Past HSC and Practise Questions for Area of Study: Belonging

Here is a loooong list of questions for the Area of Study: Belonging (Paper 1, Section 3).

I’ve grouped them according to the “type” of question they are. If you are able to confidently answer each “type” of question – you should be fine.

It’s important to be aware of the variety of questions that may be chosen for your HSC! The question may be very different to the ones given to you by your school for assessments or practice.

I will add more as I find them – otherwise, feel free to contribute, by commenting below.

Past HSC


An individual’s sense of belonging is determined not only by their own choices but also by the attitudes of others.

How accurately does this statement reflect the ideas represented in your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing?


An individual’s perceptions of belonging evolve in response to the passage of time and interaction with their world.
In what ways is this view of belonging represented in your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing?


Explore how perceptions of belonging and not belonging can be influenced by connections to places.

In your response, refer to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.


‘An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging

Discuss this view with details reference to your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing.


‘Understanding nourishes belonging. A lack of understanding prevents it.’

Demonstrate how your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing represent this interpretation of belonging.


  1. You have been invited to speak at the book launch of a new collection of texts entitled Belonging in Our Society. In your speech, explain and assess the ways in which belonging is represented in the texts in the collection
  2. You have been invited to write an article for a teenage magazine called Youth and Belonging. In your article, analyse the ways in which belonging is represented in the texts you have studied.
  3. What do you think are the most powerful influences that impact on an individual’s sense of belonging? (Independent 2009 Trial)

How belonging creates a sense of identity

  1. To what extent do different groups to which we belong define who we are you’re your answer refer to your prescribed text and two texts of your own choosing.
  2. Claude Levi Strauss once said ‘being human signifies, for each one of us, belonging to a class, society, a country and a civilization’ explain this statement with close reference to your prescribed text and a variety of supplementary texts of your own choosing in 1000-1500 word essay
  3. Belonging to a community of group has a significant impact on an individual’s sense of self. ’ Discuss this statement, focusing on how the composers of the texts you have studies represent belonging
  4. Belonging to a certain entity is the result of a particular identity. Discuss.
  5. ‘Belonging is the cornerstone to finding identity in an individual’. To what extent is this true of your texts?
  6. Belonging has been said to shape our identity. How does our sense of belonging shape who we are as individuals? (Total Education 2009 Trial)
  7. “Individuals have to first construct themselves, independently, before they can be a part of other things.” Is this your understanding of belonging?.

Belonging and Conformity

  1. Membership of any group requires obedience. Rules and conventions are the cornerstone of acceptance.
    What is the relationship between belonging and rules? In your answer refer to your prescribed text and two texts of your own choosing.
  2. Belonging is not always a good thing. What disadvantages are there for individuals and society in belonging? In your answer refer to your prescribed text and two texts of your own choosing.
  3. Belonging relies on both conformity and individuality.
  4. The larger the crowd, the less the individuality. Draw upon your study of Belonging to examine this assertion. (ETA 2009 Trial)

Personal Response

  1. To what degree has studying the concept of ‘belonging’ augmented your understanding of yourself, of others, and of the world?
    In your answer, refer to your own prescribed text and at least three other related texts of your own choosing.
  2. To what extent have your perceptions of belonging been influenced by the texts you’ve studied? In your answer, refer to your prescribed text and two other texts of your choosing.
    1. NOTE: this was the question provided in the BOS sample HSC paper
  3. How has your study of belonging changed you?

Difficulty/duality of belonging/not belonging

  1. The challenge to belong may be resisted or embraced. How is this explored in your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing? (CSSA 2011 Trial)
  2. “Despite an individual’s desire to belong to a group or community, this not always possible.” How do the texts you have studies represent the processes and results of belonging and/or not belonging?
  3. Belonging to a group or community can provide opportunities and disappointments. To what extent do the texts you have studies support this idea?
  4. Belonging is a struggle.
  5. Belonging can be self-fulfilling and self-destructive. Explain the relevance of this statement with close reference to the texts you have studied.
  6. In our quest to belong we will experience both opportunities and disappointments.
  7. ‘Belonging creates dilemmas”. Discuss this statement in relation to your study.
  8. “Not belonging is a far more difficult road to travel than that of belonging”. How does your prescribed texts and TWO other texts of your own choosing explore ideas of belonging and not belonging?
  9. People experience a sense of belonging in varied and complex ways. How is this explored in the texts you have studied? (CSSA 2009 Trial)
  10. Belonging and not belonging is determine by the relationships a character has with others and the world. (Hills Grammar 2010 assessment).
  11. Belonging always comes at a price. Does your study of Belonging support this idea? (ETA 2009 Trial)
  12. How do composers show us of the value of belonging, or indeed not belonging, in a variety of situations?
  13. Is a sense of belonging or not belonging more powerful in the texts you have studied?

