N4 English – Academic Year 2020/21
Analysis and Evaluation Booklet
Assessment task 1
For this assessment you are given a passage, ‘I feel much happier without the internet’ and a series of questions on it. Read the passage carefully and then answer the questions which follow.
‘I feel much happier without the internet’
In the passage which follows, Jake Davis, a computer hacker from Shetland, writes about his life without access to the internet. A hacker is someone who breaks into computer networks either for profit or to protest about something.
1 The last time I was allowed to access the internet was several moments before the police came through my door in the Shetland Isles, over a year ago. During the past 12 months, I have pleaded guilty to computer misuse as part of a hacker group. I have also been charged with the same crime in the United States, and if found guilty I could face several decades in an American prison. Now I am on bail and have to wear an electronic tag around my ankle. I’m forbidden from accessing the internet.
2 I’m often asked: ‘What is life like without the net?’ It seems strange that humans have evolved for thousands of years without the internet, and now we in modern society struggle to understand our lives without it.
3 In a word, life is peaceful. I now find myself reading newspapers and entering real shops with real money in order to buy real products. Nothing needs to be captioned or made into an elaborate joke to impress people who only show their feelings in smiley faces.
4 Things are calmer, slower and at times, I’ll admit, more dull. I do very much miss the instant friendship of online life, the innocent chat-room conversations, and the ease with which friends with similar interests can be found. However, there is something strangely pleasant about being disconnected from the digital army.
5 It is not so much the sudden simplicity of daily life — as you can imagine, simple tasks have been made much more difficult — but the feeling of being able to close my eyes without being bombarded with flashing shapes or constant buzzing sounds, which had happened frequently since my early teens and could only be due to my constant computer marathons. Sleep is now peaceful and uninterrupted and books seem far more interesting.
6 It is our attention spans that have suffered the most because of the internet. Our lives are squashed into short, advertisement-like bursts or ‘tweets’. The constant stream of drivel fills page after page, eating away at our creativity.
7 A miracle cure is not something I could give, but I can happily say that a permanent lack of internet has made me a more fulfilled individual. And as one of many kids glued to their screens every day, I would never before have imagined myself even thinking those words. Before, the idea of no internet was unbelievable, but now I look back on the records of my online chats (produced as legal evidence in my case, in great numbers) and wonder what all the fuss was about.
8 It’s not my place to wonder whether or not the hacker community should stop taking itself so seriously, but I certainly became entangled within it and had forgotten how easy it was simply to close a laptop lid.
9 I hope, then, that others in a similar situation may decide to take a short break from the web (perhaps just for a week) and see if similar effects are found. It can’t hurt to try.
The Observer, Sunday 9 September 2012 (adapted)
1 Look again at paragraph 1. What has Jake Davis been accused of?
2 Look at paragraphs 3 and 4. Describe two of the ways in which the writer’s life is different without the internet.
3 The word ‘real’ is repeated three times in the following sentence from paragraph 3.
‘I now find myself reading newspapers and entering
real shops with real money in order to buy real products.’
Why do you think Jake David repeats this word?
4 Look at paragraphs 5 and 6. How has the writer’s life changed for the better without the internet?
5 What does the writer’s use of the word ‘drivel’ in paragraph 6 tell us about his attitude to communication on the internet?
6 a Why might Davis have written this article? Tick one of the following. options:
to get himself out of trouble with the police
to show us how life can be better without the internet
to get us to use our computers more
b Has he managed to make you agree with him? Explain your answer.
7 a Who might be interested in reading this article?
(You could think about their age, interests, gender, nationality.)
b What might they like about it?
Summarising Shorts Films
Here’s something fun and a bit different…
Summarising can be a valuable skill in any subject and any job or activity you do.
Have a look at the short films on this website;
Pick a film and listen and watch carefully. Afterwards, try and write down what you think the FIVE most important pieces of information are.
Try and use complete sentences: capital letters, full stops and specific vocabulary.
If you want more of a challenge, try doing it using your own words (not using the words used in the film).
Or if you don’t fancy summarising sometimes, just watch and enjoy!