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SPM ENGLISH 1119 SMART LEAP MODULE 2013

TABLE OF CONTENT 1. DIRECTED WRITING 1.1 1.2 1.3 Teachers Notes Students Tips Practices Practice 1 Practice 2 Practice 3 Practice 4 Practice 5 Practice 6 Practice 7

2. CONTINUOUS ESSAYS 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Teachers notes GS4GS (Great Story for Great Score) Essay 1 Essay 10 Essays Based on MyMy-Q Technique Essay 1 Essay 10 Essays from Final Leap Module 2010 Essay 1 Essay 10 Essays from Smart Module 2 2011 Essay 1 Essay 16

3. LITERATURE COMPONENT NOVEL (CATCH US IF YOU CAN) Practice 1 Practice 2 Practice 3 Practice 4 Practice 5 Practice 6 Practice 7 Practice 8 Practice 9 Practice 10 Practice 11 Practice 12 Practice 13

DIRECTED WRITING 1.1 Teachers Notes The Directed Writing question carries a total of 35 marks 15 marks for content and 20 marks for language. The marks for format, which can vary between 1-3 marks depending on the text type, are included in the 15 marks allocated for content. In this section, candidates are given only one question. This means that candidates do not have the luxury of choice which they are given in the Continuous Writing section. Most candidates find this question quite manageable. In fact, even weak candidates can be taught to cope with this question to a certain extent. Several factors make this question quite do able. Firstly, candidates are given help with content. This means candidates do not have to worry about what to write as content points are provided. It is not difficult to score full marks for content. In fact, candidates can score full marks for content if they are able to use the information given in grammatically sound sentences, irrespective of the sentence type or length. It is also easy to get marks for format if they have been exposed to the formats of different text types. Secondly, this question does not demand much linguistically unlike the continuous writing question. Most candidates are able to cope with this question, even if they are linguistically limited. Thirdly, the question is usually set around the experiences of students. Hence, there is no reason for candidates not to attempt this question. Below is an analysis of the questions which have appeared until 2012: Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Text type Letter (informal) Article Speech Letter (formal) Report Letter (informal) Letter (informal) Speech Article A Report Letter (Informal) Talk Letter (Informal) Purpose To inform mother of choice of present for your brother and persuade mother to lend you some money To inform students on ways of coping with stress To inform students about road safety - causes of road accidents and suggestions to reduce them To inform the class teacher about the choice of class trip To inform the school principal about the conditions of the school canteen To inform a friend about a holiday camp To convince a friend to run for the post of head prefect To tell students about a science reference book To inform students about a friend who has been chosen as the Best Group Leader To inform the Principal of the reasons why students lack of interest in sports To tell a cousin the benefits of taking part in National Service Program To students how to manage a sprained ankle To younger sister studying overseas advise her how to spend money wisely 3

Common errors Poor time management. Do not spend more than the allocated 45 minutes on this question. Otherwise you will not have enough time for the second question. Lengthy essays. Do not write too much. As mentioned earlier, this question does not make many demands on a candidate. Directed writing is a succinct piece of writing. All you have to do is use the given points and provide a sentence or two (maybe three) to elaborate on them. A response of 1 - 2 pages is more than sufficient. After all, the more you write the more mistakes you might make. Some candidates make the mistake of writing one paragraph for each point. If you do this, your essay is going to be very lengthy. Save the time and energy for Continuous writing. Usage of informal language. This paper tests your written English. Do not use spoken language. Avoid using slang words (such as guys, ..), contractions, and informal language (such as informal idiomatic expressions or informal phrasal verbs). Poor punctuation. Some candidates do not punctuate their sentences correctly. Make sure you end your sentence with a full stop and not a comma. Also, make sure that the pronoun I is written in upper case and not lower case (i) as is the practice among some candidates.

1.2 Students Tips General Guidelines for Directed Writing Read the question carefully. Identify your task, your role and your audience. Use the 45 minutes allocated for this question wisely. Plan your essay and organize your thoughts (this includes what to write and how to elaborate on points) Include an introduction and a conclusion and make sure your paragraphs are well organized. Use all content points given. It is advisable to cross out the points you have used, so that no point is left out. Include points of your own only if you are asked to. Otherwise, do not waste precious time doing so because you will not get any extra marks. Elaborate on the points given. Write 2-3 sentences to elaborate on each point. Remember a crucial aspect of this paper is language and your ability to write can only be tested if you provide sufficient language for the examiner to gauge your linguistic ability. Use a variety of sentence structures so that your essay is not dull and monotonous. Always read through what you have written. Correct grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.

1.3 Sample Essays And Practices Sample essay and practice 1 Articles General guidelines 1. Articles are pieces of writing giving information, advice or suggestions to the readers. 2. They are usually written for the school magazine or school newsletter. 3. The tone and style are formal. 4. An articles format a) Title can be taken from the rubric b) Writers name Just write By, and then followed by your name just below the title. c) The people who are going to read the article. Question Many students feel that they have too many things to do in one day. Many of them really do not manage their time wisely and end up not completing their homework or school projects on time. You want to make a few suggestions on how they can manage their time in a better and more effective way. Write an article for your school magazine giving your suggestions on how to manage time. Include the following points. Change attitude Pay attention in class Try to complete as much homework as possible during school hours Make a To do list Set priorities right Set a realistic target for examination Plan a personal timetable Make time for rest and relaxation Join study groups Seek help from parents, teachers or friends Speak to school counsellor Stay happy and healthy When writing the article, you should remember to: - Include the title - Include the writers name - Include all the points given - Write in the format of an article

Sample Answer How to Manage Time By Albert Moss Today many students feel that they have too many things to do in one day. Many of them really do not manage their time wisely and end up not completing their homework or school projects on time. So, here I would like to give some suggestions to students on how to manage time. Firstly, students must change their attitude. Next, students should pay attention in class. Thirdly, students must try to complete as much homework as possible during school hours. Furthermore students can make a To do list. Students ought to set their priorities right. Students should set a realistic target for their coming examination. Furthermore, students can plan a personal timetable. Students must also make time for rest and relaxation. Students can join study groups. All students should seek help from parents, teachers or friends if needed. Students should speak to the school counsellor if necessary. Finally students should be happy and healthy when they spend their time wisely. Examination Tips 1. Introduction of the article can be taken from the rubric as shown in the sample. 2. All students need to do is to add the phrase students followed by a modal , in front of the given content points to create meaningful sentences. e.g Students should, Students must etc. 3. Use conjunctions and sequence connectors Practice 1 You are asked to write an article for your school magazine Your article is on Disciplinary Problems in Schools. In your article, you also suggest ways to overcome the problems. Below are some notes you have made. Problems Playing truant cutting classes, loitering in shopping complexes, frequenting cybercafes during school hours Smoking in toilets, behind the bushes, cutting classes to smoke Bullying intimidating, beating, extorting money Vandalism destroying school property, graffiti Gangsterism involved in gangs, fighting, recruiting juniors Suggestions to overcome the problems Counselling Joining voluntary organization Being active in games and societies Doing part-time job 6

Taking up a hobby Intervention by parents

Do remember: To give a title That your audience are students To use all the notes given above To write in paragraphs Disciplinary Problems In Schools By : Mohamad Khusairi bin Mat Jali In the recent years, an alarming issue closely related to education that has always been discussed is the students discipline in schools. As a student, I think you might have heard of disciplinary problems happening in your own school. You yourself might have also committed certain misconducts throughout the years. This article will deal with common disciplinary problems in school. Apart from that, a few suggestions to overcome the problems will be discussed. Nowadays, it is common to find students playing truant. Normally, the students involved will be cutting classes. During that time, they prefer to be loitering in shopping complexes and frequenting cyber cafes during school hours. To make things more discreet, right after leaving their homes in school uniforms, they change into their everyday clothes. This makes it more difficult for the authorities to figure out their identities by just looking at them physically. That is why some parents are baffled when informed about the failure of their children to turn up at school. Smoking is another common disciplinary problem among school students. The offenders normally smoke in toilets and behind the bushes. They also resort to cutting classes just to fulfil their craving for cigarette. Peer pressure is always attributed to this problem. Smoking is seen as a way to make them feel that they belong to certain groups. This problem should be dealt with as soon as possible, for it may lead to other problems in the future, such as addiction and drugs. Bullying is also another problem faced by the school administration. This is an alarming problem because bullies can be quite intimidating to other students. Bullying does not only come in forms of verbal abuse, it also comes in forms of physical beating. Besides, bullies may also be extorting money from their victims. This problem may leave a permanent damage to the victims, physically and mentally, if it is not curbed at the early stage. Students might feel that school is not a safe place anymore. As a result, this can affect them academically. Vandalism is another form of misconduct. It is done by destroying school property. It is common to see graffiti on the walls, in the toilet, and even in the classrooms. This happens due to the lack of sense of belonging to the school. Students also do so to show their anger and frustration towards certain issues. This act of vandalism must be put to a stop because it involves a lot of tax payers money to repair the damage done. Lately, gangsterism has also surfaced in the school scene. There are students who are involved in gangs. They will be fighting with other students to solve some issues. The possibilities of them recruiting their juniors are very real. Therefore, it is imperative that the school administration takes a swift action when such problems occur in the school. 7

All parties must join hands together to overcome the disciplinary problems mentioned earlier. There are a few measures which can be taken by various parties to solve the problems. One of the measures is counselling. The school administration can come forward to offer counselling to the students who have become victims to bullying. By doing so, the victim would feel that they are not alone in this issue. They may be recovering from the trauma or stress from being bullied faster due to the support given by the school. On the other hand, the bullies themselves can also be sent for counselling. The school authorities may use this method as a way to get to the root of the problem and identify the reason behind the offense done. Not only will we give support to the victims, we can also use the counselling sessions to further understand the bullies themselves. Encouraging students to join voluntary organisations is another way to curb bullying. This is because those who are actively involved in voluntary organisations usually manage to communicate well with other people. This is due to the interactions they make along the way. By having good communication skills, they will make more friends. The students can avoid themselves from being eyed by the bullies because normally, bullies will pick students who are timid and constantly being alone. Being active in games and societies can also be another way to curb the disciplinary problems in schools. Games and societies are not just meant to be fun, they are supposed to be educational as well. If student really out their effort into the games and societies, they will learn to be more disciplined. Games come with certain rules to obey, so do societies. By immersing themselves in the activities, students can instil into themselves the sense of responsibility. This will lead them to be more responsible, more considerable and more understanding students. They will respect others. As a result, they will evaluate every single action they make and they will have a better judgement towards certain issues. Doing part-time job is also recommended. The feeling of earning own income can be very enlightening to students. Instead of getting everything easily by the help of their parents, they can now learn that it is not easy to earn their own money. They also learn how to follow instructions in the real situation. The consequences of not following orders are very real once they join the work force. This can make them realise that if they fail to comply, they will lose their job. This can be a meaningful lesson to them, since they can relate this to their everyday life. Taking up a hobby is another measure. Once the students have hobbies, they will not be distracted by others easily. Having a hobby is good. It provides students with escapism from the real world. Once students are indulged in a hobby, they will commit their spare time for something beneficial. Even if they are stressed with life as students, they can put aside the problems that they have for a while by getting themselves actively involved in their hobbies. Once they get busy, there is no way they can think of committing disciplinary cases. Although the problems are happening in schools, the intervention by parents is vital in dealing with this issue. Generally, students are at school only for a few hours in a day. Teachers may monitor them during school hour. However, after school hours, parents should shoulder the responsibility in an active way. Parents must monitor the movement of their children and make sure that they know the whereabouts of their children all the time. Parents should also give their full cooperation to the school administration whenever they are summoned to school to discuss their childrens problems. They must realise that discipline actually starts at home. If the parents themselves cannot afford to manage their childrens discipline, they cannot put the blame on the school authorities for any actions taken as a punishment for the childrens misbehaviour. Although it is impossible to totally eradicate disciplinary problems in school, it is our duty to bring the rate down. With cooperation from all parties, we can reduce the 8

disciplinary cases at school. It is in everybodys interest to make the school a conducive environment to study. Therefore, all parties should plan their actions in order to reduce the effects of disciplinary problem on the teaching and learning conditions in schools. Sample essay and practice 2 Speech/Talk General guidelines 1. Read questions and notes to understand situation. Determine: a. Type of speech thank you/farewell/informative b. Main idea/theme of speech pollution/safety/smoking/dumping babies c. Who is your audience? students, teachers, club members 2. Identify the relevant points in the questions. 3. Elaborate on the points. Give examples. 4. Know the format of the speech: a. Address the audience b. Introduce yourself c. State the topic d. Conclude by summarizing all the points e. Thank the audience 5. Some useful expressions a. Opening. Good morning/afternoon/evening to the Principal, teachers.. A very good morning I bid to the Chairman, teachers and my fellow friends.

b. Beginning. Today, I would like to talk about. I am Adiba bt Kassim and this morning I wish to talk about.. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about.

c. Closing I hope I have given you all the information on..Thank you Finally, let me end my speech by..

Question As the President of the Environment Club, you have been asked by your teacher to give a speech to all students in your school on how they can help to reduce environmental problems. In your speech, include the following notes:

HOW TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS

Reduce energy usage Do not waste electricity Use products that have timers Use energy saving appliances

Reduce air pollution Avoid open burning Use unleaded petrol Practise car pooling

Reduce waste Use environmental friendly products Use recycled materials Use washable items

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When writing your speech text, you should remember to: use the appropriate greeting and closing state the purpose of the speech use all the notes given write in paragraphs Sample Answer 1 Good morning to the Principal, teachers and friends. My name is Labu bin Labi from class 5 Science. As the President of the Environment Club, I have been asked by my teacher to give a speech to all students in my school on how they can help to reduce environmental problems. Firstly, we have to reduce energy usage. Do not waste electricity. For example we must switch off the lights and fans before we leave the classroom. We should use products that have timers so they will switch off automatically when the time is up. We should also use energy saving appliances like light bulbs and many others. Secondly, we have to reduce air pollution. For example, we should avoid open burning. It is better to bury than to burn rubbish in the open. We should also use unleaded petrol for our cars. It is also good to practise car pooling to work. Fewer cars on the road means less traffic and less pollution. Thirdly, we have to reduce waste. We must use environmental friendly products that do not harm the environment. We should also use recycled materials like paper bags instead of plastic bags. We should also use washable items to reduce waste. That is all for now. Thank you everyone for listening. Sample Answer 2 Good morning to the Principal, teachers and friends. I as the President of the Environmental Club feel greatly honoured to stand here before you to give a speech. I hope my speech will enlighten you about how students can help to reduce environmental problems. Do you realize that men are contributing a lot in destroying the environment? Thus, we must take our responsibilities in order to reduce the environmental problems. Reducing environmental problems could be implemented in various ways. My speech will centre on three main ways: reducing energy usage, air pollution and waste . . Firstly, we must remember to reduce energy usage. In order to reduce energy usage, we should not waste electricity . Dont forget to turn out the lights when you leave a room. Unplug all the appliances that you seldom use. Use power strips to switch off televisions, home theatre equipment, and stereos when you're not using them. Even when you think these products are off, together, their "standby" consumption can be equivalent to that of a 75 or 100 watt light bulb running continuously. The best alternative is to use products that have timers. You can set the time when using the products and they will automatically switch off when the time is up. Another way of reducing energy usage is by using energy saving appliances. Energy -saving appliances use less power and water than inefficient models whilst performing to the same standards. Besides, it also saves your bills. My dear friends, 11

Air pollution is one of causes of environmental problems. Open burning is one example of air pollution and it is a very common, yet very unhealthy method of garbage disposal. This includes the burning of leaves, wood and trash. It could lead to haze. Thus, in reducing air pollution, we should avoid open burning by educating people on the negative effects of it. The other way is to use unleaded petrol. It does not have lead added to it as anti-knock agent, therefore, when burnt in engines, this petrol does not give off toxic fumes and produces far less smokes and fumes. Next, we should start practising car-pooling to schools and offices. Other than helping to reduce environmental problems, it creates friendship as well. We often forgot that waste disposal is another factor that leads to environmental issues. Waste such as aluminium cans and plastic bags take more than decades to be decomposed. To overcome this problem, it is advisable to use environmental friendly products. Going green is the latest campaign in reducing waste. Instead of using Styrofoam and plastic tableware that will not biodegrade and will fill our landfills forever, why dont we use biodegradable tableware which only takes 50 to 100 days to completely compost. In addition, use recycled materials in our everyday life. Bring your recycled bags to supermarket for shopping and use recycled paper to write or to print notes. Finally, use washable items. Do not be shy to bring your water tumbler and bento box to the restaurants when you want to buy food. Instead of putting the food and drink in the plastic bag, use the tumbler and bento box. Your effort may be belittled by others but it does help to save the environment. Furthermore, going green does not make money for you, but it saves your wealth, thats for sure. So it wouldnt be a foolish decision at all. To sum up, there are many ways that we can do to reduce environmental problems. However, it depends on us whether we want to do it or not. There is no point pointing fingers to others. As Gandhi said, we must become the change we want to see. Change your thought and you can change the world. With that, I thank you for lending me your ears. Examination Tips 1. Remind students to write an appropriate greeting according to the question requirement. 2. All points should be written in complete sentences in order to be awarded marks for content points. 3. Remind students to write simple sentences instead of lengthy ones to avoid grammar mistakes. 4. Giving examples is considered as an elaboration. Practice 2(a) - Speech As the President of The Road Safety Club, you have been asked by your teacher to give a speech to all students in your school on how motorists cause accidents and suggest some ways to reduce these accidents. Use the notes below to guide you. Causes Turning without signalling Switching lanes, traffic jams - highways Breaking traffic rules after midnight Weaving in and out of traffic 12

Beating traffic lights Underaged motorists Speeding in housing estates Ways to reduce accidents Vehicle - in good condition Traffic police - peak hours, after midnight More speed traps Impose heavier fines Road safety campaign - raise awareness In your speech, remember to: provide a title use all the information above add two other ways to reduce accidents

Practice 2(b) Talk Many students in your school complain that they are stressed. As the President of the Health Club in your school, you have been asked to give a talk during assembly. You have made a list of the reasons given by these students and you would like to give them some suggestions on how to cope with their problem. Use the following notes to write your talk. Causes - long hours spent at school - too much homework - too many projects - frequent exams - tuition classes - high expectations from parents - lack of sleep Suggestions - have a positive outlook - plan a timetable - study consistently - have manageable goals - exercise regularly

When writing out your talk, you should remember to: address your audience state the purpose of the talk use all the points given 13

end your talk appropriately

Sample essay and practice 3 Report General guidelines 1. A report gives information to a particular person or group. 2. It has to be formal and concise 3. The content is inclusive of facts and opinions. 4. Types of report: a. Report of an incident b. Report on activity or event c. Report on a survey d. Newspaper report Basic format

Report On__________________________________ To : ( to whom the report is directed to ) Date : 14

From : ( the person who writes the report ) _______________

Facts and elaboration.

