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Higher Home Learning

Higher Homework RUAE

Morgan Academy

English Department




Home Learning


RUAE Revision







•	This booklet is designed to reinforce your understanding of how to answer RUAE style questions in the Higher examination.

•	You should use the notes you have taken in class on Close Reading/RUAE techniques as a guide to help you when
           answering questions in the Homework Booklet.

•	The questions all use the ‘command words’ you have been taught:  identify; explain; summarise; analyse; evaluate.  Ensure that you are using the correct technique when answering each type of question.

•	There are sections on Understanding and Analysis style questions.

•	Once you have completed each exercise, you should track your progress (using red, amber, green).

•	You should also think about the skills you are using and how these skills can be transferred in other areas of English, and across other subjects. There is a table at the end of each section for you to complete the transferable skills section.
  Rounded Rectangle:  TIPS

• The RUAE exam is worth 30% of your overall Higher grade.

• There are questions on each TYPE of RUAE question: notably, ‘own words’ questions, ‘summarising’ questions, ‘word choice’ questions, ‘imagery’ questions, ‘sentence structure and punctuation’ questions, ‘tone’ questions and ‘use of language’ questions.

• Pay attention to how many marks are on offer and read the questions carefully.

• You can use a dictionary to help you with difficult vocabulary, but remember that you will not have this resource in the final examination.

• Practice makes perfect; if at first you don’t succeed, try again.

• The skills you learn in the RUAE section will help you with the Textual Analysis of the Scottish Text (Critical Reading paper) and your analysis in Critical Essay writing will improve.

































































































· Look at how many marks are available

· Find the answer in the passage and underline / highlight it

· Express the underlined information using your own words. Remember not to change the original meaning



  Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Independent newspaper, in which Johann Hari, writing about the impact of the Internet, describes it as being the same as the invention of the printing press over 500 years earlier:

It is increasingly clear that the Internet is going to be a transformative moment in human history as significant as the printing press. A decade after Johannes Gutenberg invented it, even the most astute watchers could have only begun to squint at the changes the printing press would spur. In time, it made popular nationalism possible, because linguistic communities could communicate with each other independently, in one language, and form a sense of community. It dissolved the medieval stranglehold of information held by churches and Kings, making it possible for individuals to read the Bible for themselves – and to reject violently the readings used by authority to strengthen its rule. Communications technologies rewire our brains: they make us into a different species.



















  1. Identify the two ways in which, according to the writer, the invention of printing was 'a transformative moment in human history'?




      Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in The Times newspaper, in which Janice Turner looks at different ways of improving 'public good manners':

The consensus on what constitutes public good manners has broken down to the extent that Transport for London is now running a multimillion-pound campaign just to remind us not to eat stinking burgers on the Tube and to give up our bus seats for old folk.

I suppose we should be grateful that, instead of threatening more penalties, they are calling upon our better nature. The Government, on the other hand, seems to live under the delusion that if just one more pleasure is prohibited, another set of draconian rules introduced, 1,000 more speed cameras installed, a CCTV mounted on every corner, human beings will at last fall into line.





















  1. Identify the fundamental difference, according to the writer, in approach between Transport for London and the Government? (2)

Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Independent newspaper, in which Amol Rajan argues that too many people are going to University:

The post-war cult of egalitarianism, with its laudable motive of extending university access to the poor, has driven the rapid expansion of the university sector. Egalitarianism is fundamentally opposed to discrimination of any kind, but discrimination on the basis of ability had been the historic foundation of the university. The two are therefore incompatible: either universities oppose egalitarianism by discriminating on the basis of ability; or they refuse to discriminate, and so stop being universities. Thus we have gone from a system founded on the principle that university is for the brightest, regardless of background, to one in which university if for all, regardless of ability.

This means that, each year, thousands of non-academic students are packed off to do three or four years of...nothing much. But the exponential growth in university numbers, and with it the redefinition of “degree” to include such notorious absurdities as golf course management, pig enterprise management, and Madonna studies, has produced just such a situation.



















3. Explain why, according to the writer, it is wrong for so many people to go to            university?



















Oval: RedWhere else do you use this skill?








