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Thread: Assessment: Proposal

  1. #1
    jhakka
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    Assessment: Proposal

    Hey Daves.

    Since you lot (the class of '06) are the first new batch to come through the Extension 2 forums since Lynn (glitterfairy) and I have been granted mod powers for this forum (the class of '05 are half as lucky... we got our powers a fair way into their HSC year), we've kinda decided to start things fresh with lovely new threads for the assessments that you'll be facing over the next three quarters of a year. At this point we'll just be doing the threads as the assessments get closer and will probably be recycling old material, but it will all be integrated, addressing what we see as the major aspects of the assessments.

    I'm sure that at this point Extension 2 seems very intimidating, especially since around this time your teachers will be handing you some lovely little assignment sheet saying "PROPOSAL! YOU NEED IDEAS NOW! SHOW US!" or something just as reassuring along those lines. And since it is all reassuring, there's no reason to stress, right? And in any case, since we're providing our own little guides to the assessment, at least you'll go in with some idea of what to expect.

    And now that I've probably confused you, you probably have some questions that I hope to answer in the next couple of sections.


    What's going on? What's all this shouting? (About the assessment):
    This assessment is usually the first one. I say usually because there is probably at least one school out there who wants to be different. In my experience it's usually weighted at 10 or 15% (out of 50%), or something small like that. When you look at the other assessments (usually weighted at 20% each), its not too bad.

    Anyways, this assessment is not necessarily about the idea you will be using. It's about an idea that you could use. There is no pressure to stick with the idea you are talking about. I think, and many will agree with me, that if you stick with something you've decided on with almost no research, consideration, and with the pressure of 10% of your total mark on the line... you'll be screwed. This course is about change, compromise and being ready to say "This idea sucks. It needs to go."

    So essentially, your proposal idea with probably be rubbish. But that doesn't matter. All you need to do is sell it.


    Wanna buy some pegs, Dave? (What to do):
    When it comes down to it, the aim of the Proposal is to sell your idea to the marker. You need to tell them "This is what I want to do. This is how I will get what I need for it. This is how it will look." You need to convince them that before you even think about writing, designing or speaking in tongues, that you know exactly how you're going to get to your final product sitting on top of that pile of paper in the corner of your room the day before hand-in. There's probably a desk under all of that, too.

    Ideally, what you want to do is come up with an idea that you can work with. One that, if it comes to the worst case scenario, you can always fall back on and pull something together (if it does get to this point after all the effort that Lynn and I are going through to make things easy for you we'll be quite disappointed). That way you won't be stuffing around later with ideas, ripping hair out and screaming "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!"

    Generally there are a few things your teacher will want you to address in you're proposal. If you're lucky you'll have a nice 1000 or so word count. If you're unlucky it'll only be 500 or so. If you get the latter, learn how to condense. That's kinda off topic, though. The things your teachers will be looking for (will be explained on the criteria sheet, but may include) an explanation of your intention, your idea, audience, medium, how you expect your work to turn out (format-wise), research methodologies, and so on.

    I'll just provide a brief rundown of each aspect I mentioned. You're all big people who can think for themselves, so I won't go into too much detail.

    Intention:
    The marker will want to know what your purpose is. What will you achieve by composing this major work? Do you want to make a statement or just satirise something? Do you want to empower the red sphere jellyfish from the shores of Canada? Remember, you want to sell this thing, and there's no way you can do that without a goal in sight. "Getting 50/50" is not acceptable. You need a reason to compose this thing... and it better be good.

    Idea:
    Self explanatory. What's your work about? How will it fulfill your intention?

    Audience:
    Who do you want reading your work. Don't say "The markers." We all know that it's true, but you want it to be consistent with your purpose and idea. If its about the red sphere jellyfish, mention animal rights activists. It has to be relevant, and it has to be logical. Don't write a story with drinking, swearing and rock and roll music, and aim it at five year olds. That's just stupid.

    Medium:
    Choose one. Say why it's the best choice.

    End result:
    It's all well and good to have an intellectual intention, but you need to have some idea of how you want your major work to look at the end. Will it be an epic poem? A fragmented, chapter-ised short story? Will it be a multi-section website with a different layout for each idea? Explain it. Explain why.

