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Lang Paper 1: Question 3: Structure

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Paul Hanson

on 26 April 2017

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Transcript of Lang Paper 1: Question 3: Structure

Q3: Structure
How has the writer structured the text to interest you as a reader?

You could write about:
what the writer focuses your attention on at the beginning
how and why the writer changes this focus as the extract develops
any other structural features that interest you.
[8 marks]
How To Approach This Question
Examine the way information is
sequenced
and
organised
Analyse how this is trying to secure the reader's interest
What Counts as Structure?
The order or sequencing of ideas
Different sentence or paragraph lengths
Key sentences
Changes from external to internal perspective, or vice versa
Introductions and developments
Summaries and conclusions
Reiterations (returning to the same idea)
Repetitions, threads, patterns or motifs
Shifts of focus
Changes in narrative perspective
Connections and links across paragraphs
Topic sentences
Discourse markers
Foreshadowing
Antithesis (contrast)
Analepsis
Prolepsis
Sequencing
This refers to the order that the ideas are presented in. For example:
P1: setting
P2: characterisation
P3: action or event
P4: new character
P5: interaction

All you have to do is identify the order and explore why this makes the writing more interesting.
Sequencing
There are four sections to this extract:
the setting is established
shift to Mrs. Regan's presentation
the narrator, Marlowe, Mrs. Regan talk (switch to direct speech)
new character (Rusty) is referred to
the narrator describes the maid and the way Mrs. Regan acts with her
Better Response
Your Turn
Turn to the extract from Margaret Atwood's 'Oryx and Crake?

We are only looking at the sequencing this time.
Getting the Marks
Now write your response to the question, ensuring that you hit all of AO2:
analysis of the effect of the sequencing
well-selected quotations
use of terminology
developed answer on why its interesting


The Sequence
The narrator describes the setting and imagines the past events that occurred there.

The narrator recalls feelings and experiences of desire from the past.

The focus shifts back to the setting. A couple of menacing characters are introduced.

The setting is develop but also the plot, as we learn that the narrator and other women are prisoners.
Task
Let's read the entire extract from Raymond Chandler's 'The Big Sleep'.

How many different sections can you find? Note, I do not mean how many paragraphs.

Annotate down the sides a quick note next to each, such as 'Introduces hero' or 'Establishes setting'.
Green Pen Marking
Take a green pen and underline where you have hit the three assessment criteria for AO2:
analysis of the effect of the sequencing
well-selected quotations
use of terminology
developed answer on why its interesting
Poor Response
Chandler begins the extract with a description of the setting ('This room was too big, the ceiling was too high') to set the scene. Next, he describes Mrs. Regan ('She was worth a stare. She was trouble.'), so that we know what she looks like. Then, Marlowe and Regan talk ('‘How did you like Dad?’'‘I liked him,’ I said.') and finally the maid comes in ('A maid came into the room by a side door.').

You now need to think about the whole of the source.

This text is from the opening of a novel.

How has the writer structured the text to interest you as a reader?

You could write about:
what the writer focuses your attention on at the beginning
how and why the writer changes this focus as the extract develops
any other structural features that interest you.
[8 marks]
How is the Sequencing Interesting?
The description of the setting foreshadows Mrs. Regan herself.

The description of Mrs, Regan suggests she's both sexy and dangerous.

The dialogue between Marlowe and Regan reveals plot and establishes their relationship.

The focus shifts to the maid and Regan to give us more information about her character.
Why is it poor?
No analysis
No development
Nothing on why it's interesting to the reader
No terminology
What's okay about it?
Focuses on the question
Gets the sequence right
Well-selected quotations
The Sequence
We are presented with a character called snowman. We also get a little setting, what he can hear.
The description of the setting is developed; what he can see.
The focus shifts back to Snowman and his broken watch.
As he climbs down from the tree, we learn about the various dangers he is worried about.
How is the sequencing interesting?
We are presented with Snowman, who has slept on a beach. The reader has unanswered questions (enigmas), such as 'Who is Snowman?' 'Is he really a snowman or is this his name?' and 'Why does he wish he were dreaming?'.

