Examination Preparation: Writers’ Effect

In GCSE/IGCSE English First Language examinations, students are expected to demonstrate an awareness that words have layers of meanings and they are tested on their abilities to articulate an understanding of how language choices can purposely impact a text. If your goal is to master this, we can help you.

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Excerpt

Select three powerful words or phrases from this part of the story. Your choices should include imagery. Explain how each word or phrase is used effectively in the context.

Tips: Remember to start with a topic sentence to sum up the paragraph below.

Write about 100 – 150 words


After the gloom of gray Atlantic weather, our ship came to America in a flood of winter sunshine that made unaccustomed eyelids blink, and the New Yorker, who is nothing if not modest, said, ‘This isn’t a sample of our really fine days. Wait until such and such times come or go to such and a such a quarter of the city.’ We were content, and more than content, to drift aimlessly up and down the brilliant streets, wondering a little why the finest light should be wasted on the worst pavements in the world; to walk round and round Madison Square, because that was full of beautifully dressed babies playing counting-out games, or to gaze reverently at the broad-shouldered, pug-nosed Irish New York policemen. Wherever we went there was the sun, lavish and unstinted, working nine hours a day, with the colour and the clean-cut lines of perspective that he makes. That anyone should dare to call this climate muggy, yea, even ‘subtropical,’ was a shock. There came such a man, and he said, ‘Go north if you want weather—weather that is weather. Go to New England.’ So New York passed away upon a sunny afternoon, with her roar and rattle, her complex smells, her triply over-heated rooms, and much too energetic inhabitants, while the train went north to the lands where the snow lay. It came in one sweep—almost, it seemed, in one turn of the wheels—covering the winter-killed grass and turning the frozen ponds that looked so white under the shadow of lean trees into pools of ink.

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