· Look at the number of marks on offer

· Underline / highlight the main points

· Put the points into your own words (without losing the original meaning)

· Avoid writing down details of secondary importance



  Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Scotsman newspaper, in which Joyce McMillan identifies factors which she feels 'contribute to a real sense of traditional family life in meltdown':

The first is the relative ease of divorce, which – particularly for low-income families – removes the ancient pressure on women to put up with bad marriages for the sake of respectability. Unhappy wives are now free to leave with their children, a freedom which some men deeply resent.

The second is the growing mobility of society, and collapse of traditional communities, which often leaves the children of bad or broken marriages without a support-network of neighbours and relatives to cushion the blow.

And the third is the remarkably unreconstructed workplace culture within which British parents still have to function, tolerating chronic loss of status and earnings if they make family life a priority, and often having to work unacceptably long hours if they want to remain in employment at all.
























  1. Summarise briefly three factors which the writer identifies as possible causes of the breakdown of family life. (3)

















Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Guardian newspaper, in which Madeleine Bunting discusses complaints that London is a city of too many languages:

There is an increasingly anxious debate about London as a place of social fragmentation; a lament that it's a city of so many languages we can no longer find the everyday solidarities of sharing public space. Our politics of migration and integration is still beholden to the myth that multiplicity of languages is a curse – a language test is now imposed on prospective British citizens. There's a media campaign excoriating the cost of the translation services that ensure access to public services for ethnic minorities.

Yet the historical reality is that almost all successful societies have been multilingual, and many are today. Across Africa and Asia, it is routine for people to speak more than one language. Britain's monolingual culture of the past century has been entirely atypical, part of standardisation and centralisation of culture dominated by the state that obliterated dialects and other languages.

Far from being a curse, multiplicity of language is a blessing, an expression of the huge range of human imaginative capability. It does not confuse, but rather enriches our understanding of human nature.






















2. Summarise the three key points the writer is making about more than one language being spoken in a city. (3)








  Oval: Green











  Oval: Amber






Where else do you use this skill?


Oval: Red___________________________________________










·  Check how many marks on offer

· Quote the word you wish to examine.

· Comment on the connotations of the word.  Relate this back to the question.



  Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Sunday Times newspaper, in which Minette Marrin argues that the BBC is no longer providing 'Public Service Broadcasting':

Public service broadcasting means a network that produces a range of well-made programmes, particularly in less popular genres, which are financed according to their intrinsic needs and not the size of the audience. Chasing ratings is not what the BBC should be doing. Yet the BBC schedules are stuffed with cheap, populist rubbish, which can hardly be said to be needed since commercial producers make them with even greater enthusiasm and vulgarity. Intoxicated with the popularity of such genres, BBC1 and BBC2 have allowed them to run rampant like some nasty kind of pondlife and crowd out other programmes.
















1  Analyse how the writer's word choice in this paragraph makes clear her disapproval of the type of programme currently on the BBC schedules. (2)




  Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in The Times newspaper, in which Janice Turner reflects on how the younger generation appear unable to live without the latest gadgets:

We had a power cut on Tuesday evening. I sat in the dark, oddly relaxed. No       e-mail. No telly. Not enough torchlight to read by.

Meanwhile, my younger son thrashed from room to room, between Wii console, computer and TV, fretting that the shows he had Sky-plussed wouldn't record, scrabbling to see how much charge was left in his brother's laptop so that he might, at very least, watch a movie.

When I laughed at his techno-junkie despair he exclaimed in white-hot fury: “It's all right for you. To me it''s like living in poverty.”



















  1. < > how the writer's word choice in the second paragraph conveys how much the loss of electricity affected the writer's son. (2)­­­­­­­­­­­­­­



    Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Guardian newspaper, in which Hadley Freeman is very critical of the way some of the media write about eating disorders:

When I was a teenager, I spent almost three years straight in psychiatric hospitals being treated for severe anorexia nervosa. Unlike some newspaper columnists, I do not feel compelled to talk about my personal experiences with the mental health profession in every article I write. In fact, I try to avoid talking about them altogether, mainly because I hope that I have something more to offer than my history.

