Analysing Non-Fiction- Question and extracts

The sample answers in this section are examples of extended responses rather than the short response questions.

Extended response questions ask you to demonstrate the skills of comparison and evaluation.

The extracts your exam questions are based on will be longer than the ones here. You should be able to find at least four or five points to answer a longer question.

Remember that shorter responses only need three or four points.

First of all, scan, read and annotate the extracts. Remember to link each point to a quotation or example.


Refer to both Extract 1 and Extract 2.

Compare how the two writers convey different attitudes towards helping homeless people.

In your answer, you should:

  • compare their attitudes
  • compare the methods they use to convey their attitudes
  • support your ideas with quotations from both texts

Extract 1:

Spend a night on the streets for a Nottingham homeless charity by Ben Ireland, The Nottingham Post, September 10, 2015.

Sleeping bags and cardboard boxes at the ready, volunteers are preparing to brave the cold in a sponsored night on the streets for a Nottingham homeless charity.

Framework opens registration for its annual Big Sleep Out event in Sneinton Market, first launched in 1992, this week.

The 2015 theme is Robin Hood, and themed entries are expected in the traditional Box Factor competition for the best designed box on the night.

Fundraiser Sarah Cross said: "The Big Sleep Out is the most popular event in our annual calendar for two reasons: it helps raise money for a very important cause and is also great fun.

"It is a real family event and always has a great atmosphere. Taking part is truly an experience to remember and I look forward to welcoming people to this year's event."

Chris Kershaw, senior PR assistant at The Nottingham Building Society, is taking part in his fourth sleep out.

He said: "I think it's important that people experience the extreme conditions. We only have to do it for one night, but we must remember homeless people don't have the privilege to pick and choose when they sleep out."

Mr Kershaw, 39, of Spondon, said the charity was close to his heart because of mental health and addiction issues in his family.

"It might surprise readers, but the sleep out is actually really fun. Being homeless certainly isn't, but there's a real community effort in this event.

"One year I met a guy who went home at 11pm. When I asked him why he said he'd come down to say thank you because he used to live on the streets. That made me realise that the work the charity is doing really is helping."

Participants are asked to raise at least £50 in sponsorship. Last year's event brought in more than £30,000 to Framework's work preventing homelessness and helping people into accommodation.

Framework is also backing the Post's Good Deeds Nottsem> campaign.

This year's event takes place on Saturday, November 21 from 7.45pm to 7am on Sunday 22.

Spend a night on the streets for a Nottingham homeless charity, Ben Ireland for the Nottingham Post 2015

Extract 2:

Night Walks (1861). An essay by Charles Dickens – here Dickens writes about a homeless man and homeless children that he sees in London during the night.

Suddenly, a thing that in a moment more I should have trodden upon without seeing, rose up at my feet with a cry of loneliness and houselessness, the like of which I never heard. We then stood face to face looking at one another, frightened by one another. The creature was like a beetle-browed hair-lipped youth of twenty, and it had a loose bundle of rags on, which it held together with one of its hands. It shivered from head to foot, and its teeth chattered, and as it stared at me - persecutor, devil, ghost, whatever it thought me--it made with its whining mouth as if it were snapping at me, like a worried dog.

Intending to give this ugly object money, I put out my hand to stay it for it recoiled as it whined and snapped and laid my hand upon its shoulder. Instantly, it twisted out of its garment … and left me standing alone with its rags in my hands.

Covent-garden Market, when it was market morning, was wonderful company. But one of the worst night sights I know in London, is to be found in the children who prowl about this place; who sleep in the baskets, fight for the offal, dart at any object they think they can lay their thieving hands on, dive under the carts and barrows, dodge the constables, and are perpetually making a blunt pattering on the pavement of the Piazza with the rain of their naked feet.

A painful and unnatural result comes of the comparison one is forced to institute between the growth of corruption as displayed in the so much improved and cared for fruits of the earth, and the growth of corruption as displayed in these all uncared for (except inasmuch as ever-hunted) savages.

Night Walks, Charles Dickens 1861