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A2 English Language

Module ENB5 – Editorial Writing

The exam…
This exam will last for 2½ hours and in it you will be asked to:
a) create a new text for a genre, audience and purpose that will be specified in the question;
b) comment on the writing process and stylistic decisions.

Three days prior to the exam, you will receive a pre-release booklet. This will contain
two sets of texts that cover separate and diverse topics. Before sitting the exam, you
will be expected to have read both sets very closely and have made brief annotations on
each concerning such aspects as author, genre, audience, purpose, etc. . Both sets of
annotated texts are then to be taken into the exam room and one of them will be used to
help you write your new text, of about 1000 word (there will be a choice of two
questions on each text). You will also need to write a short commentary on your writing.

The Assessment Objectives…

AO1  Showing you understand and have insight into language use
 Using an appropriate and relevant technical terminology
 Writing with accuracy and coherence

AO2  Writing that is interesting, relevant and accurate for its purpose and audience
 Commenting and explaining using your knowledge of linguistic features

AO4  Understanding, discussing and exploring concepts and issues relating to language in

The preparation…
To do well in this exam, you will need to have a good idea how the following can affect
both the creation of a text and the interpretation of meaning by the text’s reader:
• context • form
• genre • structure

In lessons and for homework, you will:

 Study, use and evaluate a variety of genres, forms, modes, registers and styles of writing
 Edit, transform and re-present a variety of source material for new genres, audiences and

You will also be studying compositional and editorial processes by looking at:
 The nature of the reading process, including the ways in which readers respond to different
purposes and contexts.
 The structure and convention of different genres, including an understanding of the formal
features of such texts.
 The nature of the writing process, including compositional skills such as the ability to
respond to the needs of different audiences.
 The editorial skills necessary to achieve this, including paraphrase and summary, control of
register and personal style, including tone and voice.

S J Campsall 2003 (Rev. 11/09/2008) - 5869152.doc

 The different approaches and methodologies used in the study of language.

Some specific advice on the commentary…

The aims of the commentary are:

• For you to explain and justify to an imaginary editor or publisher for your text some of the
significant decisions you made when planning and constructing it.
• Audience, purpose, genre and style will be important considerations
• You might consider discourse features that take account of the likely audience and context.
• To support your points with a few brief and well-chosen examples taken from your text.

The aims of the commentary are not:

• An occasion for you to state the obvious
• To paraphrase the question
• An opportunity for a mere self-satisfied appraisal of your writing
• A description of what you didn’t do…
• A mere description of what you did do….

Overall, your commentary should be a balanced critical appraisal:

• of what you have written
• of the processes and work involved in its creation
• of the stylistic decisions you made to try to suit…


• The pre-release material taken into the examination may contain only brief marginal
annotation, within the body of the text itself.

• Such annotation should amount to no more than cross-references and/or the glossing of
individual words or phrases.

• Highlighting and underlining are permitted.

• Annotations going beyond individual words or phrases, or amounting to aides-memoire or

notes towards the planning of essays are not permitted.

• Insertion of pages, loose sheets, ‘post-its’ or any other form of notes or additional material are
not permitted.

• Discussion of the pre-release material with your teacher(s) is forbidden.

S J Campsall 2003 (Rev. 11/09/2008) - 5869152.doc

S J Campsall 2003 (Rev. 11/09/2008) - 5869152.doc