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December 05, 2021, 01:27:01 pm

Author Topic: 50 in English, available for queries :)  (Read 273091 times)  Share 

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Valyria

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #375 on: July 13, 2014, 10:40:05 am »
+1
Hey Lauren,

So I recently incorporated "Plato's Allegory of the Cave" as supplementary evidence for my Whose Reality expository piece and my teacher said it was too complicated. As she has been an examiner in the past, she knows that many examiners speed read and won't comprehend dense philosophical extracts to its entirety and will be left confused and slightly irritated, which seems logical. As a student, how would I know when my supplementary evidence is too convoluted? If I try to tease out the concepts further to ensure the link to my context could be understood, my supplementary takes up 3/5ths of the page which is quite excessive. How have you confronted this problem in the past?

Thanks :)
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literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #376 on: July 13, 2014, 03:29:13 pm »
+8
walkec:
I had quite an easy choice actually. We had a novel that I kind of liked, and a Shakespeare play, so the English nerd in me was pretty much set on Shakespeare from the summer holidays. The fact that we did the play right before the exam did help, but I knew people who wrote on the novel from Term 2 as well. The biggest determining factor will be what you find easiest to write on; don't just judge by your marks either, it's probably a good idea to wait till you start studying TFR to make your final decision.
IMO Stasiland hasn't had a good history with English prompts, but I'm sure if you prepare enough you'd be able to handle anything. TRF will usually have at least one prompt dealing with the structural elements of the text (eg. Changez's language, the narrative voice, role of The American etc.) which might be a bit trickier, but again if you're prepared for anything then they can't surprise you too much.
Either way, this upcoming Text Response SAC will be worth half of your Unit 4 Outcome, so you'll be putting a lot of effort into TRF regardless :)

Rishi97:
I sort of went with the ebb and flow; sometimes I'd have a bunch of SACs for other subjects and could afford to let English fall by the wayside, but during the quiet weeks I'd write when possible. For most of the year I probably averaged one essay per week, but after the Term 3 holidays in September I was putting a lot more work in.
That said, I was still studying for English even when I wasn't writing essays. Reading and compiling my own notes, going through other people's essays, and reading as much as I could find on my texts all helped immensely. For some people, essay writing is and essential part of the study process whereas others treat it like a final product and do a lot of little things beforehand. It really is up to you, just know that churning out an essay isn't the only way to improve.

Valyria:
I'd have to disagree with your teacher there. Some assessors may try and speed read, but if they don't understand your writing because they're going too quickly, that's their prerogative, not yours. Obviously without having read your piece I can't comment on specifics, but perhaps the way you explained things wasn't clear enough? If the links to your discussion and the prompt weren't overt then maybe the whole idea got lost; expository pieces tend to need a 50:50 ratio of evidence to general discussion.
It probably didn't help that Plato's theories are quite dense, so maybe starting with some more basic  evidence that's close to the text and easy to integrate could improve clarity.
tbh at the end of the year I highly doubt assessors will mark you down just because they can't read your piece in under 90 seconds or anything. Plenty of people I know have had messy handwriting or corrections all over their work that made it difficult to follow, but they still scored well.
Remember, you don't have to give a comprehensive analysis of Plato's Allegory, nor do you have to explain it in its entirety. It can just be a tangential reference that you're linking to something more accessible, for instance:
Our manifold realities can sometimes be restricted by forces beyond our control. The idea of such limitations on human potential and the desire to test these boundaries can be seen throughout the ages, even as early as Ancient Greece in one of Plato's most famous works, The Allegory of The Cave. In this, Plato uses the metaphor of a man emerging from a cave after years of imprisonment, casting off the oppressive shackles and stumbling towards the outside world as a literal and metaphorical Enlightenment. This can be seen in our own society today, albeit on a more figurative level, in the form of humanitarian issues, particularly surrounding the treatment of Asylum Seekers in Australia. The broadcasting of shows like 'Go Back To Where You Came From' exposes the realities of the refugee experience with such harsh honesty that even those of radically right wing beliefs were forced to confront their own prejudices. Thus, the role of one's environment and culture can impede on, or even drastically alter our preconceived realities.
You could probably go into more detail than that, (these two brief mentions aren't really enough to draw substantial conclusions from) but you get the idea. So long as you're not moving away from your ideas and getting too far into your examples you should be fine.
BUT... for the sake of your SAC, appease your teacher's whims. If she wants more accessible and generalized examples then that's what you should be going for :)

archenemy

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #377 on: July 13, 2014, 11:26:17 pm »
0
hi Lauren,

this thread's been incredibly helpful and insightful xD I've been trying to do a couple of Language Analysis pieces (because I find that I'm pretty weak in this area) and I'm finding that I run out of time very quickly (when under time constraints. Like I've only done 1/3 of my whole essay...) or I get halfway through analysis and realise I've almost written 800 words o.O (and then I cbs the rest of the article because I feel like 'ergh, more to do')

I think I'm a little bit 'picky' and try to cover every little point and I get bogged down in analysing minute details (trust me, I can write like 4-5 sentences on like one small point). My teacher says that I should try to look at the overall picture more, which I obviously agree. I'm just not sure how to go about doing this... just say I divide the article into 3 sections, should I limit myself to analysing just say a maximum of 3 (main) points per 'section'? Should I write more under time constraints to force myself to write less? or do you have a better approach/advice on how to stop being so err bogged down.

thanks x
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literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #378 on: July 14, 2014, 10:47:06 am »
+12
I'm assuming we're talking about VCAA style pieces and not the sort of thing you'd get for a SAC, ie. one core piece and a couple of visuals/comments as opposed to three articles + visuals? Since there's only one L.A. SAC for this year, there's no reason to be covering the latter anyway.
It can be tricky sometimes to strike a balance between breadth and depth. First of all, I'd say if going into detail is your strength, then don't be afraid to write more on the exam (if you're a fast writer, that is) But I can see how this could become a problem; VCAA is marking you on what you chose to discuss as well as how you're discussing it. The selection isn't as important as the analysis, but a student who has isolated the core of the article and dealt with key ideas is going to score better than someone who's highlighting every little thing he comes across.
A couple of things you can do at this stage:
  • Know what is required. There's a chance your analysis is doing too much summary or evaluation. If that is the case, then 3/5 of those sentences you write are probably useless. Break things down to a core pattern of what, how, and why. What is the author doing, what techniques, devices, appeals are used? (This is where you'd quote directly) How does this affect the readers' beliefs? How are we being made to feel, and how is this achieved? Why might the author have done this, why is this effective? (link this to the overall contention)
Here's one I prepared earlier:
For example:
The author's vitriolic (tone) attack (1) on the government as evidenced by the epithet "stupid ugly nazis" seeks to denigrate all politicians. Such loaded language elicits strong hatred from his readers (2), particularly given the sensitive nature of the issue (obviously you'd be more specific here). Consequently, -author-'s audience are more likely to reject the government's proposal (3) as "cruel and unfair," thus supporting his contention that we should kill them all etc. etc.
^That's quite a long-winded one, you could do all three in a single sentence:
Likewise the inclusive language in the title "Our Country, Our Rules" inspires a collective, patriotic sense of responsibility, inciting readers to share in the author's view that New Zealanders are evil...

I should probably start using real articles instead of making up psychopathic examples, huh?

