Read this and adapt to your own essay writing.

QUESTION:
“Peoples’ perceptions of Belonging vary according to the way they see themselves and their world.”
To what extent do you agree with this statement? In your answer refer to your prescribed text and two related texts of your own choosing.

In your answer you will be assessed on how well you:

§ demonstrate understanding of the concept of belonging in the context of your study
§ assess, explain and analyse the ways belonging is represented in a variety of texts
§ organise, develop and express ideas using language appropriate to audience, purpose and context



How to structure the essay:
1. Introduction:


Sentence#1: Paraphrase / address question – try not to use the exact words of the question – use synonyms.

Sentence#2: Identify the type of text; title of prescribed text and the composer.eg Peter Skrzynecki’s ‘St Patrick’s College” from the Immigrant Chronicle , (titles of books or films are underlined, poems, extracts are placed in inverted commas) and rite a the thesis statement which GOES with the QUESTION on your prescribed text
Sentence#3:
Identify the related text of your own choosing. The genre of text the title of your text and the composer e.g. the advertisement for the American Marine’s Recruitment from You tube and write a the thesis statement which GOES with the QUESTION on your prescribed text
Sentence #4: Until you are sufficiently skilled at essay writing – it is a good ideas to write as the last sentence:


Each composer has used a variety of dramatic and poetic techniques to explore/convey/discuss/challenge etc (insert question)


Thus: Each composer has used a variety of dramatic and poetic techniques to explore how making choices often leads to unforeseen consequences.

Now, that might seem like a very long intro – but it will serve its purpose and ensure that your essay is intelligent, well- structured and responds to the specific question. It ticks all the boxes if you do it effectively.

In the HSC. markers are instructed to assess how well a student’s thesis is supported throughout their essay. As the thesis always goes with the question – it is vital that the marker can see your line of discussion / argument.
Thus…if you don’t have an initial thesis for each text or theses for both – then how can your essay be effective?
2. Body: The remainder of your essay should be also well-structured. Segue (a smooth transition from one topic or section to the next) into each paragraph – think of an essay as a tree trunk. It has branches and leaves. But if the leaves and branches are lying on the ground they are separate, disparate and are no longer form the tree. Thus each paragraph must link to another if the essay is to cohesive. Words which assist this segue are linking words: As well as; while; nevertheless; Another idea; also (This is also evident in ) and so on.
Make a statement which links to the question / concept / text, starting with the composer’s name or the name of the text e.g. Skyznecki explores how a person’s perception and background can impact on their sense of belonging.
Then expand on this point using specific references, examples, techniques and then discussing how effective it is. Then finish off with a link (back to original statement / question. Think STEEL even if you don’t actually stick to that formula but use it as a basis for analysis (STEEL usually ensures that your writing is tight and succinct) e.g. the formula STEE,TEE, L works really well.
e.g.(S) In the third stanza the theme of isolation is further explored. (T) Skrzynecki ‘s simile, (Example) Like a foreign tourist/uncertain of my destination/every time I got off’ (Effect) highlights the unfamiliarity and uncertainty that the persona is feeling on his journey to school and also allows the responder to empathize deeply with the loss of identity that the persona is experiencing. (T) The enjambment ‘every time’(Example) creates a sense of routine and time which (Effect) allows the reader to more completely understand the persona’s hardships which happened ‘every time’ for ‘eight years’ thus reinforcing how the persona’s sense of alienation almost seemed endless from a child’s perspective. Link
3. Conclusion: This is very important:
a) Do not repeat the introduction, but make reference to question – same ideas, different words
b) Tie in all your ideas but do not introduce any new ideas
c) Use words such as “therefore”... or “Consequently”…

Some points on essay writing:
Use third person
Segue ( already discussed above) Use link words – to ensure a smooth transition between paragraphs) : however, nevertheless, as well as, consequently, subsequently, …also…, another, an alternative, thus, as a result…
Underline titles Immigrant Chronicle
Place extracts in inverted commas- e.g. titles of poems “St. Patrick’s College”, “The Road Not taken”
Use formal writing – no abbreviations or colloquialisms
Weave in quotations rather than writing large chunks


How to write the actual essay:
Remember to brainstorm before you write an essay: the better the groundwork for a non-exam essay, the better prepared you’ll be for an exam essay.

Step 1: Think about statements on the concept of belonging. Choose 5 which go with the question.
Now…here’s a VERY important step. After you choose 5 ( call these A statements) write another 5 statements ( call these B statement ) which are the same but written in different words. The purpose of these B statements is to shadow the A statement.


e.g.
A:
Feeling belonged enriches people’s lives
B: people’s lives are often enhanced through their perception of being accepted

Or in the case of ‘St Patrick’s College”
A: An inability to feel a connection to a place can lead to isolation
B: A person can feel an outsider and be alienated because they are never accepted because of their background and experiences


A: It is often knowledge which leads to a greater acceptance of a person
B: Knowledge and understanding are important to perceptions of belonging


A: feeling isolated is often the catalyst for reflection and change
B: Alienation can lead to self discovery



Thus, when you are expanding on / discussing a point you are making ( statement A) after you finish your analysis of this idea, instead of repeating what you said in the first statement, you use statement B. – the same idea but expressed differently. This then means you essay is coherent and cohesive as well as well-structured.

Step 2: Brainstorm each of the statements and see how they relate to each text:

Step 3: Begin each MAJOR paragraph with a concept statement about Belonging starting with the composer’s name or the name of the text e.g. and then analyse the texts you have chosen in relation to the statement you have made. Remember in order to critically analysis ( rather than write an explanation) it is important to write insightful effect statements and them link them to the concept of belonging – STEEL)

Step 4: Use complex, but succinct sentences when writing about techniques e.g. “The negative connotations of “violently” heighten the sense of Peter’s discomfort in this situation…” or “The enjambment makes emphasis fall heavily on ‘unknowingly’…” or “Accumulation of positive images: ‘photographs and letters’ “
Here is the marking criteria.
When you finish your essay – mark your own work and see where it would fit.
13-15
Demonstrates a highly developed understanding of the concept of belonging and writes a highly effective response that fully meets the demands of the question
Writes highly effectively, using appropriate texts in a discerning way.
Composes a well-integrated response using language appropriate to purpose, audience and context

10-12
Demonstrates a well-developed understanding of the concept of belonging and writes an effective response that meets the demands of the question
Writes effectively, using appropriate texts in a thoughtful way
Composes a cohesive response using language appropriate to purpose, audience and context

7-9
Demonstrates an understanding of the concept of belonging and writes a satisfactory response that substantially meets the demands of the question.
Presents ideas using appropriate texts in a sound way
Composes a response using language appropriate to purpose, audience and context

4-6
Demonstrates understanding of aspects of the concept of belonging and writes a response that is limited in meeting the demands of the question.
Attempts to present ideas in a limited way
Attempts to compose a response with some appropriateness to purpose, audience and context

1-3
Demonstrates an elementary understanding of the concept of belonging
Attempts to describe what composers say about belonging
Refers to text(s) in an elementary way
Attempts to compose a response