However, the nonsense that has been spouted of late in the media about eating disorders is too ubiquitous and too stupid, even by the low standards of the media's usual coverage of the illness. And while I would never claim that my personal experience makes me an expert on the subject, maybe it gives me a different perspective than, say, a lazy news reporter churning out clichés under a deadline or a columnist in search of easy outrage.















    1. < > how the writer's word choice in the second paragraph makes clear her contempt for sections of the media. (3)



        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Sunday Herald newspaper, in which Vicky Allan, having described the failure of the 'five a day fruit and veg' campaign, goes on to criticise a similar new campaign:

Last week, it was proposed that parents should be exhorted to adhere to the following five-a-day childcare check-list: read to your kids for 15 minutes; play on the floor with them for 10; talk to them for 10 minutes; praise them regularly; and give them a nutritious diet.

The problem isn't the check-list itself, but the “nudge” principle behind the campaign. This politically trendy word litters the report. Governments are becoming overly fond of nudging, manipulation, beguiling and frog-marching us towards the kinds of personal change they say would lead to better health, reduced crime and other grand objectives.




















      1. Analyse how the writer's word choice in the second paragraph shows her disapproval of the campaign. (3)














        Oval: Green









        Oval: Amber






      Where else do you use this skill?

      Oval: Red___________________________________________


























      · Quote and identify the type of image

      · Show how the two things are similar / metaphorical and literal root

      · You may wish to use the structure Just as…, so too….




        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in The Economist weekly newspaper, in which the writer traces the way cities have evolved:

Throughout history, cities open to the world have benefited both from an exchange of goods and from a trade in ideas from abroad. Japan, by closing its doors to foreigners, condemned its cities to slow marination in their own culture until the country's opening up after 1853. Today the burgeoning cities with the best chance of overcoming their difficulties are those in Asia and Latin America which welcome investment, trade and entrepreneurial fizz from foreigners.












      1. Show how the writer's imagery helps to reinforce the contrast between 'open' and 'closed' cities. (2)




      Rounded Rectangle: An extract from the Independent newspaper, in which Johann Hari argues that people should not be working such long hours:

Britain now has the longest work hours in the developed world after the US – and in a recession, those of us with jobs scamper ever faster in our hamster-wheels. Yet the economists and thinkers of, say, the 1930s, assumed that once we had achieved abundance – once humans had all the food and clothes and heat and toys we could use – we would relax and work less. They thought that by now work would barely cover three days as we headed en masse for the beach and the concert-hall.

Instead, the treadmill is whirling ever-faster. We don't stop primarily because we are locked in an arms race with our colleagues. If we relax and become more human, we fall behind the person in the next booth down, who is chasing faster. Work can be one of the richest and most rewarding experiences, but not like this.





















      2. Analyse how the writer's imagery makes clear his disapproval of current working practices. (2)


      Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in The Times newspaper, in which Ben Macintyre admits to being overwhelmed by choice:

Last week, on holiday in the US, I went to a supermarket near Fort Myers to buy breakfast cereal with the children, and suffered the first of a series of choice overdoses.  A vast canyon of cereals stretched to the horizon, a universe of flakes, crunchies, puffs and additives, an overflowing cornucopia of baffling breakfast options. The children whooped, and began grabbing at the boxes. A fight broke out over Trix, Froot Loops, Chex, or Cheerios, and then another over the specific variety of Cheerios.

There are, I subsequently learnt, 275 different sorts of cereal available in the US.













      1. Analyse how the writer's use of imagery adds impact to what he is saying about choice. (2)

















        Oval: Amber






      Where else do you use this skill?

      Oval: Red___________________________________________













      · Identify the sentence type / pattern / punctuation mark

      · Comment on its effect




        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the London Review of Books magazine, in which John Lanchester argues that most video games are not, as critics claim, 'escapist':

Most games, far from being pure entertainment, are work-like. They have a tightly designed structure in which the player has to earn points to win specific rewards, on the way to completing levels which earn him the right to play on other levels, earn more points to win other rewards, and so on, all of it repetitive, quantified and structured.

