Intermediate Close Reading Avengers Assemble! They’re here to save you from the perils

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Intermediate Close Reading

Avengers Assemble!

They’re here to save you from the perils of close reading…

And to look incredibly AWESOME!!!

Welcome to Miss McDonald’s book of super close reading revision.

I’m sure most of you are scowling right now and thinking “Good God, must this woman relate everything to superheroes?” The answer to that is yes. Yes I must.

In here you will find passages relating to Joss Whedon’s epic “Avengers Assemble” as well as revision questions and step-by-step guides on how to answer them.

On top of that, there are lots of pretty pictures of Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, the coolest man on the planet (Samuel L. Jackson), some chick who sells lipgloss and kicks people in the head, and *swoon* Chris Hemsworth as Thor.

Smiley happy faces all round!





Contents:

Give each of these a little tick as you finish them

  • Avengers Passage 1…p. 3

  • Understanding Revision with Captain America and Iron Man…p. 5

  • Understanding Questions Mini Test…p. 9

  • Analysis Revision with Thor…p. 10

  • Avengers Passage 2…p. 14

  • Analysis Questions Mini Test…p. 16

  • Evaluation Revision with Hawkeye and Black Widow…p. 17

  • Evaluation Questions Mini Test…p. 19
  • The Big One. Questions on both passages…p.21


  • Nick Fury’s Words of Wisdom…p.23


Disclaimer Time: None of these images are mine, the articles are from the Guardian website (unless stated otherwise), and all characters belong to Marvel and their film studio chums. Miss McD does not own any of the Avengers, especially not Thor…*sniff sniff cry cry*

The Avengers trailer: are some superheroes more equal than others?

Ben Child on www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog



  1. Regular readers of this blog might recall that I've tended to vacillate between wide-eyed anticipation and benevolent concern when it comes to the subject of Marvel. The budding film studio's ongoing effort to revolutionise the comic book movie by successfully realising multiple superhero storylines on the big screen for the first time has always come across as a hugely admirable endeavour, which is unlikely to deliver an entirely satisfactory outcome. The vast majority of bad superhero movies are those which attempt to focus on too many characters, be they heroes or villains: I'm thinking Spider-Man 3 or Fantastic Four for starters. Most of the really watchable films (Spider-Man, Superman, Batman Begins) tend to keep the focus tight and avoid introducing too many protagonists.
  2. The honourable exception is, of course, The Dark Knight, but even Christopher Nolan's sprawling, brooding tour de force wisely kept its main spotlight on the battle between Batman and The Joker. The Avengers, Marvel's forthcoming attempt to unite several of its comic book mainstays in a single movie, has at least seven heroes competing for screen time with each other and main villain Loki. Unless director Joss Whedon is planning to present a three-hour epic, someone's going to get squeezed out of the picture.


  3. By the looks of the debut full-length trailer for the film, which hit the web this week, it's not likely to be Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man. The great thing about Downey Jr's Tony Stark is that he's at his best when bouncing off other people, so there's no reason to think an ensemble setup should be to his detriment. While the action sequences in Iron Man and its sequel were spectacular, the films flourished due to the interplay between Stark and Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts, and … well, just about anyone else who entered his target zone. Everyone in sight was fair game for a flash of sardonic Stark humour, and it seems Iron Man's Avenger amigos are to be no exception. It's always hard to tell much from a trailer, but the snatches of dialogue here hint at a pretty polished script. Props, too, to the film-makers for avoiding giving away too much about the storyline (yet).

