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AREA OF STUDY III
EXTRA COMPREHENSION EXERCISE
Play spot the language technique with the text provided on the following page, in response to this
question:
HOW has the poet taken us on a journey into the bookshop? (Make sure to refer to poetic
techniques!)
*Note: Goulds is a famous second hand bookshop in King St, Newtown.


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CROSSING THE BORDER

You step into Gould's bookshop, Newtown,
like a tourist crossing a border,
a literary traveller leaving the safelands behind
for the seedier streets -
as far removed from Dymocks
as Kathmandu from Kew.
It's hard to get your bearings here,
there's no Baedeker to trust
and the single sheet directory
found at the door plots
a deceitful map of the territory.
Strange things are apt to happen
as you trek through the aisles of travel
and climb corridors of lit. crit.
Books close in behind you, shadows shift,
volumes of verse slide beneath you and you jump
when you step on Noam Chomsky uncomplaining on the floor.
If you dare to draw a book from an upper shelf,
risking burial under an avalanche of paper,
you're overwhelmed to find rows behind rows,
endless Russian dolls and Chinese puzzles of words.
How will you ever know this land,
so mysterious, so beautiful, so strange?
Perhaps you'll never leave, now you've
gone native, bookwrecked on an alien shore.
Brook Emery
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THE ENGLISH PAPER 1: TACKLING SECTION 1
(PART 2)
Last week, we looked at the structure and requirements of Section 1, then went on to study the
concept of Language Features: those techniques and devices that affect HOW the composer shapes
meaning through his or her text.
We said that Language Features can be separated into two groups: LITERARY features (those that
apply to written texts) and VISUAL features (those that apply to visual texts).
We focused on LITERARY features last week and completed some exercises that helped you
familiarise yourselves with the art of spotting these quickly.
This week, we are going to move on to VISUAL features, which, though they can be more appealing
to the eye, can often prove even more complex because it becomes trickier to explain their effects.
VISUAL TEXTS IN SECTION 1
In HSC exams from the past years, there has always been a visual text alongside the written. In fact,
the visual text is usually provided as the first of the three texts. Sometimes this text will exist on its
own, and sometimes it will exist in conjunction with one of the written texts for example, Text One
might be the front of a book cover (which is essentially visual), and Text Two might be the inside of
that same book cover, where a blurb about the book is provided (which is essentially literary).
What is a visual text?
Visual texts are designed to appeal specifically to one of our five senses: sight, or what we see in
front of us. The composers of visual texts are intending to capture the responders attention
immediately by what they see, hoping that the responders eyes will then be drawn to certain
aspects of the text that act to achieve the texts purpose (remember, the purpose is always to get
the reader or viewer to respond in a certain way, to derive some kind of meaning from the text).


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Visual texts that might come up in the HSC include:
Advertisements and/or posters for movies, novels, television shows or events
Photographs
Paintings
Picture book illustrations
Cartoons and/or comics
Book covers
Brochures or fliers
Web pages

Deconstructing a visual text: do the same rules apply as those of literary texts?
YES! When we analyse or deconstruct a visual text, we still follow the same basic formula: we
identify its form, purpose and audience, which then enables us to identify the features of language
(remember, visual language still counts as language) with which the composer shapes meaning in
his or her text.
Like with literary features, visual features are also often referred to as visual techniques or
devices.

Talent Tip:




So, just as we went through a Glossary of Literary Features last week, lets now look at a Glossary of
Visual Features.

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A GLOSSARY OF VISUAL FEATURES (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

VISUAL
FEATURE
DEFINITION EFFECT EXAMPLE
Background The part of the text
that is the back of
the scene i.e. the
furthest layer of
images from the
front.
While this isnt the central
focus of the text,
background helps shape
the mood and atmosphere
of the text as a whole, as it
is the most widespread
aspect of the text.
Mountains in the
background of a
photograph might
connote a sense of
danger or of the
unknown, or signify the
presence of nature.
Blurring The obscuring of the
form or outline of an
image or word, so
that it becomes
indistinct.
Creates a sense of haziness
and uncertainty; often
used to represent memory
or the past.

