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Non-Fiction and media texts


Non-Fiction and media texts The exam Paper 1, Section A: Reading response to non-fiction/ media texts. In this part of the exam, you will be asked to read at least ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Non-Fiction and media texts

Non-Fiction and media texts
The exam
  • Paper 1, Section A Reading response to
    non-fiction/ media texts.
  • In this part of the exam, you will be asked to
    read at least two texts. They will be non-fiction
    documents. You will have to answer questions
    about the texts and then write a piece in which
    you compare them.

Mind the GAP
  • GAP stands for
  • Genre
  • Audience
  • Purpose

  • What is the text? How do you know?In the exam,
    this is easy because you will be told where the
    text came from.Knowing where the document came
    from - eg a newspaper, a magazine, a website, a
    book etc - will help you to think about the
    intended audience.

  • Who is the text aimed at? How do you know?A
    writer always has an audience in mind. Different
    styles of writing will be used for different
    audiences. You would probably not speak to your
    head teacher in the same way as you speak to your

  • There are many different types of audience for
    which a text might be written. A text could be
    aimed at
  • a certain age group
  • men or women
  • those with a common interest or hobby
  • people from a particular geographical area
  • people who buy or use a particular product

Who is the audience?
  • The language is not too technical, but neither is
    it too childlike. Therefore, it suggests the text
    is aimed at young adults.
  • Unfamiliar words appear in bold so that they can
    be identified and discussed.
  • Photographs are used to support the text.
  • There is factual information about the height,
    age and measurement of trees that would be useful
    to a class discussion on the topic.

  • What does the text want you to do? How does the
    text make you do it?All documents have a purpose
    - some entertain, some inform, some persuade and
    so on.

  • Non-fiction texts can be written for a variety of
    purposes. For example, a text might be written
  • provide instruction
  • promote awareness
  • inform about the facts
  • report news
  • Non-fiction texts are usually written with a
    purpose to explain, inform or persuade.

What is the purpose?
  • The leaflet describes the problems of Amazon
    rainforests, moves on to talk about temperate
    rainforests in North America and Canada and then
    covers ancient woodlands in Britain, highlighting
    the fact that it is not just tropical rainforests
    that are affected.
  • Look at the diagram and text on the following
    slide. This is one of several diagrams featured
    in the leaflet. What do you think its purpose is?

This diagram, together with the accompanying
text, seeks to inform people about ancient
forests by providing a source of facts and
  • It's easy for the information in the leaflet to
    be digested and understood because
  • It is broken up into different subjects in short
    blocks of text with clear sub-headings.
  • Technical words, which may be unfamiliar, appear
    in bold so that they can be identified and
  • There are plenty of photographs, diagrams and
    maps to reinforce and develop the message of the
  • The leaflet is designed to appeal to everyone,
    and this is achieved by presenting the
    information in so many different ways.

Make a LIST
  • LIST stands for
  • Language
  • Information
  • Style
  • Tone

  • Is the language persuasive, informative,
    descriptive, childish or adult? Is the language
    emotive? Does it make you feel angry or sad? Does
    the writer address you directly?
  • To get high marks in an exam, you have to
    understand how language is used, because when it
    comes to non-fiction text every word is designed
    to achieve a specific effect. So how do you go
    about unpicking the language of a text? A lot of
    people have trouble answering questions on
    language, because it's hard to know where to

Emotive language
  • When the author of a text is trying to persuade
    you to believe an opinion, you'll often find they
    use language that appeals to your emotions. This
    emotive language can be extreme at times, but can
    also be deceptively subtle.
  • Emotive language can sound very convincing, but
    you have to decide if the writer is using it to
    twist the meaning and manipulate your response.

  • Ask yourself why the author is using emotive
    language. Are you being persuaded to form a
    particular opinion about a subject or agree with
    a particular point of view?
  • Have a look at this text and see if you can pick
    out any of the emotive language for yourself.
  • The sight has become all too familiar drunken
    yobs, hunting in packs, degrading themselves and
    shaming the flag of their country. Heavy
    drinking, violence and racial hatred is all part
    of the culture of young Britain, and is generally
    followed by whines and bleats of self pity when
    those trusted with upholding the law are pushed
    to take action.

  • Now, just to ensure that you've spotted the
    emotive language above, look at this text and
    compare the two.
  • The sight has become familiar drunken young men,
    travelling in groups, letting themselves and
    their country down. Heavy drinking, violence and
    racial hatred is all part of the culture of young
    Britain, and is generally followed by expressions
    of self pity when the local police take action.

  • The two texts say the same thing, on the surface.
    Yet the furious attitude of the first one comes
    over strongly. How?

