WJEC English Language Reading Paper: Types of Question In order to successfully answer each question on the reading paper, it is important to understand what it is actually asking you to do. This sheet is a guide to the different types of questions that have come up in the past,. it is important to remember that you need to read the question carefully- this is not an exhaustive list and should be used to develop your understanding of different types of questions. 1. Locate and retrieve e.g. List 10 examples from the passage which show that Bill Bryson thinks Americans have a ‘ridiculous’ attitude towards walking You can respond using bullet points as long as the question says list (more likely on the foundation paper) You only need to provide evidence; list is the key word here! 2. Explain e.g. Explain why foxes became so popular This is the same skill as locate and retrieve, you need to find evidence from the text, but you need to add a little more detail here as the question asks for an explanation. You only need to expand on one ore two points here, you don’t have time for any more. Remember you should spend approximately 10 minutes per question! According to the article, foxes became popular in the UK thanks to an ‘image makeover’, partly encouraged by the poet John Masefield and his popular poem ‘Reynard the Fox’. In addition to this he was cast as a hero in Disney’s ‘The Fox and the Hound’, which further developed the foxes positive representation… 3. Intended audience e.g. Who is the leaflet trying to attract to Waterloo? This type of question tests your ability to read and understand a text, as well as your ability to select relevant quotations to support your ideas. You need to link the writer’s use of language, structure and presentational techniques to the intended audience. So, who does it appeal to, how do you know and what devices have been used to target this group? WJEC English Language Reading Paper: Types of Question 4. Impressions e.g. What impressions does the writer give of Alnwick Castle? To answer this question, you need to think about what ideas the writer is putting forward. What does the article encourage you to think about the given topic or idea? For this sort of question you need to make a point and locate evidence to support this. You are assessed on the quality of your writing, not quantity. As a guide, aim for 6-8 PEAL points. We immediately get the impression that Alnwick Castle is a first class tourist destination as they claim it is a ‘premier tourist attraction’. The text informs us that the castle receives ‘200,000 visitors each year’, which gives the impression of popularity and success. Despite it being ‘seven hundred years’ old, it has been carefully preserved and us central to the local community…’ 5. Viewpoint and attitude e.g. What are the writer’s thoughts and feelings about an Astley Woods holiday? You should include what he liked and disliked as well as his overall impression. This type of question tests your ability to read and understand a text, as well as your ability to select relevant quotations to support your ideas. It also tests your understanding of how writers use language, structure and presentational features. You are assessed on the quality of your writing, not quantity. As a guide, aim for 6-8 PEAL points. It is clear that the writer is generally positive about his experience of an Astley Woods holiday. This is evident right from the start, from the images of happy children and a range of exciting locations, surrounding the article. In addition to this, his language choices are clearly positive… Top tip: use the wording of the question to help you to start your response, this will help to focus you from the start and give you a strategy to deal with exam-induced writer’s block! WJEC English Language Reading Paper: Types of Question 6. Analysis of persuasive techniques e.g. How does Lucy Jones try to make her Internet article interesting for her readers? Think about what she says, and how she says it. This question tests your ability to read and understand a text. What and how are your key words here. You need to select evidence from the text and explain your choices. You could look at language and devices (DA FOREST), form (type of text, genre conventions) and structure (look at sentence structure or type as well as layout on the page) You need to try to combine an overview of what is said in the text with some detailed analysis. You are assessed on the quality of your writing, not quantity. As a guide, aim for 6-8 PEAL points. In order to catch and then hold the readers’ attention, Lucy Jones uses a range of techniques, which should be engaging for her intended audience. The article opens with a dramatic headline: ‘Land where killers are free to go hunting’, this headline is attention grabbing as it is unclear exactly what this is referring to, which should encourage the reader to continue reading. 7. Compare and contrast e.g. Compare and contrast what Lucy Jones and Dermot Purgavie say about the treatment of dangerous criminals. This question tests your ability to collate ideas from two different sources and then make comparisons between the two. It also tests your interpretation skills- can you work out what the writers are trying to say? You need to use both texts in your answer You need to make sure that your ideas are logically ordered and clear: you may want to work through one text and then another or draw consistent comparisons (or contrasts) between the two. You are assessed on the quality of your writing, not quantity. As a guide, aim for 6-8 PEAL points. On reading the two articles, it is clear that the writers have observed obvious differences in the way that dangerous criminals are treated in the prisons they have visited. Lucy Jones outlines the seemingly relaxed approach taken by Swedish prisons, where convicted murderers are ‘taken on hunting trips’, ‘have jobs’ and access to luxuries such as ‘mobile phones’….This is in sharp contrast to the ‘maximum security’ facilities that Purgavie has observed….
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