In preparing for studying text in VCE English, remember that one of the criteria for outcome and exam responses will be a demonstration of close reading of text.
FIRST READING AS HOLIDAY PREPARATION
Read all texts during the summer holidays – at least once. If you have a Shakespeare play, you may wish to search YouTube for a decent performance to help with understanding Shakespearean language. Although in old black & white movies, Orson Welles has provided wonderful interpretations of some plays.
Write a paragraph or two in response to each text. You may make a summary of the storyline, comments on characters or themes or have questions or observations about the text. Alternatively you could write a reflective piece about your summer reading (A4 page). Perhaps bear in mind the Context you will be studying.
SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT READINGS
Use colour coded sticky notes to tag pages with significant events, turning points, character development, theme development, symbol & other language use.
You can also tag along the horizontal top of the text for one area (Eg. theme & symbol) and the vertical right side for another (Eg. characterisation/character development/relationship/turning points).
UNDERLINE, HIGHLIGHT & ANNOTATE:
Use pencil initially to underline significant lines & make annotations in margins.
Begin to cross reference pages: Eg. dialogue later shown to be untrue or ironic.
TABULATION OF CHARACTERISATION:
Develop a grid in Word or Excel in which you tabulate symbols, relationships, key quotes, page numbers etc related to particular characters. Ask to see an example.
Begin with dot point summaries about 1. Characters & 2. Plot events.
Work toward writing insightful paragraph summaries for each.
Wishing you enjoyable and insightful reading,