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October 16, 2021, 06:51:26 pm

Author Topic: 50 in English, available for queries :)  (Read 267470 times)  Share 

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literally lauren

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50 in English, available for queries :)
« on: January 27, 2014, 02:23:00 am »
+42
Hi all,

This is a Q&A style directory resource for VCE English. Below are links to all previously asked questions, sorted by category. Please refer to these before posting to avoid cluttering the thread. Just give the list a quick run down to make sure you're not retreading the same ground. If you do ask something similar/identical to a previous question, well... I'll probably just refer you back with a link to the past query, but I will be somewhat irked. And you won't like me when I'm irked.*

However, if you need further clarification with any of these I'm happy to explain something in more detail, so don't let your fear of my wrath keep you from asking questions =) This is still an ever-growing resource and hopefully this format will make it easier to navigate. You may even find some questions asked previously which you hadn't considered, so this should make for helpful procrastinating browsing to aid your study :)

If there are any errors or defunct links please let me know with a PM and I'll try to keep this up to date. Some links may take you to the page where my response is, but not the specific post. Apologies in advance for my total lack of tech-savvy-ness.

*I do have one rule though: no 'I'm only getting 7/10, how do I get 10/10?? posts.' This is not a valid question. Firstly, there are many different ways to score a 7, and without having read your work, I have no idea where you're making errors. Second, there are many different ways to score a 10, so again, I won't know what that looks like for you. Third, some pieces are simply not capable of being redrafted into a 10/10 without some serious changes to ideas, language, contention, and everything. Forth, 'getting a 7' is not a qualitative indicator of your ability; whilst it may seem like a numbers game in the end, you can easily cheat the system by putting your head down, working on self-betterment, and giving it your darndest in the exam room. A numerical grade can be a good indicator of where you're at, but it's your teacher/tutor's comments that will be of the most help. Fifth, if there was some secret cheat code to getting perfect 10s I'd be making VCAA buy my silence for a hefty price. Alas, I'm poor because there is no cheat code... as far as you know...

There's also an L.A. structure guide and a Useful Vocab document attached here. But to reiterate something I've said many times already: your end-of-year assessors have essentially 'done' VCE English, and they'll be reading more papers within the marking period than you and your friends will have written all year, so they're more than capable of recognising formulae and rote-learning when they see it. As English students you have the tricky task of navigating the fine line between adequate preparation that enables you to think clearly in SACs/exam conditions, AND over-preparation that sounds rote-learned or undeveloped. Unlike many other subjects, memorisation won't get you far (and I'm aware there are "success stories" of people memorising essays, esp. for Context, and scoring extremely highly, but trust me- they're the anomalies.) You're much better off following these steps:
  • Learn what is required of you. What exactly should a Language Analysis do? What's the purpose of a Text Response's conclusion? If you've had a good middle school education then you'll be able to answer these, but for anyone who's had a string of poor teachers, or was just taught wrong like me {#spent 4 years writing my opinion and using phrases like 'I reckon' in response to L.A. articles instead of, you know, analysing... didn't do me too much harm; it's never too late to unlearn! ;)} it can be helpful to go back to basics as soon as possible so you don't waste time mentally wandering through the whole course only to realise you have no idea what you're meant to be doing.
  • Learn the actual content. Read your texts, do the exercises in class, write practice essays. This will constitute most of your work throughout the year, though it's crucial to combine it with step 3:
  • KNOW THY WEAKNESSES I cannot embolden/underline/resize this enough. Step 1 sets the foundation, step 2 puts the materials together, but step 3 is what separates the skyscrapers from Eeyore's house

    The high scoring students at the end of the year are the ones that have been working constructively, and doing what's helpful for them. eg. If you know you suck at Context pieces then that's what you should be working on. More specifically though, work out why you suck, however painful a process that may be, I promise it's worth it. Teachers and/or tutors can assist with this if you're uncertain, but part of the reward is to be able to isolate where you're going wrong, and then formulating a plan to fix your mistakes.
  • Eliminate thy weaknesses: this step is remarkably easy once you know what the problem is, but you'd be surprised how many people never bother to ask themselves where they're going wrong.
  • From this point on, it's all about the finetuning, and that's really what this thread is here for. Don't panic if you're nowhere near this stage yet, as it's a very gradual learning curve for everyone. Above all else, don't panic. Have confidence in your abilities.
    Mindset over memorisation-of-matter.

edit: a reminder that this isn't a thread for essay marking. The English Work Submission and Marking is available for anyone in need of feedback, but you're free to send me a PM if you want my advice :)






updated November 2014 up to page 50
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 04:14:50 pm by literally lauren »

nerdmmb

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 02:59:55 am »
+2
reposting [sorry mods, I'm new at this]
okay so I finished Year 12 with a 50 in English; perfect marks in all my SACs and the 2013 exam, so am looking to help others through the year:)
Please post any questions or PM for advice
Thanks :)
Hi Lauren,
Congratulations on your incredible score!! I'll be in year 11 this year, what would you recommend me to focus on this year? Thanks!! :)

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 03:15:08 am »
+14
Hi Lauren,
Congratulations on your incredible score!! I'll be in year 11 this year, what would you recommend me to focus on this year? Thanks!! :)

I know it sounds teacher-y, but developing good study habits are key in Year 11. If you want to do really well, try to read something every night. (not just your texts) It will expand your vocabulary immensely and this is what tends to distinguish marks in the upper bandwidths. Apart from that, developing solid Language Analysis skills now will give you an advantage next year for Text Responses, as they require a lot of time to get right, and there are always some bizarre left-of-field prompts that can catch you unawares :) With Language Analysis though, learn how to deal with a variety of text types, and know how to pick apart techniques at a word level, then you'll be cruising through the Year 12 course.
Best of luck :)
Lauren

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 03:32:31 am »
+15
Hello Lauren9460

Congratulations on your 50, amazing achievement. Any advice on introductions for text response? I find mine are often too simple and not worth writing down.

Thanks:)

I've found Text Response structures to be highly dependent on the prompt. If you're given a character/thematic one, then do the basics (topic sentence outlining the prompts general concern, then expanding upon your stance.) A common way to add complexity is by issuing a 'challenge' to the prompt's implications. (eg. for the prompt 'Ignorance is more powerful that knowledge' [Year of Wonders 2012] your stance may be that no, knowledge ultimately triumphs, but your introduction could include or even end with something like: 'However, one cannot ignore the corrosive effect of the ignorance of certain characters, and its pervasive influence on others.' Contrarily, if you're arguing that yes, ignorance cannot be conquered, then add a sentence like 'yet the tenacity and intellect of __ at times almost eclipses the influence of others, inferring the Dark Ages of plague and nescience will eventually give way to The Enlightenment.)
Furthermore, a comment about either author intention or reader/audience reception is a good way to add sophistication. In fact it ensures you are analysing and not summarising if your sentences begin with phrases like 'It is through __ that the author introduces the idea of __' or '__ provides a lens through which audiences can view the actions of others.'
Sometimes you'll get a prompt that specifies a focus on an author's views and values (eg. 'Shakespeare implies the role of king was never that important to the Prince.) Even here, though, there are still thematic elements of kingship and priorities centered around a character.
Overall, don't stick to formulas as they bore assessors to tears. Try to introduce a fresh and insightful way into the text, or at the very least some provocative challenges. Worst case scenario, you'll have to make up for a mediocre introduction with some killer body paragraphs :) but it pays to make a good first impression, so work on intros for a variety of topic types to find what works for you.
Hope that helps.

nerdmmb

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 01:59:40 pm »
0
I know it sounds teacher-y, but developing good study habits are key in Year 11. If you want to do really well, try to read something every night. (not just your texts) It will expand your vocabulary immensely and this is what tends to distinguish marks in the upper bandwidths. Apart from that, developing solid Language Analysis skills now will give you an advantage next year for Text Responses, as they require a lot of time to get right, and there are always some bizarre left-of-field prompts that can catch you unawares :) With Language Analysis though, learn how to deal with a variety of text types, and know how to pick apart techniques at a word level, then you'll be cruising through the Year 12 course.
Best of luck :)
Lauren

Thank-you very much Lauren! :)

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 07:50:52 pm »
+21
EDIT: I'm leaving this essay here just because this was a near impossible piece to analyse and I doubt any school would assign it as practice. I'll trust you all enough to use this as a study tool like any other practice piece.

