English- Information and ideas- reading

  • Created by: daniella
  • Created on: 21-05-13 21:45

What i should know...

1.know how to define non-fiction texts

2.know how to identify the purpose and audience of the texts

3.show you understand what the writers of each text are trying to say

4.show you understand how the writers use presentational features

5.be able to compare the way the writers use language to meet their intended purposes and audiences

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What these revision cards will teach me...

1.understand what non-fictions texts are

2.prepare for the four types of question you will be asked, which include tasks on how to: look for information identify presentational devices explain what a text suggests compare writing techniques

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What does non-fiction text include

-Information leaflets

-Newspaper or magazine articles

-Travel writing


-Company websites

-Advertisements and advertorials

-Film and book reviews

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How to go about attacking these questions:

1.) Read through

2.) Identify the question!!!

3.) Annotate

4.) Plan

5.) What are the main things that i will be analysing?

1.) G enre A udience Subject Purpose for question 1

2.) P urpose   - A udience    -S tyle     -T one    - I nformation    - L ayout     - S ubject for question 2+3

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What are the main types of questions that will be

There are only four types of question that are going to come up

questions asking you to:

- Understanding text 

- Language 

- Presentational devices 

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Question type one: looking for info

To answer this well you need to do two things:

1.Find the information the question asks for.

2.Explain why the information you have chosen answers the question.

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Question type one: looking for info: handleing

1.) identify what the text is about and then decide if the writer thinks the topic is a good or a bad thing.

2.) The heading or title - this should help you decide on the main subject of the text.

3.) Vocabulary - the kinds of words (nouns) used to give information will also indicate a particular subject. For example, an article about global warming will include words such as "environmentalist, carbon footprint, greenhouse gasses and sustainability".

4.) Attitude - adjectives and intensifiers should tell you what the writer thinks about their subject. Look for words like "totally brilliant, absolutely ridiculous, complete nonsense, straight forward common sense".

5.) Argument - the author will use points to develop their argument. Look for discourse markers - phrases such as "on the contrary, what is more, and another thing, as a result, in conclusion".

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Question type two: presentational devices: handell

6.) Discourse markers: does the writer use casual, chatty discourse markers (eg "anyway, you know what I mean, so") or more formal ones (eg "nevertheless, therefore, however")? Emotive vocabulary: are the words colourful (eg "extraordinary, teeming, resplendent") or plain (eg "good, full of, organised").

7.) Exclamations: does the writing sound angry and argumentative (eg "This must stop..." or "We must think again...") or is the writing more thoughtful (eg "probably, it might be, on the other hand").

8.) Facts and opinions: does the text use lots of facts and statistics or are there more opinions? Is the text intended to inform or to persuade, review and entertain?

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Question type one: looking for info: tips

- You should summarise what they say and how you know

- Do this by quoting a line of text and saying where it is from.

- Compare what the writer says at the end of the first paragraph with what is said at the end of the last one

- checks the overall argument(writers tend to make points at the end of each paragraph)

-Look at the adjectives and intensifiers the author uses to work out if the writer agrees or disagrees with the people quoted

- (Be careful about quotations- lines that are reported and spoken by other people will not always be the opinions of the writer)

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Question type two: presentational devices

To get all the marks on this question you need to do two things:

1.List the presentational devices the text uses.

2.Explain why these devices are used and what effect they have.

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Question type two: presentational devices: handell

1.) IDENTIFYING: you need be able to recognise presentational devices such as:

- Headings (titles) and sub-headings

- Photos/Pictures/Illustrations

- Font size and style (bold, italic etc.)

- Colour

- Layout features (bullets, boxed text)

- Structure (short or long paragraphs)

- Quotations (things people said either in quotation marks or highlighted in the text)

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Question type two: presentational devices: handell


The devices used depend on:

- Purpose: what the text is trying to do (e.g. inform, advise, persuade).

- Audience: who it is trying to talk to (e.g. children, adults, men, women).

EXAMPLE: Choices in colour and font, for example, can be made to appeal to a specific target group. You might use lively colours and playful fonts in a text for kids and more serious fonts and colours for adults.

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Question type two: presentational devices: H. Mood


- A piece of writing will always try to express feelings.

- The feelings should always be in tune with the target audience.