  4. Downey Jr said this week that he was disappointed by Iron Man 2 following the outstanding, career-altering success of the original film. I have to say I thought it was a pretty decent follow up, but there's certainly a need for Stark to shine in The Avengers if the planned Iron Man 3 is to have any hope of building hype. The trailer hints that the film will be built around the man in the metal suit, which might just be an intelligent way to go. Marvel has done a great job of building origins stories for Thor and Captain America this year, but Downey Jr remains the studio's trump card.
  5. My main concern over The Avengers is that it will end up being a bit like one of those big screen transfers for a long-running successful TV show: the fans love it because they have an investment in the characters, but nobody else watching has got a clue why they should be remotely interested. Whedon and his team should have enough about them to avoid that outcome (the director, after all, shot a bravura standalone effort in the form of his excellent space opera Serenity, while also delighting fans of its source show, Firefly) and one has to give the benefit of the doubt to a studio that has produced at least three (four if you count Iron Man 2) good movies out of five since launching five years ago.


  6. Speaking of which, the hardest job in The Avengers must certainly belong to Mark Ruffalo, aka the new Hulk. Neither Ang Lee's Hulk from 2003 or Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk in 2008 managed to capture the majesty of the comic books – both are even compared unfavourably to the hokey 1970s TV show starring Lou Ferrigno – so what hope does Ruffalo have of doing in limited screen time what neither Eric Bana nor Ed Norton could do in the previous films? Might he end up being little more than a target for Stark to fire wisecracks at? There are less demanding jobs in superhero moviedom, but not many since Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow managed all of a minute's worth of screen-time in The Dark Knight. And this is a character who will doubtless be in CGI mode as the not-so jolly green giant for much of The Avengers. Still, the film really ought to be all about taking one for the team. I wonder if anyone has told Downey Jr.

And now – with the help of Captain America and Iron Man – let’s actually try some Understanding questions!

Quick guys, pose and look cool…


Understanding questions really just want to see if you actually get what the writer’s been saying. It’s to check that you’re on the right page before you even begin to try unscrambling metaphors and the like.
Now these questions almost always want you to WRITE IN YOUR OWN WORDS. If I could make that flash in neon lights, I would. That means DO NOT take words from the passage! Use you mental thesaurus and LOCATE and TRANSLATE. Find the answer, then make it your own. Let’s have a try:


  1. In paragraph 1, what does the writer consider to be “a hugely admirable endeavour”?

Okay, so let’s find what it’s talking about first…

Regular readers of this blog might recall that I've tended to vacillate between wide-eyed anticipation and benevolent concern when it comes to the subject of Marvel. The budding film studio's ongoing effort to revolutionise the comic book movie by successfully realising multiple superhero storylines on the big screen for the first time has always come across as a hugely admirable endeavour, which is unlikely to deliver an entirely satisfactory outcome.
What I’ve done here is LOCATE the answer. My first step in doing that was to find the words in the question (the bold bits) and then read around it until I found what was relevant. Next up is to TRANSLATE. Here’s my attempt at an answer…
The writer admires the fact that the new Avengers movie will have several characters each with an individual plot.
Wow, that was easy, wasn’t it? As you can see, I totally avoided the following words: “MULTIPLE”, “SUPERHERO” and “STORYLINES”. The main idea we’re aiming for are: loads of recognisable characters and big plots. 2 marks in the bag!
The next question type when considering Understanding questions is an easy one. Quote. These are magic questions that are basically just handing you marks. Once again, they are looking for you to show that you’re following the writer’s point and that you can prove it by pulling out key words or phrases. For example:


  1. Quote a phrase from lines 1-3 which shows that the writer has been excited about previous Marvel films.

See what I mean about these being easy ones? They are telling you where to look (lines 1-3) and you’re just looking for a phrase that means excitement or looking forward to something. Nice and simple:

wide-eyed anticipation”
It’s like being handed marks for free!

Now for a trickier one…Context questions. Everyone in the class seems to hate these. The main problem with these questions is that if you really don’t know what the word means, you can feel kind of stuck. But do not fear as your context formula is designed to try and help you out of such a pickle. Here’s a formula reminder:






  • Quote the word

  • Give a definition

  • Find 2 quotes that show the meaning.

