english reading

section A: reading and understanding non-fiction texts

You will need to read three non-fiction texts and answer four related questions in total. (Foundation candidates will need to answer five shorter questions). To prepare you should:

  1. know how to define non-fiction texts
  2. know how to identify the purpose and audience of the exam 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

The Revision Bites in this section should help you to:

  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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  • Created by: Ashleigh
  • Created on: 25-04-12 10:14

In order to succeed in the exam on non-fiction texts, you need to prepare for the types of text you might be asked about and which of the four different areas you will write about.

What are non-fiction texts?

Non-fiction is a type or genre of writing based on facts and real life rather than a made-up or fictional story. Non-fiction includes any kind of text designed to give information. There are a range of forms for non-fiction including:

  • information leaflets
  • newspaper or magazine articles
  • travel writing
  • biographies
  • company websites

Once you know what kind of text you are looking at, you need to know two more key details:

  • Audience - who is the text aimed at (eg men or women, adult or youth)?
  • Purpose - what is the text trying to do (eg inform, persuade, argue or advise)?

Read more about genre, audience and purpose in the Writing revision bites.

Once you recognise the genre, the form of the text and the intended audience and purpose, you are ready to work on your exam technique.

Know exactly what you are being asked

The most important aspect of preparing for your exam is to recognise the type of question you will be asked.

There are only four types of question that are going to come up - questions asking you to:

  • look for information
  • identify and explain presentational devices
  • understand and interpret meaning
  • compare the effectiveness of language techniques
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