Essay Writing

What are teachers looking for in a high school or VCE English essay?

I like to summarise it as the following three things:

  1. an interpretation of the text
  2. depth of understanding of themes, motifs and symbols
  3. textual evidence to support all the above

Of course there are lots of other things teachers look for in a high school or VCE English essay. However, I think these are the biggest, most important things that teachers are assessing when they are marking a VCE SAC.

So what does this mean in reality? What specific things can we point out to our students or teens when we are tutoring them? I outline this in helpful dot points in our newsletter here. Click on the ‘Has it been years since you’ve written an essay?’ edition!

Argument analysis

Try these verbs instead of ‘argue’

Try these verbs for stronger argument analysis!

Question: What are teachers and examiners looking for in an argument analysis essay?

Answer: Evidence that the student is analysing the article!

How can an English tutor or parent help their student write great argument analysis essays? At TSE Tuition, we like to focus on the verb. For a Year 11 or Year 12 student to score well in this task, they MUST be able to clearly articulate what the author is doing in terms of the argument.

Remember that ‘analysis’ is a verb, which means that where this happens in the sentence is in… the verb! If your student is constantly writing ‘the author argues that’, then it’s time to break out some word banks (like the one above) and get them to try different analytical verbs!


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