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Festive Question 6

All forms are getting in the Christmas spirit. The Zebra is taking shape and looks like it will take out any Lion that attacks and my beard is becoming bushy like ole' St Nick.

So here is a Festive Question 6 for you:

Remember - Writing to Argue should be balanced and Writing to Persuade - Biased 

It is worth 24 marks with 8 of those being for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. You have 35 Minutes to write it in and you must aim to write 1 1/2 pages - 2 Pages.

Write a blog persuading people for or against the idea of giving to charity at Christmas time.

You know the drill - be daring, engaging, satirical and eloquent.

Show off your grasp of the English language and your wide and varied vocabulary. Try and switch between the humorous and serious / formal and informal.

Revision on Thursday night helped people come up with a formula to ensure at least C+ writing.

It goes to the tune of the Macarena:

1 word, 2 word 3 word sentence,
Direct Address, Hyberbole, Rhetorical Question
Alliteration, Oxymoron, Triadic Structure
Complex Vocabulary - Hey!

Macarena - for those who don't know the tune!

Enjoy your weekend.
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Lauren Parslow
15 December 2012 at 21:02

Would you give to a charity at Christmas time?
Would you give the children who have nothing other than a pair of worn shoes a chance to have a wonderful christmas?
I would'nt.
Let's think about this. Christmas is a time we spend earnings and time on our children and families to make the end to there year memorable. How would giving a box of soaps and sponges help for someones christmas in for example Africa? The soap would eventually run out, and would they know who I even was sending it? What do I get out of this? Yes I'd get the satisfaction of helping a child, but that would'nt get them a better life. They need opertunities to become greater than what they are, to get out of the situation they are in.
I cannot do that.
The bigger people can. Why can't they help a little more? Instead of taking them presents for christmas,, let them to a country with jobs availble, give them a life! Surely if our country is as willing to help these poor people EVERYONE would help them out. Therefore companies would sponsor these people to come over so they don't have to pay. We all want to help them don't we?
Am I right? Surely if people are willing to give could'nt all companies together sponsor a group? It wouldn't e a harm to try. I would rather see a change happen than giving to a charity which I don't think is the best solution.
Concluding, I think we don't just need 'Matt Baker' cycling to to Scottland we need the people with the money to get together and give, for what do they spend most of their money on anyway?
This is why I do not give to charity at Christmas.

Olivia Riser
18 December 2012 at 17:57

Should we give money to charities around the holiday season? No.

It can be a very expensive (and stressful) time of year for many of us having to buy presents, extra food and alcohol as well as having to pay the heating and lighting bills - which as you and I know soon mount up to an astronomical amount of money. So why should we have to give to other people? In my opinion we shouldn’t have to; and in most cases the circumstances of these people are self- inflicted and could have been avoided anyway!

So maybe I am being a bit harsh: a penny here and there can’t do much harm. However, I draw the line at international charities. It’s not England’s fault (or problem for that matter) that there are third world countries which people have never heard of that seemingly can’t run themselves and have ‘thousands of people’ living in ‘poverty’. Hmm…

I’m sure Nagorno-Karabakhians ( I’m assuming this is the correct term for the natives of Nagorno- Karabakh Republic and yes I hadn’t heard of this country either) don’t realize what the rest of the world have regarding gadgets, technology, medicine, nice houses, food, clean water and general comfort: what they don’t know can’t hurt them.

The next time you have a volunteer dressed in a faded Santa outfit with a straggly beard energetically wave a bucket in front of your face while you are trying to finish your Christmas shopping, think twice before putting a penny in their bucket. Do you really want to help people who are just so far away that they may as well not even exist? I certainly don’t.

18 December 2012 at 18:08

Brave stance to make - certainly not what the examiner would expect to see.

You've used a range of devices but I would suggest you've over-done it on the rhetorical questions. Try some triadic structure or hyperbole to develop a similar effect.

Your writing is mostly accurate but I can see a few typos in there that would lose you marks.

Is your vocabulary complex enough to hit the top band of answers and how do you spell Scotland?

