Gcse English Coursework Inform Explain Describe

This page applies to all ‘inform explain, describe’ writing activities.

They are usually written in a similar way: you are asked to ‘describe’ (or ‘inform’) and, either specifically or implicitly, to ‘explain’ why or how.  So, for example, you might be asked to describe your best holiday and explain why you liked it so much.  You are being asked to develop your ideas beyond simply saying something like: ‘We went on the beach everyday and had a great time.’ to describing the beach itself and talking about what you did.   These questions ask you to draw from your own personal experience.

Here is some guidance from ‘The English Teacher’ on how to write a GCSE A* letter (note, one of the examples is persuasive rather than inform/explain/describe):

Here are some past questions

January 2013

Write an entry for your blog describing your favourite time of year and explaining why you like it.

June 2012

Write an entry for your online blog which describes a time when you felt uncertain or unsure about a situation you were in and explain how you overcame it.

November 2012

The travel section of your local newspaper is inviting readers to write about their favourite place.  Write a letter to the editor describing a favourite place you know and explaining why others would like it.

January 2012

Write a letter which you hope will be published in your local newspaper. Inform readers what leisure facilities are available for young people and families in your area and explain how you think they could be improved.

June 2011

Sometimes difficult decisions have to be made. Describe a decision that you, or someone you know, had to make and explain the consequences.  Your piece will appear in the Real Lives section of your local newspaper

January 2011

Write a brief article for a website of your choice telling your readers about an interesting or unusual journey or travel experience you have had. Explain why it was memorable.

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