English essay

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English essay

Postby Artliner » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:04 pm

which one do you think the O levels' english essay markers will put into consideration? more beautiful vocabs or the content?

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Re: English essay

Postby Skyed » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:22 pm

Both are equally important.

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Re: English essay

Postby i1k » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:44 pm

The level of maturity and thought placed in the content and the level of technical refinement such kideas are expressed with. I learnt the hard way the use of florid vocabulary does not a great essay make. Instead, used in a manner that is not thematic is anathema towards the end of clear succint expression in a fluent manner. That said, obviously having both vocabulary and the ability to use it properly to enhance meaning and immersion for the reader would be optimal.

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Re: English essay

Postby Artliner » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:53 pm

thank you skyed and i1k for the reply.
i1k wrote:The level of maturity and thought placed in the content and the level of technical refinement such kideas are expressed with. I learnt the hard way the use of florid vocabulary does not a great essay make. Instead, used in a manner that is not thematic is anathema towards the end of clear succint expression in a fluent manner. That said, obviously having both vocabulary and the ability to use it properly to enhance meaning and immersion for the reader would be optimal.


wait i1k, i dont get what you are trying to say.. can you try to make your explanation simpler?

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Re: English essay

Postby sc_gal » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:32 am

Artliner wrote:which one do you think the O levels' english essay markers will put into consideration? more beautiful vocabs or the content?


Hi, I just took my Os last year and I was generally a Narrative writer. I feel the key is to follow the marker's rubrics (can be found online, just google - eg http://englishcafe.wordpress.com/catego ... s-paper-1/ ). The rubrics for my year reflected that the emphasis was on technique, as content only takes up 1 out of 5 marking areas I think. If 2013 Os is using the same syllabus as 2012, then I will say focus on writer's technique and developing a unique writer's voice.

(for narratives/recount/likewise) Content is only important in the sense that it is imperative your piece captures the marker's attention and engages him. If he gets bored even before he passes your intro, your grade will definitely plummet. The advice my teacher gave me prior the exam was, find a topic/caricature that I am passionate/interested about, research about it and write. Possible topics: elderly, culture, politics etc. Possible caricature: pop icons, people you see around every day, etc. I enjoyed doing this a lot, and had a couple of ideas that I enjoyed dabbling with - did pieces on child beauty pageants, Getai, airstewardess, taxi drivers, etc.

As for argumentative and expo pieces, I am fairly certain that content will be much more important there. Its hard to sell a informative piece that has no substance.

All in all, I think most importantly is to keep writing - practise makes perfect :) All the best!

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Re: English essay

Postby YellowFile » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:53 pm

Good reply there by sc_gal. It's good advice to look at the examiner's mark scheme because it is the standard by which every single piece of writing is graded against.

To address the original post, I'd say both vocabulary and content matter. You want to demonstrate maturity and sensibility in expository and argumentative essays. To achieve that, you not only need to read widely and be able to form sound opinions (or content), you also need the range of vocabulary to convey the intended meaning accurately. Vocabulary and content works hand in hand like that.

Narrative pieces, however, is more about engaging the reader. This where the important of content (or plot) comes into play. Students will find it helpful to borrow ideas and descriptive phrases used in narrative texts from short stories of less than 1000 words each.

A gentle reminder that the mark scheme on English Cafe is based on the 1127 O Level syllabus. Only the current 2013 batch of Secondary 5 students is taking the 1127 O Level syllabus, while all other students taking O Level English exam this year will be taking the 1128 syllabus. The good news is not much has changed in the examiner's mark scheme for the free writing component, so parents and teachers can still safely refer to the old mark scheme for reference.

Hope that answers your question! :)
Ms Peh
http://englishtutorsingapore.org

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Re: English essay

Postby HappieNewbie123 » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:08 pm

Hi, I need some help with planning my Expository essay. The question given is: How, and in what areas, can Singapore do better in the next 10 years?
My understanding of this question is that I am purposed to write arguments about different aspects (economy and social, for example) that Singapore can and will be able to improve in the next ten years time. That will mean that my counter argument&rebuttal paragraph will be talking about what Singapore will not be able to improve in the next ten years (that means that the problem could not be solve in ten years time with reasons such as it will take a longer time, etc) and rebut with reasons like improvements are made more rapidly in shorter period of time and thus may be able to improve in ten years time.

Or should it be arguments about areas to improve and counter argument about what should not be improved and rebut about how a country should improve as the rest of the world will improve. This one is strange so I dont really think so...

Or is there other ways to interpret this question? Thank you!

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Re: English essay

Postby Distinction Tutorial School » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:51 pm

Hi I know that this is a much, much belated reply but I only came across it yesterday, so I guess I shall attempt an answer for the sake of clarfying essay genres.

The question : How, and in what areas, can Singapore do better in the next 10 years?

HappieNewbie123 rightly identified it as an expository essay. Hence, what is needed is elucidation, that is, to explain in detail. You do not really need to get mired up in rebuttals and counter arguments. It is not an argumentative essay that requires arguments on both sides. An indication of argumentation are clauses such as "Do you agree?" "What are your views?". Even if there is a controversy that you want to address, it should only be done briefly. There is no need to sweat over it.

The key words are "what areas" - identify & "how" - explain by giving examples the ways of improvement, bearing in mind the time frame of ten years.

Some examples of expository skills are i) explaining a process ii) giving examples iii) defining a term iv) explaining cause and effect v) classifying
vii) comparing and contrasting

An expository essay gives opportunity for the writer to demonstrate the above skills with the content that he or she has.

Aletheia Chan
Distinction Tutorial School

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