Missing information: Romanticism
That’s an awful lot to make one word mean: applying literary theory in the secondary classroom
Sian Evans offers accessible definitions of theoretical perspectives and applies these to Katherine Mansfield’s short story ‘Brill’ as an example.
When we freeze we die
Rogan Jacobson provides a comparative reading centred on way the protagonists of Le Carre’s The Spy who came in from the Cold and Greene’s The Quiet American, negotiate their lives in a world after the bomb.
Karen Yager offers lesson plans and assessment ideas for a creative classroom
Literacy in English
Stewart McGowan shows how the right questions and guidance can lead to better HSC writing
Note Making, Note Taking
Christopher Lindsay devises interesting lessons to develop critical skills in students, using Nim’s Island
Romulus my Father
Pamela Cohen shares her lessons on Romulus my Father and belonging with exercises on context and chapters.
Opening your English Classroom to the World with the Postcard Project
Carla Saunders shows us one way of creating a global classroom through writing
Getting Real with PBL in English Extension
Bianca Hewes shows just how creative PBL classes can be especially at the level of Extension.
Gersha Shteyman gives tips for creating an active novel study classroom
Teaching Strategies from Ross Clark's Writing Poetry Masterclass
Kerri-Jane Burke shares some creative ways of writing poetry that she learnt from the poet Ross Clark in a conference masterclass.
HSC Standard Module A Elective 2: The distinctively visual world of Vertigo
Kerri-Jane Burke proves how interesting this novel is to teach, offering an overview balanced with close reading.
TS Eliot: Modernism and Religion in The Waste Land, Ash Wednesday and The Hollow Men
Rogan Jacobson analyses TS Eliot’s poems focusing on religion and modernism. The Hollow Men is a prescribed poem for Module B Advanced.
Discovery in Advertising
Mel Dixon offers a lesson to use for the Area of Study Discovery
Language devices in Hamlet
David Strange’s example of language devices in Hamlet are connected to meaning and effect, providing a model for students.
By the River: Innovative techniques and the verse novel form
Kate O’Connor’s reading of Herrick’s verse novel as experimental fiction offers an excellent example of locating complexity in a simple text.
Seeing Frankenstein and Blade Runner through different eyes
Mel Dixon traces the motif of eyes through both texts and shows how a close reading lends itself to a contextual comparison.
Prosody and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’
David Strange demonstrates how important meter is in supporting the themes of Sonnets of the Portuguese.
Great Expectations and the language of Belonging
Julie Wilson shows how close study of the language of Dickens enhances our understanding of Belonging in the text.
Challenging your students through film: a unit for stage 5
Dianne Bond uses TropFest, Hollywood and Bollywood films to teach Stage 5 students film appreciation.
Exploring Asia without stepping on historical and geographical toes
Laurinda Bailey reflects on writing and translation at the Asia Pacific Region AP writers conference 2014
The Great Gatsby and Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Where does the jazz age fit in?
David Strange looks at the language forms and features of these two texts The Great Gatsby and Songs of the Portuguese from different contexts to draw connections between them.
Jessica Knight creates an innovative lesson on Hamlet using social media.
‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘The Prince’: the effect of context, purpose and audience on the shaping of meaning
Derek Peat explores the contexts of these two significant renaissance texts Julius Caesar and The Prince to provide foundation for comparison
Reviews Issue 4 2015
Reviews of Prose Fiction: The Pause by John Larkin; Stay with Me by Maureen McCarthy; In the skin of a monster by Kathryn Barker; Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews; Out of place: Prose poems and microfiction by Kirsten Tranter and Linda Godfrey; The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan; Drama: Anansi by Alistair Campbell; Textbooks:Senior English Skills Builder Edited by Kate Tehan Amanda Ford and Elizabeth Haywood; Reference: Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary by David & Ben Crystal; Essays: Latest readings by Clive James.
New Advanced Module B speeches: A political and literary extravaganza
Amy Hughes uses enquiry based pedagogy to develop scaffolds for teaching speeches and in particular, Keating’s ‘Redfern speech’, Doris Lessing’s ‘On not winning the Nobel Prize’ and Geraldine Brooks ‘A home in fiction’.
Try This: a classroom activity for diverse voices
Cass Pride shares some lessons on Flywheel by Hardie Grant Egmont
Margaret Edson’s W;t reconsidered
Derek Peat argues a case for reading the play W;t by Margaret Edson against Donne’s poetry.