I've been getting a lot of PMs about Language Analysis, especially comparative and visual pieces so I thought I'd post one of my 10s from last year.
This was on the 2011 exam, the article can be viewed through the VCAA Past Exam Papers website. I haven't held back with the language, but with practice and help from my teacher I was able to turn this into a strength. There are a few instances where I lapse into quoting to summarise, but otherwise the analysis was alright
Hope this helps :)

Helen Day’s blog post ‘The Power of Ink’ laments that the prevalence of tattoos has undermined their intrinsic value, and has thus diminished the personal significance of the art form. Although most of society has been desensitized to the concept of body art, debates nowadays range from the intent behind tattoos, to the health risks associated with the process, to the aestheticism of the art, and to the wider cultural implications of appropriated symbolism. Day’s article was accompanied by various comments spanning this variety of responses, as well as two images depicting both an ancient and modern day example of tattoo art.

   Day’s overwhelming use of references to the passing of time and the mutable meanings of tattoos forms part of her jeremiad against the “commodified” form becoming a mere “fashion statement.” Her extensive recounts of the historical implications of tattoos cement in a reader’s mind the immense cultural importance. When juxtaposed with the “roses [and] skulls” of “suburban housewives,” Day highlights the comparatively shallow and worthless nature of modern ink. That it is simply a “fashion statement” is a particularly effective term given that tattoos were once a symbol of “deviance and criminality;” of rebellion, yet have been misappropriated by the very people that traditional tattoo bearers rebelled against. Having become a commodity is therefore galvanizing for any reader who associates themselves with the deviancy of truly powerful tattoos. Whilst words like “deviance and criminality” generally connote delinquency and wrongdoing, here they seem a colourful alternative to the trivial proprietary mark of fashion. Thus even readers without tattoos are inclined to view this current trend as superficial and insincere. Day’s history of the evolution of tattoos contains many bleak and horrific events, from concentration camps to brutal slave trade, and the insinuation that modern tattoo bearers are unaware of these implications renders them insensitive and ignorant in the reader’s eyes; to some extent disrespecting the memory of the victims of infamous atrocities. In this sense, Day establishes a dichotomy between those who understand and appreciate the culture of tattoos and those concerned purely with aesthetics, positioning the reader to view the latter as uneducated, naive conformists.

   This dichotomy extends further in terms of social zeitgeists and public regard for body art. Constant references that hark back to past glories of the unifying power of tattoos and their capacity to satirise and subvert even the most “indelible cruelty” serve to accentuate the disparity between the past and present. The first image of traditional Maori emblematic art contributes to this apotheosis and nostalgia for the power of ink, whereas the second image contains a much more simplistic design that is indicative of a simplistic understanding of tattoos’ significance. When outlining the role of branding in slave ownership, Day describes the function of “a sign that the bearer had a value.” This encourages readers to employ the same standards today, eliciting their contempt for “upmarket shoppers” who have brought about the fading of the art. She infers that if the tattoos themselves have faded, then so have the convictions of those who wear them; effectively angling readers to share in her disapproval of those who destabilize the potential of tattoos for self-expression. Day also utilises this tattoo imagery as a subtle reflection of its own deterioration; the “indelible” history should have been as palpable and permanent as tattoos have been throughout the ages, but it has “faded” in a most unnatural way, becoming a “cosmetic ornament”. Even a readership who does not value the nature of tattoos in the same way as Day, is disposed to rejecting a loss of culture and defending it from those who would undercut its significance. Some take the outrage further, like commenter ‘Kiwi’ who harangues with incredulity against the “identity theft” associated with appropriating culture, equating tattoo imitations to “disgraceful and immoral” acts. This engenders a reader’s indignation at the violation of “a sacred form of family and personal identification.” Not all readers view tattoos in such a light, however, as ‘Dr AB’ reveals in his comment. An authoritative figure amongst the more colloquial comments, the medical practitioner depicts the tattooing process with gruesome detail designed to repulse the reader. The doctor also conveys the threat to one’s health that tattoos pose, listing various diseases that further invoke a reader’s innate aversion to pain. Whilst Dr AB’s views contrasts greatly to that of Day and other commenters, he uses a similar appeal to sanctity and inviolability, though each author differs in what they consider sacrosanct.

