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What are non-fiction texts?

In order to succeed in the exam on non-fiction texts, you need to prepare for the types of text you might be asked about and which of the four different areas you will write about.

What are non-fiction texts?

Non-fiction is a type or genre [genre: A category or type of something. Fiction and non-fiction are examples of two genres. ] of writing based on facts and real life rather than a made-up or fictional story. Non-fiction includes any kind of text designed to give information. There are a range of forms for non-fiction including:

  • Information leaflets
  • Newspaper or magazine articles
  • Travel writing
  • Biographies
  • Company websites
  • Advertisements and advertorials
  • Film and book reviews

Once you know what kind of text you are looking at, you need to know two more key details:

  • Audience - who is the text aimed at (eg men or women, adult or youth)?
  • Purpose - what is the text trying to do (eg inform, persuade, argue or advise)?

Read more about genre, audience and purpose in the Writing revision bites.

Once you recognise the genre, the form of the text and the intended audience and purpose, you are ready to work on your exam technique.

Know exactly what you are being asked

The most important aspect of preparing for your exam is to recognise the type of question you will be asked.

There are only four types of question that are going to come up - questions asking you to:

  • look for information
  • identify and explain presentational devices
  • understand and interpret meaning
  • compare the effectiveness of language techniques

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