Making connections beyond the text

In a literature essay what are connections beyond the text? I know that teachers wrote on lots of scripts in the recent prelims that students needed to make connections beyond the text – but what does that mean?

Here is a comment from the 2008 Level One Assessment Report:

Candidates can be assisted to develop the skills and knowledge required to achieve by: practising applying their knowledge by making comparisons, evaluations, and judgements within, between and beyond texts.

Making connections beyond the text basically means adding in a stronger personal response, commenting on how the issues raised in the text, or how a character acts, made you think about something in your world. You need to relate the studied text to your own life, your own experiences and opinions. Ask your teacher to help you with this!

When you discuss connections beyond the text remember they are an extra layer in your essay. Make sure that these connections do not dominate your description and explanation in your answer to the question.  It is crucial that you always remain focused on the question asked and that you only add in personal response where it enhances your answer and not just for the sake of it.

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