    Research:
    Research is a huge thing in this course. And you'll need to have a hell of a lot of it if you want to do well. Not just "I need to know what the sphere jellyfish eats" either. You need to research and know your medium, genre, theme, influences, theories and ingredients of whatever horrible cereal you've been eating inside and out if you want to do well. Go. Learn. Record it. Because if you don't, you'll have trouble with your Reflection Statement.

    Those are just a couple of the common aspects that I have come across. Some schools will add more. Some will knock some out. You have to read your criteria sheet and see what they want. But it can't hurt to add some extra stuff in. If it enhances your vision of your work and sells it, throw it in.

    That's about it until you have to look at housekeeping issues like formatting for this assessment.


    In this house we leave our shoes in the front porch... underneath the barometer. (Layout and format issues):
    Layout is strange, and there is no universal answer to what the winning layout is. From experience, my school wanted the proposal to be in essay form, addressing each of the aspects they specified. It had to be a sustained piece of writing, showing that we can provide them with an idea and present it in the appropriate form. Same stuff as Advanced, really. But I highly doubt they'll be wanting an interview for this one.

    Odds are you'll probably be asked to write in essay or report form. But that's not really an issue. Reports are just like essays with subheadings lobbed in there anyway. In both you need to make sure that your writing is appropriate to the form, and that you address everything. I suggest a paragraph or two for each thing they want you to address. Nine times out of ten, they will not think that a passing reference to research/audience is acceptable. Explain everything. Give everything equal priority. Anyways, if you do a paragraph per idea, you can always throw a subheading in where necessary. Easy.



    That's all I can come up with while keeping it general. Good luck, guys. Relax. Stay calm. It's not that bad. You don't have to stick with the idea you discuss.

    You're my wives now.
    -Justin

    Note: You can find more info and opinions on the Proposal here: Getting Started: Major Work Proposal
    Last edited by jhakka; 8 Nov 2005 at 8:03 PM.

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    Hello pups!

    Justin has probably already stolen the show with his trademark wit (We’re writing our pieces at the same time, so I’m not exactly sure what he’s writing… but it’ll be good! Look out for his posts kiddies – you’re going to love this guy) but hopefully this will still be helpful for you in regards to preparing your EE2 Proposal. It’s your first EE2 assessment – don’t freak out, they’re nothing to be afraid of! May I say right at the beginning that EE2 internal assessments may actually be the funnest ones you’ll ever do – some of you may even look forward to them! Why, you ask? Because you get to talk about your baby. Your precious, your opus, your one ring to rule them all, whatever. Maybe it’s a little early to mention it… but did anyone warn you that there’s a very high risk of becoming obsessively attached to your major work?

    A Proposal is usually somewhere around a page or so (although 500 words isn’t unheard of) or it can be in the form of a speech. Unbelievably, it proposes the sort of thing you’re going to do. The aim of the game here is to preferably talk as well (read: confidently and in a sophisticated manner, your EE1 essay skills will come in handy now) as you can about what you’re going to do. Failing that, the idea is to make it *look* like you know what you’re talking about. I’m going to repeat this a lot later on, but most of you are going to change your concepts at least once between now and several months down the track. Even if your concept remains the same, survey says that your approach with definitely change. What they really want to see now is that you’re doing *some* research, and you’ve got *some* works in progress, and that you’ve thought seriously about what you want to do, and how you’re going to do it.

    There are several general proposal layouts in regards to the Proposal. Please remember that if your own school has specified a particular word length or particular subheadings to be used, PLEASE USE THEM! Additionally – and for those who have not been given any specific guidelines to follow – you may base your proposal using the following HGHS format if you’re stuck. Remember – this is just the HGHS format! IT IS NOT THE DEFINITIVE “DO-IT-THIS-WAY-OR-DIE!” (unless you’re a Hornsby Girl, in which case, be a good girl and follow the rules Mr E and Mrs D have given you)

    “Your Proposal for your Major Work should be written as a report under the following headings:

    1. statement of intention (50 words)
    -Form (ie medium)
    -Working title (toss up several if needed)
    -Vision of final product (what do you want it to be?)