The people who play them move from an education, much of it spent in front of a computer screen, full of competitive, repetitive, quantifiable, measured progress towards goals determined by others, to a work life, much of it spent in front of a computer screen, full of competitive, repetitive, quantifiable, measured progress towards goals determined by others, and for recreation sit in front of a computer screen and play games full of competitive, repetitive, quantifiable, measured progress towards goals determined by others. Most video games aren't nearly irresponsible enough.






















      1. Analyse how the sentence structure of the second paragraph emphasises the point the writer is making about video games now being 'irresponsible' enough? (2)




        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Guardian newspaper, in which the novelist Philip Pullman is critical of the way reading is taught in schools:

I recently read through the sections on reading in stages 1 to 3 of the national literacy strategy. I was very struck by something about the verbs. I wrote them all down. They included “reinforce”, “predict”, “check”, “discuss”, “identify”, “categorise”, “evaluate”, “distinguish”, “summarise”, “infer”, “analyse”, “locate”...and so on: 71 different verbs for the activities that come under the heading of “reading”. And the word “enjoy” didn't appear once.

















      2.  Analyse how the writer's sentence structure adds impact to the point he is making. (2)


      Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Scotsman newspaper, in which Larry Kane, 25 years after the shooting of John Lennon, attempts to sum up the musician's life:

John Lennon was a man of peace who could be at war with himself. He was a strong-willed man who became weak from abused substances. He was a rich man who felt for the poor. He made love to many women, but he loved only three. His life was constantly reinvented, his genius sometimes sapped by his own demons. In life, he was a creator and inventor. In death, he became an icon. He was a man who carried one single passport, but was always without doubt, in life and death, a citizen of the world.










      3. Analyse how the sentence structure of this paragraph conveys the writer's personal opinion of John Lennon. (2)










        Oval: Green









        Oval: Amber




      Where else do you use this skill?






        Oval: Red


















      · Identify the tone (if it hasn’t already been done for you).

      · Show how the tone is created by referring to techniques such as word choice, sentence structure, imagery etc.




        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in The Times newspaper, in which Richard Morrison is critical of what schools do to young people:

At the same time the fetish with league tables has forced teachers to turn schools into fact-cramming, rote-learning factories in which narrowly focused lessons are reinforced by stacks of homework. Our education system is now as blinkered, as grindingly utilitarian, as in the era mocked by Dickens in Hard Times. Is it any wonder that so many school-leavers have not pastimes except shopping, watching telly and binge-drinking?













      1. Analyse how the writer's angry tone is conveyed. (2)








        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Herald newspaper, in which Julian Baggini takes issue with the claim that the promotion of elite sports such as the Olympics is good for the health and well-being of the nation:

If you want to promote health and fitness, you're almost certainly better off channelling funds directly to those whom you'd like to see get off their backsides, rather than to those who are already hardly ever on them. People say our Olympians inspire people to get out and do it themselves, but most sporting spectacles inspire people to do no more than order a pizza and slump in front of the telly. To mix my metaphors, for the trickle-down effect argument to hold any water, you'd need some evidence that sporting performance at the elite level has some relation to wider sporting participation. But evidence for this is thin on the ground.



















      2. Analyse how the writer's dismissive tone about the claim is made clear. (2)








        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in The Times newspaper, in which Carol Midgely writes about 'The Myths of Cohabitation':

A university study has found that women agree to live with a partner because they see it as a step towards marriage, while men agree because they think they'll get more sex. Pause briefly to digest this stunning news. What would we do without universities, eh?

What would have been more useful was a study into who turns out to be right. Do most women get a ring on their finger and most men unlimited legover after moving in together? Because scientific research from the University of Pub Conversations suggests both should prepare for disappointment. Especially the men.

















      3. Analyse how the writer's mocking tone is created in these paragraphs. (2)




















      Oval: AmberWhere else do you use this skill?




      Oval: Red 




      These questions will make up the majority of all ‘analysis’ type questions in the paper.   In the exam, you will be given longer parts of the passage to analyse, and the questions will routinely be worth 4 marks each.


       Read the question carefully:  sometimes you will be asked to analyse the use of specific techniques, and sometimes you will be given free reign.





