TIP 3: Do Not Turn The Essay Into An “Action Packed” Movie
ACTIONS are important in an essay as they serve to capture the details of what took place, and serve to make the writing more realistic.
Most students are able to include actions in their writing – however, they tend to have too many actions, resulting in what we call the “action-packed” movie effect.
Consider the following writing:
We were at Orchard Cineleisure. Several of my friends and I were on our way to the café. We were going to celebrate as our examinations were over. Suddenly, I bumped into a teenager. He stared at me and shouted. Then, he stepped closer. I told him that I was not.
As you can see, such a writing style will hardly engage any readers. It is boring and it will be a miracle for any teacher or PSLE Marker to not fall asleep after reading the first few paragraphs.
The problem is that Writing is quite single-dimensional unlike movies where there are sounds, visuals and special effects to complement the actions.
So what your child needs to do is to help their readers & markers see the SCENES in their MIND by creating a MENTAL PICTURE.
Thankfully, there are 2 “Special Effects” which your child can apply in their writing too to add more dimensions or what we call ‘layers’ to their storyline.
1. THOUGHTS and FEELINGS (emotions): PSLE markers love students who include Thoughts and Feelings into their writing because it proves to them that the student has carefully considered not only the actions of the characters but also how the actions will affect the characters – at the mental and emotional level.
- I remember this incident vividly still, and I doubt I will forget it for a long time.
- I was wondering who this guy was and if I knew him
- Before I could think of a reply…
- I became indignant at the accusation
2. SPEAKING PROCESSES (dialogues): Dialogues add flavour to your writing as they create an immersive experience for your readers. Your readers will feel as if they are really there at the scene!
- “What do you think you are staring at?”
- “I-I-I was not staring at you,” I stammered despite my best efforts to sound confident.
When your child has added these additional dimensions, the story will become much more interesting for the PSLE markers to read.
Adding these 2 special effects to the original writing:
I remember this incident vividly still, and I doubt I will forget it for a long time. We were at Orchard Cineleisure. Several of my friends and I were on our way to the café. We were going to celebrate as our examinations were over.
Suddenly, I bumped into a teenager. He stared at me. I was wondering who this guy was and if I knew him. Before I could think of a reply, he stepped closer.
“What do you think you are staring at?” he shouted in a gruff voice.
I became indignant at the accusation.
“I-I-I was not staring at you,” I stammered despite my best efforts to sound confident.
Now that you know this secret, here’s how you can boost your child’s writing skills in the shortest time possible in time for the next upcoming exams:
- Gather a list of mental verbs which your child can use in his / her writing. You should be able to find a basic list of mental verbs by performing a Google Search.
- Gather a full list of emotive words, phrases and expressions of different varying intensities which your child can use in their writing. The key emotions to pay attention to will be: Anger, Sadness, Fear and Happiness.
This is just one of the many proven writing techniques that we impart to our students at EduEdge to help them jump 1-2 bands for their Paper 1 essays!
There are many more advanced writing techniques which your child can master and apply to their writing to score Band 1!
About the Author
During his time as a student, Edwin struggled with the English Language, and was often told by his teachers that he had to “feel the language” or “practise more”… even though he was already ploughing through tons of English Assessment books!
Which is why, more than anybody else, he understands the uphill challenges and frustrations your child feels when trying to master English!
This is what motivated him to develop the <Formula-Style> method of learning English to help students learn English in an easier and more effective way, just like solving Math or Science questions!
Together with the EduEdge Team of Language Specialists, this unique and proven method has successfully transformed the grades of more than 2,500+ students from over 150 schools across Singapore to date, with a 94.5% improvement rate and 72.1% achieving Bs and As for the Primary, Secondary and Junior College Levels!