Say – Mean – Matter

To help you critically analyse texts a basic strategy to use is SAY – MEAN –  MATTER.  Remember that interpreting texts means looking for meaning and reading at a deeper level. This means not just finding out what happens in the plot. You also need to:

· Discover the reasons why the author/director may have constructed events they way they did
· Understand how the themes and ideas are conveyed
· Identify the style features and conventions used by the author
· Understand the authors point of view and how they position the reader
· Identify the cultural, social and historical values in the text
· Understand different readings and alternative points of view

If you are looking for excellence grades think about MATTER and integrate your ideas into your essays.

What happens in the text?

Give a summary of the text.

Use quotes or paraphrase

Include the most important details.

Read “between the lines.”

What do the characters’ words or actions make you think?

How do the actions affect the plot, themes or your view of the characters?

What does the author want you (the reader/viewer) to learn?

What is the message, meaning or moral?

What do you learn about yourself, relationships or the world from this text?


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