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Creating Texts — Prompts and Sample Approaches
     
   
     
   
     
 

Prompts

Coursework Tasks:

  • To be adequately prepared to the of the Unit 3 and Unit 4 SAC tasks, you should attempt to complete several pieces of writing in the persuasive, expository and imaginative styles on set prompts for specific audiences, purposes and contexts.

  • You are reminded that you are demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of the Context and all its related key concepts and how the set text relates to these concepts.

  • A written explanation of decisions about form, purpose, language, audience and context must accompany each text.

  • Choose from the following prompts.

  • Remember to carefully analyse the prompt ( see the Planning a Response section on this website for help).

  • Remember to carefully draw upon the set text(s) and ensure your use of the text is evident (avoid obscure or tenuous links).

  • Use the Planning a Response questions to plan your response and your written explanation.

    1.    ‘Our view of reality is never entirely in our own control.’

    2.    ‘The way people perceive reality is shaped by those around them.’

    3.    ‘We create our own versions of reality.’

    4.   ‘We do not always welcome those who seek to shape our reality.’
      
    5.    ‘What we are told dictates the way we perceive the world.’

    6.    ‘Losing touch with reality can often be dangerous.’

    7.    ‘In the modern world, it has been increasingly difficult to place trust in the concept of reality.’

    8.    ‘Misrepresenting reality can have serious consequences.’ 

    9.    ‘We create our reality, but we are never completely in control.’

10.  ‘If we told the truth about our lives, no one would want to listen’.

11.  ‘We can never tell a completely truthful story’.

12.  ‘The most powerful voice dictates the reality of others’.

13.  ‘Racism is a distorted reality’.

14.  ‘Human communication is curtailed by the stories we tell about others’.

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Sample Approaches (scenarios) for Different Forms and Purpsoes

In responding to your chosen prompts, you may find the following list of suggestions useful if you are stuck for ideas for creating texts for different purposes and forms.

In creating your responses, ensure you adopt the stylistic features and conventions of the text, and the "voice" of the character(s) - for example, their vocabulary, way of speaking — reflecting their personality.

Remember that the title for this area of study is “Creating and Presenting”; this should give you a clear idea about what you will be required to do — create different types of written texts.

Do not harbour the illusion that only imaginative styles lend themselves to creative forms such as stories, personal letters, diary entries, scripts, etc. So do persuasive and expository styles. It’s simply a matter of thinking through how you will construct your persuasive argument and expository texts. Any of the following suggestions below can lend themselves to persuasive, expository or imaginative texst.

General Scenarios

  1. You are a journalist working for a daily metropolitan newspaper. Write an anecdote to be included in a feature article that will explore how and why people perceive the same things differently. Your anecdote should refer to the characters in your text. Alternatively, create your own characters with the same personality, character traits, language and speech patterns as those from the set text(s).

  2. In a piece of writing for a short story anthology create a character who suffers from some sort of delusional illness. In creating your character, draw on the personality traits and like-experiences of one or more characters from your set text.

  3. As a companion piece to 2, write a 'convincing facsimile' of Doctor's report on a patient suffering from a delusional disorder just after admission to a mental institution.

  4. Write the transcript of a presentation your will deliver to a suitable forum about someone who suddenly finds themselves in a community that has completely different values and attitudes from the ones that he or she is used to. In creating your character, draw on the personality traits and experiences of one or more characters from your set text.

  5. Select a film/television adaptation of the set text and compare excerpts with the original text. Write a review of the adaptation for the education section of a daily newspaper.

  6. A quarterly magazine is running a competition for unpublished authors. The topic is 'Looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses'. You decide to enter the competition using this prompt as a way of exploring the ideas and issues in the Context 'Whose reality?' Write your entry.

  7. Write a human interest story for a monthly magazine about a person who changed people's perceptions about the value of something. In creating your character, draw on the personality traits and like-experiences of one or more characters from your set text.

  8. Write a review of one of the selected texts for this Context for a student newspaper. Introduce your readers to features of the text and make reference to the strategies that are used to explore ideas relevant to the prompt.

  9. Create a piece of writing for a suitable publication that explores an aspect of the Context where you present an exchange of ideas between two characters in the same, or different, texts that you have studied.

