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Struktur, Analyse

Unter der Textstruktur versteht man die Anordnung der


Informationen, Meinungen, Kommentare, Zitate usw., sowie die
Entfaltung des Themas im Text.
Der strukturelle Aufbau wird vom Autor bewusst gestaltet. Er
lsst sich dabei sowohl von seiner Absicht als auch vom
aktuellen Textgegenstand (subject matter) leiten.
Hinzu kommt der individuelle, persnliche Stil des Autors.
Zudem gibt es fr bestimmte Textsorten (text forms) Regeln
fr den Aufbau, wie z. B. fr offizielle Briefe,
Bewerbungsschreiben oder Berichte.
Tipps zur Analyse der Textstruktur
1. Die uere Gliederung des Textes in berschrift und
Abstze betrachten. In lngeren Texten bilden oft mehrere
Abstze je einen Abschnitt, der durch eine
Zwischenberschrift oder eine Leerzeile vom
vorangegangenen Teil abgegrenzt wird.
2. Den Text in Einleitung - Hauptteil - Schlussteil
gliedern. Ein Teil kann aus mehreren Abschnitten bestehen.
3. Innerhalb eines Textteils erfllt jeder Abschnitt eine
bestimmte Aufgabe, dessen Kernaussage (key message)
man ermitteln muss. Dann sollte man berlegen, welche
Funktion diese beim Leser erfllen soll: informieren,
aufklren, berzeugen, werten usw.
Ntzliches Vokabular fr die Analyse
the text consists
of
a heading
parts/passages

der Text besteht aus


einer berschrift
Teilen/Abschnitten

divides/falls into besteht aus


paragraphs
Abschnitten
begins with/starts beginnt mit

off with
the
introduction/introd die Einleitung besteht
aus
uctory part
consists of
the paragraph(s) Abschnitten
the main part/the der Hauptteil des Textes
body of the text
enthlt
contains
the final
part/section is
made up by
(a) paragraph(s)

der Schlussteil besteht


aus
(einem) Abschnitt(en)

in the
in dem ersten/zweiten
first/second/parag Abschnitt lernt man
raph you learn
kennen
about
you are informed
about/are
shown/are
persuaded

wird man informiert


ber/wird einem
gezeigt/wird man
erzeugt

first of
all/then/moreover/
in addition/at
last/finally

vor
allem/dann/auerdem/
zustzlich/schlielich/zule
tzt

firstly,
als erstes
the subject matter wird der Sachverhalt dem
is introduced to
Leser vorgestellt
the reader
secondly,
is
described/reveale
d/explained
/commented
on/discussed in
detail

zweitens
wird
beschrieben/gezeigt/erkl
rt/ erlutert/detailliert
diskutiert

background
information is

Hintergrundinformatione
n werden in

presented/provide Zeile/Paragrafgegeben
d in
line/paragraph
examples are
used to illustrate
the topic/to back
the main idea/to
prove

Beispiele werden
verwendet, um den
Sachgegenstand zu
veranschaulichen

the quotations
from experts are
employed to
support the
author's line of
thought/line of
reasoning
the
choice/arrangeme
nt of facts

die Zitate von Experten


werden genutzt, um das
Vorgehen/den
Gedankengang des
Autors zu untersttzen

makes the
die Auswahl/Anordnung
reader rely on the der Fakten lsst den
author's
Leser in die
seriousness
Ernsthaftigkeit des
Autorsvertrauen
examples/proof
ofcan be found
in
section/through
out the text

Beispiele/Nachweise
vonknnen im
Abschnitt/im gesamten
Text gefunden werden

the
idea/argumentatio
n bases
on/refers
to/illustrates/out
lines/
convinces the
reader that/
gives a view of

die Idee/Argumentation
basiert auf/bezieht sich
auf/stellt
dar/beschreibt
grob/skizziert/berzeugt
den Leser, dass/gibt
einen Einblick in/ein Bild
von

the structure is
logical/confusing

der Aufbau ist


logisch/unlogisch

supports the

untersttzt das

understanding of
the topic
the structural
pattern allows the
reader to
understand the
author's line of
thought

