This argumentative essay example was written by a student in timed conditions, in response to the June 2017 past paper for AQA English Language Paper 1. Marking and feedback by an AQA Examiner has been provided below.



Focus this part of your answer on the second part of the source, from line 19 to the end. A student said, ‘This part of the story, set in the hat shop, shows that the red-haired girl has many advantages in life, and I think Rosabel is right to be angry.’ To what extent do you agree? In your response, you could: 

• Consider your own impressions of the red-haired girl 

• Evaluate how the writer conveys Rosabel’s reactions to the red-haired girl 

• Support your response with references to the text. [20 marks]


  • The red-haired girl has many advantages in life (AGREE / DISAGREE) 
  • Rosabel is right to be angry (AGREE / DISAGREE)



Note: Some structural comments have been added to this essay, to help students see how the student planned and organised their work.  


(POSITION 1) I agree to some extent that Rosabel has the right to be angry over the fact that the red-haired girl has many advantages in life.  (POSITION 2) However, I also think that status is for the most part out of our control when we are born. (THESIS) So whilst Rosabel reserves the right to be angry, It makes no difference to reality how much more privileged the red hair girl is. 

AQA GCSE English Language Paper 1, Question 5

PARAGRAPH 1: FOR – the red-haired girl is bad 

The red-haired girl does not make a good first impression to the reader, as she is seen taking advantage of Rosabel who works tirelessly and ‘run(s) up breathlessly’ to help the customer, whilst it is clear that she has no intention of purchasing a hat. Furthermore, the red-haired girl is seen to mock Rosabel, ‘laughingly’ asking her to run along and bring samples for her, whilst also patronising her, referring to Rosabel as ‘adorable’. It is clear to see that the red-haired girl abuses her position of privilege, and it is because of that, that I think Rosabel reserves the right to be angry. 


PARAGRAPH 2: FOR – Rosabel tries to act nicely to the girl, despite the fact that she’s rude 

Rosabel is seen to take most of the insults thrown at her by the red-haired girl in a calm and composed manner. Although Rosabel reserved the right to be angry about the red-haired girl patronising her, she still decides not to take action or confront her, despite the fact that she ‘longed to throw the lovely perishable thing in the girl’s face’, which portrays Rosabel as more elegant and respectable women, even if she is from a lower class. 


PARAGRAPH 3: COUNTER – Rosabel is doing a job, she should be professional 

On the other hand, In a capitalistic society, it is the exchange of services and value provided that provides Rosabel a job. Although she was born in a less wealthy family, there is nothing she can do in her control to change any of that. Furthermore, Although having to withstand the patronisation of the red-haired girl, they still paid for a hat. And therefore, it is part of the job, to work tirelessly for the customer. (SHOULD HAVE A REBUTTAL AT THE END)



In conclusion, I believe that it is right for Rosabel to be angry. Although working in a store as customer service entails helping the customer with all their needs, the red-haired girl could simply have been less rude and more professional and kind towards Rosabell, which would not have angered Rosabell at all. 


Total Mark: 16/20



  • A complex and personal opinion on the question, using the student’s own beliefs or thoughts about the situation 
  • A very well organised essay 
  • Clear opinions expressed consistently throughout 
  • Good use of quotations 
  • To achieve a higher mark, some alternative explanations could be explored. A rebuttal in the final middle paragraph should also be added 
  • Analysis should also be more thorough and sensitive in places

Thanks so much for reading! If you find this helpful, take a look at our full GCSE English courses here:

The Ultimate AQA GCSE English Course Paper 1

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Basic Descriptive Writing