Newspaper Articles I
Newspaper articles report events and offer opinions:
- A newspapers main purpose it to inform people about current affairs and other topics of interest.
- Some newspaper articles directly report news. They convey facts about a story or theme, often using an unemotional tone and a sophisticated style to make the information seem accurate and reliable.
- Other newspaper articles offer the viewpoint of the writer on a news story or theme. These are sometimes calle commentaries, columns, editorials or opinion pieces.
- As well as informing the reader, commentaries try to entertain their audience by making readers engage with the personality of the writer.
Commentaries need to engage their audience:
- To grab the audience's interest a commentary might use a personal tone and a conversational style to help convey the writer's opinions and personalities.
Newspaper Articles II
- It seems to me that this lot all need to take a deep breath and stop whinging. Nobody's going to buldoze our green spaces any time soon - they'll have to spend 25 years making a planning application first. - This uses colloquial words to create a conversational style and sarcasm to convey the viewpoint of the writer.
- Rhetorical techniques are commonly used in commentaries to help get the writer's opinion across forcefully and to encourage the readers to agree with the writer.
- What happened to the good old days, when the presence of a heap of spuds on the table at dinnertime brought delight all around? Has all this 'health food' nonsense made us forget our faithful starchy friend? - This uses rhetorical questions to engage and persuade the reader.
The layout of an article is important:
- Headlines tell you, very briefly, what an article is about. Headlines need to capture the audience's interest so that they carry on reading the article.
- Straplines and short statements that expand the headline try to hook the reader, after the headline has got their initial interest.
- Articles often start with a short paragraph that givrs an overview of the story or theme.
- Subheadings are used to split an article up. Each subheading briefly tells you what the next section is about, often in an interesting or humourous way.
Newspaper Articles III
Newspapers have varying audiences:
- Newspapers are broadly split between two types - tabloisds and broadsheets.
- Tabloids (such as 'The Sun' or 'The Mirror' tend to focus on more sensational stories, making their news stories accessible and with a wide apeal.
- Broadsheets (such as 'The Telegraph' and 'The Guardian') are thought of as a more formal, 'high-brow' journalism - focusing on what are thought to be more sophisticated topics.
- Question 5 will tell you what form to write in, eg: 'a broadsheet newspaper article' - make sure you adapt your tone, style and register to the right audience.
- Most newspapers also publish articles on the internet. If you're asked to write a news article for an online audience, think about how your audience might be different (eg: younger or with a different level of understanding about the subject) and adapt your writing to suit.
Make sure your article gives your opinion:
- Punchy and short headline - to engage the reader.
- Rhetorical devices like repitition - to make your writing more enteraining and persuasive.
- Sarcastic tone - to give your writing a sense of personality.
- Personal tone - as you're giving an opinion.
Leaflets can have varied audiences and purposes:
- Leaflets can have any purpose, but they're often used to advise (eg: a leaflets advising the reader to open a savings account) or to persuade an audience (eg: to vote for a particular political party).
- They can have a general audience (eg: a leaflet about the importance of healthy eating) or a more specific audience (eg: a leaflet advertising a particular museum or exhibition).
- Leaflets need to grab the reader's attention, so that they remember all the information they're given. You can use language techniques such as lists of three or direct address to achieve this.
Organise your leaflet in a clear and interesting way:
Leaflets need a clear structure to break up information. This could include:
- A clear title - to catch the reader's attention.
- Subheadings - to organise your answer and to hold the reader's interest.
- Bullet points - to break information up for the reader.
- Boxes around extra bits of information - to draw attention and add structure.
- Alliteration and list of three - to emphasising the variety of activites on offer.
- Short paragraphs - to break up the information in the text
- Imperatives and direct address - to create a clear, confident tone
- Standard English - despite the audience.
Travel Writing I
Travel writing is personal and descriptive:
- Travel writing is an account of a writer's travels to a specific place.
- If you're asked to produce some travel writing for paper 2, you'll need to convey your thoughts and opinions about the place you're writing about, as well as give some information about it.
- A piece of travel writing can entertan the reader (eg: if it's in a book or magazine) inform them (eg: if it's in a travel guide) or persuade them to visit a destination.
- However, it's usually written for a combination of these purposes, eg: travel guides are often written to both inform and entertain the reader.
- Travel writing usually has a personal tone, and it's almost always written in the first person. Try to write in a conversational style, but don't forget to use lots of descriptive techniques too.
Use interesting language to convey your opinions:
- An interesting punchy title - grabs the audience's attention.