      · Quote and identify the technique - remember that, if you are not being guided towards a specific technique, you can write about whichever technique/s you feel is /are relevant (techniques you may wish to focus on: word choice, imagery, structure, tone….)

      · Comment on the effect, using the techniques you have practised in the previous pages.  Give one answer for each available mark.




        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, in which Joanna Blythman, writing about the announcement that two pandas are coming to Edinburgh Zoo, wonders if zoos are about education or entertainment:

But then entertainment is what zoos are all about. The main thing that distinguishes them from the discredited circuses of yesteryear is their spurious educational credentials. But what does a child really learn from watch a wretched polar bear sitting disconsolately on some concrete rock? What ecological awareness is gleaned from looking into an enclosure, watching a listless tiger pacing up and down with frustrated, stereotypic movements? Don't ask me. I refused to take my children to a zoo because I find them so depressing. But they went with school anyway, and found them...depressing.

















      1. Analyse how the writer's use of language makes clear her disapproval of zoos. Refer in your answer to word choice and sentence structure. (4)














      Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Herald newspaper, in which Ian Bell defends JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, against criticism that she is too concerned with money:

JK Rowling will never win the Nobel prize for Literature. On any technical level, her writing is not brilliant. But what use is brilliant writing if – the usual result – it isn't read? Fiction isn't supposed to be grand opera. It has only recently pretended to be an art.

Dickens knew all about these things. He offended his betters by making absurd amounts of money. He flogged cheap editions on railway platforms. They called him a hack, and denounced “Dickensian” as a marketing game. He didn't deny a word of it. His only answer was that he was a writer, first and last: his job was to make people read.

Rowling's glory is that she caused an epidemic childhood reading in a digital world.


















      2. Analyse how the writer's use of language highlights the points he is making in this extract. (4)







        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in the Observer newspaper, in which Barbara Ellen challenges a claim that middle-class children are likely to be more 'academically gifted' because of their parents' genes:

Behind most “academically outstanding” middle-class children, there are likely to be frazzled, micromanaging parents, working very hard to ensure their child gets ahead. I know this, because I've been there and I know many who've been much further. There is a dark, complicated dance that goes on behind closed doors between worried parent and exam-aged child: fretting, planning, chivvying, coaxing, bribing, begging, not to mention the threats and grounding when they don't play ball.

For their sings, “maxi-strength” parents know this. Get a glass of wine down them and the truth pours out. Few of them would pretend that their little darlings did it alone. Or deny the power of the £50-per-A bribe (sorry, deal) they made with them at the last minute. They know to what extent they've been the thrashing webbed feet beneath the gliding swan of their child's academic success.























      3. Show how the writer's use of language conveys the extent to which middle-class parents are involved in their children's academic success. Refer to more than one language feature in your answer. (4)




        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from a blog on the website of the Herald newspaper on 10 August 2011, in which Kate Higgins reflects on the riots and looting in London and other cities:

We think we can treat young people with contempt, demand respect when it has not been earned, consign them to a lifetime of poverty, disregard their need for education and nurture, cut their services first and hardest, and cast them on to the scrapheap of life in order preserve our own cosy lifestyles.

Consequently, young people are rioting not just because they can, but because it is all they can do. Hope is an unfamiliar companion, the idea of generational justice is laughable and nihilism is the order of the day. They have no fear because they have no future.



















      4. Show how the writer's use of language in these paragraphs makes clear her sympathy with the young people she is describing. Refer to sentence structure, word choice and imagery in your answer. (4)












        Oval: Green









        Oval: Amber




      Where else do you use this skill?




      Oval: Red 







      · Step 1: Quote briefly from the linking sentence or paragraph.

      · Step 2: Show how that quotation makes a link back to earlier in the section

      · Step 3: Quote briefly again from the linking sentence.

      · Step 4: Show how this second quotation makes a link forward to what is to come in the section

      Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in USA Today newspaper, in which Kevin Maney is surprised about some new thinking on the value of video games:

It's summer vacation. The kids have acres of time to fill. So, of course, they're in the basement playing some video game that involves either weapons or skateboards. Who can doubt that their minds are turning into chipped beef on toast as they sit in the dim light, their educations and social lives leaking away? As a conscientious parent, I feel a gravitational pull to say these words: “Turn that off and read a book!” Or play piano, or run outside, or get in a street fight. Anything but play more video games.