Themenverstndnis

der strukturelle Aufbau


hilft dem Leser, den
Gedankengang des
Autors zu verstehen

How to approach an unknown non-fictional text


(=is based on facts, real events and / or people)
1.What is the text about?
2.Divide the text into sections / paragraphs / sense units.
3.Outline the theme of the text in key words.
4.What is the authors intention?
5.What is the authors attitude towards the subject matter?
6.Ana_yse language and style of the text.
7.What audience / readers was the text written for?
8.Write a summary of the text.
= short version of the text with only its most important information;
provides reader with a clear idea of what the original text is all about, e.g.
the development of the action in a fictional text or the main line of
argument in a non-fictional text
a.good understanding of original text in detail
b.underline main ideas (structure of text may help)
c.no statistics, dates, examples, quotations, stylistic means, details, your
own opinion or interpretation
d.authors point of view
e.follow the order of the original text

f.in your own words


g.in present tense
h.check a - h after writing the summary
9.What are your own reactions to the text and to the subject matter?
Do you agree with the author?
10.Is the text convincing? / Was it well written?

The non-fictional news story Face-Off on the Rio Grande, written by an


unknown author, is being argumentative-descriptive reflecting the problems of
immigration people have to face at the Mexican-American boarders.
Beginning with the headline Face-OFF on the Rio Grande, the text is
well structured. Here, the author does not only arouse the readers curiosity but
also demonstrates the tension that reigns the city of El Paso and its border. After
summarizing the main facts of his story in a subtitle, the author introduces the
article with a general statement, drawing the readers attention on the
dilemma of inequality, concerning the extreme economic wealth, that
differentiates the USA from Mexico. He also leads to the location of his report
the city of El Paso, New Mexico.
Starting off in line 6, he goes over to characterize the Mexicans, that try
to cross the boarder illegally and from line 13 on, the story-like element or rather
the descriptive writing dominates his argumentation. After demonstrating the
easiness of the immigrants to cross the boarder, an interview with a Border Patrol
agent leads to the hardships the aliens have to face and consequently especially in the closing statement - reflects the concerns of humanity that relate
to the chase of people in connection to their individual freedom and needs.
Taking a closer look at the kind of structure the author employs, it
becomes quiet visible, that the paragraphs are being connected through a linear
argumentation. Therefore, he uses empiric examples or personal experiences to
legitimate his, or others statements he cited. Through all this example-backup,
the story becomes interesting, lively and in effect is more convincing than stating
pure facts in disorder. Those references to authorities in form of quotations, the
empiric evidence, the examples, the factual background etc. are being employed
to illustrate the emotional aspect...

A Third of the Nation Cannot Read These Words


A Third of the Nation Cannot Read These Words was written by
Johnathon Kozol. The reader can analyze the text in three different ways:
analytically, interpretive, and normative. An analytical reading recognizes the
elements of the text, an interpretive reading places the text in a larger context

and a normative reading bring forth the moral and ethical concerns of the text.
The major argument presented in this text is that the world is oblivious to
illiteracy. In other words, you cant judge a book by its cover. Everyone usually
assumes that everyone else can read. However, there is no way of telling if
someone can read on the surface. The author uses a narrative to present this
claim. By using a narrative, the reader can visualize the claim, rather than just
reading it. He tells the story of the everyday life of a graphic designer. Everyday,
a professionally dressed man buys a copy of the New York Times before going to
work. He keeps the paper with him all day, but never reads it. While at work he
has to ask his boss to clarify memos and he avoids talking about the news with
co-workers. His supervisor and co-workers dismiss these things as reasonable.
Little do they know, he is illiterate. The fact that he carries around a newspaper
doesnt help. After work the man carries the newspaper back home and adds it to
the pile of newspapers from the previous days.
An actual date for when the text was written is not given. However,
based on the context of A Third of the Nation Cannot Read These Word, was
probably written within the last fifty years as the illiteracy rate increased. The
purpose of this text is to make the world more aware of illiteracy. Those who read
A Third of the Nation Cannot Read These Words when it was first published
probably stopped taking for granted that those around them can read.