Wag the Dog and Module C
Collen Walles offers a close reading of Wag the Dog as a representation of media and politics.
Monique Frangi presents a view about the biography Romulus my father by Raimond Gaita.
In conversation with Kim Scott: 2011 Miles Franklin Award winner
Susan Green interviews Kim Scott after he receives the Miles Franklin Award for That Deadman Dance
After the Bomb and Waiting for Godot
Christine Geitz explores the complex context of the post war period and its impact in the play Waiting for Godot.
Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: Exploring conflicting perspectives
Christine Waters explores conflicting perspectives in Julius Caesar around youth and middle age, women and political life, fate and destiny.
Thinking about acts of representation and conflicting perspectives in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
Suzanne Rose defines representation and perspectives as a framework for reading Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and a Nicholson political cartoon.
Voices out of Africa: A preliminary (Advanced) English Unit
Vanessa Huangn offers a unit of study on African texts: My mother was a great man by Catherine Obianuju Acholonu and The rich heritage by Daisy Kabagamara
Valuing the Overlooked
Jane Sloan offers a way into comparing Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Weldon’s Letters to Alice.
Reviews Issue 3 2011
Reviews of Textbooks: English for the Australian Curriculum Book 1; Pearson English 7: Student book; Novels: 7 Souls by Barnabas Miller & Jordan Orlando; A Small Free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard; Across the Universe by Beth Revis; Troubadour: A Story of Love and War by Mary Hoffman; Matched by Ally Condie; Just a Girl by Jane Caro; Little Paradise by Gabrielle Wang; Academy 7 by Anne Osterland; Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James; Triple Ripple by Brigid Lowry; The Devil you Know by Leonie Norrington; The Cursed Ones (A Crusade Novel) by Nancy Holder and Debbie Vigue; Impossible by Nancy Werlin; Vampyre Labyrinth by GP Taylor; Gladiator by Simon Scarrow; Another me by Cathy MacPhail; Short Stories: The Boat by Nam Lee; Graphic Novel: The Twilight Zone by Mark Kneece.
Wide reading at HWMHS
Librarian Anne Longworth and English teacher Simon Warden (Hay War Memorial High School) show how to set up an effective reading program when the library becomes your English classroom.
Teaching is a team sport
Carl Heise from Wagga Wagga describes his experience of teaching young people to become English teachers at Charles Sturt University and offers some advice.
Yes I know he’s dead but I’m learning to live with him: On teaching Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra.
Stefanie Lia dispels myths that Shakespeare is unpopular and gives sound advice based on how to teach Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra based on her experiences in the classroom.
ICT and Essay writing
Kate O’Connor gives guidelines on structuring an essay and suggests practical ways to use ICT to support essay writing.
The Language of the Graphic Novel
Rogan Jacobsen offers a worksheet listing many useful terms for studying the graphic novel.
Cooperative Learning and Thinking Tools
Rita Van Haaren gives a brief overview of the rationale for using thinking tools to develop cooperative learning and then offers some practical examples of what to use and how to use it.
New Teachers Speak Out:
The heading New Teachers Speak out links a few articles sharing the personal views of new teachers on a variety of topics: On finding inspiration in English: ETA Beginning Teachers Scholarship Award; On the Practicum experience; Applying for jobs; Adapting to the Qld system from NSW; On going past surviving to thriving
The value of twitter
Danielle Vandenberg explains why twitter is so important
Why sentences matter
Jane Sloan pleads a case for clear sentences.
Environmental fears in Science fiction
Angela Rose looks at science fiction texts including games to show how they reveal attitudes to environment.
Time in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: Using temporal deictic to understand the play
Angela Rose applies an understanding of deixis to yield an interpretation of the play Romeo and Juliet.
Music Videos - multimodal texts to engage and inspire
Kerri-jane Burke shows how the music video lends itself to the literature classroom.
The literary voice
Heather Stafford defines the literary concept of Voice and offers a close reading of voice in The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender.
The Kibble and Dobbie Awards 2014
The shortlists and winners of the Kibble and Dobbie awards for 2014
Professional learning in the digital age
Viviana Mattiello starts #OzEngChat a weekly twitter conversation.
The Stream of communal ideas:
Reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Fay Weldon’s Letters to Alice in context
Associate Professor Rosalind Smith considers the connections between the two texts and their contexts.
The Justice Game as a related text for Module C: Representing People and politics
David Strange considers some chapters of Geoffrey Robertson’s The Justice Game through a series of teacher’s discussion points and a language study as a representation of people and politics.
