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NSW Syllabuses

Stage 5 - Activity 8

Persuasive Essay

Description of activity

‘Horror texts do more than keep us in suspense; they create fear.’

Compose a persuasive essay in response to this statement in relation to the film you have studied in class and at least one text from your own wide reading.

Your essay should be approximately 800 words (between 2-3 A4 pages) and typed. Your own texts should not include a film.


Students have been exploring the conventions of horror and/or elements of the gothic and how these are designed to scare and entertain. Through the study of a film and other texts students develop their understanding of the ways composers create suspense using aspects of setting, language and characterisation to invoke fear in audiences.


EN5-1A responds to and composes increasingly sophisticated and sustained texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure
EN5-3B selects and uses language forms, features and structures of texts appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts, describing and explaining their effects on meaning
EN5-5C thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and increasingly complex ideas and arguments to respond to and compose texts in a range of contexts
EN5-6C investigates the relationships between and among texts

Criteria for assessing learning

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the gothic/horror genre and how various composers effectively use the elements and conventions of this genre
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the texts studied and explore the connections between them
  • Compose a persuasive essay in response to the question
  • Write fluently using appropriate control of punctuation, paragraphing, spelling and grammar.

Graded student work samples - Mid Stage

Grade AGrade B
Grade CGrade D