Paper 2

In this paper, there are two sections. In Section A (Imaginative Writing), you will be asked to write a narrative (opening or ending of a story/novel) or descriptive piece. In Section B (Writing for an Audience), you can be asked to write a variety of genres aimed at different audiences. This can include letters, leaflets, T.V. broadcast scripts, podcast scripts, voiceover scripts, magazine articles, newspaper articles and speech scripts.

In each section, there are three choices of questions. Answer one from each section, writing 600-900 words for each.

Some general tips for Paper 2:

  • Once again, read the question carefully. Focus on the part where it says ‘In your writing, create a sense of…’
  • Plan your writing.
  • Use effective literary techniques. Find a list here!
  • Write something from experience, or something inspired by it. This will allow your writing to be more engaging as you will probably be more involved in it.
  • Use conjunction to make your writing ‘flow’.
  • Sometimes, you’re asked to write two smaller contrasting pieces (300-450 words each) instead of one 600-900 word piece. For these, make sure to not just use ‘opposite’ words and phrases; use convincingly contrasting ideas.
  • Try to create arresting openings/endings or even cliffhangers.
  • Make sure to divide your writing into paragraphs. Create a new paragraph every time the following changes: time, place, topic, person ( i.e., when a new character speaks or acts). You can use the mnemonic ‘TIPTOP’ to remember this – TIME, PLACE, TOPIC AND PERSON.

Section A: Imaginative Writing 

1. If you’ve chosen to write a narrative, you need to use your characters, their words and their actions to build the story. Use vivid settings and convincing dialogue to create the ‘sense’ that the question asks for.

Sometimes, you’re given an opening or ending sentence as a writing prompt. Make sure that the language you use is consistent with the language of the prompt.

In addition, you often only need to write an opening or an ending so don’t get carried away by the plot and write a whole story!

Also remember to choose a perspective that is appropriate. Sometime, it’s better to write in the first person (if you want to deeply explore a person’s thoughts and feelings, for instance) while other times the third person is a better bet (when you want to provide a general overview of a setting, for example).

2. If you’ve chosen to write a descriptive piece instead, you need to, obviously, include a great deal of EFFECTIVE description. Do not use unnecessary dialogue and turn your writing into a narration instead. And, remember to SHOW, not tell!

Writing in the third person is often the most common in descriptive pieces, but if you feel confident enough, you can write in the first person and use that central character to explore the setting (as well as other characters) and give detailed descriptions.

Section B: Writing for an Audience

As I mentioned before, there are several genres that you may be asked to write.

1. T.V. broadcast scripts (e.g., a press conference)

  • An interview format may be used.
  • Stage, lighting and music directions can be added.

2. Voiceovers (e.g., a documentary voiceover)

  • Use phrases like ‘Here we have the…’ or ‘As you can see here…’ which implies that something is being shown to the audience.
  • Imagine yourself reading this out and check whether it sounds like something you would listen to rather than read.
  • Employ an appropriate tone.

3. Podcast scripts (e.g., a radio show)

  • Once again, use a tone that is appropriate to the topic.
  • Use radio jargon (e.g., ‘D.J.’, ‘Thank you for tuning in to…’, ‘Stay tuned’ etc)
  • Read over your writing and ask yourself whether it would sound odd coming from a radio.

4. Magazine articles

  • Usually, for these articles, you will be asked to write about something not too serious and to write with a sense of enthusiasm, so include words and a tone that imply an encouraging, lively personality.
  • Use subheadings to divide your writing into appropriate sections.
  • Use phrases like ‘last issue’ or ‘the next month’s article’, i.e., magazine-related phrases.

5. Newspaper articles

  • Usually more formal than magazine articles so employ a tone that indicates ‘purposefulness’.
  • Include statistics, facts, figures, etc.
  • Use phrases such as ‘According to our sources…’ or ‘Our sources say that…’
  • Use subtitles if necessary.
  • Use euphemisms if necessary.

6. Speeches

  • Include a brief salutation and introduction.
  • Use repetition, rhetorical questions and personal pronouns to drive your point across.
  • Remember that it is being SPOKEN. Read it to yourself and see if it sounds like a speech.

7. Letters

  • You don’t need to include the sender’s or receiver’s address. Just a salutation will suffice.
  • Begin with a suitable opening line like ‘I’m writing to inform you…’
  • As your letter is most likely to be addressed to only one person, make it relevant to that person. Use personal pronouns if appropriate.

8. Leaflets

  • Imagine yourself reading your writing on a leaflet. Would you find it interesting?
  • According to the Examiner Report, the text on a leaflet ‘should be punchy and attractive to the reader’.

As a general tip for Section B, remember to always keep your audience in mind. You don’t want to use sophisticated language in a voiceover aimed at kids!