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literally lauren

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Text Response Resources
« on: February 19, 2016, 03:36:17 pm »
2016 Text-specific Resources

By this stage of the year, you'll likely either have started or be about to start studying your assigned Text Response books, films, plays and collections of texts. As such, this is the time when most students start hunting around for secondary resources and perhaps even a few helpful study guides to help them come to terms with the pages and pages of evidence that they're going to have to eventually memorise and analyse in essays when the SACs roll around.

Unfortunately, hunting for these resources online can be a bit of a pain what with so many sites putting up paywalls or luring you in with the promise of good analysis and then leaving you with some irrelevant pile of poorly written garbage about a totally different book. This post is here to keep a record of the most helpful bits and pieces from around the web, as well as any decent study guides that crop up throughout the year. I've also added a brief description of each resource so you know what you're getting yourself into, and hopefully this will allow you to sift through the important material in order to find what will assist you most.

A few obvious disclaimers: everything posted here is publically accessible and very google-able, so you're a fool if you think you can get away with plagarising it or passing off any analysis from study guides as your own.

Quote from: The 2015 Assessor's Report
Students should be encouraged to have confidence in their own reading and demonstrate a personal understanding of their text, rather than relying exclusively on commercially produced material.
See? They know. And they're on to you.

But for the vast majority who I know will have the common sense to uses this stuff as study and revision tools, just know that certain texts have more information available than others. Classics like Shakespeare or Frankenstein just have a wider selection to choose from, whereas texts like No Sugar or new ones like John Donne's poetry are kind of sparse at the moment. I'll check back here to add links occasionally, especially if my favourite sites like Lit Charts and English Works update their sites, and I'll make another post if I do a significant update, but for now, just know that the stuff I've selected here is pretty representative of the material available, rather than the product of me favouring certain texts or anything like that.

Feel free to let me know if there are any other sites you stumble across throughout the year that you want to share too. That goes for any past graduates who have helpful links from their Year 12 days too.

Finally, I haven't posted any VCE-style essays here (though if you hunt around on the forums, you will find some) and I haven't included any prompts because the main thread on the English board (soon to be updated!) will contain all of that.

So click here if you're looking for prompts for your set texts!

Otherwise, scroll through the magical rainbow below, open up a bunch of tabs, and enjoy reading ;D

All About Eve by Joseph Mankiewicz
• English Works Extras
Unfortunately there's no full analysis for All About Eve on this site, but the tidbits here are really good, and this is still probably the best resource available. The sections on character representation and the different 'versions' of Eve are particularly useful, and pretty much everything here that looks at Mankiewicz's views and values is spot on, so this is a great reference point for developing your interpretation.
• Bookrags Study Guide
Normally Bookrags put things behind paywalls but this document contains the actual content from the site albeit in a less navigable way. This might be a good starting point for some, especially if you don't understand parts of the film. The stuff on motifs and symbols is a little brief but probably a sufficient summation for most essays, so long as you're able to link them with your main ideas.
• Key Quotes
These are sorted by characters, which is useful at first, but I'd highly recommend re-ordering these yourself and splitting them by thematic concerns. Plus this isn't a conclusive list, so going back through the text and finding other important quotes or moments is also important. Note that simply analysing the quotes isn't sufficient when analysing films; you're expected to unpack visual language and cinematic devices too.
• Essay Topic Breakdown
This is a presentation that unpacks the prompt 'All About Eve is about the struggle for power and identity.'
• Dramatica Analysis
Really awesome breakdown of themes and key ideas. The evidence given in each section is kind of sparse, but if you're looking for a resource that broadens your view of the text, this is the place to go.
• Metonymy Analysis
Some of this is a little more theoretical than is necessary (i.e. all the 'male gaze' stuff, which would be a bit too far removed from the text to warrant mentioning in your essays) but there's some quality interpretations raised (and well-argued) here, as well as an assortment of great, text-specific vocabulary.
• Background Knowledge Documentary
Purely for background information - this isn't VCE specific and most of it won't be usable in essays. However, I know many students prefer to understand the context of what they're studying in order to analyse it effectively (and 'feel' like they're on the right track with their interpretations,) so this video takes you through some of the interesting elements of the film's production and incorporates some discussion of 1950's societal values too.
• Excerpt from Insight Guide
You can only view the synopsis, character summaries, and a character map here, but I actually think those parts are some of the best bits of Insight guides (especially the character maps) so this is a good reference point for the very early days in your study when you're trying to get a grip on the basic details.
• Film Spectrum Analysis
The plot synopsis is fairly basic here and there are other guides that do things better from a VCE standpoint, but the level of detail in the analysis of film techniques is brilliant here; there are even stills from the film to help you match up these points and evidence with the relevant moment(s).
• Thematic Analysis
Great, VCE-centric explanation of a few major themes. There's also a good amount of quotes integrated throughout, so this is worth a read once you're ready to move from summative resources to analytical ones.
• Shmoop Guide
This is a sparknotes-esque collection of notes geared towards high school students. Personally I find the tone of these kind of irksome, but I suppose the colloquial nature of the explanations would be really appealing if you just want a straight answer about basic questions. Be careful with some of the analysis though, as it's a little bit reductive in places, and a lot of the information is about the actors rather than the characters and the construction of the film itself.
• Sunday School Podcast
This is a recording of a discussion with a Year 12 teacher about the film; the really useful stuff starts at about seven minute mark where you're given some good hints about the kinds of things the VCAA prompts might be about. It's fairly short and some of it's just general discussion, but there are some valid points raised here, and I quite like this teacher's dinosaur analogy :P

