Reading non-fiction and media texts Paper 1 – Section A. Tuesday 8 June, 9am. 1 hour Testing your READING skills. 15% of your final mark
You need to be able to: - retrieve information from a text – often this will be in the form of asking you to identify the key points of an argument; - identify facts and opinions in a text and comment on how they have been used; - identify how texts use presentational devices and comment on how they have been used and how successfully; - identify features of language and comment on how and why writers have used them; - think about all of the above in relation to the purpose and audience of a text - compare the use of language or presentational devices in the text. Using comparative words and making like-for-like comparisons will be essential.
At the beginning… Look through the booklet to ensure that you know how many texts they are and how many pages you have to read. Don’t presume you have got to the end – always confirm it. Read through both texts from start to finish so you have a good idea of what they are both about. As you are reading through, highlight or annotate anything that you think is significant – aspects of language, obvious facts or opinions, use of presentational devices. As you are reading, think about the purpose and audience of the text. Then look at the first question.
KEY process to follow for each question • Read the question through twice and underline the key words; • Look at the marks awarded for that section and double them – this will give you the amount of time that you should spend on that question. • Be clear whether a question is a HOW or a WHAT question • A HOW question is looking at HOW something has been written and requires two stages. A) to identify and B) to comment. Use the marks scheme to guide you – a 6 mark question will require 3 PEEE paragraphs. A 4 mark question will require 2 PEEE paragraphs. • A WHAT question is looking at WHAT has been said (the content). You will need to read the text very closely to answer this question. Use the mark scheme to guide you – a 7 mark question will require you to pick out 7 pieces of content.
Answering the question .. • Remember that this paper is testing your reading ability, so where appropriate, write your answers as bullet points – it will save you valuable time. However, most questions will require you to write in full sentences.
Purpose and Audience PURPOSE: why the text has been written. Most texts will have a primary and secondary purpose so don’t stop at just one. Always think about the purpose and the details, e.g. to (purpose) inform people about the (detail) declining quality of cars AUDIENCE: who the text has been written for. Think about audience in terms of age, sex and interests, plus class and income (if appropriate). You won’t have an explicit question on purpose and audience, but you will be expected to think about them, and sometimes make reference to them when writing about language, facts & opinions and presentational devices.
Key term to use in the exam – ‘Connotation’ The connotations of a picture/word/colour are the implied meanings or messages that you associate with it. For example, this picture below is a dove. The connotations of this picture are of peace and tranquillity.
Facts & Opinions FACT: a fact is something that can be proven to be true. OPINION: someone’s point of view, which can be proved to be true or untrue If you are uncertain about whether your example if a fact or an opinion, then don’t use it. Move on and find one you are certain about.
Facts & Opinions A question will tend to ask you ‘how have facts & opinions been used in this text?’ (6 marks). You need to remember the following key steps: Write about both facts and opinions. Use the mark scheme to guide you – it’s a how question, so you need to write three PEEE paragraphs. Identify a fact, and then write about how it has been used (see next slide). Go for the obvious ones – you don’t need to make it harder for yourself. Repeat the process with an opinion. And another fact – until you have enough PEEE paragraphs. Always quote the fact or opinion you are writing about. Do not write about facts and opinions together, or write about them generally. Be focused on one example at a time.
So how do writers use facts & opinions? A shortlist that you need to remember. Writers offer their opinion on something and then support it with facts – the facts provide statistical evidence. Writers include facts about a topic and then offer their opinions on the facts and what they represent – they support the facts. Facts and opinions are used to help in the purpose of the text – e.g. to inform, to persuade Facts are used to stress the importance of something Opinions are used to share feelings Both are used to shock/amuse Writers use facts/opinions to open a text as they often state the key point of the text – and can be used to grab the audiences’ attention
Presentational Devices Presentational Devices include all of the things that make up the presentation of a text. Headings Sub-headings Fonts – size & style Colour Pictures Captions Charts & diagrams Logos & slogans Bullet points Boxes Bold, italics, underline Ratio of text to presentational devices
Presentational Devices A question will tend to ask you ‘how effectively has the writer used presentational devices in this text?’ (8 marks). You need to remember the following key steps: Identify all the presentational devices that have been used and then choose the ones you want to write about, using the mark scheme to guide you as to how many. It’s a how question, so you need to write PEEE paragraphs – but often with presentational devices you will need to comment on how effective (successful) they are – so give your opinion on this and explain why you think it. So, identify a presentational device, and then write about how effectively it has been used. Repeat the process with another presentational device… and another – until you have enough PEEE paragraphs. Always quote the presentational device you are writing about if you can. If you can’t then just make reference to it, e.g. the picture of David Beckham.
Language Language means all the words and phrases that a writer has used. Sometimes language is referred to as linguistic techniques or devices. When you get a question on language you should be looking for:- Repetition Similes Personification Metaphors Lists of 3 Use of adjectives Alliteration Wordplay/puns Scientific/technological language Emotive language 1st, 2nd of 3rd person Formality/Use of slang Use of adverbsRhetorical questions
Language A question will tend to ask you ‘how has the writer used language to entertain the reader?’ (8 marks). You need to remember the following key steps: Use the mark scheme to guide you as to how many examples of language you need to write about. Often with language you will be asked to link it to purpose, so make sure you are clear what the purpose of the text is – and then look for features of language that support that purpose. It’s a how question, so you need to write a PEEE paragraph about each feature you have identified. Making sure that you answer the question in each paragraph. Repeat the process with another language feature… and another – until you have enough PEEE paragraphs. Always quote the language feature you are writing about.
Comparing One of the questions on language and presentational devices will ask you to compare the two texts. Remember to use comparing words/expressions:- both, whereas, however, similarly, on the other hand, alternatively. To hit the high grades try and compare like for like, so compare the use of colour in both texts (whether it is similar or different), or the use of similes and metaphors in both texts. Again, use the mark scheme to guide you. An 8 mark question would require 4 PEEE paragraphs with each paragraph comparing the use of a presentational device or language feature, e.g. Para 1 – comparing the use of colour Para 2 – comparing the headings Para 3 – comparing the use of font size and style Para 4 – comparing the use of pictures