PSLE Compo Writing Tips: How to Edit Your Compositions (Part 2)
This article is Part 2 of the “Check your work!” series by WR!TERS@WORK. For more tips on how to check your answers again effectively, read Part 1 of the “Check your work!” series, where we discussed how to check the content of your essay – the first part of the composition assessment criteria. Part 2 of the series deals instead with checking the language used in your writing, which is the second criterion your teacher will grade your composition based on.
For many students, the idea of checking involves SPG: spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Although these aspects are important, they are not all there is to checking. Language undeniably assesses your proficiency with grammar, spelling, sentence construction and complexity, and the use of vocabulary. These rules can easily be learned with practice, and as such, there is a clear “right or wrong” aspect to it, which makes fixing mistakes an easy task.
Here is how to check the language of your composition properly so you don’t miss a thing.
How do you eat an elephant? Well, bite by bite, of course!
How do you check your grammar and sentence construction? Well, paragraph by paragraph!
Your brain gets tired when reading the same thing over and over again because it is bored of doing so. When you are bored, you are not alert and on guard, and you will miss any mistakes you make. One way to fix this is to divide your essay into paragraphs and catch all the mistakes contained there. By breaking down your story into bite-sized pieces, it will help your brain focus on possible errors with greater clarity.
To make checking a fun game, you should read and check the paragraphs out of order. Start in the middle, go to the end, and then go back to the beginning. This prevents your brain from glossing over sentences because it is predicting the next part of the story that you have just written. By mixing it up, you can get creative with checking and have fun in the process.
Students should change sentence structures which are too similar or repetitive. Check that you have used the correct tenses, that all your clauses are not hanging in mid-air, and check that you have written your capital letters and full stops properly. Dot the I’s and cross your t’s. Again, good and neat handwriting will make this easier as compared to if your handwriting looks like chicken scratch. (Don’t take offence. That was just an example of a well-placed simile.)
Ultimately, students cannot go about reading aimlessly. They need to aim to find mistakes in their own work, regardless of whether they are checking for content or language. For every check, look for two mistakes. The more the student practices editing, the better and faster their checking will become, and the clearer your writing will be for your teacher. Besides, finding holes in your essay doesn’t mean you are a bad writer. For every mistake you find, the better you will get at writing your essays, and the higher marks you will score.
Teachers grade what the student writes and not what they think that you have written. As such, students should strive to be as clear as possible to prevent more finicky teachers from finding errors in your essay. Don’t take it for granted that your teacher will know what you mean when they read your essay, and don’t be too comfortable in knowing your teacher personally. Your writing must be clear to everyone who reads it. When you have finished writing, you’re never really “done”. Push through to the last minute, checking and finding mistakes to fix.
Remember – always do your best at everything you do. Polish your work so that it is your best work before you hand it in.
At WR!TERS@WORK, we are committed to providing the smoothest learning experience for your child sitting for their English exams at both primary and secondary school levels. With our carefully curated methods of teaching English for PSLE, O Levels, and A Levels, your child will be able to identify the answers to the questions and present them in a concise manner in no time.
English is a compulsory subject that has direct impact on your chances of getting the best education opportunities. Overall, English tuition and writing courses can help primary school students enjoy a smoother transition between education levels by reinforcing their language skills and providing a strong foundation for academic success.
Engaging in English tuition and writing courses can greatly assist students in smoothly transitioning between education levels. These programs reinforce their language skills and establish a solid foundation for academic achievement. For more exam tips, parents and students can explore our website and watch our YouTube videos.
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1. How Can I Help My Child With Writing Difficulties?
Firstly, identify the reason why your child has writing difficulties. At times, children have different problems, such as a lack of knowledge of the grammar rules or not enough variety in their vocabulary. At other times, students face difficulties in crafting a well-written plot. Then, after the problem is known, steps can be taken to remedy it and practice writing techniques.
2. Why is Writing Difficult for Students?
Writing is difficult as students must grapple with many aspects of good writing at one time – grammatical rules, vocabulary choice, sentence structure, plot and character crafting – students can feel overwhelmed dealing with the many aspects of writing to produce a good essay as a whole.
3. What Are Poor Writing Skills?
Students with poor writing skills will make many grammatical and spelling errors. Moreover, there will be a lack of cohesion and coherence in their ideas. Ultimately, poor writing skills are most clearly seen when the student fails to communicate their ideas to the reader.
4. How Do You Motivate Elementary Students To Write?
Letting elementary students write creatively to emulate writers of books they love reading as a child could motivate them to write more as they will see it as an opportunity to unleash their creativity, much like drawing or colouring or doing arts and crafts.
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