Essay notes for Jolt and Genesis

With exam season almost upon us, I figured some students might be firing requests like this title into their search engines. Well you’re in luck. Just added to the Jolt page (under novels) you’ll find a downloadable set of notes on character, theme and turning points, that I’ve put together. Tell your friends, real and virtual. Essay notes on Genesis are also up on that page.

5 thoughts on “Essay notes for Jolt and Genesis

  1. Edwin says:

    Don’t you feel that providing essay notes like these leads to students simply regurgitating ideas others provide rather than coming up with their own? Isn’t the purpose of English to force people to think and come up with their own interpretations of texts, rather than read through these notes and then regurgitate them in the form of an essay? True, if teachers don’t provide them they can simply go to the likes of Sparknotes, but I’ve always thought the purpose of English teachers should be to encourage students to think rather than to do the thinking for them.

  2. Hi Edwin

    Fair point. I think this is more about finding a balance, rather than it being a case of either/or. In order for students to think deeply about a desk they should, in my view, take into account the views of others who have already considered the same topic. There is a difference between thinking for oneself, and sitting around waiting for the idea of the wheel (and axle) to come to you. The very best student thinking is a personal response to ideas they are exposed to. They grapple with them, interrogate them, modify, assimilate and sometimes reject wholesale. A student seeking to think about a particular novel does well to read the critics, and indeed to consider what the author themselves has to say about the work.

    You’re quite right though, the student’s whose eyes are on nothing but the assessment outcome will quite often seek to repackage the ideas of others as their own, this being true at university level as well. (indeed some lecturers actively punish those who don’t tow the party line). I suspect the way around this isn’t to cut off access to informed opinion, which is a way of making the analysis more shallow, but rather to design assessments that force a personal response. In a physics exam, a student isn’t considered to be cheating if they simply regurgitate the rules of Newton et al. A good physics exam though, tests whether the student can not only remember these rules, but also apply them.

    Maybe a smart response to the problem in English would be to have students respond to a critic’s interpretation of a text, or compare and contrast two opposing interpretations, or even choose between them and justify the choice. My personal feeling is that the NCEA style questions, with their attempt to assess according to pre-specified criteria, have made it easier for the rote learned response to be rewarded.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  3. Billie says:

    In Jolt, the end says that an electrician “found” the doctor after he had been missing for two days. Did the electrician coincidentally find him or was Marko responsible for him being found?

  4. […] welches auf der Seite des Klett-Verlages kostenfrei zur Verfügung gestellt wird, sowie auf dem (occasional) blog des Autors (mit interessanten Kommentaren – Spoiler alert!) und einem […]

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