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Review of Section A of CAPE Communication Studies Essay Paper
(Gathering and Processing Data)
The Piece to be Analysed
• In module 1 they give you an expository piece,
typically taken from a magazine or a report.
• It talks about an important issue and uses factual
information like statistics and official sources and
stuff to relate the information
What They Want From You
• This question typically has two parts but it can vary.
• They usually ask for a:
a) summary/the writer’s point/purpose (Part 1)
b) an essay (Part 2)
• Part 1 would usually be 30 words for point/purpose and 50
words for a summary.
• The essay typically has a word limit of 500 words an sometimes
they ask you to include the point/purpose in it.
Writer’s Main Purpose
• This is basically what the writer is trying to do when they sit
down and write the piece.
• It’s why they chose to write it and you typically have a 30 word
limit to relate this.
• You use the functions of language here to describe the
• For example you can say “the writer’s main purpose is to
inform the reader about the dangers of energy drinks on
Writer’s Main Point
• A lot of people confuse it with the purpose but this is
what the writer is trying to say.
• It’s basically what the piece is about so you need to
summarise it in less that 30 words (typically)
• For example: “The writer’s main point is that energy
drinks cause reproductive malfunctions in young
sheep and should be banned from farms”.
• You may be asked to summarise the piece you read given a word
limit (typically 50 or so)
• Remember that a summary is a concise review of what the
author wrote so don’t waste your time quoting or using examples
or describing in detail what was written.
• Instead you need to paraphrase and reword things to give the
general idea instead of describing in depth what’s happening.
• This is how the writer manipulates language to
help bring across their point.
• What you need to do is:
– Name the technique they use
– Give an example from the extract
– Say what it does (that is describe how it is effective)
Examples and some of their functions:
1. Statistics (credible information, easy to comprehend
as it’s quantitative)
2. Quoting a source (credible, valid information)
3. Hyperbole (emphasis)
4. Rhetorical questions (provoke thought and empathy
5. Alliteration (creates rhythm)
6. Juxtaposition (creates contrast therefore highlighting
7. Personification (appeals to emotion, empathy)
• One strategy the author uses throughout the article
is rhetorical questions. For example when he asks
“can you imagine how a lamb feels when his
gentiles are being cut off?”. By making use of this
device he encourages the reader to put themselves
in the position of the lamb, which provokes empathy
for the victim, therefore appealing to the reader
• The tone of the writer says how they feel about the subject by
their style of writing. It’s the quality their voice takes on to
express their purpose
• Don’t confuse this with mood which is the atmosphere the
writing itself creates.
• So tone contributes to mood (setting and vocabulary do too)
but it is not mood.
• A writer’s tone can be sarcastic, playful, ironic, informal
• This is the kind of language that the writer uses
according to situation.
• When you talk about register in the piece you need to
consider who their target audience is, what the topic is
and how they feel about it. These factors will influence
the kind of register they use.
The types of registers are:
1. Formal or Academic
• You need to say why the writer chose to use a
particular kind of register and how appropriate the
choice was considering their purpose.
• Order of importance –to emphasise a particular point
• Logical linkages – helps the flow
• Compare and contrast – lets you see the similarities and the
differences between two things
• Problem/Solution – makes the reader think and be all curious
• Sequence – teaches us how stuff is done so you can appreciate the
• Cause and effect – this forces you to think since its trying to show you
how the causes and effects are related.
• That’s about it.
• Don’t forget to use examples from the extract to support
what you’re saying.
• Use paragraphs!
• Eat your veges!
• Reread and check your spelling and grammar and make
sure you’re making sense and answering the question.
• Write legibly and don’t abuse the word limit.