Close Analysis and Short Answers
ATAR English Exam
AimsTo help you:
Understand the nature of close analysisIdentify different types of questionStructure your answers clearly
Close Analysis Involves:
determining thesubject/sof thetextidentifying significantaspects of the construction of the textexplaining theresponses you believe are encouraged by these aspects – ideas, attitudes, feelings about the subject
= making up cool-sounding stuff!!!!!
= the creative part
Closed questionsprovide you with both the subject and theresponses encouraged, but leave you to identify aspects of constructione.g.ExplainthreewaysAangSanSauuiKyi has used speech-making conventions in Text 1 to persuade her audience of the need to strive for a peaceful world.
Types of Question
Partially open questionsprovide you with the subject of thetext and the aspects of construction,but leave you to work out theresponsese.g.Identify thethreenarrative points of view in Text 1 and explain how each constructs a particular perspective on the city of Troy.
Fullyopen questionsrequire you to work out all three ofsubject,aspects of construction andresponsese.g.Explainhow McGinnis has used three techniques to influence your interpretation of Text 3.
Some Terms Which Might Appear in Open Questions
language conventionslanguage featuresconventionsof genrechoice of language
Aspects of Construction:genericconventions employed in in all varieties of prose
diction (vocabulary/lexical choice)syntaxpunctuationimagerynarrative point of view/persona
cool vocab alert!
More generic conventions of prose
cool vocab alert!
MetonymyAn Important Addition to Your Analytical Toolbox
Using a part or aspect of something to stand for the wholee.g.‘the pen is mightier than the sword’‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears’‘Give us this day our daily bread’
Metonymy = conveying a sense of something larger through the use of a specific part or examplee.g.Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the court-house sagged in the square.Harper Lee,To Kill a Mockingbird.
Explaining the responses encouraged involvesasking questions like:
What is the possible effect of:this word or phrase?this sentence structure?this use of figurative language?this narrative point of view?
= asking yourself:‘What cool-sounding stuffcan I make up????’
Maycombwas an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the court-house sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then; a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the shelter of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.People moved slowly then. They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the shops around it, took their time about everything.Harper Lee,To Kill a Mockingbird.
Two Possible Structures
The technique-led approachThe idea-led approach
The Technique-Led Approach
A brief statement of your understanding of the subject of the textFollowed byA series of well- structured, analytic paragraphs, using the ISEE approach.
Reminder: Be Specific!
Identifying Statement, Example, Effect
Explainhowthe author hasused three techniques to influence your interpretation of Text 3.
The technique-ledapproachThis text offers a depiction of X(Only neededsometimes)One technique used to influence our interpretation of X is … For example, the author …. This encourages us to see/think/believe …(identifying statement, example, effect)A second technique is ….A third technique is ….
This passage offers a depiction of the town of Maycomb.One technique used to depict Maycomb is lexical choice. For example, the author describes the town as ‘tired’. This encourages us to interpret the town as a lethargic environment, one lacking in energy.
words ‘ambled’ and‘shuffled’ to describe the movement of thepeople, thusreinforcing the air of lethargy.
The author also usesthe
After five yearsof high school the final November arrives and leaves as suddenly as a spring storm. Exams. Graduation. Huge beach parties. Biggie and me, we’re feverish with anticipation; we steel ourselves for a season of pandemonium. But after the initial celebrations, nothing really happens, not even summer itself. Week after week an endless misting drizzle wafts in from the sea.Tim Winton ‘Big World’,The Turning.
The passagesuggeststhat Maycombis a placewhere some people try to maintain, unsuccessfully, an old-fashioned air of respectability and gentility. This is conveyed through the reference to ‘stiff collars’, which can be read as a metonym for highly formal clothing and behaviour which seems out of place, given the previous emphasis on heat and lethargy.