Need to Belong

  1. Belonging is a fundamental part of society. Discuss this idea with reference to the core text and with at least two of your related texts
  2. Belonging is an instinctive human need in all of us.
  3. The need to belong marks us as human and it is such connections that lead to fulfilment.
    After studying belonging, to what extent do you agree with this statement? In your answer refer to your prescribed text and two text of your own choosing.
  4. The need to belong marks us a human and it is such connection that lead to fulfilment.
  5. Our desire to belong is universal, but expresses itself in different ways.
  6. “The human spirit craves a sense of belonging”. To what extent do the texts you have studied support this idea?
  7. “Our lives are shaped by our sense of belonging”. Discuss the extent to which belonging shapes our lives.
  8. ‘Connecting with others is the cornerstone of personal contentment.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement?
  9. The basic human need to belong directs our thoughts and actions. How do your prescribed text and two texts of your own choosing explore ideas of belonging and not belonging.

Belonging and Relationships:

  1. “Relationships are important in finding a sense of belonging”. Discuss in relation to your study of belonging.
  2. An individual’s sense of belonging emerges from the connections made with people, place and community.
  3. By building connections, we create a source of stability and belonging. (CTHS 2009 Half Yearly)

Belonging and Perspectives:

  1. How are perceptions of belonging shaped by personal, cultural, historical and social contexts?
  2. We search for a place to belong, not realising that it’s our perceptions and attitudes and not the place that allow us to belong.
  3. “Belonging is dependant on the perspective of the individual”. Discuss this statement with particular focus on how the composers of texts represent perceptions of belonging.
  4. Attitudes towards belonging change over time. How have the texts you have studied explored shifting attitudes towards belonging? (ETA 2009 Trial)


  1. More than anything else, belonging is about finding a sense of place in the world’ Do you agree? Argue your point of view, referring to the texts you have studied
  2. Belonging is dynamic, process driven and complex. Using the concepts of journeys and change, create an argument which synthesises the three concepts mentioned above.
  3. Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world.
  4. An individual’s sense of belong is determined by external forces. To what extent do you agree with the statement? (CTHS 2010 Trial)
  5. ‘A sense of belonging requires an understanding of one’s past.’ To what extend is this notion of belonging explored in your prescribed text and two related texts? (BGHS 2010 Trial)
  6. “Acceptance is the start of belonging.” Evaluate this statement in relation to the representation of belonging in the texts you have studied. (2009 Cheltenham Girls HS Trial)
  7. ‘When we understand what belonging means, we gain personal insight and empathy for others.’ To what extent both texts you have studied support this idea?

130 comments for “Past HSC and Practise Questions for Area of Study: Belonging

  1. Lisa
    August 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm


    Thanks so much for all those Q’s.

    I was wondering whether u can put up some things on the “creative writing section” of belonging…where we usually get a stimulus etc.

    any chances????


    • tutortales
      August 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

      That’s a good suggestion, Lisa. I’ll put it on my list of possible things to write about.


  2. Sam
    September 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Hi, I’m wondering if you can put up notes for the extension english course as well, thanks!

    • tutortales
      September 28, 2009 at 9:52 am

      Which Extension English Module are you doing? I’ve only studied and tutored Module A: Genre – so I don’t have any resources on the others.


      • Sam
        October 3, 2009 at 2:31 pm

        We’re doing Romanticism and the texts are Coleridge & Keats poetry and Northanger Abbey

        • tutortales
          October 3, 2009 at 5:44 pm

          Oh ok, that’s a new Genre elective. I’ve only done Revenge Tragedy (which is now gone) and Speculative Fiction (now called Science Fiction), so I don’t think I’d be much help – sorry!


      • Alex
        October 23, 2009 at 2:22 pm

        If you have any resources on Module A: Crime Writing, they would hugely appreciated

  3. Tom
    October 8, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Hi, do you think it would be possible to put something up about the different possible text types we could be asked to write in and how to write in these forms. e.g. feature article, letter, speech etc.


    • tutortales
      October 9, 2009 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion – I may put something like that up in the future, but I won’t be able to do it before the upcoming HSC.


  4. Shelley
    October 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Hi, thanks so much for all your articles, they’re very helpful. I was wondering if you could write an article on exam tips for the short answer section? Like what to look for in certain stimulus material (ie. if it’s a long article, how to skin through it quickly and look for specific things…I don’t know, I’m not explaining myself very well). Anyways, if you could do that within the next week, that would be great. Thanks!

    • tutortales
      October 13, 2009 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Shelley

      Sorry, but I’m unlikely to be able to get that done within a week, as I’ve got uni assignments at the moment.