Brooklyn by Colm Tσibνn
• English Works Article
Thematic discussion and interpretation/analysis here is top notch, and there's a good balance of evidence to explanation for many of these points. This is definitely vital pre-reading before you start writing full essays.
• Colm Tσibνn Background Info
This is a pretty well-written piece, but a lot of it is about Tσibνn himself and not the text, so you could afford to skim read this and just find the relevant bits.
• Introductory Questions and Exercises
This is a VCE specific resource with a fair amount of thematic-based content. You can ignore the 'learning task' type things, and admittedly the discussion of 'values' is fairly basic, but the discussion questions are decent consolidation tools.
• Quotes and Themes
Thematic discussion is also a highlight of this resource as most of this other stuff is just summative. The fact that the themes are backed up with an assortment of quotes makes this quite valuable, though this is only really a starting point both in terms of the themes it explores and the quotes they list.
• Plot Summary
This is a chronological explanation of important plot points, so probably a good resource for the early stages of your study, but it flags the most vital moments for you to then analyse later. The final paragraph also gives you a great interpretational views and values statement about the key themes of homesickness and belonging.
• Excerpt from Insight Guide
This is just the first few pages, but the character map and character summaries are pretty good.
• Discussion Questions
These aren't VCAA-style prompts, but there are some pretty interesting points (eg. questions 3 and 10) and question 11 is basically the core of the text. Several of these are likely candidates for exam topics, and they make for good references to direct your study too.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
• English Works Article
Ignore the references to Geraldine Brooks, and you might want to skim read the sections that deal with the background information (provided you're already familiar with it,) but overall, this is the most detailed and analytical discussion of the text available, and the quote integration is exactly what you should be aiming to do in your own pieces.
• Review and Analysis
This isn't VCE specific, and everything after the embedded video is just general/irrelevant stuff about the author and media landscape, but there's some great stuff here about the language in the text, which would be invaluable if you got a structural prompt.
• Study Guide
Some of this is just general English discussion pertaining to the exam and the different essay types, but if you scroll down to page 13, there's a good breakdown of a prompt and a sample response that might be useful. There are also a few summative questions about possible interpretations of the text scattered throughout.
• Stella Prize Guide
Kind of short, but probably the most succinct overview of the most important details you'll need to know. Great refresher if you're coming back to the text after a few weeks or months of not studying it, and potentially a useful introduction to complement your first/second readings.
• Herald Sun, Teacher's Review
This is just a broad textual overview, but may help form your interpretation of the text and shape how you view certain characters' actions.
• Text Review
This one's got some good stuff about Agnes as a character and the big questions in the text about justice and accountability.
• Author Q and A
Technically it doesn't matter if your opinion aligns with the author's intentions, but for those who demand the 'right' answer to questions of interpretation, you might find it useful to hear Hannah Kent's perspective on the story she told, as well as some of the surrounding details.
• Bookrags Guide
Not all of this guide is accessible unless you're willing to pay (and tbh, I wouldn't bother) but there's a fair amount of chapter and character analyses here to make it worth checking out. Aside from the opening plot summary, you'll only be able to read the first few paragraphs of most entries though.
• Discussion Questions & Themes
These aren't prompt-style questions, but might help to consolidate your knowledge of the text. They are the kinds of talking points that exam topics might be structured around though (i.e. number 5 is really similar to one of the 2015 VCAA prompts.) Questions 2 and 8 would also make for likely prompt material in future years. Scroll down for a brief exploration of some major themes too.
• Sunday School Podcast
This is a discussion with a VCE teacher who takes you through some interesting parts of the text. The first third is mostly about background info and summative details, but later they get into things like metaphor and language when they start taking calls.