  • Did you notice how the emotive word yob has much
    more impact than young men? You may agree or
    disagree with the writer, but the words have
    certainly provoked a response from you.
  • The phrase hunting in packs is much stronger and
    more emotive than travelling in groups, which is
    purely a phrase to describe what the men are
    doing. The writer's attitude is beginning to come
    over clearly.
  • Degrading and shaming are much more pointed than
    letting their country down. We are being
    encouraged to share the writer's firm opinions.

Informative language
  • Non-fiction text often uses informative language,
    which is simply language that gets across the
    facts. The newspaper extract shown simply puts
    across the facts.

(No Transcript)
  • Often non-fiction text will use a mixture of
    emotive and informative language to try to get
    its message across.

Tone of Language
  • Another key word describing the way an author
    uses language is tone.
  • One of the best ways to examine tone is to read
    or listen to a speech. Think about some famous
    people who have made speeches that you might be
    able to remember
  • Earl Spencer's speech at Princess Diana's funeral
  • Martin Luther King (his 'I have a dream...'
  • Winston Churchill

  • These people all used a combination of their
    voice and words to communicate messages that were
    important to them. Obviously, some people are
    better at this than others. Why do you think this
  • You will notice how people might use emotive
    language to reinforce arguments.
  • They might also use a passionate tone in their
    voice to persuade or show how strongly they feel
    about their purpose.

  • Is the information in the document factual, a
    series of the writers opinions, or a mixture of
    the two?
  • When reading a non-fiction text, you need to be
    able to assess whether the information in the
    text is fact or opinion. You will also need to
    be able to comment on the writer's line of
    thought or their argument.

  • If you want to check how a writer makes a
    convincing argument
  • Find the topic sentences.
  • Look for sentences that reinforce.
  • Look for sentences that illustrate or give facts.
  • Look at the ending (conclusion)

  • Is the document long and wordy with few pictures?
    Is it written in short paragraphs with lots of
    pictures? Is it written in bullet points? Is it
    interesting or eye-catching to look at? Is it a

  • Every time you pick up a magazine, or look at a
    web page or newspaper, you are introduced to
    different types of information presented in
    hundreds of different styles.
  • When you are answering a question on style and
    presentation devices, it is often helpful to
    think about what attracts your attention most
  • Is it headlines (eg 'Help')?
  • Is it pictures (eg the eyes of a little boy in a

  • Can you think of any examples of the following
    presentation devices? Try to think about how
    these devices are used and for what purpose.

  • headlines
  • subheadings
  • illustrations/photographs
  • bold print
  • underlinings
  • logos
  • slogans

  • This is linked to language. Imagine how you would
    read this document aloud. Do you need a serious,
    humorous, sad or angry tone of voice?
  • One important aspect of a non-fiction text that
    you will need to be able to comment on is the
    tone in which it is written

  • Tone can be defined as the attitude of the writer
    towards the subject in a text.
  • So how can you tell what tone a piece of
    non-fiction text is written in?
  • Firstly, and most importantly, you need to assess
    the language in which it is written. If it seems
    quite light-hearted, then it is possible that the
    text has a humorous tone whereas text with lots
    of facts about an important topic is probably
    quite serious in tone.

  • There are certain clues you can look out for to
    help determine the tone of a non-fiction text

  • Source of textFor example, an article from a
    broadsheet newspaper or a charity advertisement
    is likely to be quite serious in tone.
  • PunctuationThe use of exclamation marks can
    suggest that the writer is in disbelief about, or
    astounded by something.
  • Rhetorical questionsAn article that uses
    rhetorical questions is likely to be quite
    thought-provoking in tone.
  • ImagesThe use of cartoons or caricatures could
    suggest that an article is not serious or aims to
    ridicule its subject matter.

Fiction or non-fiction?
  • Fiction or non-fiction?
  • Non-fiction text is usually written for a precise
    practical purpose, unlike fiction text, which is
    primarily written to entertain.
  • Non-fiction text could be used to
  • Inform the reader.
  • Persuade the reader.
  • Give advice to the reader.
  • Describe a person, place, feeling or object.

Fiction or non-fiction?
  • Of course, fiction texts - novels, poems, plays -
    might include information, persuasion, advice and
    description, but remember that they were not
    specifically written with these in mind.
  • Text usually contain clues that enable you to
    tell at a glance whether it is fiction or
    non-fiction. Non-fiction text often has bold
    headlines and sub-headings, poignant
    illustrations and lots of facts and figures - but
    more of that later. The main thing to remember is
    that non-fiction text has a particular job to do
    how successful it is at doing this job depends on
    the skill of the writer.

  • newspaper article
  • magazine article
  • list of instructions
  • dictionary definition
  • advertisement
  • social worker's report
  • list of ingredients on the side of a cereal
  • For each one, think about the job that it does -
    its purpose - and who it is aimed at - its
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