AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 5 (updated & animated)

AQA English Language Paper 2 question 5 is
the writing question in Paper 2. It is a 40 mark question, with 24 marks awarded
for a05, and 16 marks awarded for a06 Section B builds on Section A. In Section
A you were given two sources presenting viewpoints on a topic or theme, and you’ve answered
questions on how the writers present those viewpoints. In section B, you have an opportunity
to present your own personal view-point. In this question, you’ll be presented with
a controversial statement, and asked to respond with your viewpoint. Let’s look at a typical
question: ‘School uniform is the number one most important
factor in ensuring that students behave well and achieve academic success at school’.
Write a letter to your head teacher arguing for or against the abolition of school uniform. Now it’s worth pointing out here that, historically,
3 out of the 4 past live papers have given you the choice of agreeing or disagreeing
with the statement. Just once there has been a statement where you’ve not been asked
to agree or disagree, but asked to explain your view on something. For example, the question
was something like this: ‘Most lessons are boring. Write a letter to your teacher explaining
what you think makes a good school lesson.’ So in that case, you couldn’t choose to
agree or disagree, but you still had the freedom to decide what to write about in what you
decided made a good school lesson. The question will always set out a clear audience,
purpose and form. Now form is an interesting one, because there
is a minimum expectation of what to include for each form of writing, and other features you might
include: For example, with a letter, at a minimum it
needs to be clear that you are sending a letter to someone – you might achieve that through
writing ‘Dear Mr Smith’ at the beginning. And you have to write in paragraphs too. You
can then take that all the way through to what we know of the letter form: address,
date, formal mode of address with ‘Dear Sir / Madam’, and an appropriate sign off
like ‘yours sincerely / faithfully’. Now for me, I think it’s easier to use all of
the features of the given form, rather than to have to stop and try to remember which
ones I need to include and which ones I don’t. The forms you might be asked to write in include:
A letter An article
The text for a leaflet a speech
An essay. Now we don’t have time to go through all
of those here, but they are all covered in Mr Bruff’s Guide to GCSE English Language,
available in paperback on Amazon or eBook at You’ll also be given a specific purpose
for your work. This could be be worded as writing to explain, instruct, advise, argue
or persuade. There’s also a chance it could be worded as something different again, but
the key thing is that, whatever the wording of the question, you’re being asked to present
your viewpoint on a topic. The third thing is audience, and this is something
many students overlook. Now, one of the skills for high marks in this question is to actually
write an answer that is highly plausible, made up of convincing ideas. Let me give you
an example from a real exam a number of years ago to show you what I mean. The question was ‘write a letter to your
parents in which you persuade them to let you go on holiday with a friend this summer.’ I was an examiner on this exam, and I marked
over 300 attempts at this question. Thinking about audience was so important with this
question, and I’ll tell you why. Most students realised that, with their parents
as their audience, they would need to persuade them of the benefits of the holiday such as
learning a new language, experiencing a new culture, and developing independence. These
students were thinking carefully about what their audience – their parents, would be persuaded
by. Some students did not think about this at
all. They wrote about going to Ibiza, staying out all night, getting drunk. And of course,
these answers were not convincing. They did not take into account who their audience was,
and how they could best persuade that audience. A tiny percentage of top mark students thought
carefully about their audience and used that connection with their parents to be subtle.
They wrote things like ‘Dear mum and dad. I know I’ve been moody during my exams,
and you deserve a break. I know you want me to grow up to be independent, and not reliant
on you forever. Well here’s a solution to both of those issues: let me go on holiday
with a friend this summer. You see, the top mark skills of writing something
Highly plausible, Enthralling, Original and subtle are only likely to come if you think
carefully about your audience and how you can best present your viewpoint to them. Another thing to think about is your structure
– less successful answers are made up of separate ideas presented with no sense of sequencing.
Better answers present a line of argument, well structured. Perhaps you can have a cyclical
structure, where you begin and end with the same idea for emphasis. Perhaps you can begin
simply and move on to develop more complex ideas. Thinking about your structure is very
important. As with paper 1 question 5, 16 marks are awarded
for technical accuracy. That means you need to give yourself plenty of time to check your work,
both as you are writing and also at the end. I hope you found this video useful. If you’d like to see a longer video on this question please click here on the screen. Please do subscribe to the channel.

89 Replies to “AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 5 (updated & animated)

  1. This will be very helpful because on at Saturday that would mean 3 days after this video it will be my language exam June 7!

  2. It would be cool if there would be a summary of this year's language videos and any extra useful tips for exam! Of course, these videos have been so helpful – thanks mrbruff!

  3. Hey Mr Bruff, thanks for everything with your videos they are really helping. I was just wondering how can I send you a creative writing I did. I sent it to my teacher and they haven't responded and my exam is in 4 days. If you could answer, it would be a dream. Thanks!

  4. are you allowed to start the paper in the reverse order?
    so do question 5 first then 4,3,2, and 1 last?
    or will this confuse the examiner?

  5. In 2017 and 2018 it's been a article, speech or letter. Would it be a leaflet this time or would it be a speech as we haven't had a speech since 2017 June? For AQA.
    We haven't had a leaflet before.