      But to answer you quickly/shortly:
      – read the QUESTIONS first to figure out what you need to identify in the text (do you need to find techniques, ideas or purpose?).
      – PRACTISE identifying links to belonging and techniques on “practise” stimulus material. You can find some here:
      – the last question in the short answer section can usually be answered using your answers from the previous questions

      I strongly suggest #2 above, as it is the only way you’ll improve picking up techniques and skimming faster. It’ll also challenge you to think of ways that texts can convey ideas about belonging (some of the poems on that Inside Break website are pretty vague in terms of how they could relate to belonging…lol).

      Good luck,


  5. christino
    October 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    HI just wondered what the red ones meant?

    • tutortales
      October 18, 2009 at 11:33 am

      The red ones are “official” questions – ie. actual Trial questions. The others are just examples in study guides, online, or used by school as assessments.


  6. dan
    October 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    hi just wondering when writing a practice belonging question like this

    “To what extent have your perceptions of belonging been influenced by the texts you’ve studied? In your answer, refer to your prescribed text and two other texts of your choosing.”

    it says its a personal response does that mean i write my essay in first person? thank

    • tutortales
      October 18, 2009 at 4:43 pm

      You don’t have to write it in 1st person. I personally wouldn’t because I feel weird writing in 1st person.

      You can write in 3rd person by starting along the lines of: “Belonging is usually perceived as simply concept or emotion. However, though studying ______, such perceptions have been challenged as the composers demonstrate that……..”

      So by saying “through studying”, it implies that it is your personal experience/response.


  7. poll
    October 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    How would you answer a question if it asks about ‘identity’ and you want to include that belonging is a complex concept and process?

  8. nexus
    January 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    would you have any notes for Extension 1: Texts in Time – Navaigating the Global?

    • tutortales
      January 25, 2010 at 8:40 pm

      Sorry, no – I haven’t studied or tutored that yet.


  9. amanda
    March 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    my teacher said that in our assesment, with the 2 texts of the rabbit proof fence and 2-3 Emily dickinson’s poems, the question is going to be something like : “why should these 2 texts be chosen by the board of studies in their HSC website about belonging?” which basically requires us to talk about the relevance of the themes in these texts to our modern society. i just wanted to know, is there a specific maybe board of studies question like this which would help me alot in preparing my practice essay.

    • tutortales
      March 19, 2010 at 10:13 pm

      Sorry, I went through the BOS questions from 2001 to now and I can’t find anything like that question. But oddly enough I do remember doing a question VERY similar to that when I was at school…except that it was a letter to the Board of Studies. Anyway – sorry I can’t help!


  10. corey
    April 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    i just wanted to ask a question about related texts when writing belonging essays. i have already chosen one related text for my AOS however our teacher has advised us to choose a second related text despite only being asked to write about ONE related text in last years hsc english exam. do you think they will ask for one or two related texts this time around? also, when choosing a related text, do you think it is better to choose texts with different mediums? that is; im studying a text which is poetry and my related text is a novel, so instead of choosing another novel do you think it would be better for me to choose like a film or picture book in order to show my depth of knowledge and versatility in analysing different text types to the markers?

    • tutortales
      April 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      Sorry I really don’t know whether they will ask for 1 or 2 related texts this year.
      But regarding different text types – yes, it is better to have all different text types. That way you can talk about a diversity of techniques. It’s not essential (like you won’t lose marks) and you won’t get extra marks just from having different text types (you can write brilliantly using the same text types), but it generally better for your essay.


  11. Hing
    June 27, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Hi, thanks for the notes and qs
    I am wondering whether you can put some qs for AoS, Belonging, Paper 1 section 1. Or can you suggest somewhere that I can practice for section 1 pls.

  12. deb
    July 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    given the variety of questions possible in the AOS of belonging, is it possible to write a generic, one essay fits all – essay??

    and what is the BEST essay question to write a generic essay on?

    • tutortales
      July 19, 2010 at 10:30 pm

      Yes, it is possible. And you can test the “adaptability” of your essay with the different questions. Then you’ll see what kind of questions will “throw” you etc. But a great starting point is one of the belonging/identity questions. This is because you can use a belonging/identity essay for a few of the other categories too – for example, the conformity ones (loss of identity), need to belong (to have an identity) etc.


  13. shazz
    July 23, 2010 at 10:15 pm


    Just a question 🙂
    If we were given the question “attitudes towards belonging change over time”, how would I answer this?

    Could I say how the persona in my text at first didn’t recognise the importance of cultural heritage as a part of one’s identity, thus had a bad understanding of belonging.

    then later the persona recognises the importance and thus his attitude changes about belonging

    would this be an appropiate way to answer to question?

    thank you in advance 🙂

    • tutortales
      July 25, 2010 at 8:20 am

      Yes it would – but just be careful that you do not end up retelling. If you are using Skrzynecki – Feliks Skrzyecki, 10 Mary Street and St Patrick’s College would be goods poems to use.


