General guidelines for correct composition writing
When you write a composition or an essay, you are often asked to write your answer in the form of an article, a report, a letter, etc.
ARTICLES are found in magazines and newspapers( e.g. school newspaper, youth magazine, etc). All of the following may be written in the form of an article:
- Descriptive composition about people, places, objects, etc.
- Narrative descriptions or stories about real or imaginary events which happened in the past.
- Discursive essays, about arguments concerning particular subjects, which include:
- opinion essays, giving your personal opinion;
- for-and-against essays, giving the opposing arguments for both sides;
- solution of the problem, where your suggest possible solution of the problem.
REPORTS are similar to articles but have a more formal, factual style, and each kind has its own specific format and features. Compositions in the form of reports include:
- News reports about recent events( e.g. accidents, earthquakes,etc), such as those found in newspapers.
- Assessment reports discussing the suitability of a person, a place, a proposed plan, etc.
- Reviews discussing a film, book, restaurant, etc and giving your opinion/recommendation.
LETTERS are written to a specific person/group(e.g your parents. The Town Council, etc) for a specific reason (e.g to make a complaint, to apply for ajob, etc) Compositions in this form include:
- Friendly letters to people we know, usually about personal matters, in informal style.
- Formal letters to officials/managers/etc, about official/business matters in formal style.
- Postcards to friends or relatives.
There are several other kinds of informative writing, each with its own format and features. They include:
- instructions on how to make, use or do something (e.g to make a cake, operate a washing machine, etc).
- leaflets giving information, advice, etc;
- public notices, warning, etc;
- advertisements and announcements;
- memos, notes and other short messages.
Before starting to write your composition read the composition instructions – or the rubric – carefully to decide which kind of
composition you are going to write.
Composition instructions often describe an imaginary situation which you will write about( e.g "You are a newspaper reporter….” Or " You are planning to spend a few months at a language school in Britain…”, etc) this may suggest who/what you are, what has happened, why you are writing, etc .The instructions also suggest the imaginary reader of what you write. This may be a specific person( e.g. the manager of the hotel where you recently stayed) or a general type of person( e.g. the readers of a fashion magazine for teenagers) a composition should be written in a style which suits the particular reader. You will often be told to include a number of specific topics in your answer ( e.g. "Describe what happened and say how you felt..”, "Describe the building and its facilities, and comment on its good and bad points…”) Pay your attention on the key words in the rubric which tell you about the type of writing, the situation, the reader and the specific topics.
Most compositions have three basic parts - an introduction, a main body and a conclusion.
Introduction is a short paragraph in which we give the reader a general idea of the subject of the composition, and attract their attention so that they want to continue reading.
In the main body we develop points related to the subject of the composition. This part usually consists of 2 or more paragraphs, depending on the subject.
Each paragraph should deal with points related to the same topic. We start a new paragraphs each time we begin to discuss a new topic. For example, in a for-and-against article, the main body will have one paragraph about advantages, and a second about advantages.
The conclusion is a short final paragraph in which we summarise the main idea of the subject, restate our opinion using different words, discuss the results of the main event, etc.
REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING RULES:
- read the instructions carefully – what kind of writing task is it?
- Read the information you need to include in your writing.
- Write a plan detailing information you want to include in each paragraph. If you have time, write a draft copy or a few key sentences.
- Be precise – write strictly on the subject.
- Check that you have included all the information that is required. Use linking words so that your writing is coherent and logical.
- Check your writing style – have you used formal or informal language as required?
- Check that you have an introduction, a middle and a conclusion.
Also check that you have clearly defined paragraphs and that you have the correct number of words.
- Check your grammar and spelling DON'T:
- write more than the word limit( 180 – 200 words). Think about the number of the words you need for each paragraph when you write your plan;
- repeat yourself - try to use varied vocabulary and grammar structures;
- use a proverb or quotation if it will not concern the subject, only because you know it;
- use trite expressions and old tags;
- start sentences with "AND” or "BUT”;
- try to write compound sentences, if you are not sure in grammar. Better write shorter sentences but more accurate;
- use phrasal verbs, replace them with neutral equivalents. it is NOT an oral practice;
Here are the general plans for the main types of essays:
A for-and-against essay:
1 paragraph – introduction:
- give a general idea of the subject of the composition without expressing your personal opinion
2 paragraph - main body:
- describe the advantages of the issue
- describe disadvantages of the issue ( there may be as many paragraphs as many evidences for and against the issue you can find)
4 paragraph – conclusion
- give your personal opinion on the subject and sum up the main idea
An opinion essay
1 paragraph - introduction
- give a general idea of the subject of the composition and express your opinion on the issue clearly
- explain your opinion, give some reasons to support it
- give some more facts to prove your opinion
- give the opposite opinion. You may also explain why you think
it is wrong
5 paragraph – conclusion
- sum up the main ideas of your composition
A solution to the problem
1 paragraph – introduction
- state the problem clearly and express your personal attitude;
2 paragraph – main body
- give a variant of solving the problem. Explain the consequences.
- give another variant. Explain the consequences (there may be as many paragraphs, as many variants of solution to the problem you can find)
4. paragraph – conclusion
- sum up the main ideas of the issue,
And in conclusion we would like to recommend you to:
KISS your essay:
S hort and