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‘In Your Own Words’. In Your Own Words. These are extremely common in close reading exams and an easy way to pick up marks. These questions test your understanding of the passage and also your vocabulary.

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in your own words1
In Your Own Words

These are extremely common in close reading exams and an easy way to pick up marks.

These questions test your understanding of the passage and also your vocabulary.

You must read the questions carefully however, as if you DO NOT answer in your own words then you will receive ZERO MARKS.

in your own words2
In Your Own Words

There are two steps to answering this type of question:

Step One

Look in the text for the information which will answer the question.

Step Two

Express the information in your own words in a simple sentence which fits the way the question is worded.


“I’m nocturnal, I love the moonlight, the shadows, the dark places, the dappled murk, I'm not being poetic. I'm simply being true to my nature, my nocturnal nature. Like all tarantulas.”

In your own words, in what way is the speaker ‘like all tarantulas’. (1)


The speaker is active by night.

Remember, if you were simply to say ‘The speaker is nocturnal’ or ‘He is nocturnal’ you would get no marks since you have failed to do step two, namely use your own words.


Under other circumstances, I would have taken the subway. Even though everyone knows that the subway will be the first major target of terrorists, it’s still safer than taking a cab. But I’d been shopping at Baldacci's, my favourite New York Deli, and was loathe to manoeuvre my bags into the crowded, subterranean world where the sun never shone.”

In your own words, explain the circumstances that prompted the writer to take a cab on this occasion. (2)


He had been shopping and had bags to carry (1); the subway was always full of people which would have made managing his bags awkward (1).


The grim secret trade went largely undetected, but for its first decade the new fast route was a watery highway of horror. Bodies snatched from graveyards were smuggled away to the expanding medical schools in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“A watery highway of horror” Explain in your own words what the writer means by this expression. (2)

question 2
Question 2

The father of a friend once said to me: ‘You can live too long.’ He was 90 and lonely as a unicorn, his friends were dead his family scattered.

In your own words, give two reasons why the old man was so lonely. (2)

question 3
Question 3

At least at the Eiffel tower, the other highlight of travel-brochure Paris, you get the excitement of the lift and an incredible view.

In your own words, give two reasons why the Eiffel Tower was so popular. (2)

question 4
Question 4

When it debuted in an American newspaper in October 1950, the four-frame strip of Peanuts introduced a cast of unusually mature kids – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Schroeder and an extraordinarily smart dog named Snoopy – who have since became cultural icons the world over.

In your own words, give two facts about the Peanuts cartoons. (2)