Reading- Overview - English Language

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Whichever exam board your school chooses, reading and understanding non-fiction texts will form an important part of your study.

Reading and understanding non-fiction and media texts

What your assessment looks like will depend on whether non-fiction texts form part of your exam or part of your controlled assessment. The skills you will need are the same, but the tasks are slightly different.

If your GCSE course puts non-fiction in the controlled assessment, you will have to analyse two texts from a selection. If it is an exam, you will need to read three non-fiction texts and answer four related questions in total. (Foundation candidates will need to answer five shorter questions).

To prepare for both of these you should:

  1. know how to define non-fiction texts
  2. know how to identify the purpose and audience of the texts
  3. show you understand what the writers of each text are trying to say
  4. show you understand how the writers use presentational features
  5. be able to compare the way the writers use language to meet their intended purposes and audiences

The Revision Bites in this section should help you to:

  1. understand what non-fictions texts are
  2. prepare for the four types of question you will be asked, which include tasks on how to:
    • look for information
    • identify presentational devices
    • explain what a text suggests
    • compare writing techniques

Although the controlled assessment will be in the form of one essay, the same skills apply as in the exam questions.