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Here are the exam tips from our experienced OLevel English home tutors on how to write English Essays:
Writing English Essays for ‘O’ Level English
Essay writing need not be a haphazard chore for students if they go about it with the right approach and bear in mind the relevant tips of writing the various text types. Mastering the techniques of essay writing for the examination is important as it makes up 30 out of the total marks in Section C of Paper 1 in the ‘O’ Level English examination. For starters, let us familiarize ourselves with a general process that students can go about planning their continuous writing drafts.
Brainstorm and decide on a main idea: Brainstorming means a free and fast and furious flow of ideas. Once the student has finished jotting down ideas, he can start selecting and grouping the similar ones together, especially those which seem to nicely interlink and form a “pattern”. Here, the student can start to build the basis of this draft, as well as plan the structural order of his ideas.
First draft and quality check: Once the brainstorming, selection and organization of ideas are dully done, the student can begin working on his first draft. He must remember the next crucial step, which is to check for language errors, as well as ensure a well-covered text in terms of content, and beef up appropriately. A tip is to use the Five Ws and One H rule (of who, what, when, where, why and how) at this juncture.
Second and/or final draft: Here, the student can rework his first draft by working towards finalizing it and writing the second draft. In a situation where the timing is comfortable for him, the student can even attempt a third draft.
Now that the basic grounds for taking on essay writing have been covered, it is essential to know the specific needs of the different essay types that can appear in the ‘O’ Level examinations.
In view that this type of essay is not meant to dispute but instead to cogently persuade and influence the reader to one’s take on the argument, the student should be mindful of the following:
- Take on a clear side from the start, be it the proposition or opposition camp. Doing so is the first step to convincing the reader.
- Plan topic sentences before starting. This helps to avoid any repetition in the arguments used.
- Use persuasive and sound language, as opposed to aggressive terms. In addition, the student should not completely put down the opposing view, as it makes the writing come off as emotional and one-sided.
- Address the opposing point of view in part of the essay but counter-argue effectively to take down its sustainability.
The student is allowed to let his creativity run wild, so to speak, as he captures the reader’s imagination with his colourful wording for this type of essay.
- Keep the five senses in mind when using rich and varied vocabulary and adjectival terms.
- Be mindful not to turn the writing into a narrative text type by carefully keeping to the topic.
Here is where the student should be concerned about explaining his ideas thoroughly and concisely. This does not mean he is trying to win over the reader to a point of view, but simply to write coherently.
- Be clear about the areas that he wants to expound on. Inexperienced writers can get carried away when talking about abstract topics, such as “Family” and “Music”.
The storytelling aspect requires that clear details including descriptions on the characters, the setting, the time, and the places provided.
- Write in the past tense as stories usually take place in the past. A tip to remember is that the past and present tenses can both be used where needed if the flashback technique is used.
A proper knowledge of essay writing will turn students into formidable writers when tackling the compulsory composition question.
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