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91479: Develop an informed understanding of literature and/or language using critical texts

Updated December 2017. The section on critical texts has been added to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

Area of inquiry

The students’ selected area of inquiry should reflect level 8 curriculum achievement objectives and should be of sufficient breadth and depth to allow for relevant conclusions to be drawn. This investigation area should arise from literature text/s or a language topic (primary source/s) that students already understand.

Critical texts

The critical texts themselves need to be appropriate to curriculum level 8 and will be the thinking/analysis of ‘experts’. This means that summarising teaching notes such as Sparknotes, websites such as Wikipedia, and blogposts from other students or non-experts in that literary/language field, are not appropriate as critical texts.

The process of using critical texts

Students need to frame their investigation by developing a hypothesis, selecting relevant critical texts and processing those texts in terms of their inquiry needs. They will synthesise this information from experts with information from the primary source/s, and reach evaluative conclusions and judgements. Evidence of this process is required, including the evaluation of the reliability and usefulness of clearly acknowledged sources.

Students will generally need guidance as to where to access and how to use critical texts, what constitutes plagiarism and how to process information so that it becomes their own. Journal databases, such as those available through EPIC, are generally useful and appropriate sources of critical texts.


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