ERC Updates

Dialling down on discursive writing

This is where I belong. It’s my place. My country. My home.
Port Kembla Beach is the place I escape to when I need to, or want to get away from the world. But, it wasn’t always like that.

This is the opening of Michael Merola’s (Year 11) discursive piece. His descriptive composition filled with personal anecdotes and thoughtful discussion about an issue, is an example of discursive writing.

Introduced in 2019 by NESA as part of the new Stage 6 English Syllabus, the main purpose of discursive writing is to explore an idea or topic with a personal tone. It is similar to modern opinion columns, feature articles, blogs and personal essays.

This term, many of our students will begin experimenting with this form of writing. Our Year 11 Standard English students have already completed their first module on writing, and were challenged to compose a discursive piece inspired by the words of Australian novelist, Tim Winton: “This country leans in on you. Like family. To my way of thinking, it is family. You can read two of our student’s works below.

The identity of place – By Michael Merola (Year 11)

‘This country leans in on you. Like family. To my way of thinking, it is family.’ – Ty-Ali Conley (Year 11)

In Year 10, students have begun exploring the horror genre and its intent of creating fear. They will begin crafting discursive pieces that discusses the conventions of the horror genre and its role in society. It will also challenge them to reflect on their own personal experiences with the genre, and consider why it continues to be something that attracts audiences and readers.

Our Year 8 students have begun travelling the world in a writing unit that focuses on the experiences people encounter when they go ‘beyond borders’ and into the unknown. They are exploring a variety of texts including travel blogs, memoirs, stories and digital texts that will help inspire their discursive writing. By reading the works or other writers, our students are learning the importance of using description and emotion to engage readers.

Mrs Guest
Assistant Head of English