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GCSE: Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe

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Writing to inform

  1. 1 Give factual information and use a formal style.
  2. 2 Use straightforward language to convey essential information. Your audience could be anyone.
  3. 3 Use the present tense, write in short clear sentences, address the reader as 'you'. Use connectives and technical terms.
  4. 4 Break up your writing with diagrams, illustrations, images and subheadings.
  5. 5 You can give more information (eg: why and what you find interesting) and the genre could ask you to give instructions, write recipes, give directions or write manuals.

Writing to explain

  1. 1 Establish who you are writing to and why you are writing.
  2. 2 Genre – Explaining data, giving a speech or explaining how a mechanism works.
  3. 3 Purpose – To be clear, to show meaning and to make something clearer.
  4. 4 Write in the third person, use either past or present tenses, use clear factual language.
  5. 5 Give a balanced view and use connectives of comparison (whereas, though, while, unless, however).

Writing to describe

  1. 1 Your thoughts and feelings are important.
  2. 2 Genre – Writing a story, describe a scene, writing a diary entry.
  3. 3 Purpose is to build an image in the reader's mind.
  4. 4 Use adjectives and adverbs, similes, metaphors and all five senses ( touch, smell, taste, sight, sound).

  • Marked by Teachers essays 61
  • Peer Reviewed essays 37
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    A Foreboding Night. Ian sat on the curb, his hands buried deep inside the pocket of his jeans.

    5 star(s)

    Ian opened the door and felt a rush of relief as he plopped himself onto the worn-out leather seat. A faint yellow glow emanated from the lights on the peeling ceiling. The taxi driver peered at him through the rearview mirror. His eyes were bloodshot, devoid of all emotions. "Where to?" he rasped. Ian glanced around uneasily. "Where do you want to go?" the driver repeated. The harshness of his tone struck Ian into silence. His throat felt tight as he struggled to think of a place. Sweat began to trickle down his neck. Something wasn't right. Trees, bushes, and streetlamps whirred by as the car sped along the streets, its headlights piercing through the wilderness of night like the eyes of a wolf.

    • Word count: 656
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Supermarket Description - Sleek, automatic, glass doors slid smoothly open, only to divulge a cacophony of noise.

    5 star(s)

    All the while, the bakery and rotisserie battled it out with each other to grab customers; they reached out in smoky tendrils of alluring aromas. Freshly baked bread, hot and crisp, mesmerised countless... but who could resist the delectable taste of honey roast chicken, tender and succulent? Elsewhere, employees scurried around about like squirrels readying themselves for winter - customers' every need were tended to with the standard impassive, teeth baring smile. Deep within the supermarket, a small child dragged his feet along the polished marble as he was pulled along; shiny, smart trainers screeched piercingly against the flooring.

    • Word count: 904
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Describe a person you admire. Though I have lived a colourful and varied life, the event which had the greatest effect on my well-being was the day I came of age, for it was on this day that it had been arranged that I should be told that my father was

    5 star(s)

    Dad had always been small in stature and concealed himself with heavy clothing, and sometimes I would find crumbs where he had been sitting. However, in my childish naivety, I attributed this behaviour to eccentricity and never asked him about it. Other clues that I can see with the benefit of hindsight are numerous. Birds were always fond of him, and he would always refuse to sit by the fireside. What a fool I was not to have read the signs.

    • Word count: 521
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Coursework Assignment: Creative Writing

    5 star(s)

    He saw her, and his hand swept through the air and closed on a flower. Its petals were delicate, white and radiant with light. It had not yet blossomed to full magnitude but was graceful and beautiful beyond comprehension. He pulled on the stem gently, easing it in one smooth action out of the dirt and into the air, breathing in its scent. * * * * * The young girl screamed. Screams that filled the silent night air, screams of anguish and relief. And then, she was no more. She lies inside a coffin made of wood, atop a hill.

