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12 English Advanced Modules EXPLAINED

When it comes to the syllabus, it’s helpful to know thy enemy. While it may look like a bunch of teacher-speak (and indeed some of it is), there are valuable sentences which reveal precisely what teachers want from your essay and are essential for understanding the differences between each HSC English module. If you’re looking to reach those Band 5 and 6 marks, you must know the syllabus modules from back to front. In this article, we’ll pull away from the bull and highlight the important sections of each module.

Year 12 Common Module – Texts and Human Experiences

The Common Module is the section ALL students must

complete. The key phrase of the Common Module is human experiences. In our essays, we need to show how texts represent “human qualities and emotions”. For example, how does the glass paperweight in 1984 illustrate Winston’s experience of escapism?

The Common Module also informs you of what type of arguments you should make, such as

“inviting the responder to see the world differently, challenge assumptions, ignite new ideas or reflect personally.”

When you write your topic sentences, ensure they hit one of these four key objectives, ideally more than one!

The Common Module has the broadest scope. In short, teachers want you to show how texts “shape meaning” through macro and micro-techniques.

Module A: Textual Conversations

The key phrase of Module A is comparative study. Your Textual Conversations essay should show how you can learn more from two texts by reading them together rather than apart. Your paper should “reveal resonances and dissonances

between and within texts”. Where are they similar? Where do they differ?

Another essential aspect of Module A of English Advanced is wider reading. It’s necessary to include the author’s “personal, social, cultural and historical contextual knowledge” to show how meaning was shaped.

Module B: Critical Study of Literature

The critical phrase of Module B is textual significance. Module B can be thought of as the historical module. Why are old dusty books written in strange language still relevant to us in 2022? When we craft an essay directly answering this question and develop our own “rich interpretation of the text”, we are on our way to Band 5 and 6 marks. We do this by “evaluating notions of context” by showing the historical age the text was written through outside readings and “a close analysis of the text’s construction, content and language.

Module C: The Craft of Writing

The critical phrase of Module C is, well, The Craft of Writing! It is the most straightforward module to understand but the hardest to execute. Teachers want you to “convey ide

as and emotions with power and precision.” More simply, they want a polished emotional story through drafting and rewriting.

There is often a reflection section for the prescribed works in Module C. The task here is relatively simple. Together with your creative piece, show how writers use language to “express insights, evoke emotion, describe the wonder of the natural world, shape a perspective or share an aesthetic vision.” Each sentence you write in Module C should hit one of these five objectives.

We hope that this plain-English introduction to the syllabus helps you understand the

objective of each essay. However, the syllabus cannot be tackled in a single blog

post. We recommend a personalised tutor to help improve your understanding of the

document. If you’re interested, call Atomic Plus Tuition at 0401 455 665 or email us


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