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Teaching Writing: A Fun and Structured way

By Dr. Khaw Li Lian Director, Teachers Development & Special Project

INTI International University


Types of Essays
Type Persuasive Essay Description A persuasive essay is one that attempts to persuade the reader to the writer's point of view. Example Topics Co-ed school is better than single-sex school. Do you agree? Expository Essay An expository essay is one that attempts to explain ways/means of getting something done or solving a problem. It also explains benefits or harms, and advantages or disadvantages. Should students wear uniforms? Discuss some of the ways you can spend your school holidays beneficially. The advantages and disadvantages of living in an apartment Describe the sights, sounds and activities at the school canteen during recess. The person I admire the most Write about the causes of floods and the damage done by them Causes of unemployment Love Honesty Stress Friendship Consumerism My brother and I Two cities How to make a cheese cake How to get rid of stress A day when everything went wrong. A day in the city Page13 A narrow escape

Descriptive Essay The descriptive essay provides details about how something looks, feels, tastes, smells, makes one feel, or sounds. It can also describe what something is, or how something happened.

Cause & Effect Essay The cause/effect essay explains why or how some event happened, and what resulted from the event. The essay could discuss both causes and effects, or it could simply address one or the other.

Definition Essay

A definition essay attempts to define a specific term. It could try to pin down the meaning of a specific word, or define an abstract concept. It should try to explain why the term is defined as such. The compare/contrast essay discusses the similarities and differences between two things, people, concepts, places, etc. A process essay describes how something is done. The essay could be in the form of step-by-step instructions, or in story form, with the instructions/explanations given along the way. The narrative essay tells a story or tells of a personal experience. It is most commonly written in the first person.

Compare & Contrast Essay Process Essay

Narrative Essay

Structure: Persuasive/Expository Essay

Introduction (Thesis Statement)

Body Paragraph 1: Reason/Benefit/Advantage/Way (Topic Sentence, Supporting details, Concluding Sentence) Body Paragraph 2: Reason/Benefit/Advantage/Way (Topic Sentence, Supporting details, Concluding Sentence)

Body Paragraph 3: Reason/Benefit/Advantage/Way (Topic Sentence, Supporting details, Concluding Sentence)


What is the thesis statement? The thesis statement tells the reader what the essay will be about, and what point you, the author, will be making. You know what the essay will be about. A thesis statement in an essay is a sentence that explicitly identifies the purpose of the paper or previews its main ideas. What is the topic sentence? The topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph. It introduces the main idea of the paragraph. How do I write one? Summarize the main idea of your paragraph. Indicate to the reader what your paragraph will be about. What are supporting sentences? They come after the topic sentence, making up the body of a paragraph. They are generally facts, details or examples. They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph. What is the concluding sentence? The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph. What does it do? It restates the main idea of your paragraph using different words.


Topic Sentences
Every paragraph needs a topic sentence. The topic sentence is usually the first sentence of the paragraph. It gives the reader an idea of what the paragraph is going to be about.

Here is an example of a proper paragraph with supporting sentences. What is the topic sentence?
I had a wonderful holiday. First, I could sleep to my hearts content and get up as late as I wanted during the holiday. I would then go swimming with my friends. Besides, I stayed up late watching TV dramas and movies. I also went shopping with my sister as often as we could. I wished the holiday would never end.

Supply the paragraph with a topic sentence.

First, smoking is not good for the lungs. People who smoke have a higher chance of getting lung cancers. Furthermore, smoking is an inconsiderate act as it can also cause harm to other peoples health. People around the smokers will become passive smokers unwillingly. Moreover, smoking causes air pollution. Places where people smoke are generally smoky and polluted. For all these reasons, people should quit smoking. .

Supply the paragraph with a topic sentence.

Many people like to eat junk food but it has no nutritional value. Most junk food contains a lot of sugar, preservatives, salt and coloring ingredients. Eating junk food is unhealthy and it can cause diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hair loss, poor skin and many others. For good health, parents should not let their children consume too much junk food.


