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January 19, 2020, 10:54:36 am

Author Topic: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!  (Read 26376 times)

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elysepopplewell

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Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« on: February 01, 2016, 12:18:05 pm »
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Hey there!

Essentially, Area of Study will always be an area that students find they need more direction for. For some students, the liberty to write creatively about something as broad as discovery is frightening. For other students, this is what they have been waiting for! Whether you are the student looking for direction or the student who is just doing some maintenance on their creative, everyone needs to refer to the rubric. I've broken down the rubric below with some suggestions and directions. I’ve left most of it open because the rubric is designed to be broad, yet with direction. The rubric wants you to explore the concept of discovery. My annotations to the rubric are designed to help you do exactly that.

Another great way to use everything below is to read it all again after you have written your story, but only read the italics. When you have written a piece, apply it to each of the rubric sentences and pretend they are the creative writing stimulus! Does your piece tick all of the boxes so that it can be adapted to as many of the below as possible? The guess work of what the stimulus will be is ultimately removed because the stimulus is available for students. This is where the questions come from! If there is a quotation or visual stimulus connected it will largely relate to the below, but will be a little harder to prepare for. The BOSTES trend is to present students with an instructional quote/question, and then a separate stimulus. Prepare for this!
You can see the syllabus in all of its BOSTES glory, right here: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/pdf_doc/english-prescriptions-2015-20.pdf (Page 9 of 47).

Breaking down the rubric:

“Experiencing something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed”
Does someone have a realisation? Was something hidden from them or was it right under their nose the whole time? Had they once found something, perhaps love or happiness, and it was forgotten due to circumstances, but then rediscovered? Is it a situation of someone “coming to their senses” and discovery what they should have known all along, or is it a time for the character to have something concealed revealed to them?

“Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder.”
This refers to discovery being a process, not a just an outcome. Was the discovery the work of fate? Was the discovery the result of a set up? What triggered the discovery? Was it a necessity of life? Was it the magic of wonder and curiosity?

“Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful”
Discoveries can have a transformative effect on individuals. It could add new flavour to their life. It could be stark difference in the banality of routine.

“…meaningful in ways that can be emotional…”
How does the emotions of the individual affected change? Does an individual discover, an emotion? Was that emotion lost or forgotten? Does an individual rediscover love, happiness, trauma, comfort? These are all emotion impacts.

“…creative…”
Does the discovery trigger a creative expression? Does the discovery lead to virginal use of imagination?

“…intellectual…”
Intellect is the reasoning and understanding of something objectively. Does the discovery transform opinions and perspectives? Does the discoverer find themselves seeing the world with such clarity and understanding after the discovery?

“…physical…”
Does someone discover something tangible? Something that you can hold, touch, feel? Rather, does it transform them physically? Do they make a discovery about their own physicality? Their existence?

“…Spiritual…”
This can be religious or non-religious. Does a person make a discovery about their faith, their existence, their purpose, their vocation? Is the discovery entirely internal?

“[Discoveries] can also be confronting and provocative.”
Discoveries sometimes aren’t expected or even welcomed. Does the discovery completely overturn past beliefs or experiences? Is the discovery a stark event in a routine life?

“They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.”
This revolves around the idea of discoveries being a catalyst for change and re-evaluations. Perspectives can be altered by discoveries. The second sentence here proposes the idea that discoveries can be transformative of internal and external perspectives. Does a character in your creative find themselves in a time of changing judgement?

“An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values.”
This is all about context and is super relevant to your creative writing. Someone’s context entirely creates the foundation for discovery to evolve in many texts. The personal context: What do they originally believe, perceive and feel? The cultural context: What does their culture value? The historical context: The way of thinking of the period should be incorporated into your creative writing to create a tangible setting. The social context: What does society think about all of this? Are they encouraging and fertilising the discovery or are the barrier to be overcome? And the values of all of the above: who values what and why?

“The impact of these discoveries can be far-reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society.”
In case you haven’t noticed the pattern: discoveries can be transformative! For not only the individual, but broader society. You can look at this in the sense of the more individuals who discover, the more of society discovers. Or, an entire society could discover something all at once. Work with this! You can extend your text’s discovery this way.

“Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time.”
This is another awesome idea, straight from the rubric, that could totally give you the direction you need for your creative writing. Think of the way your creative writing could be structured here. This is an interesting part of the rubric. Can your creative text be viewed once, then questioned and challenged by another character? This is how you make character depth in your response.

“The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.”
Two individuals could experience the exact same situation and react differently (both in the real world and your creative writing!). This comes from the idea that each person carries different experiences, baggage, culture, values, emotions, etc. A parallel story line works really well with this part of the syllabus.

So, where will your creative writing go? If you still feel like you need more direction, simply take one line of the syllabus and pretend it is the stimulus you have to work with, and run with it. Brainstorm, write, edit, write again, keep referring to the stimulus and make sure you bounce back to make sure it is ticking all of the boxes! The rubric is important for AOS. It is essentially what ties in such a big topic!

Comment below any of your questions, because I’d love to answer! Please ask questions because we want to help people, but we can’t write answers if the questions don’t exist. Before you can ask a question, you'll have to make an ATAR Notes account here . Once you've done that, a little 'reply' button will come up when you're viewing threads, and you'll be able to post whatever you want! This is a public, friendly, helpful community and we want everyone to benefit from the information freely available!
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 04:26:49 pm by brenden »
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Starry Roses

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2016, 12:08:38 pm »
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Hi there! Thank you for posting up this rubric breakdown for creative writing. I just wanted to ask if you had any helpful tips to get my creative writing piece to match every part of the rubric? Or are we supposed to come up with a fleshed-out story, but have it flexible enough to be able to tweak it on the spot so that it fits the requirement?

Thanks!

elysepopplewell

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2016, 04:07:56 pm »
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Hi there! Thank you for posting up this rubric breakdown for creative writing. I just wanted to ask if you had any helpful tips to get my creative writing piece to match every part of the rubric? Or are we supposed to come up with a fleshed-out story, but have it flexible enough to be able to tweak it on the spot so that it fits the requirement?

Thanks!

Hey there! You are SO welcome, I'm glad it has helped you. You have a few options here, in response to your question. I tried to get my creative writing to match several parts of the syllabus. For me, this was that discovery is provocative, unplanned, evoked by curiosity, also planned to a certain degree, transformative of perceptions, it was meaningful in intensely personal ways, it was intellectual, emotional and physical.

It sounds like a lot, but because I did a speech for my creative about a woman who made a discovery (1950s) about her position as caged wife, not a trophy wife. So I incorporated her own past tense discoveries, the fact that she was delivering the speech shows how it changed her, but then the audience she is presenting to is likely to also make discoveries. So, I had a lot of opportunity for discovery!

If you can't be so inclusive, I suggest that you come up with some alternate endings or alternate scenes to add to your writing. This may just be that you prepare an ending that you love, but you are also skillfully aware that it may not suit the stimulus, so use the above guide and the broken down parts of the syllabus, treat them as a stimulus, and then prepare endings or alternate scenes around that.

Does that make sense? If this doesn't seem viable, post back and we can try work out something else :)
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Starry Roses

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 03:05:29 pm »
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Hey there! You are SO welcome, I'm glad it has helped you. You have a few options here, in response to your question. I tried to get my creative writing to match several parts of the syllabus. For me, this was that discovery is provocative, unplanned, evoked by curiosity, also planned to a certain degree, transformative of perceptions, it was meaningful in intensely personal ways, it was intellectual, emotional and physical.

It sounds like a lot, but because I did a speech for my creative about a woman who made a discovery (1950s) about her position as caged wife, not a trophy wife. So I incorporated her own past tense discoveries, the fact that she was delivering the speech shows how it changed her, but then the audience she is presenting to is likely to also make discoveries. So, I had a lot of opportunity for discovery!

If you can't be so inclusive, I suggest that you come up with some alternate endings or alternate scenes to add to your writing. This may just be that you prepare an ending that you love, but you are also skillfully aware that it may not suit the stimulus, so use the above guide and the broken down parts of the syllabus, treat them as a stimulus, and then prepare endings or alternate scenes around that.