Overall this would gain you 10/16 marks for creativity and 5/8 marks for accuracy.

Set yourself a target for the next piece.

18 December 2012 at 18:14

You got some lovely turns of phrase here and some sophisticated vocabulary in here but there is room for more.

Have a look at your writing on the page. Do you think there is enough variety in structures here to access the top band?

Your writing is accurate and contains a range of punctuation and sentence structures. Again you'd need accurate spelling of sophisticated vocabulary to gain higher marks.

Overall - Creativity 11/16 Accuracy 7/8 Total 18/24

Chris Hambling
23 December 2012 at 18:17

Charity – where you donate small or large sums of money or items to those who are in desperate need of hope and salvation. Charity is where you, the average and working class citizen of your country donate the odd bob in your pocket to Children in Need or Red Nose Day or Water Aid – the list can go on. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, what day it is, what the weather’s like or how you’re feeling on said particular day; nine times out of ten you donate.
So what makes Christmas time any different? Why do we all have to suddenly donate every last penny we have to every charity we can find? Of course, all of our hearts go out to those who find themselves stranded and victimised of bad fortune on possibly the happiest day of the whole entire year, but... It’s Christmas. It’s that time of year where parents accumulate together money to make their Christmas a Christmas to remember for their children - where they work extra hard to ensure a safe and sound 25th of December. But when I’m sipping on my warm, sweet coffee and munching on my exceedingly buttered-toast on the leather couch (which my parents worked drastically for) and Daybreak starts rubbing charities in my face with a cold and damp flannel I just lose all Christmas spirit.
Call me Scrooge but come on! The last thing I want on my mind is Homeless-Jim shivering around a small fire in an ally-way, rubbing his hands together in hope that money fabricates in between his thick and grubby fingers when I’m tearing the wrapping paper to pieces to see what lays beneath its thin and expensive protection. The last thing I want is to flick through the TV on Christmas evening only to be drowned and engulfed by every single charity advert this world has to offer. The last thing I definitely want is to constantly feel bad about my egocentric behaviour on Christmas day. (Despite the fact that I do actually give presents to other people, I’m not as horrible as I sound).

I’ll agree, I sound malevolent. But you have to nod your head when I ask ‘There are another three-hundred and sixty-four days in the year, you know?’ and I promise you when I say you can donate on any one of those days. We wait all year round for the 25th. Can’t we just have one day off? I literally fall to my knees when I beg of you to silence Terry Wogan for just one day. Put Fearne Cotton in a cupboard or something and tell Chris Evans that he can take the day off. Give Lorraine Kelly a break, give her a brush – If she’s going for the Helen-Bonham -Carter-look, then she’s blatantly failing to pull it off.
I totally get it though, I feel sorry for the unfortunate and that’s why I do in-fact donate. I get it: the weather outside is frightful. But it’s Christmas, give us a chance! The average person struggles around Christmas time enough as it is; money’s tight and things become very stressful for some. Can we not just take a step back and enjoy what we have? Let it be a day where we appreciate who and what we have. You and I can donate every single day of the year if we really want to.

But just let the bells ring out for Christmas.

24 December 2012 at 17:12

Very good Chris - you got some juxtaposition in there, some Christmas cliche's, sophisticated vocabulary and variation in sentence lengths. Possibly you don't have a wide enough variation in paragraph lengths but that is nit-picking. It would probably gain 14/15 marks for the creativity.

Accuracy: You have a range of punctuation used accurately and for effect. Your spelling is accurate but some of your sentences could be split up to aid clarity. Re-read:

'It’s that time of year where parents accumulate together money to make their Christmas a Christmas to remember for their children - where they work extra hard to ensure a safe and sound 25th of December.'

Is accumulate the best word choice? It may read better like this:

It's the time of year where parents hoard (scrimp,grasp,toil for) money - where they work extra hard to ensure a safe and sound 25th of December making Christmas a Christmas to remember for their children. It just gives a little bit more clarity in grouping similar ideas together.

Overall 14/16 + 7/8 21/24

Well done.

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