Conclusion

Reported by, signature

Question You are the Secretary of the Environment Club in your school. Your club has successfully organized Environment Week in your school. Write a report to the principal about the event. Include the following information in your report: Duration 3rd 7th March 2011 Objectives raise awareness beautify school compound ENVIRONMENT WEEK

Activities paint murals plant trees recycle old newspapers poster drawing competition speech by invited guest Advantages create conducive environment instill love for nature foster closer relationship develop co-operation

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When writing the report, you should remember to: give the report a title address the report accordingly provide an appropriate ending use all the information given write in paragraphs

SAMPLE ANSWER 1 To: Principal SMK Gemilang From: Secretary The Environment Club Environment Week In My School The Environment Club in my school has successfully organized an Environment Week. The duration of the Environment Week was from 3rd - 7th March 2011. The first objective of the programme was to raise awareness about the environment among the students. The second objective was to beautify the school compound with as many plants as possible. There were many activities organized by the Environment Club during the week. Students painted colourful murals on the wall about environment. They also planted trees around the school with the help of the school gardeners. They brought old newspapers from home to be sent for recycling. They took part in poster drawing competition on environment and they also listened to a speech by an invited guest during the closing ceremony. The advantages of the Environment Week are as follows. Firstly. it creates conducive environment to the students. Secondly, it instils love for nature in everyone. Thirdly, it fosters closer relationship between students and teachers in the school. Fourthly, it develops co-operation among students. 16

The Environment Week was successful and hopefully the programme will be held every year as an annual event. Reported by, Labu bin Labi Labu bin Labi 15 March 2011

SAMPLE ANSWER 2 To: Principal SMK Gemilang From: Secretary The Environment Club Environment Week In My School The Environment Club in my school has successfully organized an Environment Week. The duration of the Environment Week was from 3rd - 7th March 2011. A total of 711 students and 25 teachers were involved. The first objective of the programme was to raise awareness about the environment among the students. This is imperative as students are a part of society and thus have a vital role in taking care of the environment. The second objective was to beautify the school compound with as many plants as possible. There were many activities organized by the Environment Club during the week. Students painted colourful murals on the wall about environment. Some drew cartoons while others drew mesmerizing graffiti-style murals. They also planted trees around the school with the help of the school gardeners. They brought old newspapers from home to be sent for recycling. They took part in poster drawing competition on environment and they also listened to a speech by an invited guest during the closing ceremony. The speech was very informative and helped us to have a better understanding of the environment. The advantages of the Environment Week are as follows. Firstly, it creates conducive environment to the students. This would helps students learn more effectively in school. Secondly, it instils love for nature in everyone. Thirdly, it fosters closer relationship between students and teachers in the school. Fourthly, it develops cooperation among students. It is also hoped that this would help students be more tolerant and understanding of the customs and beliefs of the different races. At the end of the week the Principal gave away prizes and certificates to the winners of the poster drawing competition. In a nutshell, the Environment Week was successful and hopefully the programme will be held every year as an annual event. Reported by, Labu bin Labi 15 March 2011

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EXAMINATION TIPS 1. Remind students that they should use the words in the rubric to help them with their introductory paragraph. 2. All points should be written in complete sentences in order to be awarded marks for content points. 3. Remind students to write simple sentences instead of lengthy ones to avoid grammar mistakes.

Practice 3 You and your classmates have just returned from a trip to Kuala Lumpur. You are the class monitor. Write a report to your class teacher about the trip. Include the following information. Trip to Kuala Lumpur Date : 15 - 17 December Duration: 3 days and 2 nights No of students : 32 No of teachers: 3 Mode of transport: Bus Accommodation: Hotel Cost per person: RM 120.00 Paces of interest: Art gallery Shopping complexes Parks and gardens Zoos Museums When writing the report you should remember to: 18

give the report a title address the report accordingly provide an appropriate ending use all the information given

Sample essay and practice 4 Formal Letter Basic Format Nur Adilah bt Mufti 24, Taman Desa Minangkabau 06400 Pokok Sena The Director, Municipal Council P.O. Box 43 063500 Alor Setar Kedah. 2011

24 APRIL

Dear Sir, Complaint About Services With the reference to the above matter, I 2 .. 19

3 I hope. . Thank you. Yours faithfully,

(a) Letter of complaint There has been a plan to build a mega shopping complex near the public beach in your neighbourhood. As a concerned citizen, write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper protesting against the plan. Write the letter based on the notes below: A shopping complex already Project may drive tourists away exists Local businesses affected Spoil the beauty of the beach Social ills will increase Increase traffic flow in the area When writing the letter, you should remember to: Address the letter to the editor of a local newspaper Use all the notes given Elaborate all the notes

Sample Answer Jason James, 5, Kampung Pantai Merdeka, 08100 Pantai Merdeka, Kedah Darul Aman.

Editor, The Star, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah Darul Aman. Dear Sir,

26 MAY 2011

PROTESTING AGAINST A PLAN TO BUILD A MEGA SHOPPING COMPLEX I am writing this letter on behalf of the residents of Kampung Pantai Merdeka. It has come to our knowledge that the local authority has already given the green light to build a mega shopping complex near the public beach of Pantai Merdeka. We are totally against the mega project. These are our reasons. 2. Firstly, we do not need a mega shopping complex as a shopping complex already exists in our area. [Where?] The existing shopping complex is only 1 kilometre from the 20

proposed site. Secondly, the new shopping complex will spoil the beauty of the beach. [What will happen?] The swaying coconut and casuarina trees will be cut down. Besides, there will be more rubbish on the white sandy beach. 3. Next, the project may drive tourists away. [How?] The beach area will be reduced and the shady areas will be demolished. With the mega project, there will also be an increase of traffic flow in the area . [How?] [When?] More heavy vehicles such as lorries and trailers will use the village road throughout the construction period. [ What effect?] This will increase the number of road accidents. 4. Furthermore, local business will also be affected . [Who are involved?] Ten hawkers who sell foods and drinks along the beach will be affected. [ What are the effects?] They will lose their income and will be unable to support their families. Finally, we believe social ills will increase. [How?] The mega shopping complex will have a big cinema and a bowling arena. These kinds of places may attract more teenagers to loiter and play truant. These may lead to an increase in social ills. 5. We appeal to the authorities to shelve their plans without any further delay as it would mar the beauty of the beach. Yours faithfully, Jason James (JASON JAMES) Examination Tips 1. Make a simple introduction. Explain more about the location of the neighbourhood. 2. Rewrite the points given in complete sentences. Elaborate each of the points given by giving simple details. Ask wh-questions to help you to elaborate. 3. Plan the organisation of each point. 4. If you do not have any personal experience regarding the issue, try to be imaginative. Your imagination may help you to provide some relevant details.

PRACTICE 4 FORMAL LETTERS

LETTER OF COMPLAINT

Practice 4 a There has been a plan to build a mega shopping complex near the public beach in your neighbourhood. As a concerned citizen, write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper protesting against the plan. Write the letter based on the notes below: 21

A shopping complex already exists People will spend more Spoil the beauty of the beach Project may drive tourists away Cost of living may go up Local businesses affected Increase traffic flow in the area Traffic jam Pollution Social ills will increase a) Loiter b) Play truant

When writing the letter, you should remember to: Address the letter to the editor of a local newspaper Use all the notes given Elaborate all the notes

SAMPLE ANSWER 1: Jason James, 5, Kampung Pantai Merdeka, 08100 Pantai Merdeka, Kedah Darul Aman. Editor, The Star, 22

08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah Darul Aman. Dear Sir,

26 MAY 2011

PROTESTING AGAINST A PLAN TO BUILD A MEGA SHOPPING COMPLEX I am writing this letter on behalf of the residents of Kampung Pantai Merdeka. We came to know that there has been a plan to build a mega shopping complex near the public beach in our neighbourhood. We are protesting against the plan. These are our reasons. 1. Firstly, we do not need another shopping complex as a shopping complex already exists in our neighbourhood.. [Where?] Secondly, the new shopping complex may cause people to spend more as there will be two supermarkets to go shopping [What will happen?] 2. 3. In addition, the project may spoil the beauty of the beach. This will surely drive the tourist away. The beach area will be damaged. Furthermore, the cost of living will go up. Furthermore, local business will also be affected. [who are involved?] The hawkers who sell foods and drinks along the beach will have bad business. [What are the effects?] They will lose their income. There will also be an increase of traffic flow in the area. [How?] [When?] Many vehicles such as lorries will use the village road when building the supermarket.. [What effect?] This will increase the number of road accidents. Traffic jams will occur. Air pollution will happen too. Finally, we believe social ills will increase. [How?] The teenagers especially school students wil loiter and play truant in the new supermarket .. We hope the plan to build a shopping complex will be stopped.

4.

5. 6.

Yours faithfully, Jason James (JASON JAMES) SAMPLE ANSWER 2: Jason James, 5, Kampung Pantai Merdeka, 08100 Pantai Merdeka, Kedah Darul Aman. Editor, The Star, 23

08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah Darul Aman. Dear Sir,

26 MAY 2011

PROTESTING AGAINST A PLAN TO BUILD A MEGA SHOPPING COMPLEX I am writing this letter on behalf of the residents of Kampung Pantai Merdeka. It has come to our knowledge that the local authority has already given the green light to build a mega shopping complex near the public beach of Pantai Merdeka. We are totally against the mega project. These are our reasons. 1. Firstly, we do not need a mega shopping complex as a shopping complex already exists in our area. [Where?] The existing shopping complex is only 1 kilometre from the proposed site. Secondly, the new shopping complex may cause people to spend more as people have more options and choices [What will happen?]

2.

In addition, the project may spoil the beauty of the beach. As a result, the swaying coconut and casuarinas trees will be cut down. Besides, there will be more rubbish on the white sandy beach. This will surely drive the tourist away. The beach area will be reduced and the shady areas will be demolished. Furthermore, the cost of living will go up. Having another shopping complex is development. In a developed place, cost of things may go up. This will cause hardship to people Furthermore, local business will also be affected. [who are involved?] Ten hawkers who sell foods and drinks along the beach will be affected. [What are the effects?] They will lose their income and will be unable to support their families

3.

4. With the mega project, there will also be an increase of traffic flow in the area. [How?] [When?] More heavy vehicles such as lorries and trailers will use the village road throughout the construction period. [What effect?] This will increase the number of road accidents. Traffic jams will be part and parcel of our live then especially during rush hours. It would also lead to air pollution as there will be much dust and smoke during construction.

5.

Finally, we believe social ills will increase. [How?] The mega shopping complex will have a big cinema and a bowling arena. These kinds of places for sure will attract more teenagers to loiter and play truant. These may lead to an increase in social ills.

6.

We strongly appeal to the authorities to shelve their plans without any further delay as it would create all the problems as mentioned above 24

Yours faithfully, Jason James (JASON JAMES) (b): Formal Letter of request The Parent-Teacher Association of your school is organising a food fair to raise funds for various projects. As the Secretary of the Interact Club, you are in charge of writing a letter to a fast-food restaurant asking them to sponsor the food. In your letter, include the following: date, day, time and venue of the food fair 2 objectives of the food fair learn to share, experience the importance of cooperation further details about the food fair - involve all clubs and societies - expected crowd: 1,000 people - amount of money to be raised: RM10,000 request for sponsorship of food request for lucky draw hampers When writing the letter, you should remember to: Address the letter to the manager Use appropriate opening and closing Include other relevant details

SAMPLE ANSWER 1: Interact Club, SMK Cempaka, 25

11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang.

The Manager, KKC Fast Food Sdn. Bhd., 28, BL Free Trade Zone, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang. Dear Sir, A Request to Sponsor Food for the School Food Fair

12 JULY 2011

The Parent-Teacher Association of our school is organising a food fair to raise funds for various projects. Here are the details of the food fair: Date : 5 August 2011 Day : Thursday Time : 9.00am 2.00pm Venue : School Hall 2. The food fair has two objectives which are to learn to share and experience the importance of co-operation. These two objectives are important for students. So, we can learn how to share and co-operate in this food fair. 3. Here are the further details about the food fair. The food fair involves all clubs and societies of the school. The expected crowd is about 1,000 people. The amount of money to be raised is about RM10,000. 4. We would like to ask you to sponsor food like fried chicken, fish and chicken burgers. We also like to request from you to sponsor lucky draw hampers. 5. We hope you can sponsor the food and hamper that we have requested. We will be happy if you help. Thank You. Yours faithfully, Ssyyysweirtv (SYLVIA DIANA BT WIRA) Secretary, Interact Club SMK Cempaka Sample Answer 2: Interact Club, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Cempaka, 26

11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang. The Manager, KKC Fast Food Sdn. Bhd., 28, BL Free Trade Zone, i11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang. Dear Sir, A REQUEST TO SPONSOR FOOD AND DRINKS FOR THE FOOD FAIR Our school is organising a food fair to raise funds for various projects. Here are the details of the food fair: Date : 5 August 2011 Day : Thursday Time : 9.00 am 2.00 pm Venue : School Hall 2. The food fair has two objectives . First of all, the club aims to encourage the students to learn to share with others. [How can they share with others? ] They must learn not to be selfish and help others in any way they can. Another objective is to allow students to experience the importance of cooperation . [With whom will they cooperate?] Through this food fair we are sure the students will learn how to work with other students of different clubs and societies. 3. The followings are further details of the food fair. This project will involve all clubs and societies. [How many?] So far 12 clubs and 9 societies have confirmed their participations. They will sell different kinds of foods to the expected crowd which is about 1,000 people. [Who are they?] The fair is open to all the students and their parents. Our target amount of money to be raised is RM10,000 . [Why RM10,000?] We need that amount of money to organise various projects that will benefit the students. 4. We would like to make two humble requests here. The first is to request for your sponsorship of food. [How much? What kind of food?] We really appreciate if you could sponsor 100 pieces of fried chickens and 100 pieces of fish burgers. There is also a request for your company to sponsor lucky draw hampers. [How many? What is the cost?] It would be good if you can sponsor 3 hampers. Each hamper may cost RM20.00 each.

12 JULY 2011

5. Every member of the Interact Club prays hard that your company would be able to sponsor the food and hampers. We put a very high hope that you will be part of our fundraising activity. Your generosity is truly appreciated. Yours faithfully, 27

Ssyyyysweirtv

(SYLVIA DIANA BT WIRA) Secretary, Interact Club, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Cempaka.

Examination Tips: 1. Make a simple introduction. Refer to the question for the key ideas to be written in the introduction. 2. Rewrite the points given in complete sentences. Elaborate each of the points given by giving simple details. Ask wh-questions when giving elaboration. Certain wh-questions are much easier for you to answer such as when, who, how many and where. Answering why is normally more challenging. 3. Plan the organisation of each point. Practice 4 Letter of complaint There are a few matters in your school which could be improved. You and your classmates have had a meeting and decided to write a formal letter of complaint to the principal. As the class monitor, you have been asked to write the letter. In your letter, include the following: Classroom: Unsafe wooden chairs Fans not working Toilets: Broken doors Unhygienic Canteen: Limited choices of foods High price of foods When writing the letter, you should remember to: Set out the letter correctly Use all the notes given 28

Elaborate each note appropriately

Sample essay and practice 5 Informal Letter General guidelines 1. Informal letter is written to pen pals, friends, relatives and family members. 2. The format of an informal letter has the following features. a) Senders address b) Date any form but avoid writing in the formal form 30 August 2011 Both a) and b) must be written on the top right-hand corner of the letter c) Salutation on the left hand side of the letter Dear mum, Dear sister, d) Start your letter asking about the receivers well-being How are you? e) If you are replying a letter you may start like this I received your letter f) State the purpose of your letter I am writing this letter because. g) Closing Yours sincerely (for friends, pen-pals, etc.), Your loving daughter, etc. Do not use Yours faithfully as it is used for formal letter. 3. Three marks are usually awarded for format although there are more than 3 features. 4. Write your letter in 3 - 4 paragraphs. 5. Informal language can be used in an informal letter Ive, dad, mum, sis, be happy, etc. 6. Do not use sms language such as u for you and b4 for before

7. Basic Format Muhammad Akiff bin Azizan, No. 4, Taman Desa Impian, 06350 Naka, 12 April 2011 Dear Hani, I have just received your letter ... .. Yours sincerely, Akiff

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Question Your father wants to buy a computer but he is not sure whether it is better to buy a laptop or a desktop computer. He asks for your opinion. After doing some research, you come up with some information on both computers. Using the notes given below, write an informal letter to your father stating your choice and supporting it with reasons. LAPTOP COMPUTER Portable Slim and light Can function on battery More expensive More fragile Easier to steal DESKTOP COMPUTER Cheaper Easier to upgrade Harder to steal Bulkier- difficult to carry around Require more space Rely on direct supply of electricity

When writing out your letter, you should remember to include the following: To state your choice To make comparisons To state the purpose of the letter To give appropriate greeting and closing Use all the points given SAMPLE ANSWER 1: 122,Taman Pearlview Avenue, High Tech Park, 09000 Kulim, Kedah Darul Aman. 30/8/10 Dear father, How are you over there? I hope you are fine. I am doing okay here. I am writing this letter to let you know about my opinion on whether to buy a laptop or a desktop computer. I think you should buy a desktop computer. Firstly, desktop computers are cheaper. They are also easier to be upgraded. It is harder to steal desktop computers because they are heavy. However they have some weaknesses too. They are bulkier and difficult to be carried around. They also require more space and rely on direct supply of electricity. On the other hand, laptops are portable, slim and light and can function on battery. However I do not recommend it to you because laptops are more expensive and fragile. Besides, they are easier for people to steal. I hope that I have been helpful. I know that you will make a right choice. If you still have doubts, feel free to contact me again. Till then. Goodbye . 30

Your loving son / daughter, signature .. SAMPLE ANSWER 2: 122,Taman Pearlview Avenue, High Tech Park, 09000 Kulim, Kedah Darul Aman. 30/8/13 Dear father, How are you over there? I hope you are fine. I am doing okay here. I am writing this letter to let you know about my opinion on whether to buy a laptop or a desktop computer. I think you should buy a desktop computer. Firstly, desktop computers are cheaper. They generally give you more computing power and disk space for less money. In addition, desktop computers are cheaper to repair than laptops. Secondly, they are also easier to be upgraded. In a desktop, you only need to open the casing to access the hardware. You can increase the RAM, upgrade the microprocessor and even increase your storage capacity. Thirdly, it is harder to steal desktop computers because they are heavy. If someone happens to break into our house, they're unlikely to take the desktop, which has to be unplugged from the wall and transported with all of its attached peripherals. Therefore, it is more theft-resistant. However they have some weaknesses too. They are bulkier and difficult to be carried around. They also require more space, at least a full computer table! They rely on direct supply of electricity. Also there is a mess of connection cables. Even a simple device like a keyboard might have up to two cables that need to be plugged into the main console. On the other hand, laptops give you portability and convenience. You can take your work with you whenever you go on business trips, holidays or to your favourite cafe, Starbucks. Laptops are also slim and light and can function on battery. However I do not recommend it to you because laptops are more expensive and fragile. The miniaturization of components to make it portable increases the cost of ownership and the sensitivity of the hardware in the laptops make it delicate. Apart from that, laptops are easier for people to steal. Just leave the laptop unattended and you can be sure of never seeing it again. Someone could just put it in their backpack and walk away without a trace because it is compact and weightless. I hope that I have been helpful. I know that you are in a quandary about what to buy but keep your options open until youre sure its the best choice. If you still have doubts, feel free to contact me again. Till then. Goodbye . Your loving son / daughter, signature ..

