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Author Topic: Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)  (Read 9780 times)

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heids

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Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)
« on: February 13, 2016, 12:03:43 am »
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Hello, eager Language Analysts!

Iím excited to welcome you on board ANís latest (and hopefully greatest ;)) collaborative initiative!

Two months before the English exam in 2015, I started a Weekly Letter-to-the-Editor LA Practise Club, where I posted 1-2 short letters-to-the-editor each week.  The aim was that each week, everyone would write one analysis on the letter and give feedback to one other person.

This year, the humble little thread of 2015 has transformed into its own glamorous board, and since Lauren has hopped on board, youíre in for a treat!

So, howís this going to work for me?

Basically:

1. Every Wednesday, Iíll post a new thread with *something* for you to analyse.
2. Youíll write a short analysis and post it in that thread.
3. Youíll give feedback on one other personís analysis in the thread.
4. Iíll add links to peopleís pieces and feedback to Compilation of weekly material, pieces and feedback.


Essentially, no matter where youíre at with language analysis, this is your chance to improve drastically throughout the year by working together consistently Ė so that come exam time, AN is going to screw up the bell curves by absolutely smashing LA ;)

SoÖ what itís in it for me?  Why should I join in?

1. Itís short and easy.  I know all too well that getting up the time, motivation and confidence to write a full essay can be super daunting.  So starting with something short, simple and informal will make it easy to build up your confidence and skills!  [With Lauren involved, I may or may not be lying about the Ďeasyí.]

2. Constant improvement.  The only way to really get better is through practising something, small and often.  Itís an incredibly smart and time-efficient way to study that will make your marks skyrocket out of all proportion to the effort put in.

3. Consistency.   Between the SAC at the start of the year and the exam at the end, thereís often nothing to remind you to do LA.  Iíve seen so many people have a massive panic attack a couple of weeks before the exam as they suddenly remember that LA is actually still a thing, even though they havenít thought about it for months.  Even something that gets you to spend just 20 minutes, once a week, on LA, will set you miles ahead of the competition come exam time.

4. No think-work. Weíre serving you content on a silver platter so you donít even have to stir from your couch to find something to analyse.

5. Free feedback.  I mean, who wouldnít want that? :D  If youíre the victim of a teacher who scribbles three words and two ticks on an essay you laboured over for hours, then the insights youíll get on how to take your writing to another level will be literally invaluable.

6. Get to be helpful. Helping others is just damn fun.  I mean, like, when you give feedback, thereís just a general satisfaction in knowing youíre a nice, helpful, amazing person, right?

7. I will remember your name and love you forever. Okay, maybe the benefit of this is debatable ;), but Ė people on AN are just going to respect you as a consistent, hardworking, and helpful human being.  Because simply put, thatís what we respect round AN.

8. Insta-respect boosts ;)  If altruism and whatnot doesnít float your boat, well, in more concrete and self-interested termsÖ Give feedback, and we guarantee you upvotes from bangali, lauren, and a mysterious third source whose origins are unknown (plus anyone else feeling particularly friendly).  So increase in respect is guaranteed!

And all this combined leads toÖ better study score, better ATAR, better course, better bragging rights, and, yíknow, like better everything.  If you consistently write, consistently receive feedback and tips on how to improve, consistently implement them, and consistently give other people feedback Ė itís simply inevitable that your marks will skyrocket.

It honestly hurts me to think that Lauren and I are spending a lot of time to make it as easy as is physically possible for you to kick ass at LA, and you might not even join in.  But well, I guess AN canít do more than put the keys to success in front of your noses.  Itís not our job to see that you pick it up and use it to unlock the door.  Thatís your job.

And alsoÖ because giving feedback is INSANELY helpful to you.

Marking other peopleís essays is actually one of the most valuable, time-effective ways of studying for English!

How so?

1. Develops an analytical mindset. You learn to dissect the specific strengths and weaknesses of writing, and why this works and that doesnít.  Learning to apply this to your own writing and thought process is like the way to succeed in English.

2. Gets you a sneak peek into the unfathomable mind of an assessor.  When you put on your Ďassessor hatí, you quickly find out the things that annoy them, and see how the little things sway their opinion of how good a piece is.  You can use that information in your own writing to game the system and tweak the little things that will make the assessor love you!

3. Forces you to think and try to explain Ė often solving your own problems.  Imagine you struggle with structuring your paragraphs, and you see the person youíre marking has the same issue.  Youíll probably spend a while thinking about exactly whatís wrong and why itís an issue (since you want to be able to explain it clearly to them!) and then of course you need to give them a solution, so you dig round to find that.  KA-BOOM.  Before you know it, you suddenly get why your methods werenít optimal and how to fix them, all because you were forced to try and articulate it clearly to someone else.

Extra cool thing here is, itís even super quick.  Itís not like youíre providing 3000 words of feedback on a full essay.  In fact, if youíve already done the task, youíve already got all sorts of ideas on it, so you donít have to waste time reading the article.

