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:

How spontaneous or planned is the text?

How known or unknown is the audience?

How monologic or interactive is the text?

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

A consideration of mode will enrich comparative analyses of texts, and is therefore useful in the meanings and representations task when shifting from single text to paired text analysis. It is also a required element in analysis of Paris texts for AQA Lang-Lit.