Body language The postures,
gestures, and facial
expressions of a
subject (person) in
the frame.
Acts as a form of
nonverbal (and often
unconscious)
communication; alerts us
to the attitude, mood or
character of the subject.
Wide, outstretched
arms and a smiling face
suggest joy or
excitement; clenched
fists and curled torso
suggest anxiety or fear.

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Cartoon An unrealistic
drawing usually
depicting a
humorous situation,
often accompanied
by a caption.
Often intended to
symbolise, satirise, or
caricature some action,
subject, or person of
popular interest. Intended
to create humour and/or
ridicule.
Garfield is a cartoon
that humorously draws
on ideas of laziness and
the similarity of humans
to animals.
Central focus The nucleus or main
point of visual
interest of the text
Captures the majority of
our attention, and often
represents the central idea
within the text. Alerts us as
to what this text is about.

Chiaroscuro Colour contrast- the
juxtaposition
between two
colours, especially
light and dark.
Emphasises one image or
object over another, draws
attention to their
differences, creates a
contrast of mood.
A black figure against a
white background might
emphasise racial
differences; or the use
of black and white
might create a
photographic or old-
fashioned effect.
Composition The layout within or
structure of the
frame (where and
how things are
placed eg. top left
or right, or cluttered
or sparse).
Different compositions will
have different effects eg.
a cluttered, highly detailed
composition can create a
feeling of unwieldiness or
confusion, while a sparse
composition can create a
sense of the open mind or
limitlessness.


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Constructed or
contrived look
Artificial-looking; the
use of graphics,
screens or insets that
might contribute to a
manufactured look.
Might seem to downgrade
the quality or authenticity
of the idea or information
being presented; can
create the impression of a
video game or simulation;
or comment on the
artificiality of a certain
idea.

Eye-line The technique in
which the composer
causes the eyes of
the texts subject to
meet with the eyes
of the viewer.
Creates a connection
between the subject and
the viewer, and can allow
a viewer to empathise with
the subject. Can also
create a sense of being
watched, of eeriness.
In The Mona Lisa,
Leonardo a Vinci uses
the eye-line technique.
Facial expressions The attitude or
emotion apparent on
a subjects face.
Alerts us to the subjects
attitude, emotion or
character; often intensifies
the mood of the scene
presented.

Font A style of printing
type.
Different fonts have
different effects: they can
emphasise a line of text or
downplay it, or create a
certain feeling/ aura.
Bold font emphasises/
draws attention to a
line; old-fashioned print
reminds us of the past;
italic font is often used
for emphasis,
instructions or
additional notes.

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Foreground The part of the text
at the front of the
scene.
Draws our focus and often
offers the most important
aspect/idea of the text.

Graphics The pictures or
diagrams that
appear in a visual
text. This may be,
e.g., in advertising,
computer
applications or on
websites.
Detailed, highly developed
graphics can alert the
viewer to the modern
and/or sophisticated
nature of a product; they
can enhance the aesthetic
quality (the look) of a text.
A video game might
have very detailed,
modern graphics, which
shows that it is an
innovative new program
designed with the best
technology.
Insets Something inserted
into the text that
stands out as
different; e.g.
superimposed
images, frames, or
text boxes.
Often draws our attention
by creating contrast within
the text, and can also
create a manufacted or
marketing look.

Juxtaposition
(*NB: this is a visual
technique as well as
literary!)
The placement of
images (or words
and images) side by
side to better enable
a comparison or
contrast.
Draws attention to and
emphasises differences
between two ideas,
characters or situations.
The juxtaposition
between literary and
visual features helps to
emphasise one or both
aspects of the text.
Motif A distinctive and
recurring form,
shape, figure etc.
Acts as a representation of
a dominant theme or idea;
captures our attention. A
motif might be enigmatic
in a way that makes us
curious about its
A dove as a motif for
peace and purity; a skull
and crossbones as a
motif for danger; trees
might be a motif for
growth, prosperity or
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significance. nature.
Photographs A picture produced
by using a camera.
Can add to the realism of
the text, ignite ideas of
memory and the past, or
personalise a text.
A photograph of two old
men beside two young
men comments on ideas
of history and the
cyclical nature of life,
the concept of age and
becoming old etc.
Reading path The direction in
which the viewers
eye travels through a
text. Moves from
most salient to
other, less salient
elements.
Subconsciously defines the
most to least important
elements of the text for
the viewer.

