Series

English Composition – Understanding the Rubrics(Part 1)

English Composition is one of the most difficult component of English. You are given approximately an hour to develop a plot and pen it down on paper in class. Whatever that has been written will be read and graded.

In the previous introduction post I mentioned that it is no longer just stating point blank what you see in the picture in front of you. There is the need to analyse in detail the scenario that has been presented and give a thorough explanation of  what had occurred with your own reflections.

Before you are able to score well in composition writing you have to understand  how the composition is assessed.

The main focus

The main focus

CLO  is what being tested in English Composition.    Around 60% of the marks are being allocated to the Content while 40% to Language and Organization the essay.

What is content? 

It is the information in the essay which makes up the story.

The words and sentences that are used to piece together and develop ideas which the writer has so that everyone else is able to understand his train of thought. Through the words that are penned down the reader must be able to visualize and experience for himself what had happened when the event occurred. In short, the reader is watching a playback of a show in his mind instead of seeing it on TV.

How to score for content?

Make your story interesting.

– Fully adequate and thoroughly  develop your story line. Make your essay highly interesting.

– Use lots of descriptive words, idioms or even metaphors to explain what you saw and felt.

-develop your ideas into paragraphs and provide strong evidence to support your stance.

– have a strong  and persuasive conclusion

Picture 1

Picture 1

In the picture above you see three people – an elderly man crossing the road, a girl standing at the side of the road and a driver. How would you describe the picture that you see above?

Model  description – A

While walking home  I saw an old man crossing the road. I also saw a car going towards the zebra crossing.

Model description -B

It was a hot and sunny afternoon. While walking back home from school I suddenly heard the screeching of  brakes. I immediately looked towards the road and was shocked stiff to see a sports car zooming towards the feeble old man who was crossing the road.

Which description- A or B would make you more interested to read on and find out what happened next in the essay?

I’m sure 5/5 would have said Model description B.

What is the difference between A and B? Both are talking about the same thing but in B 5W 1H is being applied.

5W 1H

This refers to the questions- Who, What, When, Where, Why and How which one must ask while developing the story.

Who?- The feeble old man,the student, the driver

What?- An  road accident was going to happen

When?- After school in the afternoon

Where?- On the road on the way home from school

Why?- The driver was speeding and didn’t stop in time 

How? – Speeding and couldn’t control the car., Not focusing on driving carefully.

* Do note that not all aspects of 5W1H needs to be used in each paragraph however it does need to be covered in detail within the whole essay.

In the 2nd part of this post I will be explaining what to look out under Language and Organization.

Post in this series

1)Learning with Dominique- English Composition(An Introduction)

2)English Composition – Understanding the Rubrics(Part 1)

3) English composition- Understanding the Rubrics(Part 2)

4) English Composition- Common Mistakes

5) English Composition- The changes to PSLE  come 2015

 

Learning with Dominique- English Composition(An Introduction)

This year as Monkey boy entered Primary Four I am focusing more on sprucing up his skills in English Composition.  English composition is an area which many students find trouble in.  Even though as a component itself it doesn’t bear the majority of marks in the English Semestral Assessment which occurs twice yearly it does affect one’s overall English grade.

Photo by Photoxpress

Photo by Photoxpress

Before one can put the pencil to paper there are many different things that one needs to consider.

1) The story line

2) The tone of the essay

3) The use of content and language.

 

The requirements have changed a lot since entering Primary one. Now in Primary 4 he is required to write a essay is at least 120 words long and has to either describe in detail the pictures given or develop his own story based on the prompt given.

Just stating the facts as based on what one sees and brief or minimal expression of ones thoughts or feelings will not suffice at this level. No doubt you may be able to pass this component by doing just that but you would not be able to score good marks.

The visual/written cues given in the chosen scenario has to be fully and thoroughly developed into a highly interesting written piece which has to capture and captivate the interest of the reader.  The essay which is pen out has to be entertaining and also tug at the marker’s heart string.

Besides having an engaging story line the students needs to use appropriate  grammar and  have minimal spelling mistakes in their essay. If he is able to fulfill these requirements I’m certain that he would be able to score highly in this area.

How then does one groom a child to do well in this component? 

In the next post I will touch on the rubrics on how a composition is marked.

Post in this series

1)Learning with Dominique- English Composition(An Introduction)

2)English Composition – Understanding the Rubrics(Part 1)

3) English composition- Understanding the Rubrics(Part 2)

4) English Composition- Common Mistakes

5) English Composition- The changes to PSLE  come 2015