Artistic Wrecking ball or loving translation? Turning Joyce’s classic story ‘The Dead’ into film
Rogan Jacobson considers the idea of fidelity in the adaptation of Joyce’s short story ‘The Dead’ into film by John Huston (1987).
Idealism in literature: A conceptual unit of work for year 11 students
Saurabh Bhattacharya designs a unit on idealism using the poetry of Kahlil Gibran, Rabindranath Tagore and Wordsworth, the writing of Thoreau and the short stories of Tolstoy.
Attacking Hamlet from left field: how to create an original personal response
David Strange offers a close reading of Hamlet looking at symbols, heliocentrism, astronomy and paradoxes.
Writing analytical sentences: the DIAS way
Mel Dixon models different sentences and categorizing them using DIAS (Describing / Interpreting / Analysing / Synthesizing).
Panic Stations: Post war experience and writing after the bomb
Dr Melissa Hardie looks at how Plath’s poetry and Le Carre’s book The spy who came in from the cold fit into their context.
The Adolescent Novel: Feed and Joel and Cat set the story straight
Kate O’Connor contrasts the dystopian adolescent novel Feed with the humorous story Joel and Cat set the story straight.
'High Noon' meets the high king.
The western as a genre study, with comparative references to Arthurian legend.
A Man with Five Children
In this unit, Stage 6 students explore a variety of texts that deal with the ways in which individuals and communities experience and live in a global context .
This article describes a creative writing experience where students explore their thoughts and feelings about art through guided workshops, then compose a short story.
Reviews Issue 4 2016
Poetry: Word Migrants by Hazel Smith; Novels:The Truth about Peacock Blue by Rosanne Hawke; The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd; Beck by Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff; Play: Harry Potter and the cursed Child by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and JK Rowling; Snow White: A Graphic novel by Matt Phelan
Year 11 Fundamentals of English
This unit, based on the concept of The City, is to assist struggling students to achieve the outcomes of the English (Standard) or the English (ESL) courses.
Ten Canoes: Representing People and landscape
Derek Peat explains how story and time operate in Ten Canoes to represent a special relationship between people and landscape.
Premier’s Teaching Award 2016
Narcisa Nozica wins the 2016 Premier’s Teaching Award (sponsored by the ETA) to study the impact of teaching Slam Poetry in the classroom.
1984 and Metropolis: a rubric based summary
Stewart McGowan offers two guided responses comparing the texts 1984 and Metropolis.
Unleashing creativity through art and poetry
Karen Yager shares creative writing assessment ideas for Stage 4: years 7-8.
To Bell or Not to Bell
Joan Fraser recipient of the inaugural Bell Shakespeare Regional Teacher mentorship program, writes about what she learnt.
Teaching oral communication skills
Adrian Pauley gives advice on oral presentations.
Holiday Reading suggestions
Cass Pride edits these recommendations for teacher reading.
Bruce Dawe reflects on his work and career.
2016 Beginning teachers’ scholarship
Sarah Toole, one of the recipients of the ETA beginning teachers’ scholarship 2016, explains what inspired her to become an English teacher.
Bruce Dawe: A study of a poet
A poetry unit on Bruce Dawe for Stage 6.
Best thing I’ve ever done as a teacher
Tegan Morgan shares her first year of teaching at Glen Innes High School.
The Element of Care in Bruce Dawe's poetry
An article outlining and documenting the caring attitude permeating Bruce Dawe's poetry.
This article looks at the theories around boys' literacy to examine the issues and offers a unit for Year 11 which puts these into practice.
Beowulf: The beginning of English literature
A unit designed for the Year 11 Extension course, Text, Culture and Value.
Interview with Melissa Harrison author of Clay
Tony Britten uses the Module C framework to interview Melissa Harrison author of the author of Clay a Module C text.
Constructions of Race in online games
Helen Young shows how online games perpetuate stereotypes of race.
Metacognition, self-regulation and the new NSW syllabus
Michelle Bannister-Tyrell and Deidre Clary give and overview of some metacognitive approaches and how to adapt these to the classroom.
Try this: Identity/Discovery
Mel Dixon shares a lesson that can work for an identity or Discovery unit.
Old texts, New tricks
Sharon Jones and Alex Wharton share some tried and true lesson ideas for the classroom.
Using poetry to explore the concept of discovery
Michael Murray applies the Discovery rubric to unpack Hopkins’ poetry.