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
• VATE Study Guide
Not sure how long this will remain available, but the VATE guides tend to be the best reference point for VCE students as they're written by teachers and assessors, so they're geared towards the exams and provide really high-quality interpretations of the texts, so this is definitely worth bookmarking and maybe downloading in case it gets taken down.
• Summary Notes
This is a fairly conclusive table of key elements of the text, and given this is a fairly long novel, I'd highly recommend at least skimming through these to make notes of your own, as this is an excellent place to start.
• More Summary Notes
This is also a chronological breakdown of the important bits of the text, though these are a little more basic and less analytical, so the first link is probably better unless you're really struggling to understand the text, in which case this document will be helpful for you.
• Chapter & Character Summaries
This is a link to a site with downloadable documents for chapter summaries and character summaries which are good documents to keep with you and read over either before or while reading the text.
• Class Exercise
This one's quite short, and was clearly geared towards a specific classroom task, but you may find the prompt breakdowns and discussion of the link between evidence and themes useful.
• Penguin Notes
Not targeted at VCE students, but the summary is pretty good, and the discussion questions are a good stepping stone to take you from the textual evidence to the VCAA prompts. This text tends to get a fair amount of structural or genre-based essay topics, and so certain questions here (eg. 2, 4, and 5) are worth thinking about, if not writing about.
• Class Guide
This website is kind of weird and the font hurts my eyes, but there are a tonne of links, some of which (eg. the discussion of symbols and motifs, and the key readings section) are pretty good.
• Checkpoints Guide
This is likely to be taken down eventually, but for now, you can access the Checkpoints notes in e-book form here. Some schools actually put these on the reading lists as supplements to your study, and they're considered to be fairly accessible and competent summaries, though personally I think some of the analysis is a bit simplistic. It's still a really good resource for your initial study - just don't expect it to tide you over for the whole year.
• Excerpt from Insight Guide
Only the first few pages, but the character stuff is worth looking at.
• Sample Essays
You'll only be able to access bits and pieces of these unless you sign up, and I'm not sure whether there are paywalls or subscription packages or w/e, but there is still some decent stuff available considering high quality essays are hard to find online. These aren't VCE specific, but contain good arguments nonetheless.
• Bookrags Guide
Not overly useful considering you can only view the first ~200 words of each section, but the lists of themes and the opening bit of plot summary might be of some use.
• Essay on Major Characters
This is a piece written by a VCE teacher on some of the key concerns in the novel with particular emphasis on the Lambs and Pickles, as well as unpacking themes like nostalgia and family which are quite central.
• Essay on [i]Cloudstreet's[/i] Ideology
This is a fairly short resource, but gives you a good summation of the major views and values in the text, and is likely the sort of thing teachers will refer to when designing prompts.
• Essay on Symbolism
Also not VCE-centric, and you wouldn't want to write an essay like this for your own assessment as it's really poorly structured and kind of poorly worded in places, but good symbolic analysis is hard to come by, and this piece does have some decent points of discussion regarding some less-than-obvious bits of evidence from the text.
• Sample Essay
Ignoring the stuff on 'textual integrity' which isn't relevant from a VCE perspective, there's some good analysis of the main characters in this piece.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
• Lit Charts
Absolutely awesome resource that has pretty much everything you'd ever need. The visual chart is amazing, and the detailed summary/analysis should be required reading if you want to truly understand the text. Even the symbolic and quote-based sections are really good, and the fact that everything is presented in a way that links to the six biggest themes is the cherry on top of this utterly brilliant guide.
• Signet Guide
Online version of the Signet study guide, which covers everything from the historical context to essay topics. It's not VCE specific but is a really good summative resource nonetheless.
• Grade Saver Guide
Another great study guide with heaps of detailed analysis. The thematic discussions here are especially good.
• Sparknotes Guide
This is a nice and reliable breakdown of the text that treads the line between being a really complex resource like litcharts and being really 'readable' like Shmoop. Most students will end up using this at some point, and if you're prepared to dig into the 'Important Quotations Explained' and 'Themes, Motifs & Symbols' sections, you'll find some great starting points for your analysis.
• Cliff Notes
Functionally identical to the Sparknotes guide, basically. There's a little bit more emphasis on chapter and character breakdowns as opposed to major themes and ideas, but this is also a good starting point for later development.
• Introductory Powerpoint
The first post on this page has a link to a pretty decent overview of the text in powerpoint form. This was written from a VCE Literature perspective though, so although it'd be really impressive if you were to incorporate some of this language-based analysis in your essays, English is more concerned with thematic ideas anyway.
• Pink Monkey Guide
I know this site looks like it's from 2002, but it's got a bunch of quotes sorted by themes, which is really useful if you can get past the pink hyperlinking. Some of the other sections are a bit brief, but the quote bank is decent.
• General Info Video
A brief overview of some important elements of the text, set to inspiring music.
• British Library Mini-Documentary on Gothic
This is mostly for background/genre information, but this might help you get a grip on the nature of Gothic literature and its key concerns.
• Teaching Concepts
The first three pages of this have some nice, succinct summaries of the text's key concerns, and it explains the structure of the novel quite well too.
• Reading Comprehension Questions
Personally, I used to hate answering these types of things in my early high school years, but if you're not understanding the text or find it too long and daunting to be discussed, then start here before you progress to the more analytical resources on this list.
• Analysis of Alienation
This is a mini-book that examines the core theme of alienation in a tonne of detail, so would be a great read to compliment an essay dealing with this idea or related topics. The second chapter's three way breakdown between Frankenstein, the monster, and Walton is particularly good.
• Thematic Analysis
Good rundown of major themes here, and although some of the discussion lacks the kind of supporting evidence you'd be required to use in essays, this is a great overview of key ideas.
• Novel Guide Site
Another text guide with some fairly extensive summaries and character discussions. The link above is for the page analysing metaphors, which is probably the best, but if you scroll down, there'll be links to other information if you need.
• Shmoop Guide
Somewhat simplistic compared to other resources on this list, but breaks down the text's length and complexity in a more manageable way, and does a good job at explaining some of the more convoluted philosophical ideas embedded in the novel. Try to treat this resource as a stepping stone to better, more sophisticated ones though.
• Symbol and Motif Tracker
Good breakdown of the occurrences of important symbols and motifs throughout the novel with quotes and analysis to back it up.
• Quotes Explained
Just a short one here that unpacks some of the major quotes in the text.
• Student Resource Centre
You can skip over the sections of this that deal with the film adaptation, but the discussion of the link to Prometheus and the mythology is quite helpful.
• Analysis of the Monster's Morality
You may have to answer a survey question to view this (just click the 'no I'm not interested' option, whatever that is) but this is a very well-written piece that closely examines the character of the creature and how his sense of ethical rights and wrongs fit into the text as a whole.
• Analytical Essays
This is just a hub site that'll take you to a few different high quality pieces discussing different themes. I could've just given you the individual links (especially Suzanna Storment's one - that's a great essay,) but I mean, this site has cutesy lightening effects and I think it deserves a spot here.
• Sample Essays
Not VCE ones, but you'll be able to read the first few paragraphs of a bunch of essays here if you're looking for some.
• Discussion of Monstrosity
Only the first bit of this is viewable, but it sets up a nice discussion about who the true monster is in the text.
• Frankenstein and Masculinity
Slightly less serious resource, but still brings up some good points about the notion of gender roles and self-perception throughout the novel.

