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January 26, 2020, 11:28:45 am

Author Topic: VCE English Question Thread  (Read 404723 times)  Share 

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literally lauren

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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #180 on: March 03, 2015, 10:01:53 am »
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Hello

How text- centric does my context piece have to be? Is one paragraph enough,  I'm just wondering because I've seen some pretty text dense ones out there.

Also can someone help me dissect the prompt 'It is difficult to look objectively at our lives because we are always looking from inside out'. I'm not too sure about whether I'm interpreting the prompt correctly.

Thanks!
The text-centricity of your SAC pieces is at your teacher's discretion. They want you to use the whole text and nothing but the text, then stick it in every paragraph. Or if they're happy for you to mention it once or just reference the ideas, then that's all you need.
The danger is when you write an exam piece that's only catering to your teacher; for Context in particular you kind of have to learn two ways of writing throughout the year. SAC writing is simple because you have your marker there in front of you, and you can ask him/her whether you should do more or less of something and why.
In the exam, however; you're aiming to write something that could appeal to the majority of assessors, so that's where your understanding of the task requirements is critical.

Broadly speaking, one paragraph should be enough. That's all I did in my exam, and that's usually what I recommend to students. That doesn't mean the text-heavy ones are wrong by any means, just that they're maybe not as efficient as they could be.


For that Context prompt, what do you think you're misinterpreting? Are there words you don't understand, or is it the overall concepts or ideas that you find strange?
See if you can simplify the prompt's point and develop a contention around that :)

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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #181 on: March 03, 2015, 10:27:33 am »
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Can someone read my hopeless intro please :(

Prompt: ‘Medea is ultimately careless of family ties, while the men – Creon, Jason and Aegeus – are obsessively concerned with their family interests’

In the tragic play, ‘Medea’, the perception of family differs accordingly to the characters. Euripides represents the social standards of 400BC, that women are self-centered, as the female protagonist Medea, the ‘loathsome creature’, delivers unholy deeds in the name of ‘moderation’. Although Medea demonstrates some love and compassion towards her family, there is a greater cause that is controlling her thoughts. The social views and values that she follows overthrows her love for her two children to the extent that she ‘sees no joy in seeing them.’ Whilst Medea is alienated in her own desires, Euripides depicts the men as the only civilized people in the play as they demonstrate affection towards their families. Aegeus and Creon display their utmost love for their family; however, Jason’s position is questionable, as he was willing to endure Medea’s exile.
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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #182 on: March 03, 2015, 10:47:25 am »
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The text-centricity of your SAC pieces is at your teacher's discretion. They want you to use the whole text and nothing but the text, then stick it in every paragraph. Or if they're happy for you to mention it once or just reference the ideas, then that's all you need.
The danger is when you write an exam piece that's only catering to your teacher; for Context in particular you kind of have to learn two ways of writing throughout the year. SAC writing is simple because you have your marker there in front of you, and you can ask him/her whether you should do more or less of something and why.
In the exam, however; you're aiming to write something that could appeal to the majority of assessors, so that's where your understanding of the task requirements is critical.

Broadly speaking, one paragraph should be enough. That's all I did in my exam, and that's usually what I recommend to students. That doesn't mean the text-heavy ones are wrong by any means, just that they're maybe not as efficient as they could be.


For that Context prompt, what do you think you're misinterpreting? Are there words you don't understand, or is it the overall concepts or ideas that you find strange?
See if you can simplify the prompt's point and develop a contention around that :)

My teacher prefers more external examples, but the examiners reports contains text dense context pieces. She doesn't mind if our first context essay doesn't contain much external references because we didn't have that much time but I'm pretty well-versed with the external examples so one paragraph of the text works well for me.

Speaking of teachers, what is your opinion of using books outside the set text. My teacher doesn't like us using books outside of the set text as external examples because 'students too much story-telling as a result'. Obviously I would stick to the set text in my SACS but should I consider using them later on?

