AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 3 (updated & animated)


AQA English Language Paper 2 question 3 is
the language analysis question, and in this video we’ll look at how language analysis is about so
much more than spotting and defining language choices – it’s about writing about their their effect in a specific and contextualised way. AQA English Language Paper 2 question 3 assesses
the language element of assessment objective 2:
Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects
and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their view.
Now in this exam, what we mean by language analysis is pointed out in the mark scheme:
a writer’s use of words/phrases/language features and techniques and sentences forms.
You’ll note that this is the same thing we looked at in Paper 1 question 2, but in
that question they were listed in bullet points. In this question language means the same thing,
it’s just that there aren’t any bullet points, so you need to remember the areas
that you could write about. In this question, you’re directed to a section
of one of the sources and asked to analyse how the writer uses language.
Before we look at a sample question, let me point out that there has been a lot of variety
in this question over the four live exams we’ve had so far:
Firstly, the lines in question have ranged from as short a section of text as just 7
lines, to as many as 16 lines. And the source in question 3 has twice focused
on the 19th C text, and twice focused on the more modern text, so you need to be happy
with analysing language in both. Even the focus of the question can vary: so
far the question has been how is language used to describe a person, or an experience,
or the setting. With that said, let’s look at a sample question,
created exclusively for this video, based on the source taken from Mr Bruff’s Guide
to GCSE English Language, which is available in paperback on Amazon or eBook at
You now need to refer only to Source B from lines 10 to 33
How does the writer use language to describe Adrian and Woodland Green School?
[12 marks] So this is a 12 mark question, which means
you should spend around 15 minutes on it. That gives you plenty of time to re-read the
lines you’ve been directed to and to pick out examples to write about. Now the assessment objective for question
2 refers to the use of ‘relevant subject terminology’, and this has led some students
to approach the question as if it is all about feature spotting – looking out for similes,
metaphors, personification, that kind of thing. The key to this question is to be specific
about the effects the writer’s language choices have, or explain a reason behind the
writer’s choices. Your comments have to be specific to the text – they need to be
precise and contextualised to the extract. One way to do this, is to read the extract
and ask yourself ‘what is the specific effect that the writer is trying to achieve?’ It
could be to reveal a key characteristic of a person, such as dominance, or confidence,
excitability or enthusiasm. Or it could be to present a feeling about an experience,
such as intimidation or vulnerability. It really could be anything, so you need to re-read
the lines carefully and not just look for language to write about, but to think carefully
about the effect. So let’s look at that part of the text:
Dear Mr Woolark, I am writing with reference to the continued
poor behaviour exhibited by your son, Adrian, here at Woodland Green School.
At Woodland Green, we pride ourselves on providing the very best education available to our students.
As you are supposedly aware, lessons begin at 7:30 a.m., with students quickly making
their way to the schoolroom. It is unfortunate that Adrian seems to find it impossible to
arrive at school on time although this is not why he has been reprimanded.
Each schoolroom here at Woodland Green contains as many as one hundred students, who are eager
and keen to learn. Students are seated at an iron-framed desk, which is bolted to the
floor, facing the front of the room. Seating is tiered towards the back of the room to
ensure that all pupils are able to see clearly to the front of the class. These seating arrangements
ensure all students are given an excellent view of the class teacher from whom they will
be learning. We pride ourselves on our teachers here, Mr Woolark, and students who do the
same are quick to learn, nay, to excel. Adrian does not seem to feel the same way. Twice,
yes twice, he has been caught talking over the teacher Mr Butterly. Mr Butterly, himself
now a little hard of hearing, was not aware of Adrian’s idle chatter, but I myself was.
I observed Adrian through the curtain at the rear of the room and withdrew him directly
to my office to receive the cane. He was obstinate enough to inform me that he knew all about
the topic Mr Butterly was expounding upon and therefore had no need to listen. You can
quite understand, I am sure, that I therefore proceeded to administer two lashes of ‘old
faithful’? In our example, the writer clearly wants to
present Adrian as being disobedient and disrespectful, and the school as majestic and beyond reproach.
Let’s finish this video by looking at a sample paragraph:
Thompson uses a range of negative emotive language to describe Adrian, detailing the:
‘poor behaviour exhibited’ by the boy. The use of the verb ‘exhibited’ has an extra layer
of criticism to it, as it suggests that Adrian’s bad behaviour is some sort of public spectacle,
a performance given for the purpose of eliciting a response. It is as if the boy has deliberately
misbehaved, rather than accidentally found himself in trouble. This exaggerates the sense
of Adrian’s disobedience. This negative emotive language is juxtaposed with a wealth
of positive terms to describe Woodland Green school. Thompson employs a range of positive
adjectives such as ‘keen’, ‘eager’ and ‘best’, juxtaposing the negative description of Adrian
with the positive description of the school to emphasise just how wonderful the school
is and just how disobedient Adrian is.

