Non-Fiction and Media Texts

Revise for AQA Paper one, section A

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QUESTIONS ASKING YOU TO IDENTIFY OR LOCATE DETAILS

'What types of exercise are discussed in the newspaper article?'

'Identify five advantages and five disadvantages to exercising regularly mentioned in the newspaper article.'

'List five facts and five opinions the writer includes in the newspaper article.'

· In this type of question, you are being asked to locate specific named details directly from the text and list them.

· Normally one mark will be awarded for each correct point you make.

· Unless made obvious within the question, the answer does not need extra explanation or to be written in your own words - a numbered list would make a good answer.

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QUESTIONS ASKING YOU TO EXPLAIN AND SUMMARISE

'What impressions does the article create concerning the need for exercise?'

'How does the writer defend the need for exercise?'

'What are the writer's attitudes towards exercise?'

· In this type of question, you need to write a considered personal response and use evidence from the text to support what you say.

· This type of question requires a mixture of your own words and quotations from the text.

· Marks are awarded for depth of answers - you need to show an understanding of how language choices work.

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QUESTIONS ASKING YOU TO DISCUSS WRITERS' TECHNIQUE

'How does the writer try to persuade the reader that exercise is a good thing?'

'What impression of fitness does the writer create?'

'How is the article made convincing?'

· In this kind of question, you would need to discuss, for example, the persuasive techniques used by the writer or the way something has been presented in the text.

· This means considering aspects of language, style and structure to show how these work for a specific audience and purpose.

· It requires a considered, reflective and insightful response using a mixture of your own words and quotations from the text.

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QUESTIONS THAT ASK YOU TO COMPARE TEXTS

'Which of the two articles do you consider the most persuasive? '

'Which of the two texts do you find the more interesting and why? '

· This type of question needs a close discussion of the two articles.

· You will need to comment on aspects of audience, purpose, language and style.

· As before, you are being tested on your awareness of how language can be used effectively for a specific audience and purpose.

· Again, this type of question expects a considered, reflective and insightful response using your own words with support provided by quotations from the text.

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AUDIENCE AND PURPOSE

Considering who the texts are intended for - their target audience.

Considering why the texts have been written – their purpose.

· Your aim should be to work out how a writer makes choices to create a style that is suited to a certain type of reader so that the purpose of the text is achieved.

The purposes of non-fiction texts are various and most often a combination:

· to entertain

· to inform

· to persuade

· to explain

· to advise

· to instruct

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STRUCTURE OF ARGUMENT (MAIN POINTS)

Structure refers to the way topics and ideas in a piece of writing are revealed in a sequence by the writer. Releasing ideas in a sequence can help make the writing clearer (as in writing to explain), it can develop tension and interest (as in a narrative or story), it can make the writing more persuasive (as in writing to argue).

You can work out the structure for a text by making a note of the ideas or topics that the writer explores as the text proceeds. Look at topic sentences, introductions and conclusions closely. Always consider the effect and purpose of the sequence to recognise how the whole meaning of the text is slowly being shaped.

An argument might include; facts, opinions, anecdotes, evidence, examples, statistics, quotes from other sources, references to the past, present and future, comparisons, cause and effect and counter arguments.

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FACTS AND OPINIONS

How are facts being used? Are they presented in a way that is balanced or carefully selected so they are biased?

· Facts and opinions are used to support a writer's point of view or argument but you must be able to separate worthwhile from biased facts and facts from factually stated opinions, always recognising how reasonable and effective the evidence really is.

· How are opinions presented? In persuasion, opinions are never balanced and are given a sense of authority and influence. Judge how balanced or otherwise the facts and opinions really are.

· Can be used to shock, inform, give examples or evidence and illustrate points

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PRESENTATION AND LAYOUT FEATURES

Ask yourself how the text's layout and presentation help it in various ways either appeal to its audience or achieve its purpose.

· Catchy titles capture the reader's attention.

· Short paragraphs and sentences are easier to follow and grasp.

· Headlines, captions and subheadings add impact and clarity.

· White space creates clarity and attractiveness.

· Bulleted or numbered lists aid clarity.

· Layout can be used to aid understanding and to make the piece more eye-catching.

· Formatting: bold, italic and underline can create impact and emphasis.

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MORE PRESENTATION AND LAYOUT FEATURES

Ask yourself how the text's layout and presentation help it in various ways either appeal to its audience or achieve its purpose.

· Type faces - including handwriting style - add impact, trust and interest.

· Colour adds eye-appeal, impact and emphasis. logo can create a high level of trust in a product or service, e.g. McDonald's or 'Coke'.

· Illustrations and photographs add interest, clarity and emotional impact.

· Graphs and charts ease understanding (but can be very selective in what they show).

· Maps may be helpful.

· Cartoons add humour and attract attention.

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LANGUAGE TECHNIQUES

· Language that sounds convincing - this is called rhetorical language.

· Language that affects your emotions - this is called emotive language.

· The use of the personal pronoun 'you' is called the direct address pronoun: it can be used to add a personal touch and engages the reader; it sounds friendly, inviting and even confiding (e.g. 'Have faith in us; you just know it makes sense').

· When used as an inclusive pronoun, 'we' can make the reader seem to be a part of a special group of people (e.g. 'We're all in this together, aren't we?'); as an exclusive pronoun it can separate groups of people (e.g. 'We're working for a better world. Will you help?').

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MORE LANGUAGE TECHNIQUES

· The use of interesting, short anecdotes adds interest and engages the reader's attention (e.g. 'Let me tell you about John, a poor beggar in Ethiopia...')

· The use of hyperbole can create a persuasive impact (e.g. 'This earth-shattering event will blow your mind away!').

· Description creates imagery that can be very engaging and involving, even persuasive. It can be made very vivid and used to create mood and emotion (e.g. 'Like a sliver of shiny steel, the white crescent moon cut a gash in the heavens'). Look for the use of effective metaphors, similes and emotive language.

· Rhetorical questions imply their own answer engage and help to persuade the reader. They help make a point in a more powerful and emotional way.

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EVEN MORE LANGUAGE TECHNIQUES!

· Repetition and lists of three can be effective persuasive devices.

· Personal viewpoint or 'direct address' (when I... / We... speaks to you... ) can create a friendly tone and involve the reader.

· Tone - a formal tone can add authority and sound authentic or sincere; an informal, or even conversational tone can add warmth and fun - it can be very persuasive, too.

· Quotations and evidence from expert sources are used to provide support and create added authority.

· Sentence style can be varied to add interest - and a very short sentence can add real impact. Can't it?

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Comments

Kajan

THANK YOU SOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!! VERY APPRECIATED

yasmin

This is awesome..

Your awesome.

(see what i just did there?)

(Whoops did it again...)

Steph Greed

Thank you so much, this is so goood!!! Got an exam on wednesday!!! 

layla abdi

where is the text ? :|

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