    *In a nutshell, what the heck do you plan on doing? If you’re not sure at this stage, give examples of several things you’re currently looking at. And if you have no draft/sample works at this time, then get cracking! You can only improve something that already exists – this same rule applies to drafting/editing.

    Also – don’t believe that you have to be 100% sure of what you want to do at this stage. The vast majority of EE2 students almost completely change their direction between initial concept and finished product – right now, all the teachers really want to see is that you’re beginning to think seriously, and have the ability to turn a concept into an actual work-in-progress.*


    2. Rationale (150 words)
    -Audience (children, adults, level of education, life situations eg divorcees, war widows, half-chinese/half-european people, any particular interests eg Goths)
    -Purpose (what is it you want to achieve with this MW? What is it’s reason for existence?)
    -Locate in learning context (ie link to Adv Eng and Eng Ext 1)
    -Link to outcomes (ie it is a short story and is creative because ______)
    -Inspirations
    -Reasons for your final choice

    *again, don’t flip out if you don’t have a ‘real’ final choice yet. Whilst you are expected to have some sort of ‘working choice’ by the proposal (however dodgy), most will change their idea anyway. Just pretend for the proposal that you do in fact know what you’re doing, and are approaching it seriously, thinking everything through seriously.

    Of course, the other approach is to admit that you don’t really know what you’re doing, although you’ve tried a few different things, and are interested in developing ideas further. But it’s your call.*


    3. Evidence of Preliminary Investigation (200 words)
    -Experience, knowledge, skills, research

    *The only one I see anyone having difficulty here is research. Of course if you’re doing something like a short story, you’ll be thinking “Research? What? Why!?!?!” but in fact, it is highly useful – not to mention a requirement of the course. Remember – you’re not just here to write, but also to learn about the writing process. As writers, we’ve all been influenced to a lesser or greater extent by authors we’ve read. Think it through - include Adv Eng and EE1 authors in here, if applicable (don’t think they’re contraband, or anything). Who are the good authors you’d like to emulate? Who are you inspired by? How is this going to affect your major work? (Even if it is just to affect your thinking/development processes)

    You’ll also want to research the writing process – “How to Write Good Stories” books exist all over the place – Kate Grenville has a few (somewhat basic, but a good starting point), there’s also one called “The Art of Fiction” written by David somethingarather? Which I found highly useful for short stories. I also think everyone should watch Finding Forrester. Furthermore – if your writing piece concerns a particular topic (eg a country, a particular language, a particular culture) then research it! Back up what you write with solid evidence – if you’re playing around a bit with creative license, then state exactly how and why.

    But please BE SELECTIVE about what you research. There’s no point on doing hard-core research on Japan’s political system if you’re only going to be writing about origami. Any obvious “fluffing up” of research will likely be picked up on.*


    4. Envisaged Method/Process (200 words)
    -Key words that conceptualise each stage

    *Your basic outline here will be something along the lines of “brainstorm, research, draft, edit, re-draft and edit until satisfied”. Of course, you’ll need to word this nicer, and be specific where possible (unless you’re running out of word space, in which case you need to condense!)*

    5. Resource List including an annotated bibliography

    *For the uninitiated, annotated – some schools like mine will require you to do an annotated bibliography for the external RS as well – means to write a few lines on what you learnt from whatever it was that you researched/read, and how it affected your MW/what role it played in its production/development of ideas.*

    6. Critical Factors for Success (50 words)

    *This is where you want to get really specific about your story, and where some serious thought becomes very useful. What is it about your story that you can see yourself having difficulties with? Time issues, particular plot/concept issues that will require a great deal of refining? In my situation, I had a lot of subtle ideas I wanted to use. Problem is, I’m more of a novel-length writer, and I normally get a lot of time to build up my underlying theme. Of course, you don’t have that option with short stories. Oh no. For some reason, they’re a lot shorter. Which means you have less words to play around with. So one of MY critical factors for success was me learning how to get to the point without loosing the quality of my story. Other common challenges include wondering whether you’ll be able to have access to particular research sources required (this happened in my year when a girl couldn’t get relatively easy access to a video copy of the dance production she wanted to write her Critical Response on) and if you’re writing a collection of short stories/poems, whether you can make them all work together without getting too lost in one or the other.*

    --

    Final notes: You don’t want to waffle overboard with your EE2 proposal. The more to-the-point it is, the better – there’s quite a lot of content to cover in not a great deal of time. Your best bet is to do multiple drafts, culling down all the way - your key motto is "condense condense condense!" (Most people will have the same problem in their RS.)