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EXAMINATION TIPS 1. Refer to other model letters to see how the given content points are constructed into meaningful sentences. 2. Sentences need not be long. 3. Just add phrases like They are or Desktop computers to the given content points. 4. Remember there would be 12 content points and it is easy to get marks for all the content points. 5. End your letter in a friendly, informal manner Well, till we meet again, Goodbye. Practice 5 You have a cousin who lives in Kuala Lumpur. You have decided to organize a trip there for you and your classmates during the second term holidays. Write a letter to your cousin informing him or her of your plan. In your letter, ask your cousin to help you rent rooms at a hostel. You should also include the following information: Details of your visit Date Number of people going Number of days you intend to stay there Number of rooms required Budget for the rooms per day What you plan to do Visit: Kuala Lumpur Tower National Zoo Science Centre Putrajaya Tour the city Go shopping at KLCC When writing the letter, you should remember to: - Use suitable format - Use all the informations given above - Elaborate on what you plan to do

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Practice 6 You are asked to write an article for your school magazine. Your article is on Disciplinary Problems in Schools. In your article, you also suggest ways to overcome the problems. Below are some notes you have made. Problems Playing truant cutting classes, loitering in shopping complexes Smoking in toilets, behind the bushes Bullying intimidating, extorting money Vandalism destroying school property, graffiti Gangsterism involved in gangs, fighting Suggestions to overcome the problems Counselling Joining voluntary organization Being active in games and societies Doing part-time job Taking up a hobby Intervention by parents Do remember: To give a title That your audience are students To use all the notes given above To write in paragraphs SAMPLE ANSWER: DISCIPLINE AND ITS PROBLEMS By Banu Priya Mohan As we all are well aware the school is the place where knowledge is gained. It is the place thats houses teenagers from a variety of age. Thus the school has to have a set of rules that help guide these teenagers in the right path as fools rush where angels fear to tread. It is common knowledge to one and all every school is faced by disciplinary problems. Among them is playing truant. Students who play truant usually choose to cut classes and hang out in places outside the school. Some of them can be found loitering in shopping complexes. Another rampant problem is smoking which is often carried out in toilets, behind the bushes, at the back of the school and also the stairways. These students obviously are not aware that prevention is better than cure. 33

Aside from this, some students also take to bullying for instance intimidating others and also extorting money from their peers. They believe that they are the king of the area. Bullying would eventually lead on to gangsterism which involves gangs and brutal fighting that can lead to fatality. Vandalism is also a problem that actually disturbs everyone as the facilities cannot be utilized as properties are destroyed and graffiti on the walls make the school is a sight for sore eyes. It is never too late to mend these problems so we the students should work hand in hand with the teachers to clean up the school of these social ills. The first and most effective step would be counselling as the counsellors can serve as an ear for students to pour out their problems as well as triumph over their troubles. The counsellors can then go on to encourage this students to join voluntary organizations which would keep them occupied as any empty mind is the devils humble abode Aside from these they can also get themselves actively involved in games and societies and also do part time jobs as this would form a good habit, habit is second nature. Some parents encourage their children to take up a hobby like raring fish or writing stories which keeps them busy. These kinds of hobbies also encourage the intervention by parents which would eventually form a strong bonding between parent and child. With all that has been sad I strongly believe that the students of these schools would not fall prey to these bad habits if they strictly adhere to the advice given.

Practice 7 You and your classmates have just returned from a trip to Kuala Lumpur. You are the class monitor. Write a report to your class teacher about the trip. Include the following information. Trip to Kuala Lumpur Date : 15 - 17 December Duration: 3 days and 2 nights No of students : 32 No of teachers: 3 Mode of transport: Bus Accommodation: Hotel Cost per person: RM 120.00 Paces of interest: Art gallery Shopping complexes Parks and gardens Zoos Museums When writing the report you should remember to: give the report a title address the report accordingly 34

provide an appropriate ending use all the information given Sample answer: A REPORT ON A TRIP TO KUALA LUMPUR TO : MADAM NORMAIN BINTI NGAH, CLASS TEACHER, 4 SCIENCE, SEKOLAH MENENGAH KEBANGSAAN TAMAN HI-TECH. : DHANYAAH RAJAN. : A REPORT ON A TRIP TO KUALA LUMPUR. : 29 DECEMBER 2012.

FROM SUBJECT DATE

I, as the class monitor of class 4 Science at Sekolah Menengah Taman Hi-Tech, would like to take this golden opportunity to inform you about a recent class trip we took to Kuala Lumpur, after the final examination. The weekend of 15-17th December 2012 will forever be etched in the minds of the 32 classmates of 4 Science and the 3 teachers accompanying, who attended the trip to Kuala Lumpur, organised by the Counselling unit of SMK Taman Hi-Tech. The keyed up students congregated at the school corridor at 8 a.m. on Saturday, 15 December, before boarding the bus to Kuala Lumpur. The students were raring to go and did not mind paying RM 120.00 per person for food and accommodation at Hotel Seri Intan Perda. The journey kicked off smoothly. However, upon reaching Ipoh traffic thickened and the bus was forced to move at a snails pace for over an hour. The teachers decided to make a pit stop at a nearby R and R (Rest and Refreshment). Once the bottleneck cleared off, the bus was back on track. Fortunately, we made it in time and were not back on schedule. Upon arriving, students and teachers checked-in into their assigned rooms. Everyone had enough time to take a bath, before assembling in the hotel lobby at 8.00 p.m. We were then taken out for dinner to Sunway Pyramid Mall which was ten minutes away from the hotel. Students were amused by the enchanting lights of the city. At 9.30 p.m. we were all taken back to the hotel. By 10.30 p.m. all students were in bed. On the 16th of December our journey entailed a lot of walking and sightseeing. After a satisfying buffet style breakfast in the hotel at 9.oo a.m. we visited The Contemporary Art Gallery. It was an eye-opener as the arrangement of local masterpieces engendered the patriotic spirit in most of the participants. Then, we visited a few parks and gardens. The sight of vibrant flowers in the midst of a bustling city was invigorating and refreshing. After lunch at a restaurant we spent the afternoon visiting a few museums. The most enjoyable place was The Museum of History. Students were not shy to apply what they learnt in the confinement of the classroom. Before we headed back to the hotel, we visited the National Zoo. Students were given 2 hours to roam in the zoo. Then, we headed back to the hotel and had dinner, before calling it a night.

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After a hearty breakfast on the 17 th of December, we checked-out of the hotel. The course of the day was spent visiting a plethora of shopping complexes and buying souvenirs before bidding farewell to the heart of Malaysia. During the journey back, students were given the opportunity to voice out their feelings and thoughts regarding the trip. Some of the participants gave constructive feedback on what this trip had taught them, while others gave heart-warming speeches. By the time we reached Kulim, we were worn out and exhausted. But, each of us had a store of memories, which will not be easily effaced. Reported by, Dhanyaah Rajan Class monitor, 4 Science, SMK Taman Hi-Tech, Kedah.

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CONTINUOUS WRITING Teachers Notes Narrative essays are a favourite among students as they are easier to handle. This type of essay enables the writer to use and share experiences with the readers. 1. Students must read the question carefully and know exactly what they are supposed to write. 2. Ask the students to decide whether to write their essay from their own perspective or someone elses. The first person or third person singular is the most popular choice. 3. Students should use a simple plot. Asking students wh-questions will help them to develop ideas. Advise them to list in chronological order. 4. Students should use the past tense forms. 5. Encourage the students to include adjectives and adverbs. 6. Students may also use dialogue. STUDENTS TIPS WRITING A NARRATIVE ESSAY A narrative is a story with a sequence of connected events. It could be about a personal experience or an imagined event or events. Let us look at some typical examination questions: 1. Write a story of a man who returns to his home after many years. 2. The day I lost my temper. 3. Write a story ending with, I shall never forget this day for the rest of my life. 4. Write about an occasion when you got into trouble. 5. Write a story beginning with, I could not believe my eyes. How do I write a narrative essay for the examination? ACTION PLAN: (1 hour) A. Planning = 15 minutes B. Writing = 35 minutes C. Checking = 10 minutes This is how we do it. A. PLANNING Lets say you have chosen question 3, - Write a story ending with, I shall never forget this day for the rest of my life. 37

1. Read the question carefully and underline important phrases. Pay particular attention to the ending.

2. Brainstorm for ideas by using the 5Ws and 1H approach and jot down notes. Who is the character? When is the event taking place? Where is it happening? What is happening? Why is there a problem? How is the problem solved?

Example: Introduction Who - main character, first person narrator (I) and cousin from Cambodia When - holidays, one Sunday Problem 1

Body What - had to accompany cousin Why - cousin loved riding escalators

Where - at the shopping centre Why - riding escalators again

Problem 2

Who

- main character

Problem 3

What - nearly had an accident How Why - stumbled - tried to escape from cousin Climax

Conclusion What lesson learnt gratitude

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B. WRITING THE ESSAY Now that you have got the skeleton of your story, it is time to begin writing. 1. Use linkers and phrases which link the events to move your story in a chronological order. Some phrases that are suitable : It was very dark. I will never forget .. A few minutes later. Suddenly, When the disaster happened, ..

2. Use the past tense forms. Check all the verbs you have used. 3. Use descriptive language (adjectives, adverbs) 4. Use sensory details to reveal the events and to get the readers involved. Do not merely tell but show the events through words and phrases. Example: a. I went into the restaurant. b. I walked into the restaurant. c. I sauntered into the restaurant.

5. Sentence a: merely states that I went into the restaurant Sentence b: gives a little more information as to how I went into the restaurant. Sentence c: uses a more specific word to show clearly the idea of how I went into the restaurant.

Sentence c. allows the reader to see what I am doing. The word sauntered means to stroll. It gives the image of a person walking slowly into the restaurant. Thus, sentence c. is more effective in narrative and descriptive writing.

6. Use direct speech, but use it sparingly and effectively. Remember, you are writing a narrative, not a script.

7. Avoid using informal language

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C. CHECKING Read your essay once through and check for the following things: Is the spelling accurate? Is the punctuation appropriate? Did you use too many commas in a sentence? Did you vary the sentence structure? Are your sentences too long? Does one thought follow the next in a logical order? Did you stick to the topic? Did you use words so that your reader could experience the incident? Did you use the appropriate tense of the verb throughout? Make any corrections neatly. WRITING A DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY Writing a descriptive essay is perhaps more difficult than writing a narrative essay because it makes more demands on ones use of language. In a descriptive essay, you need to give a detailed description of a person, place, object, experience or memory. Your description must be so effective that the person, place, object, experience or memory described is clearly visualised by the reader. If you are describing a person, the reader should feel that he knows the person well. If it is a place that is described, the reader should feel as if he is there and seeing it with his very eyes. How can this be achieved? Through the use of details that appeal to your readers senses and a lively tone that draws his emotions. Techniques in Descriptive Writing STEPS A. PLANNING 1. Read the question carefully. (eg. An Unforgettable Character) 2. Understand the question. a. What does the phrase Unforgettable Character mean? He/She is a person you will always remember. b. What is your focus? A favourable or unfavourable impression of the character. 3. Brainstorm for ideas. Expand and elaborate the points.

Introduction Who is being describe - the canteen lady 40

Body Detail 1 - General Appearance Neat Height short Age 50 The way she walked - limps Detail 2 - Non-physical features Manners of speaking gentle, low voice Habit smiled a lot Detail 3 - Why she is unforgettable Kind - art lesson - the way she treated a bully Keenness to learn the way she read newspapers even though she was illiterate Conclusion Give an opinion not a person to sit back and let things go by B. WRITING THE ESSAY

1. Use details Focus on the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch). Details are very important and when properly used, enable descriptions to come to life. Use nouns, adjectives and verbs to evoke these senses. Nouns and adjectives help the reader see; verbs help the reader feel. 2. Use a lively tone Show your own feelings, responses and reactions as these make your description more vivid and lively. 3. Describe different aspects If you are describing a person, do not limit your description to the persons physical appearance. Include a detailed description of the persons character and personality and how other people react to him. Include a detailed paragraph of an incident which highlights one of these aspects. Lets look at the two extracts below on the topic An Unforgettable Aunt. Sample 1 Aunt Eleanor had a sharp nose and a pair of black eyes. She was thin, and had a thin, long face, an aquiline nose and sunken cheeks. Her hair was always tied in a knot and 41

her clothes were only of one colour grey. My cousins and I were afraid of her and always found an excuse to disappear whenever she was around.

Sample 2 Aunt Eleanor was thin and scrawny and her protruding bones almost made her look like a walking skeleton. Her aquiline nose and sunken cheeks added to her witch-like looks and her dark eyes, when they flashed in anger, were capable of sending tremors of fear down ones spine. The dreary grey tones of her clothes and her sparse dark hair, which was always tied in a knot, further emphasised her sternness. My cousins and I cringed with fear and were reduced to silence when she glared at us with her smouldering dark eyes. Her serious demeanour and scrooge-like appearance did nothing to endear her to us. Sample 1 is a plain description of the narrators aunt. Although there are several verbs and adjectives, the description is somewhat dull. Sample 2, on the other hand, is a vivid and interesting description which brings the character to life. We can almost see her in our minds eye and this effect is achieved through the description of the persons features that are prominent and striking. Note the details about - her overall physical appearance (thin, skeleton-like) - her facial features (aquiline nose, sunken cheeks, dark eyes) - her manner of dressing and grooming (dreary grey tones, tight bun) - feelings stirred by her appearance (tremors of fear, reduced to silence, cringed with fear). The description of her physical appearance supports and reinforces her character and personality, and this makes the essay interesting and engaging. Some writers like to merge descriptive writing with narrative writing. There is nothing wrong with this as the description enriches the narration.

C. CHECKING Read your essay once through and check for the following things: Is the spelling accurate? Is the punctuation appropriate? Did you use too many commas in a sentence? 42

Did you vary the sentence structure? Are your sentences too long? Does one thought follow the next in a logical order? Did you stick to the topic? Did you use the appropriate tense of the verb throughout? Make any corrections neatly.

ESSAYS TAKEN FROM SMART MODULE 2 2011 Sample Essay 1 Write a story beginning with, I was happy to be in Group 10........................ I was happy to be in Group 10. There were six members in my group. There were three other boys and six girls. All of them, just like me, were happy to take part in the district level language camp. The camp was held at a two-star hotel in Ipoh. We did not have to pay anything. Everything was sponsored. The members in my group came from different secondary schools in the district. But all of us were form 5 students. We were chosen to join the language camp because we had the potential to score an A in the SPM 1119 examination. Seri, from SMK Seri Permai, was our group leader. Seri was a very pretty girl. I had a crush on her. I knew the other boys also admired Seri. We named our group Seri Bombastic. In the first activity, we created our groups logo, motto and song. When we presented our song, everybody liked it. Then, there was a talk on how to answer examination questions. On the second day, we had several language games. We had spelling competition, vocabulary game, sketch and many others. Our group won the sketch competition. We presented a very good performance. We presented a story about a princess who fell in love with a fisherman. Seri played the role of a princess and of course I was the poor but handsome fisherman. The activities went on until 10.00 p.m. We were very tired but enjoyed ourselves a lot. On the third day we had a jungle trekking in a forest nearby the hotel. All instructions were given in English. We also had to solve some problems and answer tricky questions throughout the trekking activity. It was very challenging. The camp ended with a simple closing ceremony. Each participant was given a certificate. After going through all the activities I felt more confident that I would be able to get an A for English in my SPM. I would also miss my group members, especially Seri. I would never forget them. We promised that we would continue to contact each other. Seri also promised to help me improve my English.

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Sample 2 A Visit To A Hospital Yesterday, I followed my father to visit my uncle who was hospitalised at a private hospital. We left home at about 5.00 p.m. and reached the hospital at 6.15 p.m. The private hospital was a new hospital. It was opened two months ago. My uncle suffered from chronic diabetes. Two days ago he came to the hospital for his regular check-up but the doctor had to admit him because his sugar level was very high. The doctor had to monitor him all the time. He would be allowed to go home once his sugar level stabilised. My uncles ward was at the fifth floor. The lift was very spacious and fast. A nurse, who was my mothers old friend, greeted my father. She told us that my uncle was doing fine. After talking to the nurse for a while we went to Room 515. My uncle was very happy to see my father and me. A young Egyptian doctor was examining my uncle at that time. The doctor said that my uncle was getting better and he would be discharged soon. My father chitchatted with my uncle for almost one hour. I felt bored so I went out of the room to explore the new hospital. I went to the hospital lobby. It was like a hotel lobby. There was a long list of specialists and their academic qualifications on the wall. Altogether, the hospital had 35 specialists and some of them were foreigners. Then, I went to the cafe. I was surprised as the cafe was like a five-star restaurant. They served a variety of healthy dishes. But I would not eat there on my own as a plate of fried rice alone was RM7.50! Even a glass of plain water cost RM1.00! Initially, I planned to have something there but I just walked out as I only had RM2.15 in my pocket. When I was waiting for the lift to go back to the fifth floor, a woman cried hysterically with her daughter. From her words, I understood that she had just lost her husband. I did not say a word but I sympathised them, especially her cute and charming daughter. I wish I could console her daughter. But before I could offer some help, the door of the lift opened and my father appeared. He indicated it was time to go home so I just followed him. I walked to the main entrance while my eyes still looking at the girl.

Sample 3 My Favourite Restaurant Last week, the SPM result was announced. The night before, I could not sleep. I was very nervous. I was scared I did not get a good result because my parents were really hoping that I could go to university. I went to school to collect my result with my parents. My hands were shaking when I held the result slip. My class teacher congratulated me. I looked at my result and hugged my father and mother. I got 5A+, 1A and 4A-. Even though I was not the best student in my school, I was very happy with my result. My parents were very proud of me. That night, my father took me and the rest of the family members to my favourite restaurant, Bamboo Restaurant. It was only five kilometres from my house. The restaurant was opened three years ago. I liked the restaurant very much because it offered a wide range of local, Thai and western foods. I would always try different dishes each time I went there. All 44

the customers said the restaurant was very spacious. Some said Bamboo Restaurant was the biggest restaurant in town. When we arrived at the restaurant, I saw a big crowd. My father took some time to park his car. My mother said, We have a surprise for you! I insisted my mother to tell me about the surprise but she just asked me to be patient. My family and I walked to a room which my father booked for us. The room was quite big and it could accommodate more than 50 people. When I opened the door, I saw many people standing while clapping their hands happily. They were my grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins and immediate neighbours. I was really surprised to see my girlfriend with her parents too! Everybody congratulated me for my SPM result. I was deeply touched. I hugged my parents for organising such a dinner to celebrate my success. I sat beside Mimi, my girlfriend. She gave a gift but I had to promise her to open it at home. My father ordered my most favourite dish for all of us chicken chop with black pepper sauce. We also had garlic bread, salad and crab meat soup. I always told my friends to come to Bamboo Restaurant if they wanted to taste the best chicken chop in town. It was a long night at my favourite restaurant. My cousins sang a Justin Biebers song for me. My grandparents sponsored prizes for lucky draw. In short, we had so much fun at the restaurant. It was really a memorable night.

