This week we share a piece of marking from one of the marking team, Donna. This type of marking is typical of the highest quality marking that each student receives, allowing them to take ownership of their own work. Further, this supportive evaluation encourages the student to realise that the marking commentary serves to support them on the journey toward better performance.

Comments are in CAPS and in the final paragraph under Comments.

Essay Question

Practice Creative Writing Piece


Ding Ding! Ding Ding!

Max was jolted out of his daydream, just in time CLICHE – TRY TO AVOID OVERUSED PHRASES LIKE THIS IN YOUR WRITING to jump out the way of his fellow classmates stampeding out of room. Groggy and avoiding the disapproving look of his English teacher, Max collected his scribbly artworks ready for the long, lonely walk home.

“Oi! Hermit crab, why don’t you take off your fuckin mask and actually say something?” Max heard Steve scream at him as he shuffled across the parking lot. Touching his mask tentatively, Max continued the agonising trip across the car park INSERT COMMA quietly accepting the crude and threatening taunts from Steve and his gang. Even though this was the same route Max had taken every day for the last two months since starting at Mulberry High, each day he retracted deeper and deeper into the comforting darkness of his shell, feeling trapped as he couldn’t escape the bullying. BREAK THIS DOWN INTO TWO SHORTER SENTENCES. YOU’RE DEVELOPING SOME GOOD CHARACTERISATION HERE, BUT YOU NEED TO GO DEEPER TO REALLY GET THE AUDIENCE TO EXPERIENCE THE AGONY YOUR CHARACTER WOULD BE FEELING IN THIS SITUATION. BE CREATIVE IN THE WAY THAT YOU USE LANGUAGE SO THAT THIS IS A FRESH APPROACH TO A WELL KNOWN TOPIC

At home, and in the comfort of his room, Max felt safe to remove his mask and let his mind run wild in his drawing. Still affected by the actions of his father, Max wore the mask as it allowed him to hide what his father had done and feel invisible. Max vividly remembered this day. He remembered receiving the phone call, a day before the biggest football game of the year, when he was told his dad, while drunk had ran over Samuel Burton, top football player and one of the most popular kids in school BREAK THIS DOWN INTO SHORTER SENTENCES AND ENHANCE THE LANGUAGE – MORE EMOTIVE LANGUAGE NEEDED. THIS WAS A TURNING POINT IN YOUR CHARACTER’S LIFE SO YOU NEED TO COMMUNICATE IT IN A MORE AUTHENTIC MANNER SO THAT THE AUDIENCE CONNECTS WITH YOUR CHARACTER. From that day on, Max’s grades had dropped and he rarely went outside, feeling hated by his friends and the world. Sick of the pain and suffering, Max and his mum moved 200km south to Mulberry, seeking a new beginning and leaving their old life behind CLICHES, FIND MORE ORIGINAL WAYS TO COMMUNICATE THESE IDEAS. Even then though, Max wore the mast as a safety net, in fear that people would start hating him again.

Working late into the night, Max painted his feelings, his imagination and his dreams for the future. Every night he fell asleep at his desk, only leaving his room for meals and school.


Packing his bag (for another agonizing day at school) with all the crayons and art paper he could find, Max mentally ticked off all the things he needed to get through the day. Lunch, Crayons, Pencils, Sharpener, Rubber, Paper, Mask… MASK! That was what he was missing. Quivering, Max frantically searched for the mask, overturning books, emptying his bag, but the mask – his comfort, his world, his place, was gone. “Max you have to go to school! Come on ill drive you as usual, no one will mind if you don’t have your mask”, Max’s mum said laughing and shaking her head at the look of dismay and worry on Max’s face as he begged her to not make him go. THIS IS BETTER – THE ACTION HERE IS BUILDING A STRONGER MOOD

The closer Max got to school, the more sick he felt inside CLICHE – FIND SOMETHING MORE CREATIVE HERE IN THE WAY THAT YOU COMMUNICATE THIS POINT – PERHAPS SOME MORE ORIGINAL FIGURATIVE LANGUGE WOULD DO THE TRICK, his heart pounding in his ears about what people would do and think. Timidly he stepped out onto the gravel of the school parking lot, miserable and anxious as he watched his mother bid him good bye and slowly drive away. “Hi…” a voice said behind Max, almost giving him a heart attack as jumped around to see a small, pale skinned boy with mouse like hair standing casually leaning against the pole behind him. “Im Tom… Im new, and I sit behind you in English class”, he continued friendly, breaking into a smile. “You’re a really good drawer, you know. I love watching you draw and the way your hand just flows! Do you want to join me for a trip to the art gallery this afternoon?” THIS ENDING IS A LITTLE TOO ‘NEAT’ – KEEP WORKING ON THIS.


Hi G ****** You’ve got the makings of a good story here, but it still needs some work. You’ve chosen a well known topic, bullying. If you’re going to choose content like this, then you need to ensure that you write about it in a fresh and original manner. You can’t rely on telling the story the way it has typically already been told before. Keep working on your language and the way that you communicate your ideas. Ensure that you communicate your points effectively and with originality. This will enhance the overall quality of your work. Keep up the great effort, you’re going strong. Donna