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elysepopplewell

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English Advanced Question Thread
« on: January 28, 2016, 09:23:00 pm »
+13
HSC ENGLISH ADVANCED Q&A THREAD

To go straight to posts for the new syllabus, click here.

What is this thread for?
If you have general questions about the HSC English Advanced course or how to improve in certain areas, this is the place to ask! 👌 if you have more generic questions on English, or on the Common Module (Texts and Human Experiences), you can pop your questions here!


Who can/will answer questions?
Everyone is welcome to contribute; even if you're unsure of yourself, providing different perspectives is incredibly valuable.

Please don't be dissuaded by the fact that you haven't finished Year 12, or didn't score as highly as others, or your advice contradicts something else you've seen on this thread, or whatever; none of this disqualifies you from helping others. And if you're worried you do have some sort of misconception, put it out there and someone else can clarify and modify your understanding! 

There'll be a whole bunch of other high-scoring students with their own wealths of wisdom to share with you. So you may even get multiple answers from different people offering their insights - very cool.


To ask a question or make a post, you will first need an ATAR Notes account. You probably already have one, but if you don't, it takes about four seconds to sign up - and completely free!

OTHER ENGLISH ADVANCED RESOURCES
CLICK ME!
* Free English Advanced notes
* HSC Marking and Feedback
* [Guide] How to Improve Your Vocab and Expression in HSC English
* How to Study For Advanced English!
* [Guide] Surviving HSC English, Unshattered
* HSC English: The Keys You Need to Make Your Study More Successful
* Advanced (Old Syllabus) Resources Mega Thread
* Writing an English Advanced Module A Essay
* How to Write a Module B Essay
* Module A CSSA Exemplar (5 Takeaways)

Original post.
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! :)

Hello you literature loving things!

I am the legal studies lecturer for NSW ATAR Notes, which I love! My truest passion has always sat with English. 4 of my 11 HSC units were made from English subjects, so you can tell it is my passion! I graduated in 2015, I'm fresh out of the HSC feels. I also have kept contact with my English teachers, so if there is something here that I'm not 100% on, I will endeavor to give you the best advice based on everything I have at my disposal!

I'm making this thread as a kind of public Q&A. You ask me anything at all, and I will get back to you with the most detailed answer I can give. Unfortunately, we may find a text barrier here because of the amount of optional texts there are. For Area of Study, my prescribed text was the documentary "Go Back to Where You Came From." For Module A I studied Richard III and Looking for Richard. For Module B I studied the poetry of W B Yeats (my favourite texts!!!!) and for Module C I studied Brooklyn.

However! I want to hear everything you have to say. My answers will be stronger if they are not specifically text based, or if they regard the texts I studied. However, I'm happy to have a go at whatever you guys need, because I'm trying to be the person for you guys that I needed during my HSC. Throughout the year I'm going to do some reading of the prescribed texts that I didn't study, but I know that you guys are so that I can try and be more helpful. No question is too small or too large. If you feel like you want to, send me a private message. However, if you are curious about something there is a good chance that a lot of people are, so if you make it a public post I can make my response accessible to everyone.

We also have a free essay marking forum that provides awesome feedback. You can find that here: English Advanced Essay Marking

Advanced English is a demanding but rewarding subject. I'm always looking forward to chatting with you guys so don't be shy! We are one big ATAR NotesHSC  family around here.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 03:53:13 pm by jamonwindeyer »
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nay103

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 07:14:30 pm »
+2
Hey there!
First of all, thanks for doing this :) I'm doing the same Mod A and Mod C texts as you did this year, and while we haven't gotten on to Mod C yet I've read the book. Being a pretty avid reader, I know lots of good novels that would be good related texts for Brooklyn, but I haven't got a clue about any other text types. What related did you do/what would you recommend, and what kind of texts should I be looking out for? I don't really know what I'm supposed to do for Mod C yet, but I'd much rather get my related text chosen asap to free up my time later.
Thanks!
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| English Advanced | English Extension 1 | Mathematics Extension I | Mathematics Extension 2 | Legal Studies | Physics | Heritage Japanese |

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foodmood16

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 12:09:18 pm »
+2
Hey, I was wondering how did you study for English throughout your HSC year, I am having trouble finding ways to study. Thankyou in advance 😊

jamonwindeyer

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2016, 12:40:02 pm »
+11
Hey, I was wondering how did you study for English throughout your HSC year, I am having trouble finding ways to study. Thankyou in advance 😊

Hi foodmood16! I'm not Elyse (clearly, how could I match that level of fabulousness  ;)), however I thought I'd drop in and give some of my advice, since this is a super awesome question and I guarantee everyone will have asked it at some point.