Sample 4 The Day When Everything Went Wrong I had just started working as a despatch boy at an international company in Kuala Lumpur. The job was not great but I accepted it after failing to get a job in my hometown, Kuala Nerang. Actually, my neighbours son who was staying in Kuala Lumpur recommended me for the job. Living in a big city was totally different from living in Kuala Nerang. But, whatever it was, Kuala Nerang was still in my heart. After six months working, I began to fall in love with Lisa, a clerk at a primary school. One day, I approached her at a coffee shop. She was having lunch alone. I joined her. She was very happy and really welcomed me to accompany her. Nothing much happened on that day but we just talked. We got to know each other better. After lunch, I asked her if she would be interested to watch a movie with me on the coming weekend. I was surprised when she gave me a definite Yes!. From that day, we became closer and love began to bloom between us. Lisa confessed to me that she was worried about what some other people might say to me because she was ten years older than me. But I convinced her that age was not important to me. What was more important was her sincerity and happy-going attitude. Lisa believed in me. She knew I truly loved her. So, one day she asked me to meet her parents. On one Sunday, I went to Lisas house. I was supposed to be there at 9.00 am. However, I only reached her house at 11.00 am. My motorcycle broke down once I left my house. I did not know why I was so stupid not to take a taxi but waited for two hours to get my motorcycle repaired. It was supposed to be an important day in my life but everything went wrong. I also left my mobile phone at home. I borrowed the mechanics mobile phone to inform Lisa about what happened to me but I just could not recall her contact number. My mind went blank. When I reached her house at 11.00 am, I could see her parents unhappy faces. Their conversation with me was very limited. I was confident they were not listening to me when I 45

was explaining about what happened to me. To make it worse, I left a box of chocolate, which I promised to give to Lisas mother, at the workshop. I knew Lisa was frustrated with me but she still treated me well. Lisa served tea and some curry puffs. I was very hungry as I missed my breakfast so I kept eating them one after another. Lisas parents were speechless to see my act. When I saw their shocking faces, only then I slowly put back the curry puff in my hand into the plate. It was the last piece. After that, I asked for permission to go to the washroom as I really had to answer natures call. I was too clumsy. I fell in the washroom as the floor was slippery. My pants were soaking wet. I did not know what to do so I stayed in the washroom for about fifteen minutes. Finally, I came out with my wet pants. I quickly said goodbye to Lisa and her parents and left the house. It was truly a day when everything went wrong.

Sample 5 Examination This morning I sent my son to school. It was the first day of his SPM examination. My son, Dean, was a diligent boy. Unlike me when I was his age, he did not need any motivation to study for examination. He was able to manage his own time very well. He made his own timetable. Dean knew when to study, play, watch television and go out to have fun with his friends. I really saluted him for his independence and maturity. I respected him because I was very much different from him when I was 17 years old. When I was in Form 5, I was a lazy student. Perhaps, the laziest in my family and in class. My parents especially my mother was always angry with me when she came back from work and saw me sleeping in my room. Even my teachers in school did not know what to say to advise me to study for my SPM examination. Mr. Nick, my History teacher, always punished me for my laziness. I had never completed his History notes and exercises. My Chemistry teacher, Madam Beh, could not even look at my face. She gave up on me. I really did not have any idea how could I prepare for my examination. I realised I could not blame anybody but myself. I was the one who refused to listen to all the advice given by my parents, teachers as well as friends. Even when the school organised motivational talks and study skills seminar, I would find ways and create excuses not to attend the programme. I only picked up my revision books and began to study two months before the examination. My mother was surprised to see me with SPM books around me. She just could not believe her eyes. She did not say a word but gave me a hug while shedding tears. I promised her that though it could be too late for me to prepare for my SPM, I promised my mother that I would still try my best. For two months, I did all I could for my SPM examination. The result was announced several months later. Of course, I did not get straight As but I did not fail in any subject. My parents were not happy with my result. Me too. I learnt my lesson well.

Sample Essay 6 46

The day that I will never forget One evening when the sun was about to set, my mother asked me to buy some onions and salt from a nearby sundry shop. The shop is run by Ah Kow, a jovial middle-age Chinese man with a huge pot-belly. His wife and three young children, two boys and a girl help him everyday. It was almost completely dark when I reached the shop. Ah Kow had switched on the lights in his small but adequately stocked shop. He was alone at that time and I was the only customer. Ah Kow greeted me with a warm smile. I always want to ask him how he kept his teeth so sparkling white but I was afraid to ask. I told him what I wanted and he went to get the things. Next door to Ah Kow is a coffee shop, owns by an Indian man. It was still open at that time. From the coffee shop came two men. They came into Ah Kows shop. I could smell bad breathe from these two men and I knew they both drunk. Both of them were young but from the way they half-walked half-staggered into the shop, it was obvious they had too much drink. I kept a safe distance from these men. It is never a good idea to be near drunks. One never knows what they will do next. True enough, my caution was justified. For the next moment, without any warning, one of the men swept a pile of tinned goods from a table onto the floor. In a second the neat rows were reduced to utter chaos. The man who did it roared but in laughter. I could see Ah Kows anger rising. He raised his voice. As if in reply to his retort, the two men started shouting at him. Then, suddenly a knife appeared in one of the mens hand. The man that held the knife was small and wiry, judging from the muscles in his hand and I had no doubt he was very strong The knife-man lunged and in a flash he had the point of his knife at Ah Kows throat. Ah Kow froze and his face paled. I was overwhelmed by the suddenness of events that the next thing I knew I could not move my hands, nor the other parts of my body. I was held in a vice-like grip by the other man. I did not even see him coming. I struggled but all I could do was to make the grip tighten more. It got difficult to breathe. I hears a lot of shouting and I could see the knife=men slapping Ah Kow. Reluctantly, Ah Kow opened the drawer where he kept his cash and the knife-man leaned over and made a grab of cash. That was a big mistake he made. For a fleeting moment, his knife was forgotten and in that short time Ah Kow seized his chance. Ah Kows huge right hand came down hard over the back of the leaning mans head right down hard on the table. There was a sickening thud when face met table. The knife-mans head rebounded like a rubber ball from the table and I could see blood all over his face. He was badly hurt. The knife dropped from lifeless hands on the floor. Moving with surprising speed, Ah Kow grabbed a bottle of tomato ketchup from a shelf and knocked the mans head. The red tomato ketchup splattered all over the place. I could not distinguish how much of the red stuff on the mans face was his own blood, or tomato ketchup. Slowly he sank to the floor and lay still. I struggled to get loose. It felt so easy. Then I realized that hands no longer held me. I turned around and saw the dark figure of a man running out of the shop and disappearing to the semi-darkness. I was about to go in pursuit but Ah Kow stopped me. He said it was useless pursuing somebody in the dark. Moreover the man could be armed and that would be dangerous.

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Ten minutes later, the shop was filled with curious people wanting to know what had happened. The knife-man was herded in the police car. Ah Kow and I had to give our statements to the police. When I arrived home half an hour later, my mother was waiting impatiently for me. I told her everything and she smiled. She said she was glad I was not injured. I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Sample Essay 7 My Favourite Holiday Destination My favourite holiday destination is Langkawi, which is made up of 99 islands on Malaysias west coast. It is the countrys best-known holiday destination. Surrounded by stunning turquoise sea, it is the most popular and is frequented by both local and foreign tourists. The sightseeing attractions in Langkawi certainly will not disappoint visitors. One of the interesting places I love to go is the Underwater World Malaysias largest aquarium which features 200 different species of marine and freshwater creatures. It is located at Langkawis most popular beach, Pantai Cenang, where visitors can enjoy the varieties of water sports or simply strolling along the white sandy beach. Mahsuris Tomb is another tourist attraction which preserves the historical past of Langkawi. This memorial is built in honour of Mahsuri, a fair maiden who was accused of adultery and unjustly put to death. According to legend, she bled white blood as a sign of her innocence and she cursed Langkawi for seven generations. Besides, you can visit the Gamat Factory nearby where you can purchase a wide variety of this traditional Malay medicine. Just 5 kilometers away from Mahsuris Tomb, the Field of Burnt Rice is another must-visit place. It is believed that when the Siamese army invaded Langkawi, the local chief ordered that all the rice in the land be cut and burnt to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. To this day you can purportedly still see the burnt rice on the ground during heavy rain-fall. Your visit to Langkawi is not complete without experiencing the gondola ride at Oriental Village, home of the cable car. It takes you from the foot of Gunung Machinchang to its apex. From the peak, you will get a birds eye view of Langkawis thick greenery and also the Telaga Tujuh waterfalls. 48

If you are a nature lover, you can enjoy a glimpse of the lush flora and fauna of the Kilim Nature Park. This trip will take you on a fascinating journey to explore the parks natural inhabitants as well as its natural limestone caves. Finally, if you are intent on carting off duty-free perfumes, imported dishes, batik and chocolates, then this is the place to be. There are many shops offering these items at good prices, especially in Kuah Town. It is indeed a shopping heaven especially for ladies. Langkawi is definitely my favorite holiday destination. Besides being a duty-free island and beautiful tourist spots to go, it is a place where I can relax and feel as if I am in another world. I will definitely spend my holidays in Langkawi again.

Sample Essay 8 Internet The Internet or the World Wide Web is indeed a wonderful and amazing addition in our lives. The Internet can be known as a kind of global meeting place where people from all parts of the world can come together. However, there are advantages and disadvantages of using the internet. One of the things that you can do via the Internet is e-mail. With e-mail you can send and receive instant electronic messages, which works like writing letters. Your messages are delivered instantly to people anywhere in the world, unlike traditional mail that takes a lot of time. There are also many chat rooms on the web that can be accessed to meet new people, make new friends, as well as to stay in touch with old friends. It is a great way to meet up with people of similar interest and discuss common issues. Information is probably the biggest advantage internet is offering. Any kind of information on any topic under the sun is available on the Internet. The search engines on the Internet can help you to find data on any subject that you need. Along with getting information on the Internet, you can also shop online. There are many online stores and sites that can be used to look for products as well as buy them using your credit card. You do not need to leave your house and can do all your shopping from the convenience of your home. Besides, we can also download software from internet. This is one of the most happening and fun things to do via the Internet. You can download games, music, videos, movies, and a host of other entertainment software from the Internet, most of which are free. However, there are certain cons and dangers relating to the use of Internet. If you use the Internet, your personal information can be accessed by other people. If you use a credit card to shop online, then your credit card information can also be stolen which could be akin 49

to giving someone a blank check. Besides, pornography is a very serious issue concerning the Internet, especially when it comes to young children. There are thousands of pornographic sites on the Internet that can be easily found and can be harmful to children. Such illegal activities are frustrating for all Internet users, and so instead of just ignoring it, we should make an effort to try and stop these activities so that using the Internet can become much safer. In conclusion, the advantages of the Internet far outweigh the disadvantages, and millions of people each day benefit from using the Internet for work and for pleasure.

Sample Essay 9

Write a story beginning with, I could not believe my eyes I could not believe my eyes as I saw the skinny lady who was walking slowly towards the medicine counter. She looked old, haggard and depressed. She looked so familiar to me, but a younger, happier version. There was no way I could be wrong. Quietly, she sat on one of the chairs and waited patiently for her turn to collect her medicine. I suddenly remembered, it had to be Diana, my best friend in secondary school. But this person looked too old to be 30. Anyway, I braved myself to approach her. Hearing my footsteps, she looked up slowly. You are Diana Yusof, arent you? She nodded her head silently. Hello, Amira? You are looking good. Her remarks reminded me of how beautiful she had been once. Diana had been the school beauty. Everyone had admired her for her looks, her brains and her beautiful character. One day, Diana had stopped coming to school. No one knew where her family had gone and why they had left so suddenly. 50

Taking a seat next to her, I wondered what had happened to her. Why did you leave so suddenly, Diana? Why? She looked at me nervously. I could sense that she was reluctant to talk and expose a part of her life. After a long silence, finally, she started telling me her story. Her mother had been diagnosed with cancer and there was nothing the doctors could do. They said that she had only three months to live. Her father decided to return to their hometown, to let her live in peace. Her father, distressed by his wifes death, started to neglect his own health and three months later, he too died, leaving Diana in the care of her aunt. Tears rolled down Dianas cheeks as she related the difficult years with her aunt. Her aunt treated her badly. She forced her to quit school and to work at a restaurant. The cruel old lady often beat her. Her cousins, jealous of her beauty, were nastier than their mother. Now that the aunt was old, her five children had left her when they realised that she needed special care. Despite her aunts poor treatment of her, Diana felt sorry for her. She has no one else, she said. I have promised to take care of her. I looked at Diana and saw her goodness. Instead of seeing a gaunt and weary figure, I saw an amazingly beautiful human being. My heart went out to her. Just then, her name was called. She got up and collected the medicine which, I knew, was for her aunt. Her story reminded me of something my mother used to say, Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep. Before leaving, Diana turned and smiled sadly at me. I never saw her again after that. Sample Essay 10 Football / My favourite sport / Interest Manchester United? Liverpool? Arsenal? Kedah? It's Tuesday morning. Do you find yourself longing for the weekend? Not because the idea of having two days off from school, but because your living room television is bombarded by football matches, both local and international scenes. Football is the greatest sport of all time and has endured the test of time, dating back to the ancient Greece. Here are the little things that get me through the week and reasons why I love football. Firstly, I love football because it is simply far more entertaining than any other sport in the world. Its the worlds most popular sport, simple. As a sport it is far less predictable than 51

most. Its a sport where upsets can and do occur on a regular basis. Besides, it is a simple and inexpensive sport that anyone can play. All you need are shoes and a ball. Obviously among other reason, my family and I share a love for football which means family gatherings of watching our favorite teams during football season. My mother would prepare some crackers and hot, black coffee, allowing us to enjoy the match despites her favourite Malay drama is playing on the other channel. Football is also source of national pride. A great example of this is Iraq. Even though their country was in shreds, they still managed to piece together a national soccer team to represent in the Olympics. I remember when they came out during the opening ceremony and received a standing ovation, it was very touching. It sounds like an old clich, but football really is a sport that unites all. The game of football is played by more worldwide than any other sport. Therefore, when the World Cup arrive in Brazil in the summer of 2014, for those two weeks, civil wars will cease and people will gather and watch their national teams play for the most coveted trophy on the planet. Its a beautiful thing. I do not like football. I simply love it. Sample Essay 11 The Person I Admire Most The person I admire most is none other than my maternal aunt, Mak Su Midah. She is my mothers youngest sister. I love Mak Su Midah because she is a responsible and understanding person. Mak Su Midah stands 161 cm, with a petite, slim figure. She has fair complexion, smiling eyes and lustrous, black, shoulder-length hair. Her face is as smooth as silk, and she has rosy cheeks and pink lips. Being a successful businesswoman, she holds herself very well and has the charm and grace to go with it. Mak Su Midah owns a chain of bakeries in Johor Bahru. She is a person who always puts her best foot forward and she is planning to expand her business to other major cities like Melaka, Seremban and Singapore. As a single mother, Mak Su Midah always works hard to provide for her three sons. Although she is busy with her business, she always finds time to spend with them. She makes sure they have dinner together. During school holidays, Mak Su Midah would also take some time off to take her sons for a vacation. Her sons are doing very well in school as they are very disciplined and focused. Mak Su Midah is a good role model not only to me, but also to her sons. Although she is very successful, Mak Su Midah is very humble, modest and respectful to everyone. She is also supportive towards her siblings and never fails to help anyone who is in trouble. Sometime ago, my father was in a financial distress and Mak Su Midah stepped up and helped him to solve his problem. I have learnt to be like her in this respect. She always says that helping others brings her joy. Mak Su Midah is also always understanding and supportive towards me. As a young child, I used to play with her and I even broke her favourite vase, but she was very patient with me and never lost her temper. Besides that she always encourages me to study hard 52

and reminds me to stay focused. She is like a friend to me and also the favourite aunt of all her nephews and nieces. To me, she is my role model. When I grow up, I want to be like her. That would certainly make my parents very happy to have a daughter who is not only successful, but also respectful to everyone.

Sample Essay 12 Hari Raya Celebration One of the biggest celebrations in Malaysia is Eid or more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya literally means 'Celebration Day'. It is celebrated by Muslims on 1 Syawal of Muslim Calendar after a month of fasting. Shopping malls and bazaars are usually filled with people days ahead of Hari Raya, which creates a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country. This is the time when my mother and I will do our last minute shopping for clothes and delicacies. Then, we will return to our home town to celebrate the festival. The night before Hari Raya is filled with the sounds of the takbir in the mosques. Just like in many parts of Malaysia, especially in the rural areas, I will lit oil lamps and place them outside and around my grandmothers home. My brothers, together with my cousins, will light traditional bamboo cannon or firecrackers which are notoriously loud and can be very dangerous. My mother and aunts will be busy preparing special dishes like ketupat, dodol, rendang and other delicacies to serve on the next day. My favourite is definitely lemang which is a type of glutinous rice cooked in bamboo. On the morning of Hari Raya, we will wear our traditional clothing, baju kurung. Before heading to the mosque for prayer, we will greet one another and ask for forgiveness for sins which we may have committed. Once the prayer is completed, it is common for many Muslims to visit the graves of loved ones. During this visit, we will clean the grave, recite Yassin, and also perform the tahlil ceremony. All these are done as a means to ask God to forgive both the dead and the living for our sins. The rest of the day is spent visiting relatives or serving visitors. Hari Raya is a very joyous day for me and other children as we will be given token sums of money, also known as "duit raya", from our parents or elders. I truly enjoy the Hari Raya celebration which is a really unique festival. It is more than a religious celebration as it fosters closer relation in a family as well as the neighbourhood. Sample Essay 13 My school My school, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sri Cempaka is located in Taman Indah, about three kilometers away from the town center. It was built in 1961, the first secondary school in the district. 53

It is a grade A school and has more than 2000 students. To cater such a big population, there are thirty classrooms with busy sessions both in the morning and afternoon as well. As you enter the school compound, you will immediately come to the office. It is on the ground floor of a three storey building which also holds the library and two Science laboratories. The school hall which can seat 1000 students is next to the office. The hall has witnessed a lot of glorious moments ever since it was built 25 years ago. There is a spacious garden behind the office block. It is a beautiful garden with exotic palm trees and a fish pond. Each of uniform body in the school takes turn to clean the garden every weekend. Just beside the garden is the school canteen. It is a large canteen and sells varieties of food. I particularly love the Laksa. It is very delicious. The school field is well-equipped. It has a football field, a hockey field, a basketball court and two volleyball courts. It is not surprising as the students in this school are active in sports. Many of the students play football, basketball and hockey for the state. The school is also the champion in the district athletics games for three consecutive years. Although the school is old, it has a proud history of producing brilliant students who are good in sports and in their studies. I love the school because of the friendly students and dedicated teachers there. I will definitely miss this school when I leave it at the end of this year.

