Unfamiliar texts practice

Hi. This is a practice of the unfamiliar texts test I have done using resources found online. Could you please give me some feedback on how I’ve done and how I could improve to get excellence. Thanks so much in advance and sorry that it’s so much text.



Resource booklet:


Question one: Narrative prose

The writer of the text uses adjectives to describe the road trip. This can be seen when the writer states “The boot is sat on once, twice, three times to make it clutch tightly on to everything else you’re supposed to take with you on an epic road trip.”

The use of the word “epic” as an adjective in this text shows that the writer has been told that the road trip would be epic. This is emphasised by the writer repeating it throughout the text, using the language feature repetition. This also shows that the expectations for the road trip are high. Another language feature that has been used in this text is personification. This is shown when the car breaks down 53 minutes into the road trip and the writer states “Fifty-three minutes later, on the hill before Waitati on State Highway 1, the Triumph 2000 dies.” Overall, throughout the text the language features; adjectives, repetition, and personification have been used. It is shown that the expectations of the road trip had been raised high but in the end, the road trip didn’t even end up happening.

Question two: Poetry

The writer of the text uses contrast in the book that the mother is reading to the child. This can be seen when the writer states “Mice as big as teapots come into a story”.

There are a variety of different language features used throughout this text. One of these is the use of adjectives. An example of this is when the writer states; “She detests the mice, the ridiculousness of teapots.” The use of the adjective; “ridiculousness” tells the reader that the child is not enjoying the story read to her by her mother. Another language feature used in this text is a simile when the writer states; “Then a dog, a greyhound, skinny as a one-line drawing of a dog”. This was used to show the reader how skinny the dog was. At the end of the text, the writer states “the child is grinning from there into town. She has seen the world and named it.” This tells the reader that the child is happier and is enjoying the world. Overall, the language features; contrast, adjectives, and simile have been used throughout the text. It is shown that at the beginning of the text the child is bored, angry, and sad but that upon seeing a greyhound, the child becomes happy.

Question three: Non-fiction

The writer of the text uses similes throughout the text. This can be seen when the writer states “I do little more than recoil like Dracula drenched in holy water” while talking about his reaction to the smell of fish.

The simile language feature in the text helps me to understand the writer’s attitude towards the seafood throughout the text. It does this by describing the writer’s reaction when their partner has had seafood in their house. Another example of a simile used in the text is when the writer states “There’s a fish market in Newmarket I don’t even like driving past unless the vents are off and the windows are up. Kind of like the old Westfield freezing works in Otahuhu.” The writer also makes use of rhetorical questions in the text. An example of this is in the last paragraph of the text when the writer asks “So, really, what is it about seafood? Have you looked at an oyster?” This shows that the writer doesn’t understand why people enjoy eating seafood and makes the reader think. Overall, the language features; similes and rhetorical questions have been used throughout the text. These help to show the writer’s attitude towards seafood.

Kia ora Kieran

So - you have some good language features throughout these responses and are starting to analyse in response to the questions.

You might consider opening with a bit of the discussion of what the writers purpose is more generally in the text. This is really important for Merit and Excellence answers. It might be something like “To portray how often in life we can be let down by our high expectations of how things might go”. Just ask yourself (about any text) what is the writer trying to say in terms of big ideas that I might be able to relate to or draw something important from. I would do this before you jump into language features.

A good idea is to start to talk about how the techniques work together instead of talking about them separately. So here you might write, instead of “Another language feature” A connecting phrase like “The writer then changes the tone with the use of personification to show those high expectations have been dashed”.

As well as purpose, it’s a good idea to hit on the key words from the question right from the opening to keep yourself on track and show the marker you understand the question. "The writer uses contrast IN ORDER to show how a child feels about a story that they are being read by their mother (key words). The writer does this to highlight how as children, stories can help us make sense of the world around is and… etc etc (purpose).

In order to build your analysis of techniques, consider saying more than one thing about it. Take your greyhound eg - “Then a dog, a greyhound, skinny as a one-line drawing of a dog”. This was used to show the reader how skinny the dog was” - you could then go on to say “This is crucial because it highlights the humour that is also carried into the next line…”

Q3 - same feedback as past two.

PLUS - when describing a simile or metaphor, try to dig into the specific things being compared. Here is an example using your chosen simile - “I do little more than recoil like Dracula drenched in holy water” – The writer cleverly compares his reaction to the seafood to a vampire reacting to holy water, in order to highlight how dramatic their dislike of seafood is - as we know that a vampire drenched in holy water would be in severe pain according to legends. Do you see how this is more specific?

Overall you have got the idea for sure - you can work on the things above to keep working toward excellence.

Hope this helps - let me know if you have any more questions :slight_smile: