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IGCSE Climate Change : The Facts Model Essays Question 05

IGCSE Climate Change : The Facts Model Essays Question 05

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Edexcel English IGCSE: Climate Change: The Facts

 

Q5. How does the author use language and formatting techniques to present the information in an interesting way? 

Edexcel English IGCSE Model Essay by an Expert

The author of ‘Climate Change: The Facts’ is describing complex scientific phenomena to a non-expert audience. Its purpose is to inform the reader about the issue of climate change in an interesting and accessible way. To do this, the author makes use of an unusual layout, helpful images and engaging language.

To make the article interesting to read, the author uses an unusual question-and-answer format. The heading contains several questions, which pique the reader’s interest, as they then want to find out the answers. The use of questions as subtitles throughout the text also create an inquisitive tone, suggesting that the article is answering queries which many people, including the reader, may have about climate change. This is an interesting and unusual layout, which creates the impression of an informal interview. This lends authority to the text, since it sounds like an expert explaining the phenomena to a layperson. The author also uses images to make the article interesting. With the use of bright, primary colours, the images are attractive to the reader. They also provide an alternative way of understanding the content of the article; having more than one medium through which to understand difficult concepts ensures that the reader doesn’t become bored because they don’t understand them.

Language techniques are also employed to maintain the reader’s interest. Technical language is used to explain some phenomena, but the writer avoids using too much jargon in one paragraph. To keep the tone light and interesting to a non-expert, the writer incorporates non-scientific language into these technical descriptions. For example, when describing how carbon dioxide causes increased global temperatures, she writes that oceans and trees “mop up some of the heat”. This is very non-scientific language, but provides an easy-to-comprehend image in the reader’s mind. Similarly, when describing methane, she uses an idiom – “nasty sting in its tail” – and colloquial language – “hangs around” –to keep the tone light-hearted and engaging.

The writer also keeps the article interesting by engaging the reader’s emotions. Although the tone of the article attempts to be generally light-hearted, the writer is describing a potentially frightening issue, and emotive vocabulary ensures that the reader recognises the seriousness of the situation. For example, alliteration is used in “relentless rise” and assonance in “sky high”, creating a sense of drama as the writer describes the unstoppable force of climate change. Directly referring to emotions, the phrase “scientists fear” is used several times throughout the article; the fact that experts are frightened by the impact of climate change inevitably also causes anxiety in the reader.

Although describing a potentially dry and depressing subject, the writer succeeds in portraying the information in an interesting and engaging way, encouraging the reader to take interest in this important and topical matter.

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IGCSE Climate Change : The Facts Model Essays Question 04

IGCSE Climate Change : The Facts Model Essays Question 04

Edexcel English IGCSE: Climate Change: The Facts

 

Q4. How successfully does the writer of ‘Climate Change: the facts’ strike the balance between raising awareness of the scale of the problem while also ensuring that the tone doesn’t become too pessimistic?

Edexcel English IGCSE Model Essay by an Expert

In ‘Climate Change: The Facts’, the writer is tackling a very serious issue. However, as she is writing a newspaper article aimed at non-experts, it is important that the writer keep a relatively light-hearted tone, in order to make the article appealing to the audience.

The writer successfully portrays the seriousness of climate change with statistics and emotive language. Statistics are provided to give reliable scientific support to the writer’s claims; they paint a picture of a worsening situation, in which the climate is becoming warmer. These statistics are supported by less scientific terms, which makes the article accessible to people who are not necessarily confident in understanding statistics. However, whilst avoiding an overly-scientific tone, these more colloquial descriptions of the changes in the global atmosphere are no less depressing: “relentless rise”, “sky high” and “vast quantities”, for example. Some of these examples also contain alliteration and assonance, which contribute to a sense of drama. Similarly, emotive language such as “dramatic change” and “trigger”, which has associations with violence and trauma, evoke fear and anxiety in the reader about climate change. The writer suggests that we are losing control of the situation with references to “runaway greenhouse effect” and “extreme weather”. Thus the writer highlights the severity of the situation relating to climate change.

