Year 12 Standard Module C: The Craft of Writing

In Part 3 of Year 12 English Standard Study Guide, we discuss the purpose of Module C: The Craft of Writing. We explain how to address the NESA rubric objectives and explore the types of assessments you may face throughout the year.

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Still feeling rusty about Module C: The Craft of Writing? Don’t worry! In this article, we will break down Module C to understand what it requires you to do and be prepared for the different assessments you might come across.

Read this article to learn how to become a better writer and communicator and ace Module C: The Craft of Writing.

 

Year 12 English Standard Module C: The Craft of Writing

In this article, we’ll discuss:

 

The craft of what?

One of the most difficult parts of Year 11 and 12 English Standard is writing more skillfully. Writing essays is an important skill that you need to do well in the HSC English Standard exams.

However, if you want to become a well-rounded communicator, you need to know how to write other forms as well. These include imaginative, discursive, persuasive, and informative.

“Module C is designed to make you a better writer.”

So, in Module C, you will look at different writing forms and genres. This includes fiction, non-fiction and a variety of prose forms.

However, a key distinguishing factor between Module C and other Modules is that you are examining a text’s construction, not how it explores themes and ideas.

In NESA’s support documentation, they say that students will have the opportunities to “imitate specific aspects of writing – narrative, character, point of view, argument, figurative language, genre, perspective and style”. This means that Module C aims to help you write your own texts by deconstructing, analysing, and imitating other people’s texts.

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What can I learn by imitating others?

Module C is designed to help you become a better writer. It guides you through writing in both non-fiction and fiction, persuasive and discursive.

Remember, writing is a skill. This means that you need to continually study and practise writing to improve.

You become better a better writer by finding inspiration from other writers and their texts. This is why you need to use model texts to guide your own development as a writer.

Writing is just like practising a musical instrument. When you’re starting out, you learn your scales and learn how to play the instrument. However, as your skills develop, you start playing music that is written by other artists.

This helps you develop their skills and learn music, but it is also a way you to learn different musical techniques and ideas to put in your own compositions.

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This learning process is also used in High School English. During your Junior Years, you learn how to analyse texts and understand grammar and usage. When you go into your senior year, you begin to apply these analysis skills and discuss your perspectives about the text’s themes and ideas. This side of English is like learning the basics of an instrument and reading music.

The other side of the journey is producing your own compositions. In High School English, you also need to write about what you’ve learned. This can be textual analysis or a creative piece. However, students often become confused at this step and don’t actively learn how to write by imitating others.

Module C: The Craft of Writing is designed to make this aspect of English Standard – that is, developing as a writer and becoming more confident about creating compositions – clear to you.

 

Isn’t copying plagiarism?

Copy another person’s work in its entirety is plagiarism. If you re-wrote the plot, characters and stylistic features of someone’s else work that is plagiarism. This is not what Module C is asking you to do.

Instead, Module C, requires you to take inspiration from other text’s stylistic and structural features and incorporate it into your own writing.

You write your own characters and perspectives, whilst investigating and drawing inspiration from other composer’s plots and characters.

 

 

Want to develop your Craft?

Matrix will help you refine your Mod C writing skills and learn how to wow your readers. Our Matrix teachers are already ready to give you detailed feedback and answers. Learn more about Matrix English Courses now.


 

 

How will I study Module C: The Craft of Writing?

Remember, The Craft of Writing is quite different from the other Modules. Instead of analysing a text for its meaning, you are analysing a text to learn how to compose your own writing.

Also, Module C can be studied alongside other Modules. This means that you might not have a whole term allocated for Module C. Instead, you might study it concurrently with another text.

Similarly, the assessment for Module C tested concurrently with other Modules (we’ll explain this further in a little while).

 

 

To ace The Craft of Writing, you need to understand what its Module Rubric requires

The Module Rubric lists out all the learning requirements and expectations. To succeed in Module C, you need to be able to address these rubric expectations.

Let’s see what they are.

In this module, students strengthen and extend their knowledge, skills and confidence as writers. They write for a range of authentic audiences and purposes to convey ideas with power and increasing precision.

Students appreciate, examine and analyse at least two challenging short prescribed texts as well as texts from their own wide reading, as models and stimulus for the development of their own ideas and written expression. They examine how writers of complex texts use language creatively and imaginatively for a range of purposes, to describe the world around them, evoke emotion, shape a perspective or to share a vision.

