Guide to Leaving Cert English 2012, Paper 1

Study tips and Paper 1 pointers – Jamie Tuohy

These tips really are last minute – I’ve been working all day so I didn’t get the chance to post them as early as I had hoped. Here are some Paper 1 pointers to get you through tomorrow’s exam.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the infamous Leaving Certificate – the bane of every student’s existence and the culmination of five and sometimes six years of secondary school. Parents will undoubtedly have told you to get a good night’s sleep before each exam, but if we’re being completely honest, this rarely happens. Stress sets in, panic commences and late night study sessions will be more ubiquitous on the night before the Leaving Cert than the endless amount of tireless children who shuffle in sleepy expectation for their toys on Christmas Eve. Personally, my most productive study was done at 1 or 2 in the morning, surrounded by copious amounts of caffeine and innumerable batches of notes. I’ve always been a night owl, so I was able to stay up late and study into the early hours and still have a relatively fresh mind for the exam. Admittedly, I did this for the entire Leaving Certificate, ignoring repeated protestations from my parents to ‘give your brain a rest’. The MOST IMPORTANT thing is to find what works for you. If you know you can handle late nights and still be fresh for exams, then do it – it’s only for two weeks and if you know it will work, then it’s worth it. However, if your concentration levels are going to be thwarted by a lack of sleep, then any late-night cramming session will just be futile when you begin the exam. My method is one which is undoubtedly shared by countless students around the country, but it’s also one which is prophesised to be detrimental by teachers and parents alike. I’m not telling anyone to ignore the advice of your teacher, but if something works for you – then roll with it, but never sacrifice a good night’s rest, if you know what you’re studying will be forgotten in the morning. Here are some general tips and English Paper 1 pointers that will hopefully ease the stress and help to focus that last minute study.

General Exam Advice:

 

  • From English to chemistry, your highlighter will be your best friend in the exam. It’s a generic tip, but it really does help to direct your attention towards answering the question with more specificity.
  • Ignore everyone! These exams are all about you! They are not about your teacher, your parents, or your friends. Don’t worry about the student who apparently ‘aced that paper’. Forget about friends who have supposedly studied more than you. You are well prepared for the exam and you’re not in competition with anybody.
  • Focus on one exam at a time. The worst thing you can do is to start thinking about the amount of study you have to do for economics, whilst you’re in the middle of studying English. Focus on the subject at hand and deal with the other ones as and when they come.
  • Likewise, once you’ve finished an exam, forget about it and move onto the next one. Don’t waste time thinking about how you could have answered something differently. It’s over and there’s nothing you can do about it. Time to concentrate on maximising your grade in the next exam.
  • Treat it is as just another test. The Leaving Cert dominates Irish academia, inducing fear into its unsuspecting victims. By removing or ignoring its ‘regality’ and treating it as a ‘commoner’, you’ll become more relaxed about the whole process and consequently more confident. You’ll have seen many of the questions before, so think of it as ‘just another class test’.

Paper 1

What Everyone Knows but Often Forget:

 

  • Read the THEME of the paper.
  • Read all the texts carefully.
  • Look at QUESTION B FIRST and choose the one that best suits you.
  • Answer on ANOTHER text for question A.

English Paper 1 is one of those funny old papers, isn’t it? One day you can get an A1 in it and the next day, due to awkward texts or tricky essay topics, you can come out with a B3? It’s also one of the papers on the Leaving Cert that is infamously ignored and this is one of the main reasons for fluctuating grades. By now, you will have fine-tuned your weak points and hopefully ironed them out, but if you’re still finding tricky areas in Paper 1, I’ve got some pointers to help you before tomorrow’s exam.