I for Isobel by Amy Witting
• Text Review
This is just a general discussion of some of the text's major plot points, but may assist you in coming up with an interpretation of the novel and its characters.
• Sample Paragraphs
These are from a school's website and will let you view various practice paragraphs written about the novel's structure.The third, fourth, and sixth ones are probably the strongest, but there are decent points raised in all of them, and this'll give you some idea of how other students are able to write about the text.
• Analysis of Women in Witting
This is a tertiary level essay, so it's not the kind of thing you'd be expected to replicate in terms of the level of detail or the overall structure, but this can be very helpful in shaping your reading of the text, and skimming over this document to find instances of close analysis will allow you to then mimic that same style of textual unpacking in your own work.
• Sunday School Podcast
General discussion with a Year 12 English teacher about the novel. If you've got a decent classroom teacher then you probably will have gone through everything mentioned here, but this is a nice introduction and/or refresher to the text in audio form for those people who learn better when things are being explained to them as opposed to just handed to them in a written format.

In The Country of Men by Hisham Matar
• Themes and Quotes
This is a breakdown of major quotes, sorted by themes (- the best way to do it!) and it's pretty much conclusive, so although I'm sure there are a couple of excerpts that aren't covered (and just in case you were looking for an even more detailed version, there's a chronological list here on the same site), this is one of the best lists I've seen and should probably be the basis for your own quote bank if you're looking to save some time.
• Discussion of Symbols
Same site as the above quote bank; this one not only lists a bunch of symbols in the text, but also explains (in blue) what they represent and why they're important. This resource is a bit shorter, as is expected given that there aren't as many symbols as there are themes, but it's still worth noting down basically all of these points to use in your essays.
• Prompt Breakdowns
Last one from this site - this shows you how to 'agree' and 'disagree' with a few different types of prompts; I'm actually not a fan of the 'agree/disagree' method, but it is important that you understand how they work so you can then make your own contentions more complex than simple 'yes/no' responses. Also, the breakdown is more geared towards evidence rather than ideas, which may or may not suit your learning style.
• E-book Version
This is a digital copy of the text which you might find useful if you're trying to find key quotes or moments; ctrl+F saves you the trouble of flipping through the whole book :P
• Textual Analysis
Some good analytical essays here. They aren't VCE specific, but the structure isn't too dissimilar, and the focus of the arguments is pretty much what VCAA expect, so it's worth skim reading these later in your study when you've gotten through the summative resources.
• New York Times Review
Great article - this goes into the background and authorial details quite a bit, which makes it good secondary reading but not necessarily good essay fodder. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to understand the context of the novel, particularly if your teacher only barely goes over this information in class.
• The Guardian Interview
This might shed some interesting light on the author's life if you're not already familiar with it, and the level of background detail here is pretty extensive, so makes for some interesting pre-reading.
• Random House Teaching Resources
These are teaching notes that have some good discussion questions starting on page 4 to consolidate your knowledge, as well as a brief overview of the text's important plot points.
• Book Review
This review contains some decent analysis, though you can skip the end section where the author ranks the text and evaluates it. The first two thirds are a pretty good revision document though.
• Excerpt from Insight Guide
This is just a preview of the first few pages, but because this is such a character-driven novel, the overview of major characters and the map of their relationships is a good resource for your first/second readings.
• Collection of Blog Posts
If you scroll through this website you'll see a whole bunch of subsections about the book's style, symbols, quotes, and characters. These are good starting points for your own resources, and the explanation of the connections and dynamics between major characters would be invaluable if you were dealing with a comparative prompt, or even just a character-based prompt in general.
• Essay Structure Breakdown
For the record, I don't agree with this format and I think the 'hook' for the introduction is kind of a bad idea considering the assessors don't like it when you churn out pre-written material that bears little connection to the topic, but other than that, the explanations of how to construct your paragraphs would be helpful to those who struggle with essay structure.
• Book Review
Another review - this one takes a slightly different perspective on certain plot points, and is probably a good read if you're studying this text in Unit 3 when there's a bit more emphasis on alternate interpretations.
• Analysis of Hybrid Cultures
This is a tertiary-level essay that looks at the clashing and merging of cultures in the text which may not be too accessible at first, but if you skim over the slightly wordier sections, you'll find a fair amount of quality close analysis and interesting thematic discussion.
• Sunday School Podcast
This is a recording of a discussion with a Year 12 teacher who takes you through some major talking points of the novel and flags some important potential essay topics.