As for the prompt, I think I'm misinterpreting the main idea of the prompt. This is my interpretation 'We are looking at reality/the way things are from our own narrow perspective and as a result unable to view things objectively/big picture'
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literally lauren

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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #183 on: March 03, 2015, 12:54:43 pm »
+2
Can someone read my hopeless intro please :(

Prompt: ‘Medea is ultimately careless of family ties, while the men – Creon, Jason and Aegeus – are obsessively concerned with their family interests’

In the tragic play, ‘Medea’, the perception of family differs accordingly to the characters. Euripides represents the social standards of 400BC, that women are self-centered, as the female protagonist Medea, the ‘loathsome creature’, delivers unholy deeds in the name of ‘moderation’. Although Medea demonstrates some love and compassion towards her family, there is a greater cause that is controlling her thoughts. The social views and values that she follows overthrows her love for her two children to the extent that she ‘sees no joy in seeing them.’ Whilst Medea is alienated in her own desires, Euripides depicts the men as the only civilized people in the play as they demonstrate affection towards their families. Aegeus and Creon display their utmost love for their family; however, Jason’s position is questionable, as he was willing to endure Medea’s exile.
There's nothing hopeless about it. I would perhaps take issue with your interpretation at the end there, I don't think you could feasibly argue that Euripides is totally pro-men and rejects Medea's potential for caring. After all, this 'greater force' that you mention was born from her love for Jason, was it not? (<-- not rhetorical, this is a genuine debate you could have.)
Just try not to be too definitive with your readings. You don't want to fence-sit either, but you're expected to strike a balance between overly restrictive interpretations and the wishy-washy middle-ground.

My teacher prefers more external examples, but the examiners reports contains text dense context pieces. She doesn't mind if our first context essay doesn't contain much external references because we didn't have that much time but I'm pretty well-versed with the external examples so one paragraph of the text works well for me.

Speaking of teachers, what is your opinion of using books outside the set text. My teacher doesn't like us using books outside of the set text as external examples because 'students too much story-telling as a result'. Obviously I would stick to the set text in my SACS but should I consider using them later on?

As for the prompt, I think I'm misinterpreting the main idea of the prompt. This is my interpretation 'We are looking at reality/the way things are from our own narrow perspective and as a result unable to view things objectively/big picture'

The Assessor's Report does not contain the most effective, 'best' pieces. Quite often those essays will only score an 8 or 9. They're there to prove a point, which is why they're accompanied by some comments (usually) about what they've done right or wrong. Many people around the state are unable to integrate the text properly, so in an attempt to combat this, VCAA publish samples that, if anything, over-use the text.
If you look back through previous years, you'll see them emphasise different things with almost every essay they publish. Learn what you can from them, but definitely don't use them as a be-all-and-end-all formula.

Definitely steer clear of whatever your teacher dislikes, but in the exam, any external reference is fair game. I was notorious for using literary examples, and most of my expository pieces just looked like a massive, conflated series of book reports that vaguely pertained to Conflict. In fairness, I was warned that drawing exclusively from any one discipline or area is problematic, because you open yourself up to obvious loopholes,
eg. 'here's a bunch of fictional examples of my contention!' ...yeah, but they're all fictional
'here's a bunch of historical examples from across the globe!' ... yeah, but they're not current
'here's a bunch of personal anecdotes about my experiences' ... yeah, but you're just one person.
Context is meant to be a broad area of study; you're meant to unearth some universal truths, and you can't do that properly if you restrict yourself too much. Naturally, you don't want to over-correct and cram your essay with all the varied information you can think of, but try and find some solid links that let you explore depth and breadth sufficiently.

That interpretation of the prompt seems fine to me. You should be fine to start exploring sub-arguments and see how you go; if you hit a mental roadblock then perhaps revisit your contention and modify it slightly, but you're definitely addressing the main idea. 'We can't judge ourselves, because we are ourselves' is what it boils down to. 'Are we able to objectively assess our identities/realities, or are we too wrapped up in our own heads?' 'Can we judge our own realities with the same objectivity as we judge other peoples'?'
It's quite a good prompt, actually :)

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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #184 on: March 03, 2015, 04:35:02 pm »
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Hey Lauren,

I've been trying to read books to expand my vocabulary, but I can't seem to find time to read much of my book unless it is in the holidays. However, I still want to continue expanding my vocab.

