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September 16, 2019, 09:00:27 am

Author Topic: QCE Textual Connections Guide  (Read 22 times)

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literally lauren

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QCE Textual Connections Guide
« on: September 03, 2019, 05:31:55 pm »
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Textual Connections - Comparative Essay

This guide is designed to cover Unit 3 Topic 1: Conversations about concepts in texts, which will usually be the first thing you study in English 3&4!

Welcome to the Textual Connections Guide! Here, I'll be breaking down a strategy to help you do well in this topic, and some tips and tricks for structuring your essays!

First, let's talk about the two possible options you'll have for your 'concepts in texts' task. You will either be given:

1. Two texts that focus on similar themes/ideas

OR

2. One text + an adaptation of that text

Either way, you'll still be doing the same kinds of analysis; it's just that an adaptation will have way more connections than just a pair of text. For instance, if you were comparing the play 'Romeo and Juliet' with a film adaptation version of 'Romeo and Juliet', then you'll have the same characters, plot, and maybe even the same language. On the flip side, if you're doing 'Romeo and Juliet' and some other similar text like the movie 'The Notebook', you'll still have similar themes (like love, loyalty, relationships, fate, etc.) but completely different characters, plot points, language, and setting.

For now, let's concentrate on what you should be doing to prepare for your assessment task.

The best thing I can recommend is that you start exploring 4 different things...

1. Similarities in language features
This is where you look at similar quotes or structural devices like symbols, metaphors, characterisation, etc. Basically, what makes the texts similar on a 'language level'? Maybe there is a motif in one text that can also be seen in the other, or maybe both of the texts have an antagonist (i.e. 'bad guy') who is depicted in a similar way. This kind of stuff is great to analyse in body paragraphs, and it will hopefully be easy to make quite a few connections here that you can use!

2. Similarities in themes/message
Here, we're looking for similar ideas, or similar messages that the authors are communicating. For instance, both texts might be about the theme of 'war,' and they could both be presenting the message that 'war is psychologically damaging for the survivors.'

You'll never be given texts that are too different from one another, so you should be able to find at least 3-4 big themes that link your two texts.

3. Differences in language features
This is where things can get a little bit trickier, because we have to think about GENRE. You'll be analysing two texts of different genres, and so there are going to be different language features in each. For example, a play will have stage directions, and a lot of dialogue, compared to a novel which will usually have more descriptions of characters' inner monologues. Likewise, a film will convey things visually through camera angles and cinematography, while poetry uses lots of literary devices and constructs vivid imagery through words.

You'll need to be aware of these differences in genre, as this will let you draw points of comparison between your texts. It's reeeeeally important that your essays don't just turn into a bunch of similarities connecting the texts - you also need to talk about the differences between them.

In particular for the adaptations version of this assessment task, you should think about how various structural features change when the genre changes (e.g. when adapting a super long novel into a 90-minute film, a director will often have to cut out scenes or characters for the sake of time, so how does this affect our interpretation?)

4. Differences in themes/message
Finally, we need to consider the differences in ideas. Obviously this won't be anything like 'one text is about revenge and the other one isn't' :P Rather, you'll look at the subtle differences between them. For instance, one text might show us the dangers of an evil leader, while another might show us what happens when people don't have any leader. Or, one text might focus on the physical consequences of war, while the other focuses on the psychological consequences.

If you need help coming up with ideas for any of these, just reply to this thread and let me know what the names of your texts are, and hopefully I can help you out! ;D

When it comes to using all of this information in your essay, you should aim to combine:
2. Similar themes + 3. Different language
OR
1. Similar language + 4. Different ideas

For this first option, you'll be discussing how different structural devices can contribute to the same idea. For example, your novel might explore the idea of parental love for one's children by having a first-person point-of-view chapter from the parent's perspective where they reflect upon how much they love their child, whereas the film (which doesn't want to just have a clunky voice-over that says the exact same thing as the novel... that would be boring!) might instead convey this same idea through a close-up camera angle of the parent's smiling face as they watch their child play on a swingset, while inspirational music plays in the background to mirror the happy emotions the parent feels!

For the second option, you will look at how the same language features can actually contribute to different ideas. For example, a non-fiction text could use an informative tone and a detached narrator to factually communicate to the readers in order to comment on the importance of a sense of belonging, while another text, like a graphic novel, might use smooth, flowing lines, and detailed depictions of the landscape that imply a sense of calm contentment when the characters are in their home country, thereby communicating the same idea about how it's important to feel a sense of belonging.

In short, doing BOTH of these types of analysis will ensure you're hitting all of the essay criteria. Ideally, you'll want some of every colour in every body paragraph, as this will help you show off how well you know the texts, and how many different kinds of links you can draw between them!

That's all for now, but feel free to post below if you have any questions about this Topic, or want some more advice for this essay! ;D