Features to Track in the Paper 1 Exam



Frequently suggests


We = together, group, communal (possibly author with reader)


I = isolated, alone, separate, personal


You = persuasive & inclusive, accusatory (also separate)

Polysyndeton / Asyndeton

Chaos, overwhelming profusion, lots of things happening, boredom, mundanity


Persuasive, lots of things

! or ?

Shock, anger, outrage, uncertainty, persuasion

Caesura (, … or -)

A pause to emphasise a key idea, create certainty or suggest confusion


Often the most important things are brought to the front of a sentence / line

Short sentences

Anger, violence, factual, importance, finality, high speed, panic, sadness

Long sentences

Lots of things, complex thoughts, time to develop ideas

Length change

Sudden switches from short to long / long to short – an important change

Paragraph length

Basically the same as sentences – again look for sudden changes in length

Lots of commas

Stuttering, stumbling, broken up ideas, taking things slowly, relaxation

Complex diction

(often polysyllabic, Latinate) Educated, expertise, complex, rational, calm

Simple diction

(often monosyllabic) Childish, uncomplicated, emotional – especially angry


A key idea, confusion, simplicity, emphasis


Similes and metaphors often attempt to reveal a truth hard to state directly

Pathetic fallacy

Often used to create moods of happiness, or sadness – sometimes tension


Soothing, gentle, sinister, threatening


Angry, vicious, cruel

Harsh consonants

Violent, angry, curt

Soft, long vowels

Soothing, gentle, dull, boring


Shock, sudden changes, softness

First person narrator

Subjective, uncertain, unreliable, vivid, more realistic, personal

Third person

Objective, reliable, certain, factual, omniscient, distanced, cold, isolated

Narrator intervention

Truth, a different perspective, comment on the world

Narrative perspective

Does the third person narrator side more with one character than another

Big Buts

Especially when foregrounded at the start of sentence – mood change

Modal verbs

‘Might’, ‘Will’, ‘May’ - different degrees of certainty

Present tense

Immediate, real, lively, now

Past tense

Recollection, unchangeable

Tense change

Switch from present / past / future – an important change, new perspective


Richness of ideas running into one another, no structure / order

End Stopping

Definite ending, imposition of structure


Can suggest pretty much anything – absence may suggest freedom, disorder


Hard to spot – but repeated rhythm may suggest repetition, cycles, monotony

Breakdown of R&R

Change or breakdown in rhyme & rhythm – an important change, disruption

Flashback / Foreshadowing

Structural alteration, often for tension or explanation of key ideas

Humour / irony

Ridicule, mock or attack, to entertain, amuse, to reveal painful truths


The emotion of the persona / character - do we sympathise or disagree?


Why have things have been left ambiguous – uncertainty or mystery?