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62 thoughts on “AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 3 (updated & animated)”

  1. aka Creckcity says:

    Mr Bruff your videos are really useful and easy to understand but can you please stop wasting 3 seconds of my life advertising your study guides. I would understand if it was just in a couple videos but you always have to advertise half way into the video.

  2. Twebis says:

    Mr bruff how many paragraphs should i do for this question, and also question 2? I love your videos, you have a great talent.

  3. Deeta Mahbubani says:

    How many points should we aim to make for each question?

  4. Ayesha Mahmood says:

    Do we have to write our paragraphs as a comparison if the question refers to two separate ideas from the text. Or can we just write about them in separate paragraphs?

  5. That random Fangirl says:

    Last minute revision with less than 24 hours to go 😢

  6. XyTri says:


  7. Joe Irwin says:

    2:13 you said question 2 but it’s question 3

  8. ayesha noor says:

    I am a mature student, and learnt a lot from these videos. Thank you so much mrbruff.

  9. CaPtIn KeNwAy says:

    Last minute revison

  10. Ethan says:

    Cannot WAIT to be done with English for good after this exam 🙂

  11. Ibzino says:

    I can’t be the only one revising the day before right?

  12. joan okameme says:

    I know that this has nothing to do with anything but why are his irises blinking 1:05 , as in not the actual eyes themselves XD! You can really tell that I'm unserious

  13. ZafoR says:

    I wish we could swap brains for 2 hours😅😂

  14. The Gaming Johnson says:

    revising the night before guys 🙂

  15. Izzy Eleanor says:

    Is question 3 of language paper 2 basically just like question 2 on language paper 1?

  16. Georgia Dunderdale says:

    Bro. Who else is biffed

  17. Georgia Dunderdale says:

    I've learnt more from freesciencelessons and Mr. Bruff than I've learnt from anyone ever in my life.

  18. Bui Cong Nhat Hung says:

    mans getting a 4 tomorrow ye

  19. Aston says:

    Good luck lads

  20. ahmad jarir says:

    I just woke up and now started revising. Anyone else?

  21. plz help y am i alive says:

    Why do his pupils blink in the animation

  22. yung mordnigz says:

    i love Allah
    Then my mother
    Then MR BRUFF
    Then my father

  23. Nomi Noman says:

    who is up at this time revising?

  24. big Ziggy says:

    less than 7 hours to go

  25. big Ziggy says:

    i need help!!!!!!!!!!!11

  26. Jessica Elizabeth Turner says:

    Exam's in 2 and a half hours!! I actually pray the sources are blessed

  27. LegendaryButt says:

    Last hour and 45mins lads

  28. Zee says:

    y did i think starting at 6am was a good idea lmao

  29. Mita Begum says:

    What is the difference between words and phrases and language features

  30. TAKZ II says:

    last minute ting!!

  31. Bob Bob says:

    Last minute

  32. Big Chungus says:

    Last hour revision 😭😂

  33. Bob Bob says:

    Anyone who revised before today: Your Mum is a hoe!

  34. Amir Penkar says:

    Millions of students, only 60K views… I think we still have a chance guys

  35. Piano master 64 says:

    Let's get this bread boyyyssss

  36. ahmad jarir says:

    Anyone here in the morning of the exam to be bothered enough to read the comments!

