Question Deconstruction- The Road


Please note the image above, which deconstructs a Responding Section question using The Road as the ‘one studied text’.

My teaching and learning points:

  1. Note the SCSA glossary terms (written in red) branching out from the question. These are taken from the ATAR English glossary which is at the back of the syllabus. There is an expectation that you are familiar with these terms.
  2. Note the generic glossary term (written in green). This document contains important information about the meaning of trigger words in questions.
  3. On the left and right are references to specific places in The Road, broken down into quotations and then language choices/language features.
  4. I’ve written ‘BP1’ etc. to indicate what the structure of the extended response might look like.
  5. There is a sample thesis statement at the top of each place. While this might need working on, it does show how you can use question deconstructing and planning to formulate thesis statements.

Remember there is a link to the syllabus on the cover page of SEQTA.


Deconstructing a Responding Section Question- Murderball

Please note the attached image, which deconstructs a Responding Section question in relation to Murderball.

While this isn’t the ONLY argument that could be promoted by the question, it was constructed using what I thought would be an EFFECTIVE argument by focussing on the character of Mark Zupan.

Please note the colour-coding here. The writing in red refers to the SCSA glossaries (the generic question one is attached to this post at the bottom). You MUST make yourself familiar with this glossary as well as the one at the back of the syllabus. A link to this document can be found on the cover page of SEQTA. The writing in green is the text-specific text deconstruction. I’ve also written in red what the HOW of the question is asking you to do.

There is NO expectation that you would be able to plan/deconstruct questions like this in your examination. It would take too long. The teaching and learning points here are pretty simple; know your SCSA glossaries, know your text well, evaluate the available evidence and use this to construct your argument.

And… practice, practice, practice…

Key Words Glossary SCSA

Extended Response Structure- GENERIC



Thought you might like this resource, just to remind you of some common principles regarding extended response structure.


Let’s look at the introduction…


  1. Global sentence deals with the issue of the question and text in the broadest possible terms. It there to simply engage the reader.
  2. Introduce text. Make sure you include genre, title, author/producer, when it was released/produced.
  3. Keep any plot overview at a minimum. No more than two sentences.
  4. Key ideas you’re going to explore in your extended response. Key concepts.
  5. Thesis statement.

Let’s think about what an effective thesis statement should look like:


  1. It should be a direct response to the question.
  2. It should establish a clear argument.
  3. It is written as a statement.
  4. Is as focused as possible.

So… How does that translate into your body paragraphs?


Well… Body Paragraph 1 should contain your STRONGEST argument.

  1. The topic sentence should be text-specific and establish a clear argument and link explicitly to your thesis statement.
  2. This is important because your examiner will want to see that you can establish and maintain a cohesive argument, rather than your extended response being a collection of unrelated observations on the text you’re writing about.
  3. Your evidence should be short, it should be relevant and it should do more than just summarise content.
  4. When you use quotations/evidence, you need to ensure that you show why they are significant, why they’re important.

The Body Paragraphs should ALSO address the HOW of the question. This might be the conventions of the text type, SWAT codes, language features… that kind of thing.

Finally, you need a sentence at the end of the your body paragraph which links back to the topic sentence and summarises your argument.


All you then need to do is repeat the process for Body Paragraph 2 and Body Paragraph 3.


But, I hear you ask, what do I write for my conclusion.


Well… a conclusion is merely a summary of your argument, it is a synthesis of the points you’ve raised and a final reflection. Read your thesis statement and your topic sentences. If you’ve done your job properly, these should contain the main points of your central argument. If you’ve not written an effective thesis statement, and your topic sentences don’t establish an argument (or a development of your thesis statement), then you don’t have an argument to conclude anyway!

The final sentence of your conclusion should be something that is thought-provoking, summative and crystallises the argument you’ve proposed.


Hopefully this all makes sense!


Semester Two Examination Report

Year 12 ATAR English Semester 2 2020 Markers Report COLLATED


Please note the attachment above. This is your Semester 2 examination report. It has also been uploaded to SEQTA and placed on the cover page for your course.

Please use the information contained in this document to reflect on your performance, to set targets and to consolidate the many effective things you did in your Semester 2 examination.

As ever, please engage with your class teacher should you have any questions.

On behalf of the English Department, I would like to wish you all well for your forthcoming examinations.

A Modelled Question Deconstruction to a WACE-Style Question on ‘The Road’

Please note the screenshot below which deconstructs a question on ‘The Road’




Things to consider:


  • The question is located in the centre of the image. It asks the candidate to explore how the text was constructed/generic conventions to position a response to a particular issue.
  • I wanted to deconstruct the question and identify the key discriminators before going any further. Please note that the assessment criteria refers to engagement with the question, so we need to understand what the question is asking of us before we begin planning.
  • The question refers to ‘generic conventions’ so I listed a few of these, though the list is not exhaustive/definitive. I simply listed the ones that are perhaps most relevant to a discussion of ‘The Road’.
  • I then listed what ‘issues’ the text promotes. It would be best to write about the issues which affected you most so that you’re writing from a position of integrity. You are advised going into any assessment armed with what YOU know about the text rather than trying to remember what a teacher told you on a wintery afternoon or what you read in a study guide while you were revising.
  • I then constructed my thesis statement around these ideas.
  • This then lead to me reflecting on what extracts from the text would BEST exemplify the thesis statement I’d just written.
  • I then applied the generic conventions to these and linked them back to the question itself.

The extended response is now planned and ready to be written.


Think about this as a process. Get your thinking in the right order and you won’t go far wrong.


Hope this makes sense.




Beginning a Speech- Possible Structures and Exemplar

In today’s lesson, we’ve been exploring possible structures and frameworks for a persuasive speech. The image below is a rather rough outline of possible ways to open these kinds of text.


One possible way is to begin your text with an anecdote, the human story. Please have a look at the image below to see what this might look like in practice:



This speech uses the hospitality sector as its context and the audience (which is implied rather than directly stated) are restaurant owners.

In this first example, note:


  • How the anecdote establishes a relationship between the speaker and the audience.
  • The setting of the restaurant is described using hyerbole. You CAN and SHOULD use what you know about narrative writing in persuasive texts to build that sense of drama, that sense of theatre. Take risks with language!
  • I’ve used an ellipsis to add drama, the dramatic pause.
  • I’ve used alliteration.
  • I’ve used short sentences to add drama.
  • Note how the tone shifts in the second paragraph to a more formal one.
  • Inclusive language to establish relationship between speaker and audience.



The second version (below) adopts a more formal tone throughout:


The context, audience and purpose of this version is entirely the same, but:


  • The tone is more consistent.
  • Starts with a more formal statement, which establishes the context of the speech.
  • Still uses hyperbole to gain the interest of the audience.
  • Context, audience and purpose are implied rather than directly stated.
  • Inclusive language.
  • Alliteration.
  • Ellipsis and short sentences to add drama/impact/theatre.
  • Not sure if the partial refutation in the opening paragraph works. Think about whether it does or not, but it was designed to create a ‘them and us’ scenario which builds on the sense of injustice established earlier when I talk about how poorly paid people who wait tables are.

In short, how you open a persuasive text largely depends on the context, audience and purpose of your response.