That Blue Square Thing

Applied ICT A Level Unit 1 - ICT and Society

Note: this page applies to the AQA Applied ICT A level specification. This exam was withdrawn in 2012, with final exams in 2013. The content will be retained as an archive and because it has some stuff that might be quite useful for someone or other

Mobile phone imageBlock Six - Writing

This block aims to make sure that you understand some of the key points about what you need to write, in terms of content, for your final publication. It's key objectives are to:

Writing for the exam:

There are 24 marks available in section k of the unit 1 markgrid - the part of the grid which rewards the content you write. Specifically the marks are usually given for:

This section is worth lots of marks, but because you can take all your text into the exam, you can get the marks during the prep time - if you're organised and work efficiently in that time.

PDF iconWriting presentation slides

Better Writing:

There are a range of ways you can produce better writing.

Better writing is writing that's more suitable for the audience and purpose of the task. This will stem from your analysis of audience needs. Of course, this will be different for each audience and for each task that is set. But there are some standard points which can apply.

PDF iconBetter writing presentation slides

Explain technical terms:

Jen: Keep the conversation to things which would interest everybody. You know, nothing about memory or RAM.

Moss: Ha, memory is RAM! Oh dear!

The IT Crowd

Don't assume that your audience knows what something technical is. I like to think that my wife is reasonably intelligent. She's a science teacher and has A levels is stuff like Physics. But I still had to explain to her that our Freeview digital TV signal got to us via an aerial - she assumed it came through some sort of cable "because it's digital" (and this despite her having paid for the new aerial we needed...)

Start articles well

The first paragraph is the most important. If that doesn't "hook" your reader then they won't continue reading. Make them want to read on.

This is the first paragraph of an article I found on the website of the Kansas City Starexternal link. It's a regular newspaper and, I imagine, regular people read it. I assume they employ journalists who are trained in writing effective articles:

Infrared Data Association® (IrDA®) and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for broad range collaboration in the development of wireless communications and utilization of the Object Exchange Protocol (OBEX™) specification. The original MoU was first signed in the late 1990’s when the Bluetooth SIG first began utilizing IrDA’s OBEX™ specification.

The Kansas City Star, 7th October 2010

Would you read on after that?

Some Practice:

Penny, everything's better with Bluetooth

1. Bluetooth: Here's a section from a piece of homework I was sent about Bluetooth. see if you can simplify it so that it's suitable for an audience like my wife (seriously - Bluetooth may as well be magic to her...)

Bluetooth is an open wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short wavelength radio transmissions) from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks (PANs)

The BBC webwise website has a reasonable articleexternal link which might not be a bad starting point. Aim for a very short explanation using only a paragraph or two here.

2. The BT iPad: The textfile below is an edited version of an article from The Guardian websiteexternal link about a new product BT has developed.

Use the evaluation criteria and see if you could rewrite the first paragraph (or two) to be appropriate for a target audience of students interested in careers in the media. You might want to use this as an opportunity to practice some of the PagePlus skills you developed in the last block.

Text file iconBT iPad article

PDF iconWriting evaluation criteria - presentation slides

PDF iconGrid of writing evaluation criteria - you can print this and tick evaluation criteria off (note: you may not use all the criteria in any one article!)

3. E-Books: are a technological development which has a potentially interesting future. Write a brief article for an audience of elderly people about the benefit and drawbacks of e-books.

This article from the Guardian website has some interesting opinionsexternal link as a starting point - and is a quite interesting example of a way to start an article as well.

You should probably look at That Blue Square Blog for all the really good other A Level stuff.