Island: Collected Stories by Alistair MacLeod
• Key Ideas Explained
This is a VCE specific resource, but it's from a few years ago when this text was on the Context list instead of the Text Response one, so instead of focusing on the text through the lens of 'The Imaginative Landscape,' just think of the landscape and people's imaginations as being themes within the text. It's quite a lengthy guide with lots of sub-sections for each of the different facets of the Context (which for our purposes are now basically thematic breakdowns) and although it's not conclusive, this is probably the best one available.
• Text Review
Just a brief review of the text, but this one goes into a bit of detail with specific stories, which may be useful pre-reading so you know what to look out for
• Another Text Review
Ignoring the bits of this article that compare this text to other short story collections and novels, this has got a good summation of the authorial intentions of the text. It's even got some awesome close analysis, which is usually really hard to find.
• The Guardian Review
This one's quite general, but like the above review, its comments on the views and values are pretty good, especially if you're struggling with viewing it as a whole text and not fragmented stories.
• Google Books
This is an upload of a Context guide that talks about the text from the perspective of 'The Imaginative Landscape' from a few years ago. However, many of the ideas and bits of evidence raised here would still suffice for Text Repsonse discussions anyway.
• Essay Sample
You can only view the first three paragraphs here, but there's some decent analysis and flow. It's not VCE specific, but the quality of analysis is pretty similar to what you'll be expected to present.

Mabo by Rachel Perkins
• English Works Extras
By far the most helpful resource on the text; this contains a whole bunch of analysis and evidence sorted by thematic concerns. Definitely go through this one once you're sufficiently familiar with the details of the plot and feel ready to consider things on an idea-level.
• Teaching Resources
Some good bits and pieces on important themes in the text here, and these are the kinds of points that teachers and assessors often end up structuring prompts around. Most of the links are unhelpful, but the actual discussion and analysis here is worth a read.
• Sample Essays
You won't be able to view whole essays here, and they're not quite VCE standard anyway, but there is some decent analysis in these excerpts in case you need a point of reference.
• Excerpt from Insight Guide
Just the first few pages here, but the character details are a good place to start anyway. Some of the background information is a little simplistic, but is probably sufficient from a VCE standpoint.
• Background Information
This is more about the context of the film than specific details of the film itself, but this is a good place to start if you don't yet know much about the socio-historical implications of the story Perkins tells here.
• Discussion Questions
These questions might make for a good refresher exercise when watching the film for the second or third time. The points about structural features like the music and sound design are also quite important even if your essay topics will be much broader than this.
• Sunday School Podcast
This is a kind of special episode where the daughter of Mabo is interviewed about the real-world story, as well as the text's portrayal. Quite an interesting recording, even if the first third or so is more about personal experiences as opposed to the text as a whole, but I'd recommend going through this as an introductory resource.

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
• Lit Charts
This is a great site with almost everything you need to know about the text. The thematic discussion and character analyses are really good, and there's a decent amount of stuff on the language here. It's a really good companion piece to the actual text in order to make sure you understand everything that happens, but is also worth coming back to in later sessions to help guild your analytical skills too.
• Sparknotes
This is a nice reliable breakdown of the text, and the summative stuff is kind of necessary with Shakespeare, so reading through these scene analyses and discussions of language is a good idea, especially on a first reading.
• Grade Saver Guide
Another good introductory guide if you need it. This has all the basic summative information, and the scene analyses are just as good as the Sparknotes versions, so they make for good supplementary material.
• An Analysis of the Play
If you scroll past the general information, there's a good chunk of analysis here which is close to conclusive. The close discussion of language is great, and the way it builds up to an overall interpretation is excellent.
• Simplified Shakespeare
For those that are having a lot of trouble with the language, this site has a kind of translation of the text for you to read alongside the original version.
• Cliffnotes Guide
Another good study guide - very similar to the Sparknotes one, but might help you understand certain scenes in more detail if you need.
• American Players Study Guide
Useful stuff starts about ten pages in, and you probably won't need to read every one of these study guides, but this is here for reference nevertheless.
• Signet Guide
As above, this has similar details to the other study guides, and both the summative and analytical resources are useful here.
• General Links
More miscellaneous bits and pieces, some of which I've linked individually here, but many just pertain to background information.
• Novel Guide
Scroll down a bit, and this site has a scene-by-scene breakdown of the play, as well as some character analyses and discussion of themes and metaphors which may prove helpful.
• Online Literature Analysis
This site has some decent discussion of key ideas in the text, as well as a good introduction that provides an overview of the primary plot points and thematic concerns.
• Cummings Study Guide
Scroll past all the ads and clutter, and there'll be some good scene breakdowns and thematic discussions below.
• Shmoop Guide
Fairly simplistic analysis, but some of the summative resources might be helpful if you like having things explained in more understandable terms.
• The Guardian Review
As with most reviews, this contains a lot of unnecessary information about the historical context, and all the bits pertaining to Shakespeare's other plays aren't going to be of any use, but the majority of this piece is spent unpacking the core ideas in the text, so is worth reading if you're sick of purely summative stuff.