Through the study of texts drawn from enduring, quality texts of the past as well as from recognised contemporary works, students appreciate, analyse and assess the importance and power of language. Through a considered appraisal of, and imaginative engagement with these texts, students reflect on the complex and recursive process of writing to further develop their ability to apply their knowledge of textual forms and features in their own sustained and cohesive compositions.

During the pre-writing stage, students generate and explore ideas through discussion and speculation. Throughout the stages of drafting and revising, students experiment with a range of language forms and features, for example imagery, rhetoric, voice, characterisation, point of view, dialogue and tone. Students consider purpose and audience to carefully shape meaning. During the editing stages students apply the conventions of syntax, spelling, punctuation and grammar appropriately and effectively for publication.

Students have opportunities to work independently and collaboratively to reflect, refine and strengthen their own skills in producing crafted, imaginative, discursive, persuasive and informative texts.

Note: Students may revisit prescribed texts from other modules to enhance their experiences of quality writing.

Source: Module C Rubric from the NESA website

To be honest, this is a little difficult to understand, isn’t it? That’s okay, most people struggle to understand what these documents mean.

 

Unpacking the Module C: Craft of Writing Rubric

To ace Module C, you need to understand what it requires you to do. To help you do this, we’ve broken the Module C Rubric down into 10 rubric statements.

Now, let’s look at these statements and discuss them in clear English to get a better understanding of what you need to do.

 

 

Rubric Statement #1

“In this module, students strengthen and extend their knowledge, skills and confidence as  writers.”

Analysis of Rubric Statement #1

This Module is designed to build your writing confidence. The Rubric aims to do this by encouraging you to read other composer’s works to gain inspiration and imitate their stylistic forms, features, structures and techniques. This will help you become a better writer.

 

 

Rubric Statement #2

“Students write for a range of audiences and purposes using language to convey ideas and emotions with power and increasing precision.”

Analysis of Rubric Statement #2

Module C requires you to use different writing approaches to confidently write in multiple forms and modes. This is because different forms and modes will have different purposes and audiences.

The “purpose” of writing refers to your final goal: what do you want to achieve? Do you want to send a message, criticise ideas, or persuade the audience? Each one of these purposes will require a different form or structure.

Also, your target audience will affect how you write. For example, if you’re writing fiction for a YA (Young Adult) audience you’re not going to sell a lot of books if you borrow the stylistic complexity of Virginia Woolf and Ezra Pound. Similarly, if you have to write an academic essay, you don’t want to adopt the style of a newspaper editorial.

This Module requires you to learn how to compose in a variety of forms and choose those forms and features according to your purpose and audience.

 

 

Rubric Statement #3

“Students appreciate, examine and analyse at least two challenging short prescribed texts as well as texts from their own wide reading, as models and stimulus for the development of their own ideas and written expression.”

Analysis of Rubric Statement #3

Module C: The Craft of Writing teaches you how to write by having you analyse and imitate model texts.

You will be given two texts to analyse and imitate from the list of prescriptions (that can be found out the bottom of this page). It can be an essay, speech, poem, short story or novella.

Additionally, you need to read widely on your own. Reading a variety of texts will help you develop your ideas and also expose you to a wide variety of styles, structures, and techniques.

 

 

Rubric Statement #4

“They evaluate how writers use language creatively and imaginatively for a range of purposes, to describe the world around them, evoke emotion, shape a perspective or to share a vision.”

Analysis of Rubric Statement #4

This rubric statement is the heart of Module C. In simple terms, you are expected to evaluate how well the composer represents different ideas in their text.

This means that you need to analyse how composers used language, style and form in their texts and determine whether or not it is effective.

In their texts, composers share:

  • Insights into issues or present ideas
  • Represent or provoke emotion and emotional responses
  • Describe nature and their perspectives on nature
  • Present a perspective or ideology
  • Share a particular artistic belief or practice (for example, they may use form to present their artistic vision, or they may write about particular aesthetic styles and ideas).

Finally, remember, writing is an art form… and art is beautiful! You will see texts represent horrible events and ideas in beautiful ways (See the poetry of Sylvia Plath). So, you should reflect on this and determine how it influences the writing process.

 

 

Rubric Statement #5

“Through the study of texts drawn from enduring, quality texts of the past as well as from recognised contemporary works, students appreciate, analyse and assess the importance and power of language.”

Analysis of Rubric Statement #5

Module C includes both contemporary and classic texts in their prescribed text list. It’s important that you examine texts from different periods so you understand how different parts of English writing change or stay constant: language, structure, form etc.

