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2.4 Unfamiliar Written Texts

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2.3 UNFAMILIAR WRITTEN
TEXTS
Analyse significant aspects
of unfamiliar written text(s)
through close reading,
supported by evidence
GENERAL POINTS TO CONSIDER:
1. Make sure the whole question is answered. Many
people wrote about a purpose of the text but the
purpose must link back to the actual question.
2. Structure your ideas clearly.
3. Link all your analysis specifically back to the text.
4. A range of evidence was needed for M/E.
MORE ON STRUCTURE
Start with a clear opening statement that links to the question
e.g. The writer uses figurative language and sound devices to show
us how she ‘feels’ more stressed as she gets closer to work.
Move into discussing individual techniques. Aim to use
paragraphs and often it is most effective to discuss points in
chronological order.
Often one phrase will use more than one technique e.g.
“seagulls squawking, squabbling…” You can discuss the use of
alliteration and onomatopoeia together which will give you more
to write about.
Link each technique to the writer’s ideas and/or purpose
throughout. Your analysis should be shown throughout your whole
discussion (rather than one separate paragraph at the end).
QUESTION ONE: NON-FICTION
TEXT A: TO THE UNKNOWN WARRIOR – “HAERE MAI!”
The writer’s purpose was to show how all of
us (New Zealanders) owe an allegiance to
the many soldiers who gave their lives in
many wars.
Most people understood the purpose but
they still needed to show how the writer
developed her ideas and related them to
New Zealanders. This reference was
necessary to gain Merit or Excellence.
TWO SAMPLE ANSWERS BASED ON STUDENTS’ ACTUAL ANSWERS IN THE
EXAM.
The second answer is an ‘E’ answer as it:
•
•
•
•
Identifies and analyses the techniques of metaphor and symbolism.
Links analysis to how these are related to New Zealanders.
Shows how the writer’s language choices create meaning.
Goes ‘beyond the text’.
The writer uses a metaphor “New Zealand unbuttoned its cloak of grief…” This
shows that the whole of New Zealand was sad about the death of soldiers.
New Zealand is not living so it shows that the whole country was grieving. It
reminds us that all New Zealanders were affected.
The metaphor “New Zealand unbuttoned its cloak of grief…” is used in the
opening paragraph of the speech. It shows that not only individuals but New
Zealand as a nation was deeply affected by the war. The soldier’s return
allowed all New Zealanders to let go of their grief and bury it with the
unknown soldier. The writer encourages the New Zealander audience to feel as
though they are part of the grieving process. Within this metaphor, the writer
has chosen to include the symbol of the cloak. New Zealanders can associate
the cloak with Maori culture and the idea of respect (feather cloaks are symbol
of rank or respect). We realise that this solider is to be held in high esteem.
Structurally, the writer has chosen to open with a symbolic Maori item and end
with another – the waka. Now that the “waka” has brought the soldier home,
the audience is given a feeling of closure.
QUESTION TWO: POETRY
TEXT B: ‘JUST ANOTHER DUNEDIN MORNING.’
The purpose was to convey a sense of a morning,
in a lively and original way.
Read the question carefully. The focus should
have been on understanding the woman’s
experiences not the reader’s experiences e.g.
comments on the health of the environment (while
valid) are not really relevant in this case.
Poetry is about mood,
feeling and tone. Try to
show your understanding of
these things in your answer.
In this case you could have
pointed out how the woman
seemed to become more
‘stressed’ as she got closer to
work.
Students correctly mentioned
that she thought
subconsciously about work
(bubble wrap, forward
slashes, grid patterns) when
she looked at nature.
Aim to explain the techniques rather than list
them.
Alliteration is a sound device so the sound (of
the repeated ‘s’ seagulls) needs to be
explained.
In this analysis structure could have been
mentioned and it was effective to discuss
aspects of the poem in chronological order.
Note the links between nature and work
throughout.
QUESTION THREE: FICTION
TEXT C: ‘THE BREAD.’
This text was interpreted and written about well. Students wrote sensitively about the old
lady and how lonely old people can be despite their efforts.
• Many people didn’t seem to be able to
complete the analysis fully possibly due to
lack of time.
• To reach ‘E’ clear structure of ideas were
needed. Joint down a few methods of
characterisation you will discuss so as to
avoid repetition.
simile – veins - old
direct speech – “This is…” - no human contact
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