Week starting 19 October

Exam Section C: Identifying arguments using the Block method!

Hello everyone, and welcome to another week of Connect English content! I hope you are doing well and taking the time for yourself throughout this stressful period.

At this point in my exam preparation, I was definitely looking towards Section C of the exam and having a go at planning and strategizing my approach to this section.

Today I will be tackling the much mythologised process of finding the arguments in an argument analysis piece. My approach was very simple – break up the article into 3 parts, and simply describe the argument!

This would allow me to structure my analysis with 3 main body paragraphs correlating to the 3 main arguments in the piece, and then add on the other perspectives from the other texts (image or accompanying comment) to the 3 main body paragraphs.

I’ll break down Section C of the 2016 exam as an example.

This is the main piece, alongside an accompanying cartoon and smaller opinion piece. However, I will just going to focus on the main piece for the moment:

As you can see, it is not quite broken up into 3 easy sections that I can use as the basis of my body paragraphs. This is where I would identify the tonal shifts and changes in persuasive aim to identify these sections.

Tonal shifts: Where the way that the author constructs their argument changes. Is the author softer in their language, or more steadfast and stubborn? Do they use more emotive or factual arguments?

Persuasive aim: What is the author trying to get the reader to do? Is the reader being asked to act (ie donate, recycle, think about an idea) or is the reader being informed of information that may influence their outlook on an issue?

Based on the 2016 piece, I identified that the first paragraph is setting the scene and informing the reader of the current situation. The second and third paragraphs are explaining what needs to be done and why. The final paragraph is then advocating for what the reader, as ‘residents of Lawton’, need to do.

Based on this, I would then use a highlighter to map out the blocks (of course with aesthetically pleasing highlighter colours!)

Based on the blocks, I would then go onto describing the argument. Once I found the blocks, I found that this comes fairly naturally. This is sample of how I would go about doing this:

1. Wiley begins her opinion piece by presenting Lawton as a quiet and secluded town that is in great need of an attraction to lure people in and bring in money into the town.

2. Wiley continues on by arguing that if the town wants to improve its reputation and economic outcomes, it needs to implement an attraction. The town has the potential to become prosperous through promoting their fresh produce and their community values.

3. Wiley finally asserts that Lawton needs to protect its way of life by opening the town to the outer world to allow the town to grow, through the attraction and convincing the town of the necessity to build it.

As always, happy writing and best wishes for the week ahead!

Have a question?

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