Using Additional texts in the HSC: History and Memory and Discovery
Derek Peat introduces some interesting texts that can be used for History and Memory and Discovery.
Shakespeare shouldn’t be taught in schools
Phil Thomson in the UK delivers a provocative challenge to teachers of Shakespeare in this blog.
Writings from the East: A quest to locate quality Asian texts for the cross curriculum priority, ‘Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia’
Angelina Bea, Premier’s Teacher’s Scholarship Winner 2013, showcases a range of authentic Asian texts for the English classroom.
Discovering ‘The Dream of the Thylacine’
Lisa Edwards highlights how to use the richness of this picture book to teach a variety of ideas and concepts.
Accreditation at the Highly Accomplished Level
Danielle Vandenberg shares her experience of the accreditation process.
Writing for Publication
Kerri-Jane Burke provides practical advice to inspire English teachers to publish their work.
Related texts for area of study: Discovery
This regular column is focusing on related texts for the Area of Study: Discovery.
The Poetry of Wilfred Owen: A sentimental rebel
Heather Stafford provides pathways into exploring the rich poetry of Owen.
Welcome to Teaching the HSC!
Jane Sherlock and Deb McPherson provide advice for teachers when starting the journey of the HSC English course with their students.
All that (useless?) beauty.
Some thoughts on commentary about English, aesthetics and critical literacy.
Connecting with the world of texts
An argument for English teachers using both high and popular culture texts to develop students' capacity for understanding more deeply.
P.D. James' 'The Skull beneath the Skin'.
This article explores the idea of the novel being a melodrama without a character.
The Gothic Revolution
Suggestions for a unit of work for Year 11 Extension 1
Belonging and picture books
This article suggests six picture books as related texts to exploring the concept of belonging.
Hamlet and the discourse of reason
This article examines how the deconstruction of the discourse of reason is a key factor in Hamlet's 'madness'.
Worldspace in 'Frankenstein' and'Blade runner'.
This article compares these texts tracing the line from romanticism to artificiality.
Navigating the Global: Theories of global and local spaces and Alex Miller’s Journey to the Stone Country
Professor Robert Dixon explains some theories that can be used to support Extension 1: Navigating the Global; he offers a reading of Miller’s Journey to the Stone Country using these theories.
Genre: Life writing
An examination of some of the issues surrounding life writing as a genre.
Using Thick Analysis: Representations of Discovery in Tim Winton’s The Turning
Brigitte Rieger demonstrates with practical activities how thick analysis will lead to insights about Discovery in Tim Winton’s The Turning.
This regular feature has many related texts for Area of study, Discovery; Standard Module C; Advanced Module C; Standard Module A; Speeches, poems, non fiction
Exploring ‘conflict’ in Rolf de Heer’s The Tracker
Melinda Low offers lessons suitable for a Preliminary HSC course on Conflict, focusing on the film The Tracker.
Narrative techniques for students
David Leys takes teachers through four narrative techniques with student activities for creative writing: interior monologue, narrative voice, flashback, and anti-climax.
Swallow the Air: A conceptual approach to discovery
David Strange traces the development of some concepts through the HSC text Swallow the Air, focusing on how the text develops the idea of Discovery.
Run Lola Run: Celebrating Uncertainty
Lori Lebow offers a reading of Run Lola Run as a text for the HSC Module, Distinctively Visual.
A Short History of Nearly Everything: How to read the big fat book
Alison Cardinale gives an overview of this HSC text, discussing form, structure and language with close reading of some sections as well as activities that can be used in the classroom.
Lysistrata: not just a sex strike
Dr Frances Muecke offers a reading of this text on the Extension 1 Comedy course.
Metropolis and Nineteen Eighty Four: Writing a formal extended response
Stewart McGowan shows how to guide students to write effectively for Module A using Metropolis and 1984.
Rolf de Heer’s Ten Canoes: Real, remembered and imagined landscapes
David Strange gives a reading of the film Ten Canoes and its place in the HSC Representations of People and landscape.
The Tempest: A text from the Age of Discovery
Magar Etmekdjian offers a reading of The Tempest as part of the Age of Discovery.
Grammar in Wonderland: what might a reimagined grammar look like in contemporary school English?
Dr Mary Macken-Horarik shares some of the stimulating ideas that she presented for the Ken Watson address at the state conference 2015. She uses Alice in Wonderland and other visual and written texts (including the HSC 2015 image for discovery exam) to reveal the complexity of understanding that can be achieved though a grammatical approach.
