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Thread: Questions for those who excelled at English...

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    Post Questions for those who excelled at English...

    1) How did you read your texts, particularly if they were novels? Some are pretty long and time-consuming, so did you read and picked up quotes + techniques along the way, or did you read it in general enjoyment before accumulating q&ts later?
    2) How many times did you read your texts?
    3) How many hours did you spend on the subject?
    4) Did you have time to read texts other than the prescribed and related?
    5) What can I do this year to prepare for English Ext 2 next year? (For those who did Ext 2)

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    Senior Member jazz519's Avatar
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    Re: Questions for those who excelled at English...

    1) Some of the texts I didn't even read all of it, but I did know the whole plot and what happens from reading summaries from the internet. To find quotes and techniques, I used some quotes from essays I found on the internet, as well from the text and also there are many websites like spark notes which have lists of quotes related to certain themes. However, some of the texts are pretty new such as the discovery ones and module c, so since there wasn't many resources on those, I just had to analyse the text myself and find quotes that supported my arguments from reading or watching the text.

    2) Once for the novels, but you might not want to do that if you are going in with just quotes and not a memorised essay because you have to then be able to understand the text more. I used the memorised essay because I was good at adapting it on the day.

    3) To be honest a lot cause our school gave us so much useless homework, but time that I actually spent studying for it not that much, because I'd type an essay up in a few days before the assessments and then after I got the feedback from those I refined the essays and kept on doing that throughout trials and up to the HSC, which probably just takes like a few hours on a weekend if you did well in the essay already. For short answers though although I didn't really do much practice in that other than memorising like 50 different techniques and the discovery rubric, if you don't perform well in that the first time, don't worry too much because you can do lots of practice papers on that stuff and improve pretty easily.

    4) I probably had the time, but I don't think there is much use to reading more texts if you are thinking that it will help your marks, but if it's just for leisure then I guess its okay.
    Last edited by jazz519; 26 Jun 2017 at 1:13 PM.
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    Re: Questions for those who excelled at English...

    1) My novel was semi interesting, so it wasn't that bad to read more than once, but i do remember reading it once in the summer holidays and then a second time to go sticky tab important pages, then compile a quote bank so I wouldn't have to comb through the the book once more. Our class exercises helped with this as everyone got their own chapter to do, and then I had a whole bunch of good quotes to choose from when starting to write an essay.
    For Shakespeare I read the modern English version first, and then in class mark all the spots where the teacher spent heaps of time dissecting scenes. Then I'd look at notes online, readings, and that jazz, then start compiling arguments to form an essay.
    What I found useful for poems is to write a summary after you've done the poem, with quotes, technique and analysis. The sooner you do this right after you've finish dissecting it in class, the quicker the main ideas get into your head. Even if it's not the best, you've tried to do something.
    2) I tried to read my texts two times, once in the summer holidays, and then a brief skim before we started it in class. For my visual, I'd already watched it in year 10, so I wasn't too concerned on rewatching that before we started it in class.
    3) easily English took up most of my time. About 60% of my time was spent between English and music, the other 40% for all my other subjects.
    4) not really, having a major project took up most of my spare time.
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    Re: Questions for those who excelled at English...

    1) i have never read a single english text since year 10, just read summaries online from a variety of sources
    2)^^ 0
    3) I have only ever prepped the night before, often times the hours during the day even, just gather a bank of quotes + TEEs that you can apply to different questions and mold your essay around the question using your TEEs. As well as TEEs, it is important to have a grasp on the conceptual themes of the text, and how they relate to context, everything you write should be purposeful
    4) i did not want to, and honestly its more worth just doing readings of your prescribed texts if you do have that much time on your hand..
    5) you do not need to prep for extension 2, there is a lot of time throughout year 12 to consistently work on your major work. Start thinking about possible ideas for your study, these ideas can often come from things you have studied throughout year 11 english advanced and extension 1. Trust me there is a lot of time for reading and the completion of your major work

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    Re: Questions for those who excelled at English...

    1) I like to read the whole thing once over to form my own general opinion of the novel, before I go into textual analysis. It's important to remember that the two should never be divorced completely because you want to be an alert reader, but that's my general strategy - forget about having to pick it apart
    and just read the damn thing. This also helps hugely come write-up time because you usually have a much better picture of where the key passages/scenes that you might want to use are. If it's a good book as well (which ,I'm sure everyone knows, prescriptions are too often not) you'll thank yourself for the enjoyable experience as well. If you don't like it, this way you'll probably still gain a begrudged appreciation of the text's construction.
    2) Once completely (see above), but always come back to the text. If it helps, make a sort of rubric where you can systematically identify key scenes and do a bit of concentrated exegesis on each section, so at the end you have a macro-level analysis and a micro-level textual support (as well as a good understanding of how those intersect).
    3) How many hours did you spend on the subject?
    Quite a few, but I didn't slave away at the subject with a fixed schedule. Whenever I found/thought of something interesting, I'd work on it a bit, whether that was an idea for a new creative or a line of inquiry for a thesis about the module. I tend to be of the opinion that good writing comes when it comes. If it won't come when you want it to, it's probably not there at that moment. That being said, a lot of shit writing does very well at the HSC, so I suppose if you just want to develop some skills like the employment of techniques, whatever whatever, go ahead. It probably won't hurt you.
    4) Yes! Constantly reading new things (both related and unrelated to English) is a good way to grow as a thinker and a writer. It's a good way to develop skills and usually exposes you to very interesting writing which you'll be thankful you read. Read widely too - from poetry to journalism to short stories. Follow lit mag pages, podcasts, etc. if you're lost as to where to look!
    5) Keep reading, and think about what you might want to produce. This will probably change, but unless you go into Ext 2 with a burning passion for literature and/or film, you'll fizzle out very quickly. You shouldn't be alarmed by this because it's probably the exception, but I wrote almost all of my work in a hyperactive frenzy during the summer break between Term 4 and Term 1 (a lot of it was rubbish and I spent a lot of time editing it in Yr 12). But I suppose in an anecdotal way that's the level of commitment you should have to your work - because at the end of the day, it is your work.
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