For our third tip, we are going to concentrate on writing a good story. This is important because good stories score well for content. How can we create great stories? The key to writing great stories is to create a strong “problem” or “conflict” so that the intense reaction of the main character may be explored before it is resolved as part of the story. In other words, creating conflicts is key to writing an excellent story.
In classical Literature, experts have divided conflicts into different types. One common conflict type is “Man vs. Man”. It basically means that the conflict arises because two (or more) people want different things. In the case of of an essay with the theme of “the secret”, the conflict could be based on how one person has discovered another person’s secret and wants to reveal it to other people. Thus, this creates an interesting conflict in which the main character(s) in the story have to try to stop this person.
Yet another type of conflict is “Man vs. Self”. In this case, the main character has to overcome a personal, usually inner, struggle. For example, if the main character keeps the secret, somebody might be harmed. However, revealing the secret will cause him pain in some form. Thus, the main character struggles with himself whether to keep the secret or not.
There are other types of conflicts. However, we will not go into details as they tend to be more difficult to construct a story around these conflicts due to the lack of time in an exam situation. If you are interested, you can go here for a simple and concise explanation of creating conflicts.
Four Types of Conflict
In the meantime, remember to read keeping checking our blog for more advice on writing. Also, remember to ‘like’ our FB page for more news and other important information.
This is Part 3 of a 12 Part series. To go back to the index, please click here.
A couple of months ago, we posted a set of creative writing tips together with our marketing partner, LearnSuperMart. However, they were edited for a Facebook audience and some details had to be left out. Some parents have asked us for the version that has the full details. Hence, we are pleased to present the full set for your reading pleasure.
We hope that with this full set, you’ll be able to understand the requirements of the continuous writing component of Paper 1, and help your child understand how to tweak his writing to ensure the requirements are met. With these tips, we are confident that your child will be able to improve on his creative writing. At the same time, please check our webpage every now and then for more information and tips. If you prefer frequent and bite-size tips, do like our Facebook Page.
Introduction to this Creative Writing series
The first three tips of this series will focus on helping your child prepare for writing. Before your child starts writing, it is important that he reads and understands the question before proceeding. He needs to brainstorm for ideas, ensuring that his story answers the question and engages the reader. As such, we will be discussing how your child can stick to the theme of the essay question and suggest different ways to generate ideas. Most important, we will be teaching how to give your child’s essay an overarching emotional tone that will help his essay stand out.
After that, we will focus on some techniques of writing – from writing about emotions to improving the climax and coming out with fantastic conclusions. We are confident that these techniques will help your child develop his writing and help him score better in the next essay he writes.
Finally, we will a little technical and focus on how to improve your child’s language by focusing on varying sentences. As a bonus, we are also going to touch on the marking rubrics as well as common marking comments that may help you understand how your child’s teacher marks.
There is just one more thing we would like you to read before you forge ahead with this series. Please download the PSLE English syllabus. It will be most helpful to you to understand these tips. The English syllabus can be found here.
In the second part of the article, we are going to explain some other knowledge your child needs to be familiar with.
In our previous article on vocabulary, we discussed how many different pieces of knowledge your child needs to know to master a word. We talked about the essentials like how the child needs to know the definition, spelling, pronunciation and part of speech. Now we continue by explaining how understanding word families and synonyms can also help in building up his vocabulary. Let us now continue on.
To show you how we do it, we are going to use a passage about Zheng He. First of all, download the passage for your child. The last page of the download contains the answers, so do not let your child see the answers yet! Read More…
In the previous article, we discussed Comprehension Cloze. In this edition, we are going to discuss the Open-Ended Comprehension component of the exams.
These two sections are actually very closely related to each other. It is no surprise that a student weak in one will find doing the other difficult as well. Like Comprehension Cloze, it assesses the overall English skill level. Read More…
In the previous two weeks, we shared some tips on how your child can do well for continuous writing in Paper 1.
Now we will turn our attention to Paper 2. We will concentrate on two sections that many students find difficulty in – Comprehension Cloze and Open-ended Comprehension. We will discuss Comprehension Cloze first and move on the Open-ended Comprehension in next weeks article. Read More…
You will realise that our tips, while focusing on a section of the English paper, actually targets multiple assessment objectives of the PSLE English paper. Many people do not see it this way, but Paper 1 and Paper 2 are actually opposites of each other.
Paper 1 focuses on construction – writing words and linking them to create ideas to write essays. On the other hand, Paper 2 focuses on de-construction – breaking down the writing to get a deeper understanding of the author’s ideas and intention. This is why whatever tips we provide, are inevitably linked to each other. Read More…