  • Explain how they show this

By finding words that help you understand the meaning, you can work out the meaning a lot easier. So, if you don’t know the meaning of the word, search around it. The questions are called “context” questions for a reason – let the context of the passage help you out. Now we’re going to have a shot:




  1. How does the context of the passage help you understand the meaning of the word “vacillate”? (paragraph 1).

Eeep, what in the name of Thor’s Hammer does “vacillate” mean? Holy moly, what are we going to do?! *stress stress stress* Well, first up, you’re going to stop pulling your hair out. Then you are going to find the word in the passage:


Regular readers of this blog might recall that I've tended to vacillate between wide-eyed anticipation and benevolent concern when it comes to the subject of Marvel.

There we go, highlighted in bold and underlined. Good first step. Now let’s look around it. What does the sentence actually mean? Well, the writer appears to be saying that with Marvel movies he jumps from excited to worried and back again. Wicked. That helped a bit, didn’t it? So now that we know what he’s saying, we can decode the word a little. If he’s going between two different opinions, we can guess that vacillate might mean “waver” (which it does). So that’s the first part of our answer down. So now onto the words around it that helped us get there. “Between” stands out as it would back up this idea of having different opinions, just like Mr Blonde in Resevoir Dogs, he’s “stuck in the middle” (har har). Also, by giving us 2 opinions, we can also back up this idea that he jumps between those 2 opnions. So:



  • “vacillate”

  • Means to waver

  • “between” helps us to understand the meaning as this shows us that he isn’t set on one opinion but goes “between” two.

  • “wide-eyed anticipation and benevolent concern” also helps to understand this as these are the two stances he is wavering between.

  • Therefore “vacillate” means to waver between things and we can see this as the writer jumps between two different opinions on Marvel movies.

I know that looks like loads, but by doing this you’re covering your back by giving as full an answer as you can. Great, that’s us got context questions completely covered! Woohoo!

Last, but by no means least, we have Link Questions. Big marks up for grabs here and they really are quite simple to do. Here’s a formula reminder:


  • Quote part that links back to previous paragraph

  • Explain how it does so

  • Quote part that links forward to next paragraph

  • Explain how it does so.

Simple. Let’s try a question…




  1. Explain how the first sentence of paragraph 3 acts as a linking sentence.

Most people freak out at link questions but they should be easy to spot and easy to pull loads of marks from. For example, for this question the first thing you would do is find the line it’s directing you to:


By the looks of the debut full-length trailer for the film, which hit the web this week, it's not likely to be Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man.

Now does this flow on from the previous paragraph? Of course it does. It’s responding to the suggestion that was put out at the end of paragraph 2 – “someone’s going to be squeezed out the picture”. So we’re looking for the part of the sentence that does this. How about “it's not likely to be”? Let’s attempt the first half of our answer:


  • “it's not likely to be”

  • This links back to the previous paragraph as paragraph 2 questioned whether or not one of the 7 main characters were going to be squeezed out of the picture and here the writer is answering that by suggesting who is not going to be kicked out.

Looks good to me. 2 marks in your back pocket! Yay. Now onto the second half. The next step should be to work out what the following paragraph is about and in this case it’s about why Iron Man is awesome. So we must find the section in that linking sentence that mentions him and that’s just a matter of looking for his name:

  • “Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man”

  • This links forward to the next paragraph as it tells us more about why Iron Man will be a welcome addition to the Avenger’s crew.

And that’s us up to 4 marks. Brilliant. It seems like a lot of work but it’s worth it when you can notch up 4 tasty points for what is ultimately just a game of literary Snap!

Let this be fair warning to you, though, occasionally the link formula might not fit the question or the passage. In that case, it’s up to you to use you common sense (a big ask, I know) to look for ways in which the two paragraphs fit together. For example, sometimes the paragraph may start with a one word answer for a question that appeared in the previous paragraph. As long as you can spot linking words, (but, and, however, moreover, furthermore, etc) you should still be able to answer renegade link questions without just wanting to blow them up like your old mate Tony here…





The Avengers trailer: are some superheroes more equal than others? – Understanding Questions Mini Test

It would appear that Captain America finally understood why his own movie sucked…there weren’t 6 other heroes there for him to hide behind.


