Visual Text Essay Questions

English 2.2 Analyse specified aspect(s) of studied visual or oral text(s), supported by evidence

How to answer a question

What will the questions look like?

Usually the questions are one sentence with two parts, however, some questions may only have one part. The first part usually asks you to analyse how techniques or methods are used to present an aspect of the text. The second part usually asks you to give reasons as to why this aspect is effective (important, has impact or influenced you) to the text as a whole. You must treat all parts of the question equally.

Answering a question

  • Choose a question that suits the text and targets what you have studied.
  • Underline keywords – these words will point to the sections of your study notes you need to use in your answer. Think of other words that mean the same so you have a group of useful words to use in your answer. See the sites Understanding the question and Understanding essay topics.

Plan – brainstorm and organise evidence

Brainstorm your main ideas using the keywords from the question to get your main idea. Sum up your angle or point of view in a statement or a challenging question. Brainstorm five solid points to help expand on your main idea. Select relevant material to support each point and develop your argument.

Outline of an essay plan

  • Begin with a quotation, question, thesis statement, or opinion to sum up the question.
  • Focus on 4–5 key points, supported by relevant examples and analysis.
  • Develop a logical argument or explanation for each point.
  • Conclude by reinforcing a main idea from your thesis statement.


A standard paragraph will organise your thoughts and have these things:

  • topic sentence – stating the main idea to be developed within the paragraph – use keyword  from the question
  • explanation – expanding the idea through discussion
  • evidence and detail – quotations, examples, and details to illustrate the idea should be woven into your sentence
  • link back to the question by using keywords to answer the question.

Self review – use a checklist such as:

  • Have I answered both parts of the question?
  • How well does my evidence support my point of view?
  • Is my personal response meaningful?

How to improve your essay writing

How to write an essay in an exam

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1.2 Show understanding of specified aspect(s) of studied visual or oral text(s), using supporting evidence

This achievement standard involves a previous reading and study of at least one visual text (for example film, television programme, radio programme, drama production, graphic novel, oral performance) or a combination from this list (inter-textual) and writing a response that demonstrates understanding of ideas and techniques.

The text studied will need to be of sufficient length and depth to allow you to meet the criteria. You must write your essay in the correct answer booklet for your chosen text, use the 1.2 booklet for this standard.

Achievement criteria
How you will be assessed, and the standard expected for each level of achievement.

Subject content
Subject content and skills you will need to learn.

Key tips
Advice from previous years.

Type of assessment, what to take, what you'll be given during the assessment.

Assessment materials and exemplars to help you.

Websites for revision and links to this achievement standard on NZQA website.


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