More details about other features of the board

Anonymity
This year, we decided to give you the option of posting anonymously.  We get how terrifying it can be to publically post your own work Ė I remember being scared as hell to even show my teacher a single sentence Iíd written, let alone anyone else.  All posts on this board will be anonymous by default, but you can click a little checkbox at the bottom to post under your username.  If youíre comfortable, please click this, especially when giving feedback, because weíre more likely to smile and shower upvotes (and feedback) on you from above if we can see that youíre being helpful.  Remember to check the box immediately before posting as previewing a post 'cancels' posting it with your username.

Type of content
This year, weíre going to have fun mixing up the content a bit.  Youíll be getting letters, images, cartoons, bunches of comments, podcasts, occasional quirky competitions, and probably something far more evil that Lauren hasnít broken to me yet.  Lauren has promised to drop by occasionally to deliver you something insanely impossible, watch you cry, and then saunter away.

So, be aware that this isnít directly VCAA-esque material.  Instead, it aims to really deeply develop the basic skills of analysing written and visual language, which you can later use in full VCAA-style pieces. And because itís more casual, you can really delve into analysing language without getting too caught up in the stress of ĎWriting A Formal Exam-Style Essayí. 

And hopefully weíll all be able to have a bit of fun in the process :P

How to structure your analysis
Itís actually totally up to you.  You can write a full 500-word mini essay complete with introduction, conclusion and a little cherry on top, or simply analyse in dot-points.  Feel free to start less formally, focusing simply on pulling apart the language in dot-points, and become more formal and essay-like later in the year when youíre more confident about your LA skills.

This board is for Club material ONLY.
All essays NOT based on the weekly material we have posted will be deleted or moved to English Work Submission and Marking.

To clear up some objections you might have to joining inÖ

(if you have any others please let me know)

But Iím hopeless at LA and posting is terrifying!
Thatís why you have the option to post anonymously; no one will be able to track it down even to your username (Ö which is anonymous in itself anyway :P)

Look, we also donít care how bad you are at this point.  Thereíd simply be no reason for this board if you were already 10/10ing it :P  Whatever level your writing is now, thatís the level we want you to write at (please donít spend forever perfecting it before posting! Post it raw, dodgy and real).  The whole reason for this board is for you to start off bad in an informal setting, and get better till youíre kicking ass.
But people might copy my work and steal my ideas, wah wah wahÖ
Grow up, kid.
But giving my competition feedback will disadvantage me!
Grow up, kid.

1. Get real and do the maths.  With 40,000 students in English, helping a tiny handful of others is actually not going to influence the level of competition you face at all...

2. You do realise that the benefits you get from a) getting other peopleís feedback and b) giving feedback yourself will far, far, far outweigh the benefits you can offer others?

3. In case I forgot to say it, grow up.  Itís okay for grade twos to do the whole elbow-over-maths-test-while-darting-suspicious-glances-at-neighbours-and-hiding-the-best-maths-test-pencil-so-no-one-can-steal-it thing.  But itís kinda scary when I think that these grade twos are still roaming the world Ė with the label of adults. :P
But, I just, like, donít post on ATAR Notes.  Itís big and scary!
I feel you Ė Iíve been there. 

But itís not like a lightning bolt will strike instantly from heaven if you do something wrong.  Just step out, do something new, post and keep posting, and the benefits you reap will be huge.  Weíve laid a key to success in front of your nose, but feel free to just leave it there and watch someone else take it and unlock the door for themselves :P

And by the way, we are totally not scary.  Lauren and I are both adorbs.

So guys, Iím really looking forward to seeing us all work together, consistently and collaboratively, to destroy VCAA in 2016ís English exam.  Join in and work hard, and youíll find your language analysis skills improving beyond your dreams!

If you have any questions about how this works, chuck them below and Iíll add an answer to this post! :)

Happy writing and posting!
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 02:37:56 pm by Anonymous »
VCE (2014): HHD, Bio, English, T&T, Methods

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Work: PCA in residential aged care

HopefulLawStudent

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Re: Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2016, 07:55:08 pm »
+4
I saw the words "Language Analysis" and died. Probably the scariest (and hardest) of the three essay styles for me. Love the idea. Here's to hoping I can remember and keep my bearings enough to check this thread on a weekly basis.

Question 1: Is there any way I can subscribe to a personal pester email reminding me this exists if I haven't contributed in say 3 months? Is that a thing?

Question 2: What constitutes as a "short analysis"? Intro, body paragraphs, conclusion?

Question 3: Oh god. Language Analysis. I think I feel a little bit sick just thinking about it. Not a question but whatever.

Question 4: I suck at feedback. Just ask my entire English cohort. What happens if I screw up giving feedback? Is that a thing? Will someone be checking feedback and correcting seriously wrong feedback? Because I don't want to be giving the wrong feedback...  ???