The more you understand how texts work, the more you will understand how language functions and how texts present different ideas and values. This means that you can apply their techniques and structures in your own writing.

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Rubric Statement #6

“Through a considered appraisal of, and imaginative engagement with these texts, students reflect on the complex and recursive process of writing to further develop their ability to apply their knowledge of textual forms and features in their own sustained and cohesive compositions.”

Analysis of Rubric Statement #6

Writers don’t just sit down and write a best-selling book in one go… that’s impossible! Instead, they plan, draft, redraft, edit, receive feedback, edit some more… until they create something that is powerful and well-crafted.

This process of composition is iterative and recursive.

So, you need to:

  1. Plan your writing
  2. Produce a first draft with the knowledge that it will likely be poor
  3. Review your first draft and develop its strong aspects and discard its weak aspects
  4. Redraft your first draft into a second draft
  5. Repeat the process.

Similarly, writers develop by learning from the works that others have produced. Often their ideas and styles come from reading and engaging with other writers and their works.

  • JK Rowling’s Harry Potter saga was inspired by Arthurian Legends
  • Neil Gaiman, the author of American Gods, began by writing fan-fiction
  • Meg Cabot who wrote The Princess Diaries began by writing Star Wars fan-fiction

The process of writing fan-fiction is very similar to what you are doing in Module C. In fact, you need to engage in some fan-fiction writing yourself.

An imaginative engagement with a text is like fan-fiction. You might write a new scene in a text, explore something from another character’s perspective, or write a newspaper article about an event in a text.

 

Rubric Statement #7

“During the pre-writing stage, students generate and explore ideas through discussion and speculation.”

Analysis of Rubric Statement #7

You need to have a structured process when writing.

Most often, planning and exploring ideas is the first stage of your writing process.

In this stage, you need to discuss and share ideas with your teachers and peers and determine what form and structure you want to use.

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Rubric Statement #8

“Throughout the stages of drafting and revising students experiment with a range of language forms and features, for example imagery, rhetoric, voice, characterisation, point of view, dialogue and tone. Students consider purpose and audience to carefully shape meaning.”

Analysis of Rubric Statement #8

Writing is a process of experimentation. Every time you draft and edit, you need to see what works and what doesn’t.

Try something new! Play around with different structures, techniques and forms.

Additionally, you need to determine your goals when writing. This is because you need to make conscious and planned decisions about the specific forms, structures and ideas based on your goals. For example, you may be convincing someone to side with your argument, or creating a fantasy world. These two different forms will require different types of writing.

So, continue to draft, revise and re-draft to ensure that your writing serves your purpose. Remember, Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemmingway consistently revised their published work between editions.

 

 

Rubric Statement #9

“During the editing stages students apply the conventions of syntax, spelling, punctuation and grammar appropriately and effectively for publication.”

Analysis of Rubric Statement #9

Editing for style and technique is not enough, you also need to edit for spelling and grammar.

Pretend that you’re an editor for a publishing company.

Proofread your work carefully, and check for any major and minor errors and then correct them.

 

Rubric Statement #10

“Students have opportunities to work independently and collaboratively to reflect, refine and strengthen their own skills in producing highly crafted imaginative, discursive, persuasive and informative texts.”

Analysis of Rubric Statement #10

In Module C, you will be writing your own text. However, you will also work with your peers to help you develop and refine your ideas.

When you work in a group, you will gain feedback and be exposed to other people’s ideas. So, use this experience to develop, revise, and improve your own work.

The different types of texts you will need to produce are:

  • Imaginative: This refers to creative texts. Creative texts can be forms including and short stories, poems, but also recreations or explorations of existing texts.
  • Discursive: Discursive texts are wide-ranging pieces of writing that explore a topic from various perspectives. For example, an essay exploring an idea from several positions.
  • Persuasive: This is a text that seeks to convince somebody of a particular idea or position. For example, a speech convincing somebody of a particular belief.
  • Informative: These are texts that seek to inform, rather than explore or persuade. For example, think of how travel or popular science writing seeks to educate a readership.
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What Texts will I Study For Module C?

The Craft of Writing differs significantly from other Modules in the number and manner that students engage with texts.

You will be given two set texts that are chosen by your teacher. These are your model texts. This means that you need to examine their stylistic, structural, and other linguistic features of these texts and then, model your own writing off them.