The Comprehension: Question A

  • Before you read the text, highlight the questions. Then as you begin to read the text, you’ll read it from the perspective of answering a question and focus on the important parts of the passage.
  • This question is testing your ability to read the text in a comprehensive manner and elucidate on its content.
  • The important thing with this question is to show some evidence of ANALYSIS.
  • Don’t just answer the question by quoting from the passage and leaving it at that – tell the examiner what you think the quote represents, or possibly relate it to personal experience. It’s so important to show the examiner that you possess the ability for CRITICAL THINKING.
  • The questions are usually straight forward, but there is usually one question students seem to struggle with and that is the ‘style’ question.
  • There really is no need to get bogged down in this question, as practically everything from paragraph structure and language techniques to quotes and italics can be used as style exemplars.

Here is an example of how to answer a question on ‘style’, which I’ve answered from 2008’s Paper 1: Question A: Text 1: q2. Doing a question is the best way to demonstrate how broad the ‘style’ category can be!

 

Comment on THREE features of the style of writing which contribute to making this an interesting and informative text. Refer to the text to support your answer.

This passage is an extremely well written piece which flows very cleverly to make an interesting and informative read. Jon Savage uses various style techniques to enhance not only the quality of the piece, but to make the piece accessible to the reader.

Savage follows a chronological structure throughout the passage. He is arguing that “teenage culture is not a modern phenomenon” and he does this by charting the rise of teenage culture throughout history, from its origins in 19th century America and its appearance in Victorian literature right through to the “Roaring Twenties” and the Second World War. At each juncture, Savage comments on how teenage culture was ever present and ever evolving, stating that the twenties introduced “an international party scene” which comprised of “bright young people” and explains how this then manifested itself in popular culture in 1944’s Seventeen magazine.

Savage doesn’t make his argument; merely based on his own observations. He uses historical references and quotes experts in the field to elucidate and exemplify his argument. He draws on the work of American social psychologist G. Stanley Hall, as he was the person who developed the term “adolescence” and stated that it was the beginning of a new generation, in which teenagers should be treated with “sympathy, appreciation and respect”. This is a clever style technique which grabs the reader’s attention and expounds the author’s argument.

Finally, Savage uses description to great effect in this passage, creating vivid and lively images of teenage culture. When describing the “decade of the Roaring Twenties”, he writes of the female swing fans “with their sporty outfits and dance-ready shoes, screamed en masse for Frank Sinatra and laid the groundwork for gyrating rock’n’rollers, Elvis Presley fans and “Beatlemania”.” The clear description of the hysterical young girls becomes the embodiment of the decade’s carefree nonchalance and is extremely evocative and sensual.

In this passage, Jon Savage’s clever stylistic features illustrate the author’s message and also make the piece interesting and informative to read.

My Top Tips for Question B:

 

  • Draw on the information provided by the passages of Question A. Borrow style techniques, puns or paragraph structure. By doing this, you’re immediately showing the examiner that you’re a conscientious candidate who has read the paper and has made clever use of what they’ve read. Obviously, don’t do this too heavily – originality is important.
  • Stick to the topic and mode religiously. If you’re writing a diary entry about your fears, then don’t deviate from it. Be conscious of your audience at all times and use the appropriate language.

 

The Composition:

 

Worth a whopping 100 marks, the composition is Paper 1’s most important question and if it’s an A1 you’re chasing, doing well in this question is imperative. By now, everyone will have chosen their mode, so there’s no point advising anyone on how to construct each answer, but there are tips which can help maximise your marks in whatever question you’ve decided to answer on:

  • Never hold back! If you’re writing a personal essay, then be as personal as you can be. Genuine, heartfelt honesty, which has been well written, will impress the examiner endlessly. It should be as real as possible, so don’t feel self-conscious when writing or referencing your own personal experiences.
  • Try to include the theme of the paper into the essay. I chose the short story option for my own Leaving Cert and found that employing the theme of the paper in my own story was not only a way to create inspiration for myself, but also a way of showing the examiner that you’re clever enough to incorporate different elements into your story.
  • Pay attention to your grammar and phraseology. This question is all about your craft as a writer, so you want to show the examiner that you’re a capable and intelligent candidate. Your topic or subject doesn’t have to be particularly awe inspiring, but the way in which you present it should grab the reader’s attention. When I was writing, I NEVER had too many characters or elaborate plots. Instead, I focused on language and drew on the character’s emotions, rather than sensationalising their surroundings.
  • This applies to everything from the short story to the debate. If you’re talking about something as boring as ‘canteen food’, it will be your references and appropriate statistics that will impress the examiner. Of course, WHAT you write about is important, but HOW you write about it; is the thing that really impresses the examiner.

