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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).

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  1. Yo soy bullfighter. The cape flutters like the wings of a bird as it whips round the taught matador.

    The auditorium is alight with ambience and colour as the frenzied faces of the crowd bellow on, chanting "Kill da bulli, kill da bulli". The matador, a man in his 30's nicknamed "EL CID" meaning "the knight" struts around the ring. He wears the traditional skin tight costume which is frilly and full of buttons and completely black. His motions are extravagant and graceful almost making him look gay but in some weird way very manly because of his bravery and rebelliousness almost like a male ballerina.

    • Word count: 553
  2. Book review of "Checkers" by John Marsden

    And she answers them. But this wasn't very smart. The next day the news papers are full of pictures of 2 dogs checkers and the dog of the Premier. This proves that all the rumours are true. When her father comes home that day he is furious and he kills checkers. After this is had to go to the hospital because she thinks she's guilty for the death of checkers. After her treatment she goes to a boarding school together with her brother. It takes place in 1987 (it's said in the book).

    • Word count: 831
  3. Haunted house narrative writing. The house stood on the top of lonely hill. There was no chance of taking the way through roads. I had to take the shortcut.

    I took a deep breath of the cool night air and walked faster towards the house. My curiosity was already beyond its limits. Now, I was almost to the top. The flickering light of the house could be seen nearby. Finally, I reached there - 13 Redwood Villa. The house stood, 3 storeys high, with boarded up windows and a broken chimney, giving the house a menacing look. Its door had been boarded up too but you could easily push it open between the planks at the bottom.

    • Word count: 1578
  4. Things I believe in and my ambitions.

    I believe in miracles. There are past experiences in my life that I would say impossible to happen. I consider those as miracles. We just have to be open and believe that there are things we cannot do, but God can. 8. I believe in every child's right to be educated. I never imagined myself or my brother not studying, I do not like the feeling of seeing others go to school and we're not. Each of us has the right to have education, even the poorest of the poor.

    • Word count: 1646
  5. Spider Man vs. Iron Man Both Spider Man and Iron Man are heroes; they save others by using the skills they have been given. They are both motivated by a particular event in their lives

    One event that particularly motivates Spider Man is when his uncle died. His uncle was killed in the streets of the city, and because Spider Man regret over not being able to save his uncles serves as his original strong motivation for saving others- he does not want to experience that same regret again. Iron Man is also saving people based on motivation. Iron Man ran a company that built weapons, and in the movie he finds out that those weapons have fallen into the wrong hands and are being used by the bad people.

    • Word count: 874
  6. The Familiar Stranger. You reach your hand out to touch hers, fingers cold and hard, tracing the outline of her thin, pale cheeks.

    Pointless. The word seems to ring around your head, echoing. You can see the pain in her face, as it turns away from this truth, but then she glances back again at you, defiantly. Unable to keep this false bravery up, the marred face crumples, a tear running silently down her hard cheeks. A face hardened by a life of pain and suffering, you think. A harsh life. Could there be a future for a child of such an upbringing? Should she even bother trying? Wouldn't it be better, you think, for her to end all this?

    • Word count: 1208
  7. I looked up to see if my best friend was injured but I was horrified to see that he was the one holding the weapon.

    He pulled the trigger. He was dead. I was so horrified, so alarmed, so scared. I wanted to identify the gun that was causing all of the deaths of my classmates, but it didn't matter to me at this time. Not much did at the moment. Bang after bang was heard throughout the whole classroom. I clenched my arms tightly around my body and curled up on my seat. My eyes cracked open to make sure that all of this was real.

    • Word count: 775
  8. Creative Writing - A sword in one hand, a shield in the other, I was busy fighting a dragon with my best friend.

    His claw had went through my shield and as he was taking it out, the shield broke into pieces. At that moment, my friend took his sword and sliced it through the dragon's tale, leaving it with gut-wrenching, agonizing pain. It cried out a rawr, and started to levitate with his wings. It then took flight, making a "wooosh" sound like high-level winds blowing into a tree. You could feel the wind hit your face, as the dragon was flying into the unknown, flying into the abyss. "Are you alright?", my friend asked as he lent his hand for me to take a hold of.

    • Word count: 627
  9. Creative writing to expand your vocabulary -In 1985, a huge earthquake hit the city which caused great disarray. The people came to realize that villains were trying to take over the city.

