So basically invest in a good thesaurus and one of those "tone sheets" every English teacher apparently gives out. And keeping an eye on word usage which continues to be a big problem for me.
How do you think I would best go around resolving my word usage problem? My problem is a lot of the words I do use wrong are words I thought I was using correctly but it turns out I wasn't. Short of starting a list of words to just not use in my essays, what else could I do to fix this problem?
Also: Could you please clarify what you meant by linking between paragraphs?
Yes indeed - the more vocabulary you have at your disposal, the more techniques and language features you're likely to find in the material. Online tonal worksheets should suffice, and I cannot for the life of me find the one I used in Year 12 but I might just type up a replacement if I get the chance.
Word-usage-wise, just keep making mistakes
You shouldn't view not
using these words as the easiest fix because chances are there's only a few minor shifts to your internal grammar that you need to make, and after that, you're totally fine to start using them in the proper context.
Out of curiousity, when these issues of word usage are pointed out to you, can you recognise how and why the word doesn't fit? Like, is it a case of 'oh, yeah, I can tell I'm using this wrong' or more like 'oh, k, my usage is just wrong but I don't know how to distinguish it from the right
usage?' Because the former is easier to deal with if you only need to be shown once why a word has certain restrictions placed upon it (eg. you can't use the verb portray followed by 'that' because a phrase like 'the author portrays that eating vegetables is important' is really clunky.) But the latter case would take quite a bit more work, especially if even after reading an explanation or a dictionary.com entry for something, your brain still can't quite grasp it. In that situation, it's work persisting when it comes to important or useful words like 'portray/ indictment/ reductive' that are useful from a VCE perspective, but if it's a relatively obscure word like 'denizen,' then you can afford to just ignore it
Regarding linking between paragraphs, aim to have some kind of connection that you establish within the first few words of the start of each B.P. from the 2nd para onwards.
Generic ones like: 'Furthermore, the author also seeks to elicit support for...' are okay, but it's best to find a more specific link if possible. eg. if you were going from one paragraph that looked at how the author depicted politicians as mercenary bastards to the next para that looked at the needs of the community, then you might say: 'This portrayal of the government's greed also aids the author in implying that the general public deserve a better class of state-level representation.'
Side note: Could those two paragraphs have been compressed into one?
Possibly, but I'm not being too stringent with comments about the length of analysis unless it's ridiculously excessive (~1000 words of analysis on 100 words of material) or really underdone (eg. only a couple of sentences and they're noticeably generic.) Idea-wise (/key player-wise) there's enough similarity between these two paragraphs that you could
combine them with a bit of work on the linking, but even from an exam standpoint, the assessors won't be too fussed provided each distinct paragraph has a relatively defined focus. It's natural for there to be a bit of overlap since it's all based on the same argument/material anyway
In response to the approval Donald Trump has gathered from many, Corrigan-Smith endeavours to dissuade the public from voting for him. In a forthright and scathing tone, Corrigan-Smith vilifies the presidential candidate by accentuating his disrespectful behaviour; no need for a semicolon here accusing him of having ‘degraded the campaign’ and ‘dragged [it] through a gutter.’ From this, it can be intimated that Trump has corrupted the significance of the debates as for the people - especially given his ignorance of ‘situations that impact our daily lives’ -
but and has instead run simply ‘to satisfy his narcissistic personality’, which holds nuances expression is a bit odd here of a selfish ulterior motive and portrays him as unsuitable to be a political leader. Hence, not only does this undermine the authenticity of Trump’s desire to ‘make America great again’ (is this allowed?) haha, as much as this is relevant and objectively valid given the context of the situation, you're not really meant to do anything with the context of the situation and just concentrate on the language that's provided. So no, it wouldn't be "allowed" in that you won't earn any marks for it but also brings into doubt his motivation for following up appropriately on the responsibilities the role carries, as it seems this is okay, but rather than overusing these kinds of sentence types, try to err on the side of using 'the author' as the focus of your sentences. The whole task has to revolve around how the author uses language to persuade, so if you can reflect that focus in your sentence structure by saying 'the author highlights XYZ' instead of 'the audience may infer XYZ' or 'it would appear that XYZ,' then you'll be in a much better position. Those other types are still totally fine as interchangeable options to vary things up if you're too dependent on 'the author does suchandsuch' but still favour those authorial-intent based ones wherever possible he aims for presidency for personal reasons instead. Subsequently, these points are only further exaggerated by Corrigan-Smith’s comparison of Trump to other presidential candidates. By describing them as ‘well educated’ and holding ‘an unspoken respect for each other’, she accentuates the perks of the other candidates and thus bolsters the image of these parties in the audience’s perspective, dislodging Trump’s standing as a result v.good! Readers are consequently made more reluctant to vote for him, given this disrespectful, selfish nature that seems uncaring of catering towards the country’s true needs, and are thus more likely to consider other candidates instead.
Excellent spelling out of the effect and intention. I think a few more mentions of the author's name (or just 'the author') would help make this conform with what the assessors consider to be a top-band response. It's not that your current analysis is flawed, really, it's just that typically, frequent use of the author's name to describe the process of persuasion is a characteristic of high range responses, whereas not mentioning the author is something that low/mid-range pieces do. Now that doesn't mean this would be a low/mid range piece since the quality of analysis is clearly above that, but the assessors are trained to look for characteristics, so knowing how to 'fake it' by moulding your work such that it showcases the analysis in the best possible way is an obvious recipe for success.
The content you've got here is pretty good, though closer discussion of some of the language might help (eg. "through a gutter" and "unspoken respect," both of which you kind of mention without fully unpacking.) It's not necessary to do for every single quote, but can be an excellent way to show off and do some really unique analysis. Other than that, your metalanguage and vocab is mostly fine give or take a couple of missteps, but on the whole, you're commenting on the material really effectively