General Paper (GP) is based on information and style. You need to have the knowledge and know how to apply it skillfully.
I have compiled 5 key areas for General Paper preparation that are based on my years of teaching this subject:
#1 – Make Sure Your Content Is Updated
When you are preparing for your General Paper, it is all about content, content, content. You really need to have information at your fingertips.
If you are not really into world news and have only dealt with peripheral news, do not worry.
I have some quick tips on how to beef up your content so that it meets the expectations of General Paper examinations.
There is news going on around us all the time. Whether you took note of it or not, it would have somehow filtered down to you.
For instance, we all know what the latest news about coronavirus is. No matter how much you have ensconced yourself in your habitat, you would have known that by now.
How did that happen? You may have heard it from someone. Usually, that is the most common way people get news.
Another way is the internet. You may have seen this on your home page.
Though the internet is not really a substantial news source, it really does create viral news.
As a General Paper student, a good alternative is to Read the news. That is really the best way. The front page and the editorial pages are the best. The front page gives you everything in a gist and the most shell-shocking news is there. And the editorial page gives you the most in-depth news with all the embellishments.
Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? That’s the way to go. You need to literally dive into the news if you need to update your content.
Ok. So, your family does not buy the newspapers? Watch the news channels on tv. You need to watch when the world and local news are going on.
#2 – Spot Essay Questions From Past Year Exams
Spotting essay questions comprises looking up past year General Paper exam questions and revising them. You may determine which questions may be likely to appear by looking at the frequency with which they appear.
Questions appear in a cyclical manner. Focus on the questions from a few years ago and revise them. The chances of questions from a few years ago appearing in your upcoming exams are high.
Take the time to note down the number of times they appeared in the last 10 years. Then, make a list of all of these and start studying them closely.
#3 – Zone In On 2-3 Topics And Practise
Once you have got your 2-3 General Paper topics nailed down, start making mind maps of these. List out the points for each question thoroughly while alluding to the content you have at hand.
Make sure that you include all the latest information about that topic. Then practise writing essays on it. The final tip is that you need to make notes based on the essays you have written. This will help you with recalling.
Zoning in on 2-3 topics means that your preparation has to be really thorough. Every essay should be in-depth and you should focus on all the key issues with succinct elaborations.
#4 – Learn Using Relevant Phrases And Quotes For The Areas You Have Chosen
This is the vocabulary part of your preparation. Students who use impressive vocabulary are always in the ‘A’ category.
How do you do this?
For General Paper essays, you need to stay away from flowery language. Have you read journalistic articles? The ones in the newspapers? Your vocabulary should mimic theirs.
Read the editorials in the newspapers. Those journalists are using words that reach out to people and impress them with the urgency of what they want to say.
You should do the same. Your words should be impressive, direct and convey the urgency of your points. Refresh your style of writing and you will note the difference, especially in your grades!
#5 – Practise Writing Evidence From Articles
Reading news articles is not enough but you should convey that in your writing.
The latest speech by the Prime Minister, the latest medical breakthrough, news about domestic violence and unemployment should be a part of your essay. If you are not used to it, try including it as evidence in your essay.
Not only the latest news but historical facts and documented evidence should also be a part of your essays. This will reveal your expert knowledge in all areas. Remember, you are always aiming to impress with content.
In due time, with continual practice, you should be able to manage these 5 key areas skilfully. Use them daily and religiously by applying yourself to the areas that you must read.
Practice makes perfect and you will be on your way to an impressive essay that will earn you top marks in your General Paper!