Non-fiction can be anything:
a letter, a memoir, an advert, a website... Regardless of which exam board
you are on, for Englsh Language you will be required to analyse these kinds
Before tackling any question,
it's important you read the question (obviously) and understand what
it's asking you to do. Notice I'm making key phrases here bold?
Do that in the exam...
How does the advertisement
use language to pursuade the reader?
the advertisement use language to pursuade the reader?
Everywhere has different
ways of remembering the key things... Here's one...
kind of text is it? A newspaper / leaflet / poster / article / extract
of a novel?
the text aimed at? Is it formal or informal? Adult / Child / Teen /
Elderly / Disabled / Professional?
it talking about? Football / Bitesize Fish / Teaching... All the other
billion different subjects out there...
it written? To pursuade / Argue / Inform / Describe / Amuse
PEE is a framework to help
you structure an analytical reponse. Whether you're discussing a poem, a
novel, a non-fiction article or anything else, this structure can really
help. But remember, it's just a framework. Don't feel you have to
use it, if you feel constrained...
What point are you making? This usually relates to the question that
you are answering.
What is your evidence for your point? What part of the text are you using?
Make sure you include speech marks "...". It's best to just use a short quote
of just one of two words. Make sure your quote it relevant to
This is the most important part of the structure. How does your evidence
support your point? Why is that word/phrase/etc being used? What can
you say about how the writer achieves his or her effect? The more you
can say here, the better your response will be. Say a lot about a little.
Right, so let's see PEE in action, by using a
random newspaper article from the interwebs... Imagine you have to answer
the question: "How does the article create sympathy for the woman?"
The article creates sympathy for the woman with its use of emotive language.
Straight away, we are responding to the question and choosing to explore how
one aspect of language is being used. It's a nice, simple sentence to give
the paragraph a direction.
For example, the woman is called a "girl" and a "mother" in the headline,
and the adjective "young" describes her as the article begins.
We are not just dumping the entire headline into our paragraph as evidence,
but carefully selecting short quotations, which we embed into
a sentence that tells the examiner a little more information: we explain where
the quotes are from and also explain that an 'adjective' is being used, showing
our understanding of language.
By using these emotive words, the writer foregrounds the youth of the
woman, to impress upon the reader a sense of tragedy: we feel that the
woman is far too young to have her life taken away. The use of the noun
"mother" also makes us think about how the tragedy affects other people
in her family: we imagine the child, who will never know its mother, and
the sense of tragedy multiplies. By using a few carefully chosen words,
then, the writer aligns our sympathies with the woman right at the start
of the article, overcoming any desire we might have to ridicule her for
As you can see, this part of the paragraph is much longer than the rest of
the paragraph. This part is the most important part. You must explain what
the writer is doing, and why he or she is doing it. What effect does he or
she hope to achieve. Think about the reader, and how he or she might be affected
by the writer's choices.
Remember that a writer always has a purpose, and is always thinking about
the best way to achieve that purpose!
If you can do all this, in the kind of detail shown above, you'll be scoring
MASSIVE TICKS with an examiner!
reading or writing, there are a number of things to look out for...
Use of personal pronouns "you" "we" "us".
Reason: Involves the reader in the text.
Use of "I".
Reason: Makes the writer seem sincere as it makes it more personal to them.
Reason: Help key phrases stick in the reader's head and
make them take them away... To stress them too, of course.
Short, sharp sentences.
Reason: Again to help stick them in the reader's head.
They stand out, and as usual, can be used for impact.
Reason: To stress key words, and make the reader more
likely to recall them.
Imagery. (Similes, metaphors, personification, etc...)
Reason: Create a more powerful image (whether positive
or negative) leading to the reader being more likely to remember them.
Reason: Powerful word choice will capture the reader and
their emotions will mirror those being created.
Reason: Used to stress and exaggerate things. The "magic
three" (three words/phrases in a row) is usually highly effective.