Should I just go through lists of words and memorise them and their meanings? Should it be VCE-specific or just any sort of word?

I was planning on learning the words on an image you posted in an EL post. It was a circle with synonyms for particular words, good idea?

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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #185 on: March 03, 2015, 06:03:57 pm »
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Hi Lauren :)

So I have an oral SAC which needs to be completed for my AOS 1 text (a graphic novel [The Complete MAUS]) and I've chosen a topic which will be "exploring minor characters" within the graphic novel.

What should I be looking for when I'm determining the characters which I will be analysing as well as the type of analysis which I could be doing? Also is a supporting character the same as a minor character (because mainly I've been picking examples where the character at hand is made obvious but only features for 1-2 pages at most-ish compared to a character which occurs throughout the graphic novel as such).

Thanks!

literally lauren

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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #186 on: March 03, 2015, 06:25:55 pm »
+3
Hey Lauren,

I've been trying to read books to expand my vocabulary, but I can't seem to find time to read much of my book unless it is in the holidays. However, I still want to continue expanding my vocab.

Should I just go through lists of words and memorise them and their meanings? Should it be VCE-specific or just any sort of word?

I was planning on learning the words on an image you posted in an EL post. It was a circle with synonyms for particular words, good idea?
Maybe it's just me, but I reckon reading would be more efficient than just sitting down and memorising words. There is an element of rote-learning, granted; but you have to acquire the words first.
I guess just be aware that vocab expansion doesn't have to be a 'sit-down-for-an-hour-and-learn-20-new-things' exercise; in fact it's most effective when you integrate the language in your essays or notes. I'd also say synonyms for words are more helpful that actual definitions. If you teach yourself to think in categories, you end up acquiring a bunch of other words along the way, and you'll eventually be able to distinguish between minute differences in connotations or associations.

eg. let's start with the word 'polite.' Instead of memorising the definition 'showing good manners or behaviour towards others,' you'd instead group it with a list like:
- affable
- cordial
- conciliatory
- genteel
- obsequious
- well-mannered
Some of these words are completely synonymous (eg. 'polite,' 'cordial,' and 'well-mannered' express exactly the same sentiment,) but the others have some interesting variations. 'Affable' is like cheerfulness when socialising; being 'conciliatory' means you're trying to reconcile or compromise with someone; 'genteel' is associated with upper-class respectability and refinement; and 'obsequious' is like 'sucking up' to someone, so it's more extreme than just being polite.

Not only does having more words help you write with more precision and efficiency, but this kind of attention to the associations of words is an immense help in Language Analysis.


If you're pressed for time, then stick to the VCE-oriented vocabulary (eg. tone words for L.A. (like that worksheet) or text-specific words for your T.R. texts.) But explore language as much as possible - it's a gradual process, but a worthwhile one.

Hi Lauren :)

So I have an oral SAC which needs to be completed for my AOS 1 text (a graphic novel [The Complete MAUS]) and I've chosen a topic which will be "exploring minor characters" within the graphic novel.

What should I be looking for when I'm determining the characters which I will be analysing as well as the type of analysis which I could be doing? Also is a supporting character the same as a minor character (because mainly I've been picking examples where the character at hand is made obvious but only features for 1-2 pages at most-ish compared to a character which occurs throughout the graphic novel as such).

Thanks!
I'm not sure if you've been given a specific prompt or thematic area to explore, but I'd guess that's what your teacher is expecting you to cover? So angling your exploration around an idea like 'The minor characters in Maus have a significant effect on our understanding of the text, or of theme X.' I guess Francoise
or Vlad and Anja's fathers might be interesting to look at; it depends on your interpretation of 'minor.' (Soz, it's been ages since I read Maus.) Since there are so many characters in the text, you pretty much have your choice of discussion topic. Just ensure you're going into enough depth with a few characters, and giving a sense of the full text as well :)