Sample Essay 14 An Unforgetable Experience May 25 2001 is a day I will never forget. It was the day when my family suffered a tragedy. The day began like any other day and we all got ready for school while my father got ready to go to work. We all had breakfast together, enjoying our favourite banana pancakes and hot chocolate, before leaving the house. My sister and I got on our school bus while I saw father got into his car to get to work, leaving my mother doing her usual house chores. At 10.00 a.m., I was having a Mathematics lesson when a teacher came and told me my father was at the canteen waiting to take me home. I could sense something bad had happened. Fearing the worst, and thinking of all kinds of bad things that could have happened, I met my father who had already fetched my sister. Her face was white as a sheet. Our house was burnt down and mom is in the hospital, explained my father sadly. His voice shook as he spoke. I was so shocked. We rushed to the hospital and the doctor told us that mom was all right. We thanked God that nothing serious had happened to her. She only suffered minor injuries. However, we lost everything in the fire, our computer, furniture, books and clothes. I found my piggy-bank in the ashes and the coins were still inside. That was all I had left. My father comforted us by saying that the house could be built and the things inside could be bought. Mother is all right and that is the most important thing, he said. That is why May 25 is a day I will never forget.

Sample Essay 15 54

The Dong Festival Chinese celebrate thanksgiving on 22nd December for the Dong Festival. It is the day of merriment, feasting and giving thanks. It is also a day for setting out hopes for the coming year and for ancestor worship. In ancient times, according to tradition, the Emperor had to fast on the eve of Dong to prepare for the ceremonial rituals and ancestor worship, which was carried out on the Altar of Heaven in Beijing. On the day itself, the Emperor would offer sacrifices at the Temple of Heaven. If the day was dry and clear, the coming year would be peaceful. Dong is a family celebration with a family dinner for those who live nearby or are free to come. Prayers are offered at the family altar. The day is marked by the preparation of tong yuen, a dish of glutinous rice flour balls in syrup. The process involved the making of ground glutinous powder into dough. Then, half of the dough would be coloured red and the rest left white. The roundness of the balls symbolizes family co-operation and union. Usually there would be twelve larger white balls symbolizing the number of months of the year. The rice balls would be boiled until they are cooked. Everyone must eat at least one such ball to indicate that one is a year older. I can recall those early years when I helped to make the rice balls. It was a fun activity when we would compete to see who could roll the roundest and the most number of balls. Mother would be the judge and give a reward to the winner. When she had enough of the rice balls, we were allowed to shape the balance into any shape we like. They would also be boiled and we would eat our own creations. Nowadays, Dong is not celebrated like it should be. The balls with fillings can be bought ready-made. People are too busy to observe traditions and customs. It is not a public holiday and many young people tend to forget that such a festival even exists. Moreover, no one wants to eat tong yuen as it is tasteless and not attractive at all. We seem to have become too sophisticated to enjoy the simple pleasures of life as a family.

Sample Essay 16 Chronicles of Rina : Mothers walk Of Life The postman was at the door with a parcel for me. It was from my sister who was pursuing a degree in London. I tore the packaging paper and what I had in my hand was a book that traced my mothers walk of life from the day she was born up to today. There were all together 50 pages for each year of her life. I had e-mailed all the documents, photographs and even couriered a host of other things that I could not e-mail. She had utilized all that she needed into treasure of a moment for Mama or Mothers Day. The cover was a stained glass rose design of a fusion of Mamas favourite colours. As I turned the pages, I was taken on a walk down memory lane. The first five pages showed her entry into this world, her birth certificate, photos of birthdays, rides, swim and cries. The next few pages illustrated her years in kindergarten, the concerts and her graduation photograph. She capped with her mortal board and holding a scroll which had a toothy grin. 55

Her thirteen years in primary and secondary school were written in pictures. There are sports activities, bicycle rides, school excursions, science projects of pressed flowers and leaves as well as candid photographs of her teenaged peer activities. She next left to pursue tertiary education in Kuala Lumpur where she met Papa. I managed to find photos of them together culminating in their wedding ceremony. She was splendid in her wedding attire, so was Papa in his Malay suit. She started a teaching career and I followed her posting to the interior of Pahang. Being young and inexperienced, she enjoyed in her work which we read about in her letters. These letters were to her family, relatives and friends. Then we came on the scene, the five of us, commencing with my eldest brother and wnding with me. She has her favourite photographs and Lia knew just the one each of us to include in the chronicles of events. Next were photographs of Rahims graduation with our proud parents. It was followed immediately by Rahmahs entry to the medical profession and Rahmans setting up his accountancy firm. Then, came photographs of Papa and Mamas pilgrimage to Mecca with Opah and Atuk. The serene looks on their faces were crystal clear to us. The children sponsored Mama and Papas first overseas tour of Western world. Although we stayed home, we were the armchair travelers when they showed us the candid shots of their tour. The last page of the never-ending Saga was the celebration of the 25 th wedding anniversary of Papa and Mama. It was a joyous occasion for everyone and the emotional outpourings could been on their faces and heard in the recording made on the CD. The souvenir ended with the words, the saga continues- Happy Mothers day! and to accompany it was another CD with messages from all her five children. I closed the book, wrapped it up with batik cloth, tied it up with ribbon, largely written with the words, WE LOVE YOU.

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ESSAYS TAKEN FROM GREAT STORY FOR GREAT SCORE (GS4GS) ESSAY 1: POSSIBLE QUESTIONS: 1. Shopping 2. Change 3. A memorable gift 4. Write a story beginning with, I have all the money in the world but..... 5. Love 6. Family 7. Describe an incident that changes your life. Source: http://nicefun.net/very-touching-storyon-the-last-day-before-christmas-vt6281.html On the last day before Christmas, I hurried to go to the supermarket to buy the remaining of the gift I didn't manage to buy earlier. When I saw all the people there, I started to complain to myself," It is going to take forever here and I still have so many other places to go. Christmas really is getting more and more annoying every year. How I wish I could just lie down, go to sleep and only wake up after it..." Nonetheless, I made my way to the toy section, and there I started to curse the prices, wondering if after all kids really play with such expensive toys. 57

While looking in the toy section, I noticed a small boy of about 5 years old, pressing a doll against his chest. He kept on touching the hair of the doll and looked so sad. I wondered who was this doll for. Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him, "Granny, are you sure I don't have enough money?" The old lady replied, "You know that you don't have enough money to buy this doll, my dear." Then she asked him to stay here for 5 minutes while she went to look around. She left quickly. The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand. Finally, I started to walk toward him and I asked him who did he want to give this doll to. "It is the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for this Christmas. She was so sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her." I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus will bring it to her, after all, and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly. " No, Santa Claus cannot bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mother so that she can give it to her when she goes there." His eyes were so sad while saying this. "My sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mummy will also go to see God very soon, so I thought that she could bring the doll with her to give it to my sister ." My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said, "I told daddy to tell mummy not to go yet. I asked him to wait until I come back from the supermarket. " Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me, " I also want mummy to take this photo with her so that she will not forget me." I love my mummy and I wish she doesn't have to leave me but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister." Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly. I quickly reached for my wallet and took a few notes and said to the boy, "What if we checked again, just in case if you have enough money?" "Ok," he said. " I hope that I have enough." I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll, and even some spare money. The little boy said, "Thank you God for giving me enough money."Then he looked at me and added, "I asked yesterday Before I slept for God to make sure I have enough money to buy this doll so that mummy can give it to my sister. He heard me." " I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mummy, but I didn't dare to ask God too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and the white rose." " You know, my mummy loves white rose." A few minutes later, the old lady came again and I left with my trolley. I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started . I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago, which mentioned of a drunk man in a truck who hit a car where there was one young lady and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-assisting machine, because the young lady would not be able to get out of the coma. Was this the family of the little boy? Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the newspaper that the young lady had passed away. I couldn't stop myself and went to buy a bunch of white roses and I went to the mortuary where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wish before burial. She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place crying, feeling that my life had been changed forever. The love that this little 58

boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to that day, hard to imagine . And in a fraction of a second, a drunk man had taken all this away from him. [913 words]

ESSAY 2: POSSIBLE QUESTIONS: 1. Flowers 2. My regret 3. Love 4. Family 5. Describe an incident that changes your life. 6. Anger 7. Sorry Source: http://www.rogerknapp.com/inspire/Child.htm I ran into a stranger as he passed by, "Oh excuse me please," was my reply. He said, "Please excuse me too; I wasn't watching for you." We were very polite, this stranger and I. We went on our way saying good-bye. But at home a difference is told, How we treat our loved ones, young and old. Later that day, cooking the evening meal, my son stood beside me very still. As I turned, I nearly knocked him down. "Move out of the way," I said with a frown. He walked away, his little heart broken. I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken. While I lay awake in bed, God's still small voice came to me and said, " While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use, but the children you love, you seem to abuse. Go and look on the kitchen floor, you'll find some flowers there by the door. Those are the flowers he brought for you. He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue. He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise, and you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes." By this time, I felt very small, and now my tears began to fall. I quietly went and knelt by his bed, "Wake up, little one, wake up," I said. "Are these the flowers you picked for me?" He smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree. I picked 'em because they're pretty like you. I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue ." I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today; I shouldn't have yelled at you that way." He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay. I love you anyway." I said, " Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers, especially the blue." Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of 59

their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our own family an unwise investment indeed, don't you think? [362 words] So what is behind the story? Do you know what the word FAMILY means? FAMILY = (F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER, (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU! [394 words] ESSAY 3 POSSIBLE QUESTIONS: 1. Describe an incident that has changed your life. 2. Write a story beginning with, I was happy to drive my new car.... 3. Choices of life 4. Time 5. Window 6. Describe a valuable lesson you learnt from someone Source: http://www.indianchild.com/wait_for_the_brick.htm A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighbourhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and spun the Jag back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown. He jumped out of the car, grabbed some kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?!" Building up a head of steam he went on. That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?" "Please, mister, please. I'm sorry, I didn't know what else to do," pleaded the youngster. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop ..." Tears were dripping down the boy's chin as he pointed around the parked car. "It's my brother," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me." Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be okay. "Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child said to him. 60

The man then watched the little boy push his brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long walk back to his jaguar....a long, slow walk . He never did repair the side door. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention . [347 words] Lessons from the Mail: "God whispers in your soul and speaks to your heart. Sometimes when you don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at you. It's your choice: Listen to the whisper - or wait for the brick."

ESSAY 4 POSSIBLE QUESTIONS: 1. Love 2. Man 3. Marriage 4. Life / realities of life 5. Body / Heart 6. Control 7. Give and take 8. Happiness 9. Write a story beginning with, I knew it was my fault. / Lisa left the house in tears. Source: http://www.smsrule.com/love-stories-sms/a-girl-in-love-asked-her-boyfriendgirl.html

A girl in love asked her boyfriend. Girl: Tell me. Who do you love most in this world? Boy: You, of course! Girl: In your heart, what am I to you? The boy thought for a moment and looked intently in her eyes and said, " You are my rib. It was said that God saw that Adam was lonely. Hence, when Adam was sleeping, God took one of his ribs and created Eve. Ever since then, every man has been searching for his missing rib. It is said that only when you find the woman of your life then you'll no longer feel the lingering ache in your heart." 61

The girl was extremely touched at his reply. Before long, there were married. After their wedding, the couple had a sweet and happy life for a while . However, the youthful couple began to drift apart due to the busy schedules in their lives and the never ending worries of daily problems. Their life became mundane. All the challenges posed by the harsh realities of life began to gnaw away their dreams and love for each other. The couple began to have more quarrels and each quarrel became more heated. One day, after a particularly heated quarrel, the girl ran out of the house. At the opposite side of the road, she shouted, "You don't love me!" The boy hated her childishness and out of impulse retorted, "Maybe, it was a mistake for us to be together! You were never my missing rib!" Suddenly, she turned quiet and stood there for a long while. He regretted what he said but the words spoken are like water that was thrown away, you can never take it back. With tears, she went home to pack her things and was determined to breakup. Before she left the house she said, "If I'm really not your missing rib, please let me go ." She continued, "It is less painful this way. Let us go on our separate ways and search for our own partners." Five years went by. He never remarried but he had tried to find out about her life indirectly. She had left the country for a while but returned eventually. She had married a foreigner and that relationship ended with a divorce. He felt anguished that she never waited for him. In the dark and lonely night, he lit his cigarette and felt the lingering ache in his heart. He couldn't bring himself to admit that he was missing her. One day, they finally met each other by chance at the airport, a place where there were many reunions and goodbyes. He was going away on a business trip. She was standing there alone. They were separated by the security door. She smiled at him gently. Boy: How are you? Girl: I'm fine. How about you? Have you found your missing rib? Boy: No. Girl: I'll be flying to New York in the next flight. Boy: I'll be back in 2 weeks time. Give me a call when you are back. You know my number. Nothing has changed. With a smile, she turned around and waved goodbye. Goodbye... One week later, he heard of her death. She had perished in New York in the event that shocked the world on September 11. Once again on another dark and lonely night, he lit his cigarette. And like before, he felt the lingering ache in his heart. He finally knew. She was the missing rib that he had carelessly broken. [584 words] Sometimes, people say things out of moments of fury. More often than not, the outcome could be disastrous and detrimental. We vent our frustrations 99% of the time at our loved ones. And even though we know that we ought to "Think twice and act wisely", it's often easier said than done. Many of the things which happened each day are beyond our control. 62

Let us treasure every moment and everyone in our lives. Tomorrow may never come. Give and accept what you have today

ESSAY 5 POSSIBLE QUESTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Smile Courage Love Beauty Wish / Unfulfilled wish Write a story beginning with, I was too shy to talk to the girl. / I took out the money from my pocket

Source: http://www.inspirationallane.com/SadLoveStories3.htm A boy walked into a CD store and saw a girl behind the counter. She smiled and he thought it was the most beautiful smile he has ever seen before and wanted to kiss her right there. He said "Uh... Yeah... Umm... I would like to buy a CD." He picked one out and gave her money for it. "Would you like me to wrap it for you?" she asked, displaying her cute smile again. He nodded and she went to the back. She came back with the wrapped CD and gave it to him. He took it and walked out of the store. He went home and from then on, he went to that store everyday and bought a CD and she will have it wrapped for him. He took the CDs home and put them in his closet. He was still too shy to ask her out and he really wanted to but he couldn't. His mother found out about this and told him to just ask her out. So the next day, he summoned all his courage and went to the store. He bought a CD like he did everyday and once again she went to the back of the store and came back with it wrapped. He took it and when she wasn't looking, he left his phone number on the desk and ran out... !!!RIING!!! The mother picked up the phone and said, "Hello?" It was the girl!!! She asked for the boy and the mother started to cry and said, " Don't you know? He passed away yesterday..." The line was quiet except for the cries of the boy's mother. Later in the day, the mother went into the boy's room because she wanted to remember him. She thought she would start by looking at his clothes. Hence, she opened the closet. She came face to face with piles and piles of wrapped CDs. She was surprised to find all those CDs and she picked one up and sat down on the bed. She started to open the wrapped CD. 63

Inside, there was a CD and as she took it out of the wrapper, out fell a piece of paper. The mother picked it up and read it. It said, Hi... I think you are really cute. Do you want to go out with me? Love, Jacelyn. The mother opened another CD. Again there was a piece of paper. It said, Hi... I think you are really cute. Do you want to go out with me? Love, Jacelyn. [423 words]

ESSAY 6 POSSIBLE QUESTIONS: 1. Write a story beginning with, You must believe in yourself / Nothing was impossible in this world. 2. Dark 3. Reality of life 4. Confidence 5. A test of love / Power of love 6. Loyalty 7. Senses 8. Practice makes perfect 9. Lucky / Luck Source: http://www.spiritual-short-stories.com/spiritual-short-story-62-The+Blind+Bus+Passenger.html The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps . She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he'd told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg. It had been a year since Susan, 34, became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. And all she had to cling to was her husband, Mark. Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again. Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city . At first, this comforted Susan, and fulfilled Mark's need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task. 64

Soon, however, Mark realized the arrangement wasn't working. Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself. But she was still so fragile, so angry - how would she react? Just as he predicted, Susan was horrified at the idea of taking the bus again. "I'm blind!", she responded bitterly. "How am I supposed to know where I am going? I feel like you're abandoning me." Mark's heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He promised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened. For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all, accompanied Susan to and from work each day. He taught her how to rely on her other senses, specifically her hearing, to determine where she was and how to adapt to her new environment. He helped her befriend the bus drivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat. Finally, Susan decided that she was ready to try the trip on her own . Monday morning arrived, and before she left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus-riding companion, her husband, and her best friend. Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, And his love. She said good-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... Each day on her own went perfectly, and Susan had never felt better. She was doing it! She was going to work all by herself. On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying the fare to exit the bus, the driver said, "Boy, I sure do envy you." Susan wasn't sure if the driver was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who had struggled just to find the courage to live for the past year? Curious, she asked the driver, "Why do you say that you envy me?" The driver responded, "It must feel good to be taken care of and protected like you are." Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, and again asked, "What do you mean?" The driver answered, "You know, every morning for the past week, a fine-looking gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the corner watching you as you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely and he watches until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss, gives you a little salute and walks away. You are one lucky lady." Tears of happiness poured down Susan's cheeks. For although she couldn't physically see him, she had always felt Mark's presence. She was lucky, so lucky, for he had given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn't need to see to believe - the gift of love that can bring light where there is darkness. [748 words]

ESSAY 7: POSSIBLE QUESTIONS: 1. The power of love / Endless love / Unconditional love 65

2. Hospital / A visit to a hospital 3. Marriage 4. Describe a married couple whom you admire 5. My best gift (my marriage is the best gift) Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/gavon/the-tragic-inspiring-story-of-cancer-patients-in Rodney Conradi and Lynse Rainford met in 2010 at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle while they were both being treated for cancer. Rodney, 19, had Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that causes bone tumors. Lynse, 20, had leukemia, the cancer of blood cells. "He acted, like, goofy all the time," said Lynsie of Rodney. "He didn't really care what other people thought at all. That's what I liked the most probably. He just didn't care what other people thought." Rodney and Lynse began dating in 2011. Lynse had finished her chemo and was in remission. Rodney appeared to be turning a corner. "We talked about moving in together and just having a normal life finally," said Lynsie. "Pretty much through our whole relationship one of us has been sick or we've both been sick. We never really had a normal relationship." Rodney's cancer returned in late 2011, more severe than ever. He was admitted to the Yakima Valley Hospital for aggressive treatment. It was becoming evident, however, that Rodney didn't have much time. On Valentine's Day of 2012, despite being in agony and with the bones in his legs devoured by cancer, Rodney got down on one knee and proposed. "He was really, really sick, and he was puking," said Lynsie. "That's what made it special; even though he was really sick, he still wanted to do it right." Rodney's condition continued to deteriorate. Time was of the essence. Two days after Rodney proposed to Lynsie, on February 16th, 2012, they were married in the basement of the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. Rodney, barely able to stand, walked down the makeshift aisle with his I.V. bag. "He had a goal: 'I'm going to marry that girl before I die," said Rodney's father, Kirk Conradi. "She's the love of my life. She's my soul mate.'" Later that night, Rodney's pain became unbearable. Doctors sedated him to help him cope. Although he was mostly unconscious in the days and weeks that followed, he had moments of lucidity in which he would recall his improbable wedding. "He kept saying, 'That's the best day of my life,'" said Kirk Conradi. On March 11th, 2012, Rodney Conradi died. He was 21-years-old. He was surrounded by his family and his wife whom he had married less than a month before, Lynsie . "It was what they wanted and nothing was going to stop them, no matter how painful it was," said Emily Conradi, Rodney's sister. "The power of love was enough to get through." "It was the best wedding I could ask for," Lynsie said. "Magical, kind of." [432 words]

ESSAYS TAKEN FROM MyMy-Q Technique


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ESSAY 1: INTERNET / COMPUTER My name is Brahim. I am 17 years old. I am a form five student. I like to eat pizza, burger, chicken chop and chicken rice. I like to drink apple juice. My hobbies are playing football and reading novels. [40 words] I have many friends. They are Boon, Vince, Ganesh and Hanif. I like them. My friends also like me. We always study together. Boon is handsome. Vince is rich. He has a lot of money. Ganesh and Hanif are very smart. [41 words] My friends and I love internet. We like internet very much. I have a computer at home. I have an old computer. I have a second hand computer. Boon and Ganesh do not have a computer at home. [38 words] Internet is very good. I get new friends from internet. I get new friends from London, New York and Tokyo. My new friends are Rachel, David and Kawasaki. I like my new friends. My new friends also like me. They also like Malaysia. [43 words] I can see many pictures in the internet. I can see beautiful pictures. The pictures have many colours. I always print the pictures. Some pictures are big. Some pictures are small. I cut the beautiful pictures. I put the pictures in my album. [43 words] Boon and Ganesh always come to my house. We surf the internet together. Boon and I like to get information about science. We love science. We also love our science teacher. Ganesh does not like science. Ganesh likes to get information about animals. He loves animals. Ganesh likes to know about snakes, tigers and birds. [55 words] Sometimes, we go to Vinces house. Vince has a new computer. He has a very good computer. We will surf the internet together. We love to surf the internet. [29 words] [TOTAL: 289 WORDS] ESSAY 2: DESCRIBE AN INTERESTING DAY IN SCHOOL My name is Meena. I am 16 years old. I am a form four students. I have a happy family. My father is a teacher. He is a good teacher. My mother is a doctor. She is a very good doctor. I love my father and my mother. [48 words] I study at SMK Pillus. My school is a famous school. My school is very big. I like my school. My school is also very beautiful. All students like SMK Pillus. I like my classmates. I also like my teachers. I like Mr. Hassan, Mr. Ching, Ms. Jane and Mdm. Bibi. [51 words] Yesterday was an interesting day in school. It was Teachers Day. I love Teachers Day. All teachers were very happy. All students were also very happy. Teachers Day was a special day in my school. We had a special programme yesterday. [41 words] Lim, Bala, Nasir and I played football with our class teacher. Our class teacher was a handsome man. He was a very good teacher. Our class teacher was very happy. We were 67

also very happy. We played football at the school field. After playing football, we played badminton. [48 words] At 11.00 am, we went to the school hall. My school hall was big. The school hall was also beautiful. All students were happy. It was a special day. Many teachers sang songs. Our principal sang a rock song. He was very good. All students liked him. [47 words] Yesterday was a very interesting day to me. I love Teachers Day. [12 words] [TOTAL: 247 WORDS] ESSAY 3: DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE AS A STUDENT My name is Siva. I am 15 years old. I like to eat. I like to eat pizza, fries, burger and chicken nuggets. I also love to play games. I play on-line games. I play on-line games after school. I do not like to play football but I like to play badminton. [52 words] I study at SMK Jertih. I am in 3 Gagah. I love my class. My class is clean. All my friends are very good. They are smart. They like to do homework. I also like to do homework. My friends and I study hard for our tests and examinations. [49 words] I am a smart student. I always get an A for all my subjects. I am very happy. My parents are also very happy. I love three subjects. I love Mathematics, Science and English. I like all my teachers. My teachers are very good. [44 words] I pay attention in class. I do not talk in class. I keep quiet when a teacher is teaching in class. I read many books. I read all books. I love to read Mathematics, Science and English books. My father buys many books for me. [45 words] I go home at 3.00 pm. I go home by bus. I do my homework at home. I like to do homework. After doing homework, I relax by watching television. I like to watch television. I love cartoons. I love Mickey Mouse. I also love Peter Pan. [47 words] At 6.00 pm, I play football with my friends. I like football. I play football with Farid, Yusof, Maniam and Boon. I am a good football player. Boon is also a good football player. At night, I go for tuition. My tuition centre is very famous. I like Mr. Gan, the tuition teacher. [53 words] I sleep at 11.00 pm. Before I sleep, I read my novel. Sometimes, I listen to the radio. [18 words] [TOTAL: 308 WORDS]

ESSAY 4: FAMILY 68

My name is Fifi. I am a beautiful girl. Many people say I am very beautiful. I am 17 years old. I am a form five student. I am in 5 Mesra class. Many boys in my school like me but I do not like them. I like one boy in 5 Maju. He is not handsome but he is very rich. [62 words] I have a happy family. My father is Mahmud bin Majid. He is 48 years old. He is a businessman. He has a restaurant and a car workshop. My mother is Naimah binti Borhan. She is 44 years old. She is very beautiful. My mother is a teacher. [44 words] I love my family. I love my father. I also love my mother. I love my brother and sisters. My brother is a USM student. He is very kind. He is a clever student. My sisters are in Form 1 and Form 3. They are also beautiful. They are smart students. [51 words] I love to cook with my family. I love to cook chicken rice. All my family members love chicken rice. I do not know how to cook chicken rice but my mother teaches me how to do it. It is easy to cook chicken rice. My father loves my chicken rice [51 words]. My family also loves picnic. We like to have picnic at Pantai Ceria. Pantai Ceria is a beautiful beach. We love sea. We love the blue sky. We love to play volleyball on the beach. When we go for a picnic, my mother and I will cook some foods. We cook some foods [49 words]. My family and I love to watch television together. We like to watch Malay drama. I love Rosham Nor. My father likes Lisa Surihani. He said Lisa is very beautiful. My mother does not like Lisa Surihani. My mother says she is more beautiful than Lisa Surihani. [43 words] My family likes to do many things together. I love my family very much. [14 words] [TOTAL: 314 WORDS]

ESSAY 5: DESCRIBE A LEADER THAT YOU RESPECT My name is Bieber bin Badol. I am 17 years old. I am a form five student. My friends call me B.Bieber. I am a very famous student in my school. I am famous because of my name. Many girls like me. Sofia, Maya, Shasha and Nisha like me a lot. [50 words] I have many friends. Geeta, Aidil, Izzany, Azwan and Kee are my good friends. Geeta is very pretty. Aidil and Izzany love football. They play football in the school team. Azwan is a very hardworking and smart boy. Kee is the Head Prefect. [43 words] Kee is a good leader. I respect Kee. Many students like Kee. All teachers also like Kee. Teachers also respect Kee. Kee likes to help people. Kee helps all girls and all boys. If students have problems, they go to Kee. [41 words] Kee helps all students. Kee helps Malay, Chinese and Indian students. Kee helps form one students. Kee also helps form 5 students. Kee gives them some money if he has some extra pocket money. All students respect Kee. [38 words] Last week, Kee helped Husin, Bablu and Hani. He gave them RM300.00. He helped them to buy books. He bought Science, Mathematics and English books for them. Kee bought twenty books. Husin, Bablu and Hani were very happy. [38 words] 69

To me, Kee is a very good leader. I respect Kee. I know many students also respect Kee. [18 words] [TOTAL: 228 WORDS]

ESSAY 6: SHOPPING My name is Joe. I am 15 years old. I study at SMK Jaya. My school is very big. It is also very famous. My school is one of the best schools in my district. I am in Form 3. I am very handsome. I am more handsome than Justin Bieber. Many girls like me but I only like one girl. She is my class monitor, Selena binti Gommeng. [69 words] I have a happy family. My father is a doctor. He is a good doctor. His name is Majid Rock. He is also handsome. My mother is a teacher. She is a good English teacher. We stay at Taman Kenangan. Our house is big. My house has five rooms. I have a big room. I have two brothers and three sisters. One of my brothers is also a doctor. I am the youngest in my family. [76 words] Last week, my family and I went to a shopping complex. We went to Maju Shopping Complex. It was a new shopping complex. The complex was very big. There were many people. We went there on Monday. It was a public holiday. My mother and sisters loved shopping very much. My mother bought new clothes for her. My sisters bought magazines and novels. [63 words] My father also liked shopping. He bought a new car shampoo. It was cheap. The car shampoo was only RM6.99 per bottle. I did not know what to buy. I just walked around the shopping complex. The new shopping complex was very beautiful. I liked the place a lot. After one hour, I felt tired. My father asked me to sit down on a chair. I relaxed for twenty minutes. [70 words] Before we went home, my mother went to a boutique. She looked at all the clothes there. She loved the beautiful clothes. My father was angry with my mother because she could not stop shopping. My father did not have enough money. My mother asked my father to use his credit card. However, my father did not want to use his credit card. Finally, I told my mother that she must stop shopping. It was time to go home. [79 words] At 7.00 pm, we went home. I did not buy anything. However, I was very happy to go out with my family. My mother said she would go shopping again alone. She wanted to spend RM1000.00. She really loved shopping. [40 words] TOTAL [397 WORDS]

ESSAY 7: DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE ATTENDING A LANGUAGE CAMP.

70

My name is Jehan Kaayaa. I am a smart student at SMK Kadok. I am a Form Five student. I always get a very good result in my examination. I always get all As for all my subjects. I always score 100 marks for English and Mathematics. Many teachers like me but I do not like my teachers. I do not like my English teacher. [65 words] I have many friends. They are Boboi, Yaya, Gopal and Ying. We are very close. We like to spend time together. We always study together. I like to study at Yings house. Her house is big and clean. Sometimes, we study at Gopals house. His house is small and dirty. I do not like to study at Gopals house. I also do not like my friends to come to my house because my house is also small and dirty. [79 words] Last week, Boboi, Yaya, Gopal, Ying and I joined our school language camp. The camp was held at a two-star hotel in Ipoh. We did not have to pay anything. Everything was sponsored. There were ten groups. I was in Group 10. The members in my group came from different classes. But all of us were form 5 students. [59 words] Seri, from Class 5 Permai, was our group leader. Seri was a very pretty girl. I liked her so much. I knew the other boys also liked Seri. We named our group Seri Bombastic. In the first activity, we created our groups logo, motto and song. When we presented our song, everybody liked it. [54 words] On the second day, we had many language games. We had spelling competition, vocabulary game, drama and many other games. Our group won the drama competition. We presented a very good drama. We presented a story about a princess who fell in love with a fisherman. Seri played the role of a princess and of course I was the poor but handsome fisherman. The activities went on until 10.00 p.m. We were very tired but enjoyed ourselves a lot. [79 words] On the third day we had a jungle trekking in a forest nearby the hotel. We had to climb hills. We also had to answer many difficult questions. It was very challenging. Seri was not feeling well. She could not walk fast. I had to walk slowly. I did not want Seri to be alone. Finally, we reached our destination. Seri smiled at me. She gave me her photo and thanked me. [72 words] I was very happy. Seri was happy too. After the language camp, Seri and I got closer. We planned to join the language camp again next year. [27 words] TOTAL [435 WORDS]

ESSAY 8: A VISIT TO A HOSPITAL 71

I am the most handsome boy in class. I look like the hero of Hindi movies. I am very happy with my good look. My friends call me Alif the Handsome Hero. I have a girlfriend. She is very beautiful. She is beautiful like Miss World. No, I think she is more beautiful than Miss World. I call her Peah the Bomb! [62 words] I have a handsome father. My father looks like Shahrukh Khan. Shahrukh Khan is a very famous Hindi superstar. My father is 49 years old. He is a businessman. He has six restaurants. His restaurants are very famous. Many people like to eat at his restaurants. [46 words] Yesterday, I followed my handsome and caring father to visit my uncle at a hospital. We left home at about 5.00 p.m. and reached the hospital at 6.15 p.m. The hospital was a new hospital. It was opened two months ago. It was clean and big. There were many people at the hospital. [53 words] My uncle was also handsome. He was more handsome than my father but I was more handsome than my uncle. In short, I was the most handsome man. I was happy to be the most handsome man in the family. My uncle was a chronic diabetic. He was in the hospital because his sugar level was very high. [58 words] My uncles ward was at the second floor. The lift was very big and fast. I saw a nurse in the lift. The nurse was my mothers old friend. She talked to my father. She told us that my uncle was doing alright. After talking to the nurse, my father and I went to Room 515. My uncle was very happy to see my father and me. [67 words] There was a young doctor. The doctor said that my uncle was getting better and he could go home soon. My father talked to my uncle for one hour. I felt bored so I went out of the room. I went to level one. I saw a young nurse. She smiled at me. I smiled at her. She looked like Seri, my girlfriend. [63 words] Then, I went to the hospital caf. The caf was not big but clean. I saw the young nurse again. She smiled at me again. The young nurse came to my table. I smiled at her. I did not know what to say. I ate my fried rice quickly. After that I ate my burger. Later, I ate another plate of fried rice. I did not say anything to the young nurse. [72 words] Suddenly, the young nurse stood up and left me. She still smiled. I quickly went to Room 515. My father was waiting for me. I said goodbye to my uncle. Then, my father and I went home. I could not forget the young nurse. [44 words] TOTAL [465 WORDS] ESSAY 9: MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT 72

My name is Naomi. Now, I am a college student. When I was in school, I was an average girl. I was not so smart but I was also not stupid. I always passed in all subjects but I did not get A for all subjects. When I was in Form 3 I only scored 4As and 3 Bs in my PMR examination. I was happy with my result. However, my parents were not happy with my result. They told me to study hard. I told them I would not give up. [92 words] When I was in Form 4 I befriended Liza, Muna and Kim. Liza was very hardworking. Muna was a clever girl. Kim was as clever as Muna. I liked them very much because they always helped me in my studies. We always studied together. When we were in Form 5, we always studied together in the school library after school. Sometimes, I would go to Kims house to study. After some time, my result improved. [75 words] Last year, I got 5A+, 1A and 3 B+ in my SPM. I was very happy. My parents were happy too. That night, my father took me and all my family members to my favourite restaurant, Bamboo Restaurant. It was only five kilometres from my house. The restaurant was opened three years ago. I liked the restaurant very much because it offered Malay, Thai and western foods. [67 words] When we arrived at the restaurant, I saw many people. My father took some time to park his car. My family and I walked to a room which my father booked for us. The room was quite big. When I opened the door, I saw my uncle, my grandmother and my classmates. They smiled at me. They were happy. I was really surprised to see my boyfriend with his parents too! [71 words] I kissed my mother and I thanked her. I liked the party very much. At 8.45 pm, we were ready for dinner. I sat beside Aaron, my boyfriend. He smiled at me. I smiled at him. We looked at each other for some time. My father ordered my most favourite food chicken chop with black pepper sauce. We also had chicken soup, pizza and fried rice. I loved all the foods very much. To me, the restaurant had the best chicken chop in town. [84 words] My friends also liked the foods at the restaurant. After dinner, y cousins sang a Justin Biebers song for me. We had so much fun at the restaurant. It was really a memorable night. [34 words] TOTAL [423 words]

ESSAY 10: SOMEONE THAT I LIKE 73

I am Mamat Kelaboo. I am 24 years old. I am from Kuala Nerang, Kedah. Some people say I look like Saheizy Sam. Maybe they are right. Some other people say I look like Zizan Raja Lawak. I do not know who are right. I do not want to be Saheizy Sam or Zizan Raja Lawak. I only want to be myself. I only want to be Mamat Kelaboo. [69 words] I came to Kuala Lumpur last year. I started working as a dispatch boy at an international company ten months ago. I have some new friends in Kuala Lumpur. My friends are Babu, Kishen, Babe and Vee. Babu is my housemate. We stay at a flat in Cheras. He is a very kind man. He always helps me. Babe and Vee are my friends at the office. [67 words] Babe is very beautiful. Babe is more beautiful than Vee. Babe is a caring woman. Babe always helps me with my work. I always have lunch with Babe. I think Babe likes me. I have a problem. I know Babe likes me but I do not like Babe. I do not know how to tell her that I like Vee. [60 words] Vee is special. Yes, Vee is not a very beautiful girl but I like her very much. I like to see her smile. Her smile is very sweet. Vee is very caring. Vee always calls me every night. Vee always makes sure I eat and rest well. When I have headache, Vee will give me Panadol. Sometimes, Vee cries when she knows I have headache. [64 words] Vee is someone that I like. I think I want to marry her. I know she also wants to marry me. I think I am in love. I am sure I am in love because I will miss Vee when I do not see her for one day. I know we are more than friends because I will miss her voice if she does not call me. [67 words] I know it is not easy to marry Vee, someone that I like and love very much. I know I have to work hard. I know I will need a lot of money to marry her. However, I promise to work hard and save as much money as I can. Then, Vee will be mine. [55 words] TOTAL [382 WORDS]

ESSAYS TAKEN FROM FINAL LEAP MODULE 2010 74

(1) A Dream/ An Unexpected Visitor/Home Alone The doorbell rang loudly. It rang again almost immediately. The sound was asking for attention, but little Ramya hardly heard it. She was watching a funny cartoon. Reluctantly Ramya dragged herself to the door. Her right hand touched the knob and she found herself opening the door. Suddenly she remembered her mothers strict instructions. Never open the door before you see who is outside through the keyhole. It was too late. The door was pushed open and a strange man rushed into the room. She stepped away. The man looked weird as he had very big ears like those of an elephant. On his head he had only one eye instead of two. His neck was very long. He was only a little taller than Ramya. Ramya realised he was an alien. She also suddenly remembered she was alone at home. What was she to do now? She wished she had been more careful and looked through the key-hole before opening the door. The bell was ringing again, more insistently. Someone was also banging on the door. The person outside was losing her patience. Ramya woke up with a start at the ringing of the bell. She had been sleeping on the couch watching television. She hobbled to the door. She saw through the keyhole. It was her mother. Ramya opened the door. What a relief. It had all been a dream (2) An Interesting Person I Once Met / Never give up / Perseverance/A person who has influenced/changed me/ Write a story ending with He made a difference in my life During the last school holidays, I often went out for walks at the beach. It was there that I met an interesting person. He was sitting under a coconut tree. His gaze was fixed on something far away. He was hardly aware of my approach. But, when I was about two metres away from him, he turned and greeted me with a toothless smile. I guessed he must be in his early 70s. He was cheerful and friendly as I talked to him. During our conversation, he told me certain parts of his personal history. He had been a fisherman all his life. In fact, he started learning the trade ever since he was a young boy of thirteen when he helped his father to earn a living. It had been a very tough life at sea, getting up as early as two or three in the morning to go out fishing. Then with a twinkle in his eyes, he began to relate to me some of his adventures at sea. Once, during a storm, his boat was smashed up. He managed to cling onto a piece of plank for one day and one night. Then he was finally rescued by a passing boat. Another time, he came face to face with a hungry shark in the rough sea. He had fallen into the water from his boat but he managed to escape death when a friend in another fishing boat helped him out of the water in time. Here was a humble man who had come through life with a smile in spite of its many dangers and hardships. Since then I decide to face life bravely. 75

(3) A Frightful Experience / A Scary Day One day, as I was returning home late from school at about 7.30pm, I was shocked to discover a group of rough-looking boys following me. As I quickened my steps, one of them, apparently the leader stopped me. He ordered me to surrender my watch and my wallet. At first I resisted. When he threatened to cause me harm, I quickly handed over the items. I felt frightened and, at the same time, mad because I had to part with my possessions. They laughed and made their way to a coffee shop nearby while I was left by the road feeling angry. At first I wanted to report the incident to the police but later, I decided against it and went straight home. I told my parents about it and they concluded that it was unsafe for me to walk alone. They then arranged for me to go in my neighbours car and that solved the problem.

