Close Reading. Analysis Questions – Sentence Structure: Patterns. Analysis Questions. Understanding Questions – What has the writer said? Analysis Questions – How has the writer said it?
Close Reading Analysis Questions – Sentence Structure: Patterns
Analysis Questions • Understanding Questions – What has the writer said? • Analysis Questions – How has the writer said it? • This type of question tests your ability to identify (using appropriate terminology) and examine the techniques or language features the writer has used to put his/her ideas across.
Analysis Questions - Structure When writing an answer to an analysis question, it is helpful to apply the following structure: • Identify unusual language features you have discovered, quoting them where necessary. • Explain what the feature you have identified contributes to the passage. For Example: • The writer uses repetition: “The boy was really, really tired.” • The repetition of the word “really” is used to emphasise the point that the boy was extremely tired.
Close Reading Analysis Questions – Sentence Structure
Analysis Questions – Sentence Structure • Sentence Structure questions ask you to consider how the words the writer has used are arranged in a particular sentence. • When asked to comment on the writer’s sentence structure, you should re-read the section of the passage the question directs you to, attempting to find any unusual features of sentence structure.
Analysis Questions – Sentence Structure Some of the most common features of sentence structure are: • The type of sentences used. • The way in which sentences are grouped in paragraphs. • The punctuation used to separate and link different types of sentence. • The use of sentence patterns.
Close Reading Analysis Questions – Sentence Structure: Patterns
Sentence Structure: Patterns • Many sentences rely on their various parts being organised in a particular way in order to create a particular effect. • Some of the sentence patterns that crop up most commonly in Close Reading questions will be outlined in the following slides: • Inversion • Listing • Repetition • Climax and Anti-climax • Antithesis • Use of long and short sentences • However, it is important to bear in mind that there are many others.
Patterns: Inversion Definition: Changing the usual, expected word order of a sentence. Possible Purpose(s): To put additional emphasis on a particular part of the sentence. Example: “Up and up leapt the flames.” Usually this information would be written as “The flames leapt up and up”. By changing the expected order of these words, this helps to emphasise the fact that the flames leapt “Up and up”.
Patterns: Listing Definition: The grouping together of a series of related ideas in the same sentence / group of sentences. Possible Purpose(s): • To add weight to an argument by showing how many ideas are in support of it. • To build to a climax / anti-climax. Example: “At this very moment, as we sit here, women around the world are giving birth, raising children, cooking meals, washing clothes, cleaning houses, planting crops, working on assembly lines, running companies and running countries.” By listing such a range of activities that women are undertaking, this emphasises just how important woman are in society, as they are responsible for such a range of varied and important jobs.
Patterns: Repetition Definition: Repeating the same word or phrase several times within the same sentence or group of sentences. Possible Purpose(s): • To put additional emphasis on the word / phrase that is being repeated. Example: “We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing ground, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.” By repeating the phrase “we shall fight” many times, the speaker emphasises how persistent he and his followers will be in their intention to fight, suggesting that it will take a lot to make them give up.
Patterns: Climax Definition: Placing a series of ideas in ascending order of importance, with the most important idea being saved until the end. Possible Purpose(s): To emphasise the importance of the climactic idea at the end. Example: “We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing ground, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.” By listing increasingly advanced stages of the attack (from the beaches where the soldiers land, on the fields and streets of the country up into the hills) this builds up to show how relentlessly the soldiers move through the country, leading up to the climactic idea that they will “never surrender”.
Patterns: Anti-climax Definition: Placing a series of ideas in ascending order of importance, only to introduce a complete contrast to these ideas at the end of the pattern. Possible Purpose(s): • To emphasise the contrast between the expectation (the build-up) and the reality (the anti-climax). • To be humorous. Example: “We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing ground, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills… unless there’s something good on the telly, in which case we might just stay in and phone a pizza.” By listing increasingly advanced stages of the attack, this builds up an expectation that the speaker is relentless in his/her intention to fight. This is contradicted by the anticlimactic intention not to do so, given a rather a flimsy excuse. This anti-climax is intended to create comic effect and to emphasise the cowardliness / lack of commitment of the speaker.
Patterns: Antithesis Definition: Using similar sentence structures to describe two opposing / contrasting ideas. Possible Purpose(s): To highlight the similarities and differences between the two ideas expressed. Example: “You can take the boy out of East Kilbride, but you can’t take the East Kilbride out of the boy.” This invites the reader to compare the ideas that • you can remove someone from the place that they were born / brought up, but • you can’t change the impact that their upbringing in that place has had on making them the person they are today.
Patterns: Long Sentences Definition: Using unusually long sentence(s) to create a specific effect. Possible Purpose(s): • To indicate that the writer is ranting about a particular subject. • To indicate that someone is going on and on about something very boring. • To add weight to an argument by showing how many ideas are in support of it. Example: “Worse even than that is that hundreds of thousands of people are buying the bloody thing, and its up there at the top of the bestseller lists, and it got good reviews from all and sundry, because I suspect everybody wants it to be known that they appreciate how important the apostrophe is, when actually, if they were honest, it doesn’t matter a monkeys.” The long sentence suggests that the writer is getting angry / emotional about the book and is starting to rant about it.
Patterns: Short Sentences Definition: Using unusually short sentence(s) to create a specific effect. Possible Purpose(s): • To create an atmosphere of suspense / tension. • To emphasise the idea / information contained in the sentence. Example: “She crept downstairs. Through the hallway. Carefully stepped over the creaking floorboard. Unlocked the front door with trembling fingers. Stepped out into the open air and breathed a sigh of relief. She was free.” The short sentences create a tense atmosphere, suggesting the girl is in constant fear of being discovered as she sneaks out of the house. The final sentence reinforces the girl’s relief at being free of the house.
1. Let every nation know, whether it wishes us ill or well, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.
2. The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not. Once again I breathed as a free man. The monster, in terror, had fled the premises for ever! I should behold it no more! My happiness was supreme!