Argument Analysis: See a Free Sample Essay

Argument Analysis: See a Free Sample Essay

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.


Much confusion surrounding essays stems from the fact that students don’t have access to samples of work. Here’s the introduction and one body paragraph of sample argument analysis I wrote for VCE English to give some ideas to my students about the ways you can pull apart a piece:

The issue of duck shooting in Australia is approached with thoroughly differing angles by three opinion articles published between 2011 and 2012: it is condemned by articles published in the Herald Sun and The Age; the first attempts to create an emotional response, in contrast to the second article’s methodically presented argument, although equally with emotive elements. Conversely, the third article, entitled “Leave us Levy!”, extols the value of the sport from the perspective of a shooter, who reasons that he is providing a service.

Debbie Lustig, in the first article, anthropomorphises a duck in an attempt to evoke feelings of guilt and responsibility in the reader. The poignantly entreating title, “Dead duck asks, why me?” is placed directly above the image of a man who is presented as flippant in his handling of two slain birds, as he looks casually into the camera. The article makes use of the pronouns “I” (the ducks) and “you”, in order to create a feeling of culpability in the reader, an attempt to compel them into taking action against duck shooting. The verbs employed, such as “waddling” and “dabbling”, coupled with use of the past tense, reinforce the helplessness of the creatures in a bid to engender sympathy. As Lustig writes of the ducks’ deaths, words such as “broke” and “shattered” reinforce the brutality of the events, whilst the continuing “I” of the “duck” continues to beseech the reader for empathy. The article concludes by questioning the audience, “Did I do something wrong?”, underlining once more the defencelessness of the ducks and Lustig’s belief that they should not be targeted.

So what essay-writing techniques did you notice?

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: How To Structure A Comparative Essay (VCE English Tips)2U Maths Tips from a Past Student (98 in 2U Maths)! and Chemistry – Oxidation & Reduction explained!

 – LearnMate Tutoring.

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

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Argument Analysis: See a Free Sample Essay
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How to Prepare for the VCE English Exam (Last Minute Advice from a 50-Scorer)

How to prepare for the VCE English exam (last minute advice from a 50-scorer)

This article was written by Lydia McClelland, a current English & Literature tutor. Lydia currently is accepting students, so if you’re interested in her services, please go here


Studying for a subject like English can seem like a massive task, and is very tempting to leave to the last minute! I’m here to reassure you that if you study intelligently, you don’t need to put in the same number of hours that go into many other subjects. There are actually heaps of easy things you can do, which result in dramatic improvement:

  1. Read the VCAA past examiner reports! These are filled with advice straight from the Chief Examiner, and often have some great examples of student responses the examiners like. (While you’re there, check out the 2017 Sample exam. As the 2017 study design is new, this is the only available full VCAA-approved exam available to you.)
  2. Plan responses for lots of sample topics (Text Response and Comparative) instead of writing out essay after essay. This will prepare you for the panic of an exam scenario when you get a topic you have never seen before.
  3. Redraft previous essays. The best ideas come from development over time, not simply writing quantity over quality on new topics over and over again.
  4. Get outside advice on your essays. This might be from a sibling, parent, teacher, tutor; anyone you trust to give you honest advice! The truth is that after you’ve been working on an essay for a while, you lose your fresh perspective, which is why it’s important not to hide your essays away for no one else to see.
  5. Reread or re-watch your texts. Knowing these inside out is invaluable, and you never know what might stick in your mind and come in handy later…
  6. If you find that timing is not a problem, type up your practice essays. No point tiring yourself out for no reason!
  7. If you’re determined to do lots of sample exams, practice doing them at the time of day of the English exam. This gets your body used to sitting still (for three hours!) at that precise time, which will not feel natural! It could give you that slight edge, which is all you need in VCE to separate yourself.

Good luck and happy studying!


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR A TUTOR NOW!
How to Prepare for the VCE English Exam (Last Minute Advice from a 50-Scorer)
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How to Think for Yourself in VCE English & VCE Literature!

HOW TO THINK FOR YOURSELF IN VCE ENGLISH & LITERATURE!

This article was written by Daniel Jean, a current VCE English & Literature tutor. Daniel currently is accepting students, so if you’re interested in his services, please go here


How to think for yourself – by Daniel Jean

In subjects like English, Literature and even Media, students don’t see the light – their vision is blurred by curriculums, course structures, study guides and even the ideas circulated in a class by their teachers. One needs to realise that all of the content in these subjects is open to interpretation, meaning that one can form their own point of view, wherever it stems from, and write freely on the concepts that appeal to them. Every author, be it of a novel, an opinion piece, or a film, uses symbolism, motifs, tone, characterisation to form their voice and explore different themes, often relative to their own lives and experiences. Just as a musician has his sounds, his melodies, his rhythm, writers have their own instruments of communication. As readers, we interpret these to process their stories, but more deeply, as students, we connect to their pieces through our Empathy. Through this innate human quality one truly understands a work and finds a relation to it. Thus, while the ideas proposed to your class by your teachers are important, or those you find online in discussion threads, or general observations of classmates and scholars, one should only use these as a stimulant to go deeper into the text they are studying, and to bring their own awareness of the text to newer levels. 

