In every English Language exam, writing a composition is a key part of it. Knowing how to write a good composition in your PSLE English exam will increase your child’s chances of passing the exam and moving on to the next level of his or her education. As such, your child needs to be an expert in writing compositions.
The PSLE syllabus in English for writing compositions is more challenging than it was before. Usually, pupils will be given two questions or categories with fixed scenarios for them to answer by writing an essay. Now, the pupils are given three pictures, and they are expected to write a story about one, two, or all three of those pictures.
To write a good composition, you first need to plan it. Think of what you want to write and how you want to write it. A composition is usually divided into parts, which are the Introduction, the Body, and the Conclusion. These three parts of a composition typically have to answer the questions of who, what, where, when, why, and how. So, when planning what you want to write in your composition, map out an outline with these questions, such as:
• Who are the people/characters in your story?
• Where does your story occur/take place?
• When does your story occur/take place?
• What happened in your story? At this point, you should also note what the climax – the most important aspect of the story – is.
• Why did it occur/happen?
• How did the event conclude/end? Also put in the lesson to be learned in this story, if there is any, at this point.
When you have outlined your composition writing plan, you will be better prepared to tackle the actual writing. Do not forget that your composition needs to have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion: without these components, you could fail your PSLE English paper.
Introduction That Compels Readers To Continue Reading
The introduction is the build up to the actual story. Your introduction will give the examiner a glimpse into what your composition is going to be like, and will determine if they will continue reading or not. As such, your introduction needs to be compelling, needs to make the examiner want to read more. Your introduction needs to be just the right length – not too long and not too short – and it has to catch the examiner’s interest and hold it because if it doesn’t, you have not written a good composition. So, to round up, your introduction needs to have the following characteristics:
• It should be compelling enough to hold your examiner’s attention
• It should prepare your examiner for what is to come next in the story
• It should be straight to the point and not too long.
Interesting Body Content
The body of your composition is where most of the marks for the essay lies because it contains the main parts of your story. The body tells the examiner what happened, where it happened, how, and why it happened. The build up to the climax is in the body of the composition, and this part is typically the longest part of the entire composition.
Writing the body of your composition needs planning because if you don’t plan, there is a strong chance of forgetting some of the important things that you want to write in your story. Just because the body carries most of the information in your story, doesn’t mean that it should be lengthy and full of meaningless words.
Your sentences should be short and simple, conveying meaning and making it easier for the examiner to follow the story. Your vocabulary use should be appropriate and in line with what you are writing. Words, phrases, and expressions can all be used in your composition, but make sure that you know what they mean before you use them, and use them as they should be used so as to make the story more meaningful. If you aren’t sure of what a word means, it is safer to use a different word that you are certain of. So, when writing the body of your composition, you should:
• Use short and simple sentences that are easy to understand
• Use words, phrases and expressions appropriately
• Avoid using big words or complex expressions in your composition
• Do not use words whose meanings you do not fully comprehend, nor know how to spell well.
Don’t Be Stingy With Punctuations
Correct punctuation makes up a good set of marks in your composition. Use your full stops and commas where appropriate, ensuring that you do not leave them out when they should be in. The use of apostrophes is important: know when you are showing ownership and when it is just an abbreviated form. For example, “its’” is different from “it’s”. The former shows ownership, while the other is an abbreviated form of “it is”. Use your punctuations wisely and correctly and make sure they appear throughout your composition.
Aim To Have A Surprise But Reasonable Ending
The conclusion is what rounds up the story and ends it. Your ending can have a twist in it, making your story surprising, but it should also be reasonable and have meaning. Your story should not end suddenly, or abruptly: this is common when you haven’t pre-planned what to write and you have written too much to have a clean resolution. The lesson or the moral of the story should be evident in your conclusion.
Check Through For Spelling Mistakes
When you have finished writing your composition, make sure you check it, and double check it, for spelling mistakes and punctuation mistakes, and correct them where necessary.
Read Silently To Yourself For Grammatical Errors
Take a minute or two to read the composition over for grammatical errors. Look for words that can be switched for other words, and ensure that phrases and expressions have been used correctly.
It is easy to write the perfect composition for your PSLE English test with the right tutorage. As long as you plan what to write before you start writing, and make sure that you have your introduction, body, and conclusion in order. Your composition should be interesting and compelling, and free of any mistakes so that the examiner will like your story and give you the marks you deserve.
For more PSLE English Composition tips & tricks here: 5 Ways To Prepare For PSLE English Composition Writing and What Do PSLE Examiners Look For In A Composition?