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English Literature

Sample Question


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.


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?


  • 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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