Publisher: Five Senses Education
Publication Date: 2008
Success in HSC Advanced English (3rd edition) is basically a guide to how to write different text types answers to your Area of Study: Belonging and Modules A, B and C.
It covers these text types:
- Writing in a role
- Journal/Diary Entry
- Point of view
- Radio Interview
- Television Interview
- Feature Article
For each text type, it gives:
- A 1-page explanation and outline of what that text type is
- A annotated model answer of that text type, using a text from the HSC Advanced English Syllabus
- A practice question for that text type, relating to either Belonging or one of the Modules.
- Provides annotated model answers in each text type – using questions and texts that are fitted to the 2009-2012 HSC Advanced English syllabus.
- For example, there is an annotated example Belonging speech about Strictly Ballroom.
The benefit of reading model answers:
A lot of times, you get frustrated because your teachers say “This could be better…” or “Your language should be clearer”. But all you can think is “How can it be better? I thought it was pretty good already!” or “I don’t know how to make it clearer!”
It’s times like this that looking at example answers really helps.
They give you a sort of “standard” to compare your work to – you start seeing “Oh, I can see how this would get a better mark than mine”. This is actually really helpful for students.
But the reason why most teachers don’t give you model examples is because they’re afraid students will plagiarise. They want you to come up with your own writing style, your own ideas and your own analysis.
NOTE: you can’t plagiarise from this book, because the model answers will not necessarily be about your text or fit your text type, they are too short and they are not top A grade standard (keep in mind, the purpose of the book is to show how to adapt to different text types).
- Provides practice questions for different text types that you can give to your student (I find it hard to make up my own sometimes).
- Has annotated model examples that you can give your student (instead of rifling through Bored of Studies).
- The practice questions and model examples are particular to the 2009-2012 HSC Advanced English syllabus (for all the other tutors, who are struggling to teach the new syllabus)
- The book gives a scaffold of each text type – but its too simplistic to use.
Each text type has a flow chart explaining its structure, but the fact is that every text type will have an introduction, body and conclusion in some form or another. So I found this rather unhelpful and there was no point showing it to my students.
Each also has a short part on Audience, Purpose and Communication. But I also found this unhelpful to read, because all of that will be indicated by the particular question anyway. Not the text type.
The key differences and features of each text type could have been highlighted a lot more clearly through dot points, or just by reading the annotations.
- Some text types are highly unlikely to be encountered in actual assessments and exams.
For example: “Writing in a role”, Journal/Diary Entry, Brochure/Pamplet and Point of View.
Personally and through my students’ experiences, I have never come across the above text types – so I found those examples pretty useless. You might (and I stress how low this chance is) come across something like Brochure/Pamplet or a Journal/Diary entry – but generally, examiners and schools do not use these text types.
Why? Because they are either too creative, too difficult or won’t give the student enough breadth to write a sophisticated analytical response.
NOTE: I have come across a Report before – I think that was for my Trial HSC.