The Sunday News
ENGLISH Language learning involves a lot of reading and writing hence we keep on moving from one activity to the other on weekly basis. As a start we make reference to story writing. For example, what makes a good opening? The most important part of any story is the opening.
Key features you consider when you write a story might include how you get the reader’s interest in the first sentence, the language you use, the way you introduce the characters and how to set the scene. To keep the reader interested in your writing, you have to dig deep into your imagination.
You can find inspiration in all kinds of places. Think about books you have read, songs you like, or films you have seen. Paintings can also be a big source of ideas. These are all immediate sources learners can use in their learning and writing. But all these are ignored and exhibited in the poor quality of stories written.
Students have read many books, magazines and listen to many songs from their favourite musicians but fail to make use of them in writing. As well as thinking about the content of your writing, it is also important that you pay close attention to the accuracy and clarity of your writing. Your spelling should be accurate throughout and you need to show that you are in control of a range of punctuation devices.
In order to get a good grade, you will need to show basic competence in punctuation such as using full stops and apostrophe correctly. Responses that get top grades will show confident use of more sophisticated punctuation devices, such as semi-colons and direct speech marks.
Now that we have introduced punctuation in our discussion we might as well talk about the writing of dialogue. You will need to include some dialogue in your story. Here are some rules for speech layout: the first speech word inside speech marks begins with a capital letter. “Have you seen the doctor?”
“No replied the child, he is about to come.” Separate the words in speech marks from the rest of the sentence with a comma, exclamation mark or question mark. “Are you sure her mother asked? “I was told by the nurse that the doctor will be here soon.” The words actually spoken go inside the speech marks.
Dialogue can be used to: increase tension and adds humour into the story. It can explain feelings or events and shows more about the character. It can also help move the story on. When writing remember that different types of writing generally use certain features or ingredients. When given a writing task, you need to understand what type of writing it is and the sort of features that are usually included.
Following are examples of some of the main features and techniques used for different types of writing.
It is also important to remember that one text type may be written in a variety of different styles. For example, a travel guide could be formal or entertain. You need to adapt your use of language depending on the purpose of your story and its audience.
Features of different styles of writing
Reports have headings and subheadings, formal language. Have an objective view point, facts, figures and statistics. At times you need to offer recommendations and or conclusions at the end. Writing to give instructions: Use a clear and effective style. Use of imperative verbs, for instance, get, put and take. You need to use subheadings as well.
Impersonal tone is recommended (avoid using he, she, we or I). Use connectives, for example first, next, finally, before. Descriptive writing should be arranged in paragraphs. Allow the reader to imagine the subject described. It gives a general picture as well as details. Uses adjectives adverbs and similes and appeals to the senses.
Features of discursive writing should be balanced and objective. Gives arguments for and against a topic. Comes to a conclusion after providing the facts. Uses connectives, for example, however, furthermore, moreover and often uses comparison. Writing to entertain uses lively style, informal language which is often humorous. Often uses you to address the reader.
Exaggeration, familiar sayings, varied vocabulary and slang words often feature in this type of writing. To create a successful piece of writing you need to use an appropriate tone. Here is a range of possible options: frustrated, light-hearted, sympathetic, angry, assertive, lively, businesslike, reflective, friendly, sarcastic, brisk, romantic, enthusiastic, humorous, and serious.
Connecting ideas: connectives allow you to construct compound and complex sentences. They link ideas together within sentences and link sentences together within paragraphs.
Without them a text or story can seem fragmented, a junk of random ideas without a smooth flow between them.
Connectives can work as co-ordinators in compound sentences, linking up separate clauses.
Connectives can also act as links between a main and a subordinate clause.