Evaluation level essays do NOT actually need your teen’s personal opinion.Yep.
Even if it says ‘In your opinion…’
For most students, this is GREAT news!
Because it means they don’t need to be an expert in whatever the genre or topic it.
They don’t need to be a literature enthusiast.
And they don’t need to have some sort of sophisticated and unique insight into anything.
I just wish I’d realised this as a student.
I only figured it out 7 years into my teaching when I was marking Y12 Writing Tests and figuring out the mark scheme as a non-English teacher.
In Week 3 of Essays Bootcamp (available as part of Next Level Coaching), I told students exactly what they need to do instead.
And, all importantly… HOW to do it.
It’s easy to say: “I’ll include a metaphor here.”
“I’ll give some context in the intro.”
What takes more thought and effort is to say from the outset:
– precisely WHAT metaphor and why.
– exactly what IS the context and which elements are most significant for this task.
Sometimes students feel like they’ve planned, but really, they’ve outlined.
Having an expert (like Gemma, our English-Focus Coach!) there to help with these sorts of small but mighty details is what can take us to the next level in our work.
Because although deciding on these details in advance can be challenging, NOT doing so will lead to multiple challenges in the writing stage.
Brainstorming and then selecting them all at the beginning will not only highlight any gaps in knowledge (which are much better solved before the writing begins, rather than half way through, when the temptation then is to gloss over that fact and waffle our way through),
it will also allow much more discerning choices and selections.
And together these mean the task gets completed much more smoothly and quickly AND achieves more of the top level criteria and therefore a higher result.
What makes ‘use of evidence or quotations’ in an essay, exam or assignment ‘discerning’ rather than ‘appropriate’ in the mark scheme?
What takes an extended response to ‘pertinent’, or ‘perceptive‘, in the success criteria?
There are multiple elements and Gemma, our English-Focus Coach went through ALL of them with our Next Level students this week.
One of the mistakes students are making is incorporating quotes that are too long.
The quote can be appropriate.
It’s perhaps even been analysed well.
But it’s not considered perceptive or discerning because the EXACT words in the quote that are pertinent to the focus of the question have not been identified.
Here are some excerpts of that session where Gemma explains how and why MICRO-QUOTES should be used instead of full sentences.
The focus of the question I’m marking is all about analysing impacts around a challenge within a specific case study.
There are MANY different impacts student could identify and this is often the case in all different subjects, topics and case studies.
Sometimes there are so many that it’s overwhelming.
Sometimes it can feel tricky to identify them or see how to put them across coherently.
So, I’m offering some specific ways to identify impacts or effects
and then a strategy to help decide which ones to select to actually include in an answer,
and what order to put them in.
If we were to grab a coffee and chat, what’s ONE THING you’d love to ask or get my help with for your teen and their study?
What would make the biggest difference to their study (or their ability to NOT be studying all the time!)?
What’s the main thing they’re struggling with?
What insider info would you love to properly understand about how exams and assessments really work?Basically…
What would you love to pick my brain on?
Drop a comment below or email me and TELL ME!
I’ll be responding to your needs, wants and wildest (study-based ? ) desires
in the 5 Day Inner Circle for Parents of Hard-Working Teens– opening Fri 12th Nov 2021 and kicking off Mon 15th Nov.
This is also where I’ll be opening up enrolment for the 10 Week Grade Transformation Program for those students who want to complete their training over the summer, ready to hit the ground running in the new school year.
Make sure you’re on the 10WGT Waitlist to get all the details and a sneak preview.
This Y11 ATAR student is currently getting in the 70%’s
for English and is working on achieving her goal of high 80’s.
One of her struggles this week was getting an independent reading and summarising task ‘done’.
She’s not lazy and she wants great results.
So motivation’s not the issue (and therefore also won’t fix it).
Watch us unpick what’s stopping her from getting going,
and transform the task from vague and intangible to specific and actionable.
P.S. Sometimes procrastination sneaks in as ‘productive procrastination’, like
– doing more research (rather than actually starting the assignment)
– filing notes (instead of processing those notes)
The result is actually worse than spending that time scrolling through Insta or watching Netflix.
The task still isn’t done and they’ve spent hours ‘studying’ rather than getting some free time.
Use the questions I asked her with your teen next time they aren’t getting a task done and feel like they don’t really know why.