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National 5 English - Reading Support

N5 Reading Support

Analysis and Evaluation
In this exercise you will be asked to:

Identify the purpose
Identify means pick out
This means you have to decide/ pick out the main reason why this article was written

Identify the genre
“genre” means type of text
Common genres are fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, newspaper article……get the idea?
Know what these are – AND – what they look like.

Identify the audience
To answer this you need to try to work out who this piece of writing was aimed at/ who you think would enjoy reading it.
You might also want to/ need to give a reason for your answer.

Identify and explain the main idea(s) in the article or in a section of the article.
You might be asked questions about important points or you might be asked to pick out /summarize the important points for yourself. If you are asked to summarize it might be a help to look at the topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph. This is often where a writer will state the main points.
You’ll certainly have to refer to the passage or you might find you have to “quote” from the passage to prove your point.
Be careful – you’ll probably have to use your own words. This shows that you really understand what the writer is saying.


Applying knowledge and understanding of language to explain meaning and effect, using appropriate critical terminology

  • Word choice
    Look at any unusual words the writer uses to make you more interested in what he/she is saying. To answer on word choice you will have to “quote” the word. Think about why that word is better than another word with a similar meaning that the author could have chosen.
  • Imagery
    Be ready to pick out and name figures of speech. The most common ones are simile, metaphor and personification.
    and onomatopoeia might also feature.
    Know what these are and be ready to explain their effect in the passage.
  • Techniques
    If a question asks you to pick out techniques you can discuss word choice or imagery OR any other technique you recognize. Perhaps you will recognize a sentence structure feature like a list, repetition, the use of parenthesis, the use of short sentences etc. Again it is important that you name the feature, quote it and explain the effect this has on the reader.
  • Effective conclusions
    To answer this question you have to know what a conclusion is for and be able to evaluate how well a writer finishes his piece of writing.

Here are some things to look for:
- a writer revisiting an idea covered earlier in the text
- a writer returning to an idea covered at the very beginning of the text
- a strong language feature – e.g. the use of a pun or a jokey idea, a short emphatic sentence
- the use of a detectable tone

When writing your answer you should state your point, quote to prove and comment on its effectiveness.

e-mail : english@kilmarnockacademy.co.uk                                                 tel: 01563 525509