  37. James Ocampo says:

    Cant wait

  38. GeorgeAyres says:

    45 mins to my exam. Last minute revision

  39. Abdirahiim Abdi says:

    its ya boy with 20min to go

  40. Maxton Tuttiett says:

    Here we go boys

  41. Sweettyx says:

    Exam in 25 min 😭😭

  42. Ammieø says:


  43. Beans says:

    Cheers for that boss

  44. Chukzs LY says:

    I need advice 😭really stressed. WROTE ABOUT SOURCE B INSTEAD OF A. Completely overlooked question is the frenzy of wanting to finish the paper. I cannot not get a grade 7..🤯😕

  45. joobisanya says:

    What happens if you write about the wrong part of the text 😫

  46. j-slay says:

    the 14 dislikes on this are from our english teachers

  47. ImranGetsCrafty YT says:

    The dislikes are the teachers who thought their teaching would be good

  48. Albi Hossain says:

    aren't the paragraphs too big if u have to write them in 15 mins and write 3 of them like the sample one?

  49. aisha bashir says:

    stop scrolling and watch the damn video

  50. Jai Chauhan says:

    do you need to mention the reader and how they would interpret or feel???

  51. UNFAZED HAZE says:


  52. Hario338 says:

    I just did a 2 hour long revision session on the old "extended" format for paper 1 and I was originally annoyed by the new format when I started this (currently paused) session for paper 2, but now I think I like it more. You explain alot more info in alot less time, I can tell because I'm already here at q3 after 40 minutes when it took me almost a whole hour to get there for paper 1.

  53. Birhad Rashid says:

    resit gang?

  54. Joe Mayers says:

    Thank you very much mr bluff you have helped my a lot and have driven me towards a seven you are very nice and btw I love your rap videos XD

  55. M B says:

    how many paragraphs do you write?

  56. kon1402 says:

    A nice animation but, sadly, the "model" paragraph is cringe-worthy. Firstly, it starts with a false promise: " Hi, I am a paragraph and I am going to tell you about a RANGE of emotive language used to describe Adrian. I will start with giving you a rather long and ambitious interpretation of a single word. This will conclude my RANGE as I have decided to change the topic in the middle of paragraph and describe the school now. I am going to show you a proper range this time." 🙂 Secondly, the topic of the paragraph is unclear: is it language to describe Adrian or his behaviour? Who's Adrian? His behaviour where? At the zoo? In the cinema?

    The topic sentence of the paragraph could be clearer if it was like this: "Thompson, in school's letter to mum, uses a range of negative emotive language to describe Adrian's 'poor behaviour' at school." A good topic sentence offers necessary contextual info about the character and the setting. Imagine that you didn't read the letter and you are reading just the model paragraph: "At school" helps readers to assume that Adrian is a student and serves to activate our contextual knowledge about what kind of behaviour we might be looking at. Without "at school" and "a letter to mum", we have no clue who Adrian is and what sort of behaviour we are talking at.

    The paragraph, then, would proceed to analyse language used to describe: Adrian's punctuality, his apparent unwillingness to learn and excel, his disruptive behaviour, disobedience and lack of respect for authority. We should leave the school as a topic for the next paragraph.

  57. Miraculous Ladybug says:

    I learn more here than at school😭😭😭my gcse’s are in a few monthss

  58. Evan says:

    Do you have to find persuasive techniques and or can you do similes and metaphors too

  59. ATORAT Gaming says:

    When the animated version of u is writing, can u change the handwriting for it please, because honestly i can't even read it properly.

    Thanks and Great video

  60. Rapid ABDUL says:

    the 29 dislikes from those who are foolish and don't understand this easy, quick-short video + from those who are jealous of him.

  61. Ice Bear says:

    You need to make a website like hegarty maths, it would help students like me 😊

  62. Ben Ellerton says:

    Love the tips I really wanna get this English gcse lmao

  63. michael ndulor says:

    how long should you roughly take on a language paper 2 question 3 question ?

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