Good Luck!

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Guide to Leaving Cert English 2012, Paper 1

Question A: The Comprehension – Jamie Tuohy

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I have received a few emails and tweets asking me for tips on how to tackle the ‘comprehension question’, so I decided to dedicate a blog post to the topic. The comprehension question (question A, Paper 1) is one of those questions which is very easy to master and do well in, but it also equally as easy to mess up on and lose invaluable marks. Traditionally, Paper 1 is infamously ignored by students because it’s viewed as the paper that you can’t study for. However, the key to succeeding in Paper 1 resides in the amount of practice you put into doing each of the questions and hopefully, these tips will help you to achieve the full 50 marks. If you haven’t practiced these questions before the exam, you can easily be caught out by tricky questions, specifically about style. With practice and some useful techniques, you will see that the comprehension format tends to be repetitive and easy to manipulate to your advantage.

  • This question is testing your ability to read the text in a comprehensive manner and elucidate on its content.
  • The important thing with this question is to show some evidence of ANALYSIS.
  • Don’t just answer the question by quoting from the passage and leaving it at that – tell the examiner what you think the quote represents, or possibly relate it to personal experience. It’s so important to show the examiner that you possess the ability for CRITICAL THINKING.
  • This means that you don’t just ‘read’ the text – you use it as something to provoke your thought.
  • Before read the passage, you should LOOK AT THE QUESTIONS.
  • If you do this, you’ll pay attention to things that relate to the questions throughout the passage, and you should always HIGHLIGHT THEM.
  • It’s all about timing, and if you read the text, then read the questions, you’re going to waste time going back over something you’ve probably already read twice to find suitable answers.
  • The first two questions tend to be very general and usually relate to your understanding of the piece, but there is usually one ‘awkward’ question where students tend to be caught on and lose marks.
  • This is the infamous STYLE QUESTION– no student should go into the exam without being familiar with all the different elements of style. This really shouldn’t confuse students as this question is actually quite liberal – here are just some things you can pick up on in relation to style:
    • Language techniques (alliteration, similes, onomatopoeia etc.)
    • Structure – how are the paragraphs presented? A good one for this is ‘a long paragraph followed by short one’, giving relief etc.
    • Anaphora – repeating the same word at the start of each sentence for EMPHASIS.
    • Punctuation.
    • Imagery (the creation of imagery).
    • With all of the above, it’s so important to comment on their EFFECT as well as stating what style techniques the writer uses.

As I am on summer holidays and have a bundle of free time, I decided to log onto examinations.ie and get some questions to answer (such a geek). I decided to answer on the 2008 PAPER – TEXT 1 – TEENAGE IDENTIY. My sample answer should shed some light on the topic and also employ the above hints and tips. Remember to read the text with the questions in mind and your highlighter is your best friend in the exam – HIGHLIGHT everything that’s relevant. Obvious, but invaluable! I have written significantly more than you would need, just to make sure everything is included and to give you more ideas on what to talk about.

  1. 1.      “Teenage culture in not a modern phenomenon”.  Give three pieces of evidence that the writer, Jon Savage, uses to support this statement.

In this extract from Jon Savage’s book “Teenage, the Creation of Youth, 1875-1945”, Savage makes a number of statements which claim that the modern teenager who is inextricably linked to commercialism in not a “modern phenomenon”, but is someone whose origins pre-date the 20th century. Throughout this passage, Savage draws on a number of different references to support his claim that teenage culture is not something which is new and radical, but rather exists as something which has evolved from the 19th century.

