FREE lectures this July. Places booking out fast. HSC: book here. VCE: book here.

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

June 21, 2019, 08:02:58 am

Author Topic: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]  (Read 18939 times)  Share 

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

clarke54321

  • MOTM: OCT 17
  • Moderator
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Respect: +343
Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« on: November 24, 2017, 03:47:45 pm »
+53
Preface:

Hello VCE English students. As a fervent (post)English student, I’d love to share my passion for the subject with you through some tips and tricks. There are many, many wonderful guides already existing on AN, so you may only take one or two small things from this page. But any advice is better than no advice, right?

I’m firmly convinced that any student can succeed in VCE English. From the overtly meticulous Mathematics student, to the wonderfully crafty Art student, anyone can write a smashing essay. All it takes is consistent effort and a willingness to explore ideas.

Although I have structured this guide according to English units 3 and 4, it will absolutely hold true for all of those studying units 1 and 2.


Unit 3:

AOS 1: Reading Texts

Everyone’s favourite- the dreaded text response. There is no quick way around producing a beautiful text response essay. This part of AOS 1 will take some TLC. However, come exam time, when everyone is frantically racing through the study guides, you will thank yourself for having carefully built up an awe-inspiring interpretation.

Here are some tips for planning the text response

•   Read some critical essays on your text (if there are any available). Often these are hard to access on the internet alone. Google Scholar may be handy. But your best bet would be university databases, which teachers are likely to have access to. Not only will these dissertations open you up to new ideas and fancy, text-specific vocabulary, but they will also act as a start point for your own interpretation. When I started reading scholarly essays, I felt very intimidated and worried when I didn’t agree with certain arguments. But I would encourage you to challenge proposed views. By questioning the assertions of others, you will be able to clarify your own beliefs of a text (something that can be quite difficult to do!). Like everything, however, only delight in these with moderation. Don’t lose the essence of your own ideas in those of others.


•   Be prepared to plan, and plan and plan. The best, most refined essays that I wrote took around 2 weeks (or even one month) to plan. Of course time is a personal preference, and subject to the individual! However, planning was just as important as writing for me. It ensured that everything made sense, was relevant to the prompt and was zingy. More than that, it forced me to be intimate with the text, and acknowledge the significance of single words, subtle shifts in character or contradictions. If you take the time to effectively plan, you’ll find that each essay thereafter will be easier and easier to write to.


•   Think broad and get narrow. I never used to warm to character-based prompts. I would always opt for the thematic ones. Somehow I always felt boxed in with a character focused essay, and worried that my essay would become too “character-y.”  But I came to learn that behind every character prompt is a wonderful, thematic idea. This made it easy for me to maintain idea-orientated arguments, as opposed to clunky, jolting character ones. Characters will indeed be included in these idea-based arguments, but they will not be alone. Here is an example for Medea:

(1)- Jason inflicts gross bodily trauma on Medea.

(2)- By elucidating the visceral nature of Medea’s anguish, Euripides is able to underscore the consequences of patriarchal hypocrisies. 

The second topic sentence would be much better. It still takes the main concept of the first, but presents it in a way where overarching views and values are addressed.


•   Find quotes that have depth and breadth. That is, don’t flood your whole essay with quotes from the one character (even if the prompt solely concerns them). This will strengthen the originality of your essay, and thus make it interesting for readers. Examiners reward fresh ideas. Also, if you are studying a play, or a film, appreciate this construction! Analyse stage directions, film shot, or lighting. They are equally as important as dialogue/textural evidence.



Here are some tips for writing the text response

•   Use analytical verbs/author or director name to avoid retelling. It is easy to fall into the trap of retelling. Especially when an annotated-type summary looks like an analysis. So here are some lovely sentence structures that will help you avoid this trap:

(1)   By characterising Medea as a woman “scorned and shamed,” Euripides endeavours/aims/seeks to……

(2)   The implicitly despairing undertones of Medea’s cry, “women are the most wretched,” enables Euripides to illustrate/convey/stress……

(3)   Medea’s propensity for self-annihilation is further expounded by the Nurse, who compares the protagonist’s state of being to “a rock or wave of the sea.”

               
These are only some examples. There are countless ways of constructing sentences. And I encourage you to incorporate variation into your essay! After all, examiners don’t want to see the name of the author/director in every second line.


•   Ensure that your points spring from one another. Some handy phrases, which will assist with coherency are:

(1)   Indeed/Certainly
(2)   This notion/idea is further affirmed/bolstered/fortified by,
(3)   Through this elucidation/repetition/contradiction
(4)   To heighten the intensity/severity/hilarity of


Like always, choose what suits your own writing. You may have developed your own style and method of connecting points, and this is absolutely fine.

•   Keep making references back to the prompt. This does not need to be done in an awkwardly explicit sense, where you recall the exact words of the prompt 5-6 times in your essay. Just look for synonyms or ways of rephrasing the prompt (in a way that suits your own contention). A good way of rephrasing the prompt is writing down 3-5 other ways in which the prompt can be expressed. Here is an example:

Original prompt: “To what extent does Medea show that love brings pain.”

(1)   Medea examines the peril associated with uncontrolled, passionate feeling.
(2)   Euripides warns that acute mental and physical torment can stem from a lack of moderation.
(3)   Medea unveils the deceptive pain that is often masked by the emotion of love.

