Unseen Poetry Practise

The first question of your poetry exam will test your ability to write an extended essay about a poem that you’ve never read before. Below, you’ll find some examples for you to practise with.

You could practise:

  • Reading the poems and summing up the main messages.
  • Using this document to practise essay planning
  • Answer the questions in timed conditions (around 45-50 minutes) before giving the essay to your teacher. You should aim to write a short introduction and 4 main paragraphs.

Here are five examples of previous poems used in the exam. If you want to practise any other examples, look for poems in the green anthology marked with an asterix (*). These are all suitable poems to practise writing unseen essays.

  1. Unseen Poetry Past Paper1
  2. Unseen Poetry Past Paper2
  3. Unseen Poetry Past Paper3
  4. Unseen Poetry Past Paper4
  5. Unseen Poetry Past Paper5

Frameworks for Analysis: Grammar

In today’s lesson we talked about grammar, adding this to lexis and semantics as part of our framework for analysing texts.

Grammar is a pretty big area of study, with quite a simple definition:

Grammar is the study of:

  • The structure and function of individual words (morphology)
  • The arrangement of those words within sentences (phrases and clauses)

Here are the slides and handouts from the lesson:

Here is the main handout we used for our morphology and clause analysis tasks:

Sept: Frameworks for analysis

And let’s not forget the fantastic article from mums net and the extract from my student cookbook:

For your language paper one, you will be given texts such as these and be expected to write a structured response to the following question:

“Analyse how this text used language to create meanings and representations”

2b or not 2b? Texting: The Gr8 Debate

It’s important to understand that language is a very controversial issue, with many different strong opinions about language diversity and change.

There is linguistic prescriptivism which may imply some forms of language are wrong, improper or substandard, and linguistic descriptivism, which instead seeks to analyse language as it works,  aiming for a more objective approach.

Here are the two sources based around texting. The online article from John Humphry’s ‘I h8 txt msgs‘ and the extract from a textbook on language, written by David Crystal. After reading, summarise they key points and write your own response, detailing your own opinions on the so-called ‘Gr8 debate’.

Mr B




Suggested Reading for A Level Language

You can download and view the suggested reading list here:

Suggested Reading (A Level)

Outside of this reading list, there are dozens of useful and interesting resources out there. When you study English Language, the world is your oyster. Language is used to communicate, manipulate and manage the world around us in almost every conceivable way. If you see an interesting article, why not share it on this blog or in class? This might be an article about language, or any text which uses language in an interesting way. A sexist advert? A passive aggressive piece of food packaging, a bias presentation in the news: all are relevant and possible objects of study.

Here are the list of blogs which you can click and browse through: