AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 2 (updated & animated)


AQA English Language paper 2 question 2 is
a very difficult question, in the sense that the wording of the question doesn’t really tell you what you need to do to maximise your marks. In this video we’ll look at the key skills of synthesis and inference. AQA English Language Paper 2 question 2 is
a summary question worth 8 marks, assessing both bullet points of A01: Identify and interpret explicit and implicit
information and ideas Select and synthesise evidence from different
texts For the synthesis element of this question,
you have to show understanding of information from both sources, and you’ll actually be
capped at half marks at best if you only write about one source, because you’re essentially
not synthesising information if you do that. So you must write about both sources.
Now this question might ask you to summarise differences, similarities or information about
a certain topic presented in both sources. It might, for example, be based on behaviour
or feelings, or a more concrete focus like summarise what you understand about the different
boats used by the fishermen in both sources. Now that might sound like a very specific
example, but Question 2 is likely to have a very narrow focus, partly to make sure you
don’t have any crossover with what you’re going to write about later in question 4.
Because of this, you shouldn’t necessarily expect to find a lot of material to use in
your answer. But this shouldn’t be a problem: as an 8 mark question, you only want to spend
approximately 10 minutes on question 2. The key thing about this question is that
it’s not enough to just pick out those differences, or similarities, or whatever the question
is focusing on: you need to infer. So let me show you how.
We’re going to look again at an example question from Mr Bruff’s guide to GCSE English
Language, available in paperback on Amazon or eBook at mrbruff.com: just follow the links
in the description to pick up a copy: You need to refer to source A and source B:
Write a summary of the differences between Andrew Bruff and Edgar Thompson. [8 marks]
Just to say: we are looking at a sample question on differences here, so everything else I
say in the video will be about differences, but remember: the question in your exam might
be about differences, similarities or details about a topic. Of all the question in papers 1 and 2 combined,
I think the wording of this question is the least clear, in the sense that it appears
to be a very simple question where you could just pick out simple differences like:
Bruff is a teacher, Thompson is a Headteacher. Bruff makes videos, Thompson does not.
Bruff is informal when talked to, Thompson behaves formally.
However, there is so much more to this question than simply picking out points of difference.
To boost your marks you need to be perceptive, which essentially means that you write something
that is not stated in the text, but that you’ve worked out for yourself.
so here’s a three step process you can follow to boost your marks in question 2:
Step 1: find a point of difference: ‘Bruff is informal when talked to, whereas
Thompson behaves formally’ Step 2: find quotations to back up your answer.
Now remember, this is not a02: we’re not analysing language, but we still do need to
back up our points with quotations from the text:
Mr Bruff has an informal attitude, as he often ‘laughs’ and ‘beams’,
Thompson, however, is much more formal, with the formal opening ‘I am writing with reference
to’. Now many students would leave it there, but
there is another key stage: Step 3: Given that this is the difference,
what does this lead me realise about what I’ve been asked to focus on? This is the
inference bit. So, to apply this to our question: given that Bruff has an informal attitude
and Thompson is formal, what does that lead me to realise about the two men? And THAT
is where the inference comes is, THAT is where you end up saying something which is not stated
in the text, but you’ve worked out for yourself. That is where you end up writing something
like this: Mr Bruff has an informal attitude, as he often
‘laughs’ and ‘beams’, emphasising his passion and sense of humour. This reflects
the non-controlling attitude Bruff has to education: he puts the students and their
needs before himself. Thompson, however, is much more formal, seen in his formality when
he is ‘writing with reference to’. This formal attitude is used to emphasises the
difference in status between himself and Mr Woolark to whom he writes. Thompson clearly
has a defined role of authority, which he is keenly protecting and projecting in this
letter. When you approach this question this way,
you’ll only write about differences that actually allow you to infer. So if I had chosen
the difference: ‘Bruff makes videos, Thompson does not.’ There is really nothing to infer
from this. In fact, how can you make an inference about Thompson not making videos, when videos
didn’t even exist when he was alive? And just to say: The June 2017 examiners’
report pointed out that referring to the time periods when the sources were written is not
of itself a valid difference to identify, and that Students who do reference the historical
differences need to do more than just point out that one is 19th century and the other
is 21st century. So, make sure you be selective about the points
you choose to write about in the first place, and only pick ones you can infer something
about. That’s the key to this question.

98 thoughts on “AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 2 (updated & animated)

  1. Exams are next week an so on and ur taking 4ever to upload 4more vids

  2. Im on a grade 4 right now is it possible to atleast pass or get a 6?

  3. How many points do you have to pick out and infer from to achieve top marks?

  4. Could you do a series on analysing Robert Cormiers heroes please

  5. Can you do literature paper 1 and 2 since that is in a week

  6. english ia my third language and I am scared about gcse😢

  7. Thanks this video is helpful but please can you make a video of paper 1 question 5 how to plan a story? I think creative writing is the most difficult and my exam is after 3 weeks so please can you make a video??????????

  8. Sir on P1Q5, if there is a story writing, can I blag it and make it descriptive but still focussing on the question?

  9. I’m really happy my school did literature last year so we can focus on language this year

  10. This video was very useful sir,, especially stating about the time periods because i do that alot

  11. Last week i order Mr bruff's guide to english language and a few days ago i order the guide to macbeth and literature. i hope they help! im struggling in lessons and i do have a look at these videos but when we do practice questions in lessons i just get angry over literally nothing and it gets the better of me… idk what it is but it really puts me off.

  12. and i was looking to see if u had a guide to lord of the flies because for the exam my school is doing macbeth, jekyll and hyde and lord of the flies. but macbeth is the only one i struggle with because its old english

  13. Wait so can you write bout the time difference between when the two texts were set if you're talking bout writing style use of language and manner portrayed??

  14. Dear Mr. Bruff,
    We need your help with A-level English Literature. You got us through GCSE, help us get through A-Levels. From desperate English Literature A-Level students.

  15. this is not the question 2 i was told i was going to get, i was told i would need to talk about language and structural devices in text 1 ONLY and it was worth 6 marks

  16. how many marks do we need to get to a grade 4 in English language paper 1 and language paper 2?

  17. Hi, I couldn't help notice that on the letter it said "Yours faithfully" – shouldn't it say "Yours sincerely" as the headteacher knew Mr. Woolark's name? I was wondering if that's on purpose or just a mistake? Anyway, great video; keep it up!

  18. Can you do one of these on similarities please? Thanks for the help

  19. 3:40 good repetition of 'that' to emphasise the significance of what it is being said

  20. 5 minute video of bruff writing a model answer about what a class teacher he is. Rate that

  21. i legit did not know about this. Thank you so much for saving me!

  22. your example is only one point Is enough to get 8 marks or do you need to do more than one point

  23. How many marks of that started example answer get you? How many times would you have to repeat this?

  24. How many points of difference are you ment to write about.? does anyone know?

  25. My brothers and sisters good luck tomorrow!
    Number of kids revising a day before the exam
    |
    /

  26. Who else is here because they got language paper two tomorrow since they haven’t revised at all
    🙋‍♀️

  27. What order does everyone do the paper in? I need help my timing is going to ruin me

  28. Mr bruffffffff what do I do with timing!? I seriously cannot understand how we do this. The timing only rlly applies to writing time but to actually understand two texts and come up with interpretations takes timeeeeee that we don't have

  29. how many paragraphs like the last one should you write? two in that time?

  30. I have my paper 2 exam tomorrow and these videos are helping out a lot so Thankyouuuuuu

  31. Where my failed last year and don't wanna resit again squad at

  32. MrBruff is so skilled that he can talk with his mouth closed

  33. I was told by an AQA marker who came into our school that u need to pick the points and quote and compare no inference is needed on this question.

  34. If I had a mark for every time Mr Bruff advertised his book, I'd get A level 9 on both English Literature, and English Language.

  35. My man plugging his book half way through , my guy

  36. 5:45am. I know there is someone watching this, right now, before the exam

  37. Imagine being paid to create a paper that 400,000 people will sit and not telling them what they have to do…

  38. Step 1: point of difference/ similarity
    Step 2: quotations
    Step 3: perceptive inferences

  39. He protec
    he attac [aqa]
    but most importantly

    he predict (language paper 2 question 2)

  40. YOU ARE THE BEST. Thank you. I am from outside the UK but I live here and I did my GCSEs this summer, your videos were extremely helpful and even though I was predicted to fail, I passed with 6 in both Literature and Language. Thank you!

  41. Im sorry but how do you infer that from that there is no way you just worked that out !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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