Medea by Euripides
• Lit Charts
This should be your first resort since it's got a tonne of information about the key themes and quotes. Even though the play is quite short, this guide goes into heaps of detail regarding the important moments and language features, and it's a good resource to come back to throughout your studies as you pick up new interpretations and understandings.
• English Works Article
This is a more VCE-centric site that takes you through some different interpretations of Medea's character, as well as the really important quotes and moments that are worth analysing in your own essays.
• English Works Extras
Also from the same site, this is another collection of thematic discussions and close analysis.
• Sparknotes
This has got a good bundle of background information so as not to overwhelm you with the history of Ancient Greek culture and theatre, but also discusses themes, quotes, and characters in a pretty fair amount of detail.
• Grade Saver Guide
Very similar to the Sparknotes version, but contains a bit more plot summary, so may be helpful if there are parts of the play you don't understand.
• Greek Theatrical Devices
For those who've never studied Greek tragedy plays before, this site will provide you with an excellent overview of common tropes and structural features, as well as a tonne of relevant vocab to use in your essays where appropriate.
• Reading Comprehension Questions
Just in case you feel like these questions aid you in your study, here's a list of summative talking points that you should come to terms with before you start analysing.
• Cummings Study Guide
Scroll past the ads at the top, and there'll be some decent character analysis and thematic discussions here.
• Sunday School Podcast
Discussion with a Year 12 teacher about the play, specifically centring on the themes of justice, blame, and right vs. wrong throughout.

No Sugar by Jack Davis
• English Works Article
This is definitely the best VCE material available for this text as it combines a good discussion of specific textual details along with interpretive judgments about the play as a whole. The analysis is really high quality, and you should take notes of the kinds of quotes and themes being discussed here.
• English Works Extras
This is a continuation of the above entry with a couple of other points of analysis added.
• Excerpt from the Insight Guide
You'll only be able to view a few pages here, but the character map is highly advantageous for a text like this, and you may even find the plot synopsis useful in the early stages of your study.
• Teaching Resources
These are more geared towards lesson plans and teaching goals, but you may find some of these exercises useful in understanding the text and its message.
• University Essay
This is a tertiary level piece that talks about the clashes of cultures and identities in the play. There'll likely be quite a bit of language in here that you don't fully understand, but if you can get through the wordier bits, there is some good analysis under the 'Linguistic,' 'Cultural,' and 'Generic' sub-headings.
• Miscellaneous Class Notes
This is a collection of bits and pieces about the text, roughly sorted by key ideas and thesis statements, so whilst they're by no means realistic VCE-style body paragraphs, they may help you refine your own interpretation of the play.
• Sample Essay on Stereotypes
Just a fairly straightforward piece on the notion of stereotypes within the play - not a VCE kind of essay, but still has some above average ideas and textual analysis for you to take note of.
• Sunday School Podcast
This is a brief interview with an English teacher about the play, and whilst it mainly talks about surrounding issues and the social context, they also get into looking at Davis' intentions and the audience's response, which would be a useful addition to your essays.

Selected Poems by John Donne
• Macmillan Study Guide
This is a VCE specific resource but since it's just a preview, it's mostly just general discussions of how to go about analysing poetry. However, there's some good stuff about exam preparation towards the end.
• Sparknotes
This site has some decent poetic analysis, and the discussion of how the poems all come together thematically is pretty good, and definitely the kind of thing you want to understand prior to embarking on writing full essays.
• Matrix Guide
This one's actually from when this text was on the HSC list, but the discussion of themes and most of the analysis is all relevant.
• Grade Saver Guide
Another good summative site with similar content to the Sparknotes one, only with a few different poems listed. But this is also good for either introducing you to poetic analysis or reinforcing your interpretations of the poems whilst studying them.
• Sample Essay
This isn't VCE specific, but it is a good example of how to seamlessly integrate textual evidence into your discussion, as well as how to weave poetic techniques and really close analysis in with broader concerns like themes and conceits.

Selected Poems by Gwen Harwood
• Insight Guide
This is likely to be taken down at some point, but for now, this is a link to the Insight Study Guide, replete with discussions of the important poems, as well as some analysis of sample essay questions.
• Teaching Resources
There are a few links on this page to helpful explanations about the poems' language and style in case you need them.
• Herald Sun Piece
This is fairly short, but if you ever have to write an essay on themes like life or death, this is a good place to start
• Study Guide
This is an e-book version of a study guide that contains some great analysis of the poems in isolation, as well as a bit of discussion about the broader context and overarching themes.
• Poetic Analysis
This is actually a HSC resource, but contains some decent analysis of certain poems which overlap with the ones on the VCE list.

Stasiland by Anna Funder
• English Works Article
Great analysis here of everything from the role of certain characters to the structure and genre of the text as a whole. The interpretations argued in this piece are really good, and in general, these are the best VCE specific notes you'll find.
• English Works Extras
Additional notes from the same site as above with a bit more close analysis and a few extra themes here.
Study Guide
This is another great resource that takes you through the characters, chapters, themes, and narrative structure in a fair amount of detail. The prompts at the end are also pretty good.
• School Portal
There are some assorted links here that primarily focus on the background information of the text, but may be helpful for a first reading.
• Teaching Resources
This is mainly geared towards things like lesson plans and practice exercises, but may still be a helpful tool for early in your studies.
• More Teaching Resources
As above, this probably won't be much use from an analysis perspective, but may help you better remember textual details.
• Sunday School Podcast
This is a discussion with a Year 12 teacher which mainly deals with the author as opposed to the text, but there are still some good points brought up regarding the genre and historical significance of the book.