(4) An Idea/ A dream / Ambition / Motivation/ Never give up / Success / Future plan Everyone has a dream but Bens dream made him successful. When Ben was in his final year in school, he had an idea to sell something. He wanted to sell toys but he had no money. He talked to his parents and they agreed to lend him RM5000 to start his business. His mother said, When you see someone who has a dream and a great idea, you dont want to stop him. His business in toys turned out to be a success. Ben started by selling a few types of toys he bought from a factory in China. His sales were good. He made a lot of trips to China to learn how toys were made. He learnt very quickly. Later, he designed and manufactured his own toys. The sales of his products increased very fast. Two things motivated him: a lot of money and no money. He knew that without money he could not run his business well so he worked very hard.He had the confidence and was not afraid of failing. To make his sales even better, he kept on coming up with new ideas and products. People liked his new products. Ben now has three factories operating in the country. When interviewed, he said he wanted to start another factory in the south. He said, There are so many people and I have so many ideas. Hint for teachers: Essays can be modified to suit the title Future Plan by changing the past tense to future tense. (5) 76

A Dishonest Friend/ My Friend Cheated Me/ Dishonesty Would your friend cheat you? Nobody would believe me when I told them that my best friend had cheated me. I could not believe it myself at first. How could someone who had been so close to me for so many years just turned around and cheated me of my life savings? I should not have believed him in the first place he and his get-rich-quick scheme, which promised a guaranteed return of 100% of the sum invested. How could any company afford to give out so much money in so short a time? Well, he was very persuasive and not only that he came up with an attractive story and managed to get me to lend him almost RM25 000. He said he would repay within three months. I was a fool to believe him. Later I heard that he had migrated to Brunei to find his fortune there. It seemed he had swindled money from other people and the company that he worked in. Once I saw him unexpectedly inside a supermarket. He actually pretended not to know me. I tried to chase him but he disappeared into the crowd. I was very disappointed. Many of my other friends have told me to forget about the whole thing. But I still believe that one day he would be caught. This is a lesson I learnt, that is, do not trust people too easily. (6) An Unfortunate Day / An Unlucky Day / An Unforgettable Experience / A Bad Day It was the first day of examination for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia. It was the Bahasa Melayu paper so Norma took her revision notes and left for school earlier than usual. As she was cycling, she remembered her parents advice to read the questions carefully before answering. The examination was going to start at eight in the morning and it was already 7.15am. She felt nervous at the thought of the examination so she started to hum her favourite songs. After about five minutes, she heard a loud gushing sound out of the tyre. She quickly stopped cycling and looked at the tyres. The back tyre was flat. Norma panicked. She looked around but there was nobody. The mechanic shop which was about 100 metres away was still close. Immediately she locked the bicycle under a tree and started to run home. She was hoping her parents would still be at home to take her to school. When she reached home, she was disappointed because her parents had already left for work. She was frustrated and sad. It was already 7.40am. She started to run to the nearest bus stop for the public bus. As she was running, she heard someone honking at her. When she turned around, she saw her parents in their car. She was relieved to see them. She jumped into the car and told her parents about her bicycle and that she was late for the examination. Her parents advised her to be calm and relaxed and that she would make it on time. Norma was grateful to her parents because she was able to attend the examination on time.

(7) 77

My Baby-Sitting Experience / An Unforgettable Experience One day, my parents had to go off for some hours to visit a sick relative. So I was left in charge of my baby sister. She is four years old and very mischievous. When lunch time came, I seated her at the dining table. She spilt the food all over her and did not want me to feed her. I had to clear up the mess and clean her up. Taking care of her was a difficult task as she was reluctant to have her dress changed. She was also crying all the time. Next, she wanted to sleep. So I put her in her cot but she was restless and wanted a drink. When she finished her drink, I thought my job was over and I could have some peace. But, no, she wanted to listen to a story and I had to read her one until she finally fell asleep. I then took the opportunity to watch a TV programme. Unfortunately, the noise woke her up and she let out a cry. So I switched off the TV and carried her. Soon, it was time for her bath. She played in the water and splashed it all over me. Then the soap got into her eyes and she cried so much that I could not handle her. Finally, I picked her up and wrapped a towel around her. By then, she had stopped crying. I powdered her and dressed her in her favourite frock. It was 3.00pm, so I put her to sleep while I lay on the sofa with a story book and dozed off after a while. It was at that very moment that my baby sister woke up and came down the stairs. She lost her balance, tumbled down, yelled and screamed. I rushed to her, picked her up and checked for any injuries. Just then, my parents returned, much to my relief. I hope I shall not have to baby-sit as it is a tiresome and difficult job.

(8) A wedding/ A memorable event/ An unexpected event Recently, I attended my aunts wedding in my hometown in Sungai Petani, Kedah. My aunts wedding came as a surprise to every one of us. All our relatives, including my family could not believe our ears and eyes when we heard the news and read the wedding invitation card. The reason was we all thought she would not want to marry after all these years of being single since she was nearly fifty years old. Anyway we were all happy for her. At least she would not have to spend the rest of her life alone. It was a simple wedding at my grandparents house. The wedding started at nine in the morning. She was dressed in her pure white wedding gown and she looked radiant. The bridegroom too looked smart and charming. He was actually my aunts former schoolmate. They met at a reunion dinner a year ago. My grandparents were overjoyed to see their daughter finally getting married. They had waited for such a long time. After refreshments, it was time for the bridegroom to leave with his newly-wedded wife to their new home. Everyone said their goodbyes and well wishes. Tears of joy were flowing down my grandmothers cheeks. It was a touching scene and indeed, a memorable one too. I wished the couple a blissful marriage together. 78

(9) The day I cannot forget / The ending of a story ..never to speak another lie again The incident that I am telling here occurred on a hot Monday morning in February. I was a Standard One student in Miss Leelas class. The problem was over in a few minutes, but the memory of it is imprinted forever in my mind. Miss Leela was a very strict teacher. She was infamous for her stern discipline. We were then little children and we were kept busy all the time. If we were to lose our focus and play with our friends, we were hit with a sharp rap on the head or knuckles with the long pointed stick she carried. You can imagine the horror I felt when I accidentally whistled. I was only drawing in a deep breath of air. Miss Leela turned around from the blackboard, and seeing my expression, demanded, Jo, did you do that? I managed to find my voice and pointed to a boy next to me and said, No. He did it. The boy next to me, Han, immediately stood up and said, No! I didnt But that did not help. In a moment the stick came down and Han was sobbing pitifully. All went silent. No one dared to speak another word. That incident made me really guilty. Han, how I wish I could ask for your forgiveness. I dont remember your last name, but Ill never forget your face. My sin of telling a lie stays with me till today. That has taught me never to speak another lie again. (10) How I helped to catch a thief / Story with the ending What a day it had been. / An Exciting Day / A Day at a shopping complex It was a Friday afternoon. I was sitting at home feeling bored. Then I remembered there was a book sale at a shopping complex close by. I decided to make a trip there. The shopping complex was crowded when I arrived. I was making my way to the escalator when I saw a young boy running down the escalator.. Behind him was a security guard, chasing him and shouting, Stop! Thief! People were pushing each other to avoid him and some ladies were screaming. Others were staring helplessly when I decided to do something. I quickly picked up a rubbish bin and blocked the boy. The boy knocked into the bin. The bin rolled and both the boy and the bin crashed into me. I was knocked out. Fortunately, two men managed to catch him. I lay on the floor numb with shock. A lady then took hold of my hand and helped me up. The boy had tried to steal an expensive book from a bookshop. As he was walking out, the owner tried to stop him. The boy panicked and ran out of the shop. The security guard who saw what happened gave chase. I learned later that the boy was handed over to the police. As for me, the shop owner decided to reward me with a cash voucher of RM100. What a day it had been! 79

(11) Honesty / A Good Deed / Mobile Phone It was a sunny day and John was cycling home after school. As he was passing a hawker stall, he saw a red bag on the bonnet of a car. Seeing no one around, he stopped to look at the bag. When John unzipped the bag, he was surprised to see an expensive mobile phone. He had always wanted one but was unable to afford it. Without hesitation, John took the bag and rode off in a hurry. He was glad no one had seen him. John tried not to feel guilty as he cycled away. Upon reaching home, he rushed into his room and looked through the bag again. He discovered the bag belonged to a foreigner. However, John began to feel bad about taking the bag. It was not his. He should have handed it over to the police instead of taking it. His conscience told him to go to the police station immediately. The police were very helpful and soon found the man who had lost his bag. Mr Louis, a French national had left his bag on the car while buying a drink from the hawker stall. He was overjoyed when he heard that John had found his bag. Both the police and Mr Louis praised John for his honesty. (12) An Unforgettable day / The day I got lost I remember this unforgettable day which took place when I was about 5 years old. My grandmother wanted to take my sister and me to town after we had shopped at the sundry shop near home. I did not want to join them so I suggested that I would walk home on my own. I was so convincing I could get home easily that my grandmother agreed to my suggestion. So my grandmother and my sister left on a trishaw for town while I walked home. After walking for about 10 minutes, I began to feel that the way home seemed rather long and endless. I looked out for a familiar sign or spot but there was none. It was then I realised I was lost. I continued walking for hours and it was way past noon when I decided to rest under a tree. A passing trishaw man stopped to talk to me. When I told him my story, he offered to send me home. We soon reached the residential area where I lived but I was horrified to find that I could not recognize my own house. All the houses looked the same! Just when the trishaw man was beginning to regret he had helped me, I heard someone call out my name. It was my father. He was on his way out to make a report at the police station. My family discovered that I was missing when my grandmother and sister came back from town. My parents thought I was with them all the while! On that day, I was lost for 7 1/2 hours. It is a day I will never forget because I dared not imagine what would have happened to me if I had not got home. (13) What happened at grandfathers birthday party / My Most Embarrassing Experience 80

Last week was my grandfathers eightieth birthday. My family and I attended his dinner party at a newly-opened hotel named Modern Hotel. I decided to wear my sisters high-heeled shoes with my new dress. I wanted to look elegant. My parents advised me against wearing the shoes as they felt that I might not be able to manage walking on the high heels. I assured them that it would be all right. When we reached there, I realised that it was not easy to walk on high heels. After a short walk from the parking lot to the hotel reception, I twisted my ankle. I pretended that nothing had happened and tried my best to walk normally. However, I had to limp to the dinner table while holding onto my mother. Many guests looked at me with curiosity. My cheeks burned with shame. Finally, I was able to sit down. I was relieved and thankful. Later, I needed to go to the washroom. I had no choice but to drag my mother along. I needed her for support as I limped to the washroom. All eyes were on me again. It was my most embarrassing experience. I vowed not to wear high-heeled shoes anymore unless with much practice beforehand. (14) Lost in the Jungle / Carelessness The school holidays started two weeks ago. Hamid and Samad were getting bored. They had nothing to do at home. They called each other and made plans to catch some butterflies in the jungle nearby. They started off to the jungle after lunch. When they were in the jungle they saw some butterflies. One of them was a rare one. They were very excited and wanted to catch it. They ran after the butterfly and were not aware of which way they took. After a while, they realised they were lost. They could not figure the way out of the jungle. Soon it was getting dark. They started to feel frightened. They were both hungry and tired too. They regretted their playful actions. They knew they must be brave. Night fell. They were so exhausted they found a tree and rested under it. As they were about to fall asleep, they heard voices calling out their names. They immediately shouted back. Their parents and some villagers had come to their rescue. They were so relieved and promised to be more careful the next time.

(15) Flash Flood / Natural Disaster 81

Last week, there was a flash flood in my town. It was the first time my town had turned into a sea of muddy water. There was great chaos and confusion. Many people were affected. Before the flash flood, there was a heavy downpour for five hours. By 4 p.m., most parts of the town were under half metre of water. The roads were flooded and there was a massive traffic jam. Cars could not move. Drivers who were stranded had to stay in their cars and wait for the water to subside. People from their work places could not go home. Many of them were wading in the water trying to get to higher ground. They were wet and cold. Fortunately, the flash floods gradually subsided by 8 p.m. It was dark then. Traffic began to move slowly and the police had a busy time controlling the traffic. People were able to go home. I will never forget the chaotic scene during those few hours.

LITERATURE COMPONENT NOVEL Note for teachers: It is crucial for students to present their viewpoints in their response. Their viewpoints should allow them to be awarded a higher mark for their response. 82

PRACTICE 1 Using details from the novel you have studied, describe a close relationship between two characters explain why you would consider them to be very close Support your answer with close reference to the text. Guidelines Name the novel and the author that you have chosen Choose and write the names of two characters from the story Describe their close relationship Explain why you would consider them to be very close SAMPLE Answer In the novel Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail, Rory McIntosh and his grandfather share an inseparable bond. According to Rory, they are like a double act. His father abandoned his mother and him, so when his mother died, he was taken care of by his grandparents. The death of his grandmother had left him with his grandfather. He called him Granda and Granda had looked after him all his life and now it was his turn to look after Granda. However both of them were incapable of looking after themselves because Granda was too old and sick while his grandson was too young to shoulder the responsibility of looking after himself and his forgetful and sometimes disorientated grandfather. Whatever the difficulties, Rory and Granda refused to be separated. Rory argued that sending Granda to a home would kill his grandfather and forcing him to stay in a childrens home would be unbearable. That showed how close they were and how emotionally dependent they were on each other . I believe that I would act the same way Rory did when it comes to this situation. This is because nothing can replace the comfort of love and care from someone who has been together with me through thick and thin. Rory loved Granda so much that he was prepared to make a lot of sacrifices for the old man. He let go the chance to be in the school football team because he needed to look after Granda. He had to run home from school during lunch break to bring Granda lunch. On several occasions, Granda had unwittingly lost or misplaced Rorys homework and that had earned him the wrath of his teacher, Mrs Foley. Besides all these, he had to think of the little precautions to take to keep Granda out of harm. Still, he did not want to part with his Granda who would have been better off in an old folks home. Granda felt the same also. The bond between the two was a special one . Without any doubt, I would also make any sacrifice that is necessary to protect the ones I love. Although it is very likely for me to get unfavourable treatment as a result of my deeds, I would not desert my loved ones. However, events took a decisive turn when Granda accidentally caused a fire in the kitchen of their flat. Granda was taken to hospital and then to Rachnadar, a home for the elderly. Rory ended up in Castle Street where he met the troubled Tess and fought with her. 83

He was miserable there. Granda fared no better at the home. Rory felt that they had been cheated by his social worker, Val Jessup. He plotted on the run while the police launched a hunt for them. The news of the runway pair was everywhere on television but they managed to evade the police with the help from sympathizers along the way. They suffered a lot of discomfort while on the run and the old mans condition worsened but they seemed happy. Being together has become a source of strength to them. They were finally persuaded to go and see Rorys long-lost father, Jeff McIntosh, who had been traced to Liverpool as a result of the publicity. But before they could do this, Jeff came for them. They ended up together again, and this time in a flat near where Jeff and his new family lived. Jeff was finally ready to assume responsibility for his father and his son. In my opinion, in a noble quest, I will soldier on, no matter how hard things can be. Nothing can beat the feeling we get once we get to enjoy the fruit of labour at the end of the journey. Rory and Granda were inseparable. It looked as if only death could separate them. Nothing mattered as long as they were together. PRACTICE 2 Using details from the novel you have studied, write on the theme of happiness. Use evidence from the text to support your answer. GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author that you have chosen Choose evidence from the novel which relate to the theme of happiness State the characters Explain what the characters do to be happy SAMPLE ANSWER The novel Catch Us If You Can is an interesting novel. The story has many themes. One of the themes is happiness. Though there are sad moments, we can still see happiness enjoyed by Rory and Granda throughout the story. Firstly, we can see happiness at the beginning of the story. In the novel, Rory McIntosh has been living happily with his grandfather since he was a young boy. On the surface, this arrangement such as theirs cannot be a happy one because Granda is old and sick while he is too young to be able to look after himself, let alone his forgetful and sometimes disorientated grandfather. Granda would have been better off at Rachnadar, a home for the aged where his needs will be taken care of by professionals and Rory would have been able to lead a more normal life at Castle Street Childrens Home. But they refuse to be separated. Despite the difficulties, they are happy together. In their own determined way, they are guarding their right to be together and be happy . In my opinion, they deserve to enjoy happiness and nobody should take their happiness away without valid reasons . Secondly, the theme of happiness can be seen when Rory and Granda escape from the authorities. After Granda causes a fire in their flat, the social worker assigned to them takes Granda to Rachnadar while Rory goes to the Castle Street home. Rory is upset and so is Granda. Both of them lose their happiness. Then, Rory decides to run away from the home, 84

rescue his Granda from Rachnadar and they would run away from all these meddling people. They are on the run for several weeks and the television is full of news about them. A massive search is launched for them. Ironically, while on the run, they experience some of the happiest moments of their lives, with the help of sympathizers like Darren, Sammy and Ruby. Then, Rab and his girlfriend, Annie help them. Personally, I believe one will experience true happiness when one is always with the loved ones. Unexpected help from strangers can also trigger ones happiness. Finally, Rory and Granda experience a more meaningful happiness at the end of the story. Their run comes to an end when Norma, Annies cousin calls the police. Alls well that ends well when McIntoshs long-lost son, Jeff, who is also Rorys father comes for them. He is ready to assume his responsibility as a son and father. Rory and Granda live happily at a house near Jeffs flat. I think Rory deserves the happiness to be with his father and be surrounded by all the individuals who love him . In life, anybody will feel that they are blessed when they are taken care of well and loved by their loved ones. In conclusion, Rory and Granda are basically searching for happiness whether as a stubborn pair fiercely defending their rights to stay together in the flat in the face of insurmountable problems or whether as runaways, oblivious to the frenzy they are causing through their actions. They sincerely believe that they are looking for happiness. After all, nothing matters as long as they are happy because life is a quest for happiness .