By doing this activity, you are essentially generating new phrases/words that you can weave throughout your essay. This assures examiners/teachers that you are staying on task!



AOS 1: Creating Texts

Given the recent changes to the English study design, this AOS is highly refreshing. By adapting or transforming elements of a text, you are, in effect, moving into the position of an author. This may be a terrifying prospect for some, but it grants you with a whole lot of playful experimentation and an opportunity to express your own original voice.   

Here are some tips for planning the creative piece

•   Annotate the text as you are reading it. That is, write down any questions, revelations, interesting character tendencies, or ambiguous grey areas next to certain phrases or words. This will help you extend ideas and envisage possible scenarios for your characters (which are not explicitly laid out by the author/director). Before you know it, you’ll have a loose idea of your creative text.

•   If annotation alone doesn’t ignite the creative juices, then I’d suggest you pick a favourite scene or chapter of your text. Zoom in closely to this particular snippet and ask yourself, what draws me to this? It could be a sentimental reflection, a menacing threat, or even just an interesting conversation. Then consider the following questions: What circumstances led to this moment? What are the repercussions of this? What moral lesson lies within? Who will this affect? Is the character conscious of their actions? Obviously there are many more thinking questions that you could ask, but take the ones that are never (outwardly) addressed by the author/director. These questions are what you can use as a foundation for your own piece.

•   If you’ve established your focal point (a particular character/conversation/etc.) and need to fill in some empty holes, collect 5-10 noteworthy quotes that will complement your creative vision. Then carry out isolated analyses for each. You’d be amazed by how much depth/intensity a single quote can carry. 



Here are some tips for writing the creative piece

•   Try not to become frustrated. With creative writing, impatience is inevitable. You may be a perfectionist (*coughs and looks at self*) and sit there for 2 solid hours going backwards and forwards- making absolutely no progress. Or you may keep typing/writing for the sake of it until you tip that word count. After enough experience, I’ve worked out that short, sharp writing periods of 10 minutes are great. These help you maintain focus, a creative flair and perhaps most importantly, productivity. 

•   Weave the writing techniques of the author or director through your piece. If you can do this with subtle skill, you will be rewarded for your close engagement with the original text. Finding the right balance is key. If you are unsure of the techniques used by your author/director, go to the start/end of each chapter or scene and look for common occurrences. For example, when I studied The Golden Age, I noticed that London proceeded nearly all paragraphs with a preposition of sorts. 

•   This is old, but always forgotten: Show don’t tell. One of the best ways to do this is through a description of the senses. I’d also recommend internal reflections.

•    After every paragraph, get at least one other person to look over it. There is no worse feeling than having finished an entire story, only to later realise that there are a myriad of inconsistencies and holes. I can assure you also, that this process will come in handy with the final written statement. It is likely that you’ll have to answer questions of the reader, explain certain things, and justify your choices- the whole purpose of the intention statement.


Here are some tips for writing the statement of intention

•   Quote snippets of your own piece to justify choices. This may seem quite an obvious thing, but many students don’t take advantage of this tool. Oftentimes, students will vaguely ramble on about a whole heap of techniques, which overrides any nuanced, thoughtful approach to the task. Here is an example of quote integration:

To build on Addie’s initial characterisation, I make use of London’s technique of the tricolon to remark that Addie’s ‘nod […] spoke of compassion, empathy and sensitivity.’ The repetition of these adjectives strive to emphasise the idea that Addie has a deep, underlying awareness of ‘the obligation’ that Sullivan owes to his father.

•   Ensure that the statement makes links back to the initial context of the text (time period, permeating concern, etc.). This tells teachers that you haven’t just reeled off a random, unrelated piece.



AOS 2: Analysing Argument

Once you find your rhythm for this essay, you’ll be set. For some it will be highly methodical, and for others it may be a bit overwhelming. Moderation (once again) is key. A really weird analogy that I developed for this task is to think of the article as a food buffet. If you spend too long at the entrée (the early part of the article), you will miss the goodness of the dessert (the end of the piece), and vice-versa. You want an even spread of all meals.

Here are some broader tips for Argument Analysis


•   Write a snappy introduction. I would always follow this kind of structure: Context--- Tone (and tonal shift if necessary)-- Contention-- Comparison (if applicable). Here is an example:

In response to the proposed implementation of a compulsory Medical Information Card, Robert Brown submitted an email. By employing a predominantly earnest tone, Brown contends that the M-I card will cater for easy access to medical records and fundamentally, increased safety and wellbeing for civilians. Conversely, Christina Singh disparages the prospect of the M-I card; dismissing it as a proposal that will encroach on the basic privacy rights of Australians.


•   Try and combine argument and technique in the one topic sentence. This facilitates a smooth transition into the paragraph of analysis. Here is an example from a past SAC:

With the intent of casting Melbourne’s current homeless crisis as a national embarrassment, Panahi opens her piece with an appeal to city pride.

