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!

Creative writing, Essay Writing

Replacing ‘very’ with other words

While ‘very’ has its place in the English language, try this handy list of words and see if you can use a more descriptive alternative.


Creative writing, VCE EAL, VCE English

Rewriting a Burial Rites creative response

In this video I rewrite a so-so creative response so that it follows Hannah Kent’s style more closely.

Argument analysis, VCE EAL, VCE English

Language analysis practice #1!

Can you find the main arguments in the below article?

GP rebate: What I do for the $37.05 that no one wants to pay

GPs save Medicare money by keeping people out of hospital.

Photo: Greg Newington, from The Sydney Morning Herald

Creative writing, VCE EAL, VCE English

A few tips on preparing for that creative SAC

A few tips on preparing for that creative SAC, using The Thing Around Your Neck, All About Eve and Mabo as example texts.

Comparative essay, Essay Writing, VCE EAL, VCE English

So you’re studying multi-modal texts?


Envy vs Jealous

I was asked to clarify this a week or two ago, so I thought I’d make a video.


Essay Writing, VCE EAL, VCE English, VCE English Language

Word of the week: fanatic

From Oxford Dictionaries:

A person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause:

Continue reading “Word of the week: fanatic”