In the third paragraph, Savage states that the phrase “juvenile delinquent” first came into the mainstream around 1810 and it was coined in response to gangs of youths who hung around street corners, and had distinctive behavioural habits. Savage also tells us that teenage culture manifested itself in Victorian literature, as Clarence Rook’s novel The Hooligan Nights dealt with “a highly strung 17-year-old male”. It’s perceptible that the modern teenager often characterised by anti-conformity already existed in popular culture hundreds of years ago.

Savage elucidate on this point as he refers to the American social psychologist G. Stanley Hall. The author tells us that Stanley Hall was responsible for defining the word “adolescence” in 1898, terming it “a period of ten years, from twelve or fourteen to twenty-one or twenty-five”. The modern teenage characteristic of unsociability also appeared in this early definition, as Stanley Hall characterised adolescence as a period of “storm and distress”. His philosophy was almost avant-garde, as he envisaged teenagers as a “new generation” who were separated from their elders, not only through age, but through different ideals and often values.

Lastly, Savage makes reference to the publication of Seventeen magazine, which he describes as “a landmark crystallization of teenage identity”. The magazine, which was published in 1944, not only supports Savage’s statement that “teenage culture is not a modern phenomenon”, but reinforces the fact that teenagers came to be recognised a “separate consumer grouping” and even back then, companies recognised teenage culture a key market for monetary gain. Throughout the passage, Jon Savage exposes how teenage culture been present in everything from Victorian literature and intellectual study, right though to 20th century popular culture – showcasing that the commercialism and capitalist gain which often goes hand in hand with this echelon of society is certainly not a modern phenomenon.

  1. 2.      Comment on THREE features of the style of writing which contribute to making this an interesting and informative text. Refer to the text to support your answer.

This passage is an extremely well written piece which flows very cleverly to make an interesting and informative read. Jon Savage uses various style techniques to enhance not only the quality of the piece, but to make the piece accessible to the reader.

Savage follows a CHRONOLOGICAL STRUCTURE throughout the passage. He is arguing that “teenage culture is not a modern phenomenon” and he does this by charting the rise of teenage culture throughout history, from its origins in 19th century America and its appearance in Victorian literature right through to the “Roaring Twenties” and the Second World War. At each juncture, Savage comments on how teenage culture was ever present and ever evolving, stating that the twenties introduced “an international party scene” which comprised of “bright young people” and explains how this then manifested itself in popular culture in 1944’s Seventeen magazine.

Savage doesn’t merely make his argument based on his own observations. He uses HISTORICAL REFERENCES AND QUOTES EXPERTS IN THE FIELD to elucidate and exemplify his argument. He draws on the work of American social psychologist G. Stanley Hall, as he was the person who developed the term “adolescence” and stated it was the beginning of new generation, in which teenagers should be treated with “sympathy, appreciation and respect”. This is a clever style technique which grabs the reader’s attentions and expounds the author’s argument.

Finally, Savage uses DESCRIPTION to great effect in this passage, creating vivid and lively images of teenage culture. When describing the “decade of the Roaring Twenties”, he writes of the female swing fans “with their sporty outfits and dance-ready shoes, screamed en masse for Frank Sinatra and laid the groundwork for gyrating rock’n’rollers, Elvis Presley fans and “Beatlemania”.” The clear description of the hysterical young girls becomes the embodiment of the decade’s carefree nonchalance and is extremely evocative and sensual.

In this passage, Jon Savage’s clever stylist features illustrate the author’s message and also make the piece interesting and informative to read.

  1. 3.      Do you think the writer of this text is sympathetic to the modern teenager? Give reasons for your view with reference to the text.