Argument: homelessness is a national embarrassment
Technique: appeal city pride
Here’s what the rest of the paragraph may look like:

Through the laconic sentence, ‘welcome to Melbourne,’ which is tinged with undertones of sarcasm, Panahi engages attention of readers and alerts them of her upcoming agenda of naming all that the city is renowned for. In doing so, Panahi floods her description of the city with adjectives such as ‘aggressive,’ ‘rough’ and ‘illicit,’ which all carry connotations of unorderly and even unlawful behaviour. In turn, readers are positioned to respond to the current state of their city with detestation and disgust. These feelings are fortified by Panahi, who reminds readers that Melbourne is acclaimed as the ‘world’s most liveable city.’ Given that not only ‘international and interstate visitors’ are appalled by the makeshift camps, but also ‘local traders, workers and residents,’ Panahi implicitly urges readers to acknowledge that the city no longer lives up to its ‘most liveable’ title. Rather, entire communities are ‘aghast’ by a problem that palpably subverts any degree of liveability. To this end, Panahi strives to awaken the acknowledgement in readers that ‘a national embarrassment’ has imposed itself upon the city. Given that this ‘embarrassment’ has been contrasted to a notable title of ‘world’s most liveable city,’ Panahi seeks to kindle a sense of yearning and desire in readers to rid the city of the makeshift camps and reclaim a pride-fuelled position.



•   Integrate image analysis into paragraphs (ie. Link with a corresponding argument). This can be especially beneficial if you don’t have a substantial amount to write for one paragraph. That is, an image is up to your interpretation. So long as you can plausibly justify this, you can link an image to almost any argument for an extra boost (if you can’t achieve this with textural evidence alone). After all, argument analysis encompassed both written and visual language.



•   If you are stressed about the comparative component, don’t be! Comparative ability is not explicitly stated on the criteria rubric. You do not need to weave in and out of pieces every second line. This would give your readers whiplash. Rather, construct some nice transitional phrases like this:

Singh, however, scornfully undermines Brown’s idealistic future with the M-I, by casting the card as a deceptive invention.

The way you incorporate the second (or how ever many accompanying articles there are) is completely up to you! Do whatever you feel comfortable with.

•   Take advantage of tone! Often, students will include the predominant tone/tonal shift in their introduction, and maybe preface a paragraph with reference to tone, and then completely forget about it.  Try and incorporate tone with textural evidence. Here is an example:

The undertones of weariness in the phrase, “day after day,” enables Smith to highlight the inexorable hassle that is associated with the M-I Card. This in turn encourages readers to……..

•   Don’t be forceful. Try to avoid phrases such as:

(1)   This makes/urges/compels the reader to feel
(2)   Readers react with disgust

You are looking for intended effects. So try:

(1)   Author encourages/attempts/seeks/aims for readers to feel
(2)   Readers are implicitly encouraged to react with…...



Unit 4:

AOS 1: Reading and comparing texts

The delightful new essay. In many ways, the comparative piece is much easier and straightforward than the regular text response. Your texts have been paired together for a reason. So when you find a significant point in one, be assured that there will be a noteworthy parallel in the other. Also, given the broad nature of the comparative task, you’ll find that after several essays (spanning different themes) there won’t be much that you can’t answer. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

Here are some tips for planning the comparative piece

•   Take down quotes and analyse in isolation. That is, as you are reading a novel/play or watching a film, be sure to compile a list of significant quotes. After you have taken down all these quotes, write any thoughts/feelings beneath them. I’m not going to lie, this is a cumbersome task. But it made the comparative unit 100 times easier. Why? Because once I found my significant point of comparison, I could flick through each respective quote booklet and find my evidence within no time. Even better, my already existing annotations meant that I didn’t need to spend hours coming up with insightful analysis.

•   Mind-maps are great for establishing interpretations. Given that you are studying two texts, it can be tricky to reconcile the overarching issues between them, and establish one coherent line of argument (especially if there are considerable differences). Moving this confusion from your head onto paper helps immensely. You can create visual paths, linking lines, or basically any form of graphic to clarify points of confusion.


•   For more tips, look to the planning section of the aforementioned text response task.


Here are some tips for writing the comparative piece


•   Introductions and conclusions should not be lengthy. With the comparative, you have two texts to cover, meaning that you will generally have more to write than a text response. Thus, save your words for the bulk of the essay. After a while you will develop your own short and sharp style for both the introduction and conclusion. Here are relevant samples for Tracks and Into the Wild:

Introduction-

Despite the contrasting mediums of memoir and biographical film, both Tracks and Into the Wild respectively depict protagonists, who seek to emancipate themselves from the pervasive encumbrances of society and unearth a newfound clarity through a journey into nature. This notion of emancipation is, however, unveiled as an illusion by Davidson and Penn, who maintain that an utter disconnection from civilisation is impossible. And although Robyn recognises this truth, she remains hostile towards its presence; unlike Chris who ultimately cherishes the idea of existing in the company of others.

Conclusion-

Hence, both Tracks and Into the Wild endeavour to examine the cultural allure associated with emancipating the self from permeating, societal requirements. While both texts concede that an utter obliteration of these requirements is an unrealistic ideal, it is only Davidson’s Robyn, who continually refutes this knowledge; for Penn’s protagonist Chris, fundamentally identifies happiness with being able to provide a purpose to the lives of others

•   Don’t obsess over how many similarities or differences you have. To a large extent, this depends on your texts. In Tracks and Into the Wild, I personally found that there were many similarities and few differences. As a result, my essays were primarily built around similarities. But this does not matter if you take a look at the criteria:

Comprehensive comparison that presents an enriched understanding of the ideas, issues and themes in both texts through complex analysis of the similarities and/or differences.

