Advice as you head toward mock examinations

19 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Advice as you head toward mock examinations

The Sunday News

Examiner’s tips –The word “outline” when used in an examination question is a cue for you to write a summary of part of what you have read. “Explore” requires you to identify the writer’s purpose and then write analytically about how he or she attempts to persuade the reader to share it.

Before beginning a piece of writing, you need to consider several things: the purpose, audience, layout and style of the piece. You should also think about what type of language would be most suitable. The acronym (Pals) will help you to plan your work, also to check it afterwards. Pals refer to terms and things to consider when writing. Leave some time at the end of the examination to read through what you have written. Do not try to make detailed revisions at this stage, but concentrate on ensuring that your spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct.

Purpose – why are you writing? Are you writing to entertain, persuade, report, explain, review or something else? Audience –who are you writing for, a friend, a boss, a child, a teacher or someone else? Layout – should you write your text in paragraphs? Does it need subheadings or bullet points? Does it need a letter layout? Style –what tone should it be written in, lively, light-hearted, serious, thoughtful or something different? What perspective should you use; first person (I), second person (you), or third person (he, she, it)?

Remember to show an awareness of the genre in which you are writing by using an appropriate tone and vocabulary.

Reading widely will help you to gain familiarity with a range of genres and the features associated with them.

Different types of writing such as report writing and discursive writing are characterised by certain features.

When you are faced with a writing task, you need to identify what type of writing is required and to think about the sort of features that are usually included. The following are examples of some of the main features and techniques used for different types of writing. Not all types of texts are included here and some texts will include features from more than one type. For example, a travel guide may present factual information but also give an opinion.

It is also important to remember that one text type may be written in a variety of styles. For example, a travel guide as mentioned could be formal or entertaining. In such instances, you will need to adapt your use of language depending on the purpose of your text and its audience. The issue of registers as emphasised in the abandoned syllabi still comes to play. Registers are still being taught and applied in various texts without necessarily defining them.

Definitions of terms in themselves are not enough but work well when used in sentence construction. Types of writing: Report – have headings and subheadings. On these, you use formal language and you take an objective viewpoint. Also included in reports are facts, figures and statistics. You may include recommendations and/or conclusions at the end. When writing to give instructions you should use a clear and factual style. The use of imperative verbs, for example, get, put and take is essential. Use subheadings and an impersonal tone, which avoids using he, she, we or I. Make use of connectives such as first, next, finally and before. Descriptive writing should be arranged in paragraphs and allow the reader to imagine the subject described. This also gives a general picture as well as details. Adjectives and adverbs as well as similes are used and they appeal to the senses. Descriptive writing appeals more to the senses than any other form of writing. When writing a review, you are giving reasons why the product, place or experience is good or bad. A review gives a conclusion and uses technical language and often gives a subjective opinion. Sometimes, a review uses a comparison. Discursive writing usually is balanced and objective by giving arguments for and against a topic. It comes to a conclusion after providing the facts. Connectives such as however, furthermore, moreover are used in this type of writing to give a coherent piece of writing. It often uses a comparison. Writing to entertain needs a lively style, informal and often humorous. Often uses “you” to address the reader. Another element, which needs to be present in this kind of writing is exaggeration. Also, use familiar sayings and varied vocabulary for standard words. Avoid slang words. The structure makes up your writing. By this, I am referring to beginnings and endings. The beginning of a text is important because it leaves the reader with a final impression of what you want to say. To create a successful piece of writing you need to use an appropriate tone. Here are some possible options you can use: frustrated, light-hearted, sympathetic, angry, assertive, lively, business-like, reflective, friendly, sarcastic, brisk, romantic, enthusiastic, humorous and serious. Remember that a catalogue of the listed words is useless unless used in sentences. Examiners do have a sense of humour and can be amused so do not be afraid to use humour where appropriate, however, do not go over the top.

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