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Edexcel English IGCSE: Your Guide to Beach Safety by V Denman

 

Q4. How successfully does the writer of ‘Your Guide to Beach Safety’ persuade the reader of the dangers of the sea whilst still showing that it can be fun and safe?

In your answer, you should include:

  • the appearance of the leaflet;
  • the necessity of lifeguards;
  • the beach activities described;
  • the use of language.

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

Edexcel English IGCSE Model Essay by an Expert

In this leaflet, the writer does not aim to frighten the reader away from the beach, but must nevertheless portray its potential dangers effectively. The writer successfully strikes the delicate balance between emphasising danger and fun.

The appearance of the leaflet is attractive, whilst also highlighting the dangers of the beach. The picture on the front cover captures both fun and danger in one image. The children are screaming, clearly in play, but it provides a subtle reminder of how things could go wrong. A lifeguard is in the background, looking ready to take action, showing that if something did go wrong, help would be at hand. When providing important advice and information, the writer avoids a threatening tone by using attractive presentational features, such as stars as bullet points, and cartoon-like images of flags. This important balance allows the reader to recognise that the beach is a place for leisure and enjoyment, whilst still providing potentially life-saving information.

Lifeguards are portrayed as a necessity, showing that the beach can be safe, so long as lifeguards are present. In the “True Story”, the reader learns how a fun day out can become sinister. The image of the family “relaxing on the beach” is familiar, but this quickly turns into a life-threatening situation, which was “terrifying” for the boys’ mother. Such emotive language encourages the reader to consider the impact on their own family if a similar thing happened to them. This portrays vividly how easily a fun day out can become highly dangerous. Importantly, though, the story has a happy ending, with the boys being rescued, and still returning to the beach to have fun, so long as the beach is patrolled by lifeguards. This story cleverly combines the danger of the sea with the opportunities for safety offered by the comforting presence of lifeguards.

The beach activities described in the leaflet are acknowledged to be fun, but requiring certain skills and knowledge to be safe. The writer uses superlatives and alliteration to emphasise the enjoyable nature of water activities: “swimming is one of the best all-round activities” and “surfing and bodyboarding are the most fantastic fun”. However, this praise is quickly qualified with a reminder of the potential dangers of these activities. In this section, the writer provides very clear instructions, using the absolute terms “always” and “never”, showing that there should be no compromise on these rules. In the background of this section is an attractive image of someone walking with a surfboard, showing that, whilst direct and important, these instructions should not discourage people from taking part in water-based activities.

The priority of this leaflet is to make people aware of the potential dangers relating to the beach. However, the writer also succeeds in presenting the beach as a fun and safe place, if the advice in the leaflet is followed.

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