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Question 1 Exemplar

This question seems the easiest on paper but the subtleties of achieving Band 3 and Band 4 answers aren't always as obvious from the wording of the question as is required in the mark scheme.

The common mistake is:

Writing only what you find out from the article.

This question requires the skill of inference. Inference means you need to read between the lines of the articles e.g.

An article about safety at the seaside for inner city children - Inference: children from inner city areas are becoming more involved in rescues at the seaside.

Look at Source 1 (Your exam source would be shorter than this)

The question would be - What do you understand about teenager's use of social media from the article?

The obvious thing to do here would be to dive straight in and find things you find out about how Teenager's are using Social Medial. You might list things like:

1) Not using Facebook as much
2) Using WhatsApp
3) Using Snapchat
4) Creating Digital Stickers instead of using words.

But the subtleties of achieving Band 3 and Band 4 answers need some inference -some focus on the issues that are driving teenager's use of social media.

1) Not using Facebook as much because now relatives / older users can see their content.
2) Using WhatsApp to regain privacy that they have lost from Facebook.
3) Using Snapchat as it doesn't store embarrassing content for fun.
4) Creating Digital Stickers for identities as more of their life takes place online.

You then need to write this up using quotations to support your answer.

The articles shows that teenagers are now not using Facebook as much reporting on the 'decrease in daily users, specifically among teens' reported by the company. This seems to be down to the idea that 'dad's' and 'uncles' are using Facebook more therefore teenagers are losing the privacy to post about their 'pub antics'. The fact that the older generation can monitor their lives has driven them to carry out their 'private chatting' on platforms such as WhatsApp which allows you to talk and allow people you actually know to access the content you want them to rather than 'passively stalking people you barely know'.

Teenagers are also using Snapchat to send pictures without leaving a 'digital footprint' allowing them to send 'inane' photographs knowing that they won't be stored. This again gives the teenager more control over who sees their content the issue that is moving them away from Facebook. Digital stickers are also becoming a 'decent moneyspinner' and are being used to create digital emotions especially helping 'couples get over fights'.

The key issue with all this is that teenagers seek greater privacy in their use of social media, something which other platforms are able to give more than Facebook can.

Look how the quotations here are embedded so they don't interrupt the flow of the answer. The quotations are also not analysed, they are used as support from the text.

Essentially you are writing about what you understand of the issues or ideas contained within the text whilst using quotations to show where you made your inferences from.


  1. Write down 3-4 issues / ideas the article discusses.
  2. Match your ideas to quotations from the text.
  3. Write in flowing prose embedding your quotations so as not to interrupt your focus on the ideas / issues.
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+ comments + 3 comments

16 November 2013 at 18:11

Sir is this what inference is or am I analysing the quotations?
The article shows that there is 'life guard work in the inner city' which seems to be down to the fact that the city children are at a higher risk of trouble at sea due to the 'little knowledge they need to stay safe'.

17 November 2013 at 21:01

That is inference not analysis. Well done!

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