Extended Response Writing

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Extended Response Writing in HSC Geography

There are two parts to approaching an extended response:

1. Reading the question

2. Writing the response

1. Reading the Question

By effectively reading the question you find out what FACTS and TOPICS are required how the examiners want you to answer it.

3 How do I effectively read the question?

4 Determine what syllabus dot point it is from?

All questions are based on a syllabus dot point. Once you can recognise what syllabus dot point it is from you then know what information to write

6 Look for the Bossy words (Directive Verbs)

i.e. Analyse, evaluate, discuss, outline, compare, evaluate, explain… etc These words tell you the style of paper you need to write and the examiners are looking for SIGNPOSTS that show you have followed the directive verb.

7 Look for the bossy ‘s’

These indicate plural i.e. more than one. For example, ecosystem compared to ecosystems. This usually refers to case studies and examples. If the question has a bossy ‘s’ and you only use one example you automatically do not qualify for a band 5 and 6. .

2. Writing the Response
• Let’s simplify what an extended response is? In its most simplistic definition an extended response is a series of logically connected paragraphs that are related to a topic. So, the basis of an effective extended response is that you have well constructed paragraphs. The Paragraph

• ONE paragraph = ONE key point about the topic you are writing about. The biggest mistake many students make is that they try to say too much in ONE go. It is better to spread your ideas over a few paragraphs.

• Sentence back- It is crucial to show the examiner that you are answering the question. The best way to do this is to SENTENCE BACK. Use words from the question to show that you are answering it directly. The best place to sentence back is in the first sentence of a paragraph (topic sentence).

• Basic Paragraph Structure (T.E.E)
Each paragraph have these elements. As you getter better at writing you can mix them up a bit to make it interesting, but it is recommended that you stick to this formulae in exams as it ensures there is no ambiguity about what you are writing about.

T –Topic Sentence (introduces the point you are making and sentence back to question. E- Explanation (puts your topic into perspective by usually defining it, explaining key points and/ or giving other crucial background information. E- Examples. Key explanations and examples are given in these. The more examples you refer to, the better. Go from broad examples to specific.

The following are additional for those higher order questions. E- Evaluative sentence/s. This is for higher order bossy words, where you make a judgement or linkage or contradictory point. CS- Concluding sentence to let the reader know you’ve finished your point (you can start to link to next point)

• Signposts- Depending on the bossy word examiners need to see key phrases or terms that show you are writing a style of paper that was directed by the question. Also, you need to signpost to the reader that you understand the concepts and content thus you will use the key terms assocaited with you r topic. That is why it is important to memorise the technical words.

Q. Describe the spatial patterns and dimensions of ONE ecosystem at risk that you have studied and analyse the negative human impacts.

The coral reef ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef has many spatial patterns and dimensions and negative human impacts that make it an ideal case study of an ecosystem at risk. Spatial patterns and dimensions such as location, latitude, altitude, continuity, size and shape (extent) help in understanding the biophysical functioning and vulnerability and resilience of the GBR. Furthermore, there have been a number of human impacts on this ecosystem at risk such as shipping,...
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