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Module B
Getting It Right!

YOUR TURN

What is Module B about?


What is its focus?

What does the syllabus


focus on?
This module requires students to engage with and
develop an informed personal understanding of their
prescribed text. Through critical analysis and
evaluation of its language, content and construction,
students will develop an appreciation of the textual
integrity of their prescribed text. They refine their own
understanding and interpretations of the prescribed
text and critically consider these in the light of the
perspectives of others. Students explore how context
influences their own and others responses to the text
and how the text has been received and valued. (Reread
English Stage 6 Syllabus, p 52.)

What does this mean?


This critical study tests your understanding of
textual analysis, and how texts work. It seeks
to flush out independent critical thought from
students rather than merely re-expressing the
ideas of your teachers and other writers you
may read concerning the prescribed texts. You
cannot merely regurgitate what everyone is
saying about the text. You need to make up
your own mind about what the text means and
what it implies.

The Frames
Your
personal
response to
the text

Your detailed
analysis of the
texts language,
content and
construction

Subjective

Cultural

Structural

Critical

Contextual
information:
responders
and
composers

How the text


has been
received since
its composition
SOURCE: Visual Arts Stage 6
Syllabus

What is textual
Integrity?
Textual integrity is achieved when all
components of the text style, characterisation,
form, language, etc - combine to form a cohesive
whole. The Board of Studies defines textual
integrity as the unity of a text; its coherent use
of form and language to produce an integrated
whole in terms of meaning and value. Thus, you
will have to demonstrate how your text displays
a unity of form and language to produce
meaning and value over a wide range of
contexts, including your own.

examples
The plot, characters and language in
Hamlet all work to reinforce the theme of
decay and corruption.
The gothic atmosphere of Moor House is
integral to understanding the plot and
character motivations in Jane Eyre.

The importance of Context


Students need to acknowledge that different
people read texts differently and that these
differences arise from variations in world view.
World view is a useful idea. It means exactly
what it sounds like: its how someone sees the
world. This is influenced by historical, social
and cultural context. Think about how your
text was received in its original context and
how that is similar to, or different from, how it
is read now.

YOUR TURN

What is the context of your


prescribed text?
What do you know about the
composer and his/ her era?

Example 1:
The idea of the Divine Right of Kings was
very popular in Europe during
Shakespeares time. This notion, that kings
rule because God wants them to, could be
one of the reasons that Hamlet hesitates to
kill his uncle. To a modern audience this
makes less sense (living as we do after the
French and Russian revolutions) so we
look for answers in Hamlets character or in
his personal ethical code.

Example 2:
If your text is a more recent one, such as
Cloud Street, it might be useful to think
about different communities within our
modern society. Examine the significance
of the house in the novel for an Aboriginal
Australian who was a member of the Stolen
Generation or what the novel might mean to
someone who is unfamiliar with that aspect
of Australian history.

What this means for us


Students need to:
Know their text(s) very well
Including
Context
Character analysis
Themes & issues explored in the text(s) and how
these are developed
Structural techniques specific to medium and/or
composer
Language/ visual/ filmic/ dramatic techniques
used and how they help construct meaning

Students need to:


Have researched the composers life and
what has influenced his/her attitudes and
intensions relating to the text.
Have researched other contextual influences
which may be relevant to understanding the
text (eg. Social mores or values, political
situations, contemporary issues etc)
Personally consider how & to what extent
they believe these factors have shaped the
texts audience, purpose, content and
construction

Students need to:


Have researched the reception of the text
both in its own time and since
Have read and considered various critical
readings and views on the text in order to
expand and test their own personal viewpoint
Personally consider how & to what extent
they believe these factors have shaped
contemporary views on the value of this text,
as well as influenced their own developing
viewpoint.

WHAT THE MARKERS SAID.


(IN 2010 - TAKEN OFF THE
BOARD OF STUDIES WEBSITE)
In stronger responses, candidates carefully considered
arguments and thoughtfully selected, detailed textual
references to support a perceptive thesis.
Insightful responses demonstrated a strong sense of
personal engagement which was developed through an
evaluation of a variety of interpretations. Very few
responses simply relied on interpretations of others and
readings.
critical and personal
sustained cohesive argument
detailed and perceptive analysis
perceptive analysis

Weaker responses tended to be descriptive


and made limited reference to the language
and ideas of the text.
They lacked development and did not sustain a
coherent and detailed argument. These
responses also reflected a limited
understanding of the demands of the question.