  10. Write a feature article for a daily metropolitan newspaper where you investigate the prompt in an expository or persuasive mode. To support your findings, draw on interviews you have conducted with the characters from the set text(s).

  11. Write two contrasting articles (with headlines) about the same issue designed to be published in a major metropolitan newspaper. Draw on like-issues from the set text(s).

  12. Write a short story, journal or diary entry of a time when a character realises that their perception of a situation, or an incident, is different from someone else's. (What are the differences? How does the character become aware of the differences? Does it matter that there are differences? What is the resolution?) In creating your character, draw on the personality traits and like-experiences of one or more characters from your set text(s).

  13. Write a passage of dialogue from the script of a television soap opera. You can include two to four characters but base these on like-characters from the set text(s).

  14. Review the text you have studied relating it to the ideas or arguments in the prompt.

  15. Write a story where two or more people go away from a single incident with very different versions of what happened. In creating your characters, draw on the personality traits and like-experiences of characters from your set text(s).

  16. Present an argument between two or more characters from the set text(s), or ones that you create (but draw on the personality traits of one or more characters from your set text) arguing or discussing the possibility that 'sanity' is merely a reflection of the view of the majority in any given situation.

  17. Recall a childhood or adolescent memory that was important to you. Use this as the basis for a piece of writing. Frame your narrative by incorporating 7 to 10 significant quotations from the set text that are directly relevant to the Context. Ensure your narrative addresses each quotation. Draw on the specific linguistic structures and features of your set text (e.g. senses, metaphor, point of view).

  18. How do we cope when our reality is undermined by evidence contrary to our previous understanding? How easy is it for us to see the world in a different manner? Create an imaginative or expository or persuasive text and consider an appropriate form to address these questions. Create like-characters and situations from the set text(s) or identify significant evidence from the text to support your ideas or arguments.

  19. Explore the ways in which different realities seem to exist at the same time in different places. Create like-characters and situations from the set text(s) and/or identify significant evidence from the text(s) to support your ideas or arguments.

  20. Create a narrative with a series of turning points where the character's understanding about reality changes. In creating your character, draw on the personality traits and like-experiences of one or more characters from your set text.

  21. Create a reflective piece based on a remembered situation. Use a metaphor to convey the narrator's feelings about this memory. Relate your ideas to similar moments in your set text as points of comparison and/or contrast.

  22. Create a text where you explore or argue the idea that we order the world according to our values rather than how it is. Create an imaginative or expository or persuasive text and consider an appropriate form.. Create like-characters and situations from the set text(s) or identify significant evidence from the text to support your ideas or arguments.

Scenarios of how you can draw on the text Wag the Dog

  1. Consider the reasons the main characters help to create the alternative reality presented to the American public. Consider the difference between Brean and Ames’ reasons, and those of Motss, the Fad King (Motss’ marketing guru), and songwriter Johnny Dean. Argue which character you believe has the better, or more moral, motivation in creating the alternative reality of the Albanian war.

  2. Create your own persuasive, expository or imaginative piece by drawing on Brean’s argument that it makes no difference to the public whether a war is real or not, but instead that all that matters is that they believe there is a war.

  3. Create an expository, persuasive or imaginative piece of writing where, using the ideas within the film as the context for your writing, think of a recent conflict you’ve read about or seen on the news. Do you believe that it is real? How do you know?

  4. Levinson uses a number of film techniques to suggest the difficulty of telling truth from invention. (e.g. consider the camera shots of Motss’ mansion in the Hollywood Hills early in the morning following the team’s all-night brainstorming session (from 0:26:20)). Now create your own original imaginative piece that draws on the film techniques of the film to show the difficulty of telling truth from invention.

  5. Think about why a television network would broadcast footage of what seems to be a war zone without checking its veracity? What are the aims of a television network, and how might this compromise the truth? Explore this idea in an expository or imaginative piece of writing. Or, argue that the media must compromise the truth – but think of justifiable reasons.

  6. At the end of the Wag the Dog, we see most clearly the meaning of the title of the film: the media creates the truth, rather than reporting the truth as it already exists. Create a piece of writing that explores this idea.

