Unit 1 – Studying Written Language
Reading non-fiction texts:
This unit assesses your reading skills. You will be given two non-fiction texts to read in the exam and you will be required to answer several structured questions. The non-fiction texts may include:
Formal and informal letters
Extracts from biographies
Extracts from diaries
Visual Materials will always be included in the materials used; photos, diagrams,artworks and logos. Approaching the tasks
You will need to answer all of the questions on the exam paper. These questions may require you to:
Explain some information
Explain how views are expressed
Write about how language is used
Write about the layout features such as headlines and pictures Compare and contrast the materials presented in the texts
When approaching this exam paper you should make sure that you: Read the questions and keep them in your mind as you read the exam texts Allow time to answer all the questions
Allow time to check your work
In the exam you will be asked different kinds of questions that will be aiming to test different reading skills. Some of the question types are explained below.
1. Finding and selecting information – this type of question asks you to locate particular information and interpret what has been said E.g.: According to this article, why are there no closed prisons in Greenland
The writer’s techniques – this type of question involves writing about how the writer uses language, and in this case, other features, to create effects and make the article interesting.
E.g.. How does Lucy Jones try to make her internet article interesting for her readers? Think about:
What she says
How she says it
The use of headlines and pictures
The use of internet features.
2. The writer’s attitude – this type of question asks you to identify the writer’s point of view and opinions in the text
E.g.. According to this article, what is the writer’s attitude to punishing people by sending them to prison?
3. Comparing texts - this type of question involves making cross-references as well as comparing and contrasting what the writers say. Sometimes a question might ask you to compare and contrast how two writers present their information.
E.g. Compare and contrast what Lucy Jones and Dermot Purgavie say about the treatment of dangerous criminals
When reading the texts, read them with the question in your mind and annotate as you read. Make sure you are reading the right text for the question. Look at the information about the text on the exam paper – for example, where it is from (newspaper, magazine etc). his could give clues as to the topic etc. Work out the purpose and intended audience for the text. Look at other presentational features – headlines, captions, general layout etc. what are the effects of these features? Close reading is not just about looking for meaning but also how the meaning is created and then conveyed to the reader. In the exam you might be asked to consider:
Impressions – ideas raised by the texts The language that the writer use – how does the writer express their ideas and use language to create effect? Your own response to the texts, backing up your opinions with evidence. The similarities and differences between the techniques used in both texts to present information and ideas When analysing the texts you are given in the exam, you need to look at: The language used to present ideas
The ways in which factual information is presented The use of opinion and comments
The tome the writers use
The ways n which pictures and...
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