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
• Lit Charts
This is a really good site that contains textual and visual analysis, coupled with an excellent thematic breakdown of the text overall. Character analyses are excellent, and the detailed analysis of each section is really helpful for texts like this one that can be a little tough to get through on a first reading.
• English Works Article
This is a site geared at Year 12 English students and as such is really great pre-reading and post-reading thing. There's a bit on the graphical format of the text that can be useful if you're unfamiliar with visual analysis tasks, and overall the stuff on the author's views and values and the layers of meaning in the text is really worthwhile.
Grade Saver Guide
This is a pdf copy of a study guide that takes you through the characters and themes as well as a bunch of summative material. The explanation of vocabulary is also good given how tough it can be to understand this text and its language.
Study Notes
Another guide that's a bit shorter than the previous one but contains more analytical commentary and has a decent starting point for a quote bank towards the end.
• Study Questions
This is from a school website and contains some VCE specific links and discussion topics to get you thinking about the important features of the text. There are also a series of analytical questions about key moments from the text which are worth contemplating before you attempt essay writing.
• Narrative History
I'll leave you to navigate the links within this site, but there's a good amount of both background and textual information here.
• Teaching Resources
Some of the links on this site are decent if you're looking to better understand the structure of the text.
• Reading Questions and Resources
This is a really old looking website, but the content is still applicable, and if you're someone who needs comprehension questions to fully understand a text, then this is the place to go.
• Analytical Essay
Pretty sure this is from the above site, but the link is hard to find so I thought I'd post this here too. It's not a VCE style essay, but has some excellent analysis and an interesting perspective on the historical implications within the text.
• Textual Structure
This contains various discussions about the structural features of the text, which are likely to be quite useful considering how this text almost always gets a slightly structural prompt at the end of the year.
• Lecture Transcript
Some good interpretive commentary here with a wide variety of themes covered.
• Sunday School Podcast
This is an interview with an English teacher who explains some of the important graphical details and plot points within the text. A fair portion of it is just dealing with the novelty of it being a graphic novel, but there are some interesting topics raised at around the halfway point.

The Thing Around your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
• English Works Article
This is the best available VCE specific website available, and the interpretive comments here are excellent, so this is a great read if you're looking to shape your overall reading of each story, as well as the author's intent as a whole.
• Teaching Resources
If you're prepared to skim through some of the extraneous information and graphics, there's a good amount of background information and general summative discussion here.
• Critical Review
This is a discussion of the stories within the book and although it's brief, it's a good succinct introduction to each of the main plotlines.
• Book Review
Another review that takes a more holistic approach and looks at the meaning of the stories overall.
• Book Review
This is also a holistic discussion of the text with a couple of relevant excerpts for analysis. The parts about how the author uncovers aspects of people's characters over the course of the stories are especially good.
• Blog Review
This is a great breakdown of the individual stories, though some of the other analysis is grounded in contextual information as opposed to the text itself, but may help clarify the background details.
• Magazine Review
This is just a brief overview of some key concerns, but information about Adichie's values is kind of scarce, so this might help fill in the gaps.
• Excerpt from Insight Guide
You can only
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 09:51:11 am by literally lauren »

literally lauren

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Re: Text Response Resources
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2016, 03:37:21 pm »

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
• Lit Charts
This should be your first resort if you ever need clarification about textual details; the visual chart of the novel coupled with all the in-depth analysis is absolutely amazing, and you should definitely read this alongside your study of the text to further your understanding as you go.
• English Works Article
Another really good resource - this one is specific to VCE studies, and focuses more on overall interpretations, but is just as valuable as the Lit Charts site. Between the two of these, you should have almost everything you need to comprehend and analyse the text.
• Grade Saver Guide
This is a slightly more accessible guide with some more simplistic analysis, but would be a good place to start for those who either haven't read the text or haven't understood it.
• Literary Analysis
This isn't VCE-centric, but is an excellent summation of several major themes, as well as the author's overall intent. Probably best to leave this until you've got a grip on the text as a whole first, but is definitely worth a read before you start writing full essays of your own.
• Socio-political Analysis
Some of this is just background material or extemporaneous information about the author's life and history, but the actual analysis is pretty decent and may help you better understand how this text fits in with the subject matter it describes.
• General Resource Portal
This is a site with a bunch of different sections for chapter analyses, themes/motifs, and important quotations. Again, not VCE-centric, but still very much relevant to the kinds of prompts you'll see at the end of the year.
• The Criterion Guide
This is a good bundle of analyses that can also help consolidate your knowledge, but the general stuff about Adiga's life is somewhat less relevant.
• Thematic Analysis
Just a brief excerpt of a discussion about several themes, but might be useful just to familiarise yourself with some of the key ideas.
• Sunday School Podcast
This is a recording of a VCE teacher talking about some important bits of the text with an emphasis on thematic concerns, which may help you understand the text better if you're more suited to auditory learning.

