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Presentational devices are important in a menu.


Non-fiction is factual, which means that it is presented as fact. The majority of the reading material with which we come into contact every day is likely to be non-fiction. What do a take-away menu and a scientific paper have in common? They are both non-fiction. The author's own opinions on the subject often come out in the form of bias, opinion, or emotive language, so the factual nature of what you are reading should always be questioned.

Test your knowledge by trying this quiz on non-fiction.

What is meant by 'subtext'?
The meaning of a text which is written in small print
The explicit meaning of a text
The implicit meaning of a text
The opposite meaning to a text
'Implicit' means 'implied'. To understand subtext, you need to look beyond the obvious meaning
Which of these words could NOT be used to describe the tone of a text?
A piece of writing may be useful to you, but 'tone' describes the author's attitude to the subject (i.e. serious, passionate, angry, humorous, dispassionate, etc.)
The purpose of non-fiction is to...
Any of the above
Non-fiction can have many purposes: it can inform, entertain, advise, persuade, describe, instruct, or argue, among other things
Which of the following is NOT an example of a non-fiction text?
A poem
An autobiography
A history book
A travel book
What is meant by 'layout'?
The intended audience of a non-fiction text
The font used in a non-fiction text
The list of contents in a non-fiction text
The way in which the different elements of a text are presented on the page
What would you be looking for if skim reading a text?
Page numbers
Words highlighted in bold
Key words
In which of the following non-fiction texts would presentational devices be most important?
A letter
A menu
A diary
A biography
A menu would be very hard to navigate if it were written in continuous, paragraphed prose. Menus make use of such features as changes in font style and font size, bold print, italics, pictures, headings and subheadings, colour, borders and boxed text
In deciding who is the intended audience of a particular text, what would you consider?
Language, tone and style
The author's name
The price of the publication only
Whether the text uses figurative language
In comparing two non-fiction texts written on the same subject, what should you be sure to mention?
Whether you agree with either text
The intended audience and purpose of each text
Which text is longer
Which text you like better
The author of a non-fiction text...
will always be impartial (unbiased)
might display a particular attitude toward the subject
must include one opinion for every two facts
will always display bias
Writers of some types of non-fiction, such as news reports, aim for impartiality, but this is not a necessity of every type. Many non-fiction texts are subtly (or not so subtly) biased in favour of the author's opinion on the subject
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Non-fiction text types

Author:  Sheri Smith

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