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AQA English paper 1 Question 5

So I need a little help on how I can answer question 5 on paper 1 to a high standard. I know a method to answering this question is to memorize a story concept beforehand. However, I am struggling to think of a story that is bland enough so that I can alter it slightly to fit in with the question. How can I write and memorize one of these stories?
Original post by Nicknack swag
So I need a little help on how I can answer question 5 on paper 1 to a high standard. I know a method to answering this question is to memorize a story concept beforehand. However, I am struggling to think of a story that is bland enough so that I can alter it slightly to fit in with the question. How can I write and memorize one of these stories?

Realistically you won't be able to remember too much of a story, especially in the panic of an exam.

My advice: learn two or three basic and original plot ideas, then make sure you're confident on the language devices and techniques for writing.

eg. Someone trapped in a burning building - this could be adapted for a heroic rescue question, a murder question (if they were trapped on purpose), an accident question (if they couldn't escape) etc etc.

My GCSE 2022 English Language Paper 1 Q5 threw me, and my pre-prepared story didn't really fit too well but I ended up using it and tweaking it slightly to work, but I reckon I could have done a lot better had I chosen a different story or come up with one there and then. It distracted me because all I could think about was my pre-prepared story and started to forget about the basics of a story and the similes, metaphors, personification etc etc.

If you do use a pre-prepared story that you can tweak, it often wastes your time because you're spending ages working out how to adapt it, rather than just starting fresh with the first ideas that come to mind.

A top tip: don't use the priest story... it's not plagiarism (unless you copy his phrases) but it won't get you as many marks and again, you'll be hung up on making the story fit and remembering the plot rather than putting in your top grade language devices - some people I know did this and they completely forgot half the plot so were stressing in the exam about remembering it rather than focusing on making a good piece of writing.

And if you haven't already been told, don't forget you're only writing the opening to a story - always stop before the murder (imply it will happen very soon, just never write about someone being brutally killed) because it ruins the story - think how many books have you read where someone is stabbed in the first 3 pages? It will ruin the suspense you carefully created in the previous paragraphs.

Hope that helped! :smile:
Original post by thomasmclaren
Realistically you won't be able to remember too much of a story, especially in the panic of an exam.

My advice: learn two or three basic and original plot ideas, then make sure you're confident on the language devices and techniques for writing.

eg. Someone trapped in a burning building - this could be adapted for a heroic rescue question, a murder question (if they were trapped on purpose), an accident question (if they couldn't escape) etc etc.

My GCSE 2022 English Language Paper 1 Q5 threw me, and my pre-prepared story didn't really fit too well but I ended up using it and tweaking it slightly to work, but I reckon I could have done a lot better had I chosen a different story or come up with one there and then. It distracted me because all I could think about was my pre-prepared story and started to forget about the basics of a story and the similes, metaphors, personification etc etc.

If you do use a pre-prepared story that you can tweak, it often wastes your time because you're spending ages working out how to adapt it, rather than just starting fresh with the first ideas that come to mind.

A top tip: don't use the priest story... it's not plagiarism (unless you copy his phrases) but it won't get you as many marks and again, you'll be hung up on making the story fit and remembering the plot rather than putting in your top grade language devices - some people I know did this and they completely forgot half the plot so were stressing in the exam about remembering it rather than focusing on making a good piece of writing.

And if you haven't already been told, don't forget you're only writing the opening to a story - always stop before the murder (imply it will happen very soon, just never write about someone being brutally killed) because it ruins the story - think how many books have you read where someone is stabbed in the first 3 pages? It will ruin the suspense you carefully created in the previous paragraphs.

Hope that helped! :smile:


Thankyou so much for the advice, I definitely need to work on my skills around thinking of a plot quickly and working language devices in as I write.
Original post by Nicknack swag
So I need a little help on how I can answer question 5 on paper 1 to a high standard. I know a method to answering this question is to memorize a story concept beforehand. However, I am struggling to think of a story that is bland enough so that I can alter it slightly to fit in with the question. How can I write and memorize one of these stories?


I'm looking for similar suggestions too

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