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English Lit/Lang Anthology [NSPCC] Cheat Sheet by

A Level English Lit/Lang [OCR Exam Board]

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Further analysis

Effective use of modals

Title of text- simple, hand-drawn style and direct appeal for help (to two audiences - childline and ideal reader) works effect­ively to establish a voice and identity for the rest of the ad.
The use of one clause is straig­htf­orward and the use of modal auxiliary ("...can you help me?") adds a simple appeal on the part of the narrator.
If this had been switched modal (will or could, perhaps) the effect might've been less powerful.

Contra­sting register

The first text box in the main part of the ad uses a very different style from much of the rest of the text. Here the noun phrases "an integral part of the NSPCC" and "a free and confid­ential servic­e" sound more formal and seem to come from a different register (that of social work and care) than the style used in Molly's own account.
It's perhaps this contrast in registers that shows how the NSPCC can offer expertise and experience to help Molly and children like her, framing her lonely and desperate experience with the language of care and support.

Manipu­lating tense

The use of present tense here (shown by "­am" and its the contracted form of "­m") helps establish the narrative and the voice of the narrator. There is a switch into the simple past tense in the second sentence with the verbs "­cal­led­" and "­was­" before the scene is completed using the past perfective "and my Mum still hadn't come home"

Revealing insecu­rities through grammar

The insecure status of Molly is highli­ghted by two verb processes in this section. In the first sentence, the subject of the clause ("sh­e" i.e her mum) keeps leaving the children alone, so they are the object of the verb phrase "kept leavin­g". In the second sentence, Molly herself is the subject ("I") but in a passive constr­uction where she is receiving the action of the verb "to be allowe­d" ("wasn't allowed).
This means that the mother is shown to be respon­sible for the process of leaving the children alone, while Molly is the victim of the process of not being allowed to answer the door; this contri­butes to the repres­ent­ation of Molly as lacking control and power in her life.
This is then accent­uated by the lack of knowledge she has in the clause "I didn't know how to take care of him". The child-like compound sentence structure of the final sentence and the choice of the adverb intens­ifier "all sweaty­" add to the presen­tation of Molly as lacking in experience and confid­ence: hardly surpri­sing, given that she's only 10 and shouldn't have to deal with situations like this.

Adjectival choices and noun phrases

The simplicity of the adjective choices here again reflect the age of the narrator ("lo­nel­y", "­sca­red­" and "­nic­e") and the straig­htf­orward reassu­rance that Childline offer her, but once again the lack of control Molly has over her own life is reflected in the last compou­nd-­complex sentence which all hinges upon the final clause ("...when I heard Mum's key in the lock"). Even at this stage of the narrative, the choice of the noun phrase "­Mum's Key" rather than "­Mum­" highlights the absence of the mother in her children's lives.

Language choices for an upbeat ending

The last part of Molly's narrative returns (in part, at least) to the present tense she began with ("Tommy and me have visits with Mum now") and there is a move away from Molly being at the mercy of verb processes to a degree of control: she and Tommy are the agents of the verb "to have". There's a nod to the future with the use of the modal auxiliary "I will never forget..."­ so a suggestion that she doesn't have to concern herself all the time with what is happening now but can think ahead once again. The final complex sentence "that makes me more confident whenever I get nervou­s" foregr­ounds the positive main clause with its compar­ative adjective phrase "more confid­ent­", rather than the nervou­sness described in the subord­inate clause ("wh­enever I get nervou­s"), creating a more hopeful impression to finish with.
Like many other choices of language and structure, think about how this might have been different had the text producers chosen a different structure. Here it works well because it fits the overall pattern - ending Molly's story with a more upbeat tone.

The creation of hope

The overall picture from this charity ad is one of hope and its clear to see that this is created in a number of ways. There are lexical choices which make a difference - so individual words and their meanings have quite an impact on how we read the text - but gramma­tical choices, often to do with tense and aspect (how time is repres­ented through language) and clause linking (how clauses are linked and the relati­onship between them) and have a big impact. Beyond the level of words and sentences, there's also the use of a wider structure, not just in Molly's narrative but in the whole of the ad itself.

About this charity fundra­ising leaflet


Genre: Charity fundra­ising leaflet
Register: Mixed
Audience: General public, househ­olders
Mode: Writte­n/drawn
Purpose: Persuade to pay by creating sympat­hy/­ins­tru­ctions about finance


Impera­tives as a triple "­com­plete call visit" and direct address "can you help" me to engage­/in­struct reader how to contribute
First person anecdote to create a convincing moving account of suffering: "I’m Molly"
Reproduces cute cartoo­ns/­child’s handwr­iti­ng/­sus­pension dots to grab reader’s attention and make difficult subject of abuse more palatable

Child-like lexis used to create believable voice "me and my baby brothe­r"
Subjective noun phrases used to promote the charity’s good work "nice lady crucial servic­e"
spoken non- standard features "me and Tommy" and informal contra­ctions "I’m I wasn’t­"

Assertive modal "­mus­t" used in motto/­cat­chp­hrase to highlight urgency
Clever antithesis "give a little to help a lot" has emotional appeal
Frequent compound sentences reproduce child’s syntax accurately "he was crying and there was no food"
Emotive adverb "­urg­ent­ly" encourages immediate response
Incons­istent child voice spoke to an advisor suggests text has been manipu­lated
Points about NSPCC leaflet


Language framew­orks:
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) leaflet 'Hello... can you help me?' is a simple but effective piece of campai­gning that makes us of a number of different language techni­ques.

Graphology and design
- Effective in conveying a simple message to the text's potential audience
- Simple, child-like illust­rations support the narrative
- The font choices show the different between the voice of the narrator and the more author­itative voice of the charity itself.

Voice and address
- Address used in text to create first-­person voice for the child 'Molly'.
- First-­person pronouns (and possessive determ­iners) in the first paragraph of the narrative ("I" and "­my") help establish the first-­person account and create an identity from which the rest of the story will be told.
- NSPCC's voice is constr­ucted rather differ­ently, initially avoiding direct address to the reader, taking a third-­person approach in the first text box ("ch­ildline forms...") before switching to direct address in the last text box with an imperative ("please give a little to help a lot") and second­-person pronou­ns/­pos­sessive determ­iners "your help" as well as constr­ucting a group identity for the charity with the 1st person plural pronoun "­us"(a much more 'human' choice than "­it" which they could have used instead in a clause like "­there are three ways to donate to it..."
- Voice of child is establ­ished not just in terms of her colloquial style and child-like register- instead of using more formal subject pronoun "­I" in "­Tommy and I", she uses the colloquial non-st­andard object pronoun "me and Tommy".

Story-like structure
- Structure is story-­like, more effect­ively uses narrative elements that are familiar to most readers
- First and last few lines of narrative are in the present tense ("I'm Molly..." and "­Tommy and me have visits­") but these bookend a mostly past tense narrative ("the first time I called it was after midnig­ht".
- Structural elements also fit into a Labovian narrative structure, perhaps intent­ionally designed to make it sound more like a genuinely spoken account.
There is an abstract just before Molly's narrative begins ("Ch­ildren contacted childl­ine­"), an orient­ation (the first paragraph of Molly's story, setting the scene and giving contex­tua­lising details such as her age and where she was), a compli­cating action (Tommy becoming ill and her call to childl­ine), a resolution (Child­line's interv­ention and support) and a coda (what's happened since their interv­ent­ion).
The narrative helps provide a positive model for what can happen to children like Molly if the audience follow the intention of the text producers and support the campaign.


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