Published on: 16 August 2018

Our Year 10 English Extension students have been busy over the past few months, undertaking the flagship challenge of writing a 7500-word dissertation on a topic of their own choice. Recently past English Extension students from 2017 and 2016 visited the School, and offered their support and guidance on approaching this challenge and strategies for success.

“This is the first time we have had students from previous years return and discuss their past dissertations with Year 10s. It’s really encouraging to see these boys mentoring to younger students,” says English and Literature Teacher, Mr Spencer Davis.

Year 10 English Extension student Jason Lu commented, “The Year 12s really emphasised the importance of having pride in your final product.”

“It was encouraging to know that others had been through this process before us, and that they had similar struggles throughout,” commented fellow student, Lucas Kailas.

The six-month project commenced in Term 2 this year with students undertaking research on any literary area of interest. This term the Year 10s have been writing up their final piece, with submissions due the first day of next term. Boys have had the option to select any topic they wish, and part of the fun for the English Department is seeing what avenues the boys will pursue.

Examples of dissertations the students are currently creating include:

  • A psychological analysis of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment
  • The process of adaptation: Frankenstein across medium and time
  • Out of order: the development of time travel as a distinct literary genre

“The emphasis is on the boys becoming school-wide experts on a topic and gaining ‘expertise’ in a specific area,” says Mr Davis.

“We are really conscious of placing the emphasis on the process, and less so on the overall marks – we want boys producing a piece of work that they would want to put their name to.”

Awards will be presented later this year for Best Dissertation, Most Original Topic and Most Stylistically Engaging.

Parents interested in learning more about the project are asked to contact the School’s English Department at