Situational writing for O level English Paper is weighted at 30 marks and is equal to the continuous writing portion.
So, what makes situational writing that important?
1. It assesses your ability to use the given information and translate it into a cohesive format.
2. It may contain information where you have to choose the best option and explain with reasons.
3. Your tone has to be convincing as it will usually be directed at someone who is in a position of authority.
Writing competently on points 1-3 means that you are able to write in a journalistic style and you will have an impact on the reader during the O level English paper.
There are 3 great tips for writing a situational composition according to the O level English examination requirements:
#1 – How To Use The Information Advantageously?
In every situational exercise, you will find illustrations and accompanying notes. They will have precise information on the location, statistics about the functions or use etcetera. When you read that, you will have a basic idea about your understanding.
But what it doesn’t tell you is this. It does not tell you that you are supposed to add your opinion to that information. And it does not tell you to flavour the O level English composition in a convincing tone with suitable adjectives. Your opinions and tone matter.
When an examiner marks your O level English composition, she will be looking out for your competence in that area. Did you comment on the pictures and add additional comments rather than repeat the given information?
Regurgitating all the given information is a real ‘no-no.’ Please do not do that. It only signals that you have nothing to contribute to the letter/ article/ report/ proposal. Never ever send out such a signal.
Always use the given information and for every portion, add a little extra. Please make sure that it suits the general description in the question. Use your judgement and stretch it a bit further. The result will be really impressive, just like one of those newspaper articles.
Do you know how to create a similar impression? You need to write confidently. And that will be the way you make intelligent comments that are in tune with the article.
#2 – Explain With Reasons
Ok. When you read the O level English question, you will notice there are some parts that need to be explained. Not every area of the description is covered in the notes.
What do you do? You need to fill in the gaps. Fill them in with your opinions and ensure that it flows smoothly with the rest.
For example, if the question is about choosing the best option for building a recreational area in the school, the question is really asking you about how you feel about choices in utilisation. It does not tell you about how pupils may or may not feel about it.
If the illustration contains a media centre, performing arts centre and basketball court, you are obviously alluding to the intellect, emotional process and physical prowess. Choosing the right one is not as important as embellishing your choice with the appropriate Reasons.
You have to convince the reader that pupils will use your option more than the other 2. And how do you do this? You will need to ‘create’ concerns. Reveal that pupils will need that particular option more than anything else in order to continue to perform well. Reveal how it can be an urgent concern. This is the part where your opinions matter.
Remember that the question states, ‘add additional information where necessary’? Well, that is what I am talking about.
#3 – Convincing Tone
The O level English question always states that your tone should be warm, friendly etcetera. Did you allude to this? Most students forget about the tone in their attempt to write the needed information. Ok, so what is the big deal about the tone? It makes a great difference, trust me.
Just think about it. The content is not the most interesting information on earth. Choosing a media centre over a basketball court may have its due compensatory effects but it will sound a whole lot more attractive if you were to mention that the students may be able to become independent entrepreneurs someday and the possibilities will be endless!
The tone can be infectious and bubbling with enthusiasm at times. Not all the time but interjected when necessary, means you can have a really readable composition. Just follow my 3 tips and you will find that situational writing can be easy to score in the O level English paper. Good luck!