Straight from a marker

to access the top band students don't need to


write a lot - 5 pages is enough to get an A (about
700-900 words)
it's not necessary to include critics BUT the
stronger ones do as they engage genuinely with
the critics' view and articulate their own
position in relation to it
don't need a lot of quotes 6-8 good ones (even
one word quotes) can be enough for a band 6

the emphasis should be on the argument and


the engagement with the ideas in the essay
question - a conceptual discussion is best (not
thematic, plot or character driven)
as always - a highly literate and well structured
response is necessary for a band 6
English is about thinking and NOT about
regurgitating ...

Avoid!!!
'No, Hamlet is not about Struggle and
Disillusionment. Here is my prepared response
instead blah, blah, blah'.
This is the WORST possible approach to the
HSC exam - they're putting ideas out there for
you to think about and write about. You MUST
develop an argument that responds DIRECTLY
to the essay question. If you don't, you'll get a
big fat 'D'.

Engage DIRECTLY with the essay question!!


You need to formulate your thesis around
the essay question
Develop the ideas in the essay question. DO
NOT simply repeat the key words - loss
and alienation
Better to develop the ideas:
e.g. A loss of innocence for individuals as a
consequence of social and spiritual unrest
leads to the social and spiritual alienation.

Understanding a question-Hamlet
The dramatic portrayal of loss and alienation in Shakespeares Hamlet
gives the play its enduring quality.
To what extent does your interpretation of Hamlet reflect this point of
view?
In your response, make detailed reference to the play.
dramatic = identify, exemplify & discuss the dramatic and language
techniques used
Loss and alienation= how are these themes represented/ explored in the
play
enduring quality = do you think these themes have given the play a
enduring quality?
To what extent does your interpretation = discuss your personal
response to the play and the extent to which youd agree/ disagree
reflect the point of view given
Detailed reference = refer to specific scenes, give quotes, discuss
dramatic & language techniques in depth.

Does this sound like


you?
Shakespeares Hamlet is full of universal
themes that can be understood by all
people from any walks of life. The
dramatic portrayal of loss and alienation
allows the play to endure over time and
place because of its universal
significance.
This is a C range intro because.

Its thesis is general and doesnt really


address the question in terms of
PERSONAL RESPONSE or reasons
for its ENDURING QUALITIES
Eg. .. full of universal themes that
can be understood by all people
from any walks of life. The dramatic
portrayal of loss and alienation
allows the play to endure over time
and place because of its universal
significance.

It does not correctly introduce the title


or explain the direction their
argument will take.
Eg. Shakespeares Hamlet
What do you need to improve on this?

AN A RANGE INTRO
- HAMLET
William Shakespeares mastery as a
playwright and his keen observations of
human nature and its frailties, is what
allows him to explore the themes of loss
and alienation so effectively in his play
Hamlet. The enduring power of this
play is, therefore, due to both the
universal relevance of these themes and
Shakespeares dramatic representation
of them.

What makes a good


intro?
A clear and thoughtful thesis statement which
directly responds to the question given.
Eg. William Shakespeares mastery as a
playwright and his keen observations of human
nature and its frailties, is what allows him to
explore the themes of loss and alienation so
effectively The enduring power of this
play is, therefore, due to both the universal
relevance of these themes and Shakespeares
dramatic representation of them.

Understanding a question-Harwood
Interpretations of texts can shift and change with
time and place. Considering your time and
place, reflect on the ways in which context has
shaped your critical interpretation of the
prescribed text. In your response, refer to TWO
poems you have studied.
Interpretations= subjective responses of critics
and others
Considering your time and place= your personal
context
the ways in which context has shaped your critical
interpretation= show how your context has
influenced your critical interpretation

Does this sound like


you?
In my study of Harwoods poems I have
found Interpretations of texts can shift
and change with time and place. This can
be seen when considering Father and
child and Alter Ego.
This is a C range intro because.

Its thesis is general and doesnt


really address the question in terms
of CONTEXT or HOW their response
is SHAPED (techniques etc.)
Eg. In my study of Harwoods poems I
have found Interpretations of texts
can shift and change with time and
place.

It does not correctly introduce the


composer, titles or explain the
direction their argument will take.
Eg. HarwoodThis can be seen
when considering Father and
child and Alter Ego.
What do you need to improve on this?