Except apparently that kind of thinking is all wrong. It is about to become as dated as the four basic food groups, the philosophy of spare the road and spoil the child, and asbestos as a safety feature. Video games might be about the best thing your kids can do to ensure their future success. Better, even, than reading. Which feels a lot like the moment in Sleeper when Woody Allen finds out that in 2173, cream pies and hot fudge are health foods.























      1.  Referring to specific words and phrases, show how the sentence 'Except that...all wrong' acts as a link between the two paragraphs. (2)















      Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in The Times newspaper, in which Ben Macintyre explores the argument that museums should return items to their 'home country':

Six million people visited the British Museum last year, from all over the world, free. They flock to the blockbuster exhibitions; but they also come to explore, to fall into unexpected conversations with distant, ancient, foreign peoples. And that, of course, was exactly what the museum's creators imagined when it was founded by Act of Parliament in 1753: a great cornucopia of different civilisations, an encyclopaedic storehouse of universal knowledge, displaying the great cultures side by side, with equal veneration, to enlighten not just an elite, but the world.

That simple, brilliant idea is now under assault from the concept of “cultural property”, a struggle over ownership of the past. In the past half-century, but gathering pace in recent years, so-called “source countries” have successfully begun to reclaim and repatriate artefacts from museums around the world. The governments of Italy, Greece, Egypt, China, Cambodia and other geographical homes of ancient civilisations argue that antiquities in foreign museums are national property, vital components of national identity that should be returned “home” as a matter of moral urgency.























      2. Referring to specific words and phrases, show how the sentence 'That simple...of the past' acts as a link between the two paragraphs. (2)




        Rounded Rectangle: An extract from an article in The Times newspaper, in which Richard Morrison reflects on the number of pubs that are closing, but doubts the claim that it is all the fault of the supermarkets:

According to the publicans, it's all the fault of the supermarkets, who offer alcohol at astonishingly irresponsible cut-prices and make getting drunk at home (or in the street) so much cheaper than going to a pub that, in these turbulent economic times, there's really no contest for the impoverished serious drinker.

But fashionable though it is to lay the blame for all social ailments at the doors of the giant supermarkets, this particular thesis doesn't quite add up.

After all, supermarkets also flog coffee, yet the invasion of every high street by Starbucks, Costa, Caffè Nero and all those other interchangeable coffee chains suggests that people are quite happy to frequent establishments selling exorbitantly priced beverages if the ambience is congenial and the clientèle civilised. The coffee shops appeal to people who would nowadays never dream of spending an hour in the local boozer.























      3.  Referring to specific words or phrases, show how the second paragraph acts as a link between the other two paragraphs. (2)




        Oval: Green









        Oval: Amber






      Where else do you use this skill?

      Oval: Red___________________________________________










      The final, five mark question will always involve a comparison of the similarities and/or differences in the key ideas in the two passages.


      The mark for this question will reflect the quality of the response in two areas:


      1. Identification of the essential areas of agreement or disagreement in attitude/ideas

      2. Evidence – which means reference to the ideas which show the writers’ attitudes



        Pretty in Pink?

        Passage 1: Tracy McVeigh: Pre-teen Feminists

        Tired of pink, and keen on football. Here come the pre-teen feminists.

        As one youth magazine launches a campaign to get girls to look beyond the mirror to boost self-esteem, teachers and authors are also calling for change – but what will it take to win the battle?


        They haven’t hit a glass ceiling or discovered their junior male colleague is earning more than they are. They haven’t lost their job after taking maternity leave or been frustrated by a lack of female executives or women in the cabinet. But they are growing a bit weary of pink; know magazines airbrush celebrity bodies; don’t like boys getting away with worse behaviour in class; and might like to play football.


        The pre-teen feminist is here.