The and/or implies that you do not necessarily need an equal balance of both.


•   A point of comparison that students often overlook is medium presentation. For example, if you are studying a novel and a film, it is likely that the author and director will express similar ideas through different methods. One might articulate character experience through metaphorical imagery where the other may do so through the film’s score/shot type/lighting.

•   Structure is personal preference. Some like the block approach, the integrated approach or a mixture of the two. For clarity purposes, I’ve always been inclined to use the “mixture.” This ensures that I maintain a depth of analysis (for each text), uphold the comparative element and remain clear at all times. Here is an example of the “mixed” structure.


Topic sentence: both texts- comparative statement
Text 1 (analysis)
Linking sentence: both texts- comparative statement
Text 2 (analysis)
Closing sentence: both texts- comparative statement



AOS 2: Presenting argument

Finally, we have the oral presentation. For some, this will bring about tears of anguish, and for others, beaming smiles of excitement. Regardless of whether you are the latter or former, you can still present a “wow factor” level speech. All it takes is some belief. If you believe everything that you are saying, and are genuinely passionate about your topic, confidence and conviction will come naturally. Given the myriad of public speaking tips that are already online and elsewhere, I will focus on the planning and writing elements.


Here are some tips for planning the speech

•   Research widely. This allows for “sifting” to take place. That is, you’ll be able to gather what arguments/evidence are solid, well-justified and reputable and what are questionable. Don’t take anything at face value. Always scroll to the top (or in some cases) the bottom of the article and check the year that is was published. As time changes so too do facts.

•   Within your research, examine the opposing arguments. Students tend to neglect the opposition once they have established a contention. However, if you can immerse yourself in the “other side” like it was your own, you will strengthen the quality and credibility of your speech by miles. Especially if you can subtly refute opposing viewpoints throughout the entirety of your presentation.

•   Take note of the persuasive devices embedded into the research articles. Some topics will demand frequent rhetorical questions, exaggerated language or emotional appeals while others are more aligned with reason and logic, statistics or expert opinions. Articles in themselves can be persuasive. And so, when you read them, you’ll be able to ascertain which techniques are most effective for your topic.



Here are some tips for writing the speech


•   Be clear. Although it is great to begin your presentation with a joke or statistics, try not to get too carried away. You want audiences to understand your contention and relevant contextual information early. This sets the tone for the remainder of the speech.

•   Remember that you will perform this. As you are writing think, how would this sound out loud? Is this pompous academic jargon that no one in their right mind would verbalise? After writing every sentence, I suggest that you read it to yourself. Not only does this ensure sensibility, but it will too give you a fair indication of how engaging the speech really is.

•   Make sure that your own voice is emerging. When putting together a speech, you are often overwhelmed by evidence. You do not need to use it all! Use it sparingly and in a manner where your own words and opinions can come to the fore. It is only a complementary body.

•   Switch up sentence length. Moments of pause and reflection are critical in any good speech. So ensure that not all lines are tortuous. Immense power can come from few words.



Here are some tips for writing the statement of intention

•   This is like a mini language analysis. Take quotes from your own piece, analyse their significance and how they intend to persuade audiences. Here is an example:

To shift a sense of responsibility onto my audience, I too make use of repeated personal pronouns evidenced in, ‘every time you use a plastic bag, you are prolonging this misery,’ which seek to establish a causal link between the actions of the members and the debilitated state of the planet.

•   For logicality purposes, I arranged my paragraphs according to argument. However, this is merely a structural suggestion. Do whatever you feel is most comfortable.

•   Like I mentioned for the creative statement of intention, ensure that you address the context/issue that is on hand. And perhaps more specifically for the oral statement, be sure to include contention and specific audience.


 


Closing:

I sincerely hope that you learnt something small from this guide. If anything is unclear, or you would like some further clarification, please feel free to ask! Questions are your best friend in English.

Overall, I’d just encourage you to enjoy the subject. Absorb yourself in the lives of characters, roles of authors and authority of public speakers. I wish you all the very best for your studies.

Clarke
  :)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 09:31:32 pm by clarke54321 »
BA (Linguistics) + DipLang (German) I University of Melbourne
Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]

Joseph41

  • Administrator
  • It's Over 9000!!
  • *****
  • Posts: 9002
  • Oxford comma and Avett Brothers enthusiast.
  • Respect: +5832
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 04:02:25 pm »
+4
YES! Great stuff, clarke54321. :D

Mind if we promote this?
A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man. Yeet ahoy!

Subscribe for free study videos:

ATAR Notes - HSC
ATAR Notes - QCE
ATAR Notes - VCE

clarke54321

  • MOTM: OCT 17
  • Moderator
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Respect: +343
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2017, 04:03:56 pm »
+4
YES! Great stuff, clarke54321. :D

Mind if we promote this?

No problems at all :)
BA (Linguistics) + DipLang (German) I University of Melbourne
Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]

clarke54321

  • MOTM: OCT 17
  • Moderator
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Respect: +343
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 03:30:03 pm »
+14
After some requests, I've decided to post one of my argument analyses, which was in correspondence to the 2002 VCAA English exam  :D

In response to Anyton secondary college’s proposal to admonish absenteeism, Tom Frost presented a speech at the School Council meeting. By employing an embittered tone and relying heavily on informal diction, Frost contends that the proposal is overtly injudicious. Like Rosemary Collins, who also contributes to the discussion, Frost propounds the notion that student engagement can be cultivated through extra-curricular schemes. Collins, however, adopts a more respectful tone to present the advantage and logicality of a newly revised curriculum.