   Day shifts to a less polemic and more sentimental tone, as she relates her own experiences with tattoos in her youth. Having established herself as one who comprehends the true meaning of body art, Day’s “defile[ment] of [her] femininity” is seen by readers as part of the satirical defiance that tattoos represent. Conversely, the now “sexy” regard for affixed symbols is almost immature and imprudent in comparison. Day again uses the word “indelible” to lament what her tattoo has become: “not a real memory of feminist youth” but an unwanted connection to other women who adorn themselves without understanding the persistent defiance. Without something to defy, Day implies, a tattoo is meaningless. Her readership is therefore positioned to defend the deserving of their art form whilst simultaneously condemning those who seek to modify it. This notion of individualistic value is also explored in the comments; ‘Tash’ writes of her pride in displaying her uniqueness, as captured by her tattoo, whereas ‘Cleanskin’ states bluntly “I’m a rebel and an individual- I have no tattoos.” These similar appeals on behalf of opposing views show how some are gratified by a symbol of identity, whereas others see their lack of affixation as unique in its own way. In an attempt to win reader approval through anecdotal experiences and conversational language, both authors invoke their originality as reason for their stance, as Day does when describing the “reckless abandon of Carnevale” that her tattoo briefly conferred. The inference that tattoos are a form of identity concealment or disguise would be in equal parts alluring and discomforting for readers. She provokes appreciation on behalf of her fellow tattooed readers, but rather than the unease amongst some other members of society who view identity concealment as having something to hide, the connotations of ‘Carnevale’ are ones of jubilant celebration. Consequently, even readers not usually inclined to sympathise with tattoo wearers are here encouraged to feel a sense of loss as the carnival leaves town, and tattoos become conventional, “ordinary” and as commonplace as a cosmopolitan, “cosmetic quirk.”

   Day’s blog post and the accompanying comments and visuals show how the protean and ever-changing values of society impact upon tattoo bearers as a collective whole and as individuals, contending that the actions of others can have a lasting effect on personal meaning and idiosyncratic value. Her strong use of dichotomies and equating of tattoos to a person’s worth is effective for a wide demographic, even people who consider body art as trivial or quotidian are persuaded by the likening of tattoos to a dying art form, and are thus disposed to espouse Day’s views.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 10:43:59 am by literally lauren »

NathanJ

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 10:58:53 am »
+1
Hi Lauren,

I was wondering what your approach was towards SAC's and the Exam? How often did you read the texts? How often did you write practice essays?

Thank-you,
VCE 2013-2014: Chemistry [ ] Biology [ ] Health an Human Development [ ] Mathematical Methods [ ] English [ ]

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2014, 02:28:12 pm »
+15
Hi Lauren,

I was wondering what your approach was towards SAC's and the Exam? How often did you read the texts? How often did you write practice essays?

Thank-you,

Hey Nathan,

I was told it's okay to take risks in SACs so that's what I did for most of the year, especially in the Context essays. I experimented with different techniques and styles so that once the exam came, I knew what worked best for me. For the exam, my approach involved reading and writing a heap of essays, though in certain areas I reached a point of diminishing return ie. I knew all I could by that stage, the rest was just fine-tuning. I'd recommend you determine which of the 3 areas is your strongest. Develop that area now, then you can focus on the other two throughout the year. (eg. Language Analysis was easy for me, lit. gave me an advantage; by our first SAC in April I knew what I was doing and got full marks on all my practice stuff. This meant I could dedicate much needed time to Context pieces over the next few months)
I read the texts once over the summer holidays and we read through them all once in class. For Henry IV, our last text, I had to reread it again during the holidays. For context I didn't worry so much, two read throughs/viewings was enough. But for text responses I would have read my exam text at least 4 times. Don't stress too much, some people read in twice thoroughly and don't need to go back to it, others are light readers and even on the seventh reread they'll find something new. It does depend on your texts though. We had some surface-level ones like Year Of Wonders and Paradise Road (rewatching the movie is always good when you don't feel like actual 'study') whereas with the Shakespeare I saw one film version, one play, and read it twice before I felt confident enough to start writing on it.
Compared to some of my friends I was a little slack with the practice essays :P I didn't really learn anything by just churning them out once a day, though for others this is the best way to learn/revise. I guess it would have been once or twice a week leading up to exams, but throughout the year, unless we had a due piece, I preferred to study in different ways (eg. reading articles and making notes, going through the text and making a quote repository, even reading and correcting friends' essays.) Find what works for you, I can't really give a solid number. Don't write an essay unless you have something specific you need to practice, be that a difficult or unfamiliar prompt type, a tricky Language Analysis *coughHelenDaycough* or anything you find challenging. There's no point writing pieces at the same comfortable level and making the same mistakes. Work with your teachers as they're usually a good judge of what the requirement is for individual students
Hope that helps :)

