Key words definitions and examples - EAL Nexus

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EAL Nexus resource
Writing book reviews
Key words, definitions and examples
Subject:
English
Age groups:
8 – 11, 12 – 14, 15 – 16, 17 - 18
Topic:
Non-fiction writing
Licence information | This resource is free to use for educational purposes.
Source | This resource was originally developed by Charlotte Hurley and has been adapted by EAL Nexus.
©British Council 2014
Key term
Definition
Example
Paragraph
A part of a piece of writing that
usually deals with one subject,
that begins on a new line, and
that is made up of one or more
sentences
Key term
Opinion
Definition
A judgement or viewpoint on a
particular matter
Examples
 The main character is
interesting…
 The plot is weak…
 Many people believe that it is
cruel to…
Key term
Background
Definition
Information about the story or
book, such as when it was written
or details about the author.
Examples
Key term
Definition
Examples
Plot
The events that take the story
from start to finish
Key term
Conclude
Definition
To bring to an end
Examples
 In conclusion…
 To summarise…
Key term
Character
Definition
The people or creatures that
have roles within the story
Examples
 Goldilocks
 Baby Bear
 Katniss Everdeen
 Harry Potter
 Smaug
Key term
Setting
Definition
The time and place where the
story takes place
Examples
 Long ago on a planet far, far
away…
 In a small town beside the sea…
Key term
Conjunction
Definition
A word that is used to link other
words or parts of a sentence to
make compound or complex
sentences
Examples
and, but, or, because, when, if, so…
 The ending didn’t work because…
 The main character was unlikeable
when…
 If the author had written in the first
person …
Key term
Orientate
Definition
Direct the reader to a particular
place in the text
Examples
on the first page, after that, later
on, towards the end, when,
after, whenever…
 Later on, Katniss needs to
make an important decision.
Key term
Adjective
Definition
A word which modifies and
gives more information about a
noun
Examples
 The second part of the story
was boring…
 He was a believable
character…
Key term
Author
Definition
The person or people who have
written the book or story
Example




Phillip Pullman
J K Rowling
Charles Dickens
Roald Dahl
Key term
Genre
Definition
A particular type of story, book
or writing with similar themes,
characters, setting etc.
Example






Horror
Mystery
Crime
Ghost
Adventure
Sci-fi
Key term
Strengths
Definition
The good (positive) points
about the book or story
Example
 The detail of description is
amazing and the fast pace is
incredible
Key term
Weaknesses
Definition
The bad (negative) points
about the book or story
Example
 It has a weak plot and
unconvincing characters
Key term
Past tense
Definition
A verb tense used to show an
action that has already
happened
Example
 When I read the final page I
found that…
 It was surprising when she
made it out of there alive…
Key term
Present tense
Definition
A verb tense used to show an
action that is happening now
Example
 I think that when the two
characters finally become
friends…
 The author uses a variety of
techniques to keep the plot
moving…

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