    • Word count: 864
  5. Marked by a teacher

    (Descriptive Writing) Describe the sights and sounds of a market place

    5 star(s)

    First we walked by a women in an old yellow sari who was sitting on her plain mat on which she had laid out all her vegetables. She shooed the flies every now and then which sat on her vegetables. We glared at the list in my hand that read "4 good tomatoes and potatoes". We hardly searched for the good ones the women was already set to it and asked us how many. Her hands were dark and wrinkly as you could see the faintly visible tattoo on her arm which kept reappearing as she picked out the best potatoes and tomatoes.

    • Word count: 804
  6. Marked by a teacher

    Narrative essay 1

    5 star(s)

    the peace of the night was broken, pandemonium, pieces flying everywhere. The grandiose flames rose up, lay a beast within the earth, accompanied by an aura of smoke. Before I knew it the smoke encompassed me, like a tornado. I couldn't see, I couldn't breathe, I ran, ran far away, ran away from this lunacy. Running, running for my life but then I stopped. Sheila! My fear had vanished. I lost all sensation. I froze. I turned and ran towards the scorching conflagration.

    • Word count: 679
  7. Marked by a teacher

    A slave's diary.

    5 star(s)

    What is this place? Why are we here? Is this hell? Am I dead? I hope that the answers will come to me before long because I sense that I will not be leaving this place soon. Day 12 I am still locked in this place. It has become difficult to distinguish night from day, to distinguish the smell of decay emitting from the first of our number to pass away, mostly children, and the smell of our own excrement.

    • Word count: 818
  8. Marked by a teacher

    Creative Writing - 'Looking Back' - I felt miserable, mournful and melancholy when I was told that it was a boarding school.

    4 star(s)

    As the car stopped, I imagined it wheezed its deathly cough probably from its sorry engine. I suddenly took a quick glance at a large, ligneous door in the middle of the building which looked like it had been locked for centuries. My curiosity was quite overpowering. I wanted to know the deepest secrets of this mysterious mansion. My taxi driver shouted 'We're here!' I stepped out of the car as slowly as I could and I could feel the wind howling its mighty objection. As the winter fell, I noticed the trees, as tall as a giraffe, found themselves wearing a white snow coat.

    • Word count: 911
  9. Marked by a teacher

    Imagine you are Aunt Pegg. After one week of looking after the children, you write a letter to their parents

    4 star(s)

    During a week, the kids seemed very mischievous, they didn?t listen to anything I said, so I had to give them some chores as punishments. They were not excited at all, I wondered why. Are they always like that or they just don?t like me? Besides, as I realized, you are way too indulgent to the kids so they are not very well-behaved, I will work on that for you. Here is something that we did during the first week.

    • Word count: 971
  10. Marked by a teacher

    First Time at Times Square

    4 star(s)

    However, not all of the smells are mouth watering. Most of the street corners have either huge round sewage drains, or rectangular ones with bars. Through the gaps and holes of these sewage drains seep such a fowl smelling odor that you soon forget any of the pleasant ones surrounding it. As I walked over one of the old odorous drains, hot steam flew up and out of it, right up my nostrils and triggered my gag reflexes. As we walk along, I stop to admire one of the many street performers along Times Square.

    • Word count: 737
  11. Marked by a teacher

    Travel and tourism letter for a school trip.

    4 star(s)

    We will be travelling by bus and underground to Tower Hill. Programme. Timings will be approximate. 09:00 Leave school 10:15 Arrive at the Tower of London 10:30 Look around the Tower 12:00 Education talk 13:30 Lunch 14:00 Either continue the tour of the Tower or walk along the south bank to visit some other landmarks 15:45 Arrive back at Turn Pike Lane Students will need to wear uniform for this trip and will need to bring a packed lunch.