Although the writer emphasises the danger of climate change, she attempts to keep the tone of the article relatively light-hearted. For example, the use of questions in the heading and subheadings creates an inquisitive tone, which sounds like a conversation or an informal interview. Idiomatic phrases such as “hot potato”, “nasty sting in its tail” and “fringe subject” also contribute to the conversational tone, since they are not often used in formal writing. The writer also uses mildly amusing images, such as “farting cows” and “sitting in our deckchairs all year round”, to lighten the mood when discussing the serious issue of climate change. By ensuring that the tone is relatively light-hearted, the writer keeps the interest of the reader, and avoids a tone which is too ‘preachy’, which might dissuade the reader from continuing. The images also contribute to the writer’s attempts to keep the article light-hearted. The pictures have bright, primary colours, which are attractive to the reader. The main image in the centre of the page contains attractive silhouettes to show the different levels of the atmosphere, namely the satellites, mountains, river and cityscape.

However, with such serious subject-matter, it is impossible to avoid pessimism, despite the writer’s effort to keep things relatively light-hearted. The article delivers the depressing message that humans are responsible for climate change, and it is now too late to reverse the effects. Whilst it is important to keep the reader’s interest with an enjoyable and accessible article, the writer does not shy away from delivering its hard-hitting message.

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IGCSE Climate Change : The Facts Model Essays Question 03

IGCSE Climate Change : The Facts Model Essays Question 03

Edexcel English IGCSE: Climate Change: The Facts

 

Q3. How successfully does the author communicate difficult scientific information in a way that is easily understood by the reader?

Edexcel English IGCSE Model Essay by an Expert

In ‘Climate Change: The Facts’, the article is clearly designed for people who are not experts in science. The writer effectively communicates difficult scientific information with a clear layout and helpful pictures, and language which is not intimidatingly technical.

Throughout the article, the writer creates a conversational tone, even when describing complex scientific phenomena. This ‘chatty’ tone begins even in the headline of the article, with the use of questions and non-standard English. The questions begin with connectives – “but” and “and” – which is not generally accepted in formal English. As a result, the headline reads like spoken English, rather than as a dry, informative article. The questions in the headline also create an curious tone, as if the writer and reader will go on a journey of discovery together. The question-and-answer format in the article creates a clear layout which makes the article easier to read. It also acknowledges the complexity of the issue; it is something which people have lots of questions about. By acknowledging this complexity, the writer reassures the reader that the content will be explained simply and clearly.

When describing complicated scientific occurrences, the writer ensures that the tone does not become too heavy. Non-scientific language is employed to avoid scientific jargon, and to help the reader understand the science behind climate change. For example, oceans and trees are said to “mop up” heat, methane “hangs around” and oceans are “burping” methane into the atmosphere. These colloquial terms are interspersed with more scientific language. This combination allows the writer to strike the balance between providing information that sounds reliable and educational, and allowing this information to be accessible to the reader. This balance is also seen in the writer’s use of statistics. Throughout the article, specific statistics lend authority to the information. However, more general and colloquial terminology is also used, to ensure that the statistical information is easily understood, for example “sky high”, “steady rise” and “far more potent”.

Finally, the pictures and diagrams provide easy-to-understand visual representations of the information provided in the article. They contain bright, primary colours, which create the impression of simplicity. In general, the images appear non-threatening, particularly the largest image, which contains decorative additions (such as the river and cityscape) to make the image appealing. In both images, arrows are used to assist the reader’s understanding, and in the middle image, the ‘steps’ are numbered, to help the reader follow the progression of events. The graphs provide visual aids, without needing to be fully understood. On the right-hand graph, the reader can clearly see that temperatures are forecasted to rise, without necessarily needing a detailed understanding of everything on the graph.

By avoiding technical jargon and ensuring that the layout and design of the article is accessible, the writer succeeds in portraying complex scientific information in an accessible way.

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IGCSE Climate Change : The Facts Model Essays Question 02

IGCSE Climate Change : The Facts Model Essays Question 02

Edexcel English IGCSE: Climate Change: The Facts

 

Q2. How effectively does the writer of ‘Climate Change: The Facts’ portray information about climate change to the reader?

In your answer, consider:

  • the layout of the article;
  • the use of pictures and diagrams;
  • 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

The intended audience of this article is people who do not know a lot about climate change. In this article, the writer conveys complex information in an accessible way, using a clear layout, helpful images, and conversational language.

The layout of the article is designed to enable to reader to take in as much information as possible. The headline is large and in bold font, which makes it stand out. Although rather long, it contains information about the content of the article. The questions foreshadow the use of questions as subheadings throughout the text, and also introduces the conversational tone of the article, which is enhanced by the fact that the questions begin with connectives (“but” and “and”). The main text is divided into short sections, and each paragraph contains only a few sentences. This allows the reader to skim-read the text easily, and jump to the parts which they will find most interesting. By making the text visually easy to read and follow, the author effectively portrays the content of the article.