This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff
• English Works Article
Great analysis of the key ideas in the text, and probably the best, VCE-centric material you'll find.
• English Works Extras
This link adds on to some of the points mentioned in the previous one, but looks at certain scenes and pieces of evidence in more detail - both are very much worthwhile though.
• Sparknotes
Pretty decent Sparknotes summative resource with passage breakdowns and some excellent character analysis.
• Insight '94 Book Scans
This is a fairly old resource from back when this text was on the HSC list, I believe, but the analysis still holds up, and many of these points are akin to what VCAA would be inclined to ask you about on the exam.
• Study Notes
This is a decent set of notes to complement your early readings of the text. The stuff on symbols and motifs is especially good, and would really help bolster your analysis later down the track.
• Collection of Quotes
This is a pretty good set of important excerpts from the text separated by themes, which is always useful. It's not conclusive, but would be an excellent starting point for your own quote repository.
• Shmoop Guide
The guides listed above this are probably better sources, but Shmoop are good at explaining things in more 'relatable' terms, so if the text still doesn't make sense to you and you find the aforementioned resources too difficult to comprehend, this can be a good stepping stone to understanding the text.
• Sunday School Podcast
This is an interview with a Year 12 teacher about the important details of the text with an emphasis on how to articulate ideas in your essays, so is worth a quick listen just to get a sense for what an assessor might be looking for.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontλ
• Lit Charts
Ridiculously detailed guide here with a visual map of major themes in the text, and a tonne of analysis that goes through each section scene by scene, as well as in-depth discussions of quotes, motifs, and narrative structure. This is as close as you'll get to a conclusive summation of all you'll need to know, so this should definitely be your go-to resource if you're even in doubt about the contents or significance of things in the novel.
• General Links
This page has quite a few helpful bits and pieces, including a link to Joyce Carol Oates' analysis of the text, which goes into heaps of depth with the structural features and narrative elements. There are also some resources geared towards helping you understand the genre and related concepts.
• Signet Guide
This is a great resource with a succinct encapsulation of key ideas that should well and truly clear up an uncertainties or ambiguities within the text for you.
• Sparknotes
Pretty standard textual resource. This is a good supplement to your first and second readings as it spells out some of the more complicated plot points and character details really well. There's also a decent amount of analysis of the themes, motifs, and key quotes, so making your way through all the different sections here is recommended for those struggling with the length and depth of this novel.
• 60 Second Recap Videos
This is a short little youtube series that goes over a few core ideas from the text in little minute-or-less soundbites, so is a great introductory source for those who haven't read the text or feel they haven't understood it. Some of the later videos on metaphors and symbols are also good even for those who've got a good grasp on the plot, since this is the sort of text that warrants close analysis.
• Readers' Guide
This site has a whole bunch of links to overview of each of the characters, settings, and some of the major quotes in the novel. It's not conclusive, but it's a good reference point to open up while reading in order to ensure you understand the plot.
• Excerpt from the Insight Guide
Just the first few pages here, but the character maps are useful in keeping track of all the repeated and similar names :P
• Teaching Resources
This site contains a variety of links to other informative materials. Most of this is background reading instead of close textual analysis or explanation, but considering how important some of this background information is for VCAA prompts, it's worth at least familiarising yourself with some of these.
• Gothic Views and Values
This is an extensive analysis of the notion of the Gothic within the novel, and if you scroll down to the bottom, there are a host of other related essays and analyses. I've linked the Gothic one here because I think it's the most well-written, but some of the others (esp. regarding themes, narration, and the idea of love) are probably more useful, so have a read through these once you know enough about the plot to start contemplating big picture concepts.
• Cliffnotes Guide
This is basically the same as the Sparknotes Guide, only with a little bit more emphasis on summative details. The fact that there are important vocabulary words flagged at the end of each chapter summary is probably good for those who don't understand some of the language too.
• Shmoop Guide
This is a bit more reductive than the Sparknotes/Cliffnotes Guides, but does its best to explain the text in more relatable terms, which some students find appealing. This kind of colloquial language won't cut it in assessment tasks though, so only use this to solidify your understanding, and not as a model of how to articulate your thoughts about the text.
• Grade Saver Guide
This one's also very similar to the above study guides, though a little bit more analytical, meaning it's probably best used as part of your second and third readings instead of the first. The essay questions aren't like the VCAA ones, but can be useful nonetheless.
• Character Analysis Essay
This is a nice overview that compares and contrasts many of the characters in the text, and would be useful to read over before you start writing character-based essays yourself.
• Psychological Analysis of Characters
This is a tertiary-level essay that goes into more detail than you would be expected you, but these higher quality discussions are great for people looking to push their own analysis in better territory.
• Stylistic Analysis
Another high quality academic paper with great analysis, so even though it's not strictly geared towards VCE, it's still a good read.
• Sunday School Podcast
This is an interview with a Year 12 teacher about this text's most important features. Not all of this will be overly useful, and the basic plot details are the kinds of things most students will have well and truly covered in regular class discussions, but some of the points raised about the narration and structure of the text here are worth a listen.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 09:50:29 am by literally lauren »


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Re: Text Response Resources
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2016, 04:05:37 pm »
I... can't even...


If I ever catch you guys complaining about the amount of work that you have to do for two texts, I think I am going to tell you to go jump in the lake.  This is approximately insane.

(I swear I say something like this every time Lauren makes a resources post, but they blow me over every time, so  #soznotsoz :P)
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Re: Text Response Resources
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2016, 04:29:07 pm »
holy shit  :o :o :o
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Re: Text Response Resources
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2016, 07:52:13 pm »
Not complaining... But this is no where near enough time to study and learn anything about these texts, I'm going to go cry myself to sleep before my sac tomorrow.


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Re: Text Response Resources
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2016, 02:33:48 pm »
Hi i was wondering if you have any quotes related to Burial Rites?