Distinctive qualities of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Cherida Chapman shows how The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time responds directly to the syllabus statements for Standard Module B.
The Great Gatsby: A graphic adaptation
Using Nicki Greenberg's graphic adaptation to teach complex ideas in the text.
Discovery related texts and Linguistics: Including Frost’s ‘Home Burial’
Mel Dixon takes a linguistic approach to discovery related texts and shows how linguistics can yield insights into Frost’s poem ‘Home Burial’ as a text about discovery.
A Voice in the Wilderness: The people, politics and silences of Brave New World
Steve Henry demonstrates how Brave New World addresses the Module C Representations of People and Politics elective.
Teaching the AoS Integrated Response
Structuring a thesis and suggestions for related texts for Belonging.
Interview with Maxine Beneba Clarke
Interviewer Tony Britten explores the creativity of Sydney writer Maxine Beneba Clarke.
Julius Caesar and The Prince: Intertextual Perspectives
Derek Peat shares his insights into the intertextual connections of these two significant canonical texts.
SAMR as scaffold for classroom technology
Cass Pride shows how the SAMR scaffold gives guidance on how to analyse the effectiveness of a digital site for teaching.
Free-falling into fiction
Writing for Extension 2.
A process for transforming and examples of transformed texts.
Reflection Statements foer Extension 2
This article provides annotated reflection statements.
The Art of Travel: Representations of landscape
David Strange offers ways into Module C: Representation of People and Landscapes using the text The Art of Travel.
Travels in self-consciousness
An exploration of metafiction in Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveller.
Reviews Issue 2 2016
Prose Fiction: Crime Scenes Ed by Zane Lovitt; Freedom Ride by Sue Lawson; The Comet Box by Adrian Stirling; The Haters by Jesse Andrews; Endurance by Tim Griffiths; Picture book: MILO – a moving story; Non fiction: Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright; Wordburger by David Astle;
Teaching King Lear
Some approaches to teaching King Lear.
In the Zone: Working with Crime Fiction
A selection and summary of suitable texts.
The Imaginary Journeys of 'The Tempest'
This article examines the concept of ‘imaginary journeys’ in The Tempest.
Speculative Fiction: Journey to the centre of the genre
An overview of the genre and some possible texts for study.
Raising the bar in English Studies
Sarah Peachman explores the issues and possibilities of English Studies and shares lesson ideas on student portfolios and the unit Playing the game.
Will Kostakis in conversation
Tony Britten interviews Australian YA author Will Kostakis on Sidekicks.
Creative Writing: Mastering Structure in AoS
David Strange gives some practical strategies to help students write imaginatively on discovery.
Rosemary Dobson: Discovery through her poetry
Jane Sherlock and Margaret Burke offer this complete unit on Dobson for the Area of Study Discovery.
Reviews Issue 3 2016
These reviews include:
Teacher resources: The Two Romanticisms by William Christie; The Weekly Poems: 52 exercises in open and closed forms edited by Jodie Albiston; Speak Well by Ryan Pauley Projects;
Composing and Responding to Narratives about Journeys
A range of texts and approaches to reading and writing narratives in the senior years.
Analysing the Symbolism of Jindabyne
An analysis of how mise-en-scene and semiotics illuminate his central ideas and themes of Jindabyne.
The films they did not let you see
A discussion of significant films that did not make the big screen in Australia.
An Overview of Crime Fiction
A historical overview with many texts recommended within the genre.
A study of the concept of power using 'Big Brother' reality TV.
Aboriginal Poetry: from dramatic monologue to hip hop and rap.
A selection of contemporary Aboriginal poetry with commentary.
Reflective Writing: the 3D format
A framework for writing a reflection.
Text, Culture and value: The madwoman in the attic
A unit on the trope of the madwoman in the attic has been appropriated.
Speeches: A Framework for Response
A frame for considering set speeches for critical study and some introductory activities.
Self-Determination in the 19th Century
A study of the individual and society focussing on Ibsen's A Doll's House.
Various strategies for creative writing.
Films dealing with Belonging
An overview of films dealing with Belonging.
Avoiding the Trench Pits of 'Frontline'
This article by David Strange provides an analysis of two episodes of Frontline.
Developing the concept of narrative through film
The concept of narrative is introduced through the study of the codes and conventions of film.
Science Fiction and Pataphysics
Josh Mc Mahon offers some theoretical perspectives for science fiction.
Dave O’Donohue offers a formula for analyzing speeches.