Yes, after reading this text, I think that Jon Savage is sympathetic towards the modern teenager, albeit slightly cynical about the technological advances of their generation and the commercialism which goes hand in hand with teenage culture. At times, his position can seem thwarted or slightly ambivalent, as he is heavily influenced by historical sources and references, but overall, I feel that Savage is understanding of and ultimately sympathetic towards the modern teenager.

When referencing the American social psychologist G. Stanley Hall, Savage expresses his own opinion on Stanley Hall’s definition of “adolescence” as a time of “storm and distress”. The author impresses me as being aware of the teenage mentality and recognises that teenagers exist as a separate generation from the adult world, which he characterises as “relentless” and “industrial”. He comprehends the fact that teenage culture is built not necessarily upon ideals which are so commonly perceived to be in opposition to those of the adult world, but merely on ones that are different. He writes of youth as being “a separate class, with its own institutions and values”. He encourages adults to foster a sense of appreciation and respect towards teenagers, underlining his comprehending of and sympathy towards the modern teenager.

At times, the author’s tone can be slightly parodic – portraying teenage existence to be a hedonistic way of living, but I feel that Savage’s general perception of his subject is based upon respect and understanding and this is communicated through his references throughout the passage. He tells us about the “Woodcraft Folk” in Britain who were a group that offered young people “contact with nature and loyalty to their community” and makes references to a similar group in Germany called the “Wandervogel”. Perhaps the most effective piece of evidence to communicate the author’s outlook comes from the last paragraph, when he quotes Aristotle. Savage says that Aristotle said of young people “their lives are lived principally in hope” and by including this quote, it displays not only Jon Savage’s sympathy for the modern teenager but showcases his belief that youth is a period of prosperity and possibility.

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I hope this helps you guys – I spent about 30 mins writing those 3 answers, so you could probably afford to spend another few mins on them. I wanted to give you very comprehensive answers that you could pick and choose what to take and what to leave out, so I hope that these three answers are sufficient. You could read all the tips in the world on QUESTION A, but the only way to master it is to take those tips and PRACTICE!

Good Luck,

Jamie.

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Comparative Study, Guest Leaving Cert Bloggers, Hamlet, Paper 1, Poetry

Exams, Exams and more Exams!

Leaving Cert English students: I have to take a break from posting Leaving Cert English notes for the next month or so, as I have my own college exams to study for, which will be finishing on May 14th.

Thank you all for viewing the blog and checking out the essays and if I get time in between reading Chaucer and analyzing literary theories, I’ll see what I can do re: posting, but I have to dedicate my time to passing my own exams first!

There are plenty of notes on the blog to keep you all going and at this stage, I’m sure you will all fly through the exam! The posts for English are the most time consuming because I usually write them from scratch, rather than referring to notes from last year (I also do this occasionally).

Thanks for viewing and I’ll get back to more frequent posting when my exams are over on May 14th, which still leaves a few weeks before the Leaving Cert begins….the usual time when students actually start studying!

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Best of Luck,

Jamie.

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Guide to Leaving Cert English 2012, Hamlet, Indulgence, Paper 1, Poetry, Ramblings, Showbiz

Check this blog out on Facebook

Hey everyone,

Apologies for the lack of posts in recent weeks – I’m in the midst of studying for my summer exams! This is just a short post to tell you all that I’ve created a Facebook page for the blog, so all you LEAVING CERT ENGLISH students can now ask me questions on there related to the exam or specific essay questions.

A few students have Tweeted me saying they can’t comment on here, so the Facebook page will hopefully make this blog more accessible. In the coming months, I’ll be revamping this blog and gearing it more towards a lifestyle blog, but for now, the majority of the posts will be related to Leaving Cert English.

If you have a minute and are on Facebook, please like the page here: http://www.facebook.com/MoreMatterAndLessArtPleaseJamie and feel free to ask me questions and post comments! Thank you all for reading, liking, commenting and viewing! It’s much appreciated!

