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Describe a shopping centre when it is closed and when it is open

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  • Essay length: 596 words
  • Submitted: 17/11/2011
  • Reviewed by: (?) groat
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GCSE Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe

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The first 200 words of this essay...

English Paper 2, Part B

Describe a shopping centre when it is closed and when it is open

A* 17/18 for Communication and Organisation

8/9 for Sentence structure, punctuation and spelling

25/27 TOTAL

Busy crowds bustled up and down the centre, their arms laden with bulging shopping bags. Caring mothers pushed their prams slowly, while distressed toddlers screamed to go home. Food and drink stalls gathered customers. Old and young alike flopped tiredly onto benches to rest their exhausted legs.

In the electronics store vivid lights dazzled customers and dance music pounded out of speakers. Young children entertained themselves on display computers while their parents waited patiently in a winding snake like queue.

Outside a well off couple sauntered past, rather ostentatious in their attire and rather arrogant in their parlance. Disgusted at the apparent tackiness of a nearby fast food chain, they complained loudly to a young, helpless member of staff and demanded to speak to the manager. With sparkling diamonds dangling from her ears, the woman was rather embarrassed to be told sarcastically to find a snobbier restaurant then. Well what would you have

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Review of essay

Reviewed by: groat

Rating: 4 star(s)

Response to the question

This piece of coursework ably follows the prompt, using their craft with language to make it a very strong piece. I like how the ending is used to give a cyclical nature, allowing an insight into the perpetual life of a shopping centre. A slight query is that the past tense is used throughout - personally, I would've used the present tense to show the continuity of events. For example they say "food and drink stalls gathered customers" whereas "food and drink stalls gather customers" shows the ongoing nature.

Level of analysis

The range of techniques used in this essay is strong. This candidate certainly met the marking allocation for using a range of vocabulary: seeing words such as "parlance" and "diligently" spelt correctly is always a good way to reach the top marks! I like how the essay shows a progression throughout the day. In tasks such as these, it is key in planning how you are going to organise and present your ideas. If it feels like it's been put together awkwardly, and not well thought out, that will be reflected in the marks. As this candidate has shown, a simple chronological order shows a logical structure. Although this isn't a persuasion task, I liked the use of the rhetorical question at the end of the third paragraph as it engages the audience. The imagery when the shopping centre is closed is great, yet I think it could be somewhat over the top. I know at GCSE students want to put as many metaphors and similes as possible, but suggesting a "sickeningly humid smell" would be in a shopping centre seems silly.

Quality of writing

This essay is structured well, with spelling, punctuation and grammar being used throughout at a high level. I would comment on the sentence structure, though. They tend to be on the short side. This essay likes to use short sentences to list what is going on in the shopping centre, but varying the length of sentences and explaining a few of these points would show the strength of the candidate's skills. I would've liked to see some more daring punctuation! Sometimes, people are too apprehensive to use semi-colons, exclamation marks, parenthesis or ellipsis, and this seems evident in this essay as only one semi-colon is used. If you don't try and use them, you won't realise when you've used them wrong, so give it a go!

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