The setting seems a mix of beauty and danger. Being dawn, it may be the start of something significant. Again, we have enigmas: 'What are the 'offshore towers'? and 'Why are the reefs made of 'rubble' and 'rusted cars?').

The focus shifts back to Snowman, who seems terrified that his watch doesn't work. Early tension is created.

This longer paragraph helps to tell us more about Snowman, his scruffy physical appearance and the various fears he has, which sustains tension.
And Again!
Turn to the extract from Margaret Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale'?

We are only looking at the sequencing this time.
You now need to think about the whole of the source.

This text is from the opening of a novel.

How has the writer structured the text to interest you as a reader?

You could write about:
what the writer focuses your attention on at the beginning
how and why the writer changes this focus as the extract develops
any other structural features that interest you.
[8 marks]
How is the sequencing interesting?
The very long opening paragraph describes the setting, an old gym'. The reader wonders why it's not a gym now and why the narrator has slept there, a disaster perhaps? The narrator then imagines all the dances and discos that would have occurred there. We then wonder why the narrator is imagining this.

The narrator reflects on sexual desire and loneliness at such parties. These are nostalgic feelings most readers could relate to. The character seems lonely.

The setting seems puzzling because women called 'Aunts' are patrolling with 'cattle prods'. The reader wants know why they are needed.

We get the impression that the narrator and the other women are prisoners, which sets up the possibility of a dramatic escape.
Getting the Marks
Now write your response to the question, ensuring that you hit all of AO2:
analysis of the effect of the sequencing
well-selected quotations
use of terminology
developed answer on why its interesting


Green Pen Marking
Take a green pen and underline where you have hit the three assessment criteria for AO2:
analysis of the effect of the sequencing
well-selected quotations
use of terminology
developed answer on why its interesting
Introductions and Development in Paragraphs
Most paragraphs begin with
topic sentences
to inform the reader what the paragraph will be about.

These are especially useful if there is a
shift in focus
. Otherwise, the reader may get confused.
Topic Sentences in 'The Big Sleep'
'This room was too big, the ceiling was too high, the doors were too tall, and the white carpet that went from wall to wall looked like a fresh fall of snow at Lake Arrowhead.'

'I sat down on the edge of a deep soft chair and looked at Mrs. Regan.'

'She had a drink.'

'‘So you're a private detective,’ she said.'


The topic sentence for paragraph one establishes the focus on the setting Marlowe finds himself in.

The topic sentence of paragraph two shifts the focus to Mrs. Regan.

The topic sentence of paragraph three develops Regan's character.

The topic sentence of paragraph four shifts the focus to the plot.
What Constitutes Structure?
Thinking Time

List all the elements that might be considered structure.
Give One, Get One
Remaining in your seats, share one of your ideas with each person around you.
Test
Go to www.kahoot.com.
Good Response
Chandler uses
topic sentences
at the start of each section (
'This room was too big, the ceiling was too high, the doors were too tall'
and
'I sat down on the edge of a deep soft chair and looked at Mrs. Regan.'
)
to focus the reader's attention on various important elements, the setting, the character Mrs Regan, their relationship.
For example,
'This room was too big, the ceiling was too high, the doors were too tall'
informs the reader that the narrator is in a large room but it sets the mood that the narrator is entering a world with
'too'
much money and is therefore corrupted.
Poor Response
Chandler begins each paragraph by letting the reader know what it's about (
'This room was too big, the ceiling was too high, the doors were too tall'
and
'I sat down on the edge of a deep soft chair and looked at Mrs. Regan.'
). This helps the reader knows what each paragraph is about.
Why is it poor?
No analysis
No development
Nothing on why it's interesting to the reader
No terminology
What's okay about it?
Focuses on the question
Gets the sequence right
Well-selected quotations
Topic Sentences in 'Oryx and Crake'
Snowman wakes before dawn.

On the eastern horizon there's a greyish haze, lit now with a rosy, deadly glow.

Out of habit he looks at his watch — stainless-steel case, burnished aluminium band, still shiny although it no longer works.

"Calm down," he tells himself.
The simple topic sentence for paragraph one establishes introduces the protagonist (the main character) and informs us that he's been asleep. His name is interesting.