  6. Great Hopefully i will not be doing the re test.
    Thanks for everything Mr Bruff

    Keep going. We are almost there Y11
    Like for good luck

  7. Thought this would help:
    Check out the new animated videos:

    AQA English Language Paper 1 Question 1

    AQA English Language Paper 1 Question 2

    AQA English Language Paper 1 Question 3

    AQA English Language Paper 1 Question 4

    AQA English Language Paper 1 Question 5

    AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 1

    AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 2

    AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 3

    AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 4

    AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 5

  8. Hey, I know its really long but if people could read my creative writing below and give me advice I would be super thankful 🙂 :

    Write about a time you were very scared 
    It’s a tradition in my family to run away from our problems. My little brother Tom and I often went out every Wednesday to escape the suffocation of work on our desks. He’s lively, still young enough to screech “Mummy!” when he hears the ice-cream truck in the far distance and has a smile tattooed on his face. He has a unique ability to cheer me up despite himself being silently strangled by the emerging pressures of school and society. He was too innocent to worry about some things and I was too naïve to not worry about some others.  
    Wednesday; we were on our usual early evening walk. Passing the same lifeless houses, just one hour later than usual. The crescent moon reflected in yesterday’s puddles which glazed the lacklustre pavement. The darkness hid the auburn leaves that outlined the footpaths and cobwebs clung onto the stained wooden fences that confined us. There was one lamppost every 100 metres, 2 if we were lucky, and yet they were not bright enough to guide us through the night. Two more lefts and we were not far from home. I thought I could hear Tom’s heart beating too strong and too fast to feel secure, whilst all he could hear were the haunting footsteps closing in behind us. Before I got the opportunity to ask him if he was alright… everything went silent. Tom’s set place on my right was empty. 
    Against my will I looked back to see a shadow run hurriedly under the closest light. Who and what the shadow was a mystery to both me and the tree branches overlooking. My breathing quickened and my voice ran from me before I got the chance to scream. Countless scenarios bounced round my mind. Do I chase them? Do I go home? None yelling “be frozen” nevertheless that was all my body chose to hear and do. It was too cold for tears to run down my face, instead they built up a wall blurring my vision. My left foot stepped closer to home before the right shuffled apprehensively towards where the shadow went.  
    A muffled yell sounded behind me as if a hand was restricting its full volume. It was Tom’s. It was often he accidently stepped on a Lego piece at home and so I became accustomed to such a scream for help, except this time it was more life threatening. I had never been so scared with so much at risk. The wind slithered between the weak blades of grass peaking through the cement cracks and my senses made more alert. Wherever he was, whoever he may have been with, I had to find him. That’s when I heard my little brother squealing my name in the distance. Before my heart had a say, my legs bolted into the murkiness of the footpaths, getting further from the safety of my home.

  9. I know this is stupid but in the exam my mind went blank and I wrote a story about the picture in question 5 😭. Would I still get marks?

  10. For question 5 in the exam I did the write a story with the title abandoned. I heard everyone wrote about being abandoned but I wrote about an abandoned house. Is that alright?

  11. In the exam when you're checking over your work and you spot something you need to add to a certain point, is it ok to do a star and then another star at the end and write what you need to?

  12. Do you have to write your address if question 5 was about a letter.
    And do you have to include language techniques also

  13. There’s a structural format for Q5, from which I have learnt; it’s called IDEAS

    Examine the other side

  14. Very late question, with the exam being tomorrow; however, with the audience aspect: is it worth being informal if the audience happens to be your parents (again) or a close friend, or should we stay formal no matter the audience? Any help would be appriciated, big man Bruff or any other kind stranger 🙂

  15. could you say something like ("Mom. Dad. The idea of not going to x…………")
    basically, is it technically accurate to have full stops after single words to create emphasis?

  16. If it says write as speech do you have to start with ‘ I’m going to speak today.. ‘ or ‘Good Evening all..’ or something along those lines?

  17. Are you marked low for question 5 if you don’t do the correct form but still write for the correct audience and purpose?

  18. Hello mr bruff, how many marks do you lose for writing in the wrong style, e.g, question asks for letter and i write a speech

  19. how many marks would i loose for not writing in a letter format with no your sincerly no adress no ect but just writing to someone??

  20. I have been made to answer this question for an opinion already given to me.
    so its telling me the opinion I need to take. Would this appear on an actual paper or is this just my teacher?

  21. well I didn’t cos you talk to posh got mocks need help with all my language and I still don’t have a clue what to do

  22. I messed up in my mocks, I really want to do English lit for a level but I find English language so much harder. I hope with hard work this year I can get a 7 in it!

  23. I would struggled with Paper 1 Resit but after watching your videos helps me realised what I could have done better during the GCSE and it made me felt even more confident when I done the resit.

    Now Paper 2 is tomorrow and I feel much for confident on what I should carefully look out for what the question asks. Thank you Mr Bruff for you amazing work in helping us GCSE and Resits Students!

  24. i love how the eyes of the cartoon version of himself do not have pupils or eye lids, and instead, his irises blink. It's kind of freaky but fascinating at the same time ahah

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