Persuasive Essay
Topic: Should mobile phones be banned at school? Pre-writing activity: Mind Mapping

Nowadays, mobile phones have become such a popular item that people find that they simply cant live without one. Almost everybody owns a mobile phone, including students. People can call their friends or loved ones whenever they like and wherever they are with mobile phones. However, it has been argued if mobile phones should be banned in places such as schools where distractions are highly undesired. Some people think that mobile phones should be banned at school while others think it is unreasonable to do so. I think mobile phones should be banned at school and there are a few reasons for this view. Firstly, Classes can easily be disrupted if students are allowed to use mobile phones in class. When in class, continual text messaging can distract students from their work. The ringing of mobile phones can also be distracting and annoying. To prevent this from happening, mobile phones should be banned in the school compound. Furthermore, mobile phones can easily become a tool for showing off among students, which might inadvertently create an unhealthy culture. Some students might want to show off their latest, multifunctional and expensive phones in front of their peers. Those who do not have the phones might get envious or jealous of those who own the phones, and they might want to have similar Page13

phones. They might pester their parents to buy one or even start to have the thought of stealing others phones. Moreover, the introduction of phones with cameras will lead to some serious problems with privacy. Students might take pictures of others whenever they want, without realizing that the act might invade others privacy. The invasion of privacy might cause embarrassments or lead to serious consequences. Thus, to avoid this situation from happening, the best solution is to impose a ban on mobile phones at school. It can not be denied that mobile phones have become a must in our modern life. However, it is important to create awareness that mobile phones should not be allowed in certain places where concentration, privacy and others interests should be considered.
Should National Service be made compulsory for all Malaysian teenagers? Should national service be made compulsory for all Malaysian teenagers? It has been an issue in our community. Some people think that it should be made compulsory because it will help toughen up our youth today while others think that it is very much a waste of time. I strongly feel that through National Service a teenager will be able to develop many positive values, and it should be made compulsory. Firstly, through National Service, teenagers can learn to be independent. They are able to stand on their two feet because they have to do many things themselves during the service. Being away from home, the trainees in the National Service must wash their own clothes and make decisions on their own. Hence, if only a selected number of teenagers are conscripted, the other teenagers will never be able to learn and adapt as those National Service trainees do. Moreover, during National Service, teenagers learn to adapt to the environment or situation. Teenagers learn to handle responsibilities and take up the role of a leader. As such, teenagers learn to be responsible in carrying out different tasks. Attending National Service can teach a teenager to be interactive. The Teenager must socialize and make friends in order to be able to perform any group activities. In National Service, a teenager will learn to work in a team. They learn to cooperate, share and do things as a group. Therefore, with National Service, a teenager will be instilled with positive values and will learn to fulfill every moment usefully. Teenagers who have been rowdy will learn to be disciplined. The training during National Service teaches a teenager to obey rules ad regulations. There are programs set for the trainees where everyone must follow. National Service should be made compulsory for all Malaysian teenagers for the many advantages that these teenagers will gain from the experience. The teenager will be able to become better citizens.


Expository Essay
Topic: The benefits sleep confers Pre-writing activity: Mind-mapping

Sleep is the natural state of rest observed in the animal kingdom. For human as well as a substantial majority of other animals, regular sleep is necessary for survival. In the past, the benefits of sleep were often ignored. We are just beginning to understand the importance of sleep to overall health and well-being. In fact, when people get less than six or seven hours of sleep each night, their risks for developing diseases begin to increase. In fact, sleep confers a lot of health benefits. Sleep reduces your risk of depression. Sleep affects many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with a deficiency in serotonin are more likely to suffer from depression. Depression can be prevented if one has sufficient amounts of sleep. Indeed, difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep is one of the causes of depression. Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Everything slows or shuts down. It is time to remove toxins accumulated during the day. It is time to sort out memories of the day. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These molecules form the building blocks for cells, allow them to repair damage. Sleep heals a headache or a common cold. When one catches a cold, the best way to get cured is sleep and rest. When we have a headache, we can try to sleep it away. Same as laughter, sleep is definitely one of the best medicines. It costs nothing. You need to have sufficient amount of sleep every day. It is healthy for you.
The road accident rate is on the rise. What do you suggest the authority concerned to do so that the number of road accidents can be reduced?


According to the statistics provided by the Ministry of Transport, road accidents are one of the top killers in Malaysia. The death toll of road accidents has been increasing from year to year, which is alarming. Drastic actions should be taken to curb the increasing number of road accidents. One of the causes of road accidents is a general lack of the awareness of road safety among Malaysians. Besides, there are more and more

reckless drivers who go against traffic rules when they are on the road. Some steps should be taken by the authority concerned to make sure that the general public practice care and caution on the road, so that the accident rate can be reduced. Firstly, nationwide road safety campaigns should be carried out to educate the general public. Through media such as TV advertisements or posters at schools, the public, both adults and students, are educated on the importance of road safety. They will be urged to obey all traffic rules in order to be safe on the road. For example, they are asked to use overhead bridges or pedestrian crossings instead of dashing across the roads. All Malaysians should be exposed to the dangers that they may face on the road and the correct ways of being a good road user. Moreover, all motorists will be asked to check their vehicles from time to time to ensure that their vehicles are road worthy. They should check the tires, the brakes and also the engines. If the vehicles are road worthy, the chances of having accidents can be lowered. Furthermore, heavy fines should be imposed on motorists or road users who go against the rules. Those motorists who speed, cut red lights, or drive recklessly should be heavily fined as they not only jeopardize their own safety but also others. Heavy fines can serve as deterrents to stop people from violating traffic rules. Last but not least, it should also be ensured that all tests for one to obtain a drivers license are strict and fair. No bribery is allowed. The examiners should not easily pass those who do not have any awareness of road safety and do not practice any care and caution on the road. With strict laws, all motorists have to go through tough training and demanding tests before they obtain their license. The above are steps that will help reduce the road accident rate. It is hoped that all Malaysians are responsible for their own and others road safety. When they are on the road, they must exercise care and caution.

Descriptive Essay
Topic: Introduce a place which you think worth visiting to your friends. Pre-writing activity: Mind-mapping


Taipei is my choice of an interesting place to visit. It is a vibrant and bustling city. There are many interesting places for shopping, savoring good food, sightseeing and learning in Taipei. As a diehard shopper, Ive found Shi Ling night market, Gong Kuan night market and Taipei railway station shopping complexes great places to shop. A wide range of things such as clothing, books, stationery, accessories and many others can easily be found at these places. Hard bargaining may not be needed because most things are inexpensive. Some goods, though being imitations, are durable and good in quality. If you prefer to go for something more expensive and high-end, you can shop at 101 Tower where you can also get a panoramic view of Taipei. Taipei is also a gourmands paradise. You are able to savor all sort of Chinese food in posh restaurants as well as local Taiwanese delights such as fermented tofu and bubble milk tea in a night market. The mouth-watering local snacks make one always want to go back. One attraction in Taipei is the ubiquity of bookstores. Those booklovers can spend the whole day in one of these bookstores. Some bookstores are open round the clock. Patrons can drop by at 3am in the morning if they have a sleepless night. There is always a caf in the bookstore and patrons can have a cup of latte or cappuccino while reading his/her favorite book. As for sightseeing, you cant really miss out a ride up to the Yang Ming Shan national park where you can see flowers in full bloom in spring and fallen leaves filling the path in autumn. You also get a panoramic view of Taipei. The scenery at the peak is breathtaking and memorable. Besides, there are also many springs along the way, and you can pick one to get your body socked in the warm spring water and leave behind all your worries. Another worthwhile place to visit is the National Palace museum. It showcases masterpieces of famous Chinese artists, both ancient and contemporary. The gallery takes one through the growth and development of Chinese Arts. The interesting exhibits sum up the Chinese and Taiwanese arts history and help tourists to understand the unique culture and ways of life. Taipei is a place for everybody. I believe everyone, young or old, can find something fascinating and enjoyable when visiting Taipei.

