Monday, September 24, 2012

Module C: LOL good luck

This module has got to be the strangest of the 3. I mean, History and Memory? Representation? What do they want from us? :(

Hopefully by the end of this I would have clarified SOME points. But until then, red is the rubric

I'm pretty sure most of you already know that Module C focuses on the REPRESENTATION of events, personalities or situations. (OR not and)

Your essays should include the interplay of History and Memory and how it's represented, this is were you being EVALUATING HOW the medium of production, textual form, perspective and choice of language influence meaning. By doing this, you give yourself a personal voice and you kick your self up a few bands :)

So here, at our school, we've been given the situation or the event of September 11. If you were to use the Falling Man as your related text, you'd be exploring the representation of the Event of September 11. If you were to use Levertov's poem, you'd be exploring the representation of the war Situation. You do not have to state these explicitly, however, knowing what you are discussing is always helpful.

Keeping in mind that if you were to use The Falling Man as your related text, the sole image does not possess enough depth. If you were to use this, watch the documentary and have that as your related text because there will be more to talk about. Your related texts should be drawn from a variety of sources in a range of genres and media. So, try not to use another website. The poem is good as there are no poems on the Smithsonian.

Various textual forms and their medium of production offer different versions and perspectives for a range of audiences and purposes. As most of us have discussed in class, there are several perspectives circulating within the Smithsonian. There are the more patriotic curators and there are others who try to remain as unbiased as possible. The exclusion of certain images and the filtering of the stories in the 'Tell your story' section all contribute to the Smithsonian's VERSION of the event/situation. This influences certain responses from the audience. As it is a website and we live in a post modern world, the audience could be practically anyone. These are some of the main points that need to be covered in your essays.

What needs to be understood is that the Smithsonian is from the American perspective and hence themes of heroism, survival, resilience, 'banding together' and overcoming adversity are apparent. This is where the idea of selectivity comes in and I'm pretty sure there are a couple of quotes and artifacts that you can include in your response to support the idea of historical artifacts evoking sentiments of loss etc and thus reinforcing the relationship between history and memory.

ALSO, keeping in mind that they could always throw an interview, journal entry, letter, article, speech etc. at you in any module and in section 2 and 3 of Paper 1. I guess it'd be best if we went through the essentials of different text types too?

Sorry, LOL this is all over the place.

Deliberate selection of information for the manipulation of ideas! What do you think the idea is?

In your body paragraphs, you must mention the composers name as much as possible and you need to fill it with techniques because you are discussing the DELIBERATE REPRESENTATION.

Something like: "The Smithsonian incorporates audio clippings of the Curator's discussion of particular objects to incite _" "Levertov's use of the lexical chain "Bombed ..." highlights..."

Using the higher modality language (there is a word for this LOL, help me out guys) shows that the composer has done something effectively. For example using the word highlights in the sentence "Levertov highlights ..." as opposed to "Levertov shows/portrays/depicts..." This gives the composer more credibility and shows that YOU know that they have purposely done things to influence a certain response. I think it's also referred to as an active voice as it demonstrates to the marker that you are more confident/assertive in your statements. And markers pretty much operate on first impressions.

Highlights, underscores, exacerbates, ... okay I've run out but you can thesaurus these LOL

Okay, now onto History and Memory.

Students explore the relationship between individual memory and documented events. They analyse and evaluate the interplay of personal experience, memory and documented evidence to broaden their understanding of how history and personal history are shaped and represented.

 History is influenced by memory but it is not correct to say that they are essentially the same thing, nor is it correct to treat them as separate entities. You need a good definition here. A few have been circulating like History is the reconstruction of memories recollection. 
Memories are the foundation of History. 
Memory is the root of the tree of history.

And what have you. These are fine, but coming up with your own will set you apart from other students in our grade. I've been told that our papers are distributed in lots of 20 to different marking centres and it'd become pretty mundane for the marker to read 20 similar essays. You'll only be jeopardizing your own mark by not trying to come up with your own definition.

To finish off, I believe the ETA History and Memory booklet is floating around on studywiz so reading that would be highly useful. But in a super simplified (and I do mean super simplified) nutshell, history is able to evoke memories and through these memories, reinforces the importance of such historical events to the audience. Further, memories deepen one's understanding and turn history from some dry and old to something that has personal connections and is rich.

Happy reading, and PRACTICE!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Word Bank

As a benchmark, I advise having a quote bank and a word bank for english. Words such as "fostering understanding", "evocative", "enlightening" and the usual belonging and not belonging synonyms are quite handy to slot into a response and work to strengthen your thesis.

Also guys, and this might sound silly, but have a few tries at thinking on the go. What I mean by this is outline a response or construct a "skeleton" where you deconstruct the question. If you don't have the time (or the patience) to write proper paragraphs, write down your main points and then flesh them out later.

At the end of the day, some effort is better than no effort at all. With work, things can only go up :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Essay Essentials

Alliteration ... Haha.

Okay, getting down to business. The following are vital when writing an essay:

Underlining the Title of your text. It may seem ridiculously obvious, but it is still required when referring to the text within body paragraphs. Some titles may be mistaken for character names i.e. Gatsby or mere descriptive words i.e. Doll's House. So you should always underline the title of the text throughout your essay.

