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Related text activities

This material was prepared by Eve Mayes, Condell Park High School.

Resources on the internet
Belonging related text list
Questions to ask yourself about your related text
Language to use when synthesising related and prescribed texts
Related text scaffold
Related text paragraph example

Resources on the internet

NSW Libraries' Inside Break website (external website) has a fantastic range of texts listed according to text type. This list can be referred to when choosing appropriate related texts.

HSC Belonging website (external website) also has an extensive list of potential related texts for belonging.

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Belonging related text list

Print texts


Poems/ Song lyrics


Newspaper Articles/ Editorials

Visual texts

Picture Books



TV Shows/ Documentaries/ You Tube Videos

Website texts

Download this list as a PDF document

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Questions to ask yourself about your related text

Think about the following questions when you think that you have selected an appropriate related text:

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Language to use when synthesising related and prescribed texts

Language of Comparison/ Contrast

Compare Contrast
… akin to….
All the same
… analogous to…
As well
…. comparable to….
Just as…, so too …
In addition
In a similar way,
In like manner
… parallels
… mirrors
… reflects
… same as…
At the same time
…. different to…
… distinguishes itself from…
For all that
In contrast,
…. is not… Rather
… nothing like…
On the contrary,
On the other hand,
There is a difference/ gap/ distinction/ disparity between…


Other words for 'shows' Other words for 'emphasises' Other evaluative terms


Other ways of writing "creates a feeling of…" conveys a sense of creates a sense of
emphasises (makes stronger) her feeling of
engenders (brings about) a feeling of
evokes (brings up)a feeling of
generates a feeling of
highlights her feeling of
portrays (shows) a feeling of
suggests that


Explaining ideas Putting ideas in order Cause and effect Concluding words
As already stated
For example
For instance
In other words
Such as
That is
Importantly Initially
As a result
For that reason
All in all…
All this evidence points to…
All this leads to…
All this suggests that…
In conclusion
This results in
To sum up

Download a PDF version of these tables.

Related text scaffold

  1. Find out basic information about the text.
    1. Name of text
    2. Composer
    3. Source (Where you got the text from. Include date of publication, or date of accessing website):
    4. Type of text

  2. Summarise the text.

  3. Consider your reaction to the text.


  4. Link the text to your prescribed texts.
    Does this text have anything in common with your two prescribed texts? Do they explore the same issues?

  5. Think about ideas about belonging in this text.
    1. What are the characters' perceptions of their belonging?

    2. What are the characters' experiences and notions of:
      1. identity?
      2. relationships?
      3. acceptance
      4. understanding?

    3. Are there characters who enrich or challenge the group? Explain how they do this.

    4. Are attitudes to belonging modified over time?

    5. Do any characters make choices not to belong?

    6. Are there any barriers preventing belonging?

  6. Identify techniques (AT LEAST 3):

    Context (what's happening) Quotation/ What you see Technique Effect What it shows about belonging

Download an interactive PDF version of these tables

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Related text paragraph example

Below is an extract from an extended response discussing a related text.

Complete the activities to understand how to write about your related text.

How is the concept of belonging portrayed?

In your answer, refer to TWO prescribed texts and ONE' related text of your own choosing.

Related text discussed: "Common People" by Pulp and William Shatner - see
http://www.lyred.com/lyrics/William+Shatner/Has+Been/Common+People/ (external website)

Like "Educating Rita"and "Billy Elliot", the song lyrics "Common People" by Pulp and William Shatner portray complex ideas about belonging.The song is about an upper class girl who wants to swap her place in society and "live like common people". She asks a working class young man to help her in this goal, and he becomes increasingly frustrated by her attitude to belonging. Like "Educating Rita" she desires to belong to a different class in society, but the young woman undertakes the reverse process, wanting to decline in social status rather than rise. Like Billy in "Billy Elliot", she takes a path that does not conform to the expectations of those around her.

The young woman in "Common People" perceives that "poor is cool" and has the attitude that there will be minimal barriers to belonging in working class society. Like Rita, the woman immediately demonstrates in the way that she starts a relationship with the working class young man that she does not understand the social codes needed to belong in this group in society. She tells him her heart's desire as soon as she meets him: "I want to live like common people,/ I want to do whatever common people do". Her repetition of "I want to" creates a sense of her strong desire to belong to the "common people". The young man and woman develop a relationship similar to Frank and Rita's and Billy and Mrs Wilkinson's, with the young woman relying on the young man to teach her about how to live like "common people". He speaks to her as if she were a student, using a series of imperative (commanding) verbs, including "Pretend you've got no money". However, their differences in social contexts mean that she does not understand his seriousness, responding inappropriately, "oh you're so funny". Her laughter reveals that her social context is a barrier to understanding the nature of belonging in this social class. This is similar to Rita's initial misunderstandings of Frank's instructions (Frank: "It's your essay? Is it a joke? Is it?").

The young woman's pretentious attitude ("her dad was loaded") is a barrier to her belonging and leads to the young man's sarcastic reaction: "If you called your dad he could stop it all". He becomes increasingly frustrated with her, and the rest of the song only allows his voice, silencing her. He repeats her chorus, changing the words:

As William Shatner says these words in spoken word form, his tone of voice becomes more and more sinister. His repetition of "You'll never" and his stress on the word "fail" emphasise his anger at her goal. He is angry that she would think that belonging in a different social class was possible. Her attitude does not change over time because she can never gain insight into the true experience of living like a "common" person": You will never understand/ How it feels to live your life/ With no meaning or control". The young man's use of the second person pronoun creates a sense of his disdain for her and his different attitude to the situation of a "common" person. He sees her attitude as that of a "tourist" that will be treated with cruelty by others because of her lack of authenticity: "Like a dog lying in the corner,/ They'll bite you and never warn you/ Look out". The simile and the imperative "Look out" highlight her inability to make connections to people in this setting and his perception that the attitude of other people towards her will not change over time. This is similar to Frank's frustration with Rita towards the end of the play. However, Frank becomes frustrated at the way she conforms to the behaviour of the educated class rather than her lack of understanding. Yet, Frank's frustration similarly comes from Rita's superficial view of the process of belonging ("I know what clothes to wear, what wine to buy, what plays to see…"). Her cumulation of the items that she sees as signs of belonging is similar to the man's listing of the outward signs of someone in the working class ("Rent," "Smoke", "Play", "Pretend"). At the end of the song, there is no reconciliation between the young man and woman, unlike Frank and Rita's reconciliation at the end of "Educating Rita". Thus Pulp and William Shatner use a variety of techniques in "Common People" to convey the complexity of belonging to a new group.

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Analysing the paragraphs about a related text:

  1. Respond to the questions in the Comment boxes at side of the paragraphs.

  2. Underline the connectives/ linking words (e.g. Similarly, However…)

  3. Highlight examples of synthesis of texts' (comparisons of prescribed and related texts).

  4. Circle techniques discussed.

  5. Highlight in a different colour examples of integration of quotations (making the quote part of the sentence).

  6. Write a reflection analysing what you can do to make your discussion of related texts more successful. What have you learned' from deconstructing these paragraphs?

NOTE:To achieve an 'A' range response, it is suggested that you discuss your related text throughout your extended response rather than in a separate paragraph towards the end of the extended response. Discussing your related text at various points throughout your extended response will ensure that you consistently synthesise your prescribed and related texts.

Download a PDF version of this activity.

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