With the intent of condemning principal, Ms Smith’s proposal, Frost opens his speech by likening her approach to a ‘ton of bricks.’ Given that the verb, ‘bricks,’ connotes ideas of harshness and almost brutality, Smith seeks to warn his audience of the proposal’s callous nature. Not only does Frost present the proposition as callous, but he also implies that it is superfluous when he tells readers to ‘not get too carried away.’ Here, Frost intimates that Ms Smith is indulging in an issue that is not worthy of consideration nor time. To this end, Smith endeavours to induce a sense of doubt in readers, who are compelled to question the worth of the austere approach postulated by Smith. Frost strives to reinforce his credibility by employing the pithy phrase, ‘I’ve got three kids.’ The sharp and strident construction of this sentence enables Frost to underscore the fact that he, as a father, has an extensive understanding of children and can thereby foresee that such a proposal would cause adverse effects. Like Frost, Collins capitalises on her position as a ‘parent’ and an ‘education consultant’ to establish her knowledge and subsequent authority in the field of education. Indeed, by demonstrating that her understanding of the proposal as an ‘ineffective and alienating’ model is predicated upon ‘research,’ Collins alerts Ms. Smith to the idea that her conclusion has been extensively evaluated and considered. Thus, contrary to Frost, Collins seeks to undermine the model’s suitability through seemingly irrefutable knowledge- not vehement passion.


Shifting to an authoritative tone, Collins avers that social and educational disengagement is an underlying cause of absenteeism. To substantiate the claim that truancy is linked to ‘problem behaviours at home and school,’ Collins cites the Education Department. By validating her own research with that of a body who continually seeks to develop and extend the abilities of students, Collins attempts to associate herself with the idea of progression. In doing so, Ms. Smith is inclined to recognise that ‘understand[ing] the reasons for absenteeism,’ as suggested by Collins, is far more enlightening for future learning than is blatantly condemning it without consideration of its causes. While Frost aligns himself with the belief that social disengagement is to blame for truancy, he relies on empirical evidence to rationalise his viewpoint. Certainly, by declaring that his daughter missed school because she was ‘so stressed,’ Frost seeks to foreground the influence of mental health. Given the overtones of sincerity and honesty that flood this phrase, the audience is coaxed to sympathise with those suffering and thus adopt a less hostile attitude towards absentees. To bolster the notion that others ‘have had […] experience’ with this type of suffering, Frost relies on the ‘nods’ of fellow parents. With a nod indicating unequivocal agreement or acceptance of a view, Frost seeks to communicate the sheer amount of support that is behind the occasional absent day. To this end, Ms. Smith is galvanised to consider the opinions of her own community and reassess her despotic attitude towards truancy.


To progress, both Frost and Collins argue that Anyton Secondary integrate alternative curriculum options, so as to circumvent truancy. By suggesting that ‘our school’ implement an approach that ‘involves the whole community,’ Collins attempts to appeal to Ms. Smith’s sense of school spirit. This is bolstered by the inclusive pronoun ‘our’ and noun ‘community,’ which when connected, seek to engender an intense yearning for pride and ambition within Ms. Smith. Having enticed the principal with these potential qualities, Collins then declares that they can only be achieved when the school considers initiatives such as ‘positive community service.’ Here, Collins creates an inextricable link between improved absenteeism and alternative curriculum options, which seeks to reinforce the belief in Ms. Smith that truancy can only be resolved when its causes are addressed. Despite Frost echoing such a sentiment, he employs forceful language to propel the idea. Indeed, by comparing school to a ‘reprimand system,’ Frost implies that schools are, in effect, a type of prison. This imagery is fortified when Frost bitterly remarks that students are ‘chained to their desks all day’. With the verb, ‘chained,’ connoting ideas of capture and shackle, Frost in turn attempts to inspire fear in his audience regarding the cold atmosphere of schools. After having created this fear, Frost hopes that his audience will be more receptive to the idea of refreshing alternatives, such as ‘big sister programs’ and ‘peer support.’ Certainly, when these are contrasted to Frost’s previous, denigrating depiction of schools, audiences are compelled to recognise that it is these schemes that will counteract truancy- not further ‘hounding’ of students in schools. While Frost affirms the strength of his argument through this contrast, Collins relies on her pervasive, key logo to garner ultimate support. Given that a key functions to open doors, the bulky nature of Collins’ key logo symbolically implies that her recommendations as a ‘key education consultant’ will provide solid pathways to new and improved futures; an ideal that endeavours to ignite the curiosity of Ms. Smith, regarding her suggested community plans.


