WebQuest- Activating Background Knowledge

Time 2 hours


Introduction Introduction

The Internet has given us the opportunity to communicate with each other all over the world.  Nowadays,  we can read news from online newspapers and other online media sites immediately after it happens. The language used by newspapers and other mass media has special features and in this activity you will read about those charactetistics of the language and learn specialized vocabulary used in the world of news.


- Get to know the press in Britain.
- Explore online newspapers in order to understand better how information is gathered and presented differently by them.
- Analyse the language and structure of news writing.

Don't forget to have a look at the resource pages on the menu about Reading and Vocabulary Strategies.

Tasks Click on the links selected in every section to find the answers and  complete the corresponding assignment 1 of module 4. All the questions in the columns below are to be answered in assignment 1.

To do this first part of the WebQuest you should scan the selected pages quickly trying to find the answers for the specific questions. Keep the question in mind when you read. Do not stop at every word you don't know, but be sure that at the end of the treasure hunt you have learnt the vocabulary and the concepts that you were working with.

The Press in Britain

Online News Sites

News Writing

Web Resources  Read these articles

Newspapers in Britain
Newspapers in the UK: An introduction
The British Papers

Reference Links

Web Resources Visit these newspapers sites


Web Resources Find the answers in these sites:

The Front Page of a Daily Newspaper
Basic Journalism

Inverted pyramid checklist
Language of news writing
Tips for reading news
Language of the article- Grid

Click here to see the chart that you will have to complete to understand the newspapers in Britain. Then you will be able to answer the questions easily:

1. Do you know any other names to refer to quality press and popular press in Britain?

2. Give two characteristics of "popular newspapers"

3. Which of the current newspapers is the oldest?

4. Which is the most conservative quality paper?

5. Which of all newspapers sells best?

6. Which is typical for the Sun newspaper?


7. Which newspaper supports the labour party?

8. Are there any daily newspapers similar to the Spanish "Marca" containing only sport news?

9. What is Fleet Street famous for?

10. Can you explain what the phenomenon in the second article "free morning papers" is?

Now that you know what kind of newspapers they are, visit the websites of these newspapers and answer the questions below briefly. Try to compare their layout and content.

1. Write down the headings of at least 4 important sections in "The Times"

2. Can you find any evidence of the political ideas in "The Daily Telegraph" or in any other newspapers?

3. What is the lead story in "The Daily Express"? What else can you say about the online edition of this newspaper?

4. How many eye-catching articles are there on the front page of "The Sun"?

5. Which news seems to stand out from the others in "News of the World"?

6. Which of all these newspapers has the simplest layout?

7. Select a piece of news that appears in more than two newspapers and copy the headlines down below.

8. Give one news story that surprised or attracted you in one of the newspapers that you visited. Where did you read it? Copy and paste the URL address here or the whole text.

1. What is the meaning of the following terms in the context of newspapers?

headline, crosshead, byline, caption, bias, lead paragraph, masthead

2. What does 5Ws and H stand for?

3. What is the inverted pyramid style? 

4.What is the aim of an introductory sentence?

5. What is the difference between a news story and a feature story?

6. What is the best way to appear objective?

7. Which writing strategies do you think popular press tends to use?


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Isabel Pérez Torres