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WJEC Reading

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									                WJEC Reading
       Paper 2 non-fiction and media texts
There are usually four questions (each one of a different type) worth ten marks
each. Sometimes a question is split into two of five marks each. You should try to
identify the type of question in order to efficiently answer it. The questions will not
necessarily be in the following order. You should underline key words in the

Types of question

Locating details – search and find type questions. These expect you to retrieve
information from the text without any explanation or analysis – bullet points are a quick
way to list the items without wasting time.

Questions will be worded – name, what are, identify, list

Exam tips
   • Do not treat a location (search and find) question lightly. Concentrate and make
      every effort to find the points.
   • Answer this type of question in a vertical list.
   • Do not write explanations where they are not needed or expected.
   • This kind of questions, requiring you to retrieve information, will not necessarily
      be the first question on the paper.
   • The question may actually start with a command, like ‘List….’ Or it might begin,
      ‘What are…’ Be alert to the wording of questions.
   • This is not a general knowledge test. Take your information from your reading of
      the text, not from your own experience.
Explaining and summarising – you should reorganise parts of the text and
put into you own words to show understanding. You must use the PEE chain to support
what you say.

Questions will be worded – what impression of ….does the writer create? What does
the writer say….? What is/are the writer’s attitude…? What kind of person is this
advertisement aimed at?

Explaining requires disentanglement of the ideas and viewpoints from and text and to
rewrite them. It must be obvious from the answer that you have understood the text.

Summarising is the skill of picking out the main points of a text and drawing them

Attitude means a way of thinking about someone or something, in other words a point of
view, a belief, an opinion.

Exam Tips
   • Learn to deal with the word ‘attitude’ in a question.
   • Attitudes can change throughout the text.
   • Attitudes can be clear or subtle.
   • Use quotations freely but do not use long quotes.
   • Use the PEE chain.

Analysing persuasive techniques –                 you should examine in detail the
methods of selling ideas and products.

Questions will be worded – How does….? What image…. What attitudes to….?

The key to these questions is to focus on how the writer is persuading the audience. You
need to consider what is written, how it is written and the intended effect of the words
that are chosen. There may be other features of the text as well as the language – a
headline, pictures, insert boxes and so on. Don’t however, write, ‘The headline is big and
bold…’ – they all are! Refer to the language of the headline and how this helps to
persuade the reader.
Exam tips
You should remember the persuasive techniques you were taught to use and see if you
can spot them:
   • Rhetorical questions
   • Group of three
   • Emotive language
   • Statistics
   • Direct appeal to reader and so on

It’s no good, however, just spotting these techniques, you must say how they help to
persuade the reader. There is no point in writing, ‘The writer says….’ followed by a
quote as this is only reporting the information and does not get to the heart of the

Comparing non-fiction and media texts – you should compare, contrast
and evaluate the treatment of a subject by looking at two different texts.

Questions will be worded – which of these two texts has more impact on you and
Both of these texts are concerned with…In what ways are they similar and in what
ways are they different?
Which aspects of these two texts ….?

Sometimes you may be asked for a direct comparison, while at other times you will be
asked to decide which of two texts is more successful and there are other types of
question too – see the sample questions above.

Exam tips
   • Refer to both texts.
   • If you are given a list of points to consider then make sure you write about each in
      turn – tick them when you finish one and move onto the next.
   • Use quotes from the text to back up what you say.
   • If you are asked to comment on layout, make sure you link your comments back
      to the question.
Read the following article about reality television. This type of programme (for example Big
Brother, Pop Idol) has been popular in recent years, both with viewers and large numbers of
people who wish to take part in a wide variety of challenges that expose them to the close
scrutiny of the public. Consider the views of the writer.


