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It captivates or intrigues the reader this way you are implying that it "makes the reader want to read on" without actually directly saying it.

Hope this helps.


Engages the reader

Gains/holds their attention


I would scrap the phrase entirely and concentrate on the ideas the writer is conveying, especially at A-level. Ask yourself:

-If this is a particularly tense moment, why is it so? What is happening at this point in the story and why is it significant? 

As others have said, all writers want readers to 'read on' and find their work interesting. The question is, why? What ideas and messages might the text contain?

Hope this provides food for thought!

Hello! I see your problem, I had the same thing doing A level English! Try to use phrases such as "this entices the reader due to..." And "helping to maintain the reader's interest" or just " the story remains engaging". As long as you vary your phrasing you will be fine! :) 

Hello Honeybadger, 

I know this post is from a while back now, but I really wanted to add my thoughts on your question. 

I'm sorry to say that this phrase really drives English teachers and examiners to distraction! 

Remember that a writer has never, in the whole history of writing, written something that they hope "the reader" will give up half-way through. If you do want to give up reading it, it is either terrible writing (unlikely if you are studying it for A Level), or you are reading something that you are not particularly interested in (okay-this could happen!). This means that this comment can (and is, unfortunately. Sigh.) written about every single text that you will ever see in school, college and university. 

Why would anybody want to study a subject for which every question could be answered with the same answer? That would be tedious beyond belief, surely? 

The fact is, the authors we are reading are particularly adept at the skills of drawing us deeper into their writing in endlessly varied ways. You need to explore and explain all of this in specific detail. 

  It is worth remembering that no writer of English Literature did or does so with GCSE or A Level students in mind. I guarantee that Jane Austen never sat down to write thinking "I'd better stick a metaphor in here. That'll make the reader want to read on." It is about much, much more than that and will be as individual as if you had direct access to the author's mind. Which you do. 

Luckily, you are a human being, so you know what it is like to have a human mind. Think about how complicated it is in your own mind and then try to imagine your author as all that and then add in all their talents, skills and experiences as well. 

 As you develop in your study of English, you will learn to explain and evaluate an author's skills and the nuances of the resulting work. English Language and literature is beautiful, endlessly rewarding and can also be fiendishly tricky to understand as I'm sure you are discovering. It is very much worth it, not just for the qualifications and so on that you will gain, but the access to the incredibly rich source of human achievement that you are tapping into and which you are part of. 

Have a lovely 2015! 

I would agree with Katherine H. Talk about specific parts in the text. Lead in with "the author invests the reader by/using/discussing/demonstrating". Its always best to avoid ambiguity wherever possible and focus on content. 

Hi Honeybadger. 

I would advise you against using the phrase at all, even other versions of it. The reason for this is that it comes across as though you have nothing to say about the text and that you are using this to fill space.  Instead, you need to be discussing the connotations of individual words and phrases, considering why the author/poet selected them.  This is a more advanced way of considering a text.

If you have to use it, I would say: "The author included the phrase '...', as it engages the reader and makes the theme of '...' explicit."  You then need to go into detail about the quotation; by making vague comments, you are likely to get a D/E grade.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more specific questions about a text.

Entices the reader to continue, engages the sense, provokes curiosity, 

You can simply describe the text as 'compelling' or 'engaging,' which would convey the same message. 

Other ways of expressing this phrase include:

commands the reader's attention 

engages the reader 

bolster's the reader's attention

seduces the reader's imagination

captivates the reader's attention/imagination

immerses the reader into the text

forges a strong readerly interest

absorbs the reader deep into its textual webs 

draws the reader in 

I would suggest the following:

The reader is enticed to continue reading...

The reader's attention is drawn to carry on to the next section because...

The text is designed to coax the reader to read further due to...

The narrative arc of the text moves the reader from this section to the next by...

There are a few different ways to communicate this in a more formal manner, for example 'entices the reader to continue' or 'grasps every aspect of the readers attention'.

Engages the read

What about 'draws the reader in' ...'engages the reader'?

Thanks! These all helped 

I would say "the reader experiences a profound and exciting need to continue further into the text". Is this formal enough? Jen

also :  ...entices the reader's curiosity ... entices the reader to continue ...

Instead of saying 'this piece of text makes the reader want to read on, you could alternatively say: 'this piece of text....'

intrigues the reader 

captures the reader's imagination

commands the reader's attention

encourages further reading

sustains the reader's attention and interest

enhances the readability

demands the reader's attention

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