Reading Skills

  • Add to a discussion:
    'I also think...' 'Another reason could be...' 'We also need to...'
  • Build on someone else's comment:
    'Another example of that would be...' 'You could also...' 'Furthermore...'
  • Challenge another comment:
    'However...' 'Actually...' 'What about...'

Step one: Identify the purpose of the text. Is it to describe, entertain, inform/advise, persuade/argue?
Step two: Find the techniques in these lists. They may overlap, so you may find a descriptive device in a persuasive piece.

  • Argue/Persuade/Inform/Advise
    List of three
    Rhetorical question
    Facts and statistics
    Emotive language
  • Describe/Entertain
    Pathetic fallacy
    Interesting adjectives and adverbs

Trick - Find as many techniques as you can in a text, then select the ones that you can discuss the most to put into PEE

Close up/ECU
These are effective because they show the character's facial expressions and emotions.

Extreme Close Up (ECU)
An extreme close up (ECU) can zoom in on tiny detail, for example someone's eye.

Head and shoulder shot / medium close up
Head and shoulder shots are also, like close ups, good for showing emotion. However, they also show some of the background, and to the right you can see two characters in this type of shot.

Long shot
In a long shot we can see the whole person and some of their surrounding environment.

Medium shot
This is where we can see about half of a person or object.

Low angle shot
In a low angle shot, the camera is low to the ground looking up.

High angle shot
A high angle shot is when the camera is up high and looking down on what is filming.

Other, more complex camera angles include:

  • Tracking shot: this is when the camera is mounted onto a platform or type of rail and moves while shooting. This is so that it can follow action as it moves, for example in a car chase.
  • Pan: this is when the camera moves across a person or object, for example from someone's head to toes or from the front door of a house to the upstairs window. The camera does not move from its position - it's like turning its head.
  • Hand-held: This is as obvious as it sounds. This is when a camera is not on a tripod and is held by the person filming to create a shaky effect. Did you ever see the Blair Witch Project? This used lots of hand-held camera action.

Like camera angles, lighting is also a really important thing to consider when creating an advert. Even subtle changes in lighting can create amazing effects. Can you think of a time when you have seen effective lighting on TV, in a photograph or even in real life?

  • Dark Lighting
    Dark lighting can be moody and sinister, or romantic and seductive. You can create shadows using artificial light or sunlight through windows.
  • Bright Lighting
    This can be created purely by filming outside on a sunny day, or through the use of artificial light. This again, can create mood and set the scene.

Sound is very important in creating both mood and establishing setting. It is also crucial in creating authenticity. Next time you watch Eastenders, imagine it without the background sounds.

  • Diegetic sound: this is when you can see the source of the sound, for example the sound of the sea whilst the sea is in shot.
  • Non-Diegetic sound: this is when you cannot see the source of the sound. It can be the music edited into a film or the sounds of the Underground station and cafe in Eastenders.

A - Audience: Who is the text aimed at? Age/gender, likes/dislikes etc. Look at whether the text is serious, formal, funny etc.
P - Purpose: What is the purpose of the text? What are they trying to get you to believe/think/do?
P - Presentation: How is the text presented? Consider the images, text, colour, order of information, positioning of images etc, text boxes and bullet points.
L - Language: How does the language fit the purpose and audience? Are any linguistic techniques used, such as facts and statistics, humour, rhetorical questions, similes, metaphors etc.
E - Effect: What are the effects of the language, presentational devices, etc. Has the text achieved its overall purpose?

T - Themes - The issues running throughout a text (eg: romance)
- Words - What types of words are used? Are any particular techniques used, such as similes, metaphors or personification?
I - Imagery - What mental images do the words/language give us?
S - Structure and style - How is the poem laid out? Are there separate stanzas etc?
T - Thoughts and feelings - What are the writer's or speaker's thoughts and feelings in the poem?

Identifying Structural Devices
Step one: Identify the purpose of the text. Is it a letter to inform the elderly, a speech to entertain young people or a leaflet for children?
Step two: Find the techniques in these lists. Think about how well they fit the purpose of the piece.

Structural Devices

  • Repetition
  • Simple sentences
  • Minor sentences
  • Echo between the beginning and end
  • Contrasting paragraph
  • Juxtaposition
  • Subheadings

Trick - can you link them back to the purpose of the text, for example why might repetition be used in an argument?

All work should have an introduction. This should always include all or some of the following things, depending on the type of writing it is:

  • What the main areas of the piece of work are going to be
  • Which specific things you are investing within each main area
  • The order in which you are going to discuss your main areas
  • In general, what you seek to find out

In the UK today, around 13 million people follow a diet. There are many different types of diet that people may follow, such as vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free and calorie controlled, along with many more. I am currently researching low fat diets and in this investigation I will look firstly at what makes a low fat diet , then which foods are actually low in fat and I will then design my own low fat recipe.This will finally be tested and evaluated. I hope to come up with a recipe which is tasty, healthy, low in fat and which people will enjoy eating.



Work should always be wrapped up with a suitable conclusion. Again, it depends on the type of writing that it is, but you should always consider these golden rules:

  • Sum up what you have investigated
  • Sum up your overall findings
  • Never introduce anything new in a conclusion. If you have something new, it should be covered properly in one of your main paragraphs.

Overall, John Steinbeck has demonstrated that the American Dream is something that gives people false hope and sets them up for failure. He has used pathetic fallacy and juxtaposition to demonstrate this; I feel that the use of pathetic fallacy, as demonstrated in this essay, is the most powerful technique. Overall, Steinbeck's novel is a sad one, which reflects the desperation felt by people during the Great Depression and this is reflected in the way that George and Lennie fail to get their American Dream.