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A Student’s Guide to Analysing and Grouping Unseen Texts

Steve Campsall | Tuesday November 12, 2019

Categories: Archived Resources, KS5 Archive, AQA A Level, AQA A Level Pre-2015 Resources, AQA A Level English Language B, ENGB1, Hot Entries

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Grouping Texts Printable PDF

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  • Unfortunately, it’s not possible to learn by rote a fixed set of categories into which a set of unseen texts can be ‘grouped’ – but there are some central linguistic ideas to have ready in your head to apply on the big day.
  • Whichever categories you eventually choose to use on exam day (and typically, you’ll choose four different categories or grouping), the key is to discuss the variability of each text within your chosen grouping. This is very important as this is where the marks will come from.
  • You will need to discuss succinctly how your chosen particular grouping parameter is useful but also distinctly ‘problematic’ in the sense that each text within it lies not exclusively at the extremes of the grouping but somewhere along a ‘continuum’ between the extremes (e.g. very few written texts are wholly formal and often contain a greater or lesser degree of conversational lexis or grammar; similarly, spoken texts are rarely ‘wholly spontaneous’ or ‘wholly planned’ and lie somewhere along this continuum, between these extremes).
  • Don’t worry if you don’t discuss every text in the selection you get in the exam – your marks will come from the subtlety and depth of your response not the breadth of it. It’s best to try to cover all the texts if you can – but don’t worry at all if you miss one out; similarly, too many groups often lead to shallow or mundane answers; aim for about four groups and show how each text within its group is different in important and subtle ways.
  • The grammar framework is considered very highly so if you’re hoping for a grade ‘A’ then look for some kind of grammatical grouping, maybe one based on sentence types, use of pronouns, modality, etc.
  • It’s best to avoid choosing a grouping of ‘gender’, for example, if you intend to answer the gender question, or power and technology similarly. This is...

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