Salience Visual weight
resulting from size,
focus, colour,
distance and
placement.
Affects where our eye
travels first, which then
defines the most
important object in/
component of the text.
Elements become
heavier if placed on top
or to the left of an
image. The heavier
image is described as
the most salient.
Symbolism The use of any of
certain special
figures or marks of
identification to
signify a message,
concept, person or
situation.
Like a motif, it can create
an enigma that arouses
curiosity and
contemplation; can add
depth and complexity to a
text.

Text box A border or frame in
which written text is
Frames and emphasises
the written text; creates

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placed. an enclosed space to
which the eye is drawn.
Vector A line( visible or
otherwise) that leads
the viewer from one
image to another.
Guides the viewers eye in
a certain direction, creates
a systematic way of
moving through the text.
A subjects gaze,
pointing fingers or
extended arms are
possible vectors.
Visual hyperbole Exaggeration in
visual images.
Emphasises or sometimes
parodies an idea/ object;
can create humour.
Cartoons often use
visual hyperbole, e.g.
eyes popping out of
peoples heads, to
create humour.
Visual irony A conflict between
appearance and
reality represented
visually.
Inverts the impression of
an image or idea to make
its meaning all the more
clear to the reader. Can
also be used in satire or to
create humour.

Written text
(*NB: dont forget to
comment on this in
addition to the visual
features, if it is
included!)
The inclusion of
written material in a
visual text.
Often used to complement
or support an image, or as
contrast.
A movie advertisement
might use written text
to describe the film, e.g.
adjectives such as
superb quoted from
film critics to entice the
viewer.



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CLASS EXERCISE: SPOT THE VISUAL FEATURE (30 MINS)
Because Section 1 will usually provide a visual text as the first of the three texts, being able quickly
and efficiently identify visual features and understand its effect is a skill that will help you
enormously in your exam.
Instructions: Get into groups of 2 or 3. The aim of the game is to move through the text provided on
the last page of the handout, circling as many visual AND literary language features as you can and
explaining their effect in response to the questions provided. You can do this in point form (i.e. dont
worry about paragraph structure just yet), but make sure you are constructing FULL SENTENCES that
contain the 3-part formula: IDENTIFY, SUPPORT, EXPLAIN!
You have 20 minutes to complete this exercise, and then we will spend 10 minutes hearing an
example from each group, to see what you guys came up with. Try and find as many as you can!

Respond to the following questions:
1) What type of journey is suggested in this text? (This could just be one or two sentences)
2) How has the designer used visual features to chart this type of journey?










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ANSWERING SECTION 1: STRUCTURING SHORTER AND LONGER ANSWERS
In last weeks lesson, we looked at a basic formula for deconstruction:
ANALYSIS/DECONSTRUCTION
+ +
However, when responding to the questions provided in Section 1 of Paper 1, knowing only this
formula will not be enough to award you the maximum amount of marks possible. You also need to
understand how to STRUCTURE your answers most effectively especially the final few answers,
which are worth up to 6 marks each.

THE ESSENTIAL POINT TO REMEMBER:
Essentially, Section 1 is marked according to a 1 mark for one point of analysis scheme. In other
words, you will be awarded 1 mark each time you IDENTIFY + SUPPORT + EXPLAIN.
Do NOT make the mistake of thinking that simply identifying a language feature and tacking on the
quote will get you a mark. You also have to make sure to EXPLAIN THE EFFECT of this language
feature in accordance with the question youre answering, for the marker to award you the marks.
Below is a table that outlines the basic requirements (what will be asked) for each of the first four
mark allocations, and how to go about structuring your answers.
(*Note- Identify, Support, Explain is referred to ISE in the table)


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MARK
ALLOCAT
ION
WHAT WILL BE ASKED
(USUALLY)
HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR ANSWER
1 Purpose of the text
OR
Type or nature of the journey
represented
Tone of the composer