Studying for English is pretty much in two parts:

1- Learning your quotes, evidence, forms, character analyses, etc etc
2- Learning/practicing ways to use these effectively in strong, unique, developed arguments

Part 1 is, essentially, content memorisation. Use whatever method you use for your other subjects that works. Personally, I wrote down all the quotes I thought would be relevant as we went through the text in class (or individually depending on the Module, we did some different stuff at different parts of the year). Then, I took this list and narrowed it down to the ones that were most useful (how many quotes is another question entirely). To learn them, I basically wrote them down in a table with the quote, the technique, and a brief analysis. Then, I would repeat the sentence over and over (I was a really boring student). For example:

The alliterative monologue of the protagonist in McTeigue's V for Vendetta allows the audience to view him in a more favourable light, the first of many theatrical choices which develops an audience appreciation for the "vaudevillian veteran."

I would just recite sentences like this (not word for word, just using my little comments for analysis and joining everything together to form something resembling a sentence) over and over, and it stuck! If this bores you to tears (it did for me at times) there are way more interesting options. A whole bunch of people I know made posters with colours and arrows showing links, one person recorded their quotes and listened to them on the bus, one person just remembered quotes by writing essays! Whatever works. Speaking of writing essay, Part 2...

Yes. You must practice. There is no other way to prepare for an English Advanced Paper, especially Paper 2. The best way to study after you know your quotes (or even when you don't)? Just pick a past HSC question, and pump out an essay, or even a paragraph! Doesn't matter, as long as you are practising and getting feedback! Elyse has already mentioned the free essay marking; and I see you are already using it, that is AWESOME! There is no better way to practice making your arguments solid, you are off to an awesome start.

Just keep writing, and you will get better and better every time.

Hope my two cents helped a tad. Stick around, I'm sure Elyse will be along soon with some more awesome advice! Thanks heaps for the question  ;D ;D

jamonwindeyer

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2016, 12:56:18 pm »
+6
Hey!
I was wandering if you had any advice in developing a creative writing idea for the discovery AOS? I am really struggling to develop a strong idea that is adaptable and conceptually shows the idea of discovery and I need to submit a draft really soon.
Thanks in advance  :)

Hi Sarah! I thought I'd drop in and give a bit of advice, Elyse will be along very soon to give some more I am sure  :D

Now, I did my HSC in the last year of Belonging, and Creative Writing was my weakest section. Essays I was okay, creative writing a bit less so. There is no easy answer to your question, strong ideas for AoS are difficult, but my advice is to keep it simple! For my tutoring students who ask about Creative Writing, I always talk to them about Character Driven vs Plot Driven. The best stories are not based on a complicated plot where a giant spaceship from another universe invites the protagonist to a new land where they ultimately discover the true nature of human existence because it turns out that the aliens were actually human time travellers. Too complex, too much to explain in 40 minutes.

No, the best stories are simple. My belonging one was about a homosexual man in a Religious family. All of my stories revolved around this one (nameless) character. Most of my stories were just this guy standing in Church, having flashbacks, commenting on the things he saw. Lots of symbolism, lots of character development... Almost nothing going on plot-wise. But it was adaptable; belonging to community, belonging to self, belonging to family, belonging to place, belonging to faith, I could hit pretty much any mark.

My advice is to come up with a character you can revolve your stories around, almost like method acting. Have something different about them upon which the stories are based. I didn't do Discovery, so my ideas won't be as great as others, but if you have a character with something interesting about them, your work is essentially done. Perhaps look at discovery of a heritage in an unlikely place, discovery of the importance of something really seemingly insignificant. For example, perhaps a young Jewish man goes to Auschwitz. Very simple premise (and perhaps a little too overdone), but you could hit personal, cultural, familial and historical discovery in one character and one idea. Something simple like this is all you need.

Again, my ideas won't be as good as someone like Elyse who has done Discovery,  but I really wanted to reply since this is something I struggled heaps with in the HSC. The idea of character driven stories wasn't emphasised to me as much as it could have been, and if this can help someone, then I'm super happy!

Thanks so much for your question Sarah!  ;D

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2016, 01:06:43 pm »
+4
Hey there!
First of all, thanks for doing this :) I'm doing the same Mod A and Mod C texts as you did this year, and while we haven't gotten on to Mod C yet I've read the book. Being a pretty avid reader, I know lots of good novels that would be good related texts for Brooklyn, but I haven't got a clue about any other text types. What related did you do/what would you recommend, and what kind of texts should I be looking out for? I don't really know what I'm supposed to do for Mod C yet, but I'd much rather get my related text chosen asap to free up my time later.
Thanks!

