How to Write an Interpretive Text?

How to Write an Interpretive Text?

One of the most common questions I am asked is to explain the process of writing an interpretive text. An interpretive text is sometimes a requirement of the Composing section of the exam along with Persuasive and Narrative writing. 

What are Interpretive texts?

Texts whose primary purpose is to explain and interpret personalities, events, ideas, representations or concepts. They include autobiography, biography, media feature articles, documentary film and other non-fiction texts. There is a focus on interpretive rather than informative texts in the senior years of schooling.

Source: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

The way I describe an interpretive text is that it is somewhere between a narrative and a persuasive story – it’s a personal story with a message. 

As such, it uses a number of the same devices: 

Facts and statistics, selection of detail, sequencing of events, lexical choice, use of persona, colloquialisms, anecdotes, connotative/emotive language, tone, opinionative response, versions of reality, foregrounding, descriptive language, figurative language, irony, satire, rhetorical devices.

The purpose of an interpretive text is to explain all sides of an argument or issue, to inform by examining both sides of an issue, to provide a balanced discussion of different views, to present the pros and cons so readers can make up their own minds. They do not overtly persuade; instead they want their audience to take an active role in determining the message. 

Some examples of types of texts you can do are: 

  • Feature articles
  • Letters
  • Reflective essays 
  • News reports
  • Biographies
  • Autobiographies
  • Speeches

Important! WACE markers want to know you understand the audience. 

A common criticism noted by markers was the lack of attention given to the audience, particularly when composing persuasive and interpretive texts. Candidates would do well to remember that the primary instruction of this section is to choose ‘a form of writing appropriate to a specific audience, context and purpose’

Source: SCSA

In order to write an effective interpretive text, you need to determine the following elements. 

Context
Audience
Purpose

This will then assist with determining the language that you will use. If you don’t make these choices, you won’t be able to determine appropriate voice or language features.  

Interpretive practice questions:

Travel far enough, you meet yourself.’ Using this idea as a central theme, construct an interpretive text that reflects on a travel experience.

Write an interpretive text about a personal experience that changed your life. 

 

Why English is so Important for Stem Learners

Why English is so Important for Stem Learners

When it comes to modern schooling there is a large emphasis placed on STEM subjects. These include science, technology, engineering and mathematics. However, as a result of this emphasis, there is a lack of attention to one of the most important subjects that students can study at school – English. English is one of the most important subjects for students to master at an early age and it’s something that can become quite difficult as students progress in the years. English influences STEM extensively because English is reliant on an understanding and comprehension of the world around us.

 In mathematics investigations, students are required to read a passage and interpret the information and then answer based on the information that they read. Without a strong grasp of comprehension, students will find these investigations extremely difficult. If you think about engineering, there is also a heavy reliance on understanding. Many comprehension tests are based around novels and creative pieces, however, the skills that we learn and comprehension can also apply to reading materials such as articles. Students who are able to have a fantastic grasp of these different concepts find themselves becoming better students in the stem subjects. So how do you encourage STEM-based students to create a love of learning English? 

1. Engage With Their Logical Reasoning

 Many comprehension texts that are given to students as part of their study are based on stories. For logical thinkers, these can be difficult to interpret. Finding an informational text for the students to read can help them actually understand what is going on but with a logical and reasoning brain. 

2. Give them texts they are interested in 

Many students are forced to read what everyone else in the class is reading, however, students who are particularly logical will prefer reading about different topics allowing your child a chance to peruse the bookshelves for the catalogue at the library will allow them to find a topic that interests them. Even if they are reading informational text the actual process of transferring knowledge from the page to their brain can help them when it comes to other types of texts they will need to read in further school. 

3. Make it fun

A majority of students see reading as a chore. A lot of parents are me “how do I get my child to read?” Well, the answer is simple. Make it a fun activity. The biggest feedback I get from students when it comes to their reading is that it’s boring. The perception that reading is boring comes from the fact that there are so many other different things that they could be doing with that time. However, if you make it a challenge or if you gamify reading, students will have a much easier time finding the excitement in reading. 

There are many different ways to engage stem students when it comes to English. For more help, contact Perth English Tutor. 

How I Passed WACE English Confidently – A Student’s Perspective

WACE English can be a daunting subject for anyone who has never had confidence in the subject. For Stacey, who recently completed Year 12 – it turned out to be a piece of cake. Hear from her below.

1) How did you feel about English as a subject throughout high school?

English used to be a subject I struggled with during middle school. However, since having Bianca as my English ATAR tutor, I felt more comfortable and stronger completing tests, assignments and exams, especially when completing my WACE. I knew that all my preparation leading up to exams with Bianca helped me feel calm and relaxed about completing this course.

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2) What were you most worried about for Year 12 English?

There was not a lot that I was worried about for Year 12 English, as I felt comfortable when seeing my grades constantly improve after each test. So I knew that I was improving every time and was never falling backwards. However the one thing I was most worried about was not finishing in time, but I knew the only way to fix this was to use my time wisely by making sure that the 10 minutes of reading time purely went to reading the texts over and over again and annotating these in my head.

3) How did you study for Year 12 English and what tips would you give other students?

When studying for English it is best to continuously re-write essays, create new essays and read over essays. This will not only help you think on the spot, but helps you write faster and think about the structure of an essay as well. If I had to give one tip to other students I would say, ensure that when you are reading the novel given to you by the teachers, make sure you leave sticky notes on pages you believe would benefit you when writing an essay about the novel. So you then won’t have to go back and find quotes later on.

4) What was the biggest lesson you learned from the WACE exam that you could pass on to other students?

Calm down. You are stressing yourself out over something you have done a million times now. You know how to write an essay, you know how to annotate an extract and you know how to use your time wisely. When you open that piece of paper take a deep breath and just focus on what is in front of you.

5) What was the benefit of working with Bianca throughout Year 12?

Bianca is a bright and bubbly woman, who made me feel relaxed and confident, she never doubted me once and made me feel like I was capable of achieving anything. Bianca’s corrections would never make me feel like I have failed, she would explain the reasoning as to why something would not be necessary in that specific place. Bianca not only helped me get my grades up and achieve a higher score then I ever expected to get in English, but she managed to expand on my vocabulary which then made me feel like a confident out-going person. Bianca is someone who is striving to help everyone achieve the best they can and always puts her students first. Bianca is someone who loves to express good deed in anyway possible. I was successfully able to graduate from school, and complete ATAR English on a B, which I never expected to achieve, I also passed my WACE exam higher then I expected to get as-well. So Thank you Bianca for all your hard work and squeezing as many lessons possible for me.