    Also – while your internal assessments can be somewhat informal and occasionally low-key, they’re still worth something. Do put some effort in.

    Puppy love all around (we’re weaning you early, it’s in your best interests),
    Lynn.
    Last edited by glitterfairy; 15 Dec 2005 at 9:03 PM.

  3. #3
    jhakka
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    Just a bit of a disclaimer:
    The things that Lynn and I post will not be the same. One of us may miss out on something that the other will mention. Sometimes we will have conflicting comments. The most important thing to remember is that what we are writing is a general guide, and that we are not more knowledgeable than your teachers. If there are issues, please take it up with them. We are not responsible for your work, and if you choose to take our advice, I strongly urge you to run it by your teacher first.

    EDIT: (glitterfairy) Just to restore your faith in us, while Justin and I have interestingly different personalities, we generally work very well as a tag team, picking up where the other left off (or didn't touch), giving different opinions and so on. But definately remember that what we say and suggest is OUR - unqualified - opinion. It is NOT the right way, it's just how we did it.
    Last edited by glitterfairy; 6 Nov 2005 at 12:21 AM.

  4. #4
    Rawr? tez0r's Avatar
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    Hello Everyone,

    Just to add on to what Lynny and Justin said, our proposal was outlined with a series of questions we had to address. These were:

    The nature and purpose of the Project
    The Specification of the Audience (who is your audience, what kind of background should they have, how you will accomodate this type of audience etc.)
    An Overview of what you envisage this will involve in terms of direction/sequence/content/process and product
    The types of resources (human, print, electronic etc) you will access to provide you with insights into your chosen form and focus
    The types of challenges you anticipate
    The skills you will need to enable you to achieve your purpose
    A time frame for the completion of the work, including your reflection statement (usually useless later on, but make sure you don't put down you'll finsih in like feburary, because you won't)
    Annotated Bibliography

    Now if you follow this outline for your proposal, you will not only have covered every single facet which they expect you to, but you will also make your viva voce a hell of a lot easier, as you can just regurgitate your answers.
    So with that, i leave you to your first and probably most creative assessment this year (aside from the whole MW process ofcourse). I may post my own proposal up, as i have no more use for it, and my concept was changed entirely following an EE2 seminar i attended later on. But it was still worthy of the 10/10 =)

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    Elderberries?
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    Thanks muchly! Our proposal is only due week 1 term 1 next year, so I got plenty of time, but I still need to cull my ideas, which at the minute are overflowing onto the floor, causing much stickiness and slippage. Good advice, though. Our proposal is supposed to be 300-500 words, and I don't know how I'm supposed to make it that short, but I'll do my best
    English Extension II, Maths Extension I, SOR1, Ancient History, Drama!

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    An iron homily kami's Avatar
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    Well, I find its difficult to add much to this thread but here goes:
    • Remember what this assessment is, and why you are doing it! You are discussing your ideas, how they are worthwhile, how you might pull them off and how and why you *should* pull it off. This is essentially the Board of Studies' attempt to show you how the writing world works! So market the viability and effort of your ideas - you can do it!
    • Clearly communicate what you are trying to say if you can, this isn't your run of the mill essay with a *specific* question - rather its a question and answer that *you* choose and you are in essence judged on your interpretation of that as well.
    • Umm...how else can I incriminate myself to make me look like a dummy? Oh, I know! I'll post my proposal! (It *did* get 10/10, but I think it could have done with more fine tuning, oh and it also had a 600 word limit or something or rather so alot of you guys will have a *much* more expansive one than this)
    Last edited by kami; 9 Nov 2005 at 10:13 PM.