  14. Ally
    July 31, 2010 at 2:25 pm


    was just wondering if you knew how many prescribed texts we can get asked to use. Last years HSC said at least one but can it be two or three? As the belonging AOS is new, I don’t know where to find this information. 🙂

    thanks in advance

    • tutortales
      August 1, 2010 at 9:32 am

      Hi Ally, you only have ONE prescribed text. Do you mean related material? If so, you should have 2 ready, but yes – last year’s HSC actually said only talk about ONE, which I think might have thrown off some students. So make sure you know both your related texts well enough to talk about it in some detail.


  15. Ellie
    August 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    i was just wondering what i should to talk about in reguards to Letters to Alice (prescribed), as there is lots to say about Pride and Prejudice


    • tutortales
      October 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      Sorry, haven’t studied LTA or PP. TT

  16. HSC doer
    August 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks so much, great resource! You rock!

  17. anne
    August 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    tutor tales,

    I’ve been thinking about getting better supp texts for belonging. My core text is Romulus My Father and my original supplementary’s were Brick Lane (film, dir Sarah Gavron) and the short story Neighbours (Winton). I really think I should get other texts because those arent really the best but given the limited reading Ive done, i just don’t know which to pick and which are suitable for use with Rom.

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks ;p

    • tutortales
      August 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm

      Hey Anne – sorry, but I haven’t studied Romulus My Father before, so I can’t advise you regarding that. But regarding the choice of related texts, try to pick texts which can help you to contrast/expand the ideas in your core text. Students who pick related texts which simply confirm the ideas of their core text may end up writing responses which are too simplified/shallow.


  18. Leanne
    September 20, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Hi TT
    I have only just reviewed this entire site after one of my Year 12 students informed me how wonderful it was with all of the information and advice.
    I have to agree that your comments and feedback to students’ questions is very precise and helpful however, I was also quite bemused in that pretty much everything you have to say about the AOS and Advanced Modules is what I have already told my students.
    I notice that many students reply with gratitude that the information you’ve provided is a “revelation” for them – great feedback for you! Sadly (looking at post dates) in some cases this may be the case especially if they’re not listening in class to their own teacher!!!
    Just a note to all of the students who use your site……don’t forget that the information and assistance that your teacher has already provided ALL YEAR is not completely irrelevant and that believe it or not they probably already know most of this advice, they just need to REVISE it!!

    • tutortales
      September 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Leanne – thanks for your comment. I agree that many teachers have years of experience and access to resources, which would greatly help students. However, for whatever reason, they may not understand the significance of what their teacher is saying at that point in time, or they lose their handouts or practise essays – which is a great shame. The key for students perhaps is to be organised and ask teachers for assistance (whether it be for information, to review their essays with them etc).


  19. Togo
    September 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Thank you so much for your amazing website!
    I was just wondering, if it says ‘at least one related text’-is it better to use just one or do two?
    Thank you,

    • tutortales
      September 26, 2010 at 8:29 am

      Because normally you would have prepared and practised with 2 related texts, then it would be better to do 2. However, it depends on the question. If the question is very specific and doesn’t fit at all with one of your texts, then definitely do only 1 related text. But you’ll need to discuss that related text in more detail then. So ensure that you know each related text thoroughly.


  20. Isra
    October 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks heaps for your helpful website
    I wanted to ask about a particular point in the syllabus

    “In their responses and compositions students examine, question, and reflect and speculate on:

    •assumptions underlying various representations of the concept of belonging”

    What does this point mean? What is it asking us to do?

    Thank you in advance

    • tutortales
      October 4, 2010 at 9:33 am

      Hi Isra – it’s just asking you to look at the assumptions about belonging, which are made in your texts. Don’t worry too much about it.


  21. Mitch
    October 5, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Hi TT, thanks so much for the resources.

    With the question;

    “Belonging has been said to shape our identity. How does our sense of belonging shape who we are as individuals?”

    Would I be at a disadvantage if I answered it saying that “rather than belonging shaping our identity, it is our identity which allows us to attain a sense of belonging”?

    I hope that made sense, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks :).

    • tutortales
      October 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      Given that the question isn’t “To what extent is this statement true…” or “Discuss…” – you should really be discussing how belonging shapes identity (not the other way around). However, I suppose you could talk about how belonging and identity are interrelated in a circular way (belonging shapes identity which gives us belonging).


  22. Lara
    October 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Hi TT

    In regards to this question “Belonging to a group or community can provide opportunities and disappointments. To what extent do the texts you have studies support this idea?”

    I’ve actually found difficulty simply brainstorming opportunities and dissapointments especially within my text.
    My prescribed text is The Crucible, and one of my related materials that you may know is ‘The island – Armin Greder’.

    But yeah either this question is really specific or very broad?
    I’m just not sure how to go about it

    Thanks in advance!

    • tutortales
      October 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Lara, sorry I haven’t studied The Crucible for belonging and I’m not aware of your related text. However, the question is very broad – opportunities can encapsulate a lot and so can disappointments. Essentially, its just saying belonging is both positive and negative – do you agree? That should be fairly easy to answer once you read the question as that.