AN A RANGE INTRO
- HARWOOD
The mastery of Gwen Harwood lies in her contemplation
of universal concepts and truths absent from our
modern society. Harwood exemplifies the relationships
which appear subtracted and disvalued in our
contemporary world, the relationship between parent
and child, as observed in Father and Child and the
relationship of one with their soul, as depicted and
explored in Alter Ego. Her themes continue to
resonate thanks to the power of the poems themselves
to challenge what we see as important in our modern
age.

What makes a good


intro?
A clear and thoughtful thesis statement
which directly responds to the question
given.
Eg. The mastery of Gwen Harwood lies in
her contemplation of universal concepts
and truths absent form our modern
society.. Her themes continue to
resonate thanks to the power of the
poems themselves to challenge what we
see as important in our modern age.

What makes a good intro?


May also introduce aspects to be discussed
Eg. Harwood exemplifies the relationships
which appear subtracted and disvalued in
our contemporary world, the relationship
between parent and child, as observed in
..and the relationship of one with their
soul, as depicted and explored in

What makes a good


intro?
Clearly linked to the text(s) to be
discussed (Introduce these by
composer, full title and preferably
year of publication)
Eg. Gwen Harwood ..Father and
Child .. Alter Ego.

Understanding a
question- Speeches
How is your personal response to speeches
shaped by a perception of the passion of the
speaker? Refer to 3 speeches.
How = identify, exemplify & discuss the
rhetorical and language techniques used
Personal response = show your considered,
personal understanding of /attitude to
Perception of the passion = your
awareness/understanding of the speakers
feelings/ motivation & purpose

Does this sound like


you?
My personal response has been shaped by
my study of many speeches and the
passion of the speakers. This can be
seen in San Suu Kyis 1995 speech at the
Beijing World Conference on Women,
Anwar Sadats speech to the Israeli
Knesset and Noel Pearsons Australian
History for Us All, 1996.
This is a C range intro because.

Its thesis is general and doesnt


really address the question in terms
of HOW their response is SHAPED
(techniques, delivery etc.)
Eg. My personal response has been
shaped by my study of many
speeches and the passion of the
speakers.

It does not correctly introduce the titles of


the speeches or explain the direction
their argument will take.
Eg. This can be seen in San Suu Kyis 1995
speech at the Beijing World Conference
on Women, Anwar Sadats speech to the
Israeli Knesset and Noel Pearsons
Australian History for Us All, 1996.
What do you need to improve on this?

AN A RANGE INTRO
- SPEECHES
The passion of the speaker comes not only from
their ideas, but also in the way they craft and deliver
their speech. Therefore, it is the representation of
deeply held views and the ability of the speaker to
manipulate language so that it recreates their
passion to resonate with and captivate the audience.
This allows great speeches such as Aung San Suu
Kyis 1995, Keynote Address at the Beijing World
Conference on Women, Anwar Sadats groundbreaking speech to the Israeli Knesset in1977 and
Noel Pearsons 1996 speech An Australian History
for Us All to shape our personal response.

What makes a good


intro?
A clear and thoughtful thesis
statement which directly responds
to the question given.
Eg. The passion of the speaker comes
not only from their ideas, but also in
the way they craft and deliver their
speech.

What makes a good


intro?
May also introduce aspects to be
discussed
Eg. Therefore, it is the representation of
deeply held views and the ability of the
speaker to manipulate language so that
it recreates their passion to resonate
with and captivate the audience.

What makes a good


intro?
Clearly linked to the text(s) to be discussed
(Introduce these by composer, full title and
preferably year of publication)
Eg. This allows great speeches such as Aung
San Suu Kyis 1995, Keynote Address at the
Beijing World Conference on Women, Anwar
Sadats ground-breaking speech to the Israeli
Knesset in1977 and Noel Pearsons 1996
speech An Australian History for Us All to
shape our personal response.

Improving your paragraph


structure
A good intro is only a start. Obviously you also need to
develop a good argument to support your thesis.
The basic body paragraph must:
We describe it as having a WHY structure.
W= what point is the paragraph making? Make a point
relating to your thesis/ argument
H= how can you support this from the text? Give
specific examples, quotes & discussion of language/
visual or filmic techniques used & how they help
construct meaning in the text
Y = why is this relevant to the point made & your
thesis? Explain how this paragraph helps prove or
support your argument

YOUR TURN
What do you think are the most
important events/ scenes/ ideas or
themes in the text you studied?
Which were the most influential
techniques used by the composer to
get these across?