    The local citizen refer to them as "watchmen." In 1985, a huge earthquake hit the city which caused great disarray. The people came to realize that villains were trying to take over the city. There were frenetic screams as the onlookers watched the city get destroyed. The once called beautiful city was filled with flotsam. That was when the watchmen came together. They promised they would help the people in any sort of exigency.

    • Word count: 453
  10. What is Love? Analysing a song and dedicated performers.

    The thick male voice on the other hand, adds the passion and emotions so distinct in this song. � The singer's articulation of the song reflects much of his misery and loneliness and resembles an outcry of pain. That is why I felt moved by the song; I was able to feel the singer's personal struggle from the way he poured his heart out through his music. � As I can understand, this song is about a man who once fell in love but had his heart broken and hence, does not know if he is ready to face love again.

    • Word count: 598
  11. Since the day I gave up my family to join the Red Guards in serving the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, I, Li-JiaMing knew my life would never be the same.

    We all liked the power we had as Red Guards. "Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy." - Mao Tse-Tung. People looked up to us, feared us, and wanted to be one of us. An old man opened the door, his face a pearly white. We barged in through the door, nearly knocking the old man off his feet. There were two other small children living in this comfy, wide spaced abode. We rampaged through the house, through every closet, shelf, or cupboard.

    • Word count: 512
  12. Paranormal Tea. The car rattled up and down the hilly roads of Darjeeling until it finally came to a halt. In front of us, there stood a rusted iron gate and over it hovered a board which said, Welcome to Lolaleena Tea Estate

    I gripped the key the former owner, Mr. Bandarl had sent me and took a deep breath as I turned the lock. The door begrudgingly creaked open and a musty, dank odour crept into my nose. The house was fit for kings and queens of the supernatural. The only sound t be heard was the drip, drip of the faucet. I heard the roar of the engine but by the time I reached the front porch, the car and driver that had dropped me were gone. The whispering wing drifted around the garden, I went back into the house and called out, "Hello, is anybody at home?"

    • Word count: 1132
  13. The Train Station. The mid winter sun began to rise from the south hitting the electric doors as the flood of people race for their morning tickets.

    The queue went down quickly as passengers knew what to do and where they wanted to travel. The shops within the train station started into action. A strong but well welcomed smell of freshly grounded coffee filled the air. The aromas of the coffee brighten up the station and seemed to give everyone a lift even if they weren't drinking the cup of life. A heavy dutied well spoken woman's voice boomed out from the tannoy, telling everyone of the incoming train.

    • Word count: 448
  14. Slumdog millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle is one of the best films I have watched in years.

    Once the police have him, they brutally injure him to make him tell how he cheated. Eventually they settle down to listen to his story. To prove his innocence, Jamal tells his life to explain that from his life experiences - scene by scene, he knew the answer. The movie has a sensitive touch to it and might appeal to an older and mature audience who has a taste in reality movies but is also a bore to specific youngsters. The story brings together great culture and simplicity to the viewer that there seems to be nothing unreal.

    • Word count: 602
  15. Henry Morgan The King Of All Pirates - A History

    (Crew) Morgan had gotten treasure from all over the world. With his 36 ships, and nearly 2,000 buccaneers under his command he had obtained 50,000 pieces of eight from Puerto Principe, Cuba; 50,000 English pounds from Marcaibo, and 100,000 English pounds from Panama. (Henry Morgan) In what is considered to be his greatest adventures, Morgan led an expedition of 8 ships and 650 buccaneers to attach the Venezuelan city of Marcaibo. (Crew) When Morgan arrived at Marcaibo, three huge Spanish vessels awaited him outside the channel. Morgan offered the Spanish the offer of surrender, but the Spaniards just laughed in return.

    • Word count: 557
  16. Alien Abduction. Two weeks ago while I was walking to school I saw a bizarre object with a lot of lights fall from the sky.

    As I was walking around the ship I started to feel dizzy and weak. Before I knew it I had fainted and fell to the ground. Two days later I woke up in a room with lots of lighted buttons and there was just so much technology. I couldn't stand up because I was tied to a chair and had some wires stuck to my forehead. Five minutes later an alien walked into the room! At first I was really scared but after a while I noticed that he wasn't bad at all. Apparently the alien knew English because he started explaining what had happened and why I was on the ship.