Hey nay103! I'm answering a few questions on the forum, I'm not Elyse, but hopefully I'm giving some good advice! For your question though, I'll definitely have to throw to Elyse, she did your texts so she is the best person to answer.  :)

 However, what I will say is that if you are a reader and you know good novels, use novels! There is absolutely nothing wrong with only using novels for ORT's. If it's your strength, play to it! You aren't "marked down" for only using one text type.

Module C is about Representation and Text, exploring how ideas are represented in different texts, how these representations are shaped by context, and how effectively the ideas are explored. So, you want something where the composer has clearly made clever choices to create meaning. Mine for Module C was V for Vendetta, the McTeigue film with Natalie Portman. I picked it because McTeigue made obvious choices to push the idea that governments need to be questioned/challenged, an idea which fit well with Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. So, in your search, look for a novel which is very obviously pushing an idea (or perhaps more subtle, but make sure you have enough evidence), and an idea which fits well with the ideas presented in Brooklyn. They don't necessarily have to be ideas that agree, or disagree, but they should definitely concern the same content areas/concepts.

Just some general advice, I hope it helps! Thanks so much for the question, keep them coming, and Elyse (or myself) will be super happy to help you out!!  ;D

polpark

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2016, 06:24:51 pm »
0
Hey
In the aos essay should you provide the brief context of the texts in the intro or the body.

thanks

Happy Physics Land

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2016, 07:07:48 pm »
+3
Hey
In the aos essay should you provide the brief context of the texts in the intro or the body.

thanks

Hello Polpark:

I am a year 12 English Advanced student just happy to help out. When I wrote my English Area of Studies essay, I mentioned very briefly the respective contexts of my prescribed and related texts in my introduction. The purpose of this is to simply tell the marker that you recognise the historical distances between the times at which the texts are composed. Since it WOULD be necessary to compare and contrast contexts in SOME details when comparing your two texts later on, I would definitely recommend to at least mention the context of your texts in the introduction. In the body paragraphs I would also mention the context of my text in the topic sentence, and depending on the way you structure your essay, the place where you would insert your context would also differ a little. For me, I like to structure my AOS essay in a format that I have an intro, then I would introduce and analyse my prescribed text, then my related text and afterwards a detailed paragraph comparing the two texts and how their representations of the similar themes are different. If you decide to adopt such a structure, then I would recommend to briefly mention context in your two paragraphs analysing your texts and include your contexts in more significant detail in the comparison paragraph. This is necessary because the inclusion of context in your essay will help your marker to discern that you do appreciate how the historical differences would have an impact upon different representations or completely different understanding of a same, universal theme. BUT DO KEEP IN MIND that this AOS essay should not be one where it is dominated by contextual comparisons, contexts are just there to show the marker that you have successfully made intertextual connections and to strengthen your argument. For example, if you are using Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad as your related text, then its quite important to very briefly introduce its post-colonial context which directly relates to the background of this story. The history of European settlement to Congo provides the reason thats explains the significance of the persona's voyage to Congo and as an outcome this portrays an introspective physical journey that allows the discovery of the potential darkness that lies universally amongst all mankind.

But yes if you werent too bothered with reading all that writing, just include some context for both texts in your intro, some context for both of your texts in the topic sentence and a little bit more focus on the significance of context on wherever you decide to compare the two texts. AND REMEMBER, THIS IS NOT A CONTEXTUAL COMPARISON MODULE, SO JUST INCLUDE IT TO HELP STRENGTHEN YOUR ARGUMENT, AND YOU CAN LEAVE THE DETAILED CONTEXTUAL COMPARISONS TO MODULE A. I sincerely hope that my answer would have made it clearer for you.

Best Regards
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alexpikachu

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2016, 10:55:42 am »
+1
since you graduated this year can you send me your discovery creative thanks.

elysepopplewell

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2016, 06:43:54 pm »
+2
Hey there!
First of all, thanks for doing this :) I'm doing the same Mod A and Mod C texts as you did this year, and while we haven't gotten on to Mod C yet I've read the book. Being a pretty avid reader, I know lots of good novels that would be good related texts for Brooklyn, but I haven't got a clue about any other text types. What related did you do/what would you recommend, and what kind of texts should I be looking out for? I don't really know what I'm supposed to do for Mod C yet, but I'd much rather get my related text chosen asap to free up my time later.
Thanks!