WHY paragraph - Hamlet


The loss of a parent can have a profound effect on a child.
Shakespeare uses the multiple plot strands to explore how the loss
of a beloved father impacts on a child. Hamlet is so devastated by
the loss of his father that he is unable to move past it; something
that Claudius challenges him on It is unmanly grief and even
Hamlet berates himself in his soliloquies through the use of
derogatory terms such as pigeon-livered. Interestingly, many
people have equated that stagnation to procrastination and overthinking the situation but as Freud says, he is so stricken with grief
that he is physically unable to act. As contrast, Shakespeare
introduces other characters that also have to deal with the loss of a
father. Ophelia, for example, descends into tragic madness, so
poignantly presented in her repeated focus on his absence, He is
dead and gone, lady, he is dead and gone. Through the dramatic
depiction of multiple reactions to the loss of a parent, Shakespeare
has ensured the continuing engagement with the play. After all,
regardless of our context, it is a situation we can all connect to.

WHY paragraph - Harwood


Harwood explores the innate interaction of man with the morality
and intangibility of his soul, a relationship seemingly absent in a
morally corrupt world. In Alter Ego, whilst one contemplates it
as a yearning of the soul, others may analyse it as a diagnosis of
the subconscious. Her poem initiates with a tone of allure and
serenity, alliterating the soft who goes sleepless and is not
spent, which emphasises the gentleness of the spirit.
Contrastingly however, this may also be read with a tone of
incantation, as enjambment and repetition, indifferent to any lost
or ill motion of mind or will, reflect a conscious effort to conjure
up the subconscious self. Be it the spirit or subconscious,
Harwood highlights the ambiguous nature of it by juxtaposing her
understanding that its pulse is mine yet stands beside me
still. Perhaps it is this yearning for knowledge which encourages
her to meet face to face. Through this poem, Harwood implies
that it is this meeting of our two selves that will ultimately bring
redemption and harmony to our lives.

Example WHY paragraph


- Speeches
The passion of Faith Bandler is evident in the
construction of her speech. It is not necessarily
structured, rather follows her stream of
consciousness. This helps me, as the reader,
embrace the ideas of the speech as Bandler only
focuses on things close to her heart; valuing the
differences of these cultures which make up this
country. The inclusive language us, we and
our help me connect to the idea I as the younger
generation (who) is not present, (have) a hard job to
do in order to see reconciliation become a reality.
Such elements combine to allow us insight into the
passion which drives women like Faith Bandler.

Conclusions
Then finish of with a strong conclusion
which restates your thesis rather
than merely summing up your main
points. Use high modality language
where possible.

Heres an action-plan to help


you

Do
know your text by studying it closely
demonstrate a detailed understanding
and appreciation of your text
consider the ongoing value of the text(s)
to different audiences in different
contexts
maintain the focus of the question by
planning your response
clearly connect your arguments to the
question

demonstrate understanding of the question


AND your texts AND the Module
demonstrate an ability to analyse and
evaluate
demonstrate critical engagement with the
text
connect the critical and the personal in
your response
show an appreciation of structure and
language forms and their role in making
meaning
link ideas and techniques

make appropriate reference to the text to


support your argument and reveal deeper
understanding
use quotations at key points but don't go
overboard and use too many
demonstrate an ability to use
metalanguage appropriately
demonstrate that you are at least
competent in literacy
show your own engagement with the text
throughout your argument
demonstrate your own understanding as
opposed to learning mass produced
material

Dont
fail to read the question closely
use critical readings as an excuse for not
knowing the text they refer to
rely on recounting the plot
list readings or productions instead of
demonstrating a deeper understanding
fail to show how language and structure
affect the making of meaning

write without planning your argument


generalise
describe or retell the text
make inaccurate references

Last words
Attacking this module might mean doing a little a
self reflection and engaging with the world. What
are your values, how are they shaped by your
context and how do they affect your own reading
of the text? That last question is important
because it is your own reading of the text that the
markers want to read. Dont read a bunch of
criticism and regurgitate in the exam. Engage with
the text and its world, engage with yourself and
your own world, think about the connections
between the two and then write about it.

YOUR TURN

What is one thing you find


valuable about the
prescribed text you studied?

WHY
paragraph
WHY
paragraph
WHY
paragraph

Hope this
helps & good
luck for your
HSC!