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AQA An exam question a week - Question 2

Question 2 is the first of your analytical questions it always asks you to:

Explain how the headline, sub headline and picture are effective and how they link to the text.

This requires you to analyse the Headline (sometimes subheadline) and link it to the text and state how evaluate the impact of the headline and picture to access the higher levels.

To begin with you should scan the headline for loaded phrases (phrase which immediately catch your eye). These could be simply connotations of key words or they could be more sophisticated devices such as pun / paradox etc. You could also comment on any use of punctuation (Colons and dashes are ones to look out for here). Think about what tone is being set here (it is something you can link to later in your work) or is there any contrast / paradox set up that need to be clarified in the text?

Then scan the subheadline (if there is one) doing the same as above and the picture.

The picture is particularly interesting - it can set or contrast the tone. Look for what the picture could indicate about the article - are the characters confident / nervous / what about scale and colour?

Once you are at this point you can tackle the text. Scan the text for things that link to the headline  - this could be repeated words, things that elaborate on something from the title or contrasting information (the headline could lead you one way and the article take you another).

There are lines which could describe the picture, words that highlight what the picture shows or lines which have a similar tone.

As you write, you should be aiming to link 4 points in the headline / picture to the text and at a higher level be using some more evaluative phrases such as:


You have 12 minutes to work in once you have read the text (skimming and scanning as you go along). Make sure you are using quotations (at least 4 from the text and one or two from the headline - make references to the picture).

So here is your question:

Explain how the headline, sub headline and picture are effective and how they link to the text. 8 Marks

Your link is here

Good luck.

Mr Milne
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19 January 2014 at 21:45

Explain how the headline, sub headline and picture are effective and how they link to the text.

Straight away within the headline there is something which appeals to the reader. 'Female Pilots' - something most of us aren't used to seeing. After reading this part of the headline we can expect that the purpose of the article is to inform people about female pilots, and tell them more about them. The start of the headline itself could be hinting that the article is about something more modern, as we normally wouldn't see women flying planes.

The second part of the headline refers to a 'slow take-off'. The word 'slow' could suggest that telling women to fly planes isn't necessarily a positive thing, as words such as 'boring' and 'monotonous' come to mind as connotations of 'slow'.

Within the article we can see that Yvonne Pope Sintes is shocked by the reaction people have to female pilots. She simply 'couldn't believe it'. By looking at this quotation we can expect that the woman wasn't pleased with the reaction people presented. We can subtly tell that the reaction wasn't a positive one, it was more of a consternation.

Later on in the article, Cliodhna refers to the weather as being 'awful'. This could link to the idea of females not being the endorsed pilots. This idea effectively builds upon previous references to female pilots and how negatively seen they are.

However there is contrast in points of view. Katherine Hodge, 37, stated she came across "positive comments and big smiles". This line links to the picture in the article. The pilots in the picture are smiling and giving the impression of being pleased. Therefore we would expect a similar reaction from some of the passengers on the planes.

Captain Dave Thomas declared that female pilots are beginning to have 'some success'. This could further build on the idea of female pilots being successful. It links to the picture which implies the women are happy. Efficiently the picture links to the text by hinting that the two female pilots are thrilled, and proud of their 'success'.

I'm not sure if I did what I was meant to. I think I may have inferred rather than analysed the text.


20 January 2014 at 21:13

Oskar -

You are along the right lines. You do need to look for loaded phrases in the title though. You could have commented on the Pun and the colon to separate the serious point with the more light-hearted pun.

Try to structure each paragraph like this:

Link to text

Try to have 3-4 paragraphs like this. Some of your better analytical points are lost because there isn't a clear link.

This would put you in Band 2. Try to re-structure this to gain higher.

Mr Milne

25 January 2014 at 20:42

I liked this article - a great choice!

In the headline, Saner uses a colon. The use of the colon can be interpreted to represent the transition in the ages, as more women are pursuing careers that men would stereotypically be associated with. However, the colon can also be linked to the word "slow", since the colon makes the reader pause, almost stressing the time taken for women to start to be acknowledged as capable of doing jobs that men would normally do. This links to the text because the text uses lots of numbers - numbers that we would initially think of as having large magnitudes - "4000". When we realise, however, the actually proportionality of women pilots compared to the total number of pilots, we realise how "slow" it has taken for the number of female pilots to increase since 1978.

