hsc english advanced module a textual conversations

Wondering what the new HSC English Advanced Module A: Textual Conversations is all about?

Don’t worry we’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide to Module A: Textual Conversations!

We’ll cover what the module is about, help you understand the rubric, outline the prescribed texts and how you may be assessed for the module.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s jump right in!

What is Textual Conversations all about?
What does ‘Textual Conversations’ even mean?
Debunking the Textual Conversations Rubric
Prescribed Texts for HSC English: Textual Conversations
How will I be assessed for Module A: Textual Conversations?

What is the new HSC English Module A: Textual Conversations all about?

This new module, similar to the previous Module A, is a comparative study of texts.

You will study a pair of texts that share a direct intertextual relationship. You will examine what they have in common and also how they differ.

Each pairing is made of an earlier text and a more recent text that is either a retelling of, commentary on, or engagement with the older text.

This module is not completely just a contextual study of texts. Along with studying context and the effect of it on the text’s meaning and construction, you also need to explore content, themes and how the texts are made.

What does ‘Textual Conversations’ even mean?

A ‘textual conversation’ is a metaphor for texts that share a relationship made up of themes ideas, intertextuality and context.

The rubric is your key to unlocking all that this module is about. So read it through carefully. Highlight. Rewrite. Take Notes. 

All questions you complete for this module will come from this rubric:

Debunking the Textual Conversations Rubric

A “Comparative Study” means you’ll be looking at the similarities (resonances) and differences (dissonances) between and within the texts. Generally the differences are more prominent and more important.

In this module, you should be thinking about how composers reframe the ideas or concerns of the earlier text in the latter text. Explore whether the relationship works as an affirmation which ‘mirrors or aligns’ or instead does it collide.

You’ll also be required to examine the issues or themes, values, assumptions and perspectives within the texts and explore the influences on the composer’s text. Overt influences such as other texts, social and cultural values and beliefs which can all shape meaning.

You will have to write imaginatively (a.k.a. creative writing), interpretively and critically, and be self-reflective on the learning process and how your knowledge shapes meaning.

“A considered personal perspective” is one of the main points in this rubric. So develop your critical thinking abilities and the process of independent thought. Express your interpretation and evaluation of the texts.

This module assesses your ability to analyse texts and various literary techniques. So you need to pay particular attention to higher order techniques of representation like motif and allusion.

Prescribed Texts for HSC English: Textual Conversations

Here is a table of the pairs of texts that you could be asked to study from NESA.

Text 1Text 2Themes for Textual Conversations
King Richard III; William ShakespeareLooking for Richard, Al Pacino- Power
- Appearance vs. Reality
- Villainy and anti-heroes
The Tempest; William ShakespeareHag-Seed; Margaret Atwood- Power
- Performance
- Gender
- The Other
Mrs Dalloway, Virginia WoolfThe Hours; Stephen Daldry- Consciousness
- Gender
- Desire
- Time
The Stranger; Albert CamusThe Meursault Investigation; Kamel Daoud- The Human Condition
- Absurdism
- The Other
- Colonialism
John Donne: A Selection of His Poetry; John DonneW;t; Margaret Edson- The Human Condition
- Faith
- Mortality
- The Purpose of Art
The Complete Poems; John KeatsBright Star; Jane Campion- The Human Condition
- Mortality
- Love
- The Artistic Process
Ariel; Sylvia PlathBirthday Letters; Ted Hughes- Relationships
- Love
- Mental Health
- Responsibility

How will I be assessed for Module A: Textual Conversations?

Internal Assessment

There have been a few changes to how HSC English will be assessed with the new syllabus:

hsc english module a textual conversations

Based on the new guidelines for assessments, HSC English Advanced students will be given ONE internal assessment specifically for Module A: Textual Conversations.

As there is a cap of 4 internal assessments for HSC English, including the Trial HSC exam, only 3 modules will be formally assessed internally. This means that you may not have a formal essay assessment for Module A before the HSC Trial Exam, but it’s up to your school to decide what assessments you’ll receive internally.

External Assessment

In the HSC English Paper 2 exam, you’ll be formally assessed on Module A: Textual Conversations.

hsc english module a textual conversations

From the information provided by NESA, you’ll have one extended response question for your prescribed texts, which may or may not include a stimulus.

The Module A section of HSC English Paper 2 will be worth 20 marks and students should spend approximately 40 minutes on their response.

Check out this article with 20 brand new practice questions for HSC English Advanced Module A: Textual Conversations, here!

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Anna Dvorak graduated from High School in 2017 and is now studying a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in media, arts & production and journalism, at UTS. Alongside studying, Anna works as an Academic Coach & Mentor at Art of Smart while also doing freelance work. She is very passionate about the art of storytelling and helping people fulfil their potential. In her free time, you’ll find Anna working on her craft, reading, watching Netflix, somewhere outside or catching up on sleep.