Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writing) (1 Viewer)

strawberrye

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Introduction:
There are no shortcuts to excelling in essay writing besides practice, feedback, practice, feedback. You must put in the effort to practice writing essays, analysing your texts, researching deeper into specific parts of the post WWII context. A holistic engagement and persistent effort, as well as integrated responses are ESSENTIAL for top marks.

Feel free to supplement anything I have missed by replying to this post below:)

Top tips for excelling in essay writing for after the bomb:

1)When you encounter any essay question, the first thing you need to do is don’t panic. Start underlining the key words of the question and think about the various ways in which these words relates to the syllabus. I.e. do they relate to ways of thinking, is it focusing on different techniques/forms of representation composers use to convey these ways of thinking? What are the best prescribed and related texts that I have that relates more to the key aspect that the question is asking?

2)There are many possible ways to structure your essay, you can experiment or you can ask your teacher what is the way he/she prefers in terms of essay structure as a guide. Personally, I did integrated paragraphs where I could be discussing four main points for a question, but for each point, I would have a prescribed text and a related text, so essentially, that constitutes 8 mini paragraphs-but I made conceptual connections across the paragraphs. However, other structures are possible-just find out one that works for you.

3)In After the Bomb, you must make sure your essays are not just jammed pack with techniques and quotes, you really need to spend some time delving into the historical context of the era, and make the link in how the texts composed in the era critique/respond/challenge/emerge from the transformations in the ways of thinking during the post WWII era. Remember, this is not analytical analysis of the texts in isolation; it is an analytical analysis of texts with a specific historical context. No text is created in a vacuum-it is essential you highlight why composers have illuminated certain ideas-which are ultimately influenced by the contextual concerns of the time the text was composed within. (to do this effectively, you need to research the context of the composer and the text thoroughly-and referring to specific events of the era in your essay where appropriate shows this EXTENSIVE RESEARCH-don’t be vague)

4)It is essential that during your independent research, that you collect significant quotes from philosophers, journalist, historians, literary critics, that relates to the different ways of thinking in after the bomb. If you can appropriately insert these quotes-integrate it within your discussion of your text-it will instantly show EXTENSIVE RESEARCH and as a result, you are likely to get higher marks. Make sure you make the essential link in HOW THESE QUOTES RELATE TO YOUR TEXTS, otherwise inserting quotes without making this link is pointless.

5)The depth of analysis required in this module is a lot deeper than in an Advanced English module. Don’t just analyse the text and come up with ideas that can be generalised to the entire module, for example, come up with a specific idea about AFTER THE BOMB that is UNIQUE to a prescribed text, and contrast/compare it with a unique idea extracted from the relevant related text-this is also part of the reason for re-reading texts multiple times-it allows you to develop that critical thinking that is essential for a SOPHISTICATED, PERSONALISED response.

6)Avoid adopting a prescribed mentality of you must integrate all four paradigms, scientific, religious, philosophical and economic somehow into every single essay question you encounter. I highly don’t recommend you to write a generic essay for this module-you will be stuck if the exam essay question asks for a very specific aspect of the module. Remember to answer the DEMANDS of the PARTICULAR essay question, answer what the question is, not what you think or want the question to be, if including the four paradigms is not the central task the questions asking, then you really don’t have much of a reason to try to include four-you won’t be answering FULLY to the DEMANDS of the question, and thus, you will lose marks.
 
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strawberrye

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

Conclusion:If you have ANY question on essay writing for After the Bomb that hasn't been clarified by this post, type your question in a reply to this post below and I will answer it as promptly as I can. Likewise, if you have find this thread to be helpful, if you have any questions on any particular aspect of my post, please type it in a reply because I want to make sure this thread is as helpful to current and future ATB students as it possible can be
 

CaptainPrice

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

This thread along with all your other ATB were very helpful! Thanks a lot strawberrye :)
A few questions:
- how many words did you end up with your final essay (the one, I assumed you memorised)?
- For tip #4, did you apply this to English Advanced as well?
- If techniques and quotes don't matter as much as the linking to ways of thinking of that particular era (and the text), how many techniques and quotes did you roughly use in each body paragraph?
- Is it fine if each of my related text has 2 paradigms each (all different ones) or will this weaken my versatility ?
- Is it better to choose a related that backs up the Prescribed or one that contradicts it?
- and lastly, was it more work to write your final 'base essay' and pretty much perfect it, or practising answering the question (a skill needed for English Advanced as well)/Practice papers?
Sorry if this was a bit too much
:bosman:
 

