How to Write a Mod C Text During Exam Conditions

How to Write a Mod C text during exam conditions

In the Advanced English syllabus, we are required to write an original piece in response to a syllabus under exam conditions. It can often be stressful to come up with something in around 40 minutes and often write a reflection so let’s go through the best tips and tricks.

As mentioned earlier, it is often required for you to attach a reflection to your piece of writing, and we already have a blog post dedicated to that so you can check that link out if you want to write a killer reflection. Now for the actual creative writing.

Let’s take the 2020 HSC Module C question as a guideline:

Compose a piece of imaginative writing that begins with the words: 
Some things are
unknowable. A person’s secrets may be revealed by the things they leave behind; but what are they, those supposedly uncovered secrets? They are words, ideas . . . Dry and dead as dust.

1)Dissect what text type the question is allowing us to write in (highlighted in yellow)

Immediately, we know it is asking us to write a narrative because it says that this question requires an imaginative. That means you need to immediately link your writing to the narrative arc:

  1. Orientation- setting up the scene and characters whilst establishing context
  2. Complication- where the action takes place and the majority of your writing should be centred around the complication
  3. Resolution- issues identified in the complication should be rectified and question that may have been brought up are answered. You can leave a cliff hanger but that can only occur if you answer questions from the complication and a new suspenseful question is created. 

2) Taking Keywords from the question (highlighted in green)

We must understand the overall mood that should be established in our piece of writing and try replicate this mood or tone within our writing.

We know, from the extract that is supposedly the start of our story, that this story will have  mysterious and suspenseful tone as the motif is secrets and the unknown. Instantly, we should know that our writing will be relatively solemn especially since the last line has the words “dry and dead as dust”. This gives an eerie edge to our writing that looks at the unknown which is furthered by rhetorical questions of “what are they?”. 

This piece of writing can almost be treated as a journey of self-discovery and how the protagonist is navigating against their personal world, whether through a physical or psychological journey to uncover secrets. That being said, the story cannot just be created in someone’s head as that will not give enough freedom of interpretation to the marker, so action is inevitable but internal dialogue can be a great technique used. 

3) Refer to core texts

The last, and most important thing is to refer back to the texts you have studied. In Module C, it is not only important to create something originally but show that you have learnt and reflected through what you have studied at school.

Think back to most unique techniques and styles of the core texts you have studied and how that can be mirrored in your writing. Is it the excessive use of dialogue? Is it stream of conscious or the heavy use of personal anecdotes? These stylistic techniques should be used in your writing and that will give you content for your reflection to show why your original text, not only answers the stimulus but takes into account what you have learnt at school.

Structure is just as important so think about the perspective of your writing and whether it is linear, a diptych or has flashbacks. 

That’s it for this blog post and I hope you found this helpful!

Make sure to check out our other writing tips and cheat sheets and all the best for your exams 🙂

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