WT2 Tips

Before you start writing a written task 2, or 'critical response', you will need a strategy or 'game plan'. The list of tips below offers you a step-by-step approach for this task. You will notice that each tip helps to break down this larger task into smaller, more manageable tasks. In brief you will need to go through several stages, where you orient yourself with the nature of the task, brainstorm with classmates and engage with the text and the prescribed question. Be sure to practice using the assessment criteria on sample written task 2s as well. In the end you will want to know your prescribed question and text thoroughly.

  1. Look at multiple texts, like the ones in a reader, and play a matching game. Ask yourself which texts lend themselves well to each question. State why you think that each text is suitable for a particular question. You can do this activity in groups as well, where each group focuses on a different question.

  2. Draw a spider diagram for the question you wish to explore. Branch out from each aspect of the question and answer parts of the question in relation to the text you are focusing on.

  3. Write a thesis statement which will come at the end of the first paragraph. In your thesis statement, answer the prescribed question. If you can offer an answer in three parts, then you have the start of three body paragraphs.

  4. Quote hunt. Find quotes from the primary source that help you answer the question. Rewrite them on pieces of paper. Look for similarities between the quotes and start to cluster them. What is the guiding idea behind each cluster of quotes? Could this ‘guiding idea’ become a ‘topic sentence’? How might these tie in to the thesis statement?  

  5. Make a ‘to do’ list. Start with the prescribed question that you wish to answer and the text you will base your answer on. Ask yourself, ‘If I am to answer this question in relation to this text, then I must first find out….’ Look to secondary sources to find answers to the questions on your ‘to do’ list.

  6. Write an outline to your essay together with a classmate.

  7. Assess several samples written task 2s by using the assessment criteria.

  8. After you have written the first draft of the essay, look at the ‘learning outcomes’ of the particular Part of the curriculum that you have worked on. Are there ways in which you could rewrite some of your essay to make it more focused on one of these learning outcomes?

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