2 Type or nature of the journey
represented
OR
HOW the composer uses language
features to represent/ take us on this
journey
OR
Attitude of the composer in
relation to the concept of journeys

3 or 4 HOW the composer uses language
features in taking us on/ representing/
communicating ideas about the
journey



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THE 5 & 6 MARKERS: STRUCTURING YOUR RESPONSE
The last question of Section 1 will be worth either 5 or 6 marks. Because it is worth the most, it is of
course the most complex to structure, and the most important to answer thoroughly and correctly.
The 5 & 6 mark questions essentially require paragraph, or extended, responses. They will usually
provide an insight or idea about the concept of journeys, and require you to identify how this idea is
represented in one or more of the texts provided. Often, this question will ask you to refer to MORE
THAN ONE of the texts provided, which is another way of saying that you are expected to compare
and contrast these texts in your answer.
In the past years of HSC, the 5 & 6 mark questions have asked things like:
Explain how any TWO of these texts represent
By comparing and contrasting these texts, analyse how
Justifying your answer, which ONE of these three texts most effectively.
Evaluate which TWO of these three texts most effectively

In structuring your response, you should aim to do the following:
Compose an opening sentence that makes an overall comment about one, two or all of the
texts (depending on the question) in direct response to the question provided
IF the question asks you to choose one or two texts to discuss, compose a brief sentence in
which you dismiss the other text/s, validating the effectiveness of the one/s you have chosen
over the other/s
Comment on the FORM of each of the texts that enables the composer to articulate/
communicate the insight or idea referred to in the question
Move into 5 or 6 (depending on the mark allocation) DETAILED POINTS OF ANALYSIS (ISE),
within which you use the language of connection to chart similarities and/or distinctions
between the texts you have chosen to discuss.
Compose a closing statement that moves smoothly to draw both the texts and your analysis
into one concluding insight, idea or discovery, again in direct response to the question.
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THE LANGUAGE OF CONNECTION
Judging by the trend of the HSC exams in past years, you should be prepared to compare and
contrast two or all of the texts you are given in the 5 or 6 mark responses. At first, this can be a
confusing skill to master, because you are probably only used to deconstructing and evaluating one
text at a time. However, with practice, comparing and contrasting doesnt have to be a difficult
exercise. Your ability to do it will help you in not just Section 1, but Section 3 of Paper 1 as well as all
of your other units of study for Paper 2.
The Language of Connection is language that allows you to make comments that compare and
contrast two or more texts. You should begin to familiarise yourself with ways of doing this
efficiently and effectively.
Examples of The Language of Connection include:
Both Text 1 and Text 2 explore the idea of ______
Both Text 1 and Text 2 use the device of _______ to __________
While Text 1 uses the device of _______ in order to _______, Text two uses that of ______ in
order to ______
Text 1 uses ________ to ___________. Similarly, Text 2 uses _______ to _______
Text 1 uses ________ to ___________. Conversely/In contrast/Alternatively, Text 2 uses
_______ to _______
Although Text 2 refutes Text 1 in its representation of ______, the texts are unified in their
exploration of ______
Despite their divergences, all of these texts can be seen to _________


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CLASS EXERCISE: STRUCTURING A 5-MARK RESPONSE
In this exercise, we will look at texts that we have already seen in other exercises, and work together
to compose a response in which we compare and contrast them, as you would be required to do in
Section 1.

Respond to the following question:
Explain how these TWO texts represent the complexity of journeys. In your answer, comment on
the form and features of both texts.


HOMEWORK
FROM 2005 HSC PAPER 1

Read through all the texts provided in the handout, taken from Section 1 of the 2005 HSC English
Paper 1. Write a response just to the 5-mark question (question (f)). You dont have to time yourself
as if its an exam but do bear in mind that this is the kind of reading and writing that youre aiming
to become really efficient at over the course of these lessons.
Here are some things to bear in mind:
USE THE WORDS OF THE QUESTION- i.e. respond directly and efficiently
There is no one correct answer. As long as you SUPPORT/JUSTIFY your interpretation with
evidence from the text (language features), you will be awarded with marks.
Remember that it makes sense to read the question(s) first and then thoroughly read the texts, and
take care to spend sufficient time thinking about how to answer the question.


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