Parts of Speech Table

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Parts of Speech Table

For a quick Grammar Ready Reference, please see a summary of the 8 Parts of Speech Table below:-

Part of Speech Function or “job” Example Words Example Sentences
Verb action   or state (to)   be, have, do, like, work, sing, can, must Englishtutorlessons.com.au   is a great web site. I like this site.
Noun thing   or person pen,   dog, work, music, town, London, teacher, John This   is my dog. He lives in my house. We live in London.
Adjective describes   a noun a/an,   the, 69, some, good, big, red, well, interesting My   dog is big. I like big dogs.
Adverb describes   a verb, adjective or adverb quickly,   silently, well, badly, very, really My   dog eats quickly. When he is very hungry, he eats really   quickly.
Pronoun replaces   a noun I,   you, he, she, some Tara   is Indian. She is beautiful.
Preposition links   a noun to another word to,   at, after, on, but We   went to school on Monday.
Conjunction joins   clauses or sentences or words and,   but, when I   like dogs and I like cats. I like cats and dogs. I like dogs but   I don’t like cats.
Interjection short   exclamation, sometimes inserted into a sentence oh!,   ouch!, hi!, well Ouch! That hurts! Hi! How are   you? Well, I don’t know.

 

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

Identity and Belonging Theme

Identity and Belonging

Identity and Belonging was part of the old VCE Context curriculum and is NOT included in the 2017 English curriculum from 2017 onwards.  Please use this information on Identity and Belonging as a theme only.

The Main Issues around the Theme of Identity and Belonging are:

  • Nature or nurture – what makes us who we are?
  • Defining ourselves through others – the paradox of belonging
  • The cost of belonging – sacrificing the self
  • Challenging and developing our identity – our identity develops as we grow and change
  • Choosing not to belong –being an outsider in mainstream society can be difficult

Here are my Essay Ideas for Identity and Belonging

Nature or Nurture

Ideas for an essay

Style and Purpose  =          persuasive essay / hybrid imaginative

Form                       =          deliver a speech at the wedding of your brother

Audience                =           guests at the wedding

Language               =           personal tone, descriptive, simple sentences, some humour

Explains speech

Tell the guests about the relationship you share with your brother, what it means to you, what you have learned from your brother and the impact they have on the family.

Defining ourselves through others

Ideas for an essay

Style and Purpose       =       imaginative writing

Form                           =        personal letter of refugee in Australia

Audience                     =        relative back in home country of refugee

Language                   =         personal tone, descriptive words used by family members

Explains letter

Write to an aunty left behind in the homeland about feelings of estrangement and alienation that came from being uprooted and transplanted on foreign soil.  The perilous journey to get to Australia.  Missing the sense of tradition and extended family. Remaining connected to the land and place where they once belonged.

The cost of belonging – sacrificing the self

Ideas for an essay 

Style and Purpose     =         imaginative / reflective piece

Form                           =         reflective piece in a diary entry

Audience                    =         only the author of the diary

Language                   =         personal tone, first person, anecdotes, unspoken feelings

Explains reflective

Masking the true self in order to belong.  Using a stream of unconscious and unspoken feelings never told to the family before.  Pain at having to disguise true feelings so that the family group would not disapprove.  Not wanting to go to university to study medicine like all the other family members.  Having to be always the ‘good’ child but afraid of disappointing parents.  Wanting another career totally different from parent’s expectations.

Some Other Ideas for you to Consider Writing Essays / Expository or Imaginative:

  • Stolen generation children now adults loss of both identity and belonging in society.  Not accepted as white or black and unable to relate to either groups.
  • Being homosexual in mainstream society / multi-cultural society and coming out
  • Realising you are trans-gender as a child or adult born in the wrong body
  • Unemployed youth who are struggling to find employment and they feel that they lack a purpose and a sense of belonging
  • Being subjected to racist principles that are “skin-deep”.  Your feelings when white people cannot see beyond superficial aspects such as your colour or appearance.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on how to answer a prompt.  However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

 

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a Worthy Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1961

It does not matter how many times I teach To Kill a Mockingbird to Year 10 English students, I find a deeper understanding of Harper Lee’s beautiful novel each time I read it.  What’s not to love about this amazing novel?  It’s a story about a man wrongly accused of rape and a lawyer who confronts racial prejudice to defend him in a small Alabama town riddled with the poverty and racial tensions of the American South in 1935.  Yet when you look deeper it also chronicles the journey of its characters to do what is right, no matter what humiliation or consequences plagued them.