Hence, despite both Frost and Collins censuring Ms. Smith’s tyrannical attitude towards absenteeism, Frost adopts impassioned language to champion the consideration of extra-curriculum opportunities. Conversely, Collins maintains formal diction and a measured tone to postulate the future benefits of such possibilities.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 07:09:54 am by clarke54321 »
BA (Linguistics) + DipLang (German) I University of Melbourne
Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]

Lear

  • MOTM: JUL 18
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1070
  • Respect: +231
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 04:02:16 pm »
+2
Simply an outstanding piece of writing. I envisage being able to write like that by the end of this year.
2018: ATAR: 99.35
Subjects
English: 44
Methods: 43
Further Maths: 50
Chemistry: 46
Legal: 40
2019: Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine @ Monash
Open to tutoring enquiries
Also selling notes and other resources for above subjects.

clarke54321

  • MOTM: OCT 17
  • Moderator
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Respect: +343
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 04:17:44 pm »
+2
Simply an outstanding piece of writing. I envisage being able to write like that by the end of this year.

Thanks very much, Lear. By no means is this a perfect response!

I only hope that this essay will help future students, who may benefit from reading a different style of writing. All the very best for your VCE English studies :D
BA (Linguistics) + DipLang (German) I University of Melbourne
Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]

MissSmiley

  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Respect: +78
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 05:31:53 pm »
+3
By no means is this a perfect response!
I only hope that this essay will help future students, who may benefit from reading a different style of writing. All the very best for your VCE English studies :D
This is really excellent, Clarke!
I can see that clear cycle of quote, effect, impact for every single point of analysis that you make. And you’ve just implied that you don’t need to fill your analysis with hard and heavy vocabulary all the time!! A few occasional ‘intelligent’ words as I like to call them (such as ‘strident construction’ or ‘despotic attitude’ stand out far better than bombarding the assessor with hard English words they probably have never heard of!!
Once again, really amazing!
Definitely, this thread is gonna be an awesome one-stop-shop for for term 3 !!!  :)
2017 : Further Maths [38]
2018 : English [45] ;English Language [43] ; Food Studies [47] ;French [33] ;Legal Studies [39]
VCE ATAR : 98.10
2019 - 2023 : Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts at Monash University

I'm selling a huge electronic copy of  VCE English essays and resources document (with essays that have teacher feedback and marks) for $10. Feel free to PM me for details!

clarke54321

  • MOTM: OCT 17
  • Moderator
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Respect: +343
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 06:02:27 pm »
+4
This is really excellent, Clarke!
I can see that clear cycle of quote, effect, impact for every single point of analysis that you make. And you’ve just implied that you don’t need to fill your analysis with hard and heavy vocabulary all the time!! A few occasional ‘intelligent’ words as I like to call them (such as ‘strident construction’ or ‘despotic attitude’ stand out far better than bombarding the assessor with hard English words they probably have never heard of!!
Once again, really amazing!
Definitely, this thread is gonna be an awesome one-stop-shop for for term 3 !!!  :)

I'm so glad to hear that you've found the guide to be of some value, MissSmiley. That's absolutely true- excessively complex, convoluted words do not make a wonderful essay. Clarity and moderation are always key :)
BA (Linguistics) + DipLang (German) I University of Melbourne
Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]

clarke54321

  • MOTM: OCT 17
  • Moderator
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Respect: +343
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2018, 07:11:07 pm »
+11
For future reference, here is one of my previous, comparative responses on Tracks and Into the Wild  :)

How do Robyn Davidson and Sean Penn explore the idea that isolation is damaging?

Despite the contrasting mediums of memoir and biographical film, both Tracks and Into the Wild respectively depict protagonists, who seek to emancipate themselves from the pervasive encumbrances of society and obtain utter solitude through lone-adventure. Although unanticipated, this solitude precipitates acute mental instability for both Robyn and Chris, whose radical disengagement from civilisation simultaneously inflicts torment upon others. And while both Robyn and Chris concede to the immense vulnerability associated with isolation, it is only Davidson’s protagonist who can prosper from the knowledge; for Penn’s faces an inevitable mortality. 

Indeed, both Tracks and Into the Wild indicate that an absolute seclusion incapacitates one from discerning their own mental weaknesses. So transfixed by her yearning for independence, Robyn’s mind-set is devoid of any variation, with her repeating ‘desert, desert, desert.’ Given the stark recital of ‘desert,’ readers can infer that the ‘substance of [Robyn’s] world’ is fundamentally comprised of nature; leaving no priority for her relations with others, who she now feels ‘shy and confused’ around. Through these disconcerting adjectives, Davidson stresses the idea that Robyn’s isolation has stealthily deemed her an outlier, for she interacts with humans as though they were of a foreign, alien quality. With her ‘vague misery’ morphing into an ‘overwhelming defeat,’ Robyn’s unfamiliarity seemingly extends to her relationship with herself. Certainly, the atypical leap from a ‘vague’ feeling to one that is suddenly ‘overwhelming’ and clearly defined, emphasises Robyn’s inability to detect her own emotional vulnerability, and thus circumvent psychological harm without the perspicacity of others. Like Davidson, Penn intimates that absolute solitude cultivates a gross, psychological disconnection within Chris. By declaring that his ‘home is the road,’ Chris formalises his dissidence towards civilisation and reveals his commitment to his lone, vagabond identity. Yet, Chris’ inability to recall what should be a simplistic, numerical form, ‘one, two, no, no, no,’ stridently punctuates the way his loneliness has deprived him of essential knowledge. This is compounded by the superficial, yellow filter that covers Chris’ face as he is counting, which allows Penn to affirm the unnatural, hazed irrationality that is consuming his protagonists’ psyche. Perhaps the most poignant elucidation of Chris’ instability, however, can be seen through the role-playing of his parents, where he oscillates between ‘you hear me woman’ and ‘shut up.’ Not only does this disorderly vocalisation underscore the depth of Chris’ familial trauma, but it also highlights the way his isolation has fostered an immense internal conflict, which Chris cannot dissipate alone. In turn, both Tracks and Into the Wild maintain that one’s separation from society motivates a perilously frail state of mind.   