Later,

Jamie :)

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Guide to Leaving Cert English 2012, Paper 1

Paper 1:

 

  • Read the THEME of the paper.
  • Read all the texts carefully.
  • Look at QUESTION B FIRST and choose the one that best suits you.
  • Answer on ANOTHER text for question A.

English Paper 1 is one of those funny old papers, isn’t it? One day you can get an A1 in it and the next day, due to awkward texts or tricky essay topics, you can come out with a B3? It’s also one of the papers on the Leaving Cert that is legendarily ignored and this is one of the main reasons for fluctuating grades. Students think that they can’t study for this paper because nothing is prescribed for it and therefore it’s the lack of preparation that causes results to slip.

I’M TELLING YOU GUYS NOW, THAT THIS IS ONE OF THE PAPERS THAT YOU CAN DO SO MUCH STUDY for, that you will have the paper nailed before the exam even begins! (All sounding very technical as usual Jamie….not!).

Hopefully, my tips for ‘nailing’ (or whatever else you need to do to the paper to get an A1) Paper 1 can be of some help to you:

Choosing your essay: THE 100 MARK QUESTION:

I’m starting with this question first, simply because IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION ON THE LEAVINGCERTENGLISH PAPER! It’s worth a whopping 100 marks and if you’re chasing top marks, doing well in the question is absolutely essential.

Short Story:

  • If you love English and enjoy creative writing, then the short story is for you. However, if you feel that you’re more suited to structure, then I would suggest something like a speech or a debate.
  • You can afford to be unoriginal here – prepare 3 or 4 short stories and get them marked by your teacher and keep practicing them until you’re getting a high mark in them. DO NOT LEARN ANY OF THEM OFF BY HEART, but do learn the general outline and plot. This makes it a whole lot easier in the exam, because you have a few stories in your head and you can manipulate ANY of them to suit the question.
  • Keep your story simple.
  • I would never have any more than 3 characters in the story.
  • Sometimes, the best stories focus on a single character and follow his/her journey through something (it’s really impressive, if this ‘something’ can be related to other LC students – for my Leaving Cert Mocks, I wrote a short story about a girl who was leaving home for the very first time to go to college and described how she felt and all the memories her house held for her. It was simple, but yet it got 100/100).
  • Use credible dialogue. You don’t have to show off your extensive vocabulary to impress the examiner.  Use the language your characters would use and sometimes, spelling phonetically can work well too, i.e: if your character is working on a market on Moore Street, having him/her saying “get yer apples and oranges, two fer a eurahh” can give the examiner a laugh.
  • Remember, humour is subjective!

 Personal Essay:

  • Do not confuse this with the short story.
  • A personal essay does what it says on the tin – it’s personal, about you – heartfelt, honest and emotional.
  • The use of the personal pronoun should be employed throughout.
  • Students can lose marks here because they write it in the third person, and while this isn’t necessarily wrong, it can blur the lines between the short story and the personal essay.
  • Show rather than tell. Use description to portray how you’re feeling rather than saying something like ‘I was happy when…’

Article:

  • The most important thing when writing an article is not to be didactic. That is, don’t tell the reader (in this case, the examiner) what to believe. Present the information in a clear and concise manner and back it up with references/statistics.
  • Use the language of information.
  • Be aware of what type of article you’re writing: is it a broadsheet or a tabloid piece?

 

Speech:

  • This is perhaps one of the best questions to do if you’re unsure as to which question will suit you best.
  • You can pick up marks by using all the tools associated with giving a speech (that you’ll have learned in Junior Cert).
  • The purpose of the speech is to persuade the audience.
  • You can do this by using personal anecdotes, statistics, relevant references etc…
  • Flatter your audience – “of course you already know this….” and “as you all undoubtedly are aware…”
  • Be aware of your audience – if you’re giving a speech to fellow classmates, and then use the appropriate language to appeal to them – DO NOT PATRONISE YOUR AUDIENCE.