        Last month, one of the UK’s best-selling comics for girls, Girl Talk, declared itself feminist. Editor Bea Appleby admits the magazine’s “girls are amazing” campaign was a risk but says the response has been overwhelmingly positive. “We’re promoting the feminist values – equality, sisterhood and empowerment and making the magazine a safe place [that] girls can learn to be proud of who they are and meet great role models. I didn’t think it was right that all our readers would see were pop stars and models; we’ve had an article on Malala Yousafzai and we’re encouraging them to think about what’s equal and what’s not.


        “They are pretty aware, actually, they say things about what happens in schools, that it’s the girls who are asked to tidy up and the boys get away with bad behaviour. I think schools are being a bit rubbish in tackling sexism, a lot are entrenching stereotypes quite casually.” Appleby admits that there is no way Ariana Grande or Katy Perry are leaving the cover slot for Malala or Marie Curie just yet, and pink is still the rallying colour for her 10-year-old readers but it’s a powerful start.

        “It’s a really exciting time for young feminists,” says Sophie Bennett of the group UK Feminsta, which successfully campaigned to “lose” lads’ mags in high-street shops and has started lobbying schools to tackle casual sexism, asking head teachers to sign their Schools Against Sexism pledge. “There’s been a huge upsurge in the number of feminist groups in schools, colleges and universities. A new generation of girls are standing up against sexism and demanding change.”


        She says there has been a rise in demand from school age children and their teachers for UK Feminsta’s work-shops on gender equality. Since UK Feminista was first set up in 2010, interest from younger girls has soared, with more than 100 young people contradicting the organisation last year looking for help to set up a group in their school.


        “We’ve worked with trainee teachers around the country, enabling them to tackle sexism and damaging gender stereotypes in their classrooms. Schools have a crucial role to play in addressing harmful attitudes,” says Bennett.


        The education establishment was last week warned by Hannah Webster, speaking for the Independent Association of Prep Schools, that they were not doing enough. “Forcing girls to wear pink s wrong and could harm their future,” Webster writes, saying it “beggars belief” that toys are colour-coded. She says that girls are told their role is to be “pretty and frilly”, while boys must be “virile” and take charge.


        But the idea of having blue for a boy and pink for a girl is pernicious because it leads them towards roles, regardless of their true identities.


        Writing in Attain magazine, she says: “If we designate a particular colour to a gender, it leads us to designate all manner of other things by gender, too. The result is girls and boys read different kinds of books, play with different kinds of toys, study different subjects, consider different occupations, have different roles within the workplace and family and are ultimately valued differently by society.”


        “You’d think this battle would have been won decades ago. But even some seemingly bright and observant adults are buying into it again – quite literally buying into it in the area of ‘pink for girls and blue for boys’,” says Fine.


        Research commissioned by Girl Guiding UK found that two-thirds of girls believe women are still judged more on their looks than their ability, and one in three would consider plastic surgery to improve her experience. Its new chief executive, Julie Bentley, took up her post last year describing the Guides as the “ultimate feminist organisation”.


        “Celebrity culture makes them feel under pressure to look a certain way – look at the results of our study. Confidence, self-esteem, and inner belief is going to determine what they do with their lives, not looking nice,” she says.


        The Guides have a new badge: the Free Being Me badge which, at Brownie level, will have girls exploring why they are portrayed as princesses and learning that magazine images aren’t necessarily real.


        Interviewed about her blog Teen Feminist, 13 year-old New Yorker Jules Spector said last month: “Just because you’re a girl, it doesn’t mean people don’t want to hear from you.”

        “They value your opinion, especially if you’re young, because it’s a whole new demographic they haven’t necessarily heard from before, with new, innovative ideas.”

        Appleby admits it’s early days. “Introducing feminist ideas to pre-teens, whilst keeping things commercially viable, is tricky. We’re making small steps – not being radical.”


        Passage 2: Catherine Bennett : Don’t fret about girls and pink. What about everyday sexism in later life?


        Campaigns for gender-neutral toys ignore the fact that the problem is much bigger than who plays with dolls.


