Writing to inform and explain


In order to fully and accurately prepare your work, you need to identify the context, audience and purpose (CAP) for whom you are writing.

Pick the correct word for each of these definitions:

News article on a skatepark. Different sections of the article are labelled 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D' and 'E'.


What is the ingredient at the top of the page that reads: “London Rom skatepark given listed status"?


What is the ingredient near the top of the page that reads: “A London skatepark is to become a listed building - the first of its kind in Europe to be given protection."


What is the technical name for label B?


What is the technical name for the writing that is marked with label C?


Label E is necessary to use in writing that informs and explains, but what is it called?

The following is an extract taken from a different article. Read the extract and then see if you can answer the questions in order to help you to “deconstruct” it.

Can any animals talk and use language like humans?

Animals as diverse as elephants and parrots can mimic the sounds of human speech. But can any of them understand what they are saying?

In April 2010, Adriano Lameira set up his video camera in front of an enclosure at Cologne Zoo in Germany. Inside was an orang-utan called Tilda.

There was a rumour that Tilda could whistle like a human, and Lameira, of Amsterdam University in the Netherlands, was keen to capture it on camera. But as the camera kept rolling, Tilda did much more than just whistle. She clapped her hands, smacked her lips, and let out a series of deep-throated human-like garbled sounds: almost like someone who had inhaled sulphur hexafluoride, a gas that makes your voice deeper.

Lameira was baffled. "These were not only very different from whatever we have heard from wild orangutans so far, but we could also see some similarities with human speech," he says.

Tilda wasn't the first animal that seemed to be able to mimic human speech. A handful of other species also make noises that sound like talking, including elephants and beluga whales – to say nothing of parrots.

These animals seem capable of bridging the language barrier that separates us. And their attempts at speaking like us make them quite irresistible. But can they really "talk" as we do? It's not just a matter of being able to make the sounds. To really count as talking, the animals would have to understand what they mean.

Tilda was born around 1965, captured from the island of Borneo and raised in captivity. She is among the first of our closest cousins known to have successfully imitated human-like sounds.


Is the writing formal or informal?


Does the writer address or talk to the reader directly, and, if so, is the writing style “chatty” or serious?


What is the vocabulary like?


What are the sentences like?


Why have rhetorical questions been used?