    • Word count: 481
  12. Marked by a teacher

    Descriptive Writing. Over a ridge to the north, surrounded by rolling hills on each side, a desolate church stood isolated and abandoned, the fog slowly creeping towards it;

    4 star(s)

    The gravestones that surround the church outside from all four sides were standing stationary, helpless and crippled from age, each symbolizing its life through the gentle glimmer of light that was shining softly from above. The wind howling, almost creating sounds like the whispers of those who lay beneath. No other sounds except those of your feet as they step across the moss-covered ground. All around, the dead were kept company with statues of mythical creatures, gargoyles perched comfortably against the old black, wrought fencing tipped with spikes covered with old vines combined throughout.

    • Word count: 701
  13. Marked by a teacher

    Describe a typical day in the life of a teacher in Singapore.

    4 star(s)

    The chaotic scene ensued. "Children," she muttered and sighed in annoyance under her breath. Clapping her hands three times, she waited impatiently for the class to settle down. It took a while before the class finally settled down. "So today, I will be teaching you about..." Even though she had taught this lesson many times in her past nine years of teaching, she never once felt bored about teaching the lesson again. Teaching was her passion and she wanted to ensure that her students are able to gain knowledge from her lessons.

    • Word count: 619
  14. Marked by a teacher

    It does not take a tennis fan to know who Roger Federer is. Often cited as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, the well-mannered Swiss is widely celebrated for his true sportsmanship and positive image.

    4 star(s)

    Surprisingly, his talent in tennis was not recognized by his coach when he first started. "I was slow ... couldn't really follow." Roger smiled. "But as a kid I wasn't really upset. I decided to try something else and I chose football." Unexpectedly, it was football that made him a better tennis player. "I realized that tennis is so much about how fast your feet move. Eventually, I benefited from improved footwork and how I could run fast on the tennis court for the ball." Of course, it took Roger immense effort to become a pro. "I didn't start off as smoothly as one might think.

    • Word count: 593
  15. Marked by a teacher

    How important are Chapters two and three in establishing characters and tension in Dracula

    4 star(s)

    This makes Dracula unusual and different from the other Novels as sex was considered rude to mention in Victorian times however Bram Stoker was clever and doesn't directly mention it but allows the reader to think of it. Yet nowadays it has become popular and glamorous for books and films to have "sexy vampires". One book series that has done this very well is the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer and others could be the league of extraordinary gentlemen, True Blood, Vampire Hunter and Van Helsingr. In chapter two and three, it is written as a Diary of Jonathan Harker.

    • Word count: 881
  16. Marked by a teacher

    the boy in the striped pyjamas film review

    4 star(s)

    Join Butterfield in a vastly charming, sympathetic performance of his discovery, friendship and ultimate deception. Young Bruno (Butterfield) has been raised in a near to perfect lifestyle in Berlin with his dependable family and friends. But Bruno's life takes a sudden drop as he is forced to move into a prison-like large house for his overpowering father's (Thewlis) work as a soldier. The story of Bruno's life as it deteriorates moves us when he finds his only escape from this prison leads him to meet a boy of an unfamiliar lifestyle in a concentration camp.

    • Word count: 998
  17. Marked by a teacher

    Contrast Between a place at Two different times

    4 star(s)

    The gigantic floats represented dragons or pirate ships. They were full of revellers throwing bead necklaces to the parade-goers. These were dressed in shiny, bright colours such as green, yellow or purple, the traditional colours of Mardi Gras. People drank 'Hurricanes' from colourful plastic cups. Then one of the many Indian bands passed. They were all dressed in Indian costumes but the chief was all in flashy colours such as yellow or pink and marched in Indian file along the streets. But there in New Orleans, every day is a celebration. The people love food, they love to invite each other for a pot of red beans or a plate of shrimp.