While both Chris and Robyn are subject to the adverse implications of isolation, so too are those whom are intimately connected to the pair. ‘Switch[ing] into automatic’ at the prospect of lost camels, Robyn showcases an inability to quell her own anxiety without the support of another. This weakness is shown to provoke an unjustifiable violence within her, when she proceeds to ‘beat the living daylights’ out of Bub. For it is the inherent severity attached to the descriptor, ‘living daylights,’ which enables Davidson to articulate the sheer brutality that Robyn’s remoteness thrusts upon others. Such savage demeanour spreads to Rick and Jenny too, who Robyn ‘spews forth bits of cement and chicken wire’ at. The piercing, razor-sharp connotations of these materials, imply that Robyn now easily chafes against varying personalities; something she claims the lone ‘trip [is] responsible’ for.  Indeed, this constant antagonising reduces Jenny to ‘tears’ and deems Rick ‘as truly frightened.’ And for this, Davidson imparts that one’s solitude has the capacity to distress, and thus injuriously manipulate the feelings of others. Although expressed through temporal shifts in narrative structure, not plain dialogue, Penn also asserts that Chris’ sudden emancipation agonises his relations. With sweeping, establishing shots capturing the isolation of Chris in the Alaskan wilderness, and the accompanying voice-over of Carine, who informs audiences of Walt’s ‘suspended animation,’ Penn creates a direct link between Chris’ continuous journey and the perpetual pain of his father. Caught up in a ‘suspended animation,’ Walt is seemingly deprived of all life’s vigour and zest, for he can only focus on his son’s disappearance. Certainly, the intensity of this numb ‘immobolisation’ is made all the more patent through the eye-contact Walt makes with the camera, when he excruciatingly falls to the ground at the film’s closing. By breaking the fourth wall, Walt directly addresses audiences, who are left with not an overly-dominant father, but a man who admits that he is now irrevocably plagued by his son’s absence. Given this state of sheer vulnerability, Penn, like Davidson, asserts that the solitude of one can afflict many others.     

Ultimately paralysed by their separation from society, both Chris and Robyn acknowledge that utter independence is an unattainable ideal. Having reached a ‘psychological conclusion’ at Diggity’s death, Robyn suggests that all her mental fortitude has become obliterated. As a ‘cherished friend,’ and thus a symbolic manifestation of a human support system, Diggity had ‘taken the place of people’ on Robyn’s solo-venture. And so, in an implicit sense, Diggity’s death is only deeply ‘traumatic’ and ‘numb’ because it signals the end of any remaining comfort that comes from human interaction. Thus, all the ‘swamping, irrational feelings of vulnerability’ that re-emerge after Diggity’s death, allow Davidson to convey the idea that Robyn is susceptible to gross destruction without a human presence; for she cannot rely on the knowledge that someone will always be there ‘to protect and comfort.’ The visceral, ‘physical ache’ that this isolation hence poses, leaves Robyn with a confused, ‘ruffled’ mindset, which may only be supplanted by the reassuring ‘[stroke]’ of a ‘normal human being.’ Although his is terminal, Chris too must endure the internal decay that is provoked by desolation. Unable to independently cross the turbulent river, Chris writes, ‘lonely scared,’ into his journal. For it is the natural progression of these words, from ‘lonely’ to ‘scared,’ which hints that Chris realises the inextricable link between the two; that his fatiguing angst is a product of his loneliness. But the realisation that ‘happiness’ and thus the capacity to survive, ‘is only’ attainable ‘when shared,’ comes too late for Chris. This is indeed articulated by Penn, through the bear, which languidly confronts Chris’ malnourished and motionless silhouette. Given the heavy huffs of the bear and a close-up shot of Chris’ perturbed face, Penn creates an alarming tension amongst audiences, who are inclined to expect an imminent death. Yet, the bears rejection of Chris as adequate sustenance subverts this expectation, and thus underscores the notion that Chris’ isolation has reckoned him a worthless, disposable individual in relation to his power with nature. Therefore, by drawing a parallel between debilitating weakness and utter remoteness, both Penn and Davidson are able to critique this state of being.

Hence, both Tracks and Into the Wild strive to examine the cultural allure associated with emancipating the self from permeating, societal requirements. While the pair unveil the mental and physical perils of isolation, only Davidson’s Robyn can effectively benefit from this cautioning; for Penn’s protagonist Chris, is fundamentally ‘trapped’ and left to withstand the destructive consequences of his solitude ‘in the wild.’
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 09:33:14 pm by clarke54321 »
BA (Linguistics) + DipLang (German) I University of Melbourne
Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]

Joseph41

  • Administrator
  • It's Over 9000!!
  • *****
  • Posts: 9002
  • Oxford comma and Avett Brothers enthusiast.
  • Respect: +5832
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2018, 07:12:21 pm »
+2
This is awesome! Thanks so much for posting this. ;D ;D ;D
A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man. Yeet ahoy!

