When you write an O Level English composition, you know that choosing the correct topic can make or break your essay.
How many times have you found yourself wishing that you had chosen another topic instead but it was too late?
Why does this feeling always come up?
That is because some O Level English composition questions can be deceptive.
Yes. It seems as if it is easy to do but when you get down to writing it, the subjective part makes it difficult for you to write beyond 2 paragraphs.
So, what do you do? How can you know if the topic is deceptive and how can you avoid this calamity?
Ok, do not worry as I’ve got some great tips to get you off to a really great O Level English composition.
Just follow the points I have set up for you and you will never go wrong in your O Level English composition. Ready?
#1 Choose The Right Topic
Ok. This is obviously the trickiest part as the entire O Level English composition hangs on this hinge. How do you know if the question is tricky or not?
Now, this is actually rather simple. Take a good look at the question. What is it asking you to do?
If the question is wordy and carefully asks you to examine the lifestyle of young people and if they are likely to be more or less independent.
Most students will baulk at a long question like this but if the truth be known, the longer the better.
Yep. That’s because you get more clues and a better guideline for your essay.
A short question like “Greed” may seem relatively simple and some students may think that it gives them all the freedom in the world to write.
That is the biggest mistake to make. That’s because you will find yourself running out of points or steam once you start writing unless you are really good at writing subjective essays.
The next step is to focus on the words in the question. Choose the ones that are familiar.
Have you done this before or read about this before? That should be a step forward in the right direction.
#2 Focus On The Keywords
After you have got past your initial qualm in choosing the O Level English composition question, focus on the question now.
It is time to get down to the brass tacks. What is the question asking? Focus on the keywords and what each one means.
Some key words could be separate words and others, phrases.
Each one will have a distinct emphasis and directive.
You are meant to dissect each one and figure out the direction it is meant to take you.
Examine the meaning of these words and phrases in relation to what is going on in the world today.
Focus on your society if the words point you in that direction. Always give your view of the key words in the introductory paragraph.
This is called your angle. This is really important as it tells the marker which direction you are headed in.
#3 Use A Strategy For The Template
Using a strategy means that you will cover all areas and leave nothing out. This is a good organisation skill as you will have enough content for your O Level English composition.
When you write a narrative or reflective type of essay, you will need a fairly good base to write on.
Make sure you cover the background, profile and the build-up, climax and the learning part at the end. There should be a gradual climb up and down.
For argumentative and expository essays, it is more fact based.
You will need to write in PEELs – Point, Evidence, Elaboration and Link back.
Follow a strategy where you write your evidence in a gradual climb to reveal the most pertinent information reflecting the swings or shifts in society.
Make sure your points and information are spread out evenly over a couple of sides of your writing paper.
#4 Build Your Content
Collect evidence from the latest and most impactful examples.
Your evidence is the base of your O Level English essay. Verify all information before you write it.
A good idea of the history of your essay will be a sound start.
If the essay is about lifestyles of people in your society, you will need to examine the various shifts starting from a certain point.
Post–war changes and the way people gradually started to live differently till the modern times will be a sensible way to go about it.
#5 Sharpen Your Rebuttal
When you plan your template for the essay, make sure that you plan for your rebuttal as well. It should be a logical explanation of the other side of the O Level English composition question.
You will have to engage in the latest examples and outcomes in societies.
The Rebuttal should be engaging and impactful.
As always, check for the veracity of the example/s before using it.
#6 Use Exciting Words
The most exciting words make a difference! Make every word count. Avoid repetitive and boring words. Stop repeating your statements.
Use fresh and interesting adjective phrases in every paragraph especially when you are explaining your opinion.
Words bring an essay to life. They make the difference between a jaded, old explanation of a point to a fresh and startling way of looking at it.
#7 Be Insightful
Use examples and evidence that are insightful. Remember it is your choice of whom you want to highlight in your examples.
Choose leaders or game-changers who have given something of worth to society. Do your research before you write. Practice writing like this so that you will be ready for your O Level English composition exam.
Being insightful means that you are able to study the question in detail and look into the deeper meaning of it. You need to show this by using useful examples of people connected to your points.
Or there could be relevant examples of happenings in the past or recent present that could reveal this.
#8 Use Examples Of Great People To Lend Depth
I have always found that examples of great people can make an essay spring to life. People who have made great contributions to society or to education, to emancipation or those with major medical discoveries leading to relief.
Choose your example carefully and try to use the ones that people do not always use. If you want to mention the more prominent ones, then highlight the reason why you are fascinated.
Use some personal reference about how it impacted you, for example.
#9 Provide Useful Quotes Or Idioms
Having a quote or two makes a big difference. Or an idiom. Idioms are impactful too as they are short and meaningful.
Useful quotes from statesmen are also enlightening. Pick on the ones that lend greater depth to your O Level English essay and what you are aiming at before you finish.
#10 Make Sure Your Conclusion Is Impactful
The conclusion is the main part of your O Level English essay whether you realise this or not. It is the last thing the marker looks at before grading you, so give it all you have got!
Include a futuristic view about the way the direction of the question is making you think it is heading in the near future. Do not just summarise what is in the essay but add something personal and emotional before you end.
Make your conclusion count in the O Level English composition. All too often, students just write one single line for the conclusion as they run out of time. This is due to bad planning.
If you had done the template properly, this should not happen.
Aim for a solid and meaningful conclusion and you will be surprised to see how your grades will be affected.
Well, those are my 10 tips for writing a really wonderful O Level English composition! I hope you will follow them and that it will give you the reward that you deserve!