To help you out, here are some handy tips for a specific component of the English HSC exam: the Module C Part B question. 

The Module C Part B question requires you to reflect upon your own work and to demonstrate what you have learnt about the craft of writing. 

This guide is drawn from Sydney Catholic Schools’ Masterclasses series, which offers 38 sessions across 15 HSC subjects.  

What is Module C Part B?

  • Module C forms part of Paper 2 – it is worth 20 marks and you are advised to allocate 40 minutes to this section
  • It will either consist of a one- or two-part question, however there is no guarantee of a Part B question (the 2020 paper did not have a Part B, but the 2019 paper did) 
  • Part B requires you to explain and justify the choices you made in your writing in Part A
  • You may be required to demonstrate how your writing links to at least one of the prescribed texts that you have studied as part of your Craft of Writing course

What is the purpose of Module C Part B?

The purpose is to demonstrate:

  • Your appreciation of the impact your reading of the model texts has had on your own writing 
  • Your confidence in your own writing and your ability to craft writing to the demands of the question
  • Your appreciation of, and engagement with, your own writing 
  • Your ability to make connections between your own writing and that of the models

What might a Part B question look like?

Part B might ask you to demonstrate skill in one, or more, of the following: 

  • Reflection – on the learning and writing process in Year 12 and in the response you have just written
  • Comparison – of your completed text in Part A with a text you have studied in Year 12
  • Interpretation/Analysis – of your own text and of the modules you have studied in Module C
  • Evaluation/judgement – of the success or effectiveness of your writing in Part A 

What was the 2019 question? 

Compare how you have used language in Part A to evoke emotion with the way writing has been crafted in at least ONE prescribed text from Module C.

What are some of the things the markers are looking for?

Students who:

  • Provide a comprehensive explanation of how their language was crafted 
  • Explain how various linguistic features have been used to shape meaning and engage the audience in their own writing 
  • Explain the way the stimulus was embedded into their writing 
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive comparison between their own writing and at least one of the prescribed texts in Module C, if required 

How should I structure my response?

Your response should look like a short essay in that it has paragraphs, with an introduction and a conclusion. 


  • Address your authorial vision
  • Consider context, audience, purpose and text type
  • Influence of Module C and other Module texts


  • Use topic sentences, using the question to determine the focus
  • Analysis of your own work, starting with the bigger ideas before moving onto to the more minute features 
  • Link to specific Module C texts which have influenced you 


  • Reassure the examiner that you have addressed the question 
  • Final reflective statement on how effective your piece is
  • What have you learnt as a writer and how it appears in your Part A

What sort of language should I use?

Remember to use a confident voice. Focus on the positives in your writing and what you have done (rather than what you didn’t do) – be proud of your work!

Try to use the language of:


  • Personal/subjective tone
  • Descriptive of thought and feelings
  • Uses past tense, thinking verbs and comparison language 

Explanation/cause and effect

  • Use of sentences that have a clear subject and verb agreement 
  • Use of action, explanation, causation, e.g. inspired by
  • Use of connectives to link time in a cause and effect sequence, e.g. first, then, after, as a consequence 


  • Formal register and in first-person
  • Uses qualitative language, e.g. significantly, successfully 
  • Analytical, e.g. the purpose of the metaphor 


  • e.g. ‘Part A is significant because…’
  • e.g. ‘In my Part A response, the reader is able to…’
  • e.g. ‘Part A illustrates the effectiveness of the characterisation of the protagonist as…’


  • Descriptive reasons for language choices 
  • Subject-specific terminology 
  • Uses quotations from the text 

Final tips?

  • Don’t forget to use your five minutes of reading time at the beginning of the exam
  • If there is a Part B, keep in mind that it will probably be easier and quicker to writer than Part A – so manage your time accordingly 
  • Relax – you’ve got this! 

About Sydney Catholic Schools’ HSC Masterclasses

In 2020, Sydney Catholic Schools’ annual HSC Masterclasses went online. This year, HSC subject experts from across the Sydney Catholic Schools network offered a series of 38 informative lectures across 15 subjects. Viewed more than 90,000 times, they have helped more than 800 students prepare to sit their HSC with confidence.