English & EAL

EXECUTE in the "Think and Execute" Text Response Strategy

Lisa Tran

January 1, 2019

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Go ahead and tilt your mobile the right way (portrait). The kool kids don't use landscape...


EXECUTE is the writing component that ticks off the English criteria so that your teacher is wowed by your essay and wished it was longer. So, what are these criteria points? Each school may express these points differently, however at the end of the day, teachers and examiners are all looking for the same thing:



An understanding of social, cultural or religious background in the text and how that shapes the themes, ideas, and characters. Without a clear understanding of the context of your text, you cannot fully comprehend the views and values of the author, nor the overall meaning of a text.

For example, Austen was hunched over her small writing desk in the village of Chawton during England’s Georgian era as she wrote Persuasion. You are more likely reading it in a cozy bed, listening to Taylor Swift and half considering what you’re going to watch on Netflix later. Remember, your current social and cultural context can have a great influence on how you read a text, so it’s always important to imagine the author’s own context – whether this be very similar, or very different from the context of their text. It’s as easy as a Google search!


✔️Views and values

An understanding of the author's message and purpose.

Writers use literature to criticise or endorse social conditions, expressing their own opinions and viewpoints of the world they live in. It is important to remember that each piece of literature is a deliberate construction. Every decision a writer makes reflects their views and values about their culture, morality, politics, gender, class, history or religion. This is implicit within the style and content of the text, rather than in overt statements. This means that the writer’s views and values are always open to interpretation, and possibly even controversial. This is what you (as an astute English student) must do – interpret the relationship between your text and the ideas it explores and examines, endorses or challenges in the writer’s society.


✔️Different interpretations by different readers

An understanding of how different readers and develop different interpretations, and how this changes an author's message.

Like our example using Austen vs. you as a modern reader above, the way you interpret an idea or view a character can change based on your unique views and values.



An understanding of how author's constructs their text through specific choices in words.

For example, the use of the word 'bright' vs. 'dull' to describe a landscape is intended to effect the way you perceive particular ideas or characters in a text.


A high-graded English essay will cover all of these points without fail. If you're unfamiliar with any of these, you are missing out on ways to differentiate yourself from other students. At the end of the day, there are only so many themes and characters to discuss, so you need to find unique angles to discuss these themes and characters. This will help your essay move from generic to original (yeah boy!).

If you're interested, How To Write a Killer Text Response ebook shows you the inner workings of my brain 💭- what I think when I see an essay topic, how I tackle it, and how I turn these thoughts into a high-scoring essay. The ebook includes:

How To Write A Killer Text Response FULL Version

- 50-pages teaching you how to respond to ANY essay topic

- Examples from 15+ popular VCE English texts

- Know exactly what to THINK about so you can formulate the best possible essay response

- Plus a bonus 20-pages of high vs low scoring essays, fully annotated (what works and what doesn't) so you know exactly what you need to do

Click here to access the FULL version now!

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