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July 18, 2024, 03:03:58 pm

Author Topic: English Advanced - study method??  (Read 1381 times)  Share 

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English Advanced - study method??
« on: May 05, 2018, 02:07:38 pm »
Hi everyone!

This is my first ever post so I'm not entirely sure if I'm doing this correctly, but I really need some help with studying for English.

Up until HSC, my school would usually provide the essay question (or a 'practice' question that would be extremely similar to what we get on the day of the exam). This meant I could spend weeks on perfecting an essay, memorising it word for word and tweaking it on the day to suit the question. With this method I've been doing really well in terms of ranks, but obviously, it's a lot different in the HSC.

My ranks have been dropping because I still haven't figured out how to move on from my rote learning habit, so I want to get some advice in terms of making study notes. I know everyone has a different method that works for them, but any tips on what might work for me? I want to make study notes that I can actually USE in the exam. For instance for module B (my school is doing Speeches), I organised my notes using a table, under headings such as context, content, construction, language techniques, audience response etc. but I realised leading up to the exam that I don't know how to USE these notes, and bring all of these aspects together to answer any question given to me on the day. I've seen some seniors create a couple of 'master essays' that they can use to fit any question, but I'm not sure how they work either.

All of my other subjects are content heavy and knowing that I don't feel ready for any of the English topics at this point of the year, I'm feeling really anxious. ANY tips will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

Jen :)


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Re: English Advanced - study method??
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 03:46:35 pm »
Hey there! Welcome to ATARNotes! :)
First off, I absolutely get you on the rote-learning thing! It was always easier for me to memorise content because I tended to do that easier than working it out on the spot.
The approach that I went for English (and especially for Speeches!) was the Essay Plan method. Introduced by Jake in his article here, and I've elaborated further on how to maximise use of your memorisation skills here

Hope this helps! Don't forget the forums are here to give feedback on essays if you need them. Good luck x
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Re: English Advanced - study method??
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2018, 04:01:33 pm »
Personally, I just rote learn 4-6 paragraphs. Due to the narrowish scope of the modules, it's relatively easy to write an essay that can answer almost every single question. Obviously, it might not be perfect, but you can always sub things out for other content and make minimal tweaks. I would never pre-write introductions, however, and instead write them and my thesis on the day (but I'd already have a shell of a thesis, usually some sort of "textual truth", if that makes sense). For Mod B, where a text could be specified, I've written a paragraph for every single Yeats' poem, and an extra one for 3 of them, and I'll try memorise them all. I guess the caveat here, is that, to some extent, your prewritten response won't always line up. To get around this, all I can really recommend is having a really good response written, and having a good grasp on the texts, their form, and context.

For discovery, for instance, every discovery is likely to be influenced by/have an impact on personal values, and its interpretation will be grounded in the context of the individual, etc. A good essay will address these points and all the other areas of the rubric sufficiently regardless of whether it is explicitly the question.

Of course, its all personal, but its the method I prefer as I can go in with a really refined and well written essay, and am unlikely to jumble my thoughts.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 04:03:07 pm by FutureLawStudent »


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Re: English Advanced - study method??
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 02:33:25 pm »
Hello friend! So Iíve touched on the topic of how I study for English on another thread, but hopefully I can help you out here!

English... oh English... I honestly think that English is A really difficult topic to study because it really tests how flexible you are with your responses- not so much emphasis the content. (Not to say that the content isnít important, but you know what I mean!)

So keeping that in mind, use the essays youíve already written as a base for another. What I mean by that is that I HIGHLY SUGGEST THAT YOU DONíT MEMORISE YOUR ESSAY WORD FOR WORD. Instead, memorise your KEY POINTS, your thesis, your quotes and your general flow of the essay so that way, youíll be able to module your essay into whatever question they throw at you. The last thing you want is to memorise an essay word for word and have it completely miss the question asked on the day!

What I normally like to do is I write out my key ideas, look at past essay questions and to the best of my ability, try to think of how I would write my essay again to suit the question. Since im lazy I kind of just dot point what I need to write! Every now and then I will actually write out the essay again, but the point of it is for you to be able to practise shaping your essay.

When you get around to looking at a lot of questions, youíll start to notice trends in what theyíre asking / looking for (the rubric- kind of like what FutureLawStudent was saying about discovery) and from that memorise what you need :)

In the end, I think you should be able to get to a point where you know everything so well that you should be confident in moulding your essay to suit whatever the question :) of course though, this is just my way of study but I hope this helps!