ATAR English Glossary

One of the most confusing elements of the English ATAR course is the terminology used in the questions.

The terminology can sometimes stump even the most level-headed of students. This is our ATAR English glossary to help you understand what those tricky questions may be asking you. We’ll also give you a practice question!


Account for: state reasons for, report on. In this question, you must look at the reasoning behind why something might be the way that it is.

Account for the reasons why a text may be constructed in a certain way to present different perspectives.


Identify components and the relationship between them; draw out and relate implications. Given all of the essays you write in English are analytical, this is an important term to know.

Analyse how a text can either reinforce or challenge popular ideas within a society.


Make a judgement of value, quality, outcomes, results or size. When applied to analytics essays, this could be assessing the effectiveness.

Assess how authors utilise voice in order to represent a particular ideology.


Show how things are similar and different. This often involves two texts and will involve you creating an argument around which text serves its audience better.

Compare how two texts have been constructed for similar purposes but through different genres.


Identify issues and provide points for and/or against. Very common in the English course, as it is all about creating a conversation around this issue.

Discuss the way in which your understanding of context has influenced your interpretation of the

perspectives in at least one text.


To ascertain the value or amount of; appraise carefully. You must use an evidence-based argument.

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Evaluate the effectiveness of generic conventions in portraying a central idea in your text.


Inquire into. This is where you would delve into the question and look at it from different angles and perspectives.

Examine how texts use generic conventions to highlight issues of class, gender or race within the society in which they exist.


Investigate, search for or evaluate. When you have a question that asks you to explore, you must look for an answer through your essay.

Explore how voice works within at least one text to represent a particular context.


Similar to ‘explain’ (see above), but looks at creating an “image” of your answer.

Illustrate how at least one text manipulates the conventions of genres for a particular purpose and


There are a number of other key ideas and phrases you’ll need to understand for the English ATAR course. The best thing to do is explore and read as many different types of questions as possible. This means that when you eventually do get a question with tricky vocabulary, it will make it ten times easier!

For more information, or to get your head around actually answering these questions, get in contact with us today!

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