Written Explanations (also known as Statement of Intention and various other names throughout different schools), are short introductory pieces to your Writing in Context essay. These Written Explanations are intended to provide your assessor an indication of what they should expect from your piece. Essentially, written explanations are a discussion of your own work. In this case, you are writing to inform the assessor of 5 elements of your essay, commonly known as FLAPC:

Form, Language, Audience, Purpose, Context

Most assessors are quite lenient with how you want to approach the Written Explanation – there is no rigid structure that you need to abide by. As we will discuss below, this allows you to consider what aspects of form, language, audience, purpose and context you wish to include. Each of the points should establish why you have chosen a particular form, or audience etc. Written Explanations are only required for two SACs, both Writing in Context. They are considered as part of your SAC and thus, are marked accordingly. They are however, not examinable during the English exam.

Form

There are traditionally three forms of writing accepted in assessments: expository, creative or persuasive essay. Recently, hybrids of the three are also accepted for example, expository essay with a touch of creative writing. Whichever form of writing you select, you need to explain the reason behind your choice.

‘I chose to write in an expository style, employing conventions of format and style of a traditional essay. This allows me to express my ideas in a logical order while adopting a sophisticated tone.’

Language

When writing, you choose particular words and phrases to illustrate your ideas. Think about what type of language have you used and why. Perhaps your piece is formal or informal, sophisticated or simple, or, first- or third- person perspective. All these factors are important in shaping your Context piece. Also consider language techniques you may have incorporated such as repetition, rhetorical questions, metaphors, symbolism and more.

‘I have chosen formal language in an attempt to demonstrate a comprehensive and thoughtful piece. Inclusive words such as ‘we’ and ‘us’ have been incorporated to allow me to connect with the audience. Furthermore, my use of first-person perspective aims to add credibility to my argument.’

Audience

You must select a targeted audience for your essay. Your choice can be VCE students to young children, or even to your future self. Make sure your target audience is suitable for your essay – select a group that would realistically be interested in your work.

‘My piece is to be published in an anthology for VCE students familiar with the subject matter and texts. As they have familiarity with the concepts I discuss, I intend for readers to depart with a greater understanding and appreciation of the ideas in my written piece.’

Purpose

The purpose section is where you discuss the message you would like to send to your audience. Here you discuss your contention or arguments, whether you completely agree, disagree or a bit of both in regards to your prompt.

‘The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that there can be different outcomes from encountering conflict: firstly, that conflicts can change many people through growth in understanding or a sense of self-development and secondly, that there are times when people remain unaffected by conflict and thus, unchanged.’

Context

Since your essay is based on your Context prompt, you should provide a brief discussion of the basic ideas behind the Context. You can do this prior to your Purpose section since it is a good lead-in.

‘In this essay, I explored the idea that ‘Conflict inevitably changes people’. Every person encounters conflict. It drives individuals to challenge themselves, and deal with new experiences.’

Different schools will set different word limits for Written Explanations. These can range from 150 – 350 words. With such a small word limit, be succinct and choose what you will discuss wisely in order to score maximum marks allocated to Written Explanations.

Let us know if you find this study guide helpful – click ‘Like’ below!

This guide was written by Lisa Tran, the creator and writer for VCE Study Guides. She is currently accepting Year 11 and 12 students for private tuition in 2015. Due to popular demand she is also offering 3 hour intensive courses – feel free to contact her!

We love fresh and valuable ideas for VCE study guides! Are you a VCE student, graduate, a teacher, tutor or examiner? We’d love to hear from you. Help share your insight with the VCE community! Contact us here.

Tagged on:

27 thoughts on “Written Explanation – explained

  • August 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you. This has been very helpful! 

    Reply
  • March 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm
    Permalink

    Awssssssssssssssssome Helped alot ..

    Reply
  • March 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm
    Permalink

    Brilliant! Helped me so much!
    Thank you :)

    Reply
  • March 16, 2012 at 10:08 am
    Permalink

    this was a very steezy guide to writing the perfect written explanation. it helped a lot. steez xoxo

    Reply
  • May 29, 2012 at 11:26 am
    Permalink

    Amazingly helpful, my teacher won't explain how to do it and I want to do well on my SAC.

    Reply
  • May 31, 2012 at 11:39 pm
    Permalink

    Straight to the point, good examples, and just what I need the night before my SAC! ;D

    Reply
  • July 23, 2012 at 11:03 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you. Saved my time…

    Reply
  • August 17, 2012 at 8:22 am
    Permalink

    For the last part, where you talk about the word limit, do the assessors actually count the words or do they estimate the length of the written explanation?

    Reply
  • September 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm
    Permalink

    THANK YOU SO MUCH, THIS HELPED ME HEAPS! 

    Reply
    • September 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm
      Permalink

      I’m so glad it did! Thanks for your support!

      Reply
  • September 19, 2012 at 8:57 am
    Permalink

    The period before my last SAC period and I find this. Thank you very much. Teachers could not have explained it better than this. Cheers!

    Reply
  • May 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm
    Permalink

    Helped so much, I now have a greater understanding. Thanks a lot! 

    Reply
  • June 6, 2013 at 9:43 am
    Permalink

    Having not done mainstream english last year, this literally saved my life. Never had a clearer explaination to follow.
    Thankyou so much ^^

    Reply
  • June 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm
    Permalink

    omggggg this helped me alot soooooo much, thank you but i needed text and link for my sac:( but doesnt matter
    i think i will die

    Reply
  • June 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you so much! My teacher explained this briefly, but this really cleared it up! Definitely helpful for my SAC tomorrow!!

    Reply
  • August 8, 2013 at 10:01 am
    Permalink

    This has been EXTREMELY helpful, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders! This has broken down the structure of a ‘Statement of Explanation’ precisely and has been a huge help.. Especially on the day of my English SAC

    Reply
  • August 28, 2013 at 11:46 am
    Permalink

    thankyou this was good as. will probably still fail my sac tho lol death

    Reply
  • Pingback: Written Explanation/ Statement of Intention | The Point

  • September 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm
    Permalink

    seriously but, all teachers should just use this! makes it so easy!!

    Reply
  • October 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm
    Permalink

    Extremely helpul :) Thanks heaps..

    Reply
  • November 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm
    Permalink

    Thankk yoouuuuu
    This written explanation reallyyyyyyy helped alot with my English SAC…. but there was two problems which i didnt understand the ‘AUDIENCE’ and forgot to put ‘PROMPT & TEXT’ but the rest was perfect

    good on you :)

    Reply
  • May 5, 2014 at 2:07 am
    Permalink

    this helped a lot thankyou!!

    Reply
  • September 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you very much, this has helped me understand on how to write a Statement of Intention.

    Reply
  • October 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm
    Permalink

    This helped me out heaps, thank you!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *