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Directed writing notes

There are various types of text that will be tested in the first question. Types of text that would be tested are: 1. Speech/Talk 2. Report 3. Informal letter 4. Formal letter 5. Article

Speech/Talk
How to write a Speech? Here are some guidelines you should follow when giving a speech or a talk. Lets look at a sample question: You recently won the Best Student Award in your school. You have been asked to give a talk during assembly to share tips with the other students on what they need to do so that they too can become successful students. Use the following notes to write your speech. Suggestions:

set goals be motivated pay attention ask questions be organised complete homework on time prepare well for exams take part in co-curricular activities obey school rules respect everyone

Avoid: wasting time skipping school When writing your speech, you should remember to:

address your audience state the purpose of the speech use all the points given end your speech appropriately

E.g Introductory Paragraph: 1. address your audience 2. introduce yourself 3. state the purpose of your speech Second Paragraph 1. point 1 (set goals) 2. point 2 (be motivated) 3. point 3 (pay attention) 4. point 4 (ask questions)

A very good morning to our beloved principal, Pn Laila Mohd Noor, senior assistants, teachers and friends. On this glorious morning, I, Gary Tan the recipient of this years Best Student Award am going to give a talk on How to Become a Successful Student. In my speech, I am going to share with you some tips on how you can be a successful student. If you want to be successful, you must set goals. Research shows that people who set goals accomplish more than those who do not. In deciding your goals, ask yourself What do I want to be? and What do I do to get there? Besides, you must be motivated. When you are motivated you will have a strong desire to do well and to achieve your goals. In addition, you must pay attention in class. Listen actively and focus on what the teacher is teaching. If you have disruptive classmates, sit in front of the classroom, away from them. Always ask questions if you do not understand. Seek clarifications from your teachers or your friends if you are shy to approach the former

Third Paragraph 1. point 5 (be organised) 2. point 6(complete homework on time) 3. point 7 (prepare well for exams)

Another important tip to being a successful student is to be organised. You can use a planner or notebook to write down all your assignments when they are given. This way you will not forget your homework, dates of tests or projects. Remember, if you are organised you will be well- prepared and you will have less stress. Moreover, you must complete your homework on time. Homework helps reinforce what you have learnt. It helps you understand and remember the information. You must prepare well for exams. A successful student is one who prepares for exams well in advance, and not at the eleventh hour. If you study consistently, you will have ample time for revision. Friends, to be a successful student you must have diverse interests. You should take part in cocurricular activities in order to become a well-rounded person. These activities help develop leadership skills and teamwork besides instilling values like cooperation and tolerance. Discipline is an important aspect of our lives. No matter where you go or what you do, you will be subjected to rules and regulations. Hence, it is crucial that you obey the school rules. Dear friends, What is success if you lack the common courtesies in life? Remember, you must respect everyone. You must respect your parents, your teachers, the school staff and also your friends. You must respect other peoples feelings and opinions. There are also several things you must avoid if you want to be a successful student. You must avoid wasting time. These days many teenagers spend hours on social networks such as Facebook or playing computer games. These are a waste of time and will not benefit you in any way. Remember, Time and tide wait for no man. Also, avoid skipping school. Some students feel that school is a waste of time as they can learn better from their tuition teachers. This is not true. The teachers in our school are experienced and well qualified. They are also experienced examiners and they know how to impart knowledge effectively.

Fourth Paragraph 1. point 8 (take part in co-curricular activities) 2. point 9 (obey school rules)

Fifth Paragraph 1. point 10 (respect everyone) 2. point 11 (avoid wasting time) 3. point 12 (avoid skipping school)

Final Paragraph 1. Conclude appropriately

I have to stop here. I hope you have found my talk helpful. Thank you for listening attentively.

Common pitfalls
1. Poor time management. Do not spend more than the allocated 45 minutes on this question. Otherwise you will not have enough time for the second question. Remember the second question carries more marks.

2. Lengthy essays. Do not write too much. As mentioned earlier, this question does not make many demands on a candidate. Directed writing is a brief piece of writing. All you have to do is use the given points and provide a sentence or two (maybe three) to elaborate on them. A response of 1 - 2 pages is more than sufficient. After all, the more you write the more mistakes you are likely to make. Some candidates make the mistake of writing one paragraph for each point. If you do this, your essay is going to be very lengthy. Save the time and energy for Continuous Writing.

3. Usage of Informal language. This paper tests your written English. Do not use spoken language. Avoid using slang words (such as guys, dudes, bligetty, breaky, toastie), contractions (cant, mustnt etc) and informal language (such as informal idiomatic expressions or informal phrasal verbs).

4. Too many idiomatic expressions. Some candidates tend to use as many idiomatic expressions as they can in their piece of writing. I understand this is a required practice for the Bahasa Melayu paper. It may work to your advantage for the Bahasa Melayu paper but not in an English paper. Reading a piece of writing littered with such expressions devalues the merits the piece of writing may have.

5. Poor punctuation. Some candidates do not punctuate their sentences correctly. Make sure you end your sentence with a full stop and not a comma. Also, make sure that the pronoun (I) is written in upper case and not lower case (i) as is the practice among some candidates.