English, section A of the AQA A exam - top grade features

top grade features to mention

  • Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 03-06-11 12:47

Mode - worth 15 marks

  • You must make at least two good points about the mode for each text given. Try to think why this mode was used. Make three points at most and spend the rest of your time focusing on meaning (grammar/structure etc.) 
  • The best place to start is drawing out your language continuum and mapping it. 
    • An acronym to remember what you are mapping: 'Whatever People Say People Don't Think For Dunces' - even if it doesn't make sense, it's easy to remember! 
  • SEE NEXT CARD for the map. 
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Mode (cont)

Written ------- Spoken

Planned  ------- Unplanned

Standard English ------- Non-standard English

Permanent -------  Ephemeral (short-lived)

Distant -------  Close

Transactional  ------- Interactional

Formal -------  Informal

Delayed ------- Immediate

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Mode (cont)

Make sure you choose the points which you can really run with after you've mapped your continuum. Try not to pick formality unless it's linked with something else as this is an 'E' grade feature. Talk about the degree of something, e.g. it might have some features of speech even though it's written. 

  • Remember SPIP is what the examiners like to see so try to use these if it's applicable:





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Meaning - worth 15 marks

  • This is the main part of the essay; you should concentrate more on this than mode. 
  • Be consistent! There are top grade features which you should mention throughout (see next card). The examiner will only give you top marks if you have a cluster of grade 'A' features, not if you have one. 
  • You should create an overview of the text at the start of your essay (do them separately, do not compare the texts). This should include the purpose, audience, topics, which mode? Once you get this right, the rest of the essay should flow - always link back to the overview.
  • You may also link things to representation, e.g. how is the writer representing his product? You could also discuss the writer's attitude.
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Meaning (cont)

  • You should use PEA throughout - 

Point (technical term)

Example (quote)


  • You  are awarded 15 marks just for your technical terms, e.g. proper noun, adverbial of reason, adjacency pair or simple sentence. 
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Meaning - Grade 'B' features

Specific types of word class

  • Nouns - proper, collective, concrete, common, abstract
  • Adverbs - maner, time, place, frequency 
  • verbs - modality - can, could, will, would, shall, should, may, might, must


  • past, present, future, past progressive, pluperfect etc.


  • active/passive voice? 
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Meaning - grade 'A' features (cont)


adjacency pairs, turn-taking, Labov's narrative categories etc. 


Rhetorical features (persuasive) 

rhetorical questions, repetition, 3-part lists, metaphors, similes. 

Make sure you explicitly state these are 'rhetorical features' or you will only get marks for 'metaphor', which is not A grade. 

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Technical Terms - These are worth 15 marks alone - make sure you know them well!

Mode - worth 15 marks! - do 2/3 points on this and then go on to meaning

Meaning - worth 15 marks! - concentrate mainly on this

  • Make sure you do an overview for each text
  • Do not compare the two texts
  • One text may require more analysis because it is longer - this doesn't matter, you won't be marked down for analysing one more than the other.
  • Make sure you analyse BOTH texts 
  • A conclusion is not necessary, although it does look good
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im curious why the link is "stanford_prison_experiment" at the top :s lol



yeah, that's what it was gonna be haha, then i changed it and it wouldn't change :S i was a bit confused too!

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