Hey! I hoped you liked Brooklyn. It was slow starting for me but I read the second half of the book in a matter of two hours. Also, it is good to see someone else out there who has it as a prescribed text! I went to a lecture and the lecturer (a HSC marker) had never heard of the text, uhhhh. It's such a good idea to get ahead when you can, your mentality is setting you up for success. It's awesome you're an avid reader, so let's turn that into an awesome asset for you selecting ORTs. My ORT for Module C was a short story by Tim Winton called "Distant Lands." I also used it for discovery! It was my only advanced ORT. The perks of doing a short story are this:
-You can read it quickly.
-You'll probably find that the language is jam-packed with everything you want to write about in an essay. In a novel, you may find pages of irrelevance to your essay. But in a short story, you'll probably find that in every paragraph, there is something you can use.
-A short story's plot runs in a very small time, so the need for that tiny bit of explanation of the text is a little easier. So when you say "Fat  Maz was used to a banal landscape" (excuse the banal syntax haha), you have entirely described the setting, because there is no "back story" to help you appreciate the discovery/landscape (depending on the module).

So I love the work of Tim Winton. He's an Australian, very widely read author. Your english teacher(s) probably, hopefully love him. He just released a new book entirely about his own landscape (I haven't read it yet but I hope to soon. Could be useful for Module C). His short stories are accessible because they take the essence of Australiana.

Enough about that now and let's talk about where else you can find awesome ORTs.
-Poetry. Did you study poetry in preliminary? I studied the poetry of Seamus Heaney and a lot of my class mates used this as an ORT (because they had already studied it so it was less leg work for them, but it was also relevant to module C and AOS).
-Films. Some students loathe studying film techniques but I think you should embrace it. If it just isn't your thing and you're far more about the written word, that's of course fine. But don't be quick to dismiss a film!
-Speeches/Eulogies. The manipulation of language in these texts are often just so wonderful for writing about. Think of the most powerful speeches in time, how did they move you? Was it because of the really stark metaphors?
-Images - Art students love this option usually. Don't be threatened by visual ORTs. It could infact work in your favour to become familiar with analysing visual texts because the unseen texts for Discovery could involve that!

Does this help? Post back to let me know! I can expand on anything that isn't clear :)
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elysepopplewell

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2016, 07:10:07 pm »
+4
Hey
In the aos essay should you provide the brief context of the texts in the intro or the body.

thanks

Hey! This is a really good question. A lot of people struggle to point out the significance of context without waffling on about it in a way that waters down the analysis.
In an area of study essay you must remember that it is a concept-driven essay, not a text driven essay. Contrarily, Module A comparative study will so heavily rely on the text and the associated context in order to make an effective comparison.
I'm also curious as to whether you are talking about the author's context and purpose, or the text's setting. The author's context and purpose isn't as important for this kind of essay, USUALLY. There are some exceptions. If you are taking a more complex route to your essay and are talking about the discoveries the author and reader have made (assuming that your text is not a memoir or autobiography) throughout the fiction. However, this is an unlikely essay plan. Most students will find that the author's context is worth a mention in a sentence alongside a strong point. It isn't necessary to throw in there!

However, if you are talking about the fictional context of the text, this can be different. Often, you truly do need to describe the setting of the fiction to describe how the discovery evolved, particularly if you are arguing that discovery is a process and not just an outcome (hint: thesis idea!)

Your mention of context really is dictated by the text being fiction or non-fiction, the thesis you are arguing and the accessibility of the text to a marker (will they appreciate what you say about the text without the setting? or is that important to highlighting the character's discovery?)

Let me know what you think :)
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elysepopplewell

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2016, 02:31:43 pm »
+2
Hey, I was wondering how did you study for English throughout your HSC year, I am having trouble finding ways to study. Thankyou in advance 😊

Hey foodmood16! I thought your question was so valuable (and two other people personally messaged me asking the same thing!) so I thought that I would write a public guide to help you out! You can see that here! Let me know what you think :)
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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2016, 03:43:23 pm »
0
Thank you for your answers guys!!!!!

elysepopplewell

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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2016, 01:45:02 pm »
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Thank you for your answers guys!!!!!

Anytime! Hit us up whenever you having a question pending :)
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Re: English Advanced Question Thread
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2016, 09:24:46 pm »
+1
What is the preferred paragraph structure for a Module A essay? (For texts 1984 and Metropolis)