    • Word count: 599
  17. Report on the song "Imagine by John lennon"

    "Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try" "no h**l below us, above us only sky." Those are the first two lines of the song. If there's no heaven then there's nothing better than what we have on Earth and if there's no h**l then there's nothing worse than what we could find on Earth and if above us there's just a clear blue sky then the sky is our limit and that any experiences we will have during our life or after it will be on Earth. It's like he's telling us to imagine that God doesn't exist and if God didn't exist then people won't be judged and that all they did was live without ever feeling guilty or worrying about what would happen to them after they pass away.

    • Word count: 633
  18. Revelations. The bell hit my ears like a sharp dagger, I grabbed my books and darted for the door but my heart sunk as Mr Coleman called me to stay behind.

    He looked down at me in dismay as I scrambled to the ?oor. He sighed and put his hands in his pockets as he waited impatiently, I clambered to my feet and sat on the edge of a desk. "Stella," he began, I rolled my eyes and looked to the ?oor. "As you can see for the past week your results have shown lack of effort and concentration," he continued to ramble on as I gazed outside which was not how I ?rst saw it, now there are screaming kids darting in and out of each other and girls linked arms with a lunch box on their wrists.

    • Word count: 998
  19. This I believe-Singing. Singing is a way of expressing my feelings. A beautiful song can touch my heart

    In my toddling years, I hummed to any tune I spontaneously thought of in my head. Just like a conductor's rhythm, these years started a musical journey; a melodic piece I created. Once I developed my voice, I could not stop singing, a sweet euphonious voice resonating till today. My parents often played songs from Enya and Collin Raye in the car, which is about all I can remember. This song from Collin Raye, "Love me" played an exceptional part in my childhood.

    • Word count: 593
  20. Herstory. Aakash; the man of my dreams, my childhood lover and my best friend.

    He couldn't stand still, his eyes were darting; I have never seen that look on his face before. Apprehension washed over me. Was this the right choice for both of us? Or was I being plain selfish? Aakash; the man of my dreams, my childhood lover and my best friend. Since young, I have admired him for who he was. Confident, suave, charismatic, and friendly, everything I wished I was. He was the symbol of freedom to me, as free as the sky. There was no trace of his usual calm composure as his worries were expressed in a frown.

    • Word count: 502
  21. Challenging Limits. Dawn came, it was time. I braced myself for the challenge. Putting up a brave front, the sea expedition leaders split up into four groups and my pair was to be the sweeper; we held the back position and were in charge of encouraging t

    My adventure began when I was "abandoned" on Pulau Ubin for a few days to endure physical and mental hardship without our usual luxuries and modern technology. Sleeping in tents and losing the chance to use clean toilets did not bother me; it was the sea expedition that did. My horror started when I was elected as the sea expedition leader to lead the group to kayak around Pulau Ubin. Fear gripped me when I realized the other leaders and I were to be the pillar of support for the group and my heart shuddered at the thought of failure.

    • Word count: 624
  22. Creative writing. He turned and his eyes caught mine. My heart melted, when they sank into mine.

    His eyes scanned my body quickly before they landed back to their original place - my eyes. I felt my face go crimson from top to bottom; I looked away in embarrassment. His gaze averted from me, realising he was the reason for my embarrassment. As he turned away, his Nike shoulder bag swung around with him. My eyes continued to stare at him, refusing to listen to my brains desperate commands. He was a like a drug that I couldn't resist; my personal brand of drugs. As I got to a certain distance I thought I should cross over, however at the very same moment he crossed over as well.

    • Word count: 1062
  23. Recently, I was fascinated by classic story books written by eminent western writers. Having finished Heart by the Italian author Edmondo De Amicis, I am now reading The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe.

    In Heart, it reminds us of the most important things in our life --- the love between parents and children, the love between teachers and students, the love between friends etc. People trust fortune and power more than love, focus on desire and victory more than love.

    • Word count: 418
  24. My News Report on the Chilean Miners

    There is a zone of an estimated 1 km for the miners to move around in. They have divided themselves into three different groups, each named after the part of the underground tunnel they are staying in - the refuge group, the ramp group, and group 105. A sketch of this was sent up by one of the trapped miners, Jose Ojeda. The miners have also created separate places for resting, washing and toilet. Artificial lighting has been set up to help them maintain a day and night routine. Psychologists state that this is vital for living and sleeping patterns and to prevent mental damage.

    • Word count: 823

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