    • Word count: 895
  18. Marked by a teacher

    Corruption-A fact of life in the indian society

    4 star(s)

    There are not many causes of corruption. But amidst these few causes, there is one main cause. That one main cause is us, the people of India. Just so that our work becomes easy and fast going, we pay bribes and make sure our wanted work is done. The main cause is growing competition in this growing country. As the country grows, so does the corruption and blocks the growth. This is one of the reasons for India still being a less economically developed country. From small time clerks to the high profile politicians, commissioners, police inspectors, traffic police, stock exchange brokers, military establishments, recruiters, sportsmen, judiciary

    • Word count: 879
  19. Marked by a teacher

    Memento opening scene

    4 star(s)

    This is a perfect representation of Lenny's memory; because as he learns about the past it quickly fades away. The choice of colours Nolan chose are very effective. White represents purity and innocence, this is chosen well as Lenny believes he is doing the right thing, yet he lacks depth stability to hold onto his memories, which is commonly associated with the colour blue. After part of the credits, a Polaroid picture appears on the screen. Held by a clean, gentle looking hand. On the picture, we see a dead body, with large amounts of blood on the wall behind it.

    • Word count: 876
  20. Marked by a teacher

    Descriptive piece - prison

    4 star(s)

    The square room held one bed and one toilet captive. The rusty bed was only fit for a very small child, had no mattress and only one thin sheet covered in unknown stains. The stone floor was covered in small, dead insects which were rotting and been eaten by smaller maggots and bugs. Around these bugs small speckles of dried blood could be seen where men had attempted to escape the prison in their own personal ways. Some would succeed.

    • Word count: 652
  21. Marked by a teacher

    GCSE Travel Writing The door of the aeroplane opened and we stepped into the humid night air, complimented by a cool Mediterranean breeze

    4 star(s)

    About five minutes later we arrived at the terminal, and were greeted by a buzz of many different languages. After collecting our luggage we made our way outside, again refreshed by the night air; now we were away from the fumes of the aircraft, it was possible to elucidate many different scents, when the wind blew, I detected a faint smell of food cooking: a sign of the typical Maltese habit of continuously throwing barbeques on the beaches at night. At times when the air was still, a person could be overcome by the sea scent; the salty air somehow smelled different here, although I have grown up in a place surrounded by sea, it seemed to be completely diverse to the damp Cornish air.

    • Word count: 913
  22. Marked by a teacher

    A Walk by the River.

    4 star(s)

    I dashed onto the porch and pounded on the door. It was open. What was that? I thought, my heart in my mouth. I slowly turned around. I didn't see anyone, but that didn't mean that there couldn't be someone else in the house with me. It was a large house. I hesitated before I went into the living room. My lantern, my best friend at the moment, showed off ancient paintings of a red-haired man with angular features and a host of antiques. Over a marble fireplace, in the far side of the room, hung a silvery mirror with plump, little cherubs surrounding it.

    • Word count: 820
  23. Marked by a teacher

    A review of the film Titanic

    3 star(s)

    What ultimately makes it possible is how it falls in the class of masterpiece films. The backdrop of the Titanic is real, but the main plot is fictional. One of the characters is Rose, a young woman raised by a wealthy aristocratic family. The story is told as a flashback by this same woman, now elderly, in the present day. As artifacts from the Titanic are uncovered from the sea bed, this woman sees something that once belonged to her. She meets with the Titanic exploration crew to share her memories of the voyage on the Titanic up to the tragic day when the ship sank.

    • Word count: 543
  24. Marked by a teacher

    My Ultimate Dream. As a child I have always had many dreams and goals in my life.

    3 star(s)

    Also I want to try and find new ways in which I can help nature and the natural world. I have been inspired to include these aspects in my ultimate dream because I find that I am capable of achieving these goals and I have a particular talent in them such as being able to manage and lead a group of people, in communication, working as a team and organization skills. Although I can do all these things I still want to be able to improve on them so that I am able to increase my skills and abilities.

    • Word count: 758
  25. Marked by a teacher

    Saving Private Ryan Boat scene creative writing

    3 star(s)

    As we are in the middle of the sea and all we can see is the dim gloomy sky as it is full of thick clouds as thick as tar, we can't actually see what is in front of us as the mist is spreading in the place, the time is passing very slowly as we're all waiting for our fate which seems to be indefinite like we're waiting for the exam results which make us feel frustrated. Most of us are religious which made everyone be patient, believe in destiny and stand up like a brave man.

    • Word count: 909

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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