  23. michael nayan
    October 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Hey TT,

    I was just wondering if you had any past paper section 1 questions? I went to the link you provided in June and it isnt working. It would reallllly help.

    Thanks you so much in advance,


  24. nadia
    October 9, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hi, and thanks for the practice questions, really appreciate it!

    Do you have any stimulus pieces for the creative section? I’d really appreciate it, because I want to see whether my prepared story is malleable enough to wholly suit a given stimulus/reference.

  25. :)
    October 11, 2010 at 9:33 am


    thanks for ur great site..
    its really helpful!!

    I was wondering if you would have a range of creative stimulus material for belonging/ where i would be able to find some.

    Also, could they specify a text type for our creative and if they did- such as a speech, what would be the best way to adapt the story- like the protagonist retelling the events or….

    and what kind of creatives do u think work best?

    thanks for all ur help 🙂

    • tutortales
      October 11, 2010 at 9:45 pm

      Sorry, I don’t have a list of creative stimulus material – but you should be able to compile some from various Trial papers or on the BOS website. They can definitely specify the text type for your creative. For a speech, it would depend on your story, but your protagonist would be easiest (particularly if your story is 1st person). But you could also choose a minor character and have they tell the protagonist’s story from the perspective of that minor character (that could be interesting). TT

  26. sammi
    October 13, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Hi Ms TT,

    I was looking at a past paper and for section II of paper 1 it asked “Use the graphic below to write a short story for a collection of writings about Belonging.”
    What on earth is a ‘collection of writings’? Are they all meant to be related? Also, how would you go about molding your short story to achieve this?

    Thanking you in advance =)

    • tutortales
      October 13, 2010 at 10:35 am

      A collection of writings just means a collection of poems, articles, stories, plays etc all related by belonging. I wouldn’t be too worried about shaping your story to fit the collection – since you aren’t given any details about what the collection contains. It would be more important to use the graphic. TT

  27. jj
    October 13, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Hello TT

    If you were to get a question like “To what extent have your perceptions of belonging been influenced….” or say “To what degree has studying ‘belonging’ augmented your understanding of yourself…”, are you able to use first-person?
    e.g. …. has shown me that to belong you do not always have to be in complete agreement. – Would something along those lines be appropriate? Should we just keep making comments like that in our body paragraphs to address such a question??

    Thank you very much

    • Clarisse
      October 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      I know this wasn’t really an “open” question but my teacher has marked past hsc adv. eng papers and she said that if it says “your” understanding then you need a “personal voice” which /can/ be in the form of first person.

      Anyway, just leaving this here for you to take or not take into account 🙂

    • Clarisse
      October 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      Also, to save you time TT has answered a similar question on the Hamlet page:

      …personally my approach is NOT to use the 1st person pronoun (I), because it is obvious that an essay (written by you) is your opinion. I would write in the tone of asserting an interpretation. For example, “Although Hamlet can be interpreted as [blah], it’s central concerns lie in its exploration of the significance of [blah]…” TT

      • tutortales
        October 12, 2011 at 8:50 pm

        Thanks Clarisse. TT

  28. :)
    October 13, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    oops! i think i accidently posted in the Yeats section rather than belonging :S


    just a quick question…
    could they specify the text type of ur related…

    coz i hav a moviee, film and my core is as you like it (play), but they wont say use ur core, a novel and one other related text or sumthink like that?
    i really hope nott

    thanks in advancee

    • tutortales
      October 14, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      No problem – I’ve deleted the other comment, so it won’t confuse anyone. And no, they can’t specify the text type of your related texts. They can specify the number of related texts though. TT

  29. julie
    October 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

    hello 🙂 I would like to say thankyou for your amazing site !
    anywho. Uhm, I just wanted to talk about my two related texts for belonging (AOS).
    One’s a visual cartoon and the other ones a film.
    & for the film, Do I have to put film techniques.. Is it neccessary ?
    If I don’t add film techniques do I lose mark?

    • tutortales
      October 14, 2010 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Julie, well it’s better if you do put film techniques, since that’s its text type. What kind of techniques are you using instead? TT

      • julie
        October 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm

        Instead, I used the common language techniques like satire, flashback, and metaphor

  30. alexx
    October 14, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    do you think theyll ask for 1 or 2 related texts this year? i prepared 2 so i they ask me one im scrwed
    also, is there a website for writing different text types that can be moulded from the essay?

  31. jj
    October 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    hey TT you accidentally skipped my question above

    please please please help

    Thanks a bunch

  32. Pat
    October 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Hi, thanks for all the practice questions! Just a quick question regarding structure,
    if we are asked to use two related texts, is it fine to set out the essay as
    Idea 1: Set text, Related 1
    Idea 2: Set text, Related 2?
    I find it very difficult to use all three texts for both my ideas, especially since we have 40 minutes. Would I be marked down for not dealing with all my texts “evenly”?