  1. According to the writer, what makes a bad superhero film? (paragraph 1) 2U

  2. What does he consider to be the problem with the Avengers movie? Look to paragraph 2 for your answer. 2U

  3. How does the context of paragraph 3 help you understand the meaning of the word “ensemble”? 2U

  4. Quote a phrase from paragraph 3 which tells you that the script has been worked on and rewritten several times. 1U

  5. Quote a phrase from paragraph 4 which shows that Iron Man is who Marvel considers to be their best hero in the upcoming Avengers movie. 1U

  6. How does the first sentence in paragraph 6 act as a link between paragraphs 5 and 6? 4U

The lovely Thor takes us through Analysis Questions… *sigh*

Don’t worry Captain America, we’ve faced much worse than feeble Tone questions!

Wow, we’ve made it through the first of our terrifying trials…Understanding questions. But now we must take on our next villain. Analysis! Aaaaah!

It’s really not that scary, I promise. Just like before, we’re going to break it down, question by question. And with Thor on our side, we’ve got a great big hammer to help us do so. *smash smash*

A great place to start would be Word Choice. Wouldn’t you agree? Oh of course you do! (mwahahaha) Now, Word Choice questions want you to show that you can highlight words that the writer has specifically chosen to achieve a certain affect and that you can explain how they achieve this. The formula works pretty well for these questions as they ensure that you write a full and thorough answer. Here’s a reminder:


  • Quote the word and give meaning (denotation)

  • Give the ideas the word creates (connotation)

  • Explain why this is a good word (effectiveness)

Seems simple enough. How about a try?




  1. What does the use of the word “brooding” tell you about Christopher Nolan’s film “The Dark Knight”? (paragraph 2)

A Batman question! Woohoo! Bet you were wondering when I’d slip one of those in. Anyway, now to answer this one. First of all where does it appear in the passage?


The honourable exception is, of course, The Dark Knight, but even Christopher Nolan's sprawling, brooding tour de force wisely kept its main spotlight on the battle between Batman and The Joker.
Since we are Batman’d out, to the max, we should already know that brooding means “menacing”. So there’s the first part of your answer. The next is to show what its connotations tell us about the film (remembering to refer back to the question, just like in an essay). So, ideas we get from brooding are: dark, gloomy, threatening and ominous. Superb. Now let’s jam that into an answer. Bullet point answers work well with these questions:


  • “brooding” means menacing

  • Its connotations include dark, gloomy, threatening and ominous.

  • This tells us that The Dark Knight had a very dark and sinister atmosphere with threatening and menacing characters and themes.

Sorted. A perfect answer that not only included what the word means but also what ideas it gave us AND it actually answered the question. REMEMBER sometimes just following your formula isn’t enough; you have to make sure that you’re actually doing what the question has asked of you. In this case, it was what the word tells you about the film.

Okay dokay, lads and ladies, now onto a wee peek at Sentence Structure Questions. Let me say this first: THIS IS NOT JUST A GAME OF SPOT THE PUNCTUATION!!! You should be looking out for the following things:


  • Punctuation

  • Sentence types

  • Sentence Patterns

On top of that, it’s not just enough to go “Eh…that’s a list” *point*. Sure, say that it’s a list, but you’ve then got to say why the writer is using it – what effect is it having on the passage? These don’t need to be huge answers, just keep it simple and to the point. Now here’s an example:


  1. How does the writer use sentence structure to support his argument in paragraph 1?

First up, find what the question’s directing you to:


Most of the really watchable films (Spider-Man, Superman, Batman Begins) tend to keep the focus tight and avoid introducing too many protagonists.
Nice easy one here so let’s fire straight in with an answer:
The writer uses parenthesis to provide us with extra information. In this case it is to give examples of superhero films which have been successful and enjoyable and have stuck to a simple plot. (Spider-Man, Superman, Batman Begins)
As you can see here, I haven’t just gone “brackets!” and left it at that. I highlighted what the aspect was and how it helped the reader to follow the writer’s argument. This would be the same whether I was referring to punctuation or sentence types. Magic, let’s move on.

