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Last Updated: Oct 10, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Extension 2 Print Page

NSW Board of Studies


Extension 2 Advice



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HSC English Extension 2

HSC English Extension Course 2 Requirements

In the HSC English Extension Course 2 students develop a sustained composition, and document and reflect on this process.

Students undertaking HSC English Extension Course 2 must complete the Major Work.

Major Work

This module requires students to work independently to plan and complete a Major Work in the form of an extended composition. It allows students to select an area of personal interest from their specialised study of English and develop their work in this area to a level of distinction.

Students compose the Major Work as an extension of the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in the English (Advanced) and (Extension) courses. The Major Work is to be substantial. It may be imaginative, investigative, interpretive, analytical or any combination of these. The chosen form and medium must be appropriate to the nature of the task, the student’s interests and abilities and the resources available.

To provide the basis for the Major Work, students undertake ongoing, systematic and rigorous investigation into their chosen area. This investigation process is documented in a journal that demonstrates the processes of inquiry, interprets, analyses and reflects on the knowledge and understanding gained, and explains the stages of the composition of the Major Work.

The Major Work will be assessed internally as a process and externally as a product.

HSC English Extension Course 2 Objectives, Outcome and Content

The table below sets out the content of HSC English Extension Course 2 and illustrates the relationship among the objectives, outcomes and content.



Notes from the HSC Marking Centre 2012

This document contains comments on the Major Works for the 2012 Higher School Certificate, indicating the quality of the Major Works and highlighting their relative strengths and weaknesses.

General comments

Identification of the parts of the project

Candidates are reminded to label the discrete sections of the Major Work and to ensure that all pages are printed and numbered. The Reflection Statement should be at the end of the Major Work.

The role of the Reflection Statement

The Reflection Statement explains and evaluates both the process and the completed Major Work. 

The quality of the Reflection Statement has a significant effect on the overall success of the Major Work. Audience and purpose are integrally related and candidates must explicitly explain how they have manipulated form, features and structures of text in order to position audiences. It is imperative that candidates identify the relationship between the investigation and the Major Work. Specific texts should be cited and their direct influence on the Major Work must be highlighted. Reflection Statements should be synthesised works of prose rather than written in report style with subheadings and bullet points.

Links with the English (Advanced) and English Extension 1 courses

Candidates compose a Major Work as an extension of the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in the English (Advanced) and English Extension 1 courses (p 85, English Stage 6 Syllabus). 

Better Major Works were characterised by:

evidence of independent investigation beyond the parameters of the Advanced and Extension 1 courses

clear purpose and sense of audience

sophisticated control of language

fluency without overwriting

skilful and fluent understanding of the form and audience and the interconnection of both to establish authentic engagement.

Weaker Major Works were characterised by:

fractured structure that did not support purpose and target audience

lack of coherence

lack of originality

lapses in tone and voice

lack of depth and variety of investigation

unconvincing claims about intent and audience

little evidence of investigation into form

Reflection Statements that were descriptive rather than evaluative.

State Library of NSW

Links to prescribed texts, film, related texts, writing skills and writing for different purposes.

Useful Websites

  • Reverse dictionary
    OneLook's reverse dictionary lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word.

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