Reality television has lot to answer for.           when the show is over. Shows such as
Over the past few years, it has given us            these enable these former celebs to
Darius, Jade Goody, Nasty Nick                      climb back up the fame list. I
Bateman and countless others instantly              understand they are classed Y list celebs
forgettable wannabes. These individuals             now.
lay themselves open to ridicule and                         There are rumours from across
scrutiny by applying to take part in the            the ocean that American televisions
television shows and then criticise the             bosses are lining up more and more
media and the public in general for not             outrageous reality television
taking them seriously. Anyone in these              programmes. Then again, the idea of
shows must realise that they have a very            couples fighting for the change to
limited shelf life. The public shows a              divorce on national television does not
huge interest in them at the beginning              seem so bizarre when you consider that
but by the end of the tedious ten-week              his has been developed in America – the
run of Big Brother most people couldn’t             country that has given us The
care less who wins. It’s always amazing             Osbournes. Whoever would have
when the presenters announce that they              thought that both side of the Atlantic
have received over a million phone votes            would have been gripped by the antics of
on eviction night. I suspect the viewers            Ozzy Osbourne and his Addams like
have their phones firmly set to redial.             family? And now, more recently, Anna
        As if temporarily making                    Nicole-Smith. Until her show, she was
nobodies into somebodies wasn’t bad                 only ever famous for marrying an
enough, television producers, in their              eighty-five year old billionaire … for
ultimate wisdom, have seen fit to make              love. Suggestions that the family’s antics
ex-somebodies back into somebodies                  are rigged have of course been
again. We now have Celebrity Big                    strenuously denied, but you can’t help
Brother, where you can watch one                    wondering if anyone really behaves like
famous Z list celebs have nervous                   that and, if they do, should it really be
breakdowns on live television, and I’m a            on television? The only questions that
Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, where                 remains is, how much lower can reality
celebrities hanging on the fringe of                television go?
fame, are left in the heart of the
Australian bush. The only drawback
with the latter shows is that the
celebrities are brought back to Britain

What impressions of reality television shows does the writer of the article create?
Sample answer

The writer disapproves of reality television shows. He refers to the stars of
the shows as ‘instantly forgettable wannabes’ and ‘nobodies’. He criticises
‘Celebrity Big Brother’ and ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’, calling their
participants ‘once famous Z list celebs’ by taking part in these shows. The
writer even implies that these shows are tasteless because we can watch
these so called celebrities ‘have nervous breakdowns’.
       The writer also objects to the ordinary members of the public who
apply to appear on reality television shows. The writer creates the
impression that these people are desperate for fame and would do anything –
even humiliate themselves – in their quest for this fame. ‘these individuals
lay themselves open for ridicule and scrutiny by applying for these television
       The writer also insults the audiences of these programmes. ‘I suspect
the viewers have their phones firmly on redial’. The writer also criticises
American reality television shows for their influence on Britain, with shows
such as ‘the Osbournes’ and ‘The Anna Nicole Show’. ‘whoever would have
thought that both sides of the Atlantic would have been gripped by the
antics of Ozzy Osbourne?’ The writer gives us the impression that reality
television shows are bad and includes rhetorical questions. ‘Should it really
be on television?’ to make us think about what we are watching.

A / A*
Read the following article, which offers a slightly offbeat view of conservation. The
writer pokes fun at some of the recycling and conservation policies adopted in the world
of business. Judge when the tongue-in-cheek irony of the writer spills over into outright

Thinking                 Green               -      Seeing               Red

The latest conservation initiative is to         deadlines. We are now expected to
encourage people to transfer their               remember not to throw a single piece
good ‘green’ habits from the home to             of paper into the bin, but to put it into
the workplace. It seems it’s not                 a recycling box. WE are also
enough to be recycling at home, we               expected to car-share to and from
are now being made to feel guilty for            work. The idea of seeing certain
spending all of our time in work                 David Brent-like workmates at the
doing our jobs! Although conserving              office is bad enough, but the thought
the planet is clearly a good thing and           of being trapped in a car with them
has very obvious benefits, we are                during rush hours is not appealing.
constantly being made to feel guilty             Tempers get frayed when loved-
for putting our wheelie bins out each            ones are in the car; what would it be
week. We seem to be driven to the                like with three or four people you
point of going through our rubbish               detest?
each week to ensure that a stray                         Another suggestion is to
piece of lettuce hasn’t slipped into             reduce the amount of electricity used
the bins instead of into the compost             in businesses. That would certainly
heap. As if this isn’t enough we are             solve one problem – at least if the
now expected to transfer all of these            electricity was off, millions of workers
neurotic behaviours to the                       would be saved the stress of dealing
workplace, previously a place for                with their computers crashing. So
escape from obsessing about                      maybe more conservation policies
recycling.                                       for the workplace would be a good
        It seems it is not enough to             thing. The amount of work done by
have to deal with computers that                 staff would be significantly reduced,
continually crash, workmates that do             but at least we’d all be protecting the
less than their fair share and bosses            planet. And who could disagree that
who impose unreasonable                          that’s only a small price to pay?

