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English Literature

Sample Question

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In this section we will be looking at how to apply your knowledge of plot, character, themes and ideas about Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha to the exam question.

Question:

Read the extract carefully. From, "There were ten fences…" to "Winner". (This is the description of the 'Grand National' game – section 2 in the Bitesize plot summary.) Then answer the following question.

Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha takes us inside the world of a ten-year-old boy. What methods does Doyle use to achieve this?

Preparation:

  • show evidence from the text for any opinion or comment you make

  • provide short quotations or precise references to the text to support your opinion or comment

  • discuss those textual details, making clear their relevance to your argument

  • if you wish to reach a high grade, include comments on how the book is written – style – as well as what is said

  • conclude your essay strongly

For this question you may wish to refer to the following:

  • ten-year-old boy – we enter into his world, this is the writer’s skill

  • the passage reminds reader of childhood – emotive, "It was mad; it was brilliant"

  • format – feels like Paddy is telling it to us now, he uses lots of commas instead of full stops etc

  • context - 1960s, maybe a time when children played in the street, more than nowadays

  • writer’s techniques - description of the setting, childhood view of adults, active verbs, no speech marks, fragmented sentences, stream of consciousness

  • use example quotes for each aspect of the writer’s techniques

  • summary - include a conclusion and a personal response

  • use your plan - try to include as many quotes and technical words as possible

  • make sure you support everything you write with very close reference to the passage

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