The sub-headline uses a subordinate clause, which creates the sense that the airline industry is starting to become more dependant on the role of women. However, this interpretation is contrasted by the rhetorical question which uses the comparative "less" to question the reader about the reason for the lack of women in the airline industry. As the readers don't know the answer to the question, the rhetorical question is then able to have the effect of making the reader doubt their own understanding of the situation. This links in with the text because we interpret, by the end of the article, that stereotypes in society is the cause of the lack of female pilots, suggested by a girl, of such a young age, shunning out the option of becoming a pilot because "boys are pilots".

The picture is taken at a low-camera angle, which gives the women a higher status, showing that women are as able as men. This interpretation of the image could again be linked to the stereotypes expressed in the first paragraph, which almost highlights how it is society that has affected the amount of female pilots, making the reader feel guilty. Additionally, it could be interpreted that the picture uses juxtaposition. It seems as if the picture is taken in an airport, which connotes a place full of a lot of people, yet the fact that there is only two people is almost a representation of how few female pilots there are, and that the proportion of female pilots is so minuscule that they are hardly noticed by people.

What do you think of that?

26 January 2014 at 17:58

Great answer!

You've covered each of the key parts to the question in analytical detail and to top it off for a full marks answer you could use more evaluative words like the 'effective' in the question and words like 'successfully' 'clearly' etc.

I could be picking nits here but as it's a practice question I'd give it 7 out of 8 until you add in that evaluative element.

1 June 2014 at 22:18

In source two the writer uses the headline to inform the audience of the opinion of women pilots. The phrase ‘a slow take off’ highlights this because of the pun ‘take-off. The pun highlights the obvious issue that it took a long while for women to become pilots however it also shows a different underlying which is women are not entirely excepted still due to the word ‘slow’ which almost insults them as pilots as the word ‘slow’ is a negative word. This successfully highlights to the audience that there is an underlying part to the article as well as just the obvious. This links to the text as it says: ‘…Either negative, or just simple surprise’. This quotation highlights two different parts of the article and two different issues. The ‘surprise’ some passengers exhibited and the ‘negativity’ are the two different opinions.

Furthermore the image could highlight that women are allowed to be pilots now even if people do have some reservations because they are dead centre and it is focused on them (background is blurred). The image subtly implies that women pilots is the key topic. This links to the text because it says ‘British airways has been trying to increase it’s recruitment of women’. This highlights that they are looking for women and successfully links to the picture because if they are trying to ‘recruit’ them it suggests they are accepted.

However the picture also suggests that even though women have the same rights they still aren’t entirely accepted because if they were men would be apparent in this picture as well to highlight that there is no issue and they are seen as equals. This effectively highlights how women are discriminated against even if it is allowed through the absence of men. The text says: ‘someone actually said they would resign if a women joined’ this links to the picture because men don’t except women as they will resign and women are singled out as different.

Also the headline uses a colon to switch the attitude of the headline. It starts of with a simple sentence then the colon changes it to an opinionated headline. This is effective because it highlights that people’s opinions are different to what is socially correct as they shouldn’t even question ‘female pilots’. This links to the text because the dash in ‘I’d like to be an air hostess- boys are pilots’ again highlights a change in attitude to a perfectly fair sentence and shows the sexist opinions with in the article.

I had to cut my paragraphs down a little because I went over the time limit would this be okay still? and would it be possible to structure my paragraphs so it didn't take up as much time or is it too short already? Thank you.

2 June 2014 at 20:40

Well done Amy - You've got the pun!

This would be a top band answer. Work on your timing. Good luck!

2 June 2014 at 20:56

yess!!! finally thanks sir and yh I did a practise question two and only managed to do 3 paragraphs would that be so bad if i only did three?? Thanks again Mr Milnee

26 October 2015 at 23:11

me too

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