READING Practice Activity


Identifying the Writer's View or Opinion


Task Description

For this kind of task, you will be given a number of statements. You must decide if these statements agree with the writer's views or not.


In this task you should be able to recognise the writer's views a) from what is said directly in the text and b) from what is implied or suggested indirectly. For example, a writer may not state directly that they disapprove of private cars on Hong Kong Island, but this is implied if they approve of improving public transport facilities, increasing road tax etc. Simply describing traffic congestion and pollution does not necessarily imply disapproval however.


Whilst it is important to be aware of implication and inference, you should not try to guess the writer's views.

Skills Tested

  1. Identifying opinion and attitude.
  2. Skimming for detailed information.
  3. Making inferences.

What you should do

  • Remember that you are asked to identify the writer's opinion, which may not be the same as the facts. Be aware of the difference between the three categories you have to use: "Yes" means the statement concurs (agrees) with the writer's opinion; "No" means the statement contradicts the writer; "Not Given" means the writer does not express an opinion on this point.
  • Skim through the list of statements given, so you know what kind of topics you will be looking for in the text.
  • Read the first statement again and make sure you understand the main point or opinion given in the statement.
  • Skim the text for the part which refers to that point or opinion. If you come across information relating to other statements, mark that section so you can find it easily later.
  • Read the appropriate section of the text more carefully. If you think the statement agrees with the view of the writer, choose "Yes". If you think it disagrees with the writer's view, choose "No". If you think the writer doesn't give an opinion then select "Not Given".

Practice Tasks

Identifying the writer's view task 1 (Gecko Tape)

Identifying the writer's view task 2 (Funicular)

Identifying the writer's view task 3 (Colossal Squid)