the main messages / themes it is conveying.

5 Question Types - Analysis
Show how one example of the poet’s language helps to clarify or illustrate her meaning… There could be up to 6 marks awarded in this paper for this type of question. To answer successfully you will have to quote a word / image / technique (1) and then comment on its effect in relation to the question (1).

6 Question Types - Evaluation
How effective do you find… These questions are asking how well you think the writer has done something. Generally speaking, you say the writer has used language well and then go on to show how by quoting a word / technique and commenting on it.

7 Questions about Conclusions
Generally, conclusions sum up the key ideas of a text and leave us with something to think about. In poetry, poets use a number of techniques to effectively conclude their work. These include: a continuation of the ideas from earlier in the poem; a continuation of language from earlier in the poem; a continuation of imagery from earlier in the poem; a link / echo of the opening lines; a striking / dramatic final line which highlights one of the poem’s key ideas; rhetorical questions.

8 Questions about Conclusions
How effective do you find any two aspects of the final stanza as a conclusion to the poem? In this type of question you will need to show an understanding of the term ‘conclusion’ and show how the last lines continue the ideas / language / imagery from the rest of the poem. Marks are allocated: example(1) + comment (1)

9 The Final Question The final question is worth 8 marks at N5, 10 marks at Higher. It will ask you to compare or contrast the poem you have in front of you with at least one other you have studied by the same writer. This should be set out in bullet points. The following slide provides guidance on how to do this.

10 Answering The Final Question
Organise your answer into 4 bullet points, each worth 2 marks: 1. Refer to another text and say what it has in common / in contrast with the given text. (2) (e.g. theme, central relationship, importance of setting, use of imagery, development in characterisation, use of personal experience, use of narrative style, any other key feature…) 2. Refer to the extract you have been given in relation to the question. (2) (1 x relevant reference to technique/idea/feature (1) + 1 x appropriate comment (1)) 3. Refer to the second text in relation to the question. (2) 4. Repeat stage 3. 5. Repeat Stage 3 again for Higher

11 For Example: Question: With close textual reference, show how the ideas and/or language used when presenting the theme of love in ‘Havisham’ are similar and/or different to the way love is explored in another poem or poems by Duffy. Answer: Both ‘Havisham’ and ‘Valentine’ explore the painful side of love (1). They both discuss the hurt that can be caused when relationships go wrong (1). Commonality In ‘Havisham’ the word “b-b-b-breaks” (1) illustrates that love can break your heart, but also your spirit and your mind. (1) Ref plus comment about EXTRACT Similarly, in ‘Valentine’ Duffy says “it will blind you with tears” (1), showing that love can cause hurt and upset (1). Ref plus comment about another poem Also, in ‘Valentine’, “lethal” (1) has connotations of death, suggesting that the end of relationships can be devastating (1). Ref plus comment about another poem Do another ref plus comment about another poem -Higher paper

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