Essay Exemplars Ncea

For Merit, the student needs to form convincing personal responses to independently read texts, supported by evidence.

This involves demonstrating personal understandings of, engagement with, and/or expressing viewpoints on texts which are generally meaningful. This may also include responding to links between texts and self, and texts and world.

This student has independently selected and read the novel Twilight by Stephanie Myers as one of the six texts required. The student forms a generally convincing personal response, supported by specific details from the text, by demonstrating a personal engagement with one of the characters in the novel, Bella.

The student relates particularly to ideas of alienation, seeing similarities with Bella’s predicament and the way she herself has felt in the past (1), and to the conflicts involved in the making of choices, which the student sees as something that most teenagers can identify with (4). The student expresses a generally meaningful viewpoint about how love alters thinking, supported by evidence of Bella’s confusion.

For a more secure Merit, the student could respond further to the statements about ‘desire and temptation’ (2) and the choices the Cullens have to make about the conflict between their ‘nature’ and ‘normal lives’ (3). Further response, supported by specific details, could be made about the flaws this student sees in the text (5).

For Excellence, the student needs to analyse aspects of visual and/or oral text(s) perceptively, through close viewing and/or listening, supported by evidence.

This involves demonstrating insightful and/or original understanding of significant aspects of texts.

This student has perceptively analysed significant aspects of The Dark Knight through the techniques of camera work, pace, dialogue and symbolism. This is done by demonstrating insightful understanding of how camera work develops the audience’s understanding of the Joker and Batman (1), and how the editing of the pace of the film combines with the use of silence to present the Joker as a predator (2).  

Perceptive understanding is shown through the analysis of how the actions and dialogue of one brave man contrast with the self-preservation of the group, and how this foreshadows later actions in the film (3). Insightful understanding is shown in the analysis of the symbolism of weaponry, where the characters are compared to terrorists and modern governments in their continual fight for society’s good (4).

For a more secure Excellence, the student could further develop the analysis of the idea that Batman is feared by Gotham’s criminal society, and that although Rachel is a strong character she still trembles in the presence of the Joker (1) .


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