The Sunday Mail
The Language Coach
The art of writing
Many of us struggle with composition which is a core component in any English Exam. As a result this is our topic for the day.
My first piece of advice to anybody who wants to become a good writer is to read widely. If you do not read at least one novel a week, you will NEVER be good at composition! Reading books increases creativity, exposes you to various writing styles and techniques and gives you brilliant ideas for good stories. It is also critical to understand the three different essay writing types that are included in every English exam.
Types of essay
This is when you are required to tell a story.
ZJC examples of narrative style
- Write your own story which ends with the following sentence:
Either a) I was alone when it happened.
OR b) I felt so happy that my parents had arrived just in time to help me out.
O-Level examples of narrative style
- Write a story based on one of the following:
- a) A night of mystery.
- b) The bridegroom did not turn up for the wedding.
This is when you are expected to describe a person, place, event, occasion, etc in vivid detail.
ZJC examples of descriptive genre.
- The most popular girl or boy in my class.
- The day I fell in trouble at school.
O-Level examples of descriptive style
1) Describe an occasion when a stranger came to your rescue.
This is when you are expected to give your views or opinion on a given topic.
When going into an exam you need to know which essay type you do best in and zero in on the topics within that category. For those who struggle with English I strongly recommend the narrative essay since it is easiest. If you are brilliant at English then you may also attempt the descriptive essay which is slightly more challenging. The discursive essay is a suicidal choice for any student as it is the toughest and requires the most skill. I do not recommend this essay type for anyone who is writing at ZJC or O ‘Level. At A’ Level, on the other hand, in the subject of English Language and Communication Skills, this is the only option open to you.
ZJC examples of discursive essays
1) City life is more interesting than rural life.
2) What I wish parents could do for their children.
O’ level examples of discursive style
1).There are advantages in being a member of a big family. How far do you agree with this statement?
2) Discuss how the School Development Associations can improve the learning conditions of pupils.
A-Level communication skills essay questions
1) Discuss the significance of recent changes in communication technology.
2) Does public opinion matter and has it ever influenced the course of events in your country.
WHAT IS FREE COMPOSITION?
This is when you are given many questions and are expected to choose one. For ZJC you are expected to write at least one and a half pages and for O ‘Level about two pages. A ‘Level essays may be from five hundred to eight hundred words. Make sure you stick to the given word limit. Too much or too little will lead to heavy penalties in an exam.
Exam tips free composition
Read through all the questions.
Mark of questions that interest you.
Choose the easiest question
Choose the essay writing type you are good at.
Understand question requirements
AVOID DISCURSIVE ESSAY.
Never write an essay without planning it
Write plan on your answer sheet.
Label it as plan.
Cross out plan.
Avoid direct speech.
Write legibly and neatly.
Always use paragraphs.
Count words as you write.
Stick to given word limit.
Write number of words at the end.
Do not go off topic.
Do not copy a story you have read elsewhere.
Do not write a story with unsuitable content.
Till we meet again next time. If you are a high scholar struggling with English Language homework for any syllabus you may contact the language coach for free advice.
Examiners, YOU CAN SEND YOUR ARTICLES THROUGH E-MAIL, FACEBOOK, WHATSAPP or TEXT Just app Charles Mushinga on 0719936678 or send your articles, pictures, poetry, art . . . to Charles Mushinga at [email protected] or [email protected] or follow Charles Mushinga on Facebook or @charlesmushinga on Twitter. You can also post articles to The Sunday Mail Bridge, PO Box 396, Harare or call 0719936678.
For more details on The O Level study Guide with notes and past papers and private tuition contact 0772487227