• Mr. Douglas Teng

Easy tip to improve your marks - Techniques

This week we analysed and and constructed a short response for the following Text:

Explain how emotion is conveyed to readers in Text 1

Text 1 is the cover of Sports Illustrated for one of their 2019 issues.

In April 2019, just before he became the fourth golfer in history to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Tiger Woods was a part of another rare honour. Sports Illustrated's April edition featured the golfer on their cover with no additional text.

This has only happened a few times in the magazine's history, including August 1995 after the loss of New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle, and in March 1980 after the US Olympic hockey team won against the Soviet Union.

The Colour Red

As we were talking about the emotions generated through this image, we discussed emotions such as power, domination and victory in relation to the colour red.

My students were quick to associate the colour red with the idea of power. They agreed that it symbolises power, had connotations to power and was one of the key techniques that contributed to this emotion.

However, this is a very basic analysis and must be improved upon further to improve your marks.

One easy tip to improve your marks...

There's nothing wrong with the statement that "red symbolises power". However, it is very simple and does not show markers that you are a sophisticated individual, thinking at a Year 11 or 12 level.

In fact, they might even think that you're still in Year 8. So if you want to get better at English, we must channel our big brain powers and show markers that we are worthy of higher marks. We must analyse the text at a more sophisticated level.

"But how, Mr. Teng?"

Well, there are plenty of techniques and their effect that we can mention. Some include:

  1. Intensity of colour - I can guarantee that that red colour has been intensified through a photo editing program. By increasing the intensity of the colour, it not only emphasises the "power" aspect, but also draws attention to it - bringing us to our next point...

  2. Salience - the intensity of the colour and it's central position within the frame emphasises the emotion it portrays. Salience is what your eyes are drawn to first in an image. It is what captures your attention. In this case, Tiger Woods' torso is the salient element.

  3. Contrast - the colour red stands out in the photo, again partly due to it's intensity, but also from the contrast between the browns, greys and greens in the background (any art students out there? You can also describe these as "earthy" or "muted" colours or tones). This emphasises the red colour and it's emotional significance in this picture.

  4. Typography of the title - The title "Sports Illustrated" is thick, bold and in the same intense red as Woods' shirt. This is no coincidence. This choice of font and colour works with the shirt to convey a message of power and dominance. If this sounds too obscure to you. Imagine replacing it with a nice cursive font like the one below. Let's throw a little pink on there too. Would it have the same effect? Would it fit the theme of the picture?

By mentioning these techniques in addition to the symbolic significance of red as a colour and it's ability to convey emotion, we show markers that we are capable of sophisticated analysis beyond the most obvious.

Hope this helps,

Mr. Douglas Teng

P.S. If you feel like you need some extra help with ATAR English in Year 11 or 12, then check out our ATAR English classes located at Rossmoyne SHS every Thursday! We cover examples just like these and you get to see how I would analyse, plan and write a response to the question. There are also plenty of opportunities for you to practice in a supportive environment and receive quality feedback on your work.

It doesn't matter if you're failing or an A student. If you want to improve your marks and stop worrying about this subject, then I can help you get there.

Don't wait till' it's too late! Hope to see some of you there.


Any questions? Send me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

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