My Framework Terms ebook contains all the framework notes from this site, formatted for the Kindle or Kindle app. Current price £2.50

Home About  Students Teachers Blog Writing
Email Me

At its most basic, mode is about differentiating writing from speech, but of course it’s a lot more complex than that and it is quite possible for you to be quite subtle about it.  Please avoid the temptation to declare everything ‘mixed mode’ - remember to visualise mode as a continuum with the most formal written text (legal statutes perhaps) at one end and the most casual conversation at the other.


It is useful to think of the concept of mode as a set of paired concepts, opposites on a series of continuums.  You could ask yourself questions like the following:



The Interaction page should remind you of the theories to refer to in analysing any text which involves interaction between two or more people.

It is useful to think of the concept of mode as a set of paired concepts, opposites on a series of continuums.  You should ask yourself questions like those above, and spend your analytical answer explaining how the writer/speaker’s linguistic choices reveal these aspects of the text. Note that the questions are phrased as ‘how x or y is the text?’ rather than ‘is the text x or y?’. You should not be rattling off a checklist of mode features and assuming you’ve ‘done’ mode.


You will also need to label features of the texts while doing this - ideally, you would link features to the mode, e.g. by suggesting that rhetorical features like triads and balanced pairs are typical of prepared speech because it is planned, so the speaker has had time to think of what will be said, but also because it is ephemeral and aural and therefore the text needs to be easily memorable.

Mode

Written

Formal

Permanent

Monologic

Distant

Asynchronous

Synchronous

Close

Interactive

Ephemeral

Informal

Spoken