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    thanks for taking the time to post up stuff guys! it really helped.. especially since i didn`t really understand how i was supposed to write about the envisaged method/process =]

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    English / Law Bobness's Avatar
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    i can't believe not many people have THANKED YOU SO MUCH FOR CONTRIBUTING ALL THIS!!

    hahaha its really late but i just finished my proposal which was inspired by glitterfairy and jhakka's posts =)

    man i know i'll be handing this in in 5 hrs time with a big retarded smile on my face (the satisfaction of successfully pulling off an allnighter - kinda - mixed with my own catatonic state from lack of sleep)
    Bachelor of Arts (English) / Bachelor of Laws II UNSW

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    Perfection of the life, or of the work,
    And if it take the second must refuse
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    The Choice

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    Cadet gwemma88's Avatar
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    Yeah thanks for all your tips on how to write the proposal. Was a huge help and contibuted to my full marks. thanks again.
    English Adv, English Extn One, English Extn Two, General Maths, Modern History, SOR 2U, IPT

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    rarrrrrrrrr Hermzie's Avatar
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    Thank you soooo much for showing me the light in my hour of proposal-darkness!

    xoxoxo
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    Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Journalism)/ Bachelor of Arts in International Studies @ UTS

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    *bursts into tears of relief*...(hehe sorry atm everything to do with english extension and my lack of definitive/well-developed/existent ideas makes me want to cry)...infinite "thank you's"

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    Thank you for all the help...you guys are wonderful

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    you guys are my heros. Seriously. *worships*
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  14. #14
    jhakka
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    You shouldn't need to have studied the genre at school. I would suggest mentioning your intended method of research, already existing knowledge of the genre and its conventions, as well as ways in which authors work around them. This course is about your investigation, and before you even start you'll need to know what information you will need, and how you plan on getting it.

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    Rawr? tez0r's Avatar
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    detective is like the archetype of crime fiction, so easily done. say how you studied the conventions of the detective protagonist and twisted on it so that he becomes an antagonist. by the way, no offence but your story sounds slightly cliche, twist it up more. you have to show the examiners something they've never seen before

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    Re: Assessment: Proposal

    I have a guideline for my proposal and one of the headings is supposed to be 'resource requirements'... does anyone have any idea what that means????????????????????????

    Quick reply plz, its due in a few days

    Thanks!!!!!

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    Re: Assessment: Proposal

    That sounds kinda weird to me too... have you aksed your teacher what it means?

    I'm going to flip the words around a little to "Requirements for your Resources".

    This would require you to talk about the specific things your research resources need to have - eg if you're writing about 18th Century feminism, you're going to need articles written about 18th Century feminism rather than feminism in the 70s.

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    Re: Assessment: Proposal

    what about critical factors for success

    also do u think its ok to do it with headings, we have no word limit?

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    Re: Assessment: Proposal

    subheadings are fine even headings if it makes you more comfortable.

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    Re: Assessment: Proposal

    i recommend that - if there is no word limit - self-impose one of 1500 words so as to get practice for writing a reflection statement. this would mean you'll have to write in a concise sophisticatedf style with textual reference

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    New Member nearly-dizzy's Avatar
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    Re: Assessment: Proposal

    I'm just starting the X2 course, but in advance - i love you guys. this is going to help so very much

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    Re: Assessment: Proposal

    I think that i'm in the same boat as you Dizzy.. I might make this forum my second internet home for the next 12 months...

    Thanks for the things you wrote last year guys - it gave a me a few pointers as my proposal is due very soon.. In a few weeks.

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    Re: Assessment: Proposal

    you peeps chill reeeeally hard...thankyou for all the info on proposals. i appreciate your efforts and style

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    Senior Member princesskt's Avatar
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    Re: Assessment: Proposal

    Thanks for that guys! my proposal is due in a few weeks and just trying to pull it together. BUt all that you've posted has been such a great help!
    Advanced English, Extension English 1, Ancient History, PD/H/PE, Studies of Religion and General Maths

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    New Member canned soup's Avatar
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    Re: Assessment: Proposal

    You guys are awesome. I have mine due in 4 days and I've really been having a bitch of a time getting it all into 900 words. This has really helped! Thanks a bunch!
    I knew that Rome was the only city in the world where a man who starts with nothing may arive at everything. - Jacques Casanova

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