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September 21, 2020, 06:54:40 am

Author Topic: Should I Switch To Literature?  (Read 3339 times)  Share 

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Geoo

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Should I Switch To Literature?
« on: November 17, 2019, 09:43:28 pm »
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This year I just did standard old english, which I did alright in. I have never really been an English student and before year 11 I was averaging about C's to D's. I really stepped it up this year and was able to get my average up to an B+ to A with getting one A+ (which I was over the moon with).
Bear with me, but for a long time I hated books..... I found them boring and uninteresting so I couldn't for the life of me figure out why people liked reading...

However, last year I ended up picking up a book after just pure boredom which completely changed my perspective on books. So I ended up reading about 150+ books last year as I had found my love for books. I do believe that this helped massively with English and I am now wondering if I take literature instead.

I honestly don't know the differences between the two, or what makes them so different. I still have a way to go in improving my skills but it is certainly a start.

So if someone could give me a rundown on the differences and what they are like?
VCE Journey: 2019 - 2020
Biology [38], Chemistry, Methods, Food Studies, English.

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Re: Should I Switch To Literature?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 01:24:17 am »
+10
Hey Geoo! I don’t know too much about VCE English (I did unit 2 last year but that’s about it) but I just want to first address a misconception that being an avid reader instantly makes you better suited for literature. I know students who can barely make it through Harry Potter scoring 45+ in lit, and also students who spend their days buried in books only to get mid 30s. While enjoying reading is no detriment, I must really warn you (and anyone else in the same boat) of choosing lit just because you like books. It’s not that simple.

Of course, liking reading would help in both English and Literature. But fundamentally the two are different subjects with different marking criteria and literature is NOT just ‘hard English’ or ‘English for people who like reading’.

In lit there are 4 assessments: 1. Adaptations and Transformations; 2. Creative Response; 3. Literary Perspectives; 4. Close Passage Analysis. Adaptations (Unit 3 Outcome 1) is kind of similar to a comparative essay in English, except that you are comparing the same text in two different formats (for example, a play and a film). The creative response (Unit 3 Outcome 2) is just like creative tasks from English - the main creative is worth 90% and your statement of intention is worth 10%. The major differences come in Unit 4.

Literary Perspectives (Unit 4 Outcome 1) requires you to analyse a text from two different lenses (or perspectives) — the common ones are Marxist, postcolonial, feminist, and psychoanalyst. This assessment would require a lot of extensive reading of much more challenging and academic sources.

Close Passage Analysis (Unit 4 Outcome 2) is basically close analysing the language of three short excerpts. After close analysis, you must zoom out and comment on how your findings link to the broader social, political, economic, cultural, or even religious context of the time period. CPA is particularly “trippy” when you first start writing, as it basically chucks all the habits you’ve gained from year 7-10 English out the window. CPAs do not follow the ‘English’ structure of writing and this is one point which a lot of students find hard to get around.

Generally, Literature is a good choice for students who not only enjoy reading and writing, but also writing with a scope of creative freedom, and don’t mind doing a lot of reading on more academic sources. (Highly recommend borrowing a friend’s Jstor account if your school does not use it).

Some differences I can think of between English and Lit in terms of assessments:
- The English exam is 3 hours long and requires you to write 3 essays (Text Response, Comparative, Argument Analysis); the Literature exam is 2 hours long and requires you to write 2 essays (Literary Perspectives, Close Passage Analysis)
- English has an oral assessment. While literature also has an oral component it’s a highly negligible part of the subject (at my school, it counted 10% towards a SAC worth 12.5%. For a lot of schools, it’s not even assessed).
- Both English and Lit has 5 SACs, however for English that’s 5 different assessments (the three you get in exams, plus creative and the oral); in Literature, there are only 4 different assessments (CPA gets two SACs). Both English and Lit exams are worth 50% of your study score, with your SACs making up the other 50%. Unit 3 and Unit 4 are both 25% each.

There are two reviews for Literature in the VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings thread (from 2018 and 2019) which might also help you in making your decision!

Also, which assessments were your best and worst in English 1/2 this year? This would also be something worth considering!

I hope this gives you a better idea of the types of assessment in literature, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask! :)

VCE: Literature [50] Methods [50] Further [48] Music [48] Chemistry [40] Biology [33]
Current: Bachelor of Science (Animal Health and Disease)

Geoo

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Re: Should I Switch To Literature?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 01:47:15 pm »
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Wow, thank you so much for all the advice! You have given me alot of information which has been really helpful! I'll definitely still think about changing as do I do like having a bit more creative freedom and not as much structure in my works, so that is probably the most appealing part.

I am a bit scared when it comes to the slightly different types of assessments, as I have no experience with them what so ever aside from the creative response. Could you elaborate more on literary perspectives, does that mean that after you have chose that perspective you review the piece of wiring from that point of view?
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Re: Should I Switch To Literature?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 05:13:30 pm »
+1
I am a bit scared when it comes to the slightly different types of assessments, as I have no experience with them what so ever aside from the creative response. Could you elaborate more on literary perspectives, does that mean that after you have chose that perspective you review the piece of wiring from that point of view?

That's pretty much the basic gist of Literary Perspectives! To put simply, for this outcome you must read your text, THEN you must read a bunch of 'critiques' on said text - basically, read about the analysis of the text from the point of view of other writers or academics, then you formulate your response around that.

For example, I did my Lit Perspectives SAC on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. From a post-colonial lens you can focus on the exploits of European imperialists and their impacts on the land and the natives of Congo. From a feminist lens, you'd look at the portrayal of women and what they contribute (or do not contribute) to the story.

I forgot to mention in my previous post - for the SAC (Unit 4 Outcome 1) your teacher would most likely ask you to incorporate two perspectives, however on the exam you will only need one.

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I'll definitely still think about changing as do I do like having a bit more creative freedom and not as much structure in my works, so that is probably the most appealing part.

Sorry I wasn't really clear in my previous post. Creative freedom does not mean that you do not have a clear structure in your writing - all it means is that you do not have to follow the conventional structure used in year 7-10 English. You can use a structure and write in a style that suits you, but it still needs to be clear and easy to follow.

Hope this makes it clearer!

VCE: Literature [50] Methods [50] Further [48] Music [48] Chemistry [40] Biology [33]
Current: Bachelor of Science (Animal Health and Disease)