- Make your opinion on the situation clear.
- Personal pronouns (eg: 'I') - to make the tone of your writing more personal.
Travel Writing II
- Link your answer back to the statement.
- Use all five senses - to create a sense of the atmosphere of the place.
Reports and Essays I
Reports and essays are similar:
- Reports and essays should be impersonal and objective in tone. You'll need to go through the arguments for and against something, then come to a conclusion that demonstrates your own point of view.
- The purpose of reports and essays is to almost always inform, but they often advise their audience too.
- You need to make sure you write for the correct audience - essays usually have quite a general audience, but reports are normally written for a particular person or group of people.
Reports and essays should follow a logical structure they need to have:
- an introduction that sets up the main theme.
- well-structured paragraphs covering the strength and weaknesses of the arguments.
- a conclusion that ties things together and offers you your own point of view.
Reports and Essays II
Reports should analyse and advise:
- At the start, show that you are clearly aware of who your audience is.
- You don't need to create any suspense - give your opinion in the introduction.
- Phrases like 'on the one hand' show that you have thought about both sides of the argument.
- Your language should be very formal and impersonal, but you still need to convey a viewpoint.
- In the real answer, you would go on to include several more paragraphs and finish with a conclusion that gives advice.
Reviews should entertain as well as inform:
- A review is a piece of writing that gives an opinion about how good something is - it might be a book, a piece of music or even an exhibition.
- Reviews can appear in lots of different publications. If you have to write a review in the exam, the question will usually tell you where it's going to appear.
- The publication where your review appears will affect what kind of audience you're writing for and how you write. for example a film review for a teen magazine should be funny and chatting, but a review of Shakespeare play for a broadsheet newspaper should be serious and informative.
- Don't get too hung up on describing everything in minute detail - it's much more important that you give your opinion. Just keep your review engaging by focusing on the interesting bits and using sophisticated language.
You should also pay attention to purpose. Your review could have several different purposes:
- Your review needs to entertain the reader.
- You also need to inform the reader about the thing you're reviewing bases on your own opinion.
- You might also need to advise the reader whether or not to see/do the thing you're reviewing.
Your review needs to give an evaluation:
- Make sure you adapt your writing appropriately - use a formal register with fairly complex language.
- Make your opinion clear from the start of the review.
- Make sure your review is informative as well as entertaining.
- Use figurative language to make your review interesting.
Speeches need to be dramatic and engaging:
- Speeches are often written to argue or persuade, so they need to have a dramatic, emotional impact on their audiences.
- One way to make a speech persuasive is to give it an effective structure - arrange your points so that they build tension throughout your answer, then end with an emotive or exciting climax.
- Remember speeches are spoken, not read. Try to use techniques that are effective when they're spoked out loud.
You can use lots of language techniques to make your writing engaging and persuasive:
- These accusations are hateful, hurtful and humiliating -> Alliteration and the use of a list of three adjectives make this sound strong and angry.
- Do we really have no other option? The current situation is a disgrace! -> Rhetorical questions and exclamations engage the reader and make your writing sound more like spoken language.
Your speech should make people think:
- Try to use lots of person pronouns like 'I', 'you' and 'we' to engage your audience.
- You could use repetitio to increase the dramatic impact of your speech.
- Start off by addressing your listeners directly and announcing the reason for your speech - show that you've understood the purpose and audience.
- The word 'must' creates a confident tone.
- Vary the lengths of your sentences to show pauses and emphasis.
Letters need to start and end correctly:
- If you're asked to write a letter, look at the audience to decide how formal your register should be.
If the letter is to someone you don't know well, or to someone in a position keep it formal with a serious tone. This means you should:
- Use formal greetings (eg: 'Dear Sir/Madam') and sign-offs (eg: 'Yours sincerely' if you've used their name, 'Yours faithfully' if you haven't)
- Use standard english and formal vocabulary, eg: you could use phrases like 'In my opinion...' or 'I find this state of affairs....'.
If the letter is to someone you know, or someone who isn't in a position of authority, you might use a more conversational style, although it should still be fairly formal. This means you should:
- Start with your reader's name, eg: 'Dear Paul', and sign off with 'best wishes' or 'warm regards'
- Make sure you still write in standard english (no text speak or slang) and show the examiner that you can use interesting vocabulary and sentence structures.
State your viewpoint clearly:
- Formal/informal language helps set the right tone for your letter and shows that you've understood your audience.
- You need to make your viewpoint on the statement is clear.
- Introducing a counter-argument, then contradicting it, can help to build up your argument.