Analysing effect – being specific!

One of the main issues that I find when analysing a text or extract is that students find it difficult to explain effect. The general responses tend to include ‘it paints a picture’, ‘it makes the reader think’ or ‘it emphasises it’. In an effort to avoid this I created a guide for my classes to work with and try to use with a variety of different texts.

explaining effect

Below is an example of a Year 9 trying the comparison question on Language Paper 2. They began with a general response along the lines of ‘Source B shows the attitude of the father and son. ‘My dear son’. This shows they are formal.’ Not a bad start at that point but we have now developed so that students are able to explain in more detail how certain words create effect, what it shows specifically and also link back to the question.


Below is an example from my Year 10 class and their work on Q2 of the same exam. We have worked on language analysis and how to use terminology, be specific in their comment on effect and look at multiple words from one quotation. Nothing new to English teachers here but this particular student is aiming for a GCSE level 5 and I’m pretty impressed with this response.


If anyone can suggest any tips for improving analysis then please let me know!



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