Anonymous

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Re: Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2016, 10:19:40 pm »
0
Could someone elaborate what exactly is language analysis? I'm in Y11 and have 0 clue :)

literally lauren

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Re: Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2016, 02:02:54 pm »
+3
Question 1: Is there any way I can subscribe to a personal pester email reminding me this exists if I haven't contributed in say 3 months? Is that a thing?
You can click the 'notify' button on the top right of this thread and you'll get an email alert whenever someone replies to it. The actual material will be posted as a new topic and then the links will be added here but that might serve as a good reminder. Otherwise, just set aside a one hour window once a week and remind yourself to check in. I imagine there'll be a lot of people who will post semi-regularly but will have other weeks where they're too busy or don't feel like it, which is totally fine. All the material will still be there afterwards though, so you can always go back through old stuff and see how you go with it. 

Question 2: What constitutes as a "short analysis"? Intro, body paragraphs, conclusion?
'Body paragraphs' will be the focus, but they may not be realistic 'paragraphs' every time - it all depends on the material. Some weeks it might just be a brief, 200 word letter to the editor whilst other weeks you'll get a few different pieces to compare. Structure is really up to you, and if you feel like you need practice writing introductions and conclusions then go for it! When it comes to the marking scheme, your assessors will be more concerned with the quality of your analysis though (i.e. how well you can explain how language is used to persuade,) so that's our first priority here.

Question 3: Oh god. Language Analysis. I think I feel a little bit sick just thinking about it. Not a question but whatever.
Hahaha, I'm sure you're not the only one. But if you had to choose between getting over that initial apprehension now while there's still time to fix mistakes and improve your skills, or putting it off all year and hoping your other essays will tide you over... obviously the first option is far more advantageous. Plus, worst case scenario, you post something and you make a heap of errors - a bunch of people tell you that you need to fix about 20 different things, and you end up with a long list of stuff that you need to work on... you're still in a better position than someone who didn't seek help at all and is still making all those mistakes but doesn't know how to improve :) We all started off not knowing what the hell Language Analysis was at some point (and for me, it would've been around this time of year back in my VCE) so there's no shame in being like 'err, I have no idea if this is right or wrong, someone help!'

Question 4: I suck at feedback. Just ask my entire English cohort. What happens if I screw up giving feedback? Is that a thing? Will someone be checking feedback and correcting seriously wrong feedback? Because I don't want to be giving the wrong feedback...  ???
Don't stress. Myself and Heidi will swing by if there are any issues, but just disclose what you know and what you're unsure of, and you should be fine. Even just saying 'hey, my teacher told be to do XYZ, not sure if that would work for you, but maybe give it a try?' or 'I think you should add more quotes because it seems like you're not covering enough of the material, but that's just my interpretation' is absolutely fine. And in the unlikely event there's anything that's totally off-mark, one of us can correct you and we'll all learn together :D

Could someone elaborate what exactly is language analysis? I'm in Y11 and have 0 clue :)
You might know it as 'media journals' or 'news analysis' - it's basically the writing task where you get a piece of text to analyse (usually an article from the Herald Sun or something) and then discuss the rhetorical techniques and arguments that the author uses. If you look through the advice in the Questions Thread you might get a better idea of what we're talking about.

Note that the exam material is a little bit different in that it's not pieces from real newspapers but rather fake newsletter articles and blog pieces that are written especially for the exam. Also, because you Year 11s will be doing a different study design to the current Year 12s, it's possible the exam will look a little different next year, but we're not sure yet because VCAA is slooooow with the communications. The general principles will remain the same though, so if you want to get involved, feel free!

Anonymous

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Re: Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 02:08:14 pm »
0
Hello, How do i join ??

qazser

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Re: Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2016, 02:48:26 pm »
+1
Hello, How do i join ??

Every Week, Heidi or Lauren puts up a LA[Week X] thread. Simply go in and post your LA for the article they ahve chosen for the week :)
AN Chat: Hop On!

2016:Methods[   ]

heids

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Re: Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2016, 11:47:24 am »
0
Quick hack: if - like Lauren and I have totally never done yet! ::) - you forget to tick that stupid box and post anonymously, feel free to repost the exact same thing under your real name, and delete the anon post.  Do it quick, sleight-of-hand style, and no one will ever know ;)
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Work: PCA in residential aged care

HopefulLawStudent

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Re: Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2016, 04:17:16 pm »
0
But there isnt a button to delete anonymously made posts?

HopefulLawStudent

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Re: Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2016, 01:49:06 pm »
+1
Can we make it so that we tick the box if we want it to be anonymous and not the other way around? Is that a thing? This question coming from someone who has accidentally made an anonymous post without meaning to 3 out of 4 times.

literally lauren

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Re: Introduction to AN's Language Analysis Club (READ FIRST)
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2016, 01:56:36 pm »
0
That awkward moment when I realised I double posted but I don't remember how to delete my posts because I fail at technology. (Please help me, mods)
I think to have anonymity at all it has to be the default, but I'll tidy up any double posting.

Dw, I'm pretty sure every post I've made on this board has been like
"done!"
*post*
"damn it, forgot to tick the box"
*delete*
*repost*
:P