strawberrye

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

This thread along with all your other ATB were very helpful! Thanks a lot strawberrye :)
A few questions:
- how many words did you end up with your final essay (the one, I assumed you memorised)?
- For tip #4, did you apply this to English Advanced as well?
- If techniques and quotes don't matter as much as the linking to ways of thinking of that particular era (and the text), how many techniques and quotes did you roughly use in each body paragraph?
- Is it fine if each of my related text has 2 paradigms each (all different ones) or will this weaken my versatility ?
- Is it better to choose a related that backs up the Prescribed or one that contradicts it?
- and lastly, was it more work to write your final 'base essay' and pretty much perfect it, or practising answering the question (a skill needed for English Advanced as well)/Practice papers?
Sorry if this was a bit too much
:bosman:
Hi CaptainPrice, thanks for the feedback-much appreciated:) I love answering questions, so feel free to ask as many as you want:)
1)I didn't memorise a 'final essay', this is because the nature of the Extension One English course results in markers tend to ask very specific aspects of the module, so it is almost impossible to compose a generic essay-unless of course, you make it endlessly long. I just wrote several practice essays that covers most of the module, and learnt to adapt my knowledge to answer specific essay questions. My essays are around at least 1800 words long-since you have one hour to write your essay, you need to show a certain length/depth in your response.

2)No, don't apply my 4th tip to anything other than after the bomb-all of my advice are pretty specific for extension one English, never find quotes from philosophers and the like for advanced-there is no where in the syllabus for any modules that states you need to for Advanced English.

3)Again, it depends on how you structure your body paragraphs, and the number of techniques and quotes will vary with the form of the text you are analysing as well, however in a general body paragraph analysing one text-I would put a maximum of three quotes and techniques-don't really put anymore unless you want to risk not being able to show the contextual understanding and linkage that will give you the marks you deserve

4)If you read my thread on how to select good related text for after the bomb carefully once again, your related text should ideally have more than 2 paradigms examined in each, however, the fact they are all different ones are essential-this doesn't weaken your versatility, it ensures versatility, but make sure you are able to analyse things in great depth.

5)Can you clarify by what you mean in choosing a related text that backs up the prescribed or one that contradicts it? Remember your core focus is not on the relationships between your prescribed and related-your core focus is on how your prescribed and related texts-as a collection of texts on a whole-challenges, critiques, reflects and respond to the changing socio-cultural, geo-political paradigms that is brought about by the dropping of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and the conclusion of WWII. Focus on relating your texts to the rubric, rather than focusing on finding contradictory ideas-focus on finding similar ideas expressed in different ways or different ideas expressed in similar ways. If you clarify further what you mean and give me an example-I might be able to help you further.

6)Again, I didn't have a 'base essay' and perfect on that single essay-you've got to be prepared to write practice essays and creative in English Extension One to understand how to answer specific essay/creative questions. Even for Advanced English, I didn't really write generic essays, it never clicked for me, but I always found by personally engaging with the text(s), engaging with the demands of the rubric and engaging and analysing the given essay question in great detail enables me to enjoy Extension One English as much, if not more, as I did for Advanced English.

Hope this helps-any more questions-feel free to ask:)
 

CaptainPrice

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

Thanks, your answers help a lot! They've boosted my confidence unimaginably!

For clarification, I read somewhere that by giving conflicting views/different perspectives it'll show that you have a strong insight into the period you'd be researching.
For example, I'm doing "The Spy" by Le Carre, and majority of the themes/ideas are about the cold, inaccessibility of intelligence, and secrecy (amazingly even to the reader, and focuses on political/cold war anxiety, philosophical, religion etc) and originally I was also thinking of using a related text with similar themes. And now I feel using "A perfect day for a bananafish" by J.D Salinger which focuses on existentialism (A philiosophical paradigm I guess), and Materialism (Economical paradigm?).
So would it better to use a related that 'backs up' my prescribed or use one that displays a different perspective? (I think I'm probably confusing both of us now, lol)

And for memorising, would you suggest I write notes, essays on my texts and memorise them? At the same time practising exam questions under exam conditions?
I always thought it was writing an essay, memorising it and adapting to the question :/

How did you manage to write 1800 words in an hour?! :0 (Oh, and how much words did you divide out of the 1800 amongst your 4 texts?)
 

strawberrye

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

Thanks, your answers help a lot! They've boosted my confidence unimaginably!

