I'm panicking for this exam. What would you say are the key bits of information needed to be remembered for this exam?
Do you have these notes on gender they're so useful!
The major thing to remember for the Language and Social Contexts question is that context is KEY. It was also mentioned on another thread that everytime you make a point, always ask yourself 'so what?'
So, for example, the data in the power question last year was a headteacher speaking to parents who had just visited an open day at the school. She used lexis in the specific field of education, such as 'Oftsed'. That could be a point you mention - but you have to ask yourself 'so what?' WHY did she use this specific lexical field? You could say that she used it in order to appear more knowledgeable, which would exemplify overt prestige and allow the headteacher to empower herself. You could develop this and say that she uses this specific lexical field in order to alienate the audience of parents; they must be aware of what the jargon means, or otherwise they will not understand what she is talking about. BUT then you could bring in context and say that the parents were at an open day at the school, so they will be likely to be familiar with the lexis in the semantic field of education. Just remember; for the Power/Gender/Technology question, always try to link back to how this shows the text/speaker is asserting power over their audience, or how gender influences their speech.
I'm resitting the exam, and the way I always write essays is a developed PEE (Point Evidence Explain) structure;
-Identify examples of power. Do they use a specific type of lexis? Is it through their use of grammar/syntax? Pragmatics?
-Give evidence for this. Quite simple, just ensure that the quotes are succinct and embedded. Examiners are not looking for reams of quotes, just put appropriate, short quotes in. You don't have to introduce them - you could literally just write 'the speaker uses rhetorical questions in their speech - "Why is this?" - and this allows....'
-Explain how this asserts power This is the 'so what?' part. The text uses imperatives - so what? How does that exemplify power? Bring in context and theory here - how does context influence power? Does the power within discourse parallel the power behind discourse? Is an imperative used as a face-threatening act to exhibit power? How would the audience respond?
REMEMBER: Always, always, always link back to the question. HOW does this exhibit power?
Keep calm and level-headed; we can all do it!
I think I've actually done every single paper on the aqa website. I have no more. I didn't think that was possible .-.
With the groupings, just make sure that you are inventive. Examiners get bored very quickly of the usual 'texts b and d use non-standard English'; try for something like 'texts f and e use humour through pragmatical references' or something like that.
DON'T go into the exam with a preconceived idea of how you're going to group things. This will NOT work and you will end up forcing the texts to suit your groups, which will get you low marks.
Be specific. Don't just group texts because 'they have grammar'; all texts use grammar. Perhaps some texts use repeated complex sentences, or some of them use exclamatives. These would be better groupings. Grammar is the hardest grouping according to the examiners, so try to do at least one grammar group to push for the higher bands.
Do about 4 groups with roughly 3 texts in each group. More than four groups and you're not analysing; more than 3 texts and the grouping is too broad. You can always do subgroups too, which the examiners like seeing; perhaps you have a group of texts that use specific Lexis, and you could subdivide this group into texts that use specific lexis in order to appeal to the audience.
Context is again important. Who are the audience? Where would you find the text? What is the genre of the text? What is its purpose? Try not to simply label it as a purpose of 'to persuade' - be specific; the text could persuade the audience to buy the product, or sign up for something. Theory is not really needed in Section A - you need your theory more in Section B. Only include theory if it's part of your grouping and isn't too explicit eg. 'Texts that include synthetic personalisation' would be okay, but 'Texts that exhibit Lakoff's theory on gender' is a little too specific.
DO NOT INCLUDE AN INTRODUCTION AND/OR A CONCLUSION. This is a complete waste of time and will get you 0 marks. Just go straight into the first grouping - you don't have time to waste.
YOU MUST 100% PLAN YOUR ANSWER. Never, ever, ever start writing your answer straight away. It will seem messy and rushed, which will get you low marks. Take roughly 15 minutes to quickly go through the texts and annotate them - write down the GAP (genre audience purpose) of each text and any interesting elements. Once you've done that, quickly decide your groupings and jot them down on the paper so you don't forget. Then you can began writing.