    • tutortales
      October 13, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      No that’s fine, as the main focus of your essay should be on your core text anyway. TT

  33. ranita
    October 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Hi my friend just did her english paper 1 exam and for the creative writing section its asked for us to use one of the quotations as an opening statement for our imaginative piece of writing. But with the pressure of the exams she included the quote in the middle. Would she get heavily penalised even though her creative writing piece was really good and answered the question except without including the quotation as an opening statement?


    • tutortales
      October 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm

      I think it’ll matter less whether she included the quote at the beginning (as specified) or in the middle – and it’ll be more important whether the ideas within the quote were linked into the creative. However, it may create the impression that you friend simply “pasted” in her prepared essay and suddenly remember in the midst of writing it that there is a stimulus – and just chucked it in the middle. TT

  34. Yorrick
    October 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    There’s nothing I can do about it now, but my teachers have always told us that if you’re asked to write about ONE related text, you must write about 3 Skrzynecki poems so that you always have a total of 4 texts (same principle would apply to Module C with Geoffrey Robertson, i.e. 3 chapters). Both questions asked for only ONE related, and so I wrote about 2 poems and one related, a paragraph on each, having completely forgotten about their advice – is that likely to carry a penalty, or is it just my teachers’ personal preference?

    Thanks 😀

    • Bishoy
      October 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      hey a fellow copt I think? I think u mite go to my school or one of the coptic schools

  35. sportsgirl44
    January 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    how do composers show that belonging can emerge from connections with people, places and communities? refer to three peter skryznecki poems
    what does this question mean? and what are the best related texts to choose from to also refer to ?

    • tutortales
      January 4, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      There are no “best” related texts per se, but you should try to find related texts which not only demonstrate similar ideas as in your core text, but also different ideas (or MORE ideas) about belonging.

      The question is asking HOW (techniques) the composers of the texts show that belonging comes from connections (relationships) with people, places and communities. For example, in Skrzynecki, how does he demonstrate that the persona’s belonging is established through his relationships with his family, his peers, 10 Mary Street, the Polish community, the Australian community etc.


  36. gabi
    January 12, 2011 at 4:30 am

    can you please give some notes on the science fiction genre study of english extension 1 both essay and creative writing???

  37. rian
    June 21, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    You spelt practice in the title wrongly.

  38. M
    July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    To what extent is an individual’s sense of belonging determined by external force?

    can you please interpret this for me?


    • tutortales
      July 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      The first step in approaching a question is to break down the key phrases/words. What do you think “external force” could mean? What is the difference between internal and external forces? Is your sense of belonging determined by you, or by others around you? When you come up with these sorts of questions, your answers form your thesis and your topic sentences. All the best, TT

  39. adwar
    September 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    can they ever ask for 3 or more supp texts for area of study or modules?

    • SKKK
      September 25, 2011 at 10:47 am

      Not likely, no. It’s hard enough talking about two related materials for AOS, let alone 3…or more.

    • danielle
      September 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      that would be highly unlikely

    • Cedric
      October 4, 2011 at 8:09 am

      Judging by the trend in questions from past years, it looks like they’ll ask for either 1 or 2 related texts. Although my teacher recommend making notes for 3 related texts, just in case one of them doesn’t work with the essay question. Also, the exam is only 40 minutes long. I think it would be unrealistic to expect students to write about 4 texts in-depth in such a short amount of time.

  40. Helen
    September 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for these (: What is the expected length/word count that our extended responses for AOS and adv essays for modules should be?

    • tutortales
      October 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm

      Around 900-1000 words. TT

  41. Christine
    October 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    I’m having my HSC this year (not long to go now!) and I find your site very helpful and informative. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge with us.

    Also, sorry this is unrelated to the post, but I love the your minimalistic web design. 🙂

  42. Christine
    October 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    I’m having trouble interpreting and understanding this question from a past paper:

    “The challenge to belong may be resisted or embraced.”

    This was what I wrote for the introduction in response:

    A sense of belonging emerges from having intimate connections with the world around us. Although such connections can be found from various institutions such as identity, place, culture and family, the challenges to belong encountered within these institutions are unique. This is illustrated in [TEXT1], [TEXT 2] and [TEXT 3]. The journeys of these protagonists depict resistance as well as the embracing of challenges to belong depending on an individuals preferred method of relating to the world.

    This was the topic sentence for TEXT 1:

    In TEXT 1, the challenge of finding self-identity is suggested to be required to cultivate a sense of belonging.

    Please tell me how I can improve. It sounds kind of juvenile. Even I don’t understand what I just wrote.

  43. Cedric
    October 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Hey! Thanks for making this site!

  44. Jess
    October 4, 2011 at 2:11 am

    If we are writing a generic essay, what question should we base it on?!?! There are so many!!!!!! How do we write an essay so it can apply to ALL OF THESE?