Cause and Effect Essay

Topic: Why are Snatch thefts on the rise and how do they affect our life? Pre-writing activity: Mind-mapping


Snatch thefts are on the rise. Recently, there have been cases of snatch thefts in many major cities in Malaysia. Women and young children are generally targeted as victims. This social phenomenon, and very much a criminal act, should be curbed or social security will be threatened. There are several reasons why people snatch. One of them is unemployment. Some people are jobless because they do not have the qualifications or skills to enter the job market. Consequently, they resort to snatching or stealing others belongings as it may be the easiest means of getting money. Another reason could be the high living cost in the cities. Increases in prices of goods, utilities and fuel due to inflation make people unable to cope with high living expenses. Besides, the influx of illegal immigrants may also cause snatch theft cases to increase. To survive, some illegal immigrants snatch and steal, even in broad daylight, harming the innocent citizens. Some of these acts not only cause loss of belongings but also death. Snatch thefts are also criminal acts. If the problem of snatch thefts remains unchecked, our social security will be threatened. Many more innocent victims will become victims. People will be afraid of going out as they dont know when they will become the next victim. People will constantly be living in fear, and this will be the last thing a citizen wants. Both government and its citizens should work hand in hand to wipe out snatch thefts to ensure social security. The government can consider providing better social welfare for those who are unemployed not by choice and help them cope with bad times in life. The authority concerned should also impose stricter law against snatch thieves. The police should petrol crime districts more regularly. Illegal immigrants should be deported back to their own country, so they will not have a chance to commit crimes as such. As for the public, they should be more alert and avoid walking alone on the street, which makes them easy targets for the snatch thieves. The increase in snatch theft cases has posed a serious threat to our social security. There are several reasons why snatch thefts happen and increase. The government and all authorities concerned should do whatever they can to reduce inflation rate and create more job opportunities. Illegal immigrants should be deported back to their countries. Otherwise, people will live in constant fear of being snatched.


Definition Essay
Topic: Stress
Pre-writing activity: Mind-mapping

Being stressed is a common condition which can be found in every one of us. Our bodies are designed to feel stress and react to it. Stress can keep us alert but it can also make us suffer. Thus, sometimes, we feel trapped and helpless when we are not able to cope with it. When stress persists, our bodies may break down and illnesses can occur. Stress is our reaction to changes that requires us to respond to and adjust. Identifying causes of stress in our life is the key to coping with it. Stress can be caused by anything that requires us to adjust to changes in our environment. Common causes include death, illnesses, accidents, marriage, divorce, pregnancy, financial problems and many others. Our body reacts to these changes with physical and emotional reactions and responses. Emotional reactions include anxiety, sleep disruption, anger, inability to concentrate and frequent mood swings, while physical responses include sweaty palms, chronic fatigue, weight gain or loss and many others. There are a number of ways to cope with stress. Firstly, we must keep a positive attitude. We should learn to accept that there are events which we cannot control. We should also learn to look at the Page13

bright sides of things, and view adversity as an opportunity for learning and growth. Secondly, we should learn to relax by taking up some hobbies. We should exercise regularly to help our bodies and minds relax. When we feel stressed, we can practice taking long and deep breaths. We should also avoid consuming coffee and alcohol as they are stimuli which do not help us to relax at all. Furthermore, we should eat well-balanced meals which provide us with energy. Last but not least, we should rest and sleep as our body needs time to recover from those events that cause stress. Stress is inevitable in everybodys life. Stress comes from how we respond to changes in our environment and life. There are both physical and emotional reactions to stress. We can always learn to face, manage and control stress.

Compare & Contrast Essay

Topic: My sister and I Pre-writing activity: Sorting out differences and similarities between the two persons.


My sister and I are twins. I am two minutes older than she is. We look like two peas in a pod. We have the same big eyes and curly hair inherited from our beloved mother and the height envied by most girls from our beloved father. However, in terms of characters and personality, we are like chalk and cheese.

I am an introvert while my sister is an extrovert. I like to read, listen to music or work on my computer alone most of the time while my sister finds it boring to stay at home. She likes to hang out with friends at shopping complexes. She is a shopaholic who thinks the only way to de-stress is to shop to her hearts content. I hate shopping and think that it is very much a waste of time. I am hard-working but my sister is very much a lazy bum. She hardly does any housework or help out in the family. When she is at home, she becomes a couch potato and TV is her best friend. When my mother nags at her, she just falls on deaf ears. She has never prepared for her exam until the eleventh hour. Surprisingly, she has always passed her exams with flying hours. Both of us do well academically. However, I slog and she plays most of the time. My sister is a dare-devil but I am as timid as a mouse. She enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities such as camping, rock climbing, snorkeling, white water rafting and many others. The excitement thrills her but scares me. She has been to many national parks and islands and I hardly step out of our doorstep. My sister is a person who possesses leadership qualities while I am very much a follower. She is a born leader who is brainy and outspoken. She is also logical and critical, and has the make-up for a lawyer. She can easily win admiration and earn respect from peers. I have to admit that I am one of her followers. Although my sister and I are very different in terms of characters and thinking, we love each other and we complement each other in many ways.

Process writing
Topic: How to bake a chocolate cake Pre-writing Activity: Let students have some hands-on experience before they start writing. They can learn to make a cake or some crafts to get them to be familiarized with the process, and transfer what they have experienced into writing.


To make a chocolate cake, you need to have two types of ingredients, namely Type A and Type B. Type A ingredients include 3 cups of cake flour, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 cups of sugar and cup of cocoa powder. Type B ingredients include 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of vanilla and 2/3 cup of oil. Once you get the ingredients ready, grease a 12cm x 24cm cake pan with butter. Then, preheat the oven to 180c. Next, you need to measure all Type A ingredients and pour them into the cake pan. After that, make three holes into the Type A ingredients and pour in Type B ingredients. When Type B ingredients are poured, pour another 2 cups of water or milk over all and stir the whole mixture with a fork, making sure to get all the corners mixed. Once the ingredients are all mixed evenly, put the pan into the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is completely cooked. Sequence Connectors First, Next, Then, Later, After that, Afterwards, Subsequently, Meanwhile, Finally, Eventually Examples When you want to withdraw money from the ATM machine, first enter your bank card into the card slot. Next, choose your preferred language. After that, key in your PIN and state the amount you want to withdraw. The cash will then be presented to you in a short while.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

We first went shopping. _______________, we went for dinner at a French restaurant. I waited for the bus for 30 minutes. ___________, it arrived. I am waiting for my results. ______________, I also work part time. _____________ you go to the website. ___________ click on the icon. She had her first baby in 2006. ____________ she had her twins last year. Page13

Narrative Essay
1. Plan the plot. 2. Organize the main points that you want to include in your story. 3. Capture the readers attention- first paragraph. 4. Give an appropriate setting, e.g. your neighborhood, a village, a city. 5. Decide on the characters and describe them vividly. 6. Give logical conclusion. 7. Include interesting dialogues if possible. 8. Use past tenses. 9. Edit your composition- check spelling and grammar. 10. Write with a variety of sentences. 11. Try to include some idiomatic expressions or proverbs.

Structure & Planning Strategy

Climax of the story (The incident/event)

The following paragraphs Developing the storyline-leading up to the climax of the story

Last ParagraphShort conclusion

1st paragraph
Short introduction- to capture the readers attention

(Source: Success English SPM, 2007, Oxford Fajar Sdn. Bhd)

Write a story with a title The trick that backfired. Andy is one of my best friends. He always helps me with my homework. I still remember vividly how he came into our life, though not without guilt. On the first day of a new term, a bespectacled, nerdy, serious-looking and soft-spoken boy was introduced to us by our form teacher. He was extremely intelligent and did extremely well in all subjects. He soon became all the teachers star pupil and was praised by the teachers in front of us from time to time. We all had green eyes and decided to have some harmless fun with him. One day, he was asked to run an errand for a teacher. He then went to the staff office. We took this opportunity to do something in order to give him a surprise. We put a toy rat into his school bag. Not too long later, he came back to the classroom and went back to his seat. He sat down and put his hand into his bag to take a book.