Imagery Questions now. Tricky tricky. As crafty as playing poker with Loki. Oo-er. Now imagery questions are there to show that you understand why writers use certain metaphors and similes. They don’t just jam in any old comparison, there’s a lot of thought put into imagery so that the writer can help prove their point. So, with an imagery question, you need to be able to show what two things are being compared and how effective this comparison is. Formula reminder:



  • Quote image & identify

  • Say what is compared to what.

  • Just as…so too…

(showing what they both have in common)

  • This shows/ is effective …

Now as the passage included at the beginning of this book contains very little in the way of imagery, let’s have a wee extract from an article from www.empireonline.com.


“Given that our Captain America review mentioned (SPOILER!) that Cap gets frozen at the end, may we casually inform you that the following news story contains spoilers. The reason why we sound the spoiler horn is because a snippet of the very brief post-feature Avengers teaser at the end of Captain America, showing all of the team at Avengers HQ looking badass, has been released online...”

  1. How does the writer use imagery in this paragraph to emphasise the importance of their spoiler warnings?

First up, what imagery can we see here? Let me subtly point out the following “we sound the spoiler horn” *hint hint*. Oh yes, now you see it! There it is…spoiler horn. Now obviously they don’t have an actual spoiler horn that they toot toot away with whenever someone spoils the end of a film (although that would be a damn fine thing to have – I may make one). What they do have though are several warnings and some even in capitals. So I think we’re getting closer to an answer here…hmmmm…

  • “sound the spoiler horn” = metaphor.

  • Just as a horn is loud and warns people of impending danger, so too does the spoiler warnings give people plenty of opportunity to avoid having the film spoiled for them.

  • This metaphor is used to emphasise how much the magazine is trying to warn people that they may not want to read on as the content of their article may spoil the film for them.

By George, that was a marvellous answer! Once again, written out in bullet point form, too. This idea of “Just as…and so too…” is extremely helpful. Even if you find that you’ve forgotten the whole formula, by remembering this, you will still be able to provide a satisfactory answer. Remember, if you’re unsure if something is an image, just try to work out what to things are being compared. In this case, the spoiler warnings were being compared to a horn as they were difficult to miss. Imagery over and done with! Booyah!

Onto tone questions now. Ooooh I’ve been looking forward to this one. Everyone also seems to hate tone questions as much as they hate context ones. I think the reason this is tricky is because some folk aren’t reading a wide variety of texts so aren’t able to sample the types of tones different writers use. The more you read, the more examples you will come across. I’m not going to preach anymore as I’ve spent plenty of periods doing so. Quick formula reminder:




  • Identify the tone.

  • Quote words or phrases that show this.

  • Explain how they show this

Now for this section, I’m going to have to dip into a different passage. Bear with me as I copy and paste… Ah ha, there you go…check out the next two pages for another awesome article. Heehee, it’s brilliant. But *clears throat* now back to serious tone questions.




  1. Identify the tone of the following passage and justify your answer.

Easy peasy for this one:




  • Humorous tone

  • Directly addressing the reader – “Shh, just pretend he's not there.”

  • Ongoing jokes – “To defeat their powerful aggressor, Iron Man, Shaft, Johnny Storm, Phoebe from Friends and either Eric Bana or Edward Norton need the help of one more person.”

  • By directly addressing the reader, the writer creates humour as it is as if they are letting you in on the joke and personally including you. Furthermore, by having ongoing jokes (referring to each character as a comical nickname), he also creates humour by being consistent and reminding you about something funny he said earlier.