 

The texts you will study are:

Text TypeAuthor and Text Title
Prose Fiction
  • Bradbury, Ray, ‘The Pedestrian
  • Carey, Peter, ‘Report on the Shadow Industry’
  • Cole, Catherine, ‘Home’
  • King, Stephen, ‘Crouch End’
  • Lucashenko, Melissa, ‘Dreamers’
Nonfiction
Speeches
poetry or Performance Poetry (PP)
Source: NESA English Stage 6 Prescriptions 2019-2023

 

 

How will I be assessed for Module C?

Module C is assessed in different ways from different schools. Your Module C mark will always make up 25% of your English Standard marks. However, Module C can be assessed on its own, or concurrently with another Module.

This means that one assessment task might test your Module A and Module C knowledge and skills.

Additionally, you will have a question on Module C for your HSC, and most likely, your HSC Trial Exams.

Let’s break this down further:

School assessments for Module C: The Craft of Writing

Let’s look at the rules for Year 12 School Assessments and what this means or Module C: The Craft of Writing:

  • School assessments for Module C must total 25%.
  • Module C: The Craft of Writing can be studied and assessed concurrently with other Modules.
  • Year 12 assessments are limited to one formal examination throughout the year prior to the HSC that can have a maximum value of 30%. This formal examination will likely be the HSC Trial Exam.
    • The HSC Trial exam will include a Module C question.
  • Assessments for The Craft of Writing can be part of assessments for other Modules.

These rules mean that schools have a variety of options for assessing this Module.

 

1. You will have a single assessment for Module C.

This one assessment task that asks you to write in one or more (Persuasive, Discursive, Imaginative, etc.) modes and may have multiple components.

The sample task of this option from NESA is as follows:

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In this task, students need to write two things:

  • An imaginative piece that adapts the stimulus (500 words)
  • A reflective statement about the poem (250 words)

This task is worth the full 25% and students won’t encounter anything pertaining to Module C in their HSC Trials.

 

2. You have two assessments for Module C.

You have a specific Module C task where you are required to write a piece (or pieces) in a specific mode (20% of mark). You then have a section in the HSC Trial Exam for Module C (5% of mark).

 

3. You have multiple assessments for Module C throughout the year concurrently with other Modules.

This is a little more complex. You will have various tasks and they will be part of assessments that have several components – for example, a speech and reflection.

 

 

Consider the following Sample Assessment Schedule created by NESA.

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In this schedule of assessments, you would have an assessment task in your HSC Trial Exam that’s worth 5%. The remaining marks would come from assessments for Modules A and B, each worth 10%.

It’s not clear what each of these assessments might require of you in terms of composing in different modes. However, it is quite possible that each task could require you to write in several of the different modes – imaginative, discursive, persuasive, and informative.

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What will I be asked to do in the HSC Exam?

During the HSC exam, and possibly your HSC Trial Exam, you will have one question for Module C worth 20 marks. This question could take a variety of forms and have multiple parts.

NESA has produced a Sample English Standard HSC Paper 2. It only provides a range of potential questions, but is useful to illustrate the variety of tasks you might face. Let’s take a look:

Example 1 (20 marks):

Image from Brittany Kulick:

(a) Create a piece of imaginative, discursive or persuasive writing that ENDS with the provided image. (12 marks)

(b) Explain how your study of the craft of writing has enabled you to create an engaging piece of writing. In your response, make detailed reference to your use of language in part (a). (8 marks)

This sample question comes in two parts. In Part 1, you have a choice in writing an imaginative, discursive or persuasive writing. Attempt to select the form that you are most comfortable with and will be best for the stimulus. Remember, this part is worth more than Part 2, so spend a little more time on this part.

In Part 2, you need to reflect on your writing in Part 1. They ask you to make direct references to your previous response. So, in simple terms, you need to explain why you chose to write things the way you did, and how studying Module C helped you write better.

 

 

Can I memorise responses for these types of HSC questions?

No. It is crucial that you don’t memorise essays for your exams. Wh? Well, unless you’re a psychic, you cannot predict what the HSC question will be.

And… if you don’t answer the question properly, you will not be awarded marks.

Instead, you need to consistently practise writing in a variety of different modes and forms throughout the year. Remember to take note of different stylistic features and structures you may come across in all of your texts, so you can be prepared to imitate them in your writing.

 

Want to develop your Craft?

Join Matrix Standard English courses to refine your craft of writing now! Our expert HSC teachers will be there to guide you every step of the way and provide actionable and useful feedback. Learn more about Year 12 Standard English Courses now. 

 

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