Learning Terms

Here are a few tricks for learning the key terms, what they mean, and how to find examples of them.


Make your own glossary.  Use an exercise book or folder, with a page per letter and enter the terms.  Make sure you write the definitions in your own words, and add an example for everything that you’ve found or come up with yourself.

Index Cards

Try writing the term on one side and the definition and example on the other.  You can use them to test yourself then, or shuffle them for a ‘can you find’ challenge in a magazine or book.


Decide what you most need to remember, and make up a mnemonic that will help you.  Either make an acronym like GASP for Genre Audience Subject Purpose or do a sentence like Green Asparagus Seldom Pleases.

Prioritising and Organising

Using a list or a collection of index cards, try sorting terms into categories.  This could be by framework, by the kind of question you need the terms for, or based on how well you know the term (e.g. “Confident” “OK” “Don’t Know”).  You could also organise them by the top 5 features for a range of different text types.

Treasure Hunts

Choose 5 or 10 features – either based on what you most need to learn, or (if you’re brave) randomly from your glossary/shuffled index cards – and see how quickly you can find examples in a magazine/book you have lying around.  This can also be done with speech features in a TV talk show or a radio programme.