Sorted…Now I know that a humorous tone is easy to spot but don’t confuse it with sarcastic. There is a difference when someone is being just funny and when someone is using sarcasm, and sometimes sarcasm is used to get across a tone where someone is maybe being judgemental or critical or even angry. Anyway, that’s tone out the way but feel free to go back and read that article as often as you like as I find it hysterical. Teeheehee…


The Avengers: meet Joss Whedon’s superheroes

Stuart Heritage on www.guardian.com/film

You're probably all up-to-date with The Avengers, but that's because you're an intelligent metropolitan internet user. You know who's in The Avengers. You saw that photo of the chairs. You watched the first preview trailer. And, because this is the internet, you probably do a little wee every time you hear Joss Whedon's name being mentioned.

But that's just you. Not everyone is as savvy as you, which is why so much emphasis was placed on the trailer for The Avengers that ran during Sunday's Super Bowl. It would have been the first taste of the movie for millions of people, so it was important that it hit as hard as possible. What did newcomers to The Avengers learn from the trailer? Let's take a closer look:

1) Something is wrong on the streets of New York. Its citizens are running scared. All of them. The man in the suit. The woman with a bandana. The other woman trailing a handbag so big that she could feasibly sleep in it. The guy in the immediate foreground who actually looks like he doesn't actually care very much about anything that's going on at all. They're all running scared. But why?

2) Ah, it's because something is flying around New York blowing everything up. It's hard to make out what it is, but chances are it's either the Green Goblin or Skeletor from that Dolph Lundgren Masters of the Universe film. Whoever it is, he needs to be stopped. But who's going to do it?

3) Oh, phew, it's Gene Simmons from Kiss. Only joking, it's Charlie Chaplin. Whoever he is, he's wearing a Black Sabbath T-shirt in a nod to the band that once recorded a song about his character Iron Man. Presumably this means that Scarlett Johansson will also wear a Mötley Crüe T-shirt, Chris Evans will wear a Jimmy Buffet T-shirt and Jeremy Renner will wear a T-shirt featuring the logo of any band that has ever recorded a song named Rubbishy Bow and Arrow Guy.

4) But back to the trailer. To defeat whatever that flying thing is, Tony Stark needs help. And he's got it in the shape of Johnny Storm from The Fantastic Four, seen here in an elaborately patriotic wetsuit.


5) And Shaft. Shaft's going to help out, too.

6) And a robot.

7) And Phoebe from Friends.



8) And either Eric Bana or Edward Norton. But they're still not done. To defeat their powerful aggressor, Iron Man, Shaft, Johnny Storm, Phoebe from Friends and either Eric Bana or Edward Norton need the help of one more person.


9) That's right, it's Scarlett Johansson, reprising her Iron Man 2 role as the woman who does nothing and then kicks three people in the head. But, judging by this skill, she's now acquired a game-changing superpower – the fart-bomb.
10) And that's the gang completed. Together they are unstoppable. They are all-powerful. They are The Avengers: and their real names are Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Black Widow. And that rubbishy bow and arrow guy. Shh, just pretend he's not there. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2012/feb/08/avengers-trailer-joss-whedon?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

The Avengers trailer: are some superheroes more equal than others? – Analysis Questions Mini Test

“By the power of Odin, I am so attractive that I’m not even listening to this top secret Avengers briefing, I’m just thinking about how well-conditioned my hair is. Oh my. I wonder if I could get away with running my hands through it without Nick Fury noticing…” Thor thought to himself as they faced imminent doom.


  1. “The vast majority of bad superhero movies are those which attempt to focus on too many characters, be they heroes or villains: I'm thinking Spider-Man 3 or Fantastic Four for starters.” (paragraph 1) What use does the colon have here? 1A

  2. “By the looks of the debut full-length trailer for the film, which hit the web this week, it's not likely to be Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man.” (paragraph 3) Comment on the writer’s use of parenthesis in this extract. 2A

  3. What does the writer’s use of the word “sardonic” tell us about Tony Stark? (paragraph 3) 2A

  4. What effect do the brackets around the word “yet” at the end of paragraph 3 have? 2A

  5. “Might he end up being little more than a target for Stark to fire wisecracks at?” (paragraph 6) How has the writer used imagery in this extract to express his concerns for the Hulk’s role in the new Avengers movie? 2A

  6. Identify the tone used in this passage and support your answer with detailed reference to the text. 4A

It’s Evaluation Time – the questions no-one wants with the Avengers no-one wants – Hawkeye and Black Widow!

