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AQA: Paper 2 Question 3


AQA: Paper 2 Question 3 Revision

AQA: Paper 2 Question 3

This page will provide some top tips to ace Question 3 of Paper 2.

Here, you will find out:

  • The format of the question
  • How to approach answering the question
  • The Assessment Objective (AO) of the question
  • A model answer that demonstrates what is expected

Assessment Objective (AO)

Question 3 is covered by AO2.

For AO2, you are required to:

  • Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views.

A lot of things are being assessed here, so let’s break it down a bit…




Question Format

This box aims to show you what Question 3 in Paper 2 will look like! 




For Question 3, you are asked to analyse how the writer uses language to describe a particular topic in one of the texts.


On the right is an example of the question structure that you can expect in your exam.



The question will specify the line numbers of the chosen extract so you know which information to focus on. For example, lines 6 to 20.


Read these specific lines again thoroughly in order to understand the information given in the text.



Remember, you are being assessed on your ability to show perceptive understanding of language. This can include:

  • Identifying a range of language techniques and their effect
  • A range of evidence from the text
  • Subject terminology


Question 3 is worth 12 marks. To gain full marks, try to follow the bullet points above.




Key terms in Question 3

In Question 3, you will be asked to refer to one text. In this case, it is Source A.

You will also be asked to talk about a particular topic. Here, it is the way the mother is represented through language.

Be careful – the question is asking for language use, so try not to focus on structural features.

It is important to include textual detail that support your points, so try to pick out only relevant evidence.

Although it is not directly stated in the question, make sure you talk about the effects of language use on both the reader, and the text as a whole.


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Phrasing of Questions

As we have seen so far, Question 3 asks you to refer to one source text.

However, the phrasing of questions can differ

As we can see here, the question could also be related to the writer, certain feelings and emotions, or how something or someone is represented.

Despite being phrased differently, the question will always be assessed based on AO2:

  • Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views.





Question 3 is slightly longer than Question 2.

It is still recommended that you spend around 15 minutes to answer this question as it requires a bit more detail.

You should already have a good understanding of the source from previous questions and reading them beforehand. So, you should be able to identify language features within the lines given and construct your answer within this time.

Q3 = usually take students around 15 minutes to complete




How to Approach the Question


Now, as this question only requires analysis from one text, you can narrow down your focus.

Start by scanning the text for any language features or ways in which the writer has purposefully described something in a particular way.

Highlight or underline them so you can gather evidence from the text. For example, can you spot a metaphor? Simile? Personification? Analogy?


Once you have a range of different examples you want to include in your analysis, you can start to construct your answer using PEEL paragraphs.

Let’s have a refresh on what PEEL paragraphs entail…


Point = What is your overall point?

Evidence = Can you support it with evidence from the text?

Explanation = What effect does this have on the reader and the text as a whole?

Link How does this point relate back to the question?




Example: Extract from a Model Answer

Below is a snippet of a model answer which provides an idea of the analysis you will need to include in Question 3:


‘You need to refer only to Source A from lines 16 to 27.

How does the writer use language to describe the house?’

(12 marks)


Why is this a good answer?


  • The PEEL paragraph technique is used to convey information clearly.
  • The quotes included are short and relevant, and integrated well into sentences.
  • Language features are correctly identified and the overall effect is given.



Note: You will need to include a lot more detail than this – it’s only a snippet!



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