The set text that will be analyzed comes from the book, "How Things Work: A
Book for Young People and Their Families". This text is an introduction to a larger
text of the entire book, the writer has used simplified language and has
supported his texts with images of mechanical experiments that you will discover
(a maze of components that gives you few clues to the way on which the
machine carries out a task.) The writer has used both of these components to not
only allow the reader to feel that they have built a relationship with the writer but
to continue to maintain the readers interest through the entire text of the book.
The reader is instantly told what the text is about when read the title
(How Things Work), as the reader continues to explore the text of the title (How
Things Work) they will begin to realize that the focus on (How Things Work) is
based around experimentation of making models and to build real machines.
The introduction of this book questions the reader in the first clause (rub a
balloon on a woolen glove, then make it stick to the wall. Did you know that you
are using the same scientific principle that makes a photocopier work?) The
writer in this book is using both present tense and past tense (In the 1930's, an
inventor realized that static electricity, which makes the balloon cling to the wall,
could also be used to make an instant copies of documents) to discuss the
aspects of (How Things Work).
The writer has formed a relationship with the reader from the beginning
of the texts when it is discovered that within the second clause the writer has
used the pronoun you, by doing this reader feels that the writer is talking
directly to them through the text. When continuing to read the text the word
you is continually used, This allows for a causal relationship to be formed
between the reader and the writer, it also makes the reader feel comfortable in
learning about the components of (How...

Download Free Revision Guide

If you are writing about a film or TV programme for coursework - click here
If you are writing about a magazine or newspaper ad for coursework - click here

Non-Fiction and Media Texts

Non-fiction texts are everywhere. Some, such as the advertising flyers that drop
through our letterboxes daily, often end up flying straight into the nearest
recycling bin unread; but others (like the magazine you might have just put down
to look at this website), provide you with fun, advice and entertainment; some like this website - should prove very helpful; and a very few are capable of
gaining such close attention that they change minds, even lives. Welcome to the
world of non-fiction!
Non-fiction texts form such an important part of our daily lives - some are of
little or no value but some can change your life.

Nonfiction texts include newspaper and magazine articles, text books,


religious writing, websites, biographies, travel writing, letters, signs,

menus, brochures, leaflets... even cereal packets and much, much more.
For school exams, you won't be studying cereal packets, however (but
make sure you have that extra Weetabix on the day of the exam!).

Unlike the imaginary worlds, situations and characters created for


fictional texts, non-fiction texts are based on reality: real people, real
things and real events. But... a key understanding is that being based on
reality doesn't make these texts necessarily factual or true. Slant and lack
of balance are central aspects of many nonfiction texts - they are not often
purely informative - they are usually disguised persuasion.

While nonfiction is based on the real world and fiction is based on an


imagined world, there are important overlaps, with each genre borrowing
elements and techniques from the other. It is this overlap that can make
fiction seem more like nonfiction and nonfiction more persuasive than it
really should be.

Fiction often borrows from nonfiction to help create a sense of realism


and believability, for example by using real place names in which to set
its stories; but non-fiction borrows from fiction in much more subtle and
important ways - ways that can add greatly to its appeal to an audience
and to its persuasiveness. This is done most especially by borrowing from
the main story-telling form and structure called narrative; it is through the
use of story-telling techniques that allow nonfiction writers to create
engaging, absorbing and interesting texts rather than dry informative
articles they would otherwise be. 'Narrativised' nonfiction and media texts
are everywhere - they work to involve and entertain as well as inform
and, most subtly often, persuade.

For example, a newspaper story often represents real people as 'fictional'type characters making them into 'heroes' and 'villains' and, using a
narrative structure, can create suspense and tension to make us want to
read on to find out just what does happen next!

Media Texts
Media texts are a sub-category of non-fiction. They include texts such as
newspaper and magazine articles and advertising. An important aspect of these
texts (and, in fact, many other non-media texts) concerns the audience for which
they are written which, because it is always a mass audience, is always composed
of individuals completely unknown to the writer. This can be important when you
analyse these texts because many address their reader as if he or she were a
personal friend - a highly persuasive technique that is, in the circumstances,
rather suspect and always worthy of comment.

