English Language

A metaphor states that one thing is something else. This description, however, is too simple for the way metaphors often work in poetry, literature and speeches. You will often find something being described, or written about, as if it is something else, without the writer ever saying 'x is y'



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.

For example: 

  • Information leaflets
  • Newspaper or magazine articles
  • Travel writing
  • Biographies
  • Company websites
  • Advertisements and advertorials
  • Film and book reviews
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Breaking text into paragraphs (paragraphing) is an essential skill to learn. This holds equally true for creative writing, such as narrative or persuasive writing, as for practical forms of writing, such as the explanatory. Paragraphs link one idea to another, guiding your reader from the introduction to the conclusion. Good paragraphing shows that you are in control of your writing and know exactly what you want to say . 

For example: 

Ellen Forest was not ill. not really. At least she didn't feel it most of the time, just tired, and everyone got tired. Everyone woke in the night, hot and sweaty one minute and chilly the next. It was a common experience. It happened to everybody now and again. 

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Personification is when writers give human characteristics to objects, ideas or animals. It is used so frequently, especially in poetry, that it can be hard to spot at times. The wind, for example, is often described as having a human voice - it howls, or whispers, or even shouts. Personification is one of many methods writers have for writing vividly and for engaging their readers' senses. 

For example:

the camera loves me

the flowers begged for water

lightning danced across the sky

art is a jealous mistress

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In the simplest sense, plot means the events in a story as they happen in a particular order. Plot also refers to the way the events are organised, to cause and effect, and to the way events are set in motion. Plots are not merely lists of events. Instead, the events take the shape known as a 'narrative arc

For example:

he plot of the story begins when Harry learns that Professor Snape is after the Sorcerer’s Stone. The Professor lets loose a troll, who nearly kills Harry and his friends. In addition, Harry finds out that Hagrid let out the secret of the giant dog to a stranger in return for a dragon which means that Snape can now reach the Sorcerer’s Stone.

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