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Reading Non-Fiction: Analysis and Comparison

In this worksheet, students examine the language from a book excerpt and compare it to a news article based on the same theme.

Worksheet Overview

In your exam you will be asked to read text extracts (fiction and non-fiction).

We are going to look an extract and then practise language analysis of its contents in this activity.

Part of your exam requires you to compare different pieces of non-fiction based on the same theme. The theme of this activity series is sailing. You are also going to practise the comparison of two pieces of non-fiction writing.

Read the excerpt until you feel that you have fully understood it. The news article you will compare it to is also provided underneath.


An actor sailed round the world with a television film crew. This part of the book describes sailing across the Arabian sea in an Indian cargo boat.

The boat Al Rehab becomes alive at dawn which arrives a bit earlier every day as we move east and we haven't adjusted the time yet. I woke up today at 5 a.m. There's little wind and the sea is still. Over the harmonious hum of the engine I can hear someone singing softly. As I pull myself up to have a look forwards I can see Malik, standing still in silhouette, looking out to sea and singing. Other crew members are dealing with a sail.

When they see we're awake someone comes off duty and is requested to make us some tea. Something I have learnt whilst travelling is that those who have the least are likely to give the most. The boat crew has given up much for us - sleeping places, living space and essential water.

The captain observes the sea. "We are lucky", he says. He has never see it so calm and he knows it can be ferocious. In a storm the previous year, his brother's ship and eighteen men were lost.

We are south of Karachi. I look at my map and see it has taken a day to move between the A and R in the Arabian Sea label.

Sunday afternoon on our boat. The crew watch us reading and listening to our headsets.
Out of the blue there is sudden entertainment from the sea. Dolphins have been spotted nearing the boat. They are ahead of the boat, luxuriating and rolling around in the bow wave, dipping in and out, floating back then returning, always keeping just ahead of the boat. They are encouraged by the crew with drumbeats and whistles. When they realise there's an audience the dolphins play to it, showing off shamelessly. They stay to play for minutes of magic. The clear, blue sea is one of the most amazing and spectacular sights of our journey, competing only with the one a little later on when the huge sail is raised.


Here is the news article that you will compare the above excerpt with:


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