Subscribe for free study videos:

ATAR Notes - HSC
ATAR Notes - QCE
ATAR Notes - VCE

MissSmiley

  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Respect: +78
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2018, 07:49:08 pm »
+2
This is an invaluable resource for Unit 4, clarke54321 !! :)

You're just truly amazing!!

Thanks for helping so much!! - you're the best - EVER !!!  ;D ;D

Sorry, this is probably really stupid of me to ask, but would you mind please inserting the prompt question? So we can see how you've made your first sentence of your intro relate directly to what the prompt's asking us to do?
(I tried searching it up on VCAA exams, but probably because I don't do Tracks and Into the Wild, that's why I couldn't make great connections with what topic your essay responded to!)

Thanks so much, clarke54321!! :)
2017 : Further Maths [38]
2018 : English [45] ;English Language [43] ; Food Studies [47] ;French [33] ;Legal Studies [39]
VCE ATAR : 98.10
2019 - 2023 : Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts at Monash University

I'm selling a huge electronic copy of  VCE English essays and resources document (with essays that have teacher feedback and marks) for $10. Feel free to PM me for details!

vceme

  • Trendsetter
  • **
  • Posts: 132
  • Respect: +16
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2018, 08:01:54 pm »
+1
Hi Clarke54321!
Your writing is exquisite and I hope that I'll be able to progress to your level of writing, or even a fraction of it ;D (lol).
I was wondering if you have always been a stronger english student? and how you developed such a strong vocabulary bank?
And if you don't mind, what do you think has contributed to your phenomenal english skills (e.g reading lots?)
Thank you!
I hope you're having a lovely week   :)
Graduated in 2018. Top 5%.

Lear

  • MOTM: JUL 18
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1070
  • Respect: +231
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2018, 08:33:27 pm »
+1
My god that writing just gives me the goosebumps! Excellent essay Clarke!
2018: ATAR: 99.35
Subjects
English: 44
Methods: 43
Further Maths: 50
Chemistry: 46
Legal: 40
2019: Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine @ Monash
Open to tutoring enquiries
Also selling notes and other resources for above subjects.

clarke54321

  • MOTM: OCT 17
  • Moderator
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Respect: +343
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2018, 09:31:22 pm »
+1
This is an invaluable resource for Unit 4, clarke54321 !! :)

I most definitely hope so, MissSmiley! Given the lack of comparative resources out there for VCE English students, this essay seeks to lend some much needed direction.

Sorry, this is probably really stupid of me to ask, but would you mind please inserting the prompt question? So we can see how you've made your first sentence of your intro relate directly to what the prompt's asking us to do?
(I tried searching it up on VCAA exams, but probably because I don't do Tracks and Into the Wild, that's why I couldn't make great connections with what topic your essay responded to!)

No worries at all. Will fix it up right now  8)

Your writing is exquisite and I hope that I'll be able to progress to your level of writing, or even a fraction of it ;D (lol).

Thank-you for your kind words, vceme. With time and patience, you'll be able to achieve almost anything in English. To be honest with you, the disparity in quality between my first and last essays in year 12 was massive. It's incredible how quickly writing skills can develop over time.   

I was wondering if you have always been a stronger english student? and how you developed such a strong vocabulary bank?
And if you don't mind, what do you think has contributed to your phenomenal english skills (e.g reading lots?)

English has always appealed to me more so than maths or science. I suppose I've always had an inquiring mind, and would want to question why things are and how they came to be. And so naturally, this analytical mindset came through in most of my essays, which seemed to have paid off.



Vocabulary is a tough one. For me personally, I benefitted the most from reading the essays of high-scoring students. By not only paying attention to the obscure words used by these students, but also their relevant context, I came to appreciate the meanings of these words, and how they would compliment my own original insight. Always find a way to connect your own writing to that of someone else's. You'll be better equipped to disregard the words or phrases that don't align with your thinking, and cherish the ones that do. And always remember, comfort/clarity > awkward sophistication.



Ha! I wouldn't say phenomenal English skills. Above all, I spent many hours on English. As I've mentioned in my guide above, some essays took a good 2 weeks to plan. Planning is a huge part of English that students tend to overlook. I'm not sure whether this has to do with the seeming mundanity of English, or because of a lack of timing. Regardless, I'm firmly convinced that good planning = success. You'll be more engaged with the content, more likely to empathise with characters, and more likely to appreciate the writer's initial intent.



All the very best!

My god that writing just gives me the goosebumps! Excellent essay Clarke!

Thanks Lear  :)
BA (Linguistics) + DipLang (German) I University of Melbourne
Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]

Guideme

  • Forum Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 86
  • Help me get the ATAR i want! :)
  • Respect: 0
Re: Tips and Tricks for VCE English [50]
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2018, 04:12:15 pm »
0
Hi,
i have a question that relates to essay writing. So when i write my essay often my teacher would say that it is very wordy. My teacher says that the discussion and analysis is good however my sentences are a bit too long and sometimes doesn't read very easily. She told me write concisely, but i am not sure how to do that :(
Therefore, can anyone provide me any tips or tricks in order to write more concisely and perhaps make it easier for my assessor to read it?

Thank you in advance!
:0 :)