- The mood created could be fun and excitement (e.g. in a brochure for a theme park) or perhaps fear and concern (e.g. in an advice sheet about road safety). Devices to look out for in mood: Pictures Fonts Colour Quotes

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Question type two: presentational devices: H.Memor


- If the main purpose of a piece of non-fiction writing is to inform, then it is important that readers find and remember key bits of information.

- e.g. These can include website addresses or phone numbers, advice or statistics. Devices to look out for that are used to aid memory:

Bold text


sub headings

Bullet points


maps and illustrations

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Question type two: presentational devices: H.Clari

Clarity WHY?

- Clarity will make the right people pick it up and read it

- The information within the text also needs to be clearly presented otherwise people will stop reading.

- Most non-fiction texts are written for people in a hurry, so it is important that the purpose and audience of a text is clear. Devices to look out for to aid clarity:

-Bold text

-Bullet points



-Colour Images and captions Quotes

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Question type three: Comparing & Handling

Comparing & Handling writing techniques

You will have to write at least four paragraphs describing:

1.) IDENTIFY which writing techniques are used

2.) why these techniques are used- what effects do they have?

3.) do the same for the other text

4.) how these are similar or different from writing techniques from another text

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Question type three: Comparing: Identifing Techniq

These are the techniques you should be able to identify:

1.) Words: are they simple or difficult, formal or informal?

2.) Sentences: are they short or long?

3.) Paragraphs: are they short or long? Are they all the same length, or do some stand out for emphasis or dramatic effect?

4.) Personal pronouns: does the text use the personal pronoun 'you' or 'we' to address the reader? Using 'we' is a technique the text could use to create a close personal relationship.

5.) Persuasive techniques: does the writer use rhetorical questions (eg "Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a billionaire?"), groups of three (eg "The good, the bad and the ugly...") or alliteration (eg "sizzling sunshine")? These can all be used to persuade the reader to feel a certain way about something.

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Question type four: understanding text: handleing

  • Work out what the question is asking you for.
  •  E.g.: what are the changes? Don’t explain what things like before or how things were after, but what changed.
  • Organise your answer into paragraphs according to what the question asks. 
  •  E.g.: if it asks for two ways that something happens, write two paragraphs
  • Use the language of the question in your answer
  • E.g.: What examples of heroism are shown? One example of heroism is .... Another example of heroism is ...
  • Don't quote
  • Use your own words, not the exact words in the passage.
  • Don't analyse (no Point Evidence Analysis)
  • Intemperate what is said
  • Answer concisely
  • ½ page to ¾ page
  • Don’t repeat yourself
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Question type four: understanding text: handleing

1.) look at inferred meaning

2.) look at detail

3.) look for similes and metaphors

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Question type four: understanding text: inferred m

- this is indirect language like sarcasm that we use everyday


- The key to understanding the attitude of a text is to consider how the writer feels about the subject. (Do they feel good or bad about this subject? Is it funny or serious? Are they happy or sad?)

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Question type four: understanding text INFERRED ME

  • this is different to the first question as while the first type asks for information given in the text (eg facts that you can quote), this kind of question asks you for ideas or feelings that are implied by the text (eg attitudes which are not necessarily clearly stated). 
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Question type four: understanding text: detail

- Rather than just describing a scene, they might engage readers by describing how you would see or feel the scene.

- Feelings will therefore come from the kind of things being described (eg colourful, interesting descriptions with positive associations or used, broken objects with negative associations).

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Question type four: understanding text: similies

- Similes and metaphors are common techniques for suggesting feelings or attitudes.

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1.) Read through the whole paper (all questions and all three items) before you start writing.

2.) Before you answer each question, read through the related text again. If you are answering more than one question on a text, read the text before answering question 1, then read it again before answering question 2.

3.) Note how many marks you get for each question and use this as a guide for how many points to make in your answer to each question.

4.) Know exactly what the question is asking - which of the four types of question is it? Remember the question will either be about finding information, presentational devices, inferring meaning or explaining language techniques.

5.) Always put your explanations in your own words. Don't just repeat what a text says or point out the presentational devices used - you must say why or how you know this about the text.

6.) Always give evidence to support your explanations - ie, choose the right quotation, presentational device or language technique and quote it in full.

7.) Always link your point to the writer's intention - ie, say how a device or technique meets both the text's purpose and audience

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  • Point 
  • Evidence
  • Analysis
  • look at pastiles
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