Run before the others leave without us…again!

Alright, I know we all hate Evaluation questions but they’re worth loads of marks so here we go… Evaluation questions want to see that you can explain how effective (well) a writer has done something (created an image, a tone, an argument, etc). This is when you have to get articulate and really talk the talk. It’s almost like a mini-essay.

There are common questions that turn up when it comes to evaluation Qs:


  • How effective do you find the final paragraph as a conclusion to the article?

  • Referring to the passage as a whole, how persuasive do you find the writer’s argument?

  • Explain whether you think the style of the passage is, or is not, appropriate to the content, audience or purpose of the article?

  • Considering the passage as a whole, and taking account of the writer’s use of language and tone, how effective do you feel she has been in conveying her viewpoint?

  • How effective has the writer been in presenting an opinionated case? Consider two of the following features: The use of parenthesis, the use of statistics, sentence structure, word choice. Think about the following style/language techniques: Word Choice, Use of imagery, Register or tone of the writing, Sentence structure, Linkage (linking sentences etc.), Sound techniques, Use of contrast.

These look pretty scary, but if we break things down, they really aren’t. They are basically your chance to reflect on the passage as a whole and give your opinion. The most important piece of advice I can give to you is: LINK BACK TO PART OF THE PASSAGE when answering these. When it asks you to consider the whole passage, you’ve got to be able to show that you’re doing that! So make sure that every point you make you back up with a quote from somewhere else in the passage!


How to structure an evaluation answer:

  • Avoid writing in bullet points (i.e. not what I’m doing right now).

  • Treat it like a mini-essay and use PCQE to help you. Seriously, do that and you’ll ensure that your answer is full and thorough.
  • If it asks you to refer to CONTENT – that means it wants you to think like an understanding question. Show that you understand the ideas the writer has presented in the article. So CONTENT = what the writer says.


  • If it asks you to refer to STYLE – that means you think like an analysis question. In other words, use word choice, imagery, sentence structure, tone, contrast, etc… Use formulas (not in bullet points) to help you explain things fully. So STYLE = how the writer says whatever he/she is saying.

  • Always remember that you are supposed to be considering how effective the writer has been in writing that passage (or whatever section the question refers you to) so makes sure that you include this in your answer.


After struggling with the Huge Last Question, Black Widow resorted to just blowing stuff up instead.


Holy moly, all that all sounds ridiculously complicated. Black Widow looks shattered after all that. I’m sure you are, too. But we’ve still got one thing round the corner…

No, not a giant mechanical dragon…



The Avengers trailer: are some superheroes more equal than others? – Evaluation Questions Mini Test


That’s it, no more evaluation questions. I’m just going to jump backwards off a building and shoot arrows into the camera instead…that’ll get me more Twitter followers…


    1. How effective do you find the last sentence as a conclusion to the passage as a whole? Refer to either content or style in your answer. 5E

I’ll start you off on this one…here’s the last few sentences of the passage:

And this is a character who will doubtless be in CGI mode as the not-so jolly green giant for much of The Avengers. Still, the film really ought to be all about taking one for the team. I wonder if anyone has told Downey Jr.

Alright, easiest thing to do just now is to rule out the style angle, because – let’s face it – there’s not much we can say there. That means we need to focus on the content aspect, which should be perfect. So, what links back to previously discussed topics in the passage? *cough* Iron Man! *cough* Got the hint yet?

