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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:  Reading

Curriculum subtopic:  Make Critical Text Comparisons

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

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

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

Part of your exam requires you to compare different pieces of non-fiction based on the same theme. The theme of this worksheet series is food. 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 examples of language are present to inform us about the experience? Think about time and place, and technical terms.

"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."

 

Can you find descriptive phrases that use alliteration?

"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."

 

Find more language used to inform in this section.

"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 information are we given here?

"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?

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

Explain the effect of the images presented in the Sailing excerpt.

How is the text presented in Sailing?

Describe the presentational features in the Pirate Visit article. Think about the website headline, the article headline, the text layout and the images.

Why is the presentation in the two pieces different?

  • 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 examples of language are present to inform us about the experience? Think about time and place, and technical terms.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Time and place: 5am dawn is mentioned, and that dawn arrives earlier as they are moving east.(two marks)
Technical terms: the boat, "little wind and the sea is still", and the engine, crew members and sail are technical vocabulary.(five marks)
These details provide information about their situation.
  • 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."

 

Can you find descriptive phrases that use alliteration?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Alliteration is where the first letter is the same in a group of words.
There are four examples: "harmonious hum", "someone signing softly", "standing still in silhouette", "sea and singing".(four marks)
It is used to emphasise the peacefulness of the experience at this point.
  • 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."

 

Find more language used to inform in this section.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Again technical terms are used: "off duty", "boat crew", "sleeping places, living space and essential water".(five marks)
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 information are we given here?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
We learn that the sea is exceptionally calm.(one mark)
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.(two marks)
  • 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?

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

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

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
"Out of the blue" means all of a sudden, but also refers to the colour of the sea and its stillness.(two marks)
Verbs are used to describe the dolphins' behaviour: "luxuriating and rolling around in the bow wave, dipping in and out, floating back then returning" and "showing off".(six marks)
They play for "minutes of magic".(one mark)
  • Question 7

Explain the effect of the images presented in the Sailing excerpt.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The stamp is used like a logo to suggest that the piece is written by a traveller.(one mark)
The boat image tells us the traveller is on a sailing boat in calm waters.(one mark)
  • Question 8

How is the text presented in Sailing?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
It is structured in single column paragraphs as is usual in a book.(two marks)
Some of the paragraphs are short, indicating activity over a longer period of time when not much is going on.(one mark)
Longer paragraphs describe particular scenes, for example the introduction when the traveller is waking up, or the scene with the dolphins.(two marks)
  • Question 9

Describe the presentational features in the Pirate Visit article. Think about the website headline, the article headline, the text layout and the images.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The website headline for EdPlace Mail uses a large, striking font, with a smaller font size for the article title, which is still eye catching. (two marks)
The article headline quotes from the girl's letter and mentions the famous actor visiting school.(two marks)
The images tell us immediately that it's about a famous actor and children as pirates.(two marks)
The text is written in tabloid style in paragraphs arranged in double columns, as in a traditional newspaper.(three marks)
  • Question 10

Why is the presentation in the two pieces different?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The pieces come from two different genres of writing.(two marks)
One is from an autobiographical book; the other is from a news website where it is competing for attention with other news items.(two marks)
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