English Paper One: The Extended Response
When you ask people what they hate the most about English the majority will say writing extended responses. Essays, lectures, feature articles they all cause great grief to the poor HSC students who have to write them. I believe this attitude is mostly due to the fact that a great deal of students simply don’t know how to construct a response. They don’t know how to construct a thesis statement, or write arguments that can be backed up by textual support. All these students need is a little assistance, information on how to write something that serves it purpose. So here is that help, that little bit of assistance that will help you to get the highest marks possible in your extended response for Belonging. Breaking the response up into its primary elements makes the whole process a lot easier and allows you to focus on what is really important. To illustrate this let’s take a look at Arthur Miller’s 1953 play The Crucible, and Jean Rhys’1966 novel Wide Sargasso Sea. First up, the thesis statement:
The most important part of any essay is establishing a solid thesis statement that sets up the tone and structure for your essay. It is an argument about a specific aspect of belonging / not belonging which you can apply to multiple texts. Your texts are the evidence with which you reinforce your thesis. It’s best to prepare three thesis ideas and on the day form two thesis statements which best the question you are given. For example, you could prepare ideas about the nexus between place, power, madness and women. On the day, if the question is about how belonging is influenced by connections to places, you can develop your prepared ideas into a thesis that fits this question. For example:
Connection to place evokes an emotional attachment through shared experience and shared values. Many teachers like you to use two sentences in your thesis; and address the first half of it in the first part of your essay and the second...
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