Construction of Meaning & Structure in a Text

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This Resource is for students studying the Victorian VCE Curriculum.  For Year 11 and 12 Mainstream English students studying AOS1 Reading and Creating Texts as well as Reading and Comparing Texts it is important to write in your essays how the author constructs meaning and structure in a text.

HOW the Author Constructs Meaning and Structure in a Text

When reading texts to construct meaning, readers increase their understanding by recognising the craftsmanship of the writing and the choices the author made to portray the topic in a certain way.  Readers go beyond the literal [factual] meaning of the words to find significant and unstated meanings and authors rely on their reader’s ability to do so.  The reader’s mind then pieces together evidence to make sense of the text as a whole.

Essentially the reader needs to find out in the texts how the author:

  1. Sees something: their views ie. his/her opinion, perspective, way of thinking, impression or observation.
  2. Thinks about something: their values ie. his/her principles, morals, ethics or standards.
  3. Ways the author uses to construct the text:
  •      Type of text
  •      Setting
  •      Style of writing & language
  •      Narrative structure & plot
  •      Social/historical context
  •      Characters & their relationships
  •      Themes/issues/values
  •      Symbolism & imagery

WHY the author writes his text is his Purpose or Agenda

Depending on the purpose, authors may choose all different sorts of writing formats, genres and vernacular [language].  There are 3 main categories of author’s purpose:

  1. To Persuade = the author’s goal is to convince the reader to agree with the author.
  2. To Inform = the author’s goal is to enlighten the reader about real world topics and provide facts on those topics.
  3. To Entertain = authors write to entertain with a goal of telling a story.

Also consider the Big Picture behind Why the author wrote his/her story.

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