The Moral Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird

By observing her father, Scout gradually discovers that moral courage is both more complicated and more difficult to enact than the physical courage most familiar and understandable to children.  To Kill a Mockingbird reveals the heroic nature of acting with moral courage when adhering to social mores would be far less dangerous.  At a time in the South when it was outrageous and practically unthinkable for a white person to look at the world from a minority’s perspective, Harper Lee has Atticus explain to Scout: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”.  For Atticus Finch, climbing into someone’s skin and walking around in it represents true courage.  This would have to be my all time favourite quote.

 Focus on the Trial of Tom Robinson

The novel focuses on the Finch family over the course of two years, lawyer and father Atticus Finch; his ten-year-old son, Jem; and his six-year-old daughter, Scout (whose real name is Jean Louise).  Scout serves as the narrator of the book.  Her narration is based on her memories of the events leading up to, during, and after her father’s defence of a black man, Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell.  Through Scout’s inexperienced eyes (she is only eight at the conclusion of the novel), the reader encounters a world where people are judged by their race, inherited ideas of right and wrong dominate, and justice does not always prevail.  However, by observing Atticus Finch’s responses to the threats and gibes of the anti-Tom Robinson faction and his sensitive treatment towards Tom Robinson and his family and friends, the reader, again through Scout’s eyes, discovers what it means to behave morally.  In fact, do the right thing in the face of tremendous social pressure.

 What I Love About To Kill a Mockingbird is the Other Side to Scout

To Kill a Mockingbird also chronicles the journey of a girl who challenges gender stereotypes in her determination to remain a tomboy.  Harper Lee clearly explores Scout’s unconventional female characteristics.  Aunt Alexandra tells Scout Finch to act like a lady and wear a dress so she can “be a ray of sunshine in [her] father’s lonely life.”  Scout does not respond positively: she retorts that she can “be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well”.

In fact, Scout does not respond positively to anything feminine, preferring reading instead of sewing, playing outside instead of inside, and the nickname “Scout” to the girlish “Jean Louise.”

On the other hand, the culture that Harper Lee depicts does not respond positively to Scout’s tomboyish inclinations.  Scout lives in Maycomb, Alabama, a rural Southern town, during the Great Depression.  In this setting, society dictates strict gender stereotypes, and people rarely cross the barrier between masculinity and femininity.  Maycomb is a place where “[l]adies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum”. Scout, however, refuses to be a “soft teacake.”

Through her actions, Scout demonstrates a flexible view of gender.  Scout is not born with an innate predisposition to be a tomboy; rather her behaviours define her as a tomboy.  As she consistently repeats unconventional behaviours, she presents her own conception of what gender means.  Harper Lee depicts gender as a standard that alters according to each individual.

Gender Bending During WWII

The twentieth century brought a shift in attitudes towards tomboys.  During the years in which Harper Lee grew up and wrote her novel, America advocated the home as a woman’s domain.  During WWII views changed as women entered the workforce assuming positions previously considered to be masculine.  Michelle Ann Abate in Tomboys: A Literary and Cultural History. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 2008 (p.146) refers to Rosie the Riveter as an icon of “tomboyish toughness”.  However, society’s high regard for gender-bending females was temporary, when the war ended, women once again returned to their homes (Abate p.150).

To Kill a Mockingbird also Reflects this Ambivalence Concerning Gender-bending Females

The novel contains characters who both support and disapprove of Scout’s tomboyism.  For instance, Aunt Alexandra wants Scout to wear a dress, while Atticus allows her to wear overalls.  Moreover, other characters paradoxically condemn feminine mannerisms while simultaneously expecting them.  Scout’s brother Jem, for instance, frequently teases her for being a girl, but he also commands, “It’s time you started bein’ a girl and acting right!”.

Scout Stays Resolute

Even though she endures these conflicting principles, Scout stays resolute.  For example, when Jem criticizes her “girlish” fear of the Radley house, she shows masculine bravery and joins him in sneaking into the Radley yard.  On the other hand, when he suggests she “take up sewin’ or something,” Scout replies, “Hell no”.  Reflecting the twentieth-century’s hesitation over the changing roles of women, Jem has shifting expectations for Scout as a female.  Scout, however, remains steadfastly opposed to conventional femininity.

What’s not to love about this amazing book?  I can’t think of anything.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

A Brief Analysis of This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff

This Boy's Life : Bloomsbury Paperbacks Ser. - Tobias Wolff

Tobias Wolff is the Narrator and Protagonist of This Boy’s Life

In This Boy’s Life Tobias Wolff the author, is an adult reflecting back on his rough upbringing.  His narrator and protagonist Toby Wolff recounts his life with three abusive fathers and an impulsive mother.  At a young age Toby decides to call himself Jack which represents a type of alter ego he builds for himself as he invents ways to escape from the grim reality of the life the adults around him have constructed.  His life is filled with domestic violence, alcohol abuse, criminal activity, bullying and emotional neglect.