My English teacher gave me a very good tip for this question and that’s to TRY AND INCORPORATE  THE THEME OF THE PAPER INTO YOUR ANSWER. It’s not necessary, but it impresses the examiner. If the theme of the paper is to “THE FUTURE” and your essay has some link to this, then it shows that you are a competent writer and aware of the task at hand!

These are just some of the main questions that come up in the composition questions, there are more of course, like the descriptive essay, which I did for my own Leaving Cert – it’s really just a short story with LOADS of lovely descriptions.

If you know how to handle one the above topics, then you’re laughing. However, I would stress the importance of choosing one form i.e. short story, personal essay BEFORE the exam! Then you will you your strongest question and you’ll have the appropriate amount of preparation done!

 

Question B:       

It’s really important to choose this question before you choose your question A!

The last thing you want it to do an excellent question A and then realise that the only question B you would be happy doing is on the same question.

All the question As are essentially the same, so it will be your question B that will decide which one you’ll do.

A lot of the time, this question can involve writing a speech, or a radio talk, or an article. They are much the same as the composition question, it’s just you don’t have to write as much.

A lot of the time, the question B might be related to the text, so BEFORE YOU EVENLOOKAT ANY QUESTION (A OR B), read the text. This can give you ideas for your answer. In my own Leaving Cert, I borrowed ideas and phrases from the text to use in my question B.

Stick to the topic! It seems obvious, but it’s so easy to go off on a tangent when you’re writing – CONTROL THAT PEN!

 

Question A: (The Comprehension)

This question is all about proving yourself to the examiner. Even though, I’ve left this until last, it doesn’t mean it’s any less important than the others. You need to show the examiner that you’re a competent writer and have no problem in tacking any questions he/she throws at you.

‘Question A’ is made up of three texts, and usually, one of these texts is a visual text, i.e. it’s made up of pictures or photographs.

To do well in this question, you have to be able to pick out the relevant information.

A good tip for doing this is to: READ THE QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU READ THE TEXT. Then, when you’re reading the text, you can highlight all the relevant pieces and you probably won’t even realise what you’ll have done, but you’ll have highlighted most of the answers.

When this is done, take a minute or twoANDREAD BACK OVER THE PIECE.

Doing this makes the question so much easier! Think about it – imagine if you read the text, then read the questions, then had to trawl back through it to find information! THIS IS AN EXAM – THERE’S NOROOMFOR AMATEUR STUFF LIKE THAT, IS THERE LADSANDLADIES??? NO!! Take control of the exam and show it whose boss!

There is usually a question on ‘style’ included and I think that this is probably the only question that can pose difficulty for students, and to make things worse, it’s usually the 20 marker! Have no fear; questions on STYLE are not half as difficult as they appear to be.

A question on style might go something like this:

“Comment on a at least four stylistic features that make this piece more enjoyable to read.” (20 marks)

DO NOT PANIC, BECAUSE BELIEVE IT OR NOT, YOU CANTALKABOUT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • Use of quotations/references/allusions.
  • Imagery.
  • Language techniques – alliteration, hyperbole, metaphor…. (Also, the use of language – is it lively?) You could literally answer the whole question, using language techniques!
  • Paragraph structure? Use of a ‘topic sentence’? How smoothly does one paragraph flow into another?
  • Synecdoche. (When the writer makes a general statement to mean something very specific e.g. – ‘all hands on deck).
  • Anaphora. (Where the writer uses the same word to begin successive sentences e.g. – Every man was…. Every child was…Every woman had…).
  • Personal anecdotes.
  • Contrasting points of view.
  • Use of statistics.
  • Punctuation.

And there you go! Hopefully, this is enough to help you all with Leaving Cert English Paper 1!

Now, go and take control of that exam – be so boss that you’re almost Hugo!

Good luck,

Jamie.

 

Leaving Cert English Paper 1: Tips for top marks!

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