In this post I will remind you about how to approach a piece of unfamiliar text and how to avoid common errors.
- Take note of the the title – you will often find clues to the meaning of the passage there. It might even help you to work out the mood or angle of the piece.
- Follow instructions – if you are told to write an answer in your own words that is exactly what you should do!
- Support your answers with evidence from the text. Make sure to add relevant quotes – don’t copy out half the passage.
- Identify and quote, identify and quote, identify and quote … I hope I am getting my point across! If they ask for that make sure you do BOTH!
- Explain your answer, be specific. Answers like “it makes it sound good” as a discussion of why a sound device was used will not cut it!
- Use examples! No really … USE EXAMPLES!
- Point of view means whether it is first, second or third person narration.
- Syntax is about sentence structure. For a more detailed discussion go here.
- Tense is about verbs, it is not about your mood. Check it out here.
- Know your terms and read questions carefully. Know what you are being asked.
- The most important thing to do is to answer the question, in detail with supporting evidence.