This level of Thought takes time – in the same way, you connect with your friends, your family, and even your pets – you can connect with the characters you are studying. While they remain as figures solely in your imagination, in a world created by the author, they still express emotions like you, have their own idiosyncrasies like you and face human conflicts similar to all of us. We are always fighting to understand something about ourselves, be it identity, purpose, or place. And these are like horizons in our mind, always eluding us, even when we believe we are getting closer. Hence why we constantly we read stories throughout our lifetime, why we interpret the world as we experience it, and why we have the urge to communicate to people: because we want to be understood, as if this is how we understand ourselves. This is the human condition. As a reader of a story, you are a spectator to someone else’s struggle with this – you face their internal questions with them as they navigate the chaos of their own world and you are a witness to their actions and reactions.

To think freely about a story you first need to make sense of the world created by the writer and the challenges they pose to their characters. And you can do this by looking into yourself. Think about how some characters let us down, how they force us to sympathise with their situation; or how others inspire us, how they make us dream. Reflect on who you are through this character – try to understand what emotions a character makes you feel, and ask yourself: Why do I want this character to continuing fighting for his or her cause? Why does this character validate what I believe? Why I am I asking the same questions to myself? Why am I not? Why does his or her world confuse me too? Often a narrative can present solutions to our own internal problems, even when we don’t realise it, as while everyone’s belief system is unique to them, all humans, fictional or not, have the same inherent instincts that one can connect to and learn from.

The first time I read The Catcher In The Rye it made me want to abandon school, my job, my family – all of my responsibilities – and meander about alone, drinking coffee and reading books – basically resisting adulthood, just like Holden Caulfield. To me, he was a hero. Yet after leaving high school and experiencing the third world, my perspective changed. I went to some raw parts of South East Asia and saw people in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar fighting to fulfil very basic human needs, such as food and shelter. They weren’t fighting to be someone in society, or someone resisting it – they were just trying to exist. There I realised that the mind can go down many tangents, often building up an idea of itself, like its own character within its own story. I read The Catcher In The Rye again when I returned home and saw that while Holden was an example of defiance by withstanding authority and fighting for his innocence, the only person he was truly defying was himself; and while this cause may appeal to someone young, whose internal dialogue is asking for definition – to someone more worldly, and free of teenage angst, Holden is ultimately insecure and afraid. It took a long time for me to realise this. But the beauty of the mind is that it absorbs and grows like a seed when you nourish it – hence the relevance of writers throughout history, as their works are like water and sun. All stories have periods of tension, of equilibrium, and a wider implication – and all of these moments occur organically, as in our own lives. The more time you spend with the characters, the more you will see their plight in yourself; and therefore when they’re questions are answered, so are yours, for all humans are made of related thoughts and feelings, and an author is only trying to communicate theirs. It becomes a message when you, the reader, the student, become its recipient – when you think and feel like the characters do, and find meaning in their lives through a connection to your own.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR A TUTOR NOW!
How to Think for Yourself in VCE English & VCE Literature!
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How to Study for VCE English – The Three Common FAQs!

How to Study for VCE English – The Three Common FAQs!

This article was written by Camilla, a VCE English tutor. You can see more about Camilla’s tutoring services here.


Arguably, the most important part of VCE English is essay-writing.

I have decided to focus, therefore, on the three most frequently asked questions when it comes to essays. The answers (at least for questions 2 and 3) can be applied not only to expository, but also creative and persuasive essays.

  1. How do I make my essay more structured?

For each separate paragraph, I suggest remembering the acronym TEEL.

  • T – Each paragraph needs a Topic sentence, introducing the argument specific to that paragraph and adding to the essay’s overall argument.
  • E – Each paragraph then needs Evidence, material that proves the topic sentence.
  • E – Following this, we need an Explanation of the evidence: how does the evidence back up your argument?
  • L – Finally, we need to Link the evidence and explanation to the next paragraph (if there is one).

So how does this relate to the structure of the overall essay? An essay is basically an enlarged version of each paragraph, with a C (conclusion) instead of an L.

2. How do I make sure my essay makes sense?

Apart from structure and phrasing, one of the most important parts of an essay is to remember that you’re answering a specific question. To answer this properly, you need two important things:

  • To understand the question. This means reading it multiple times, underlining key words, and referring back to it – in some form – in every paragraph.
  • To know your content. If it’s a book, have a solid understanding of its context and generic conventions. If it’s a text that you’re analysing or responding to, ensure you’ve read it in-depth several times.

When you feel you’ve finished your essay, I recommend reading it aloud or mouthing it. Any strange phrasing, spelling and grammar will be obvious and you can edit it out.

3. How do I improve my phrasing?

The best way to improve your phrasing is quite straightforward: write more.

What you write doesn’t have to be academic – it could simply be a diary.

Try to write daily. Not only will this practice help with the way your words flow in your essays, but it will also improve your general communication skills and the clarity of your thoughts.

If you don’t have the time, energy or motivation to write outside of schoolwork, you should at least dedicate time to reading.

As they say – good readers make good writers.

NEXT ARTICLE: VCE ENGLISH STUDY PLAN (READ HERE).


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

How to Study for VCE English – The Three Common FAQs!
read more