Consolidating Unit 3 English

This week, English teacher and Insight writer Melanie Flower outlines how you can consolidate all your Unit 3 material so that it’s ready for exam preparation.

Many of you studying Year 12 English will have finished Unit 3 and are starting to prepare for Unit 4. It is very easy to become so involved with the new texts for this final coursework unit that you unthinkingly put your Unit 3 notes away. However, it is important to remember that the end-of-year exam will cover the whole year; throwing Unit 3 aside at this stage can make it much more difficult to prepare for the final hurdle later in the year. Now is the ideal time to prepare your notes and other materials so that you are ready to launch straight into revision when the time comes.

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How to prepare for comparisons over the holidays

The comparison section of the English course requires thorough engagement with two texts and, as such, requires a lot of preparation. In this week’s post, English teacher and Insight writer Anja Drummond outlines how to best prepare for the Reading and Comparing task over the holidays.


The Reading and Comparing task can be quite daunting at first; however, in truth, this task draws on many skills that you have already attained. With a clear approach to recording your observations about the texts you are comparing, this task will become a lot more straightforward.

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How to write introductions and conclusions in text responses

Opening and ending your responses on a strong note can help to add cohesiveness and clarity. In this week’s post, English teacher Kylie Nealon outlines how to write effective introductions and conclusions in your text response essays.

Writing a clear introduction and conclusion to a text response essay is key to communicating your understanding of the topic and the text to the assessor. Here are some key points to consider that will help you to improve the quality of your opening and closing paragraphs.

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How to edit and proofread your responses

While it may be tempting to submit a first draft of your essay, it is important that you edit and proofread your work in order for your analysis to sing through loud and clear. This week Insight writer and English teacher Kate Macdonell gives tips on editing and proofreading your work.

The skills of editing and proofreading go hand in glove; although they are different skills, you need to develop both in order to improve the quality of your writing. Editing is largely to do with getting the content and structure right, as well as making expression clear and concise, while proofreading is more about correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar.

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Improving your handwriting

Handwriting is an important but often overlooked aspect of English assessment, both in SACs and in the final exam. In this week’s post, Insight writer and English teacher Melanie Flower outlines why it is important to improve your handwriting, and gives some pointers on how to do it.

While it is true that electronic devices including laptops, tablets and mobile phones are becoming ubiquitous in many classrooms, there is still an undeniable need for students to have neat, legible handwriting. The most obvious reason is that VCE examinations are still handwritten, and will be for the foreseeable future. Your ability to write quickly and neatly throughout each exam is therefore crucial to your success.

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How to write a good oral presentation on a point of view

Oral presentations require preparation and practice to master. This week, Insight writer and English teacher Anja Drummond outlines steps you can take to succeed in your oral presentation SAC.

Oral presentation. Two words that are capable of striking fear into the hearts of even the most confident student. But should they? Though not all of us can ever hope to reach the heady heights of oratory genius achieved by the likes of Barack Obama or Martin Luther King Jr, there are steps we can take to help us to present our point of view strongly.

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Understanding emotive language and connotations

It can be easy to spot emotive language and connotations in persuasive texts, but for effective analysis, the deeper meaning and intent behind their use needs to be explored. This week, Insight writer and English teacher Kylie Nealon outlines how to explore and analyse emotive language and connotations for Section C of the English exam.

Emotive language and connotations are language features that are often used to persuade an audience to feel a certain way. While these features are generally easy to identify, the deeper meaning and intent behind their use is not always immediately clear. In order to succeed in analysing the use of argument and persuasive language, you must be able to identify and explore the effects of these techniques.

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Adding finesse to your writing

Precise and expressive language can help take your writing to the next level. This week, English teacher and Insight writer Kate Macdonell gives advice on how to improve your writing.

Writing eloquently comes quite naturally to some students and not so easily to others. Often the content and the structure of an essay are sound but the writing itself is too stiff or awkward for students to gain top marks. How you tackle the task of tightening your writing and adding finesse will depend on how much time you have available to you. All of the information below will be useful in helping you to perfect your writing, but some strategies will demand more of your time than others.

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Responding to poetry

Analysing poetry can be a daunting prospect. This week, Insight writer and English teacher Melanie Flower gives tips on how to approach poetry for analysis.

Poetry is an unusual literary form, in that it does not rely on narrative, character or setting to convey meaning. While these elements may be present, they are not essential. Instead poets focus intensely on the arrangement of words and sounds, using language to convey an image or provoke an emotion. It can be daunting to analyse a poem, as the meaning can seem obscure or abstract. However, this is the very quality that makes poetry analysis so personal, and therefore so satisfying.

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Responding to novels

In this week’s blog post, Insight writer and English teacher Anja Drummond goes through what you need to look for when analysing a novel.

Like any other texts, novels can be written in different styles and genres. Some are purely fictional, a product of the author’s imagination. Others may be semi-autobiographical, partly based on the events and experiences of the author’s own life. Some may be gothic fiction, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or science fiction, like Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. Regardless of these differences, there are some common elements to all novels that you need to know and be able to incorporate into your analytical essays.

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