spectroscopy

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2014, 02:54:59 pm »
0
Did you do english every night to get your 50? or was it just an essay a week or so, more before sacs, and read the book 2 or 3 times?
what are your thoughts on study guides?
cheers

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2014, 03:59:50 pm »
+14
Did you do english every night to get your 50? or was it just an essay a week or so, more before sacs, and read the book 2 or 3 times?
what are your thoughts on study guides?
cheers

Not EVERY night... but most. Sometimes I'd just reread a paper or think about some prompts, there's always something you can do for English. I had some notes on my phone I could skim through on the bus, I'd find articles on my texts online to read while listening to music. Writing essays is not the only way to study, it's only effective once you have a grasp on the text/technique and feel confident to express your ideas. An essay a week is a good goal, but don't write one just to make an arbitrary quota. Also in some weeks you'll have SACs for every subject, sometimes more than one, so don't get to caught up in rigid study schedules.
See the above comment to Nathan regarding reading the books. At least 2 or 3 times is probably needed, but everyone's different.

Re: study guides, I've read through a couple, and the text specific ones (eg. Insight Study Guides) are pretty good. Just know that everyone in the state has access to the same notes, therefore if you're aiming high you have to go beyond the guides. They are a good foundation for your responses (and good to read on days you don't feel like intensive study) but you should be pushing yourself beyond them once you've grasped the basics. I can guarantee most assessors will have read the guides on texts they're studying, so spouting back what you've read doesn't really impress.
General guides on study tips or structuring essays are only really needed if you're teacher can't help. They should always be a first resort as they've got a better understanding of your own potential than some generic recommendations. Worth a read, but take it all with a grain of salt :)
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 11:49:14 pm by lauren9460 »

nerdmmb

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2014, 04:05:46 pm »
0
Hi Lauren,
I just had a question about vocab - although I may have asked this one before  :P

I've started to gather atleast one article per week and read that and pick up phrases from it-
What is the best way to incorporate these phrases into my essays?
I also find that any new vocab I learn - I don't remember it-- so I end up using my thesaurus...

Thanks :)

brenden

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2014, 04:17:29 pm »
+3
Awesome work ITT, Lauren.
✌️just do what makes you happy ✌️

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2014, 04:38:46 pm »
+13
Hi Lauren,
I just had a question about vocab - although I may have asked this one before  :P

I've started to gather atleast one article per week and read that and pick up phrases from it-
What is the best way to incorporate these phrases into my essays?
I also find that any new vocab I learn - I don't remember it-- so I end up using my thesaurus...

Thanks :)

Starting a sort of vocab repository/ list at the back of your workbook/ ipad/ whatever you kids use these days is the best way of improving. You'll pick up heaps throughout the year, and I'll try to post some of the helpful ones from my book later on.
The list should contain the word/phrase, a simple definition if you can't remember, and a sample sentence so you know how to use it
eg. 'seditious' (came up a lot in Henry IV for me) means inciting rebellion or something inflamatory, 'his actions were deemed seditious by the king.
Read over these at least once every couple of days, or every night if you're adding heaps. Don't worry if they don't stick just yet, gradually these words will come to you as you write, which means it'll be a lot smoother than some search+replace thesaurus work.
No shame in thesauruses though, I've still got one bookmarked :P
I'll type up a list of useful words and post it here when I'm done.

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2014, 04:40:17 pm »
+7
Awesome work ITT, Lauren.
Aww shucks  ;D *blushes*

charmanderp

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2014, 04:57:32 pm »
+1
Awesome work ITT, Lauren.
I concur. Keep it up!
University of Melbourne - Bachelor of Arts majoring in English, Economics and International Studies (2013 onwards)