    • tutortales
      October 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm

      Start with any of the questions above (probably best is one in the Identity category or Difficult/Duality of Belonging/Not Belonging). Then adapt that draft generic essay to all the other questions. By doing so, you “test” the strength/flexibility of your essay. TT

  45. Angela
    October 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Does anyone have a second related text such as a comic or picture that would be relatively quick to learn?

  46. Bishoy
    October 8, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Belonging GRC 2011

    “Despite an individual’s desire to belong to a group or community, this is not always possible.”
    How do the texts you have studied represent the consequences of belonging or not belonging?
    In your answer, refer closely to your prescribed text and to TWO other related texts of your own choosing.

    Belonging CSSA 2011

    The challenge to belong may be resisted or embraced.
    How is this explored in your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing?

    • tutortales
      October 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      Thanks a lot, I’ve added the CSSA one to the list. What’s GRC? I already had that question on my list so it seems to have been reused. TT

      • Bishoy
        October 11, 2011 at 9:14 am

        your welcome. Its a school somewhere. I forgot the full title.

  47. Jack
    October 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Hey Thanks a lot for the site 🙂
    Just wondering, me + my friends have been writing the essay with a text by text structure all of year 12 but I noticed you said never to do this.
    So, if I instead structure it into 2 main ideas, isn’t that like having 2 theses??

    • October 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      Yes it is !

    • tutortales
      October 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      No, each body paragraph forms PART of your thesis. Think of your thesis as a huge idea and your body paragraphs as sub-ideas. The reason I recommend structuring by ideas is because it tends to make your essay more synthesised – you compare and contrast, and link your texts, rather than talking about them in a completely separate way. TT

  48. October 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Hello i was just wondering I have this music video called Earth Song-Michael Jackson and one of the past HSC markers at my school says that I cannot use that as I am an advanced student!! Please help.

    • tutortales
      October 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      HI Nicole. There’s no “rule” that you can’t use that as a related text, but it’s just a matter of whether that text really supports your arguments and demonstrates a sophisticated level of analysis on your part. Has that marker watched the music video? It really depends on how well you analyse the music video and are able to draw out sophisticated ideas from it. TT

  49. Cathy
    October 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    like christine, im having trouble with the trial question “The challenge to belong may be resisted or embraced.” as well…
    For someone who has already found a sense of belonging, how can this be a ‘challenge’ that can be ’embraced’ e.g. feliks in feliks skrzynecki
    Or for a migrant who has difficulty belonging because of others they can’t really resist or embrace this challenge can they??
    hope this makes sense

    • tutortales
      October 13, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      In the case of Feliks, he has a sense of belonging within the confines of their home/garden and within the Polish community. However, he resists the challenge of finding belonging amongst the wider Australian community, by not attempting to make a connection (eg. learn the language). TT

  50. Cathy
    October 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    so could you then say that the challenge to belong by migrants in migrant hostel is resisted due to australian authority (i.e. barriers of belonging)

    • tutortales
      October 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      No, the authorities are the challenge to belonging, which the migrant individual can either resist or embrace. The reason for resisting the challenge of belonging may be that the individual does not feel the need to attempt to belong to Australia; for example, they are content with being an outsider. TT

  51. Bishoy
    October 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I have a question please:

    1. “The human spirit craves a sense of belonging”. To what extent do the texts you have studied support this idea?

    2. ‘Connecting with others is the cornerstone of personal contentment.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement?

    For the first one, you’re allowed to discuss it (i.e. use one text for it and another text against it), but the second u must agree OR disagree (i.e. use all texts to support the notion or use all texts to support the opposite of the nottion)?

    • tutortales
      October 17, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      No, both questions are “To what extent”, so you can discuss both for and against. For example, in question two, you can use one text to say that you agree with the statement in these circumstances, but, as in your other text, you disagree with the statement in those circumstances. TT

  52. Bishoy
    October 14, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Sorry another question and it might have been asked before. My teacher said:
    –> if they ask for at least one related text, they recommended to do 3 Skryznecki poems and 1 related text.
    –> if they ask for one related text ONLY, my teachers said u should do 3 Skryznecki poems and 1 related text
    –> if they asked for two related text, we should do 2 poems and 2 related text.

    They stressed to get a band 6 you should do 4 texts in total. But if I am given the opportuninty to use 1 related text, is it still possible to get a band 6 if I do two poems and 1 related text thoroughly.

  53. Narelle
    October 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    just wanted to see if it is acceptable to use only two of peter skrzyneckis poems as your prescribed text or do you recommend the use of 3 poems?

  54. Angela
    October 17, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I would also like to know if we need to just do 3 poems if it asks for 1 related text! (Or if we just need to explore the one related in more detail) Please reply soon, as the paper is tomorrow!

