Dear Year 11,
It just occurred to me that you may well find it helpful to have a list of questions to ask of a quotation – to help you with the ‘Exploring’ bits of your essays. Use ‘RSPCA’ to remember how to do this:
R – Does this quotation remind you of something written previously in the text? In what ways is it similar? In what ways is it different? Does this quotation remind you of something that occurs later on in the text? In what ways is it similar? In what ways is it different?
S – Is the writer using any of the five senses (or any other literary device) in this quotation? What and how and why?
P – Does this quotation conjure up a picture or image in your mind? Which word(s), in particular, are doing the conjuring?
C – How is the sentence constructed? Do any words stand out? Why Do you think this is?
A – What alternative word(s) could the writer have used? What would the effect have been? Why do you think s/he didn’t use them?