TIP! Media texts often include images such as photographs and


illustrations. Remember that this exam is testing your abilities to analyse

and discuss the use and effects of language so it is best to avoid any
prolonged discussion of images.
In your exams you will be tested on your ability to analyse, discuss and compare
non-fiction or media texts. Usually you will also be asked to compare texts that
share a similar theme but which have either a different genre or form or which
approach the same theme from different angles.

WHAT ARE THE EXAMINERS LOOKING FOR?


While exam questions vary, the skills you need to write a good answer do not. As with all texts
you'll be studying, it comes down to your ability to detect what effects the text is creating on
its reader and to work out why these effects were created - that is, the writer's purpose.
Remember - with media and non-fiction texts, while your focus (because this is an English
exam...) must always be on language choices, you'll also be asked to consider visual aspects
too, such as design, layout and use of images).
In the exam, typically, you'll be asked to analyse a pair of texts that share a common theme.
This means you'll be "breaking the texts down" into the individual "parts" that you feel the
writer has chosen with extra care so as to achieve a particular purpose. Then you'll need to
think about the methods the writer has used and how these were intended to affect the text's
readers; finally you'll be asked to discuss the results of your analysis as well as compare some
aspect of both texts.
There are four useful 'levels' at which you can consider texts:
What the text is about
- its subject matter

You need to show you have understood the text's subject matter and content.

You will also need to be able to locate details and discuss aspects of these (this
requires an understanding of the text's big picture).

Who the text has been written for


- its audience

This is very important: you need to consider audience with care as it will help you
recognise features of style that you can discuss in your answers.

Writing about audience means recognising and showing how a text has been created to
suit a particular kind of reader.

o When a writer is asked to write a text, one of the key questions asked is who
the text is aimed at. With knowledge of the text's audience, only then will the
writer be able to consider the most suitable style of writing to choose - its
content, its vocabulary choices and its tone.

Why the text was written


- its writer's purpose

This means recognising the messages contained within the text, both on the surface
and - although this is not so important compared to literary texts - if there are different
layers of meaning.

How the text has been made to 'work' for its particular audience and purpose
- the writer's methods and their effects

You need to be able to identify the methods a writer has used to create the important
elements within the text. This includes considering aspects of the text's genre, style,
language and structure.

You will also need to be able to discuss the effects of these methods on the audience and, of course, the purpose behind these effects.

It most especially means looking closely at the language and layout used in the text.
o How is language being used - what effects are being created and for what
purpose?
o How is the layout helping the text achieve its purpose for its audience?

As well as this, a more subtle consideration that you could give is at the level of context. This
means thinking about how the reader or audience will use the text - in what situation and then
working out how the text's writer and designer have altered the text to suit this context. For
example, a magazine ad will try to prevent the reader quickly flicking through the magazine
by trying to arrest their attention. Thus, the ad's designer will try to create something in the ad
that will account for the likelihood of the ad being skipped easily in the rush of reading
through a magazine - and so on. You might want to think how the writer of a newspaper
article takes account of context, too - or the producer of a leaflet.

WHAT KINDS OF EXAM QUESTION


ARE THERE?

There are four typical types of exam question you could come across (note that the examples
below are not based on any particular nonfiction texts):
Questions that ask you to identify or locate details:
'What types of exercise are discussed in the newspaper article?'
'Identify five advantages and five disadvantages to exercising regularly mentioned in the
newspaper article.'
'List five facts and five opinions the writer includes in the newspaper article.'

In this type of question, you are being asked to locate specific named details directly
from the text and list them.

Normally one mark will be awarded for each correct point you make.

Unless made obvious within the question, the answer does not need extra explanation
or to be written in your own words - a numbered list would make a good answer.

Questions that ask you to explain and summarise:


'What impressions does the article create concerning the need for exercise?'
'How does the writer defend the need for exercise?'
'What are the writer's attitudes towards exercise?'

In this type of question, you need to write a considered personal response and use
evidence from the text to support what you say.