For clarification, I read somewhere that by giving conflicting views/different perspectives it'll show that you have a strong insight into the period you'd be researching.
For example, I'm doing "The Spy" by Le Carre, and majority of the themes/ideas are about the cold, inaccessibility of intelligence, and secrecy (amazingly even to the reader, and focuses on political/cold war anxiety, philosophical, religion etc) and originally I was also thinking of using a related text with similar themes. And now I feel using "A perfect day for a bananafish" by J.D Salinger which focuses on existentialism (A philiosophical paradigm I guess), and Materialism (Economical paradigm?).
So would it better to use a related that 'backs up' my prescribed or use one that displays a different perspective? (I think I'm probably confusing both of us now, lol)

And for memorising, would you suggest I write notes, essays on my texts and memorise them? At the same time practising exam questions under exam conditions?
I always thought it was writing an essay, memorising it and adapting to the question :/

How did you manage to write 1800 words in an hour?! :0 (Oh, and how much words did you divide out of the 1800 amongst your 4 texts?)
Ok, now I get a better idea of what you are asking. There is not really the problem of 'contradiction' but rather of different paradigms and perspectives, I think it depends on the essay question given-I know I am being vague here, but say, if the essay wishes you to examine different paradigms, then using a related text that explored 'different paradigms' is good, however, what I have gathered and understood so far from your response is you should just find related text that relates well to your prescribed and to the demands of the rubric. Maybe when you write an essay you can see whether it is useful.

I did actually wrote quite a lot of notes for my texts-although most were hand-written, I didn't exactly wrote individual essays on my text, I just picked out 4 or 5 essay questions that covers most of the rubric-found some on tutor tale website-and I just wrote full essays with prescribed and related text. I mean, if writing an essay memorising it and adapting to the question has worked for you-then by all means do it-but for me, it didn't work for me and I never really gotten much good marks doing it-different methods works for different people. In Extension One English, what you must be aware of is the fact that you don't need to practice too many exam questions under exam conditions-because each essay question demands are so different- a lot of your textual analysis often is quite different as well-particularly if you want to answer the given essay question as well as you possibly can.

Remember, quality is ALWAYS OVER quantity, so focus on developing in depth analysis of all texts, rather than writing a million essays. Well, I wrote about 1400-1500 words for my essays for advanced-although you don't need to write that long, so that extra 15 minutes is more than enough for me to write a few hundred more-although I have to say, my writing speed probably will have degraded a lot since I haven't practiced much hand writing post HSC:). Basically, I had eight main body paragraphs for my essay, I know others adopts a slightly different essay structure, but I went with what worked for me.

Hope this helps:)-if you have any questions-keep asking them:) By the way, hope your ATB creative is coming along:)
 

flashtrick

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

man, wish my school had picked after the bomb. textual dynamics was interesting, but after the bomb feels so much more relevant to today's society than learning how author's subvert traditional techniques to challenge values. isn't catch-22 a prescribed text for this module? currently reading it now. it's such a funny book.

strawberrye, great help to the HSC'ers as always! don't knew where you get the time/motivation/bothering/energy to write up all these posts, haha

do you reckon the modern concept of western=masculine and asian=feminine (not personality wise, but more culture, political, war-related wise) is partly due to the aftermath of the hiroshima bomb? i remember hearing that the cartoons of japan become 'cuter' and less 'real' as a result of the bomb.
 

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

man, wish my school had picked after the bomb. textual dynamics was interesting, but after the bomb feels so much more relevant to today's society than learning how author's subvert traditional techniques to challenge values. isn't catch-22 a prescribed text for this module? currently reading it now. it's such a funny book.

strawberrye, great help to the HSC'ers as always! don't knew where you get the time/motivation/bothering/energy to write up all these posts, haha

do you reckon the modern concept of western=masculine and asian=feminine (not personality wise, but more culture, political, war-related wise) is partly due to the aftermath of the hiroshima bomb? i remember hearing that the cartoons of japan become 'cuter' and less 'real' as a result of the bomb.
I remembered Catch-22-read it 3 times-no skipping-it was hell-but I enjoyed it-there was so many characters, the time line was non-chronological, and you act like a detective trying to figure so many different things out-truly one of the most complex-yet one of my favourite books of all time. A true classic. Well, isn't a common theme that we always wished what we didn't have, I initially wanted to do Romanticism so badly, and felt slightly disadvantaged since my school was doing after the bomb for the first time, and it was one of those types of modules that didn't have much resources on it, and no way did I ever received detailed advice on how to ace creative writing and essay writing in English Extension One, how I wished someone made similar threads to mine a year ago:).

What is textual dynamics about?

Well, you can say I make time to write these posts-since I am pretty busy-however, it will become harder and harder to make enough time as the demands of life and university takes over. As for motivation, I think initially it was boredom-post HSC, have nothing to do-so was trying to find something to pass the time-and might as well as help others in passing time as well-since I actually made my first post on this forum a few days after my last HSC exam, I never really was an active member on BOS during my senior years-perhaps it stemmed from an inner anxiety that if I ended up getting too many conflicting replies it would confuse me even more if I had any queries. Later it was the reputation points-because I was unfamiliar with it-I felt a thrill when someone recognised that what I was doing did end up genuinely helping others, and now it is more because I realised that when university starts, I probably will not have as much time to make longer posts, so essentially must fill in as many gaps on resources and help as I possibly can before I will need to help myself to survive and enjoy, and hopefully ace university.

