Standard Garde Close Reading Help

Andrew Bolton
Note by , created almost 6 years ago

English Note on Standard Garde Close Reading Help, created by Andrew Bolton on 13/04/2013.

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Andrew Bolton
Created by Andrew Bolton almost 6 years ago
A Level: English language and literature techniques = Structure
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English Language Techniques

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Questions about Linking sentences.  A linking sentence is one which links two paragraphs  together.  Usually this sentence will appear at the start of the second of the two paragraphs which are being linked.  Look carefully at the sentence which is the link. There will be two parts to this sentence. One part will refer to the content of the paragraph before. The other part of the sentence will introduce the subject of the new paragraph.  You have to say what refers to the previous paragraph. And then, what refers to the topic of the new paragraph.Example   2006 Credit paper question 10  Question:  How does the first sentence of paragraph 11 act as a link between paragraphs 10 and 11. “But the proclivities of such contestants and their parents in no way represent the general participant.  Answer : ”Proclivities” refers to the way the specific contestants  in paragraph 10 behaved and “general participant” introduces the main idea of paragraph 11 which is typical(general) contestants.

Contrast question   A contrast is a comparison which shows up the differences between subjects. The writer is deliberately pairing two ideas together to show up the difference which will be important in some way.   For example, in “Romeo and Juliet”, Shakespeare continually compares Juliet to the sun or to a star. The idea he is conveying is that she is above everyone around her. Everyone else is dark by comparison and she brings light into Romeo’s life.   Questions often ask you to state what the contrast actually is.  Contrast is the pairing of opposing ideas, for example large & small or dark & light.   Example: 2005 Credit paper question 9 Question:  In your own words give two contrasts the writer noticed on his journey from Cairo to the countryside.  “To leave the enormous sprawling dust-blown city of gridlock and gritty buildings was bliss… we were in open country, little settlements of square mud-block houses… a solitary car or truck ,and on one remote road twenty men going home after prayers.”  Answer : lots of traffic in Cairo / but none here (1) and enormous size of city / small settlement.

Sentence structure questions.   How the sentence is put together is often significant. Structure is used to reflect meaning. If you wish to suggest a balance of ideas then the sentence you make up can show this.  Eg.  “He is good at Maths; but his English is weak.” The semi – colon marks the point of balance here.  In the same way any imbalance can be reflected in the structure. Eg. “He is good at Maths: but in English, French, Biology, Chemistry, History, Geography, Art and P.E. he is hopeless.”  In answering these questions you need to look for the feature which makes the structure significant. Thjs could be a minor sentence (no verb), repetition, unusual order of words in sentence, very long or short sentence, a punctuation feature (like lots of questions, commands,etc.) or a rhetorical question. There is a separate page on types of sentence you may read.   There are two things for you to do here.  i.              you must note what it is that has been done, what is unusual about the sentence and ii.            you must explain what effect this has on a reader, what it makes the reader think.

Questions About Linking Sentences

Contrast question

Sentence structure questions.