This type of question requires a mixture of your own words and quotations from the
text.

Marks are awarded more for depth of answers than breadth - you need to show an
understanding of how language choices work.

Questions that ask you to discuss the writer's techniques:


'How does the writer try to persuade the reader that exercise is a good thing?'
'What impression of fitness does the writer create?'
'How is the article made convincing?'

In this kind of question, you would need to discuss, for example, the persuasive
techniques used by the writer or the way something has been presented in the text.

This means considering aspects of language, style and structure to show how these
work for a specific audience and purpose.

This type of question tests your awareness of how language can be used for a specific
audience and purpose.

It requires a considered, reflective and insightful response using a mixture of your own
words and quotations from the text.

Questions that ask you to compare texts


'Which of the two articles do you consider the most persuasive? '
'Which of the two texts do you find the more interesting and why? '
This type of question needs a close discussion on the two articles.
You will need to comment on aspects of audience, purpose, language and style.
As before, you are being tested on your awareness of how language can be used effectively
for a specific audience and purpose.
Again, this type of question expects a considered, reflective and insightful response using
your own words with support provided by quotations from the text.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO GAIN A HIGH GRADE


As with all texts, non-fiction and media text need the skills of analysis and commentary. In
any text, its writer's aim is to create a style that will suit a particular kind of reader or audience
to achieve a certain purpose.
The style created will utilise the two aspects language has: its form and its content. These two
aspects will be working together to create certain effects on the reader, and, in turn (and
accumulating through the structure of the text), these effects, the writer hopes, will achieve
the text's purpose.
The purposes of non-fiction texts are various and most often a combination:

to entertain

to inform

to persuade

to explain

to advise

to instruct

HOW TO TACKLE NON-FICTION AND MEDIA TEXTS

It's important to gain an overview of the texts you are studying. This means working
out and mentally summarising the text's 'big picture'.

Ask yourself how the text's layout and presentation help it in various ways either
appeal to its audience or achieve its purpose.
o The layout and presentation of a text is a part of its form. Form refers to the
way a text looks (or sounds) and helps the content (i.e. meaning) of the text in
various ways, perhaps to make the text easier to navigate, or clearer for the
reader.
o In most non-fiction texts, layout and presentation are always carefully chosen
to aid the audience in following and understanding the text.

Work out how the text's structure allows its detail and information to unfold - and
often persuasive - in useful ways.

How are facts being used? Are they presented in a way that is balanced or carefully
selected so they are biased?

How are opinions presented? In persuasion, opinions are never balanced and are given
a sense of authority and influence. Work out how this is being done. People often say
non-fiction texts should be based on facts; but this can't be so simply because much in
life cannot be condensed to mere facts: most things are a matter of opinion. It's
important, therefore, to be able to sort out fact from opinion and to be able to judge
how balanced or otherwise the facts and opinions really are.

Look closely to see if the text sets out to create an emotional response, often though
the use of emotive language.

For the highest grades, see if you can work out if the text's genre conventions create
some kind of important response in the audience. Some genres can be quite powerful
in this way. They act to create a mind-set or guide a response from their audience. The
formal headlining and columns of influential newspapers such as The Guardian, The

Daily Telegraph and The Times, for example, are instantly recognisable and suggest
truthfulness and trust. Some formal business letters use layouts and letter headings that
instantly seem authoritative and important. Leaflet genres vary - an information leaflet
is easily recognised and instils trust whereas many sales or promotional leaflets
('flyers') have the opposite effect and end up quickly in the bin!

REVISING
Look out for and read a selection of non-fiction and media texts to practise your close-reading
skills by...
1. Thinking about how their genre conventions and form act to 'condition' the way you are
responding to them.
2. Summarising their subject matter, content, circumstance and their 'story' to gain a sense of
the 'big picture'.
3. Considering who the texts are intended for and all that this implies - their target audience.

Audience is a far more important consideration than most people appreciate.

Your aim should be to work out how a writer chooses effective language and 'nonlanguage devices' - often used subtly - to create a style that is suited to a certain type
of reader so that purpose of the the text is achieved.

