Essay Writing Tip # 3 - Identifying key components in your text

29 February 2020
Essay Writing Tip # 3 - Identifying key components in your text

This is the third of a number of posts on Essay Writing.  For more in depth help on writing successful essays, enrol in our holiday program essay writing classes for Year 7-10 or Year 11-12.

Tip 3: Identify the key components in your text that address the question

Once you know what you are being asked, you need to analyse your text and find key examples of the features that have been asked to identify.

Again, let’s look at our example question:

Discuss how text 1 positions readers to respond to ideas.

This question requires that you identify the ideas in the text, understand the response that the author is trying to produce from readers, and explain how this response is being encouraged through the various conventions and language techniques in the text.

As an example, there is a scene in Craig Silvey’s novel Jasper Jones where the character, Jeffrey, is attending cricket training. He is verbally and physically abused by the team because he is Vietnamese. In this text, the following can be identified:

  • What is Text 1 - Craig Silvey’s novel Jasper Jones.
  • What is the Idea of the text?  – the text communicates an idea that condemns the racist and discriminatory attitudes that existed in rural towns in Western Australia in the mid twentieth century.
  • What response is the reader supposed to have?  – outrage.
  • How is this response motivated by the text– first person point of view, figurative language such as simile etc.

This is the essential work that draws out the evidence required to answer this question.

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