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Need to know

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Reading forms a very important part of your Standard Grade English course. You are expected to read, though, in two different ways. You will be familiar with reading complete texts (novels, plays, poems, and so on) and writing essays discussing them. These essays contribute to the completion of your folio which is sent away for assessment before the external examinations. The other main form of reading work involves what is known as close reading. In this type of reading - which again you will know well - you are expected to read shorter extracts of literature, then answer a series of questions which aim to test your knowledge of the text.

Purposes of reading

This revision bite looks at Close Reading.

Whether you write an essay or answer a series of questions based on a text, you are attempting to show that you understand certain reading purposes. You should already know what these purposes are, but here is a reminder!

When reading any text, you will be expected to -

  • understand the main idea in a passage, understand the gist of it
  • pick out specific, individual pieces of information from a text
  • understand ideas or feelings a writer presents in a text
  • identify and understand writer's attitudes, beliefs and argument
  • understand and appreciate a writer's use of language.

In close reading texts, this really means that you should understand that different questions ask you to show awareness of different purposes. In one Revision Bite it is not possible to deal with all of the different purposes at the one time. So there are five Bites, each bite concentrating on one purpose of Close Reading.

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Atlantic rower Debra Veal.

Class Clips

Video clip - an example of a response to descriptive writing

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