You should have a general thesis or through line. This is basically your answer to the question and you will be supporting this with examples from the text. Try not to simply restate the question as you are lacking a personal voice. This does not mean you begin throwing the word 'I' and 'Me' around (although I don't see the harm, BUT teachers do advise against it) An opinion is great. Be verbose. Be audacious :)

If you are ending a sentence with a quotation, or even in the dialogue of your creative writing piece, the full stop must fall within the quotation marks. For example

"And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

As opposed to

"And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past".

Under intense exam conditions, remembering quotes verbatim can be quite difficult. Hence, ellipses and the like can be used to replaced the missing segments, as long as the general message of the quote remains. It would be pointless if you can recall part of the quote which does not support your thesis, so remembering quotes is also quite vital.

"And so we beat on ... borne back ceaselessly into the past."

Topic sentences and linking sentences are so, so, so important when writing an essay. These should come at the beginning of each body paragraph and the end of that same paragraph, respectively. Topic sentences help shape your argument and they also keep you rooted, stopping you from going off on a tangent about other matters within the text. Linking sentences are simple and tie the idea of your body paragraph to your thesis.

Sex, led, tee, pee. Sound familiar? These simple acronyms are key in getting some sort of structure in your body paragraphs. Of course, there is no one way to write an essay, but! All body paragraphs within an essay must always include:

- A statement about the subject at hand
- Evidence from the text
- An explanation of the evidence you have provided

Evidence is nothing without an explanation. And who's to say that an explanation is valid to your question and text if you do not provide evidence? These three points strengthen your argument, which of course will be the difference between (in most cases) life or death.

Incorporating the appropriate jargon into your essay will also help boost your marks. The metalanguage for drama is essential when writing about A Doll's House and all that high-tech computer jargon will be great in your History and Memory essays. The inclusion of these words show the markers that you know what you're talking about. A list of these terms will be up shortly :)

Making sure you know enough of what's required for each module is also essential. Ensuring you provide context in module A. Having an informed personal response for Module B and understanding the representation of texts for Module C. These can be discussed further if requested.


Well this is strange, there's actually a purpose to blogging now LOL

Just a question so we can get properly started, would you guys rather focus on:

a.  a particular module
b. area of study
c.exam techniques and all that fluff

That's all.

Let's get down to business

It's the last leg of the race, and it's time to get serious.

While you may think you're content with the marks you've gotten so far, it is not the time to be complacent. DO NOT be content with your mark just yet. If you flop out now, it is only a matter of time before it affects the rest of the cohort, and by that, I mean YOU ARE GOING TO BRING EVERYONE DOWN IN THE HSC EXAM. (Perhaps this is too harsh a wakeup call?)

What you need to do is get off your patooti and starting getting your ideas together, and answering past HSC papers as thoroughly as you can. Sometimes we know that you may feel a bit iffy about your ideas - heck, sometimes even the best feel that way - and you might feel like there are missing pieces in your information. That's where we come in. Somewhere along the line our ideas will  hopefully fill in the gaps that you missed out when you were dozing off in class. Hopefully.

We encourage you guys to ask any questions to do with modules you're confused about, as well as adding your own understanding of the content - by this, I mean, start a discussion. We're encouraging interactions between students here - share your ideas! Even if you just want something confirmed, don't be afraid to voice it. There is no such thing as a stupid question in this time and place.

So ask/discuss away!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

An introduction of sorts

Greetings, potential leechers!
I'm guessing you're here because you're either curious, wish to gain a competitive edge, or sunken so deep in shit you want to cry. Well we're the solution - though only partly. 

Now I think as intro, it's best to keep this succinct - so here's a little Q&A.

What are we aiming to do?
We give you the Lego, you build the toy.
Through a COLLABORATIVE effort (yeah, that includes YOUR help), we'll be ACTIVELY posting tips on how to best attack your English modules, equipping you with some of the essentials you'll be needing to charge into the unknowns of the HSC.
So in a nutshell, we'll be:
  • Actively updating (editing previous posts and creating new ones)
  • Handing out structural advice (generalized advice for the course and particularized advice for each module)
  • Suggesting essential concepts based on the content
  • Updating the blog posts with the notably perceptive ideas produced in the comments section
What can I do to help? What should I be doing?
  1. CONTRIBUTE ideas in the COMMENTS section
    • Our goal is to enlighten and enhance. It's a collaborative effort for a reason! We're working as a grade to push each other up. Why bother being selfish if it does no benefit to anyone?
  2. Forming your own structured responses based on the content (i.e. build your own Lego toy using the Lego pieces we've given you)
    • We'll be posting examples - but at the end of the day you have to form your own essay. Make it YOUR voice. Plagiarizing will destroy you and detriment genuine individual effort and performance. Do you WANT to be a JERK?

What shouldn't I be doing?
  1. Sharing this outside of Canley Vale High School
    • If you want to stuff everyone up do it, but you're living with it.
  2. Purely leeching.
    • Leeching drastically degrades the quality of the blog, encouraging sheep-like behavior amongst individuals. Don't be a copy cat - and worse than that, one which jeopardizes other people's chances.
  3. Copying responses
    • Make up some of your own stuff. We don't want to make our grade look like rote learned sheep. Everyone needs their own personal voice. If you're using us as your pure source of content you'll be destroying the point of this blog. So please CONTRIBUTE your ideas in the comments section of each blog post.