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August 02, 2021, 12:13:40 pm

Author Topic: Things I've Learnt from Extension 2 English  (Read 2632 times)  Share 

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ninja15

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Things I've Learnt from Extension 2 English
« on: November 15, 2018, 03:25:29 pm »
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Hi there!

I recently completed my Major Work for EXT 2 English and the course has taught me a lot throughout the past year. Initially, I couldn’t believe that I was undertaking the fourth unit of english and let alone crafting a whole Major Work within the span of a year. My chosen form was a critical response in which I examined the elegiac form of poetry as a means to transcend throughout time and in turn creating a universal poetic conversation between poets such as W.H Auden, W.B Yeats, Seamus Heaney and Joseph Brodsky.  To sum up the course, I would say it’s like cruising through a sea, sometimes battling high tides whereas in other periods drifting amid a stream of calm waters. Except, for me it felt as if I was swept away into a stream of long nights, redrafting, self doubt and starting all over again. In the end I did finish the course, but here are 10 essential tips I would suggest for future keen EXT 2 students.

Plan. At the start of the course you probably have no clue where to start, what to write about or how you’re gonna embark on this Major Work. Essentially, planning becomes a crucial element in starting to build the mere skeleton to what will end up to be your masterpiece. Make sure you do a lot of reading whether that be through books, journal articles or via the State Library website which allows you to view a variety of interesting sources to build an initial  framework. Your aim is to find rich and insightful resources! You could also listen to podcasts, TED talks or other videos to assist you. My teacher made us create a “Inspiration Board”, where we stuck all our favourite books, movies, genres and aspects to english allowing us to collate our own interests and passions.

Originality is key. The basis of EXT 2 English is being original and creative in your own prospects. Revamping someone else’s idea or trying to mimic a similar story won’t maximise your marks. Look into your personal writing style and strengths and work from there. Experiment and go all out with your creative flow.  Formulating a clear conceptual framework may be one of the hardest part of the course, but once you get it the whole process becomes a lot easier.

Use your journal. Your EXT 2 Journal is like a bible. You will come back to it when you hit writers block or just generally confused about your progress. Whether you are in the stages of writing your piece or coming to an end, the journal acts as a manual source to refer to. Personally, I underestimated using my journal and how important it was throughout stages of the course such as the Viva Voce and crafting of my Reflection Statement which required various references to important sources that assisted me in the progress. It also plays a critical role in exploring complex ideas in your Major Work as you can clearly write and draw out different concepts more effectively.  Here are some useful elements to place in your journal:

Updates on your progress
An up to date annotated bibliography
Important and helpful sources
Planning i.e mind maps and notes
Pieces from your Major Work
Information and examples of your chosen form
Information about intended audience
Critical/ Literary Underpinning

Make use of your time. A whole year seems like plenty of time to write or craft a major work whether that be a five thousand word critical response or eight minute performance poetry. In reality, Year 12 is an extremely demanding year especially with all your subjects in conjunction with drafting a Major Work. It can be difficult at times to balance your commitment to EXT 2 and your other subjects, which is why it is highly vital that you make use and plan your time efficiently. The summer holidays and term 1 of year 12 are very important periods for EXT 2 students to have completed majority of research and planning and to have gained a solid framework for the Major Work. Whilst, the rest of the time involves writing and editing your piece well. In my case I was so focused on perfecting my concept and researching that I ran short of time in actually writing my piece to the best quality. This also meant I was limited to editing time and perfecting the critical response.

Be prepared for Writers Block. There will be periods where you will be writing perfectly and in in flow whilst at other times you won’t be able to put pen to paper. It happens and that’s what makes Ext 2 English so difficult. You need to remember it is a process and can’t be completed overnight. If you are struggling reach out to your mentor or a gain a second opinion from an English teacher or scholar who may assist you in regaining momentum.

Research is important but so is crafting. If you gave me the whole year to research for EXT 2, I would do it! I love researching whether it being a source of avoidance from writing or it just being so interesting, I get so engrossed into it. However as aforementioned I became too invested into researching and delaying the writing process that towards the end I was struggling to finish. Remember the course lies throughout other Yr 12 normalities i.e. half yearlies and trials. Due to my lack of time management and over reliance on researching my concept, I had to push to finish my entire Major Work which was a critical response of 4000-5000 words within the holidays before trials. This meant that not only did I have to study for my upcoming seven exams but also finish a Major Work and reflection statement. Let me tell you, this was extremely difficult to pull off and I highly recommend you finish in advance to save you time to edit and perfect. It’ll save the unnecessary pressure constraints and loss of sleep!!

Bounce off ideas. You may have a couple of other peers also completing EXT 2. In this case, make sure to use each other in terms of bouncing off your ideas and in gaining more insights into your work. Other people may be able to comment or have useful advice in moving your Major Work forward. Even if you don’t have anyone doing the course, make sure to read through past “Young Writer Showcases” for some ideas about how other students have crafted a well rounded piece. Another useful idea is to share your Major Work idea with others who don’t do the course. If they can understand it then it is going in the right track :)

Juggling the four balls. The crucial elements of EXT 2 English are purpose, form, intended audience and language. To do well in this course, you must be able to juggle all of these and provide justification for each one. For the entirety of your english courses, you analyse why authors do what they do and the different elements they use to seek an intended meaning. In EXT 2, you are the author and everything you craft has an underlying meaning, which you must be able to justify.

Keep an updated bibliography and be organised. The EXT 2 course is already difficult enough and by simplifying some parts to it will make your life a whole lot easier. Make sure to constantly update your bibliography as it will keep all your sources in one place. This will be useful when finalising your reference list or just going back to find an important resource. You also need to be super organised whether that be in keeping your drafts in one place or collating your resource articles. The last thing you want on top of the stressful drafting process is to lose that super important resource or lose your last draft in a pile of schoolwork. I highly recommend you to buy a USB solely for EXT 2 so you can you keep all your course related items in this. These little things will ease the process!

You will get there!! For the majority of the EXT 2 course, I believed that there was no way I would finish this Major Work and I would most likely drop the subject. I’m sure every single EXT 2 student goes through many periods of self doubt and the fear of not finishing, but in the end you will get there! This course is notably difficult and demanding, so it will get stressful and pear shaped at times. You must always trust your abilities as a creator and keep moving through each set back. There will be a few or many setbacks in your EXT 2 journey, but at the end of the day you wouldn’t be doing this course if you’re not equipped with the skills. As a writer and as a student, I have learnt to face challenges, to get back after a setback and to keep moving on. Regardless of my mark, I am happy that I was able to embark on what turned out to be an insightful EXT 2 course and I’m sure all you will too!

Hope this helped and I wish you all the best in your future study endeavours!
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 09:52:02 am by ninja15 »

jamonwindeyer

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Re: Things I've Learnt from Extension 2 English
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2018, 07:44:57 pm »
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Welcome to the forums ninja15!! What an amazing resource for Extension 2 students - Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! ;D

Would you be at all keen on us publishing this to our articles section as a proper guide? We can attribute it to you (real name or forum name) for the fame and glory ;) or even a cool addition to the CV! Let me know ;D

NowYouTseMe

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Re: Things I've Learnt from Extension 2 English
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2018, 08:33:31 pm »
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This is honestly such a good post - I would have loved to read something like this before starting Extension 2
HSC 2016
Information Processes and Technology: 90

HSC 2018
Advanced English: 95 | Extension 1 English: 47 | Extension 2 English: 42 | Legal Studies: 95 | Modern History: 94 | French Continuers: 84 | Mathematics Advanced: 89

LAT 2018: 88 (90th Percentile)

ATAR: 98.05