Depending on how broad your starting point is (eg. something as big as an appeal to unity, or as specific as a single rhetorical question) you could fit 3 or four of these into an average paragraph.
You may be able to write more, but this is all the criteria is asking for; if you can fulfill this basic pattern (and not make it too derivative or repetitive) then you should be able to write with a more clear focus.
  • On the other hand, it might be an issue with your expression. For the most part, VCE English adheres to the old adage 'two words will never serve as well as one alone.' If it feels like your speech is circumlocating the point, or your meaning is obfuscated because you're using words like 'obfuscate,' then just strip it all down to the bare minimum and rebuild.
  • This is a minor one, but it may help you cut down on the word count: your intro doesn't need to be longer than 100 words. A good rule of thumb is 10% of your total word count (though T.R. and expository Context intros can be longer to set up your argument) Your conclusion can be pretty short too. The analysis is where the marks are, so keep everything else short and sweet.
  • Another little thing: keep quotes short too. Anything more than 7 or 8 words and I'd be breaking it up and paraphrasing. Never quote to summarise, and if you're analysing, there's usually a core word or phrase that you can delve into instead of writing out the whole thing.
  • Try planning. I know a lot of people don't bother in the exam since it's kind of a waste of time (I know I certainly didn't, and I'm not a big advocate for trying) but for practice essays it can be a very worthwhile task. You could go through the article and annotate it, keeping in mind you won't be able to deal with everything. Then plan out your paragraphs (I'll address this below) and see if you can minimise any waffle, repetition, or any instance where you're not earning credit.
  • How are you structuring your paragraphs? Because if you're going through things chronologically, then you might find yourself restating redundancies (eg. rather than mentioning inclusive language every time you find it, a single line like: 'The author's repeated use of inclusive language, (integrate one or two examples here)...' can be sufficient.) There's a guide on page 1 of this thread as well as countless posts already on what I call the 'key player method,' so have a read of those and let me know if you need clarification. This should
  • Time trials: you've identified a problem in your writing, now once you've narrowed down a solution to one or more of the above, it's probably going to take some practice essays before you can fully correct yourself. Luckily the fact that you're writing so much means you probably know what you're doing on an analytical level, it's just the format and structure which needs fine-tuning. So write as much as you can, get feedback from your teacher and try to get yourself down to a more manageable word count :)

brenden

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #379 on: July 14, 2014, 10:54:30 am »
+4
~~upvote her if you find her helpful, people~~
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scandin9

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #380 on: July 14, 2014, 09:25:32 pm »
+1
Hi Lauren,
What were the primary differences between Jacobean and Elizabethan England?More specifically,how can one utilise such difference in zeitgeists in a text response?
 

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #381 on: July 15, 2014, 07:28:18 pm »
0
Hi, Lauren

I can't distinguish between values and views/attitudes in T.R.
Could you please help me to distinguish them?
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Rishi97

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #382 on: July 15, 2014, 09:37:40 pm »
+1
Hello Lauren :)

In my creative piece as you said, I am trying to add more description. I'm trying to describe the injured citizens after an explosion but am having a lot of trouble. Here is what I have so far:

I sprinted down the street jumping over the injured people sprawled across the floor. There were men and women of all ages gasping their last breaths whilst being covered in blood. The dead bodies were covered in rubble and stone with either a leg missing or an arm. ďA woman sat on the ground with what was left of her baby in her lap; with a kind of modesty she had covered it with her straw peasant hat.Ē I struggled through the mass of bodies stepping around the puddles of blood and over the remaining limbs trying to find Phuong

Could you (or anybody else) please help me write this in a more detailed yet sophisticated manner? I'm new at writing creatively so any help would be much appreciated :)
THANK YOU!!!! :) :) :)
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archenemy

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #383 on: July 16, 2014, 12:37:02 am »
+3
Not sure what the context of this is but I'll give it a shot. I just followed your paragraph and added stuff in. BTW I'm sure other people can write stuff much better than this xD :P (might be some typos :) It's very trippy trying to correct using this html code haha)

Quote
Clouds of dust particles hung suspended in the air, and with every breath I drew into my lungs it only grew harder and harder to breathe. But I still needed to move. My leg muscles burned with the exertion as I sprinted down the street jumping over the injured people sprawled across the floor. With the last of their dying strength, bodies of men and women of all ages gasping their last breaths whilst being covered in blood. lay clutching at the thin air, as if they were reaching out...hoping. Hoping that God or some other higher agent would grant them mercy; grant them an extra breath. They were writhing in pain. Blood on their clothes, blood trickling down down down...and faces contorted with expressions so grotesque that I had to look away.  The Dead bodies, or what remained of them, were buried under rubble and stone with either a leg missing or an armThey were missing arms, missing legs and missing heads.. A woman sat on the ground with what was left of her baby in her lap; with a kind of modesty she had covered it with her straw peasant hat. I struggled through the mass of bodiescorpses, stepping around the puddles pools of blood, and over the remaining limbs that had been haphazardly thrown together, all the while trying to find Phuong
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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #384 on: July 16, 2014, 10:35:21 am »
0
Hi Lauren,

I am seeking advice on the technicalities of this essay question on the text No Sugar which is: "There are characters with redeeming and despicable qualities on both sides of the racial divide. Discuss."