The Significance of one of the Quotes at the Beginning of the Book

Before we read the memoir This Boy’s Life, the author Tobias Wolff presents us with a quote from Oscar Wilde: “The first duty in life is to assume a pose.  What the second is, no one has yet discovered”.  It is clear from the beginning of the book the author has made the issue of identity and the struggle to attain a certain type of identity a major component in this memoir.

This Boy’s Life is a Story of Two Boys

As we read further into the book, the protagonist Toby Wolff struggles to find an identity by assuming various characteristics he thinks those around him will admire.  In fact This Boy’s Life is really the story about two boys, Toby and Jack.  Toby is an ‘A’ grade student, a boy deeply concerned about the world’s esteem, a loyal support to his mother, destined for Princeton like his brother Geoffrey.  Jack, on the other hand, is a liar, a thief and violent.  Both boys are versions of the same boy, a dreamer constantly searching for his identity, but never belonging to the world he craves.  His alter ego is “the splendid phantom who carries all [his] hopes” of fleeing the harsh environment of his horrific childhood.

Breaking Down an Essay Prompt on This Boy’s Life

Let’s look at breaking down an Essay Prompt on This Boy’s Life using the TEEL structure for Expository Essays.  We begin with a Draft Introduction that contains the Main Contention and Topic Sentences that will form our Body Paragraphs and finish with a Draft Conclusion.  Remember that the body paragraphs are not complete in this draft essay but are simply a starting point to build on for the rest of the essay.

Here’s the Prompt:

“We were ourselves again – restless, scheming, poised for flight” (p.221)  Explain what Toby means by the statement.

Draft Introduction

On the surface, This Boy’s Life seems bleak and pessimistic and the hardships faced by Jack and Rosemary certainly test their resilience.  Yet Jack and Rosemary are dreamers in constant search of changing their circumstances.  Rosemary confidently strives to better her situation and seeks change from a characteristic need to be unconventional.  Jack, however, is forced into an imaginary life to cope with a reality that is too grim to bear.  The quote appears late in “The Amen Corner” when Rosemary has landed a job in Seattle and a woman she knew has offered to put her up instead of renting.  This means Rosemary can leave her abusive marriage to Dwight and look forward to a future based on her capabilities.  For Jack he had just applied and won a scholarship to the elite Hill College, all based on a total fabrication of his talent and suitability to that life.  Together they are ready for a new life using their survival strategies to demonstrate a hope of eventual triumph over adversity.

Draft Body Paragraph 1

Topic Sentence = Jack and Rosemary are dreamers looking for a brighter future which bonds the two of them together.

Evidence = “I was caught up in my mother’s freedom, her delight in freedom, her dream of transformation”.

Explanation = Jack relates the powerful influence of his mother on his character.  Unfortunately, Rosemary’s unconventional search for freedom and fulfilment has had serious consequences for Jack.  Rosemary has moved through three abusive marriages and is not able to support Jack properly.  All her abusive husbands put Jack into vulnerable situations and none of them are responsible enough to stop Jack’s bad behaviour.

Draft Body Paragraph 2

Topic Sentence = Jack believes in his invented world to cope with a reality that is too grim to bear.

Evidence = “I believed that in some sense not factually verifiable I was a straight-A student”. In the same way Jack believed that he was “… an Eagle Scout, and powerful swimmer, and a boy of integrity”.

Explanation = Jack’s imagination helps him construct successful versions of himself which often verge on fantasy.  His application to the elite school Hill is an example of his belief in his fabrication of his true self.  The truth according to Jack was “… known only to me, but I believed it more than I believed the facts arrayed against it”.  Jack’s alter ego carries his hopes of fleeing his horrific childhood and of belonging to a world of stability, capability and convention.

Draft Body Paragraph 3

Topic Sentence = Both Rosemary and Jack are excited and alive at the prospect of change but the truth is both fraught with one disaster after another disaster with them always on the verge of “flight” from the bad situations they find themselves in.

Evidence = After three marriages Rosemary learns that staying away from Jack’s father was sensible not living with him “I’d be a fool if I did”.  Jack sees the Army provides his craved-for stability and regularity.  “It was good to find myself back in the clear life of uniforms and ranks and weapons”.

Explanation = Both Rosemary and Jack learn from their bitter experiences that the optimism and freshness of being “still half-created, being green in life” exacts a high price in terms of comfort, security and integrity.

