This has been one of my most popular posts, with 1500 downloads in about eighteen months. I’ve decided to rewrite this somewhat, and to change the download link to save stress on my server. Glad it has been useful to so many.

For my class is an example essay for the Spoken Language controlled assessment. Below are a few questions for how it could be used, along with planning sheets. It will be used in class.

See me for any questions.

What is this essay?
It is an exemplar essay for responding to Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’ speech.

What is the purpose of this essay?
This essay is to show you what an A* essay would look like. It summarises the main points of each paragraph (of analysis) and offers you a word bank to employ. It is not to copy. Neither is it definitive; a different analysis of the same points can be made and an A* still achieved.|

How is it structured?
It focuses on a thematic structure rather than technique structure. That is, in a thematic structure each paragraph analyses a point Obama makes, and uses a spoken language techniques (tone, use of pause) in that analysis. A technique structure analyses a spoken language technique in each part and uses the point Obama makes to analyse the technique.

Why use a thematic structure?
Aiming to use a thematic structure ensures that you are focussing on analysing the techniques specifically (that is, applying the technique to the meaning and context in the speech rather than just saying that repetition ‘emphasises the point’.) In truth, both methods are similar, but I think that a thematic structure encourages more specific analysis.

How can I use this essay to help me?
Look at the bullet points/questions of analysis allocated to each paragraph. Can you see how the paragraph turns the bullet points into coherent analysis? In other words, can you see how the plan became the final product (a paragraph of analysis)?

Below you can find three examples of how to build this essay from scratch. The plan is perhaps more thorough than necessary, but it will give you something to aim for.

Example Spoken Language A* Essay Completed

Example Spoken Language A* Essay Planning Sheet

Example Spoken Language A* Essay bullet points only