Our teacher always wants us to highlight the key words of the question. For me I identity them to be: characters, redeeming, despicable and racial divide.

In this sense with a discuss question, in an English sense (because I know that it varies from subject to subject) how does one approach this? Can you agree or disagree? Do you have to abide with the prompt?

Also, when you are writing an essay is it all intuitive and 'natural feel' per say? Or is a plan definitely in order or even rote-learning some concepts from previous essays? Sometimes I might be writing on a topic I am confident with, but then have doubts about how to express myself and have momentary pauses throughout an essay, at times even over 3 minutes. I am also scared of writing about concepts which I have not addressed in practice essays...

literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #385 on: July 16, 2014, 05:37:58 pm »
+10
scandin9:
Not sure why this is important since there's only one Elizabethan text on the English lists, but:
Elizabethan: when Queen Liz I was on the throne (1558-1603)
Jacobean: King James' reign (1603-1625)
The Elizabethan Era was arguably more prosperous, and because it ended with a war, this left King James with a massive debt, exacerbated by the bubonic plague circa 1620. This wasn't really reflected in literature too much, as Shakespeare wrote some of his best plays in Jacobean times (most notably Macbeth, the plot of which had strong ties to the current political circumstances of the day.) There were many artists who were overlooked however, as the dire economic straights made it difficult to establish oneself.
I would argue that this climate led to a fascination with the psyche, especially abnormal conditions. Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy was one of the most influential in this regard. You can see this in some of Shakespeare's later plays too, The Tempest and Antony and Cleopatra which are both on the Lit. syllabus have subplots or at least motifs concerning 'The Other' and the whims of emotion. But I digress- the biggest difference between the two was that one had Queen Elizabeth the other had King James; they're not vastly distinctive eras. Ultimately Elizabeth is remembered a tad more fondly, but the general consensus was that James did the best he could with the hand he was dealt.
I'm sure there are other websites who could read a lot more into the zeitgeist so try googling it?

smile+energy:
Do you need help understanding the views in your text? Cause I'll need to know what you're studying if that's the case. But in terms of the difference between views and values, I think it's kind of arbitrary. I suppose 'views' could refer more to political inclinations or whether the author subscribed to a certain school of thought (eg. Marxism, Feminism etc.) whereas 'values' are more like core beliefs about what is important in life, in relationships, in literature etc. If an author has a certain view then I would associate that with his/her mindset and conscious outlook, but values are more internal and emotionally-driven.
From an English perspective, these two words mean basically the same thing; it's a way to encourage you to talk about more than just the text.

Rishi97:
archenemy's version is  much improved, but remember, this description must have a purpose. This is where the creative style becomes really tricky. 'Show, don't tell' is a good rule to help you write well, particularly when describing emotions. It's a lot more effective to say 'his eyes darted frantically, his knuckles burning white' than just 'he was really tense.' And it can be excellent for setting the scene too; lines like "Clouds of dust particles hung suspended in the air, and with every breath I drew into my lungs it only grew harder and harder to breathe" establish a sense of suffocation and struggle. But while this sentence/paragraph will contribute to your overall mark for writing style, you aren't getting much for the content. Yes, it's written well and the language is good, but you have to have the ideas to back it up, and they have to come across clearly. So don't feel you have to get wrapped up in 'purple prose' or really flowery language. This was why I recommended starting with mindmaps or prompt breakdowns to ensure the core of your piece is sophisticated enough to justify later developments.
If you're committed to writing creatively, then I'd say have something in every line, or at least every second line that could give you credit. For instance, the woman who covers her baby with a straw hat - this is great because it says something about the human spirit in times of turmoil. You don't have to unpack everything, but ensure there are enough instances of implicit commentary (passing references to other characters, setting the scene) and explicit references (protagonist's psyche, course of events) to maximise your mark.
Those who do well at the end of the year writing proper creative short stories are usually the ones who can look at things in a different light. If a bomb goes off in your story, what will you focus on? A good rule of thumb is to consider the other senses; don't write about how you saw the rubble, talk about hearing a city crumble around you. Don't write about seeing dead bodies, write about how the stench of death burns your tongue as though you are tasting suffering like it's a corrosive acid. This instantly becomes more descriptive, though as I said, the content is very much up to you :)

