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The Standard Module B: Close Study of Text Rubric reads:

This module requires students to engage in detailed analysis of a text. It develops students’ understanding of how the ideas, forms and language of a text interact within the text and may affect those responding to it.

The key words are:

detailed analysis – this goes beyond the “describe” that is often the key to Standard English modules. This requires making links between “ideas”, “forms”, and “language”. In other words, how does the composer use the textual form and language to convey ideas to an audience? To do this, you will need to know your text really well.

ideas – this is another word for theme or message. What is the text about, in a general way? What is the composer trying to achieve? For example, Wilfred Owen’s poems are “about” war but his message is a warning to future generations to avoid war’s horrors.

forms – it is important to acknowledge and understand the effect of text type. The Curious Incident is a novel and needs to be read differently from Cosi, which is a play or Into the Wild which is a non-fiction text. Each textual form has its own conventions and techniques, which convey its message.

language – this is not just the composer’s choice of words. It also refers to the techniques, or language tricks, if you like, used in the text. While Owen employs graphic imagery and biblical allusion to reinforce the severity of his message, Haddon uses the rather stilted first person narrative to convey the confusion of his protagonist.

responding – audiences (I prefer this term to “responders”, which is a bit clunky) are affected in different ways by texts. This module asks you to consider how an audience would respond to the way in which composers use textual form and language to convey a message. The best way to begin attacking this part is by keeping a reading journal as you study or revise: what is your personal response to the text?

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