Edexcel English IGCSE: Climate Change Webpage


Q1. On the Climate Change Webpage, how do the presentational features and language portray the important message of the text?

In your answer, consider:

  • the layout of the webpage;
  • the use of images;
  • the writer’s use of language.

You should refer closely to the passage to support your answer. You may use brief quotations.

Edexcel English IGCSE Model Essay by an Expert

On the Climate Change Webpage, a number of presentational and language features portray the message that climate change could have catastrophic effects, but that these effects can be prevented if the reader takes action by persuading the government to do something about it.

The layout of the webpage draws the reader’s eye towards the main text, but also alerts them to other important elements of the website. The main article is brief, so the reader is likely to read the full article and thus receive the message of the text. As the reader skims through the article, the bold subtitle (“What you can do”) stands out: this emphasises the main message of the webpage, which is that individuals can take action to prevent catastrophic climate change. There is a prominent link labelled Take Action” at the bottom of the article. This has capital letters, showing its importance. These words echo the sentiment of the article; this link makes the reader more likely to accept that they have the power to do something to beat climate change.

There are two main images on the webpage, and each has a different purpose. The audience of this webpage, who are likely to have some understanding of climate change, will recognise the significance of the article’s image: that the ice caps are melting because of climate change, and this is causing damage to the earth. In the picture, the ice cap is small and isolated, suggesting that it is melting away. Without having to be explained in the text, the image reminds the reader of this key issue relating to climate change. The image across the top of the webpage shows the Greenpeace logo on a moving ship. This gives the impression that Greenpeace are a charity who are active; it reflects the message in the article that action must be taken to stop climate change.

The writer uses a number of language techniques to portray the text’s message. Emotive vocabulary is used to portray the seriousness of the potential effects of climate change, such as “catastrophic climate change”. The alliteration in this phrase gives a sense of drama, and it is repeated three times in the article. The writer also uses the second person plural pronoun to create a sense of inclusion. By appealing to the idea of a united human community, the writer makes the reader feel that they are part of the problem, but also part of the solution. Temporal verbs such as “urgently”, “immediately” and “rapidly” also highlight the urgency of the problem, making the reader more likely to take action.

This article is designed to portray the potential seriousness of climate change to the reader, but also to persuade them that they can take action to prevent it. The use of presentational and language techniques contribute towards this persuasion.

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