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Author Topic: How to Write a Module C Essay  (Read 55011 times)

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The-Cambridge-Student

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How to Write a Module C Essay
« on: April 05, 2015, 07:45:31 pm »
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For those studying Conflicting Perspectives – as I did – the key to understanding Module C lies in your ability to differentiate between representation and truth. If you can analysis exactly how an author’s perspective has been used to shape a text (and perhaps even distort the events that take place within it) in addition to the way in which an audience responds to such manipulation, you will significantly enhance the quality of your thesis.

According to the HSC Syllabus: “This module requires students to explore various representations of events, personalities or situations. They evaluate how medium of production, textual form, perspective and choice of language influence meaning. The study develops students’ understanding of the relationships between representation and meaning…Students explore the ways in which different media present information and ideas to understand how various textual forms and their media of production offer different versions and perspectives for a range of audiences and purposes.”

For this reason, as you can see, it is important that you try to choose a related text that is in a different form of media to your set text. For example, it you are studying poetry in school, perhaps you should consider reading a novel or watching a documentary film. This will give you an opportunity to expand your analysis and explore the complicated nature of representation in more than one form of media.

Introduction

An introduction, as always, requires you to establish a well-articulated, strong thesis. In Module C, it can be helpful to begin your introduction with a more general statement about Conflicting Perspectives (if of History and Memory if that is your topic) before mentioning your texts. You should also touch on the major conceptual ideas and ‘themes’ that you intend to explore. Below, I have included an example from my own work:

Perspectives represent the multiplicity of ways in which individuals view their world, and, when foregrounded by composers in a unique and evocative manner, significantly shape the way in which responders are positioned in relation to events, personalities and situations. Such is true of Ted Hughes Birthday Letters, a poetic anthology in which conflicting perspectives arising from the opposing personas of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, interplay between hindsight and memory, and an evident disjunction between appearance and reality are evocatively explored through Hughes use of the confessional form, a technique employed to cultivate the sympathy of his responder. In contrast, James Joyce’s The Dubliners seeks to evoke a crisis of perspective in the responder by illustrating a unique psychological portrait of Dublin. Through elucidating divergent viewpoints regarding a personal and political conflict between paralysis and epiphany, as well as a disjunction between perception and reality, Joyce constructs a compelling examination of conflicting perspectives.

Paragraph One

For paragraph one, I often tried to select a theme that would allow me to discuss in depth exactly how specific techniques associated my set text’s media were used to put forward a particular perspective. In the paragraph below, this can be seen:

Fulfilling a dual role as a composer and a persona, Hughes evocative examination of tension between reminiscence and hindsight gives rise to a unique exploration of various conflicting perspectives. Such is true of ‘Fulbright Scholars’, a poem in which low modality language, “maybe I noticed you, maybe I weighed you up”, and intensified rhetorical questioning when Hughes tries to recall ‘Where was it, in the Strand?” is used to create a mood of uncertainty and thus place emphasis upon the difficulty of obtaining objective truth. Nevertheless, juxtaposition of the perspective of Hughes older, nostalgic self and that of his “twenty- five year old” self, “Dumbfounded afresh” by his “ignorance” reveals the inherent subjectivity of a composer who, with hindsight, imposes privileged knowledge of Plath’s mental illness upon his memory. Utilising the confessional poetic form as a vehicle to emphasise inconsistency between appearance and reality, Hughes further constructs images of falsity, including Plath’s “exaggerated American grin”, to portray his late wife’s psychological turmoil as hidden from a public audience of  “cameras” and  “judges”. This perspective is reiterated in ‘Your Paris’, a poem that depicts Paris as a figurative battleground upon which Hughes and Plath’s oppositional perspectives come to symbolise a deeper conflict. Though Hughes self-representation as a man sensitive to the then-recent horror of WWII – perceptible in his emotive description of “each bullet scar in the Quai stonework” – is in stark contrast with his representation of Plath’s narrow “American” conception of Paris, the antagonistic metaphor of Plath as an artist with a “immaculate palette” is later reappraised when Hughes retrospectively reinterprets Plath as a “walking wound”. Therefore, by accentuating this perspective through the powerful image of Plath’s figuratively ‘flayed’ skin, Hughes interpretation is not only shown to have been informed by hindsight, but also reveals the highly compelling ways in which conflicting perspectives are elucidated in his work. 

Paragraph Two:

At the genesis of this paragraph, draw a comparison of some description between both of your texts. By this stage in the essay, make sure that you are discussing the effect that textual construction and ‘manipulation’ has upon a responder:

While Hughes creates tension between hindsight and memory to evocatively explore conflicting perspectives, in contrast, James Joyce employs the ‘Uncle Charles Principle’ - a device described by Hugh Kenner as writing about someone how they would choose to be written - to uniquely examine divergent viewpoints in The Dubliners. Set within the city of Dublin during a period of personal and political stasis, use of Eveline’s point of view in the story ‘Eveline’ by Joyce to shape the honesty of Frank and his stories about “the terrible Patagonians” is strongly representative of the Uncle Charles Principle, used by Joyce to plant specific perspectives in the conscience of his responder. By foregrounding the character of Little Chandler’s thoughts and idiolect in ‘A Little Cloud’ through expressions such as “it was something to have a friend like that”, Joyce is able to illuminate the Dubliners’ subjectivities, and how they perceive and respond to an external reality. Nevertheless, by further illuminating omissions, for example, logical lapses of Eveline’s thoughts, Joyce dismantles the Dubliners discourses by employing the same device he uses to create them. In doing so, Joyce not only seeks to illuminate a state of paralysis in early 20th century Dublin, but also attempts to create a crisis of perspective in the responder. Thus the ambiguity of Joyce’s unique form of narration encourages a multiplicity of interpretations, therefore shaping the responder’s understanding of the importance of independently navigating Joyce’s highly evocative exploration of conflicting perspectives.

Paragraph Three:

This paragraph provides you with an opportunity to develop your analysis of your set text. By this stage in an essay, you want to be extrapolating the more complicated conceptual themes in your text, as well as the ways in which composers strengthen their interpretations of people and events, and hence their representations:

In contrast, though Ted Hughes does reflect upon the complexity of his perception of Sylvia, throughout Birthday Letters his emotive exploration of Plath’s manic-depressive persona reveals a desire to direct the responder’s reception of divergent perspectives examined in his work. This can be seen in ‘Red’, a poem that employs emotive use of imagery such as “red- ochre/for warming the dead” to reappraise Sylvia’s depiction of this colour in her poetry and reinterpret it as symbol of both her artistic life force and her self-induced suffering, figuratively “wrapped around (her)”. Thus, by employing this representation, Hughes lends veracity to the perspective of himself as a helpless victim through depicting himself in ‘The Shot’ as being “hit” by the misguided metaphorical bullet of Plath, ‘triggered’ by her father’s death. With reference to the transient image of mist and a fleeting “wisp of (Plath’s hair”, Hughes attempts to justify his own behaviour by describing himself as unable assist aid her in her private struggle with her schizoid self. Once again, in ‘Red’, this sense of helplessness is accentuated through Hughes’s use of an accusatory tone, expressed through tension between personal pronouns when Hughes writes “everything you painted, you painted white/Then splashed it with roses, defeated it”. Despite this, Hughes acknowledgement of Plath’s “kindly spirit…a guardian, thoughtful”, symbolised by a lost blue jewel, serves to simultaneously highlight the duality of her nature while also emphasising the equal resentment, regret and sympathy felt by Hughes in regard to her plight. Thus, although Hughes does attempt to cultivate the responder’s sympathy for himself, his consideration of multiple attitudes throughout Birthday Letters enables a unique and compelling exploration of conflicting perspectives.

Paragraph Four:

Likewise, paragraph four can be used to expand analysis of your related text:

Comparatively, James Joyce’s exploration of the conflicting perspectives associated with issues of Irish national identity are evocatively enhanced through his consideration of a universal human struggle to reconcile internal perceptions with external realities. Identifying symbolic juxtapositions of young and old, British and Irish, Joyce’s illustration of the charter Gabriel in ‘The Dead’ elucidates a common struggle for self-definition, complicated by opposition forces. Believing that language is the key to attaining a sense of power for himself, Gabriel’s education is both a source of personal pride and concern. Employing truncated sentences, “They would think he was airing his superior education. He would fail with them”, to emphasise Gabriel’s state of despair, Joyce conveys his own sense of conflicted national identity by communising that while Gabriel’s wider knowledge of language does provide him with a fleeting feeling of superiority, it also marks him a “West British stereotype” in the eyes of frigid nationalists such as Miss Ivors. Thus Joyce is able to evocatively explore a devastating and personally limiting conflict of perspective.

Conclusion
 
You conclusion should acknowledge the complexity of perspectives and representation, but should also reiterate that fact that composers make conscious decisions that shape how a responder reacts to presentation information. Also, make sure that you explicitly reference whatever question has been set! For example:

By acknowledging the complex nature of oppositional perceptions that a rise in response to events, personalities and situations, both Ted Hughes and James Joyce are able to extend and in many ways shape the responder’s understanding of divergent points of view. Through careful selection of form and skilful presentation of personal and universal struggles, both composers are able to explore a variety of conflicting perspectives in unique and evocative ways.


