Producing Non-Fiction

Purposes

Purposes

gcse english languageThe different purposes of non-fiction texts have already been explained in the Reading Section. However, when examining them from the creative point of view of the writer, there are other aspects of each purpose to consider. Here is a guide on how to approach writing with each purpose in mind:

Explain

This is about breaking down a topic into more easily understandable parts. Structure is an important aspect to remember about for this purpose. When you write about a topic, you must identify the key parts the audience need to know and include them in paragraphs. In addition, there may be parts that the audience will want to know and you should include them too. You will give information and break it down so the reader understands how this information will impact on them.

If there are opinions on the topic or arguments, you can mention them but you must support the opinions with factual information and present the two sides of an argument to keep the text balanced.

Inform

GCSE english languageSimilar to texts which explain, this purpose is about giving the reader information about a certain topic. Informative texts will use facts extensively. For example, they will include: details, instructions, names of places, names of people, events, times etc.

Teach

Again, this purpose relates to informing and explaining. However, if writing with this purpose, you should focus even more on how the reader will look at your text. This purpose aims to get the reader to learn something. This means that they not only have to understand your text, as it will be written clearly and in a well-structured way; they will also have to remember and be able to use the information in the text in real life, whether it is to cook or build something, or write an essay about it.

Persuade

The aim of texts with this purpose is to convince the reader to do something, whether it is to buy a product, attend an event or agree with an opinion. Writing persuasive texts requires using many persuasive techniques to influence the reader. At all times, you should consider how the facts and statistics you include, the writing techniques you use and the presentation of your text are tailored to the outcome you wish to have from your persuasive text.

Express An Opinion

An opinion allows you as a writer to say what you think about a topic. To write for this purpose, combine fact with persuasive techniques to convince the reader to follow your opinion.

Entertain

If texts are written with entertainment as the main purpose, they will use engaging writing and their use of persuasive texts will be to keep the audience reading. With non-fiction texts, this purpose will often be combined with another purpose, such as writing to express and opinion. All texts should have an element of entertainment in them to keep the audience engaged, even if it is just the way they are presented.

Describe

Texts written to describe a product, event or other topic give the reader details about what it is like and allow them to imagine it. This type of writing requires descriptive skills and the use of writing techniques to engage the reader and persuade them to continue reading. It is not a simple case of stating information about something.

Provoke a Response

If a question asks you to write an article, review, leaflet or any other genre of text, it is important to examine the rest of the question to identify another purpose. The focus of this question will be demonstrating your knowledge of the particular genre of a text. However, another purpose is often added. For example: Write an article for an online environmental website, persuading readers to print less and save paper. This task suggests that your response should be persuasive, as well as writing an article.