The topic sentence of paragraph two develops the setting begun in paragraph one. There is a sense of danger mixed with the beauty.

The topic sentence of paragraph three shifts focus back to Snowman and begins to develop his character. The description of the watch links to the wreckage in the sea from paragraph two.

The topic sentence of paragraph four further develops Snowman's character; he seems frightened and agitated, even talking to himself. The tension is increased.
Your Turn
Turn to the extract from Margaret Atwood's 'Oryx and Crake?

We are only looking at the topic sentences this time.
You now need to think about the whole of the source.

This text is from the opening of a novel.

How has the writer structured the text to interest you as a reader?

You could write about:
what the writer focuses your attention on at the beginning
how and why the writer changes this focus as the extract develops
any other structural features that interest you.
[8 marks]
Atwood uses
topic sentences
at the start of each section (
'Snowman wakes before dawn'
and
'On the eastern horizon there's a greyish haze'
)
to focus the reader's attention on various important elements, the setting, the genre and the character of Snowman.
For example,
'Out of habit he looks at his watch — stainless-steel case, burnished aluminium band, still shiny although it no longer works.'
informs the reader that Snowman is a character who needs routines but it's interesting to consider why he keeps a broken watch. Why doesn't he get a new one? The description of the watch, which sounds expensive, links to the wreckage from paragraph two
(rusted car parts and jumbled bricks and assorted rubble'),
which should be interesting for the reader to wonder what has happened to this setting that everything man-made is broken. Has there been a catastrophe?
Sentence and Paragraph Length
What could we write about the lengths of the sentences and paragraphs? Are there any of these that seem to be long or short for particular effects?
Sentence and Paragraph Length in 'The Big Sleep'
The narrative voice paragraphs are mostly the same length and are used to develop setting and character.

However, it is the length of the paragraphs for the direct speech that is the most interesting.

What do you notice about the lengths of Marlowe's and Mrs Regan's dialogue?
‘So you're a private detective,’ she said. ‘I didn't know they really existed, except in books. Or else they were greasy little men snooping around hotels.’
There was nothing in that for me, so I let it drift with the current. She put her glass down on the flat arm of the chaise-longue and flashed an emerald and touched her hair.
She said slowly: ‘How did you like Dad?’
‘I liked him,’ I said.
‘He liked Rusty. I suppose you know who Rusty is?’
‘Uh-huh.’
‘Rusty was earthy and vulgar at times, but he was very real. And he was a lot of fun for Dad. Rusty shouldn't have gone off like that. Dad feels very badly about it, although he won't say so. Or did he?’
‘He said something about it.’
‘You're not much of a gusher, are you, Mr. Marlowe? But he wants to find him, doesn't he?’
I stared at her politely through a pause. ‘Yes and no,’ I said.

A balcony ran around the room, for the spectators, and I thought I could smell, faintly like an afterimage, the pungent scent of sweat, shot through with the sweet taint of chewing gum and perfume from the watching girls, felt-skirted as I knew from pictures, later in mini-skirts, then pants, then in one earring, spiky green-streaked hair.
Dances would have been held here; the music lingered, a palimpsest of unheard sound, style upon style, an undercurrent of drums, a forlorn wail, garlands made of tissue-paper flowers, cardboard devils, a revolving ball of mirrors, powdering the dancers with a snow of light.
Sentence and Paragraph Length in 'The Handmaid's'
Again, the narrative voice paragraphs are mostly the same length and are used to set the scene, developing setting and character.

However, look at the sentence lengths in the first couple of paragraphs. What do you notice about them?
Chandler begins the extract with an
orientation
to
imagine the place and then the character.

First
, is a description of the setting ('
This room was too big, the ceiling was too high
'),
suggesting that despite its beauty and grandeur there was something excessive and corrupted about it
('
The white made the ivory look dirty
'). This
foreshadows
the description of Mrs. Regan, as the
focus shifts
in the second paragraph with the
key sentence
'
She was worth a stare. She was trouble.
'
to present her as sexy, yet dangerous. In this way, Chandler interests the reader by suggesting that Marlowe is entering a beautiful yet dangerous situation.
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