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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #187 on: March 03, 2015, 06:48:13 pm »
0
I'm not sure if you've been given a specific prompt or thematic area to explore, but I'd guess that's what your teacher is expecting you to cover? So angling your exploration around an idea like 'The minor characters in Maus have a significant effect on our understanding of the text, or of theme X.' I guess Francoise
or Vlad and Anja's fathers might be interesting to look at; it depends on your interpretation of 'minor.' (Soz, it's been ages since I read Maus.) Since there are so many characters in the text, you pretty much have your choice of discussion topic. Just ensure you're going into enough depth with a few characters, and giving a sense of the full text as well :)
Thanks Lauren! Great to see you still remember things about Maus LOL xD

The prompt I've chosen is: "It is though the minor characters that the detail of the story is communicated." And yeah that's what I was wondering whether there was a particular definition of "minor" character since there are some which I would definitely like to talk about (provided I can find evidence to back up my points that is)!

Last question (so far that I can think of), but in the prompt, they've stated "that the detail of the story is communicated", what exactly do they mean by 'detail' and 'communicated' because I feel as though 'communicated' is the use of graphic novel techniques (except I'm not too sure if that's right) whilst 'detail' I don't really know what to think of..

literally lauren

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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #188 on: March 03, 2015, 07:28:25 pm »
+2
Thanks Lauren! Great to see you still remember things about Maus LOL xD

The prompt I've chosen is: "It is though the minor characters that the detail of the story is communicated." And yeah that's what I was wondering whether there was a particular definition of "minor" character since there are some which I would definitely like to talk about (provided I can find evidence to back up my points that is)!

Last question (so far that I can think of), but in the prompt, they've stated "that the detail of the story is communicated", what exactly do they mean by 'detail' and 'communicated' because I feel as though 'communicated' is the use of graphic novel techniques (except I'm not too sure if that's right) whilst 'detail' I don't really know what to think of..
I think, if you feel up to it, you could actually conduct an interesting examination of what it means for a character to be 'minor.' You have the obvious surface level meaning which is 'a character that isn't in the text much,' but it's usually more complex than that. Infrequent characters can have a profound effect on the story, or even on other characters who in turn influence the story.
This could even bridge into an even bigger discussion about how characters have importance - is this assigned to them by the author, or just interpreted by the audience, or both? Usually the protagonist/antagonist/love interest etc. are pretty indisputable, but can we debate over the greater significance of a character?

AND you could even go so far as to question what makes a character 'a character.' The Greeks had a nice way of dividing up this concept:
είδος = literal character, as in, the person or thing itself, eg. Harry Potter, or Rodger Rabbit
χαρακτήρας = the spirit of the character, loosely translated today as the ethos of a person, eg. an immoral character, or a character of influence

You don't have to get too far down the rabbit hole of literary theory, but there's always more that can be found in a prompt :)

/nerdiness

For Maus, all the practice companies and VCAA themselves put a huge amount of focus on the fact that it's a non-conventional text form, so you'll see a lot of prompts that ask you to discuss whether the message is enhanced or impeded by the structure, or how the author uses certain features to communicate certain ideas.

The word 'communicated' here is fairly standard, but the word 'detail' has some potential. What is the 'detail' of the text? Is the prompt saying the minor characters just add background/flavour to the story, or that they contribute to the primary plot and concerns in a big way?

The wording is quite ambiguous, and I'd hazard the person writing it may not have considered all these eventualities, but feel free to take this in whichever direction you please. It might be worth asking your teacher whether you're getting too far away from the prompt just to get their feedback, but so long as your discussion always comes back to your contention, you should be golden :)

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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #189 on: March 03, 2015, 08:11:16 pm »
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Hi!

