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Criterion B

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SMASH paper 1 criterion B: ANalysis & evaluation  

CRITERIA B IS WHERE YOU score high MARKS FOR INSIGHTful and convincing evaluations of a text’s use of stylistic  features…BUT WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT CAN HELP YOU ANALYSE EFFECTIVELY?

when we are exploring criteria b, it is important to remember three key words from the marking criteria…

“insightful”

[demonstrating an accurate and deep understanding of the text]

“convincing”

[the way you explore ideas leads the examiner to believe they are true]

“evaluation”

[assessing how effective the stylistic feature or authorial choice is in achieving the text’s purpose]

in order to ensure that you’re hitting these three descriptors, there are key questions you can explore when evaluating the effectiveness of an authorial choice or a stylistic feature. THESE KEY QUESTIONS ARE BASED UNDER THE FOLLOWING AREAS:

 

WHAT IS THE AUTHORIAL CHOICE OR STYLISTIC FEATURE? 

WHY HAS THE AUTHORIAL CHOICE BEEN MADE, OR WHY HAS THE STYLISTIC FEATURE BEEN USED?

AND FINALLY (AND PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY)…

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF THE AUTHORIAL CHOICE/STYLISTIC FEATURE?

BY USING THE SET OF KEY ANALYSIS QUESTIONS EXPLORING WHAT, WHY AND EFFECT, YOU CAN DEVELOP AN INSIGHTFUL AND CONVINCING EVALUATION OF THE WAY AN AUTHORIAL CHOICE/STYLISTIC FEATURE CREATES MEANING AND HELPS THE TEXT TO ACHIEVE ITS PURPOSE.

CHECK OUT THE SAMPLE PARAGRAPH BELOW, WRITTEN USING THE KEY ANALYSIS QUESTIONS AS A STRUCTURE (THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO AN OXFAM ADVERT TO HELP END POVERTY)…NOTE THAT THE RESPONSE HAS BEEN DIVIDED AND COLOUR CODED LINKING TO THE AREA OF QUESTIONS!

IN ORDER TO APPEAL TO THE READER’S SENSE OF PATHOS, THE AUTHOR HAS CHOSEN TO USE THE LEXIS “CRISIS STRIKES”. 

THE CHOICE OF WORDS HELPS THE TEXT TO ACHIEVE ITS PURPOSE OF PERSUADING A READER TO DONATE MONEY AS THERE IS THE CREATION OF A SENSE OF URGENCY, WITH THE LEXIS “STRIKES” IN PARTICULAR CREATING A TONE OF AGGRESSION AS THOUGH CRISIS IS A FIGURE ATTACKING THOSE IN POVERTY. SUCH USE OF LANGUAGE WILL CREATE SYMPATHY IN THE READER, SUCCEEDING IN PUTTING THEM IN THE PLACE OF THOSE WHO ARE VICTIMS OF POVERTY PARTICULARLY AS THE TEXT IS ACCOMPANIED BY THE IMAGE OF A FAMILY STRICKEN BY FAMINE. 

THIS AUTHORIAL CHOICE IS PARTICULARLY EFFECTIVE IN SHAPING MEANING DUE TO THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT THE LEXIS HAS ON THE READER. “CRISIS” IS A WORD ASSOCIATED EXPLICITLY WITH EXTREME SITUATIONS IN WHICH THERE IS VERY LITTLE HOPE, THEREFORE THE WORD FITS PERFECTLY WITH WHAT OXFAM IS TRYING TO ACHIEVE THROUGH THE TEXT. “CRISIS” IS ALSO a word that has featured heavily in the global lexicon recently and therefore readers will be able to empathise with the connotations of the word, having been (to a certain extent) placed in a crisis due to the global pandemic. in addition, the word “strike” is highly physical, aggressive and violent and the combination of these lexical choices culminates in a highly emotive image that would mobilise a reader to support the oxfam cause. 

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