    Thank you

  55. Ejayne
    October 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Considering that the poems are your prescribed text, to which you would devote at least half of the essay, you are probably better off doing three (that way you can cover a broad range of themes to demonstarte a complexity and sophistication of understanding). You don’t have to treat them all equally, as long as you have two in-depth the third can be a little more basic.

    Who are the “they” you’re talking about Bishoy? If it is prescribed by the Board of Studies syllabus that you must do at least 4 texts to be in contension for a band 6, then there isn’t a question. It is a requirement that is non-negotiable. If it’s your teachers and it isn’t stated in the syllabus then it’s not mandatory, but it is advisable. Your teachers, oddly enough, do know what they’re talking about. Provided they aren’t contradicting the syllabus dot-points; do what they say. They have had years of experience to observe how different responses go in the HSC, and some of them have even had marking experience.

    • tutortales
      October 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks Ejayne, I think you really answered the question asked by the previous 3 commenters. Given that the 2010 and 2009 HSC questions have asked specifically for only 1 related text, the best preparation is probably for 3 poems and 2 related texts, and then, depending on the question, choose which related text to use. TT

  56. Hillary
    June 8, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Those questions look mind boggling. Here is to my perpetual descent to self destruction *shoots self*

  57. Samantha
    July 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    thank you so much for compiling all these questions, you are honestly a life saver; even the study guides you buy only give you a couple of past HSC questions.
    I was wondering if, as suggested in an earlier post, it may be possible for you to create a page of creative writing stimuli? pictures, quotes, statements, whatever tickles your fancy… would be unbelievably helpful. I have collected a few (which I would be happy to send to you) but I don’t feel I have much of a variety and I still haven’t got the hang of forming my story around the stimulus given.
    Thank you so much!

  58. brandan huynh
    July 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Hi, TT do you have any predictions for the 2012 HSC belonging question?

  59. laura
    July 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    To what extent do different groups to which we belong define who we are you’re your answer refer to your prescribed text and two texts of your own choosing.

    This question is a bit off, the “you’re your” sounds like a typo. Maybe correct it for future viewers?

  60. OOTS
    July 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Cheers mate f- love ya

  61. Charlie
    August 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Hey tutortales,
    I quote
    “Oh ok, that’s a new Genre elective. I’ve only done Revenge Tragedy (which is now gone) and Speculative Fiction (now called Science Fiction), so I don’t think I’d be much help – sorry! ”

    hence, do you have a list of past hsc and practice questions for science fiction and it’s creative component. Cheers thx.
    Also to contribute to your amazing work, the 2012 cssa belonging Question was “Significant moments in time, shape an understanding of belonging”

  62. October 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    when I got this I shouted aloud with excitement~
    thk u sooooo much for ya looooong list 😛

  63. S
    October 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    If they ask for at least TWO related text how many Skrzynecki poem’s do you suggest we write? 🙂

  64. RunEscape
    October 23, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Just want to say thanks for your amazing effort to put this together…it really helps! 🙂

  65. November 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m going
    to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    • tutortales
      November 18, 2012 at 8:03 am

      No problem – I’m using WordPress. TT

  66. Lisa
    October 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Will I need 2 related texts? I only have one prepared! HSC is in a week!

    • tutortales
      October 6, 2013 at 9:30 am

      Yes, you should have 2 prepared. Try to write a practise paragraph for a short text that you can quickly analyse, such as a poem, short story or artwork. TT

  67. Person
    October 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    How would I approach the following question? What would I need to include in thesis?
    In engaging with a text, the responder may experience and understand possibilites presented by an exclusion from the world the text represents.
    To what extent does your study of the concept of Belonging resonate with this statement?
    In your response, make detailed reference to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

  68. Maggi
    October 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    whats your prediction for the 2013 question?

  69. Chloe
    October 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Hi! How likely do you think it would be for the BOS to revert back to asking for only one related text, rather than at least one?

  70. Vickie
    October 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Hi, I was just wondering whether it is going in with a prepared essay good? Or should we just know our quotes?


    • admin
      October 9, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      Hi Vickie, I would recommend having a “prepared” essay, but I mean this in a flexible way. So I would recommend memorising quotes and techniques as well as key phrases/topic sentences (put together, I suppose that is considered as having a “prepared” essay). For myself, I found it hard to write in a sophisticated manner within an exam environment, so I often memorised sophisticated expressions for say my ideas and explanation of techniques/quotes. I would then adapt/use these as appropriate to the exam question. From my perspective, you should go in with maximum preparation (often this means having a prepared essay in mind), but use that preparation as like “tools” to do the exam, rather than something to regurgitate. All the best for next week. TT

      • Vickie
        October 9, 2014 at 11:33 pm

        Thanks for the reply TT!
        That’s what I’ve been doing, I basically use the same quotes and ideas for my essays and try to adapt it to the question!
        I found in past experiences when I had a prepared essay, I tend to want to get it down on paper and not really answering the questions!

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