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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.

'Reading Non-Fiction: Analysis and Comparison' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  

Curriculum subtopic:  

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

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.
 

Sailing
 

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:

 

"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."

 

What language techniques does the writer use and what is the effect? Try to use the PEA structure (point, evidence, analysis).

"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."

 

The writer uses facts in this passage. Can you find an example of a fact and analyse it using the PEA structure (point, evidence, analyse)?

"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."

 

Can you find any examples of technical terminology? Write a quote in the box below.

"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."

 

What do we learn about the sea in this section?

"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."

 

What do we learn here about time and place?

What language can you find to describe the scene with the dolphins? Think about phrases and adjectives.

Use the PEA structure in your response.

The extract from the book uses descriptive language. Can you find an example of descriptive language in Text A and explain how it is used to describe the experience of sailing?

Use the PEA structure in your response (point, evidence, analyse). 

Compare the different purposes for each of the texts. You may use the starter sentences below to help you.

 

The purpose of Text A is... 

This is shown by...

Whereas the purpose of Text B is...

This is shown by...

How does the writer of Text B use language in the headline to engage the reader? Use the PEA structure in your response (point, evidence, analyse).

It is usual for news articles to use eye witness accounts or quotes to add authority and depth to the stories. Can you find an example of a quote or eye witness account in the article?

 

  • Question 1

"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."

 

What language techniques does the writer use and what is the effect? Try to use the PEA structure (point, evidence, analysis).

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
An example PEA paragraph:
The writer uses alliteration in the selected sentence: "harmonious hum." This suggests it was a very peaceful journey and the writer enjoyed it. The adjective 'harmonious' makes it seem like everything was working together to make it all run smoothly.
  • Question 2

"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."

 

The writer uses facts in this passage. Can you find an example of a fact and analyse it using the PEA structure (point, evidence, analyse)?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
An example of a PEA paragraph:
The writer uses facts in this passage: "I woke up today at 5 a.m." The use of facts makes the reader trust the writer more and draws us into his narrative. In addition, the detail of what time he woke up shows some of the challenges of a sailing expedition.
  • Question 3

"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."

 

Can you find any examples of technical terminology? Write a quote in the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Again technical terms are used: "off duty", "boat crew", "sleeping places, living space and essential water".
These are used to inform us about their situation.
  • Question 4

"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."

 

What do we learn about the sea in this section?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
We learn that the sea is exceptionally calm.
We also learn that it can be the opposite, and that the Captain's brother's ship went down in a storm with the loss of eighteen lives.
  • Question 5

"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."

 

What do we learn here about time and place?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
We are again given information about time and place. We are told the boat is south of Karachi.
On his map, he observes it's taken a day to move between the A and R on the label of the Arabian Sea.
  • Question 6

What language can you find to describe the scene with the dolphins? Think about phrases and adjectives.

Use the PEA structure in your response.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
An example PEA paragraph:
The writer uses alliteration to describe the dolphins playing: "minutes of magic." This suggests it was unlike anything he had seen before and that it was special. The noun 'magic' shows that the experience was out of this world and seemed unreal.
  • Question 7

The extract from the book uses descriptive language. Can you find an example of descriptive language in Text A and explain how it is used to describe the experience of sailing?

Use the PEA structure in your response (point, evidence, analyse). 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
An example PEA paragraph:
The writer uses descriptive language: "luxuriating and rolling around." This suggests the experience of sailing was really fun and special. The verb 'luxuriating' makes it seem very sophisticated and calming, appealing to the reader.
  • Question 8

Compare the different purposes for each of the texts. You may use the starter sentences below to help you.

 

The purpose of Text A is... 

This is shown by...

Whereas the purpose of Text B is...

This is shown by...

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
An example response:
The purpose of Text A is to entertain. This is shown by the use of descriptive techniques like alliteration and exciting vocabulary. Whereas the purpose of Text B is to inform. This text uses formal language and facts to inform the reader about the celebrity visit to a primary school.
  • Question 9

How does the writer of Text B use language in the headline to engage the reader? Use the PEA structure in your response (point, evidence, analyse).

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
An example PEA paragraph:
The writer uses imperatives in the headline for the news article: "Help!" This engages the reader by instructing us to do something immediately. The command 'help' is also eye catching as it suggests someone is in trouble. This interests the reader and we would want to read the article to find out what has happened.
  • Question 10

It is usual for news articles to use eye witness accounts or quotes to add authority and depth to the stories. Can you find an example of a quote or eye witness account in the article?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Examples you could have used include:
"Maybe we shouldn't mutiny today"
"We are a bunch of budding young pirates"
Preview ---- OR ----

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