Remember that in paragraphs 3 and 4 were both totally about how awesome Robert Downey Jr. was as Iron Man and that in this last paragraph, the writer is worried about what Mark Ruffalo is going to be like as Hulk, as well as worrying if he’s going to get enough screen time. There appears to be a link here.

Using your PCQE structure, take down an answer for the above question. Remember that it’s worth 5 marks so be sure to write as much as you can!

Good luck, Avenger!


The Avengers: meet Joss Whedon’s superheroes


“Oh God, Haweye, why doesn’t anyone like us?! Just because we didn’t have our own movies doesn’t mean we aren’t real Avengers, too!” Black Widow wept.

“What are you complaining about? Teenage boys love you and you did a lipgloss advert. Look at me. I’m random arrow guy from 5 minutes of Thor that Whedon reshot just to get me in the movie!”Hawkeye moaned, trying not to stare at her L’Oreal Glam Shine lipgloss…


Read the whimsical passage on pages 13 and 14 for this question. No help this time.




    1. What is the purpose of this passage? Support your answer with detailed reference to both content and style.




  1. to entertain and inform

  2. to argue and persuade 5E


The Big One! Questions on both passages. Aaaaaah!


Run for your lives, citizens of Newton Mearns!


The Avengers trailer: are some superheroes more equal than others?

  1. Quote a word from paragraph 1 which tells you that Marvel’s film studios are just starting out. 1U

  2. Why is The Dark Knight “the honourable exception”? Answer in your own words. (paragraph 2) 2U

  3. Why might some heroes get “squeezed out” of the picture? (paragraph 2) 2U

  4. What effect does the use of ellipses have in paragraph 3? 2A

  5. Why would centering the film around Iron Man seem like “an intelligent way to go”? (paragraph 4) 2U


  6. What is the writer’s main concern over The Avengers movie? 2U

  7. How does the writer use word choice to highlight his admiration for the Hulk comic books? Select an example of this from paragraph 6. 2A

  8. Why does Mark Ruffalo have the “hardest job” in Avengers Assemble? Answer in your own words. (paragraph 6) 2U

  9. Explain whether you think the style of the passage is, or is not, appropriate to the audience or purpose of the article? 4E


The Avengers: meet Joss Whedon’s superheroes


  1. What effect does the writer create by addressing the reader directly in the opening two paragraphs? 3E

  2. How does the writer use sentence structure in the first paragraph to set the tone of his article? 2A

  3. Quote a word from paragraph 2 which means that the reader is well aware of the hype surrounding the Avengers. 1U

  4. Why was it important that the Avenger’s Super Bowl trailer hit as hard as it could? Answer in your own words. (paragraph 2) 2U

  5. How does the writer recreate the sense of panic in the first image used in his article? Refer to sentence structure in your answer. 2A

  6. How does the writer create a link between the first two images? 2U

  7. Quote a word from the writer’s description of the fourth image which means that Captain America’s costume shows how proud he is of his country. 1U

  8. How does the writer link images 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8? 2A


  9. But, judging by this skill, she's now acquired a game-changing superpower – the fart-bomb.” Select one of the examples of sentence structure from this extract and explain what benefit they have. 2A

  10. Considering the passage as a whole, and taking account of the writer’s use of language and tone, how effective do you feel he has been in creating a successful trailer analysis? 4E


Nick Fury salutes your admirable effort to reach this final page! Well done, young Avengers!


I lost this eye when I came across some Snakes on a Plane...
Way to go! You’ve reached the end. At last! Bet you’re sick of the Avengers by now. But I’m not! On 26th April the Avengers shall be Assembling on cinema screens across the world. But all you’ll be able to think is “They saved my Close Reading skills!” Way hey!
We will go over all answers in class so be sure to note down any corrections as we do it so that this can become an indispensable study tool for the future.
Don’t be afraid to ask me for help and don’t leave any questions blank. Seriously, even if you’re stuck, try to get something down. It’s better to guess and scrape a mark or two than to put down nothing and get nothing.
Total marks for Revision: 35

Total marks for The Big One: 40






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