Practice writing short response – set a timer, give yourself 5mins reading time, and 20mins writing time. Use the marking key to mark your work or peer edit with a friend.
Time poor? Set a timer for 10mins. Read/view a text, dot point your response,
write a clear topic sentence.
Go through your marked Comprehension responses from Y11 & Y12, review the feedback, rewrite a paragraph / add evidence or explanation.
Section Two: Responding
Decide on the topic /issue/idea that you are most interested in for the studied text. Examine how this can be manipulated to answer questions on: voice, perspective, context, response, and challenge / reinforce ideologies. Look at how your topic can be adapted to discuss issues, ideas, controversies.
Decided on the ‘ways in which you are most interested in: genre (including
adaptation & manipulation of), voice (and construction of), structure, style. Create a list of devices used, collect examples, and explore how you can adapt these examples to suit the concepts above.
Unpack questions: set a timer for 7mins – unpack a question, dot point your body paragraphs, write your topic sentences, and write your thesis.
Practice paragraphs: after the above activity, set a time for 15mins, and write a body paragraph. Review your paragraph and highlight in different colours where you have answered the different aspects of the question. If there is a colour missing, you have not addressed that aspect of the question. Use the marking key to review your work, ask a friend to look at it, hand it in if you think it is a good paragraph.
Review your work: go through your Responding essay, re-read the annotations, have a go at re-writing a paragraph. Show it to a friend, show it to me.
Read through ‘Good Answer’ responses – use the ‘Good Answers’ book, review a friend’s work. Go back and look at your essay and see how you can improve.
Write a really good nutshell statement. Remember to include genre, setting, point of view, main elements of the story, and issues relevant to the ones that you will be talking about.
Section Three: Composing
Read, read, read. I can not stress enough how important it is to read widely and
frequently. It does not have to only be the classics, read articles, memoirs, diaries, non-fiction, magazines, blogs.
Know your genre. Think of where your strengths lie – if you want to write a
persuasive speech, watch persuasive speeches, make a note of the way the speaker engages the audience, examine the structure, the tone, the language. Do the same with which ever genre you think you may write in. Collate a list of generic conventions.
Know your subject. Make sure you have facts, figures, information relevant to a
couple of topics/issues that could be adapted to suit a range of questions. If your strength is narrative, think of characters or settings that could be adapted, collect some great phrases or examples of imagery that could be used.
Practice unpacking questions: set a timer for 5mins, unpack the question, write a clear plan. Make sure your writing has structure – this is important for ALL FORMS of writing.
Review terms – use MLC English terms, ATAR Syllabus Glossary, Devices List (all on Cover Page)
English is one of the most important subjects for students in the modern world. Not only does it help you with your other subjects, but it frames how you make it through the rest of your life. I was lucky enough to have some fantastic teachers who helped me understand the subject and now I can pass that on to my students. My first session is always an assessment of where the student is at so I can make an assessment of how to improve your child’s grade – and it will.