(written by Ms Marie Bernadette from BrightMinds Learning Centre)
In a typical English Language examination, composition writing is one of the most important aspects of the subject. Therefore, in order to excel in an English Language paper, the pupil must be well-versed in writing compositions.
Moreover, the new 2015 PSLE syllabus for composition writing has become more challenging and the topics are more wide-ranging. Previously, pupils had to choose from two questions with fixed scenarios to write a narrative essay. Now, pupils are to weave a story from three pictures. For example, a pupil may get a series of three pictures and he/she can write a story based on one, two or all three pictures.
Since this article is on how to write a good composition, let us delve straight into that. In writing a good composition, a pre-writing plan is crucial. Spend about 10 minutes to decide what you want to write in your composition in point form.
Planning (5 Ws and 1 H):
- Who are the characters?
- Where does the story take place?
- When does it take place?
- What happened? Include the act of crisis and climax (the point with the most dramatic or important action)
- Why did it happen?
- How was it solved? Include the moral of the story or lesson learnt, if any.
After your pre-writing plan, you should be more prepared to start writing your composition. All compositions are made up of three components- the introduction, body and conclusion. Failure to write any of these components will most likely result in a fail grade.
Your introduction should arouse the interest of your examiner, and make he/she so interested in your story that he/she want to continue reading it. If your introduction fails to catch the interest of your examiner, then you have not done a great job with it.
Your introduction should have the following important features:
- Should be interesting enough to grab your examiner’s interest
- Should prepare your examiner for what is to follow
- Should be concise and not too lengthy
You should remember that the body is where the majority of your marks lie, thus it is important for you to plan before writing your composition. If you do not plan before writing, you are likely going to forget some very important points when you’re writing your actual story.
Take note of these key points when you are writing:
- Keep your sentences short and simple so that your readers can easily understand you
- Use vocabulary words and phrases, but make sure that they are appropriate. Avoid the use of bombastic words and irrelevant complex expressions.
- Never use a word that you do not thoroughly understand or know how to spell.
The conclusion is the last, but definitely not the least part of a good composition. The resolution, lesson learnt by the character/s or moral ending should be included at your conclusion. Most importantly, do not end your story abruptly.
After you have finished with your composition, it is important that you take a minute to read over what you have written. Check your composition and edit where necessary. Some factors to consider when you are checking your composition: Are there mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation? How appropriate are the words used? Are there mundane words which can be replaced with better words?
I hope that the above guidelines were useful to you. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, hence continue to practice writing different compositions and you will definitely improve or score well for your next English composition. Good luck!