Centre for Continuing Education

HSC English Preparation Course - Advanced (Part 3) (July)

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Module B: Critical Study of Texts and Module C: Representation and Text

This course covers both Modules B: Critical Study of Texts and Module C: Representation and Text (both Electives).

Module B requires the intensive study of a single complex text. The course will focus on developing a sophisticated understanding of the concept of textual integrity, by considering the ways in which all aspects of a text- such as its construction, language, techniques, ideas, values, context and perspective- contribute directly to its meaning, allowing the responder to develop a richer and more sophisticated understanding of how texts convey meaning.

In Module C, the course will focus on the concept of text as representation. This is a key concept in both Electives which helps students to understand more clearly both the form- techniques, language, structure, medium of production, etc.- and the purpose - values, perspective, audience, etc.- of a text. A student is then in a position to form a personal understanding of the text’s meaning, as required by the Syllabus, and to write confidently and convincingly accordingly.

Both Modules will involve practical class discussions and short written exercises to develop close critical skills (analysis) and overall understanding of texts (synthesis). Students will work through suitable sophisticated texts, with time also allocated to working on Prescribed Texts. The course includes a wide range of Related Texts for Module C.

The course includes close consideration of past papers and high-achieving HSC responses, together with markers' guidelines and feedback, in order to see practical examples of achievement in the upper Band levels.

This course is part of a 3-part series covering key areas from within this subject’s syllabus. Other courses include HSC English Preparation Course – Advanced (Part 1) and HSC English Preparation Course – Advanced (Part 2). Students do not need to attend all three parts in order to benefit.


Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Clearly identify the skills they need to demonstrate in their HSC responses.
  • Increase their awareness of what constitutes a high-achieving response by analytical discussion of past papers and responses.
  • Thoroughly understand the key concepts which underpin both Modules, such as textual integrity and representation.
  • Increase their awareness of how texts may be received and valued (Module B).
  • Learn how to use Related Texts more effectively (Module C).
  • Better understand the process of critical analysis of language in order to validate their understanding of meaning in texts.
  • Consider in depth the relationship between personal understanding of texts and the ability to write convincingly about them.
  • Develop collaborative learning skills.
  • Experience a range of challenging texts which will test their ability to respond effectively to Advanced-level material.


(Aligned to NESA Syllabus Reference Points)

  • 1,2,2A Understanding how the forms, features and meaning of texts are affected by context and change of context, and by their relationship with other texts; recognising that the ways in which texts are valued are affected by context, and explaining how and why texts are valued. Appreciating the importance of close reading and critical analysis of demanding Prescribed Texts such as Hamlet, Jane Eyre, Cloudstreet and Eliot’s poetry (Module B), with a consistent focus on forms and features of language and the key concept of representation (Module C) in Prescribed Texts such as Brave New World, Auden’s poetry and The Art of Travel.
  • 3,4,5 Developing language relevant to the study of English, and the conventions of language appropriate to personal, cultural, public and critical expression, through writing exercises encouraging the skill of close analysis, based on passages from Prescribed Texts and other material (short texts in a variety of modes: prose, poetry, film etc.); establishing how meaning is affected by the forms, features and structure of texts and by technologies and media in production (synthesis). In Module C, critically considering a range of texts (supplied) to compare/contrast with Prescribed Texts and enhance appreciation of choice in language.
  • 6 Engaging with the details of texts to develop a critical and personal response expressed through sustained argument supported by textual evidence and reflecting a considered evaluation of the response of others: understanding how a text (e.g. Speeches, A Room of One’s Own, Hamlet, Citizen Kane, In the Skin of a Lion) may be affected by its political or cultural context and may be valued according to different perspectives and the nature and purpose of representation (e.g. The Crucible, Why Weren’t We Told?, Ten Canoes, Wright’s poetry).
  • 7,8 Close focus on the details of texts in order to synthesise and explore information, ideas and values in terms of purpose, audience and context; representing own ideas critically and interpretively to meet the demands of increasing complexity of thought and expression in texts. Forming an opinion, for example, on the purpose behind the unconventional form and structure of In the Skin of a Lion, or accounting for the range of registers in the Prescribed Speeches (Module B); in Module C, understanding the distinction between a constructed representation and its purpose (political, for example, in Wag the Dog, intuitive in Brooklyn).
  • 9, 10 Evaluating processes and technologies in the organisation of ideas and information, both individually and collaboratively, i.e. class discussion and group work according to Prescribed Text; employing analysis and synthesis in the creation of logical argumentation for a range of purposes, audiences and contexts. Consolidating key concepts: textual integrity (Module B) and representation (Module C) exemplified by Prescribed Texts and related texts (Module C).
  • 11,12,12A,13 Demonstrating effective control of language through imaginative transformation of own ideas and experience into composition; becoming more aware of own processes of responding and composition and of learning through questioning meaning in texts, assessing and evaluating own work, and comparing own learning processes with those of others. This through group work (oral/short written responses) on Prescribed Texts, critical reading of short sample texts in a variety of modes (prose, poetry, film, etc.) to enable whole-class discussion, and consideration of high achieving past HSC responses.

Intended Audience

Only current Year 12 students should attend this course in 2018. Changes to the Year 12 syllabus will be introduced in 2019. This course content is therefore not suitable for current Years 10 – 11 students.

Delivery Style

The course is a mixture of discussions led by the teacher, detailed demonstrations of textual analysis, group work and individual discussion with the teacher as time permits. Students are encouraged to contribute actively to discussion sessions.


All students will receive all the materials they need for the course. This will include a booklet containing extracts from Prescribed Texts, additional texts for practice in close analysis, and short answer exercises. They will also receive a booklet containing relevant official HSC documentation, past papers and sample responses. Images and short videos will be shown in some sessions.

Course Evaluation

This course will be evaluated via an online student questionnaire delivered in class.

Getting Through Your HSC: A Practical Guide

While you progress through this journey and also the conclusion of your schooling life, we know you’ll have a lot on your mind – exams, future study, careers – but remember, while keeping focused on these bigger goals and aspirations, it’s also important not to forget your own health and well-being.

For tips on staying motivated and keeping focused, dealing with anxiety, keeping healthy, relaxation, pre-study exercise and more, read our article Getting Through Your HSC: A Practical Guide.


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