For example, a broadsheet newspaper article might seem rather boring to a fifteen-year-old
student (especially if in the exam you comparing it with a leaflet aimed at a younger
audience), but it certainly will not have been 'boring' to its intended audience: they expect it to
be that way - it is a part of their genre expectations.
Imagine a jazzy-looking broadsheet article that broke all its existing genre conventions; would
its reader still trust its content and feel it to be authentic? Would they even bother to read it?
You can see how genre, form and audience are always important considerations for you to
consider and comment upon.

Try not to fall into the trap of judging an article aimed at a different kind of reader
from yourself through teenage eyes; instead, try to 'become the text's reader' when you
judge its style and appropriateness.

4. Finally, work out how the text has been styled to create certain effects on its reader and
especially how these individual effects accumulate and work as a structure.

Remember that effects have been created by the writer for a purpose - to
persuade the reader towards a certain way of thinking (i.e. the writer's way!).

Always try to identify and discuss a text's significant effects, comment on the
methods used to create these effects and then identify the purpose intended.

Job done - high grade achieved!

WHAT METHODS ARE USED...


Non-fiction writers can choose from a wide range of methods to create effects that will help
them achieve their purpose.
Non-fiction writers use language effectively

They use language that sounds convincing - this is called rhetorical language.

They use language that affects your emotions - this is called emotive language.

The use of the personal pronoun 'you' is called the direct address pronoun: it can be
used to add a personal touch and engages the reader; it sounds friendly, inviting and
even confiding (e.g. 'Have faith in us; you just know it makes sense').

When used as an inclusive pronoun, 'we' can make the reader seem to be a part of a
special group of people (e.g. 'We're all in this together, aren't we?') ; as an exclusive
pronoun it can separate groups of people (e.g. 'We're working for a better world. Will
you help?').

The use of interesting, short anecdotes adds interest and engages the reader's attention
(e.g. 'Let me tell you about John, a poor beggar in Ethiopia...')..

The use of hyperbole can create a persuasive impact (e.g. 'This earth-shattering event
will blow your mind away!').

Description creates imagery that can be very engaging and involving, even persuasive.
It can be made very vivid and used to create mood and emotion (e.g. 'Like a sliver of
shiny steel, the white crescent moon cut a gash in the heavens'). Look for the use of
effective metaphors, similes and emotive language.

Facts and opinions are used to support a writer's point of view or argument but you
must be able to separate worthwhile from biased facts and facts from factually stated
opinions, always recognising how reasonable and effective the evidence really is.

Rhetorical questions imply their own answer engage and help to persuade the reader.
They help make a point in a more powerful and emotional way.

Repetition and lists of three can be effective persuasive devices.

Personal viewpoint or 'direct address' (when I... / We... speaks to you... ) can create a
friendly tone and involve the reader.

Structure allows an effective build up of a persuasive series of points.

Tone - a formal tone can add authority and sound authentic or sincere; an informal, or
even conversational tone can add warmth and fun - it can be very persuasive, too.

Quotations and evidence from expert sources are used to provide support and create
added authority.

Sentence style can be varied to add interest - and a very short sentence can add real
impact. Can't it?

Captions add meaning and guide the reader to respond in a certain way to an
illustration or a photograph.

Non-fiction writers use effective


'presentational devices'

Catchy titles capture the reader's attention.

Short paragraphs and sentences are easier to follow and grasp.

Headlines, captions and subheadings add impact and clarity.

White space creates clarity and attractiveness.

Bulleted or numbered lists aid clarity.

Layout can be used to aid understanding and to make the piece more eye-catching.

Formatting: bold, italic and underline can create impact and emphasis.

Type faces - including handwriting style - add impact, trust and interest.

Colour adds eye-appeal, impact and emphasis.

Spot colour catches the eye.

Non-fiction writers use effective


'non-language devices'

A logo can create a high level of trust in a product or service, e.g. McDonald's
or 'Coke'.

Illustrations and photographs add interest, clarity and emotional impact.

Graphs and charts ease understanding (but can be very selective in what they show).

Maps may be helpful.

Cartoons add humour and attract attention.