What is the writer’s attitude toward conservation? Remember to
support your comments with evidence from the text.
Sample Answer

In this article the writer is obviously taking a rather cynical view towards
conservation policies in the workplace. This is clear from his regular use of
sarcasm, ‘stray piece of lettuce’. He also makes an appeal for support to the
reader, ‘made to feel guilty…for doing our jobs!’
       His opinions could be considered by some as rather controversial. The
writer does therefore clearly justify ‘conserving the planet’, saying it is ‘a
good thing and has very obvious benefits.’
       As well as using justification, rhetorical questions are used to appeal
to the reader, ‘And who could disagree that that’s only a small price to pay?’
There is also a sense of everyday humour that is designed to appeal to
readers, especially office workers, who can identify with the humorous
problems. ‘David Brent-like workmates’ and so on. Another way the writer
appeals to the reader through humour is in the use of exaggeration.

Read the following brochure material from Sunny Valley Holiday Camp. You will be
answering the question: How does the brochure try to persuade people to visit Sunny
Valley Holiday Camp? So focus on the text and identify relevant information that will
support your comments.

                           Holiday fun in Sunny Valley

Sunny Valley is located on the                uninterrupted time together. Our well
Cornish coast and offers fun for              trained staff have tons of activities
people of all ages. Sunny Valley              prepared to ensure your children are
Holiday Camp has chalets, caravans            never bored. For five to ten year olds
and room for tents so it is suitable          there is the Big Kids Club that offers
however you like to holiday. We               activities such as mini-golf, bowling,
welcome families and couples and              go-karting and a party each Friday
even offer special rates for single           afternoon. The children can also
parents to bring their children. Our          participate in art and craft classes
chalets are spacious and comprise             and make their own fab souvenirs to
an attractive living area, two                remind them of their holiday at
bedrooms and even a kitchen, with a           Sunny Valley. Teenagers are often
microwave and fridge-freezer so you           hard to please, but here at Sunny
can stock up with all the Cornish             Valley we offer the Teen Club,
specialities. For larger parties we           offering go-karting, abseiling, rock
recommend our six and eight birth             climbing and other challenges that
caravans – the ultimate in luxury             would tempt even the most difficult
holiday accommodation. Both                   teen. Each Friday night there is a
chalets and caravans have hot and             disco for all Teen Club members to
cold water, power showers and the             attend.
latest in satellite television                        There are plenty of
entertainments. Everyone who                  entertainments for adults too. If
holidays at Sunny Valley is assigned          granny and granddad need a break,
a Holiday Guide who will ensure they          we have daily Bingo sessions, sing-
have the best time possible.                  along around our grand piano and
         Parents need not worry about         tea dances three times a week. After
their children being bored. Here at           all, at Sunny Valley we believe a
Sunny Valley we have won                      holiday should please everyone, not
numerous awards for our children’s            just the children. For more
facilities. For the little ones (up to        adventurous adults, there are boat
four years of age) there is a crèche          trips, steam engine journeys and
and Junior Kids Club. These offer             even a chance to race go-karts like
mum and dad the chance to relax               the kids!
and spend some well-earned

How does the brochure try to persuade people to visit Sunny Valley Holiday Camp?
Sample answer

I believe that the use of persuasive language is effective in the brochure.
The brochure includes everyone – people of all ages are referred to. Words
such as ‘sunny’ and ‘welcome’ are used to create a happy atmosphere at the
beginning of the piece. Also words such as ‘spacious’ and ‘attractive’ are used
to describe the chalets, giving an air of class and quality. ‘Sunny Valley’ itself
is an attractive name because it gives the reader an idea of being in an open
and relaxed place, unlike a cramped caravan park.
       The writer challenges the reader, tempts the reader to come to ‘the
ultimate in luxury holiday accommodation’ and also for them to take on the
go-karting and the rock climbing. The writer knows that parents think that
teenagers are hard to please, but the article overcomes this problem by
using the ‘Teen Club’. Also the ‘junior Kids Club’ and the ‘big Kids Club’ are
attractive to parents who want a relaxing holiday.

