Analytical Response

What to Include


To begin with, you must be able to respond to the question in a clear and succinct __manner. The first sentence of each subsequent paragraph, should __demonstrate your understanding of the question and the source material. Aim to make a confident claim or point, as this will form the scaffolding for the rest of your answer. Make sure each paragraph is dealing with a separate idea or issue, so as not to repeat yourself. There may be slight inference (see below) in this statement but not too much!


Acquiring relevant quotations are imperative to writing a successful response to the question. You are in search of evidence that will support the initial point that you made.

I am sure you have heard the popular term ‘judicious’. Really it means that you are showing good judgement by being discriminate in your choices. You needn’t copy out extremely long sentences, rather shrewdly pick the words you need and drop them skilfully into you response.

The best answers usually contain embedded quotations. You do not have to say phrases like, ‘the quotation that shows this is…’ or ‘where it says…’. Rather you lift what you need and firmly attach it to your comment by surrounding the quotation(s) with words of your own.

Remember that you are taking these words from the source, therefore you must definitely indicate this each time. If you use “double” marks for speech, it is wise to use ‘single’ marks for quotes. Otherwise, it gets very confusing!


The skill of inferring meaning from a text allows you to reason on ideas about the evidence you have selected. Your aim is to draw __valid conclusions __on a matter without wild speculation or assumption.

Often times, we forget to start with the basic meaning and get carried away talking about profound ideas. First, (K.I.S.S.) keep it simple and succinct! What does the quote actually mean in your own words?

Mentally use interrogatives to contemplate on why, what or how this idea could be valid and build on your response. If possible you want to dig as deep as possible and squeeze a lot of meaning out of a little piece of evidence. Using phrases such as, ‘implying that…’, ‘suggesting that’ or even ‘illustrating the idea that’ are all beneficial phrases to develop your analysis further.

Your inferences should always match the initial statement that you made!


Be discerning and observant, whilst reading through the selected portion of text. You want to be able to identify interwoven concepts and themes. Consider how the writer skilfully presents ideas and imagery through effective use of language and structural devices. Such as:

Explore and analyse the role each device plays in developing the text and the effects that they create. Ask yourself: Why has the poet made this deliberate choice? Why has the poet chosen to place this method here? Then explore different meanings and ideas that are associated with each choice. The deeper you dig for valuable meaning and writer’s intention, the more rewarding your responses will be!


Once you have explored a range of meanings and drawn logical conclusions, you must consider the effects that are created. Poets always write with a clear objective in mind. They consciously craft their work to convey a message. You should consider:

These poems have been studied by many people. Therefore, aim to draw conclusions that can be lessons for today. What are the __social, moral, spiritual, cultural, philosophical __lessons that are evident in the poem? Aim to draw connections with a current event or issue that a modern audience is experiencing.

How should statements be presented?
Your answer should include: Clear / Clearly / Succinct
What are the best quotes?
Your answer should include: Short / Judicious / Discriminate / Showing good judgement / Embedded
What must you remember about the writer?
Your answer should include: Clear objective / Intention / Crafts consciously

Response Guidance

__Section B Mark Scheme __

It is important that you understand the mark scheme, because this is what teachers are looking at to judge your work. I want you to focus on how you can get the top marks for each question.

Analytical Response, figure 1

Lower down the mark scheme:






Writing Frames

Different schools use different writing frames to guide responses. Do you usually, P.E.E. or P.E.A. or P.E.E.L maybe you have P.E.A.C.E. It is best if you are a free spirit in your response and move through your analysis as you desire. Those who are awarded the best marks are not restricted by sticking to the acronyms mentioned above.

See the diagram, you can jump between the colours at times that you see are appropriate and logical:

Analytical Response, figure 2

__Formulate Response __

For example, compare how poets present peer pressure in ‘Kamikaze’ and __one__ other poem…

You can repeat this process: QUOTE(S), METHODS, INFERENCE(S), CONTEXT, EFFECT(S), as many times as possible, to squeeze as much meaning out of references in relation to your initial statement. Be careful that you are not jumping between too many ideas that are undeveloped. It is better to dig deeper and be thoroughly perceptive than covering a lot of ideas with shallow analysis.

What must you understand first?
Your answer should include: Focus of question / Theme / Concept
What type of methods must you search for in the text?
Your answer should include: Language / Structure
What must you do at the end of your analysis?
Your answer should include: Link / Conclusions