  7. Create a persuasive, expository or imaginative text comprised of each of the following:
    a) a false media release
    b) a discussion of what the effects of the release could be if accepted and published by the media.

  8. Levinson’s argument about the difference between the promise and messages of American politics and its reality is cleverly shown at the beginning of the film. The contrast between the swelling soundtrack of the opening political advertisement, and the mundane sound of the vacuum cleaner vacuuming the carpets of the White House (0:01:15) sets up the contrast between ideal and reality, between message and truth. Using a similar idea, create an imaginative text that contrasts the difference the difference between the promise and messages of Australian politics and its reality.

  9. Analyse Motss’ use of language, particularly focusing on how his manipulation of words helps him to do his job well. Create an imaginative text using a similar character who manipulates others through his language.

  10. Write a persuasive feature article with the heading: ‘The media no longer reports the news, it helps to create it.’

  11. Create a letter written by Motss before his death in which he breaks ranks with Brean and claims ‘The credit!’ for what they did.

  12. Create a newspaper article that ‘breaks’ the story of Brean, Ames and Motss’ deception of the American public. Think about the tone and language which might be used by a media outlet which was duped by the fabricated story.

  13. Create an expository essay that explores the prompt ‘Reality is controlled by the powerful’, paying particular attention to Levinson’s use of irony and camera shots.

Scenarios of how you can draw on the text Foe

  1. Write an expository essay on the topic: ‘Those in authority use language to determine how we see reality’. Draw on examples from Foe and other sources to support your points.

  2. Write the text of a speech for a Public Speaking Competition on the topic: ‘Stories tell us more about society than reality’.

  3. Write a feature article for a magazine on the topic: ‘A story cannot be both interesting and true’.

  4. Use several different forms, and/or several narrators, in a short story that shows that people experience the same events differently.

  5. Create a multimodal text entitled ‘Whose reality?’ combining allusions to songs, artworks, images, films and/or print texts that shows how an event is represented differently over time.

  6. Write the text of a short monologue telling the story of someone whose story has been rewritten by someone else so that they no longer recognise it as their own.

  7. Write the script of a speech to be given at your school assembly entitled ‘If we told the truth about our lives, no one would want to listen’.

  8. Write a first-person account exploring how the narrator changes their interpretation of something that happened to them in the past.

  9. Write a persuasive text responding to Foe’s claim that ‘he has the last word who disposes over the greatest force’ (p.124).

  10. Use an analogy, followed by several interpretations of it, to explore the idea: ‘Reality is a construct’.

  11. Write a short story that explores the idea: ‘We can never tell a completely truthful story’.

  12. Using the way Coetzee has structured Foe as a model, write a narrative with the first part in the present tense recalling an experience, either real or fictional, and follow it with a second part, written in the past tense and in a different form, changing the story by adding new details.

  13. Based on your reading of Foe, write the script of a monologue to be spoken by Cruso providing his version of Susan’s arrival on the island and the time they spent together before the arrival of the rescue ship.

  14. Write an anecdote about an imaginary character who misunderstands an event or situation. Show how and why they come to understand it differently. Bring your account to life with a vivid visual image.

  15. How do you think someone like Friday, who cannot understand language or make himself understood, would see the world? Write the narrative.

  16. The ship’s Captain believes that a story about a female castaway would ‘cause a great stir’ (p.40) but Susan believes Foe would have found the story ‘better without the woman’ (p.72)? Account for these different points of view.

  17. According to Foe, ‘he has the last word who disposes over the greatest force’ (p.124). Construct a persuasive text on the topic: ‘Those in authority determine how we see reality’.

  18. Drawing on your reading of Foe, write a text reflecting on the topic: ‘When we tell and re-tell stories about events that have happened to us, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between reality, our memories of it, and the details we invent over time’.

  19. Explore some of the ideas in Foe writing in a different form, for a different audience. For example, write a magazine article featuring an interview with the subject of a biography who feels that their story has been misrepresented by their biographer.

  20. Create several accounts of the same experience, using different text types such as a letter, a memoir, or a journal entry. In each version, add to or change details that show how the account is becoming increasingly unlike the first description.