Whatever level you are at, reading non-fiction texts is likely to be an important part of your course. At Key Stage Three, you will be assessed on different types of it for your assignments, and at Key Stage Four, non-fiction texts are at the core of your Paper 1 examination. One of the skills that you can practice is reading short pieces of non-fiction – and doing so little and often is a great way of giving yourself opportunities to become familiar with a range of different texts. Here are three key ways that you can help yourself:
Read newspapers: Newspapers, either in print or online, are great for keeping you up to date with current affairs. Often, small articles will provide you with insight into a particular event, or an incident. Magazines are good, too. Newspaper apps, such as that of The Guardian, are brilliant for reading on the move, and a lot of them are free!
Read blogs: You’re reading a blog right now – well done! The Oxford Open Learning blog has many fantastic entries about education and distance learning. There are lots more out there – and they are great for helping you learn more about a topic you are interested in or providing you with different people’s insights into so many areas – pop music, the weather, climate change… the list really does go on and on.
Newsround website features: If you access the BBC Newsround site, you are sure to come across all number of articles. These not only help you learn about the world, they give you different perspectives on several topics, often very relevant to the time of year or a prominent issue in the news. You can learn about opposing arguments, too, and this is a great skill for discursive writing – something you are likely going to need to do at some stage.
Of course, there are many other things you can do, and reading you can access – the list above is to get your started. If you can, it is good to have a highlighter to hand, a pen to make notes, or if you are working electronically, perhaps saving the article and personalising it to suit your needs. Hopefully, reading non-fiction texts will not be too arduous. Remember: it’s all about little and often.