Does that make sense? If this doesn't seem viable, post back and we can try work out something else :)

Yes, thank you very much for your help! I'll be sure to try to do that  ;D

EmileeSmith

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 11:05:11 am »
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very helpful  :D :D :D

conic curve

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2016, 09:07:23 am »
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Elyse, just curious but how did you prepare for the english creative. Sometimes I feel practice is not enough because usually in a creative, there's no starting point. Do you have a prepared creative and then adapt it to the creative stimulus (e.g. say you have a prepared response for discovery that birds navigate in a certain direction during the summer season but the creative question is about a vampire's castle). What would you do in this case?

ssarahj

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2016, 09:50:51 am »
+1
Elyse, just curious but how did you prepare for the english creative. Sometimes I feel practice is not enough because usually in a creative, there's no starting point. Do you have a prepared creative and then adapt it to the creative stimulus (e.g. say you have a prepared response for discovery that birds navigate in a certain direction during the summer season but the creative question is about a vampire's castle). What would you do in this case?

I can't speak for Elyse but I know that its common to prepare a creative piece and then practise adapting that to a variety of stimulus. For Discovery, the stimulus and question will always be extracted from the rubric in some way, shape or form. This means that if you have one or two pieces prepared that intentionally cover all aspects of the rubric then you shouldn't have a great deal of trouble finding a connection to the question in the exam, provided you have practised a variety of stimulus (quotes, images etc.).

In response to your example, I can assure you that you that there will be a number of stimulus to choose from in the exam so it seems highly unlikely that you would be forced to write specifically about a "vampire's castle". However if this was the case then you have the option of interpreting the stimulus on a more symbolic and metaphorical level. For example, a castle could represent being trapped >>>> the birds in your story could escape something + use the "castle" as a metaphor in the story.

Spoiler
I really can't find a connection to the "vampire" thing but you get the idea
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conic curve

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2016, 10:03:32 am »
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I can't speak for Elyse but I know that its common to prepare a creative piece and then practise adapting that to a variety of stimulus. For Discovery, the stimulus and question will always be extracted from the rubric in some way, shape or form. This means that if you have one or two pieces prepared that intentionally cover all aspects of the rubric then you shouldn't have a great deal of trouble finding a connection to the question in the exam, provided you have practised a variety of stimulus (quotes, images etc.).

In response to your example, I can assure you that you that there will be a number of stimulus to choose from in the exam so it seems highly unlikely that you would be forced to write specifically about a "vampire's castle". However if this was the case then you have the option of interpreting the stimulus on a more symbolic and metaphorical level. For example, a castle could represent being trapped >>>> the birds in your story could escape something + use the "castle" as a metaphor in the story.

Spoiler
I really can't find a connection to the "vampire" thing but you get the idea

I meant this sort of thing but you wrote your story discovery of birds

Could you write about entering the vampire's castle and going through it and then discovering that birds navigate in a certain direction in the summer season

ssarahj

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2016, 10:09:27 am »
+1
I meant this sort of thing but you wrote your story discovery of birds

Could you write about entering the vampire's castle and going through it and then discovering that birds navigate in a certain direction in the summer season

Sure, you can literally write about whatever you want. If you're aiming for those top marks then you want your story to be:
A. Making an insightful exploration of discovery
B. Sophisticated
C. Focused on the stimulus

So if you're ticking those three boxes with that story outline then go for your life!
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jamonwindeyer

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2016, 10:50:52 am »
+1
I meant this sort of thing but you wrote your story discovery of birds

Could you write about entering the vampire's castle and going through it and then discovering that birds navigate in a certain direction in the summer season

Will add to this discussion that you'll never get a stimulus as specific as this, for two reasons:

1 - As Sarah mentioned, you will almost always get choices
2 - The question will never explicitly ask you to write in a specific setting. Even if a picture of a castle is in the stimulus, as Sarah mentions, you would interpret it symbolically.

For example, the 2015 stimuli included things like a balloon revealing a curtain: It would not be necessary to physically include this in your story. It would instead be important (if you choose this stimulus) to interpret this thematically ;D

The point being (as Sarah said), don't stress about adapting your story on a literal level, stress about adapting it on a thematic level :)


conic curve

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2016, 10:55:04 am »
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Will add to this discussion that you'll never get a stimulus as specific as this, for two reasons:

1 - As Sarah mentioned, you will almost always get choices
2 - The question will never explicitly ask you to write in a specific setting. Even if a picture of a castle is in the stimulus, as Sarah mentions, you would interpret it symbolically.

