Tasks can focus on effectiveness, themes and ideas, how writers have used language, form and structure, or a combination of these. You will usually need to think about:
Firstly, circle key instructions in the question.
Then, read the text and highlight three to four quotations that will support your answer.
Finally, jot down a brief plan of the points you are going to make in your answer.
In Paper 2, you will answer questions on two different texts. One text will be from the 19th century (pre-1900) the other will be from either the 20th or the 21st century.
The key to planning an answer is to think about what the task is asking you to do. For example, it may ask you to look at a particular idea or viewpoint. Read the text carefully, with the question in mind. Thinking about the question, annotate the extract. Use highlighting or underlining to pick out key parts of the text that you can use in your answer.
You might read the extract a couple of times, focussing on different things as you do. For example, focus on the language used, then the way that the text is structured, and then finally how the writer aims to use both of these things to achieve their purpose and influence the reader.
Using coloured pens to annotate different aspects or features might help you to be selective when identifying the evidence needed to answer the question.
When you’ve read the text carefully and annotated it, then make a plan. Make a bullet point list or a mind map of all the ideas you can think of that are relevant to the question. Link the ideas to specific quotations from the extract.
Select the best points to use. Aim for at least three or four main points, and arrange them in a logical order. Your choice of order should help you to develop your ideas and reach a convincing conclusion.
Write up your points using the SQuID answer framework:
S – Statement:
Qu – Quote:
I – Infer:
D – Develop: