Turnbull High School English Department Homework Booklet Reading for Understanding, Analysis & Evaluation Contents How to use this booklet 3 In Your Own Words

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There is something irresistible about the smell of fried bacon. It’s one of the delights of being a meat-eater and possibly the single most common reason why weak-willed vegetarians throw in the towel. For some, the joy of bacon lies in rashers squeezed between factory-sliced white bread and smeared with tomato ketchup. For others, it’s the crisp slice of streaky bacon on the British breakfast plate, ready to be dipped into runny yellow yolk or a dollop of baked beans. And our love affair shows no sign of fading. A recent poll of Britain’s best-loved 100 foods saw bacon at number one, beating chicken into second place and knocking chocolate into third. But while one in ten Britons claim bacon as their favourite, are those rashers that sizzle so seductively in the pan what they seem?

One problem may lie in the form of iron called haem that is found naturally in red meats such as beef, lamb and pork. It can trigger the formation of substances called N-nitroso compounds (NCOs) in the body which can damage the lining of the bowel. Some types of NCOs have been linked to bowel cancer.


With close reference to the text, explain clearly how the last sentence in paragraph1acts as a link in the writer’s argument. 3


bacon as their favourite” links back to the idea that a recent poll placed bacon in first place of all best-loved foods, as discussed earlier in the paragraph.

are those rashers...what they seem?” links to the idea that bacon is not a good food in terms of your health and diet which is discussed in the next paragraph.


Now try to the following examples, making use of the structured approach given at the top of this page.

Context: This is an extract from an article where the writer explores some of the reasons for the popularity of reality TV shows such as “The X Factor”.

It’s no coincidence that our love affair with The X Factor is so potent right now, more than ever before, as Britain endures a period of relative austerity. In a time of economic hardship, we are seeking out the simple and cheap — family entertainment that makes us feel part of something bigger. But the popularity of such shows may be traced back even further —to the emergence of 19th-century periodicals which relied on reader contributions. Reality TV is merely a

manifestation of a very, very old craving. We love sentimental stories, such as

Dickens’ Little Nell; we love a tearjerker, and shows like The X Factor are no more crass or exploitative than cheap sensational 19th century fiction.

Yet it seems that 21st-century viewers are looking for more than just simple entertainment. Part of the attraction is the sense of control The X Factor gives us: the sense that we can put right wider social wrongs by voting for our favourite contestants and that although our lives are being shaped by forces beyond our control — such as government cutbacks, widespread job losses or social deprivation — the ability to have a say in what happens to others in reality TV shows gives us back a much -needed sense of power.

  1. Explain how the sentence underlined helps to provide a link between these two paragraphs. (2)

Context: This is an extract from a passage where the writer explores how superstition can both help and hinder us.

But the superstitions and rituals so beloved by the world’s top players are not confined to the court. They take even more bizarre twists when the poor dears get home after their matches. Goran Ivanisevic got it into his head that if he won a match he had to repeat everything he did the previous day, such as eating the same food at the same restaurant, talking to the same people and watching the same TV programmes. One year this meant that he had to watch Teletubbies

every morning during his Wimbledon campaign. “Sometimes it got very boring,” he said.

Could it be that these multifarious superstitions tell us something of deeper importance not only about humanity but about other species on the planet? The answer, I think, is to be found in the world of pigeons. Yes, really. These feathered fellows, you see, are the tennis players of the bird world. Don’t take my word for it: that was the opinion of B. F. Skinner, the man widely regarded as the father of modern psychology.

  1. Explain why the underlined sentence works well at this point as a link of the ideas between the two paragraphs. (2)

Context: This is an extract from an article from ‘The Times’ newspaper. The writer describes the harsh conditions of life in North Africa, and suggests what may be in store for the region and the wondering (nomadic) people who live there.

“But,” said Solomon, scratching one of the small fly-bites that were troubling all of us, “if we could return here in 50 years, this village would be different. There will be streets, electricity and proper buildings. As Ethiopia modernises, places like this will be made more comfortable for people. Hamed Ela will probably be a big town.

And that is where Solomon was wrong. As Ethiopia modernises, the Afar people will leave their desert home. They will drift into the towns and cities in the highlands. Their voracious herds of goats will die. Their camels will no longer be of any use. The only remembrance this place will have of the humans it bred will be the stone fittings of their flimsy, ruined stick huts, and the mysterious black rock burial mounds that litter the landscape.

  1. Explain why the sentence underlined is an effective link between the two paragraphs. (2)

And his characters, from Lord Snooty to Desperate Dan, and the varied worlds – touching or hilarious or bonkers – they inhabit delight us still. He is universally accepted as Scotland’s greatest ever cartoontist. Thanks to his great range and astonishing draughtsmanship he is, even decades after his death, still remembered by the public. (‘Aye, the guy who did the Broons.’)

Yet he was Scottish neither by birth nor upbringing. Dudley D. Watkins was born in Manchester in 1907 and was 18 when his family moved to Scotland. After a year at Glasgow School of Art, its principal personally recommended Watkins to the management at DC Thomson. Initially on a six-month contract, he was soon in Dundee, dashing off earnest illustrations for the publisher’s papers for boys.

  1. Explain the part played by the first sentence of the second paragraph (‘Yet he was Scottish neither by birth not upbringing.’) in the structure of the writer’s argument. (2)

Mary Stuart was certainly rated a beauty by the standards of her own time: even John Knox described her as ‘pleasing’. In her height, her small neat head, and her grace she resembled the contemporary ideal. It was the type of beauty which her contemporaries were already learning to admire in art, and could now appreciate in life, all the more satisfyingly because it was in the person of a princess.

Not only the appearance, but also the character of Mary Stuart made her admirably suited to be a princess of France in the age in which she lived. Mary was exactly the sort of beautiful woman, not precisely brilliant, but well-educated and charming, who inspired and stimulated poets by her presence to feats of homage.

  1. Show how the first sentence of the second paragraph acts as a link in the argument. (2)



The repetition of a consonant sound at the beginning of words

Example: “balloon bursting” from “Havisham”


Words or phrases in which the meaning is unclear or has several interpretations

Example: the title of the poem, “Mid-term Break” by Seamus Heaney


The repetition of similar vowel sounds

Example: “slice of ice” from “Stealing”


Building up to an important moment

Example: Macbeth’s murder of Duncan in Act 2 represents the point of no return, after which Macbeth is forced to continue butchering his subjects to avoid the consequences of his crime.


Ordinary, everyday speech


The implication or suggestion attached to a word or phrase

Example: colours and their meanings (black for death; red for love/danger/anger)


A line of a poem that flows into another one

Example: “Not a day since then/I haven’t wished him dead.” From “Havisham”


A nicer way of phrasing something quite harsh

Example: “passing away” rather than died


Elaborate exaggeration: I came down to a mountain of presents at Christmas

Imagery (simile, metaphor, personification)

Words or phrases used to create a picture in the reader’s mind

Example: “ropes on the back of my hand I could strangle with” from “Havisham”


Word order which places the verb before the subject in order to place emphasis on the word that sounds out of order

Example: “Blushing, she fled”; “long I stood”


Saying or doing one thing while meaning another / something unexpected happens

Duncan’s reply to Malcolm's report of the execution of the disloyal Thane of Cawdor is ironic: "There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face” (never judge a book by its cover). Duncan is unable to predict the treachery of Cawdor and exactly at the moment that Duncan speaks the line, Shakespeare seals the irony by having Macbeth enter the court room.


A comparison of two things in which you state that something is something else

Example: life is a rollercoaster


Using sounds which copy the action taking place

Example: “Bang” from “Havisham”; hiss


Placing together two items which are not usually placed together

Example: “Beloved sweetheart bastard” from “Havisham”


A puzzle; a statement that appears contradictory

Example: “Life is good, life is bad”; “Fair is foul and foul is fair” from “Macbeth”


Giving human characteristics to an inanimate object

Example: The sun kissed the windowsill; the bite of Winter

Rhetorical Question

A question which does not need an answer either because the answer is obvious or implied in the question

Example: “How would you prepare to die on a perfect April evening?” The answer is obvious: you couldn’t know how to prepare for that


Words that begin with “s” or soft “c”

Example: “soft shoes” in “Sparrow”


The comparison of two things using the words “like” or “as”

Example: “Upright as statues”; she is like an angel


The use of a physical object as representative of something else

Example: Once Macbeth and Lady Macbeth embark upon their murderous journey, blood comes to symbolise their guilt, and they begin to feel that their crimes have stained them in a way that cannot be washed clean. “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?” (Macbeth after he has killed Duncan - 2.2). Lady Macbeth comes to share his horrified sense of being stained: “Out, damned spot; out, I say . . . who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” (5.1.). Blood symbolises the guilt that sits like a permanent stain on the consciences of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, one that pursues them to their graves.


The central ideas explored in a piece of literature

Example: revenge and loss in Havisham; the corrupting power of unchecked ambition in Macbeth; fate and free will in Macbeth

Transferred Epithet:

An adjective which is normally applied to a person is applied to an object to draw attention to it

Example: the labelling of Kinraddie as “sinful”, as it’s the people they are actually referring to, not the town

RUAE Homework- Record Sheet Name:

Type of Question



What did you do well?

Why did you lose marks? (if applicable)

Understanding- In Your Own




Analysis- Word Choice

Analysis- Imagery

Analysis- Tone





Language Revision

Analysis- Link

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