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! screamed Andy at the sight of the rat. The whole class burst out laughing and expected Andy to follow suit. Unexpectedly, he became hysterical and ran out of the classroom. How come??? We were too shocked to react. Finally, some sense was knocked into us and a few of us ran after him. We finally found him crouching under a tree. He was shivering and crying uncontrollably. We were all guilt-bashed and felt extremely bad for what we had done to him. We went toward him and crouched next to him. We apologized to him and that seemed to calm him down a bit. He then told us that he was extremely terrified of rats. His father used to lock him up in a shed where there were rats when he failed to score an A for any subject. One of his toes was once bitten by a rat and bled profusely. He was taken to the hospital for treatment. Since then, he had started to have rat phobia. We could never be more remorseful and we kept apologizing to him. Andy, a person who doesnt hold grudges against others, forgave us for what we had done to him right after he told us his rat phobia. Since then, we became firm friends who helped one another in need. However, I still feel bad even today and the image of him shaking and crying uncontrollably is still lurking somewhere in my mind. Write a story about An embarrassing moment in my life. The morning sun shone persistently on my eyelids. Reluctantly, I stretched out my arm to grab my alarm clock. Oh! No! Slamming the alarm clock, I leapt out of my bed. Throwing my uniform on my bed, I dashed to the toilet to answer the call of nature. After I got out of the toilet, I grabbed my school bag and rushed to the door. Hopping on my bicycle, I pedaled to school. I raced as fast as lightning. A few school girls looked at me with great interest when I whizzed past. Some drivers fixed their eyes on me. Having no time to think about this attention, I cycled as fast as I could. In no time, I reached the school gate. Thanks goodness, Ive made it before it closes. I hopped off my bicycle and sprinted to my class. When I reached the class room, I was a little surprised when everyone stared blankly at me. In the next minute, the whole class was filled with roars and bellows of laughter. Whats wrong with them? I didnt turn a hair until I noticed the stripes on my pants and shirt. John, Why are you in your pyjamas? Do you sleepwalk? My best friend, Andy, blurted out amidst the hollers of laughter. I was completely swept through with a sense of horror. My face was as red as a beetroot. My mind was filled only with shock and not reacting. A minute later, I felt there were ants in my pants, and I could not wait to hide myself somewhere. The news of my predicament spread like wild fire throughout the school. I was truly the laughing stock wherever I went. Instead of feeling perpetually embarrassed, I learnt that when people laugh at you, you should laugh along. Thus, I decided to take it easily and laugh at myself too. It worked. All my friends stopped teasing me after a while. Undoubtedly, it is a very embarrassing moment in my life. However, I have learnt that when people laugh at you, you should laugh along. That is the most effective way to be out of an embarrassing situation. Idiomatic Expressions 1. a piece of cake 4. have his cake and eat it 7. like chalk and cheese 10. keep an eye on 13. on cloud nine 16. at his finger tips 19.turn over a new leaf 22. make both ends meet 25. pass with flying colours 28. play gooseberry


2. cold feet 5. the apple of my eye 8. take the bread out of the mouths 11. fall on deaf ears 14. beating about the bush 17. lend (him) a hand 20. cock and bull story 23. save his skin 26. spill the beans 29. Make your blood run cold

3. full of beans 6. sell like hot cakes 9. head over heels 12. blow his top 15. took to his heels 18. pull up her socks 21. keep in mind 24. saw red 27. carrot and stick 30. like two peas in a pod

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

The thief ___________________ when he saw a policeman approaching. The hunter fled from the charging boar to ____________________. John has decided to ____________________ and not to repeat his wrongdoings. Please ________________ when he needs help. The old man __________________ when the maid broke his expensive vase. The teacher told us that we must ____________________ as the SPM examination is around the corner. 7. I hope she will ______________________ because she has been working very hard. 8. The Wongs are quite poor, so they have to struggle to ______________________. 9. When my mother nags at me, I just_________________________ 10. Please stop ___________________ and come straight to the point. 11. He has such a good memory that he always has the facts _________________. 12. No one believe that ___________________________. 13. I have _________________ every time I go on stage. 14. Please _________________ what your grandfather has told you. 15. My grandson is __________________. 16. A person who is _______________ is lively, active and healthy. 17. The decision to ban street vendors ____________________of many people. 18. To refer to something as ________________ means that you consider it to be very easy. 19. Jack enjoys his comfort but is always complaining about the cost of things. He can't_____________________! 20. Things that ___________________ sell quickly or in large quantities. 21. Some parents use a _____________ approach to obtain good results from their children. 22. Two people who are _____________________ are completely different from each other.. 23. Jason and Joan are lovers. They invited me to join them for dinner but I didn't want to _________________. 24. "It was difficult to identify the brothers - they were __________________________!" 25. I am _________________ today because my boss has just given me a raise. 26. Please ______________________ when he needs help.