        When did you last see or hear of a Bratz doll? Exactly. Quite possibly, these “slutty”, “sexualised” looking dolls, with their infamous feather boas and fishnet tights, are still sneakily corrupting our daughter, as once advertised by concerned psychologists and child welfare experts. But they have been forgiven, or forgotten. Today, even the addition of a Bratz “totally tattoo’d” range, featuring mesh gloves and wardrobe of “faux leather, denim and studs”, is accepted with an indifference that may, of course, vindicate everything being said, back in 2007 about a society so morally bankrupt that it cannot even rise up against a doll called Cloe who offers her favourite occupation as “chillin 24/7!”

        But maybe it was wise, given there are only so many toy wars you can wage at once, for toy reformers to move on, after Bratz, to the far greater threat posed by “pernicious” pink toys and princess culture. Here was a horror unsuspected by parents while softening their daughter’s brains with fairy wing and tiaras. The preferred excuse, is one were needed, was that the love of unicorn cuddlies is hardwired in girls, due to ancestral berry gathering or similar; alas, the relevant study has been trashed by Ben Goldacre. The term “pinkification” seems to have been coined at around this time, to summarise the commercial zeal for gendered toys that exploit young children’s longing to fit in, with reportedly damaging consequences.


        “The pink plague dominating our high streets is a very visible symptom of this commercial take-over of early childhood,” warned Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood, already a prominent enemy of Bratz and of overly sexualised children’s clothes. “Today’s pink plague is a wake-up call to us al.” once again, psychologists have agreed that resistance is appropriate. “Colour-coding toys to limit their appeal to both sexes nurtures limitation rather than possibility,” says Professor Melissa Hines, a neuroscientist at Cambridge University, whose research points firmly towards socially acquired colour preferences. “Parents are right to be worried about the obsession with pink for girls.”


        A couple of mothers went further, in 2008, by founding the website Pinkstinks – “our aim is to challenge and reverse this growing trend”. To date, no complementary site has emerged to challenge the parallel piratification of boys, via the dull-coloured plastic armoury that is traditionally their lot, but a Let Toys be Toys campaign, which originated at Mumsnet, urges toyshops to degender the goods on their aisles for the benefit of all children. It is hoped that a related campaign, Let Books be Books, will punish the loathsome, “Beatrice the boring fairy” type of gendered collectable, which has already, if the worst predictions are correct, trashed the ambitions of several generations of young wing-wearers while simultaneously repressing boys who privately hankered for a wee toadstool home.


        Ban pink. Or failing that, boycott pink for girls, keep them from Disney Princesses, purge both abominations from your home. Dismiss, along with all anecdotal evidence that girls leave behind their pink phase, the thought that galloping toy segregation has coincided, notwithstanding, with ever greater numbers of girls going into higher education. If pink toys and pink literature are, as claimed, so deeply implicated in lifelong underachievement, then it must be perverse not to act on advice from the psychologist Cordelia Fine, author of the brilliant Delusions of Gender, who has argued strongly against toy marketing that “polarises children into stereotypes”: war and construction for boys, home and beauty for girls.


        “True”, Fine wrote in the New Scientist, “there is no research linking the gendered marketing of toys and books and later occupational discrimination or sharing of household toys. But the smart money would say the effects won’t be trivial, given that children are enveloped in some of the most relentless stereotyping to be found in the 21st century.”

        It’s not helpful – nor very promising – that pink-minded mothers and rough-housing fathers will get to the children’s brains before the most agile manufacturer. Supposing toymakers could be persuaded to go gender-neutral, or failing that, produce some skull’n’snot patterned scent-making kits, or furry poodle-shaped microscopes that wet themselves, the smart money would still be on gender neutral subversion, unwitting and otherwise.


        The child protected from all Disney propaganda will eventually be introduced to real-life Princess Catherine. Has there ever been a better time to invest in Kiddieland’s My First Vanity Set “with brush and other accessories for your little princess”? whatever the role of toys in crushing girl’s ambition, there must be an argument for focusing, while that remains unclear, on something that definitely does: Cameron’s My Little Cabinet, with lots of men and no room for girls, so your princess can spend more time thinking about pink.


      1. In these passages, both writers express their views on stereotypes for girls. Identify key areas on which they agree. In your answer, you should refer in detail to both passages. You may answer this question in continuous prose or in a series of developed bullet points.(5)


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