I am actually not very familiar with the stereotype you have proposed, since I mainly focused on western movies in my after the bomb studies and furthermore I was never much of a fan of anime or cartoons for that matter, so I am not exactly familiar or can provide you with an informed opinion whether the Hiroshima bomb was the cause of the emergence of such an association/stereotype. Where did you get such a thought from?:)

You are a great help as well:) I love your signature-basically encapsulates a lot of the philosophies that I wish to take on board and practice, but always find it difficult to do so-but I will continue to try, nonetheless. Hope your post HSC holidays is going well:)-best wishes for your endeavours in university and beyond:)-what university course are you desiring to go into? anyways, it is always wonderful to get some feedback on my work, particularly on a forum as quiet as this one:)
 

flashtrick

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

I don't follow Asian trends at all. I kind of pick up the whole Asian emasculation from what I see around me. I mean, those frozen yogurt store are the most obvious to me. Not trying to make broad generalizations, but come on: fluoro-pink/green colours, playing Asian pop or whatever it is on the TV screens and the way each store presents themselves. Maybe it's just a marketing thing. I dunno.

I don't know anything about Asian animation [Studio Ghibli movies are nice, though]; it's just that I remember watching some random documentary on TV a long time ago saying how how Japanese animation turned 'childish' after the bomb - not childish in an derogatory manner, just childish in its style, like less emphasis on realism.

b. sci (adv) at usyd.

how's the tutoring going? got any students yet?
 

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

I don't follow Asian trends at all. I kind of pick up the whole Asian emasculation from what I see around me. I mean, those frozen yogurt store are the most obvious to me. Not trying to make broad generalizations, but come on: fluoro-pink/green colours, playing Asian pop or whatever it is on the TV screens and the way each store presents themselves. Maybe it's just a marketing thing. I dunno.

I don't know anything about Asian animation [Studio Ghibli movies are nice, though]; it's just that I remember watching some random documentary on TV a long time ago saying how how Japanese animation turned 'childish' after the bomb - not childish in an derogatory manner, just childish in its style, like less emphasis on realism.

b. sci (adv) at usyd.

how's the tutoring going? got any students yet?
Hope you will enjoy studying advanced science:)

To all current HSC students studying ATB-please don't be shy and ask questions-it is by asking questions will you maximise your learning and ATAR potential:) Best wishes for a fruitful and productive school term ahead:)
 

Evertone

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

How much time did you dedicate to Extension 1 on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?
 

strawberrye

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

How much time did you dedicate to Extension 1 on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?
As much time as was needed to get a band 6 in the subject, essentially, as much time as I spent studying for advanced. I don't really measure study by the amount of time, rather I measure by how much I get done within my study time.
 

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

ur so helpful Mei
 

pineapplewarrior

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

Hi just wondering, is it okay to separate paragraphs text by text or is that frowned upon?
 

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

As much time as was needed to get a band 6 in the subject, essentially, as much time as I spent studying for advanced. I don't really measure study by the amount of time, rather I measure by how much I get done within my study time.

Thanks for that. So I take it times changed pretty much from a day to day or week to week basis, according to the content? For philosophers, do you recommend exclusively using philosophical arguments for the time or a mix of both ancient and contemporary when trying to discuss existentialism or nihilism, for example?
 

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

Hi just wondering, is it okay to separate paragraphs text by text or is that frowned upon?
You should be separating paragraphs by themes, and you can link two different paragraphs with the same thing, I did a text by text per paragraph approach, because extension english required a lot of extensive analysis making two text one paragraph simply too long, but it depends on how you set it out. At the end of the day, your first priority is answering the given question and nothing but the given question.

Thanks for that. So I take it times changed pretty much from a day to day or week to week basis, according to the content? For philosophers, do you recommend exclusively using philosophical arguments for the time or a mix of both ancient and contemporary when trying to discuss existentialism or nihilism, for example?
What do you mean by ancient and contemporary? After the bomb is very much a contextual module, so I would be very reluctant to use philosophers of the recent 20 years. I would use philosophers from around the world war II and after period.
 

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

Thank you so much could u also give some help for creative writing on the same elective
 

strawberrye

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

Thank you so much could u also give some help for creative writing on the same elective
Feel free to check out my creative writing guide for this:)
 

Gabriel Moussa

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

What is a Good length for an after the Bomb essay is, and what amount I should dedicate to thet set and related material I've chosen in terms of ratio?
 

EarthSci34

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Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in After the Bomb (essay writ

What is a Good length for an after the Bomb essay is, and what amount I should dedicate to thet set and related material I've chosen in terms of ratio?
Hey :)

I think a good ATB essay length is 1200-1500 words :) I've been doing that length for most of my assessments and I am a student of strawberrye. She just tells me that I should be answering the question and nothing but the question :)
 

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