A bit of an unorthodox question, but I need help understanding this article about Julian Assange. I'm currently trying to write a practice piece on this article, but I'm not a very cultured person, so the second half of the article beginning with "Arab governments are as concerned as any other..." doesn't make much sense to me. The first half of the article is fine though.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/julian-assange-is-the-ned-kelly-of-the-digital-age-20101207-18ob0.html

Thanks :)
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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #190 on: March 03, 2015, 09:27:11 pm »
0
Can someone please help me analyse this essay prompt:
No amount of past hurt can condone Medea’s acts of cruelty. Rather than being a feminist hero, she is a vengeful witch. Discuss.
How would I address this prompt?
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literally lauren

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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #191 on: March 03, 2015, 09:34:03 pm »
+1
Ah yes, I remember this article from last year's round of MHS questions  ::)

Okay so the tricky thing about this article is it's subversion. It spends almost half the piece espousing something that's not the contention, namely, that Assange is an evil criminal.

It's in this second half of the article that you get a clearer picture of what the author is contending.
"So Arab governments are concerned..." <-- this section lists some of the 'revelations' to come from Wikileaks, but mocks how obvious and non-revelatory they are.
The author seems to be suggesting Assange is like Kelly in terms of their role in transporting the spoils of crime, but Assange isn't quite the mega-corporation-toppling-big-bad-outlaw that some might believe him to be.

It can be tricky going back to previous years' SACs since they rely on a lot of relevant-at-the-time understanding that most people, if they did know, have forgotten by now :P You'd probably be better off picking your own opinion pieces from the past few weeks and working with those.
This'll also help you catch up with the most relevant stories at the moment, so if you get something about counter-terrorism or foreign policy, you won't be totally stumped when the author brings up '18C' or 'Tony Abbot's shirt-fronting.'

Can someone please help me analyse this essay prompt:
No amount of past hurt can condone Medea’s acts of cruelty. Rather than being a feminist hero, she is a vengeful witch. Discuss.
How would I address this prompt?
The first half of this is badly worded, but essentially it boils down to 'We can't justify Medea's actions, regardless of her past. She's not a hero of women, she is a vengeful witch.'
First step: do you agree, or disagree with that sentiment?
Second step: why? What evidence in the text could you use to support your interpretation?

That should get you started; refer to the links on the first page of this thread for general advice on exploring and unpacking prompts :)

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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #192 on: March 03, 2015, 11:10:10 pm »
0
Could someone please critique this introduction I just wrote.
No amount of past hurt can condone Medea’s acts of cruelty. Rather than being a feminist hero, she is a vengeful witch. Discuss.
Through the tragic play “Medea’, Euripides elicits the worst of Medea. Euripides was known to challenge the norms and bend the rules; this was clear cut in the composition of Medea’s fabricated personality which does not come together as a coherent and believable character. There is no doubt that revenge would have been a suitable path for Medea to take, but the way it was exacted and the ferociousness of Medea in doing so transcends all human limits. Considering the role of women in ancient Greece, Medea was not one to conform to society’s expectations; this however does not make her a feminist hero in any way. The injustices that Medea commits in the process of avenging herself are injudicious in comparison to the “sting of injustice” she has endured at the hands of the “arch-criminal” Jason.  The act of shedding kindred blood is by no means justifiable, her “lust for blood” is driven by her fury, “wrong a woman in love and nothing has a heart more murderous”. Her concern for the inequality of genders was merely a ruse which she uses to bind the Corinthian women in an oath of silence. Through manipulation and shear brutality Medea challenges the boundaries of monstrosity within human actions, driven by a clear ulterior motive, revenge.
Thanks for the reply earlier Lauren :)
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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #193 on: March 04, 2015, 01:33:15 pm »
0
In text response, when a quote is given in the question, how should it be used in your essay?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 04:15:47 pm by Escobar »


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Re: VCE English Question Thread
« Reply #194 on: March 04, 2015, 02:53:28 pm »
+2
In text response, when a quote is given in the prompt, how should it be used in your essay?

No strict rules, but I'd advice at least mentioning it in your first b.p.
There's a tendency for people to forget about the quote and just answer the question/statement for ~600 words, then you see them go 'oh shit, there was a quote' around about the third body paragraph where they try to cram it in. It looks clunky, and it stands out, so just blend it in whenever seems natural.

Dealing with the context of the quote is also a good idea; don't just briefly use it for evidence, actually delve into who said it, what precipitated it, what consequences came about as a result, that sort of thing.