I hope this guide has been helpful, good luck :)

Other Guides:
How to Write a Module B Essay
How to Write an Area of Study Essay
Writing an English Advanced Module A Essay
Creative Writing - Advice from a Cambridge Uni Student
How to Write an English Extension Ways of Thinking Essay
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 05:48:18 pm by Ned Nerb »
18, going to Cambridge University in October to study History :) received a 99.7 ATAR in the 2014 HSC.

likeneverbefore

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2016, 03:29:01 pm »
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Hi there thank you so much for the guide!!! It helped me a LOT!

Can i just ask for People and Politics, can i say that the complex nature of politics relfect the conflicting visions of the perfect relaitonship between power structures and individuals?

Thank YOU!

jamonwindeyer

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2016, 08:59:32 pm »
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Hi there thank you so much for the guide!!! It helped me a LOT!

Can i just ask for People and Politics, can i say that the complex nature of politics relfect the conflicting visions of the perfect relaitonship between power structures and individuals?

Thank YOU!

Totally! I actually really like that as a Thesis, word it right and that would be really powerful I think ;D








Sahar8642

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2016, 10:16:36 pm »
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Hi,
What is the best way to structure and plan for a fully integrated essay for Mod C Elective 1?
Thanks :)

elysepopplewell

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2016, 12:29:39 pm »
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Hi,
What is the best way to structure and plan for a fully integrated essay for Mod C Elective 1?
Thanks :)

Are you looking to textually integrate or to integrate via themes? I kind of did a bit of both. You can download my Module C essay here and see how I planned it out here! I didn't do Elective 1, but the idea remains the same :)
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jelin_queen

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2016, 03:51:20 pm »
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Hey :)
I am doing an assignment for Module C about W.H. Auden's poem 'In memory of W.B. Yeats and need assistance on how to link the poem to people and politics? it was written during ww2 but is there anything else I can talk about? thanks in advance!

Lauradf36

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2016, 09:40:06 pm »
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What ratio of prescribed to related material would you guys recommend? I'm trying to pick a poem which I can deconstruct quickly, but I don't want it to be too short in case I don't have enough material!
ATAR: 98.85

English Adv: 94
English Ext: 47/50
Ancient history: 94
Legal studies: 94
Music I: 93
Religion II: 95

jamonwindeyer

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2016, 10:40:29 pm »
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What ratio of prescribed to related material would you guys recommend? I'm trying to pick a poem which I can deconstruct quickly, but I don't want it to be too short in case I don't have enough material!

Hey! Ideally, 50/50, but you can stretch it a little bit. 60/40 would probably be the furthest you could go and still be hitting a nice balance. Doing two paragraphs on prescribed, and one on ORT, tends to be a tad too far of a swing unless the ORT paragraph is done really well ;D

MarkThor

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 06:59:56 am »
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For Module C what would be the ideal paragraph size (or a rough estimate of number of words) in a 4 body paragraph essay?
And how many techniques should I include in each paragraph?

elysepopplewell

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2016, 09:26:29 am »
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For Module C what would be the ideal paragraph size (or a rough estimate of number of words) in a 4 body paragraph essay?
And how many techniques should I include in each paragraph?

I've just gone back and had a look at mine here and another student's one here and I think it appears that about 200 words per paragraph sits well. I always aimed for four techniques minimum in each paragraph, but I'd always push it to 5 or 6 if I could squeeze two techniques out of one quote, for example!
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MarkThor

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2016, 10:07:10 am »
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Cool, thanks Elyse

lha

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How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2016, 06:47:49 pm »
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Any tips for studying mod c essay questions?

any good related texts for wag the dog?

Moderator Edit: Posts merged, try not to double post where possible. Use the 'modify' button to add questions!!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 06:54:15 pm by jamonwindeyer »

elysepopplewell

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2016, 06:59:29 pm »
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Any tips for studying mod c essay questions?
Do you mean, how to approach past papers? Try work out the trends in past papers so that the nature of the question isn't a surprise to you. And of course, read the rubric!

any good related texts for wag the dog?

Have a look at our essay marking thread here to see what other people have used.
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Lauradf36

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2016, 03:23:18 pm »
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Is context important in Mod C essays? It isn't really in the rubric but my teacher seemed to think it was important. And there's plenty of context to discuss for my prescribed text, but not as much for my related!
ATAR: 98.85

English Adv: 94
English Ext: 47/50
Ancient history: 94
Legal studies: 94
Music I: 93
Religion II: 95

Nightwing17

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Re: How to Write a Module C Essay
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2016, 05:23:36 pm »
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Is context important in Mod C essays? It isn't really in the rubric but my teacher seemed to think it was important. And there's plenty of context to discuss for my prescribed text, but not as much for my related!

Always is? I feel like it depends on the text but often context can make everything mean way more.