The use of images also enhances the portrayal of information about climate change. Bright primary colours attract the reader’s attention, making them more likely to examine the diagrams. The use of the colours yellow and red, which are associated with danger, also reinforce the message in the text that climate change could have disastrous effects. The diagrams have several features which allow the information to be portrayed effectively, for example the use of arrows and numbered steps. The language on the diagrams is brief and simple; it is designed to inform, so no unnecessary vocabulary is used. The graphs provide visual representations of complex statistics. In the left-hand graph, for instance, the use of large numbers and visual division of percentages helps the reader to visualise the gas emissions.

The writer’s use of language is the most effective tool in portraying scientific information to a non-expert audience. Throughout the passage, the writer combines technical terms with colloquial language, in order to make the information accessible for an audience who may not necessarily understand technical descriptions. For example, when discussing greenhouse gases, the writer adds colloquial and even humorous explanations of more complex terms: “livestock farming (farting cows) and paddy farming (rotting vegetation)”. Similarly, non-scientific language is used to describe scientific phenomena, with words such as “burping” instead of scientific jargon. Idiomatic language is also used to keep the tone conversational, such as “nasty sting in its tail”, “sky high” and “hot potato”. This informal tone avoids the article becoming inaccessibly technical, thus effectively portraying the information to the reader.

In conclusion, the writer effectively portrays information about climate change to the non-expert audience by ensuring that the layout is easy to read, that the images enhance understanding of the content, and that the language isn’t too technical and heavy.

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IGCSE Climate Change : The Facts Model Essays Question 01

IGCSE Climate Change : The Facts Model Essays Question 01

Edexcel English IGCSE: Climate Change: The Facts

 

Q1. In ‘Climate Change: The Facts’, how does the writer make the article appealing for the reader? You should consider the writer’s use of language. Refer closely to the passage to support your answer. You may use brief quotations.

Edexcel English IGCSE Model Essay by an Expert

‘Climate Change: The Facts’ is an informative article, designed to provide information about climate change. However, in order to engage the reader, the writer must also include features which are appealing. In this article, the clear layout, striking images and friendly language make the article enjoyable to read.

The layout and images in this article make it visually appealing and easy to read. The article is laid out in columns, which creates lots of space on the page, so the reader isn’t overwhelmed by a large block of text. The use of questions as subtitles creates an inquisitive tone, suggesting that the article is providing information on a topic which many people may not know about. Each sub-heading is in a bold font, so the reader can quickly find the section which they consider most interesting. The images provide visual representations of the phenomena described in the written article. They use bright primary colours which capture the reader’s attention; these colours are associated with simplicity, which makes the diagrams seem easy to understand. In order to make these factual diagrams more appealing, there are unnecessary details added to the images, such as the river, satellite and cityscape in the middle image. Thus the purpose of these images is not just to inform, but also to entertain.

The writer uses colloquial language to avoid the technical subject matter becoming too heavy. Although the writer does use some technical language to lend scientific authority to her claims (for example, “atmospheric carbon dioxide”), generally she attempts to keep the tone light-hearted and easy-to-read. Interspersed with the technical terms is non-scientific language to help describe scientific phenomena, such as “mop up some of the heat”, “hangs around” and “burping”. This aids understanding of the content and contributes to the light-hearted tone. She also uses idiomatic expressions such as “a fringe subject”, “political hot potato” and “nasty sting in its tail”. These create a conversational tone, which is appealing to the reader, who is very unlikely to be an expert in environmental science.

Nevertheless, the writer is describing a serious issue, and uses emotive vocabulary to appeal to the reader’s sense that something should be done about it. The alliteration in “relentless rise” creates drama, adding to the frightening impression that climate change is an unstoppable force. The word “trigger” is repeated in the article. This is an emotive word, which has associations with violence and trauma. The phrase “scientists fear” is also repeated several times, which contributes to the sense of anxiety surrounding the subject. These evocations of anxiety help to make the issue sound urgent and important.

This article is intended for non-scientists, and thus it is important that it appeals to a non-expert audience. By keeping the tone light-hearted and making the science easy to understand, the writer succeeds in creating an appealing article.

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