Draft Conclusion

Although the prospect of change is a necessary aspect of the lives of Rosemary and Jack, its origins are steeped in negativity rather than any true creativity.  For both the need to act on bad circumstances becomes so familiar it fashions the ideas of their own identities.  Yet they continue as dreamers in a constant search of personal freedom and fulfilment.   Together they refuse to be defined by their circumstances despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

Language Analysis Essay Structure Using 3 Media Texts

What is the Language Analysis Essay Structure Using 3 Media Texts?

I am asked this question many times by students.  Firstly, you need to follow my 4 step process to analyse the 3 media texts (see link below). How do you actually structure the essay to include your persuasive language techniques and write about the effectiveness of the articles in persuading readers? (follow my essay structure below)

4 Main Steps to Analysing Persuasive Language

My Essay Structure Uses a Top-Down Process

My essay structure is based on a top-down process ie. following the 3 text articles from the top to bottom and analysing one after the other:-

  1. starting with analysing text 1 (which could be a cartoon)
  2. then analysing text 2 and comparing text 2 with text 1
  3. then analysing text 3 and comparing all texts 1, 2 & 3.

Language Analysis Essay Structure Using 3 Media Texts is a Logical Process

This language analysis essay structure using 3 media texts is a logical process.  My process does not jump around the 3 texts randomly picking out persuasive techniques.  It does logically analyse one text after the other, noting similarities or differences in the persuasive approach to each text.  It culminates in the Conclusion that sums up the overall effectiveness of the 3 articles in persuading / positioning the readers and how the persuasive techniques work best and why.

Remember that Language Analysis is about ‘analysing the arguments’ of the writers and NOT your opinion of the issue.

Note of Warning

If your school follows their own process of language analysis essay structure using 3 media texts for years 11 & 12 Language Analysis, then you must continue with the structure your own school English Teacher recommends.  If your school does not have a specific language analysis essay structure using 3 media texts, you are very welcome to use my structure.

The Sentence Numbers are Minimum Examples Only

The sentences numbers in the paragraphs are minimum examples only.  You may use more sentences in your language analysis essay.  It depends on how detailed the 3 media texts are.  Remember you only have 1 hour to write the essay in the VCE exam so be careful to keep the body paragraphs to the point because you may run out of time to complete the entire essay.

Based on 3 media texts, one of which could be a cartoon, then follow the structure below to write your Language Analysis Essay:-

Essay   Structure

Action

Media Text

Introduction[Total   Intro = around 8-10 sentences minimum]
  1.   Give a   brief background to the main overall issue [1 sentence].
  2.   Introduce the 3 media texts by stating the writer/cartoonist/photographer, the title   and the type (form) of each text, including publication details [1 sentence].
  3.   Briefly outline the perspective, main contention, tone, audience and main persuasive strategies of all three pieces [3-4   sentences].  Do not just list persuasive techniques.  Keep your detailed analysis of why the author has used those techniques for your body paragraphs.
  4.   Briefly compare the 3 pieces, especially if 2   texts are similar and 1 is different [3-4 sentences].
All three pieces
Body Paragraphs 1-2 Text Piece 1[Total   Paragraphs = 2]
  1.   Analyse Text   or Cartoon Piece 1 and how it uses language to persuade.
  2.   Explain the effect on the reader using examples and metalanguage.
  3.   Use linking words to transition smoothly to the next paragraph so the essay follows logically [furthermore, moreover, in addition, equally , likewise, similarly]
Text or   Cartoon**Piece 1   only[**depends   which one you start with]
Body Paragraphs 1-2 Text Piece 2[Total   Paragraphs = 2] 1.  Analyse Text 2 and how it uses language to persuade.2.  Explain the effect on the reader using examples and metalanguage.3.  Briefly note any similarities or differences in the persuasive  approach compared to text piece 1.3.  Use linking words to transition smoothly to   the next paragraph so the essay follows logically [furthermore, moreover, in   addition, equally , likewise, similarly] Text Piece 2 only Text Piece   2 & 1 Comparison
Body Paragraphs 1-2 Text Piece 3[Total   Paragraphs = 2] 1.  Analyse Text 3 and how it uses language to persuade.2.   2.  Explain the effect on   the reader using examples and metalanguage.3.  Briefly note any similarities or differences in the persuasive   approach compared to text pieces 2 & 1.3.  Use linking words to transition smoothly to   the next paragraph so the essay follows logically [furthermore, moreover, in   addition, equally , likewise, similarly] Text Piece 3 onlyText Piece 3, 2 & 1 Comparison
Conclusion[Total 10   sentences]TOTAL  ESSAY= Approx. Minimum 8 PARAGRAPHS Summarise the main similarities and differences between the ways in which language is used to persuade in the 3 media texts without repeating the same words used in the Introduction. Text Pieces 1, 2 &3

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on an essay prompt. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.