Sentence Structure Simple sentences 1. Complaining about the noise is useless. 2. We delayed our trip because of the bad weather. 3. The boat sailed across the lake smoothly and quietly. 4. As a tax-payer, I want my money to be used wisely. 5. Last weekend, we went camping. Compound sentences (and, or, so, but) 1. Annie told the truth, but no one believed her. 2. I opened the door, and asked my friend to come in. 3. Minerals are common materials, and they are found in rocks and soil. 4. The weather is very hot, so we have decided to stay at home. 5. You had better do your work, or you will be punished. Complex sentences (Because, as, if, whether, when, before, after, when, while, although, since, until, unless, whose, whom, who, which, that, even though) 1. After I had done my homework, I went to bed. 2. When it was first brought to Europe, the tomato was thought to be poisonous. 3. While Sam was driving to work, his car got a flat tire. 4. We delayed our trip because the weather was bad. 5. Productivity in a factory increases if the workplace is made pleasant.


Compound-complex sentences/complex-complex sentences 1. After I had met the movie star in person, I understood why she was popular. 2. Some students didnt understand what the teacher was saying but they still smiled and nodded. 3. I am glad that my mother made me take piano lessons when I was a child even though I hated it at that time. 4. The taxi driver who misunderstood my instructions and took me to the wrong place insisted that he had taken me to the right hotel. 5. I woke up late this morning and missed my bus, so I was late for school. Construct complex sentences with various tenses. Past (ed) & Past Continuous (was/were + V-ing) Examples: 1. When I was washing dishes last night, I dropped a plate and broke it. 2. When I was talking on my mobile phone, the battery went flat. 3. While I was walking under an apple tree yesterday, an apple fell and hit me on the head. Sentence: _____________________________________________________________ Past (ed) & Present Perfect (has/have + pp) Examples: 1. Since the term started early this year, our teacher has given us four test. 2. Since we bought a cell phone, our phone bill has risen. 3. Since Maria came to this country 5 years ago, she has had a lot of problems Sentence: _____________________________________________________________ Past (ed) & Past Perfect (had+pp) Examples: 1. I was late last night. When I reached the cinema, the movie had started. 2. We missed the bus. When we reached the bus station, the bus had left. 3. I went home very late last night. When I got home, my family had gone to bed. Sentence: _______________________________________________________________ Present (s) & Future Tense (will + v) Examples 1. If I see you tomorrow, I will return you the money. 3. If it rains this afternoon, I will not go out. Sentence: _______________________________________________________________ Page13 2. When I go to Japan next month, I will buy you a gift.

Practice Makes Perfect

Essay 1
Write an essay on why students loiter in shopping complexes According to the newspaper, school students have been seen to be loitering around shopping complexes during school hours. The public are concerned why many students do not attend school but spend their time loitering in the shopping complexes. There are many reasons why students like to loiter in shopping complexes. Topic Sentence: _______________________________________________________________________ Supporting details:______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Concluding sentence:_____________________________________________________________________ Topic Sentence: _______________________________________________________________________ Supporting details:______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Concluding sentence:_____________________________________________________________________ Topic Sentence: _______________________________________________________________________ Supporting details:______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Concluding sentence:_____________________________________________________________________ Conclusion: ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________

Essay 2
Write an essay discussing the advantages and disadvantages of living in a big city. List the advantages and disadvantages of living in a big city.




Introduction (Thesis Statement)

Body Paragraph 1: Advantages (Topic Sentence, Supporting details, Concluding Sentence)

Body Paragraph 2: Disadvantages (Topic Sentence, Supporting details, Concluding Sentence)


Introduction More and more people are migrating to the cities. Many people leave their hometowns in order to pursue their education or look for a job in the cities. This is especially true with young people who find the city a place of wonders and are fascinated by the city lifestyle. There are quite a number of advantages living in the city; however, there are also some disadvantages. Body paragraph 1- write about the advantages living in the city. ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Body paragraph 2- write about the disadvantages living in the city. ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________


______________________________________________________________________________________ Conclusion: ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________