Portrait of an Artist
The resource "Portrait of an Artist", commissioned by the Caledonia Foundation, was developed by ETA on the documentary Paul Kelly: Stories of Me.
It addresses content in the Australian Curriculum English and Literature and focuses on teaching the idea of representation. The resource has been designed as modules that may be combined into a single unit or incorporated into units on other texts or on particular aspects of the syllabus.
View a trailer of the resource
Register and download resource and the movie.
The Fate of Love from Wimpole Street to West Egg
A comparison of The Great Gatsby and "Sonnets from the Portuguese" by Dr David Kelly, Sydney University.
Exploring ‘conflict’ in Rolf de Heer’s The Tracker
Melinda Low offers lessons suitable for a Preliminary HSC course on Conflict, focusing on the film The Tracker
Years 11, 12: Studying the Australian Novel in Senior English Courses
This resource has been designed to assist teachers support their students in understanding the nature and elements of the realist novel. The resource focuses on elements of the novel form and illustrates these through the close study of an exemplar text, Andrew McGahan’s The White Earth, then reinforcing understanding of each element of the novel by comparing its role in another text. The focus is on Australian award winning texts, particularly those that have won or been listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award.
This resource has been developed in conjunction with The Trust Company as trustee for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and funded through the the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund.
Embedding Creative writing into unit design using Textual Concepts
Mel Dixon shows how using English Textual Concepts and processes to program from Year 7 can add rigour into creative writing establishing foundations for Year 12 study.
Everyone makes mistakes. So , what are the 8 common mistakes HSC English students make in exams that you don’t want to? Read on and find out!
1. Skimming over the question
You need to read every question carefully! Essay questions often contain a number of components that need to be addressed in your response.
“To what extent do the texts you have studied reveal both the emotional and intellectual responses provoked by the experience of discovering?
In your response, refer to your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing.”
This question requires the student to address a number of components in their response.
- ‘To what extent’ – Make a judgement on the influence of different textual forms on the way messages are conveyed.
- ‘reveal’ – This asking you to discuss how the texts demonstrate ideas.
- ‘emotional and intellectual responses’ – This instructs you to focus on particular parts of the syllabus outline. They are –
- “Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others. “
- “The impact of these discoveries can be far-reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.”
- ‘the experience of discovering’ – general themes and ideas of the module.”
If you are unsure of how to approach essay questions, you should read this part of the Beginner’s Guide To Acing HSC English.
2. Failing to write a rough essay plan
Jotting down a brief essay plan will give your essay focus and make it clear where each paragraph is going. This is key to achieving high marks and will prevent you from wasting time by writing paragraphs that don’t contribute to your argument.
During the reading time, figure out your essay plan in your mind and then at the start of the exam, quickly write a few notes on the question paper. It will help you to sketch out the rough structure of your argument, this way you have something to refer back to as you work.
3. Forgetting about the time limits
This is an important one. During the two exams you have 2 hours to answer three sections. this works out to 40 minutes per section with some extra reading time. Students should allow themselves 35 minutes per section. This will allow you 5 minutes up your sleeve per section.
You need to stick to this 35 minute time limit in order to sufficiently answer every question. Check the clock after you finish writing every paragraph if you have to. Remember, because you have 5 minutes spare for each section you can use this to go back to a question that you haven’t finished, or reread your responses and give them a final edit!
4. Rewriting an essay from memory
Students writing from memory usually fail to adequately address the question. This relates back to the first point. A pre-written essay will never directly address a question for an exam. You must Instead, focus on memorising quotations, techniques, and their effects to craft them into a sustained argument!
5. Providing more content than analysis
The marks are in the details! Don’t spend more than one sentence per paragraph providing an overview of your text and never use examples from the plot to support your argument unless they are connected to quotations or techniques. Remember, your focus should be on techniques and how these represent the ideas in your texts!
6. Being messy
Your markers need to read your essays to give you marks! Try to be as neat as possible under the pressure of the exam. Illegible paragraphs will not give you any marks. It is also better to start a new page rather than drawing confusing arrows all over your paper.
7. Don’t get a full night’s sleep
Don’t stay up all night cramming! You’ve made it this far. Have faith that all the knowledge you’ve absorbed over the past year will serve you well and allow yourself to rest up the night before the exam. This will help you think clearly and not crack under the pressure.
8. Forgetting to write their student number on the booklet
Markers must know who the marks belong to! It may sound obvious, but this is a common mistake. Make sure you write your student number on the front before you start writing inside each booklet.
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