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Home > English > Close reading texts and techniques > Novels and short stories


Novels and short stories

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Extracts from fiction texts are probably the most common type of passage used in the Close Reading examination. Fictional texts are stories so will have all the features of imaginative writing. The piece of text could be taken from a novel or short story.

Key features

Here are some of the key features of these texts:

  • The setting of the story (where it takes place) will be made clear early on in the passage.
  • There will be characters - probably 1 or 2 main ones.
  • There will be a main idea (a theme) explored in the passage.
  • The main idea will relate to the main characters - they will be mostly involved with the theme.
  • Something will happen to the characters or the extract will lead up to something happening.
  • The story is usually written in the 3rd person.
  • Language will be used imaginatively. The writer will employ literary techniques to put across her or his ideas.


Video clip - A common story structure

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Novelist Malorie Blackman.

Class Clips

Authors such as Keith Grey and Malorie Blackman give tips on making your writing interesting.

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