Essay 3 Topic: How to live healthily Pre-writing activity: Mind Mapping

Introduction Having a healthy mind and body is the biggest asset in life. While some people may not agree with it, it cant be denied that something is missing in life if one is unhealthy, be it mental or physical. Being mentally and physically healthy enable one to get work accomplish, spend time with loved ones, enjoy life and do meaningful things. Thus, it is important to ensure that we are healthy. To live healthily, the following are some ways which should be heeded.
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Essay 4 Topic: Ways to improve English Pre-writing activity: Do a mind-map before writing. Introduction
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Essay 5 Topic: Should sports be made compulsory for admission to public universities? Introduction The government has recently made a move to make sports compulsory for admission to public universities. Sports carries 10% weightage in the assessment when students apply to public universities. It is believed that the move can help motivate students to take up sports. Students and parents have mixed feeling about it. (Thesis statement):______________________________________
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Essay 6 Topic: Write a short essay with reference to the following pictures.


Source: Oxford Basics Activities Using Resources (2005), Oxford University Press Pre-writing activities: 1. Stick the cards at random on the board. 2. Ask the class some general questions about the pictures. 3. Write some words and phrases you want the class to use on the board. For example: Verbs: dig, plant, chop, wash, fry, load Nouns: factory, seeds, potatoes, lorry/truck 4. Tell the learners to discuss each picture and make a sentence (passive voice). For Example: The field is dug up. The seed potatoes are picked. The potatoes are loaded on a lorry. The potatoes are taken to the potato factory. The potatoes are washed. The potatoes are chopped. The potatoes are fried. The potatoes are put in packets. 5. Putting the sentences together using first, then, and, after that, next, finally. 6. Look at the use of pronouns to avoid repetition. For example The potatoes are washed. Then they are chopped and fried. Essay 7 Topic: Write a story where you were cheated by someone. The first paragraph has been done for you. When I was young, my mother always asked me not to trust strangers easily but I had never taken her words seriously. However, what happened next was something that proved my mother right.


Essay 8 Topic: Diabetes among children Prewriting activities: Get students to read the following article and do a mind-map to summarise the points for writing. Diabetes among children on the rise By LEE YUK PENG and LOH FOON FONG Saturday July 24, 2010, The Star KUALA LUMPUR: More young people, some as young as seven, are suffering from Type 2 diabetes (T2D), a disease that generally hits those in their 50s. Doctors say more primary school students have been diagnosed with T2D in the last decade, a fact that is alarming since the disease is usually linked to those much older.The doctors found that the young diabetics were usually obese, and their condition could be traced to eating too much unhealthy food and having a sedentary lifestyle.They said the disease was not just about having excessive sugar in the blood system but could also affect the patients vital organs like the heart, kidneys, nerves and eyes. The childrens bad dietary habits of eating burgers, nuggets, fried chicken, fries and carbonated drinks are also contributing factors, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre senior consultant paediatrician and paediatric endocrinologist Prof Dr Wu Loo Ling said, adding that long hours of homework, watching television and playing computer games added to the problem. Cases of children and teenagers with diabetes are increasing at a faster rate, said Dr Wu. Between 30% and 40% of children in Western countries are overweight and the problem of overweight Malaysian children is also on the rise. Endocrinologist Dr Lim Soo San said T2D was more apparent in people aged between 18 and 29. We even came across children who are below 10 years old and have T2D , Dr Lim said. The Registry on Diabetes in Children and Adolescents (2006-2007) showed that 56% of the 42 T2D cases involved obese individuals.Dr Lim said parents continued to feed their children with junk food due to their lack of awareness of the disease.Dietician Mary Easaw-John said apart from bad eating habits, irregular eating hours had also contributed to the rising trend of T2D among younger people. People tend to eat out instead of packing food from home nowadays. And fried food is common in eateries, said Easaw, who is Dietetics Food Services of the National Heart Institute senior manager.The Third National Health and Morbidity Survey, conducted in 2006, showed that there was a high prevalence of overweight primary school children, and over 20% of them were obese. Statistics pointed that Malaysia had the fourth highest number of diabetes cases in Asia, with 800,000 in 2007. The number is expected to jump to 1.3 million cases this year. The recent survey also revealed that more than 43% of Malaysian adults were overweight or obese, twice the figure a decade ago.