English & EAL

Written Explanation – explained

by
Lisa Tran

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Written Explanations (also known as Statement of Intention, SOE, and various other names throughout different schools), are short introductory pieces to your essay. These Written Explanations are intended to explore the reasons behind why you made particular writing decisions. This is done via 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 written your piece. They are considered as part of your SAC and thus, are marked accordingly. They 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

‘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 to write from first person perspective to shed light on the inner workings of Gardiner from The Lieutenant.'

Audience

You must select a targeted audience for your essay. Your choice can be adults 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 those who have found difficulty in assimilating to into a new group or culture. 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 a studied text, 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’, a concept heavily explored in The Lieutenant. 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.

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