For example, the 2015 stimuli included things like a balloon revealing a curtain: It would not be necessary to physically include this in your story. It would instead be important (if you choose this stimulus) to interpret this thematically ;D

The point being (as Sarah said), don't stress about adapting your story on a literal level, stress about adapting it on a thematic level :)

What do you mean by symbolic interpretation? Do you mean (e.g.) the narrator is trapped in his thoughts and through his thoughts he discovers _________

jamonwindeyer

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2016, 11:00:23 am »
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What do you mean by symbolic interpretation? Do you mean (e.g.) the narrator is trapped in his thoughts and through his thoughts he discovers _________

Yeah pretty much! Like, for my example above, you wouldn't physically include a balloon lifting a curtain, you would represent opportunities revealing themselves, discovery of new and previously unconsidered ideals, etc etc ;D a castle is a little too ambiguous to apply this to, hence why I feel it is not likely to appear as a stimulus any time soon ;) but yeah, you've got the idea!

elysepopplewell

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2016, 02:19:28 pm »
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Elyse, just curious but how did you prepare for the english creative. Sometimes I feel practice is not enough because usually in a creative, there's no starting point. Do you have a prepared creative and then adapt it to the creative stimulus (e.g. say you have a prepared response for discovery that birds navigate in a certain direction during the summer season but the creative question is about a vampire's castle). What would you do in this case?

All of the above I agree with!
Personally, I had a prepared speech I was ready to use. But, I knew more than just the speech. I knew every detail I could possibly know about my main character so that if the stimulus threw me and I had to add in an entire new section, I knew I could still be true to my character. Before I went into the exam, i went through the rubric and tried to find any areas that would put me off in an exam if they were given as the stimulus. This prompted me to consider alternative endings, alternative starts, or flash back ideas. Memorising a creative doesn't have to limit your flexibility. Often, people feel most comfortable going in with something prepared! I had one friend who made everything up on the spot and got a Band 6 - they aren't the lazy type, they did Ext 2 English, they are just so brilliant. I asked if that terrified him and he said not for a second. Whereas I'm the type who wants to know how things are going to go down and just do anything that throws a hurdle my way as I go.

As for incorporating a difficult stimulus: Consider that you can use the stimulus figuratively or literally. The castle could become a metaphor for being trapped and misunderstood. Or it could become a metaphor for a bastion of safety. If you're really stuck, you could say that the birds just flew over the castle - but try be more creative. :)
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conic curve

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2016, 04:59:08 pm »
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As for incorporating a difficult stimulus: Consider that you can use the stimulus figuratively or literally. The castle could become a metaphor for being trapped and misunderstood. Or it could become a metaphor for a bastion of safety. If you're really stuck, you could say that the birds just flew over the castle - but try be more creative. :)

I decided to ask this, because I thought that this was a particularly hard stimulus, how would you interpret this image and how could you adapt this sort of image to your story: https://www.google.com.au/search?biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&q=self+discovery&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwih0ZDu4JDPAhWky4MKHUaXAsUQhyYIHA&dpr=1#imgrc=l79BwObWOcQIbM%3A

This dude here said he 'took a risk' as he didn't want to memorise 3-4 essays.His story was on a spartan in ancient greece but the stimulus was a train (this is for AOS belonging by the way)

jamonwindeyer

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Re: Creative Writing: Breaking down the AOS rubric!
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2016, 05:46:59 pm »
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I decided to ask this, because I thought that this was a particularly hard stimulus, how would you interpret this image and how could you adapt this sort of image to your story: https://www.google.com.au/search?biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&q=self+discovery&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwih0ZDu4JDPAhWky4MKHUaXAsUQhyYIHA&dpr=1#imgrc=l79BwObWOcQIbM%3A

This dude here said he 'took a risk' as he didn't want to memorise 3-4 essays.His story was on a spartan in ancient greece but the stimulus was a train (this is for AOS belonging by the way)

I interpret that image as representing the ongoing, perpetual nature of self discovery. You will never finish discovering things about yourself, you can always dig deeper. So my story would be something revolving around that concept ;D