S-Cool Revision Summary
S-Cool Revision Summary
When planning to write your argument it is a good idea to use a for/against box.
For your work to reach the highest marks you will need to have considered both sides of the argument, although you can come down heavily on one side in your conclusion.
You should argue against and ideally undermine each point of the opposition's argument.
You should finish by re-enforcing your case with your most compelling argument.
Address the reader/audience directly, confronting them with the choice between the two sides is a powerful way to finish.
It's essential that you back-up what you say with evidence. Use facts, figures, research data and quotes.
It is highly recommended that you use the reading material in the first part of the exam (question 1) as a source of quotes/facts/figures/research. If this is not possible then make up some! But try to keep them believable.
Remember: you must use some facts and figures to support and re-enforce your argument.
The exam question will always ask you to write with a specific purpose in a specific style for a specific audience. This is known as writing in a genre.
Genres often used:
Newspapers - Headlines, These need to be attention grabbing, short and punchy.
Sub-Heading, Usually the subheading is more balanced, factual and informative than the headline. In your opening paragraph you should try to address the who, what, where, when, how questions.
Magazines: These are freer in their layout. The language is less conventional than that used in newspapers. Remember that this is though dependent on the audience.
Letters: You must set out a letter using the correct formal conventions.
Use a variety of sentences. Short, emphatic sentences should be mixed with longer more complex ones. By leaving the subject to the end you can also use suspenseful sentences.
It is important that you use a wide range of punctuation correctly.
Make sure you use: Colons before a list; Speech or quotation marks; Question and exclamation marks. Students rarely use semi-colons; examiners like to see them used.
Modern politicians often make use of this ancient technique to hammer home a point. The repetition can have an emphatic, powerful, confident, effect.
Tony Blair used it in 'Education, education, education', Julius Caesar used it in 'I came, I saw, I conquered', and Winston Churchill rallied the country with ' . . . We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. .'
Questions help to engage the reader in your text, they make the readers think for themselves.
Other Language devices:
Third person address, using the pronoun 'you' as if you are speaking directly to the reader.
Using the language of logical arguments: Propositions are opening statements that you are going to develop upon Emotive language
Standard English is formally and grammatically correct English. It is the written equivalent of wearing a smart suit.
You are expected to use Standard English in all you English exams. This means not using slang, informal, or chatty language, and it means making sure such things as your verbs are in agreement.
Only use non-standard forms when you are writing direct speech. That way the examiner can see that you're consciously adapting language to create specific effects.