Deforestation was the burning issue of the
nineties, but since it has slipped from the
news headlines, it also seems to have
slipped from the news headlines, it also
seems to have slipped from people’s                The forests are home to people as well as
consciousness. This really does seem like a        birds and animals. Some 350 million people
case of out of sight, out of mind and that         worldwide rely on the forests for food,
actually will be the case for trees if             shelter and fuel. Many of these are tribes
deforestation continues at the rate it is at the   that have lived in the forests for centuries, or
moment. Despite the efforts of charities like      even millennia, and their knowledge of the
Rainforest Concern, the public seems bored         forests is being lost almost as quickly as the
with this problem and instead focuses on           trees themselves. These tribes-people are
whatever global disaster is stealing the           aware of natural remedies for many
headlines – the potential threat of war, most      illnesses and ailments, which we in the so-
likely. With around 17 million hectares of fest    called developed world could utilise.
being destroyed each year (an area larger          Deforestation causes many physical
than Great Britain and Ireland) the public         problems too. Soil erosion, watershed
should not be so complacent.                       destabilisation and an imbalance in the
         Deforestation causes all manner of        global climate are all potential problems
problems, not just the obvious or well-            caused by deforestation.
publicised ones of loss of air quality or the               So what can be done? Instead of
extinction of a multitude of species. It is a      using slash and burn methods of forestry,
well- cited fact that the equatorial rainforests   we should rely on sustainable forests made
are home to a huge variety of species of           up of trees that grow and mature quickly and
animals, birds, plants and insects that are        easily. Only if we do this, can we hope to
not found anywhere else in the world. These        preserve our forests – and our planet – for
are only the species that we are aware of.         future generations.
Some parts of the forest are so dense that
there may be many more species that are as
yet undiscovered. Ironically, if deforestation
continues these species will not remain
undiscovered for long; they will be
discovered and then made extinct almost
straight away.

How does the writer try to persuade
us that deforestation is a problem that
needs to be dealt with urgently?
Sample answer

In the article ‘The Burning Issue’ the writer is obviously totally against burning
trees, and rainforests being wiped out. The writer tries to get us on his side by
telling us all the bad points about his particular subject. In the first paragraph the
writer says that people are to blame for the lack of trees in the world because
they don’t do enough to help. The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is used to
describe people which means that if there isn’t anything about trees in the papers
people seem to take less notice of it.
        In the second and third paragraphs the writer tell us what will happen if
forests do die out. Different species will become extinct, 350 million people that
rely on the forests will be homeless or won’t have a living, soil erosion, watershed
destabilisation and an imbalance in the global climate could happen.
        The writer asks a question at the end which is an effective way to get our
attention, ‘So what can be done?’ He then goes on to tell us what could be done to
save the forests. After reading the article I feel more aware of what’s happening
to the forests in the world and I feel we should do more to keep our forests.


Sample answer
The writer warns the reader that the deforestation issue is become less important
to people these days because we tend to focus on the potential threat of war. The
writer also produces faces such as ‘around 17 million hectares of forest are being
destroyed each year’. The large figures have been used to shock the reader. These
are frightening statistics to the reader. The writer accuses us the ‘population’ for
being behind this deforestation, this makes the reader feel guilty and really
appeals to the reader. The writer also uses pictures to try and persuade the
reader, pictures can really appeal to the reader’s emotions, it helps us to picture
and understand the devastating effects of deforestation.
         The writer warns the public that many species may become extinct as a
result of the complacent public. This may shock the reader to think that we could
be killing off rare living things, plants, animals, birds, etc. The writer also
frightens the reader by emphasising that if we don’t put a stop to deforestation
many undiscovered species will become extinct before we even know about them.
This can make the reader upset and make them want to help with the issue. When
the writer talks about how 350 million people worldwide rely on the forest for food,
shelter and fuel these statistics could really appeal to the reader’s emotions and
persuade them immensely. The urgency carries through to the end of the article
when a solution of sorts to the problem is given. It all sounds a bit too simple to
me, but the main thing is that the reader’s awareness has been raised to a level of


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