Enigma:
Here is a blog post I wrote about responding to prompts, consult that for the basics.
With regards to underlining key terms, it's definitely an effective way of ensuring you address all aspects of the prompt, (assuming you're actually doing something with the words you've underlined) but don't forget to look at the implications as well.
"There are characters with redeeming and despicable qualities on both sides of the racial divide. Discuss."
The implication here is that one's qualities cannot categorically determine values when it comes to race, and that subscribing to a belief does not preclude one from having either good or bad traits.
The danger with the 'key word' method is that it tends to oversimplify things. A lower-middle band response might look at this, take the same words you've taken, and write one paragraph on all the redeeming features in the text, one on despicable features, and then one on the racial divide and who's on what side, without ever taking into account how these elements work together. This is where having mini-contentions for each paragraph can really be helpful, so you're not just writing a paragraph on 'redeeming features,' you're writing one on 'why redeeming features aren't necessarily cardinal traits and how racial prejudices do not, in isolation, make a character irredeemable.' (none of this is text-specific so don't take these as perfect examples)
With regards to your other questions, yes of course you can agree or disagree with the prompt. The terminology of 'Discuss' or 'Do you agree' is irrelevant; every essay you write will be a discussion about whether or not you agree with the prompt.
Some people use plans and stick to them, some write with no stimuli other than the prompt. Find wherever you are on this spectrum.
Ultimately there will be concepts you're quite familiar with, but rote-learning is a waste of time. You never know what the prompt might be, and you'll always score better if you write something shaky but relevant, than if you write a solid piece with no relevance to the topic.
Every essay you write this year will be a practice essay, except for your exam. Therefore, you have little to lose by trying new things. Those "momentary pauses" might be gaps in knowledge (in which case you'll have to revisit the content) or it might be to do with your expression. See how you go just forcing yourself to write under time. If you pause for longer than 30 seconds, change the sentence and try again. You can also refine your pieces too, don't forget. Feedback from your teacher can be valuable here, that way you're building on your skills and not making the same mistakes.
I am also scared of writing about concepts which I have not addressed in practice essays...
Why? Your teacher is hardly going to judge you for an error in interpretation or expression. I've read a GAT essay in response to an infographic about diamond mining that simply said: 'Diamonds are something I buy for ma bitchez.' I guarantee whatever you've got to say can't possibly be that stupid.
The whole point of practice essays is to try out new concepts. Write heaps of 'formative' essays where you're trialling new things and developing your skills, then test yourself with 'summative pieces' that just deal with whatever you know at that moment. But don't be too concerned if not everything you write is your best work ever; it's all about the process.

Rishi97

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #386 on: July 16, 2014, 05:40:38 pm »
+1
Thanks sooo much Lauren :)
You are such a great person helping those in need !!!
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Jono_CP

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #387 on: July 16, 2014, 08:42:12 pm »
+1
Thanks sooo much Lauren :)
You are such a great person helping those in need !!!

I concur, thank you much appreciated :)

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #388 on: July 17, 2014, 08:24:34 am »
+1

it's a way to encourage you to talk about more than just the text.


Thanks for your help, Lauren
i am studying Stasiland.
And i don't really understand the sentence you said above.
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literally lauren

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Re: 50 in English, available for queries :)
« Reply #389 on: July 17, 2014, 04:19:02 pm »
+7
Unlike a language analysis where you're just dealing with the material in front of you, a Text Response can integrate the author's background, the socio-historical context, or the audience's interpretation, (not as much as Context, and you shouldn't get too far away from.the set text, but views and values statements are still very important.)
For instance, the sentence: Harry goes through the emotional trauma of losing many of his loved ones, but continues to fight for the cause he believes in.
isn't as effective as:
Rowling subjects Harry to much emotional turbulence in order to demonstrate his capacity to persevere through "even the darkest of times."

Not every sentence has to be like this, but using the author's name here and there ensures you're looking at the text as a construct (search 'construct' in this topic if you need further clarification)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 04:37:06 pm by Brenden »