SHORT TEXT ESSAYS HOW??
In short texts essays, you need to write about ideas from both stories/poems, then show some sort of comparison of the two. • It is important to show the idea through techniques that the author has used. So one thing you need to do is make a note of specific language techniques used in the story/poem you’re looking at. Go through and underline (in pencil!):
similes • metaphors • alliteration • parallel structure • minor sentences • adjectives • listing • personification • onomatopoeia • hyperbole • circularity • accent/dialect • colloquialism • dialogue • imperatives
These are just a few language techniques often used in short texts. Why do we bother? • Take this question: Describe at least one idea in TWO short texts that you have read. How do the authors show that the idea is important? • You answer the question of HOW by showing techniques.
Take the idea of appearance vs reality. In the two short texts The Beginning of the Tournament and It Used to be Green Once, what techniques are used to show the idea of appearance vs reality? • The idea of appearance vs reality is shown in the story The Beginning of the Tournament by the narrator tricking his friend, Jerry, into playing in the hockey tournament by telling him he had a good-looking sister. The author used descriptive language such as adjectives to describe his sister. Find an example of this and write down the quote. Explain how this helps us to understand the idea of appearance vs reality. This is called TEE – technique, example, explanation/effect. • Now, try and find another language technique that shows this idea.
Your Turn • Here’s a sort of template you can use. It is a very basic one and you can adapt or expand it as you like. BUT – it has the structure you need in order to answer ALL PARTS OF THE QUESTION. • Introduction: In the short stories It Used to be Green Once by Patricia Grace and The Beginning of the Tournament by WitiIhimaera and important _____________ is ________________________. The authors show this through the techniques of ______________, _________________ and _______________.
Context Paragraph • This is a SHORT paragraph (no more than two or three sentences) to give a little background to each text. This can stop you doing a plot description later on. For example: • It Used to be Green Once is the story of a large family of fourteen children growing up in a small town in 1950s New Zealand. The Beginning of the Tournament tells the story of a young Maori university student returning to his home town for a very unique hockey tournament.
First and second body paragraphs • ___________________ is used in the story It Used to be Green Once when ________________________________(this is describing the idea/setting/theme, character, etc.) One way in which this is shown is through the technique of ________, when the narrator says “(insert appropriate quote)”. The effect of this is to _______________________________.
Third Paragraph • This paragraph compares the two texts. The comparison paragraph can go here or earlier but you should show SOME comparison between the texts, related to the question. For example, in both texts, the setting/idea/characters are ________________ but the difference is that _____________________. This has the effect of _______________________.
Conclusion • Therefore, in the two texts It Used to be Green Once and The Beginning of the Tournament, the (idea/setting/character etc) of ____________ is shown by _______________.