PRACTICE 3 The title suits the story perfectly

Using details from the novel you have studied, discuss whether you agree with the statement above. Give reasons for your answer. Use evidence from the text to support your answer. GUIDELINES Read and understand the statement given Name the novel and the author that you have chosen Explain how the title suits the story Use evidence from the novel to support your answer SAMPLE ANSWER The title of the novel Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail is simple and catchy that suits the novel perfectly because it captures the actions of a grandfather and a grandson who cause a frenzy when the police launch a massive search for them. The grandfather has run away from an old folks home he hates and the grandson has escaped from a horrible childrens home. The title has the semblance of a challenge to the people tracking down the pair. It sounds cheeky, insolent and child-like and it reflects the character of the runaway pair. The 85

grandfather, suffering from age-related ailments can be childish and does not realize the implications of what he has done. In his pursuit, he has caused bodily harm to a youngster who recognizes his grandson, Rory, from the news on television and wants to turn them in. Then, he steals a car to get away. All these can be considered criminal but he is happily nonchalant or ignorant of all the legal implications. His grandson and accomplice, Rory, is a child who knows no better. As I see it, these make Rory and Granda a dangerous pair as they are willing to resort to extreme measures just to avoid being captured. As such, catching them would be no simple task. As I see it, the expression If You Can is not only tongue-in-cheek, but also suggests that tracking them down can be difficult. One would think it would be easy to catch them but it is not. Although what they are doing is unbelievably crazy, they have earned the sympathy of many people along the way and this has helped them to evade the police for so long. First, Darren, Rorys best friend, plans the first lap for them when he steals his mothers caravan key for them to hide out while they think of a better plan after they leave the homes. Then, they meet Sammy and Ruby who offer them help as the police are closing in on them. Next, there is Rab at the petrol station who gives them a respite and convinces them that they should go and find Jeff McIntosh, Rorys father, in Liverpool because it is time for him to do something in his whole useless life. After that, there is Annie, Rabs girlfriend, who hands them over to her cousin, Norma. Norma finally brings the whole saga to an end when she decides to call the police because she can see that the old man really needs medical help. From my point of view, these prove that Rory and Granda are capable of getting help for themselves and to a certain extent, are opportunists. I belief these traits have a significant role in helping them elude the authorities for as long as they did . The title suits the story perfectly because it is a story about a grandfather and a grandson on the run. I also feel that it is a reflection of what the story is the police are not looking for regular criminals but just two ordinary people whom the police do not want to apprehend but to protect and keep out of harm .

PRACTICE 4 Using the details of the novel you have studied Describe the decision made by any one character in the novel Do you think the decision was a wise one? Support your answer with evidence from the novel. GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author you have chosen. Choose a character from the story State the decision made by the character you have chosen. Give your opinion whether the decision made by character you have chosen was a wise one. Use evidence from the novel to support your answer 86

SAMPLE ANSWER In the novel Catch Us If You Can by Catherine Mac Phail, I would choose the decision made by Rory to run away with Granda so that they can be together. This decision is known as The Great Escape. Rory lived with his grandparents and his mother since young when his father Jeff McIntosh left the family. When his mother and later his grandmother passed away, his Granda took care of him. Rory and his Granda are very close and they have become inseperable. When Granda becomes older, he becomes sick and his memory begins to fails, it was Rorys turn to look after Granda. Rory prepared Grandas meals, took him to see the doctor whenever needed and he makes sure Granda takes his medicine on time. However one day Granda was preparing potato chips for lunch, he accidently burnt down the flat. He inhaled too much smoke and was admitted to the hospital. Val Jessup, the social worker decided that Rory is incapable to take care of Granda as he is still young and schooling. The state also decides that Granda might pose a danger to himself, Rory and those around him. So she decides to separate them by sending Rory to Castle Street and Granda to Rachnadar after being discharged from the hospital. Granda was devastated when he was sent to Rachnadar as he always has said that it is a place for those who do not have anybody. He is miserable. Rory who is sent to Castle Street is not happy either. Although the other children accepted him, he had trouble with a girl named Tess and once fought with her. So Rory decide to plan the Great Escape. He ran away from the orphanage and rescued Granda from Rachnadar and the both run away to Darrens mothers caravan. During the escape, they were hunted down by the authorities but managed to give them the slip as they got much help from a lot of people like the Tyrones, Rab, Annie and others. Although I understand their plight, I think the decision to run away is not a wise decision. There are three reasons why I disagree with Rorys decision. Firstly, Rory did not think of Grandas health. Granda was not very healthy or strong. When he was organising the escape, Rory didi not have a proper and fixed destination. By dragging Granda into The Great Escape, Rory is exposing him to more danger. Granda might fall ill and die. Granda did faint at a park. If I were Rory, I would not have planned The Great Escape at all because I do not want Grandas health to deteriorate. The second reason is Rory did not have a proper escape plan as he did not plan their destinations. Rory only thought of being together with his Granda had fail to plan The Great Escape properly. In fact, he managed to get to Liverpool to be with his father, because he was helped by many people. On his own, I doubt he would have made it there. If I were Rory, I would make sure of where to head for and all the destinations I need to pass through.

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Last but not least, Rory is not mature enough to carry out such a major event like The Great Escape. The burden is too heavy for him. He did something which was too big/heavy for him. Being young and inexperienced, Rory did not understand the harsh reality of the outside world. He and Granda were lucky enough to meet helpful people. If he had met people like the lemonade boy, the ending would have been different. If I were Rory, I would have thought of another way to be together with Granda. So for me, The Great Escape was not a wise decision. Although it ended on a happy note, it was because they were lucky to meet all the helpful people; not because of Rorys planning .

PRACTICE 5 Using details from the novel you have studied, write on the theme of forgiveness OR reconciliation. Support your answer with close reference to the text. GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author that you have chosen State the characters Choose the events from the novel which highlight the theme of forgiveness or reconciliation Explain what the characters do to show forgiveness Support your answer with evidence from the novel SAMPLE ANSWER In Catherine MacPhails Catch Us If You Can, Rory has been cared for by his grandfather whom he calls Granda for as long as he remembers. According to Granda, his own father was a spoilt brat of a boy; just mentioning him would make Granda angry. He grew up to be someone who did not appreciate what he got and left Rorys mother who later died of heartbreak. And that was when the senior McIntosh decided to cut all ties with his son. He is adamant that the only son he had is Rory and he can very well take care of the boy. If I were Granda I would not have taken the excruciating decision to cut all ties with Jeff because cutting the ties with loved ones could be a self-destructing act. The irony of the situation is, Rory has been looking after his Granda who is not well and needs medications for all sorts of ailments. As a result, Rory has to look after him, take him to the doctor, prepare his lunch and make sure he takes his medicines all too big a responsibility for a young boy like him. Despite the difficulties, both Rory and Granda refuse to be separated, as any solution would entail sending the old man to a nursing home and the boy, a childrens home. However, after Granda accidentally sets fire in their flat, he is sent to Rachnadar, an old folks home and Rory to the childrens home in Castle Street. They cannot bear being separated. I believe that Rory deserves to be with his Granda because they cannot live without each other. For this reason they are willing to go against all odds because their love for each other is undeniably strong. 88

Rory takes Granda out from the home and both go on a run. Soon, the police is looking for them. News about them appears on the media. Rory and Granda manage to evade the police because they get help from people who sympathize with them along their journey. Investigations reveal that Rorys father, Jeff Mcintosh is in Liverpool and they are advised to go and see him. While on their way to Liverpool, Granda becomes too sick. The police is informed by one of the people who helps them, Norma, who feels that the old man needs immediate help. Jeff, with the help of the authorities, arrives to take his father and his son with him. Both father and son are reconciled and Rory finds his long-lost father. Jeff is ready to take on his responsibilities as a son to his father, Granda, and as a father to his son, Rory. Personally, I think Jeff has taken the right step to reconciliate with his long-lost family and reignite the respectful relationship. After all, they are flesh and blood and nothing can change that. The story ends with a reconciliation between the ageing and ailing father and the son he has vowed to disown, Jeff. As for Rory, it is a happy reunion with the father he has never known. In my opinion, Rory must see the good in his father and find the positive aspects of the situation and he should feel blessed at last he has his father to bring him into adulthood. In life, we cannot destroy kindred; our chains stretch a little sometimes, but they never break. PRACTICE 6 From the novel you have studied, what is the most important lesson you have learnt? Support your answer with close reference to the text. GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author that you have chosen Think of a lesson you have learnt after reading the novel State the characters and the hardships they go through that have an impact on you Explain how the story affects you Use evidence from the novel to support your answer

SAMPLE ANSWER From the novel Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail, an important lesson I learnt is to be persistent and determined when facing challenges. Often, persistence leads to better results than losing hope easily. Two characters in the novel, Rory and Granda, handled challenges with determination. Rory knew that he must be strong and determined in order to withstand the rigours of the escape. There was never a time he felt like giving up and turning in to the police. It was the strong sense of perseverance that helped him bear all the hardships. To me, I should exemplify them to succeed in life. It was the same with Granda. When things got difficult, he was even more persevering even though it was hard for a man his age to be on the run. He knew he needed to be strong 89

so that he could be together with Rory. Personally if a man of that age can persevere why cant we youngsters do the same. The escape got very arduous and tough at times. The police were always after Rory and Granda. There was a wide TV coverage on them. But Rory and Granda were determined to pull through. They knew they would be together and not be separated as long as they continued to run. I believe their determination helped them tide through their problems . From the way they went through their escape, I learn that challenges should be dealt with determination. One must not easily give up hope and accept defeat. As long as one has the chance, one must keep on going till success is met . PRACTICE 7 The characters in novels often face problems. Some solve their problems but some do not. Using information from the novel you have studied, show how one character solves his/ her problems one who does not solve his/ her problems Support your answer with close reference to the text. GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author that you have chosen Choose a character, state his/her problems Explain how the character solves his/ her problems Choose another character and state his/ her problems Explain why the character fails to solve his/her problems Suggest what the character should do to solve his/ her problems Use evidence from the novel to support your answer

Catherine MacPhails Catch Us If You Can, is a heart warming tale about a loving grandfather and his responsible grandson. As depicted in the novel, problems are part and parcel of life. However, some characters manage overcome these obstacles, but some fail to do so. A character who successfully solves his problem is Rory McIntosh . After Granda accidently sets their apartment on fire, the pair is forced to part. Rory is sent to the childrens home in Castle Street, whereas Granda is sent to the old folks home in Rachnadar. Rory cant stand to see Granda, who he loves unequivocally, so miserable and dejected. So, Rory devises a great escape and the duo embark on a great adventure in order to be together . If I were in Rory McIntoshs shoes, I would do likewise but not before exhausting all venues to convince the authorities that we are fit and capable of taking care of each other with the assistance of the relevant authorities. Next, Rory also faces a problem when he and Granda are on a train to Glasgow. His world went red with fear when he assumes that a passenger recognises them. So, he gets of the train and eventually confronts a punk who threatens to turn him in. Granda saves the day by knocking the youngster out cold. Then, Granda steals a car. Even though I am both 90

tickled and horrified by these events, I nonetheless would have done the same things because these are the obstacles that would force me to part with my beloved grandfather and vice versa. Another problem faced by Rory is when he and Granda are at Normas house at Lake District. Grandas health worsens and Norma makes a report on them because she feels that Rory has been through enough. So, Rory decided to hit the road once again with Granda . Rory decides to take this drastic and dangerous action because he is afraid for both himself and for his granda. Granted that Rory is just an eleven year old boy, he lets emotions rule his heart and this is his answer to escape from the people who actually want to help him and his grandfather. Unlike Rory, I would not risked my grandfathers life and I would have let the authorities take us in for Grandas sake. After all Granda is not getting any healthier. Furthermore, I feel that if the authorities took us in, they could help Granda get better. I am in the opinion that sometimes we have to admit that we are wrong in our decisions and accept failure. After all life is full of ups and downs and we sometimes have to let others deal with our problems. On the other hand, Tess, a girl whom Rory meets at the childrens home, fails to solve her problems. Her mother is in prison and none of her family members want to take custody of her. She has no choice but to stay at the childrens home in Castle Street until she is taken in by someone else. She turns bitter and lashes out at other children, scaring them away. She has no friends. If I were Tess, I would practice any sort of meditation to put a lid on my temper. This would help me make the best of my life. Another problem she faces is when Rory stands up to her, after a rough day. She immediately zeroes in on him and is determined to hurt him. Her outburst get so out of hand that someone has to hold her down. If I were Tess, I would have forgiven Rory on the spot because he didnt mean any harm; he was just having a bad day. That way, I would have at least made a new acquaintance. In a nutshell, the realistic conflicts portrayed in the novel definitely add to the excitement of it all. (647 words)

PRACTICE 8 Who is the most interesting character in the novel that you have studied? Give reasons to support your answer. 91

GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author that you have chosen. Name the character that you consider interesting. Explain the role of the character in the novel. Give evidence from the novel to support your comments. State your opinion again. SAMPLE ANSWER In the novel Catch Us if You Can by Catherine MacPhail, I think Granda is the most interesting character in the book. Reading through the novel, I found out that he was a caring and kind grandfather to Rory. The fact that Rory is to return the favours implies that Granda must have been a good man and good grandfather. His love for Rory is absolute. Also, Granda finds it hard to bear that Rory has to be in a home and wants to get out of hospital to take Rory home. This shows how much he cares for Rory. I believe that we should always be ready to give back as a response to somebodys kindness, especially to our family members whom has been with us through good and bad times. Granda is also a charmer. It is because he easily compliments others especially women not only for the looks but also for their talents as he praises Ruby for her cooking. All the times he remains the perfect gentleman, like opening the door for the young mother at the clinic. In my opinion, treating other people properly is the way to go. People will respect us and in return, they will treat us well. Other than that, he is quite a fascinating character. He knows a lot about films and film stars. His love for movie stars makes him even name his son and grandson after some film heroes of his time. Also, he loves singing and has no inhibitions about singing some old songs, however badly, in front of others. With all the above, I believe that Granda must be an interesting and remarkable man. PRACTICE 9 From the novel you have studied, write about an important moral value you have learnt. Support your answer with close reference to the text. GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author that you have chosen State an important moral value you have learnt after reading the novel State the characters and the events where the moral value you have learnt is emphasized Use evidence from the novel to support your answer SAMPLE ANSWER 92

From the novel Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail, an important moral value I have learnt is that family relationships should be nurtured and not taken for granted. Granda looked after Rory after Rorys father walked out on them. Since Granda was old and forgetful, Rory took it upon himself to look after Granda. Nobody forced or told him to do it but Rory felt it was the right thing to do. He was willing to forego things that teenage boys should be doing. He was willing to sacrifice his love for football. He did all the household chores. Rory prepared lunch and all the other meals for Granda. Besides, he made sure Granda took his medication all the time. He even kept Grandas pipe to make sure there wasnt any untoward incidents. Obviously, what Rory did clearly shows that he did not take his Granda for granted. We should learn this valuable value from Rory. In life, no matter what obstacles that we have to face with our family members, we should not take any of them for granted. If it is our responsibility to take care of them, then we must shoulder those responsibilities with full commitment . Granda and Rory did not take their relationship for granted. Granda, on several occasions, had expressed appreciation to Rory for always being there for him while Rory felt proud to have Granda as his grandfather. Rory was protective and defensive of Granda. They nurtured their relationship right up to the end even when they had a family, Jeff and Karen. To me, the process of nurturing family relationships is a long-term process. It has to begin from young and this nurturing process should have no ending. Sammy, Ruby and Tyrone also showed a strong family relationship. Sammy and Ruby were free and easy but respectful with each other. Ruby would tease Sammy and vice versa. But, when it came to making decisions, Ruby left it to Sammy, showing him respect as the head of the family. Tyrone was respectful and obedient to his parents, Sammy and Ruby. Again, it is very clear that both Ruby and Sammy did not take their family relationship for granted. No doubt, respecting each other is one of the key elements that can nurture a strong family relationship . All in all, I have learnt from the novel that family relationship should be nurtured and not taken for granted as family happiness and stability depend on this positive attitude. PRACTICE 10 Using the details of the novel you have studied, Write about the moral value that has impressed you the most. Give evidence from the text to support your answer. GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author that you have chosen. Name the moral value that you have learnt. Give examples from the novel to support your answer. State your opinion again SAMPLE ANSWER

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In the novel Catch Us if You Can by Catherine MacPhail, I learn about compassion for fellow human beings. Many characters exhibit compassion for each other and act in a kind manner because of their compassionate nature. Rory and Granda care for each other and there is compassion in their actions. For example, Rory cares for his grandfathers well-being. For instance, he makes sure his Granda takes his medicine. Moreover, he always rushes home from school to ensure Granda takes his lunch. Moreover, Rory protects his Granda from anything he considers bad, offensive or dangerous. Rory even keeps Grandas pipe to make sure there isnt any untoward incidents. Granda tries his best to help Rory and unfortunately makes mistakes, but there is still compassion. He strongly says that no grandson of his is going to a home for as long as he is around. As I see it, the things Rory does for Granda are examples of compassion in its purest form. I say so because Rory does all that to ensure his Granda live as comfortable as possible and at the same time keep Granda by his side for as long as he can. There are ulterior motives. In addition, Dr Nicol insists that Granda and Rory get a home help. This is because he believes that Granda and Rory are not capable of taking care of each other. Val Jessup, the social worker, also shows compassion. She shows enthusiasm to help Rory and Granda. When they are on the run, Val Jessup pleads on television for Rory and Granda to come home. The police and the nurse also act compassionately towards Granda and Rory. From my point of view, they are affected by the dilemma of an ageing man who is so dependent on a young boy and therefore do what they think is the best . Besides, Darren, Rorys close friend offers his mums caravan to them because he cares for Rory and Granda. He warns them about the arrival of the police. Personally, I think these are excellent examples of compassion. I am impressed by the magnitude of compassion shown by the characters in the novel . Besides, it warms my heart as the compassion in the story is devoid of any malice. With all the above, I believe that we must be compassionate to people. This quality keeps us humane and makes the world appear kinder and the troubles bearable . PRACTICE 11 In the novel you have studied Pick any one decision in the novel made by someone or some party that you disagree Explain why you disagree.

Support your answer with evidence from the novel. GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author that you have chosen. State the decision. Give reasons why you disagree with the decision. 94

State your opinion again.

SAMPLE ANSWER In the novel Catch Us if You Can by Catherine MacPhail, there is one decision in the novel that I disagree with. It is the one taken by the government to separate both Rory and his grandfather. Rory and his Granda are very close and each depends on the other for love and comfort. They are family, a double act and one cannot survive without the other. When Granda accidently starts a fire in the flat, the State makes a decision to put him in a home because he may endanger himself and others. On the other hand, Rory was put in Castle Street as he is deemed too young to take care of Granda. I was so mad with the State. If I were on the State Committee member or panel, I definitely would not separate them. I can understand that the State has the interest of Rory and Granda at heart when it makes this decision. But, what makes me disagree is that it regards them as only a case on which it needs to act, not as people with feelings. I believe each citizen has a right to run his or her life the way he or she wants to without outside interference. Unfortunately, it did not happen that way. Personally I feel the state has tackled this family issue in the wrong manner as its decision did not make either Granda or Rory happy because they have been separated. In addition, no discussion was held with Rory and Granda how best to solve the problem. When the two run away, however, the police go after them as if they are criminals. As a person interviewed on a television rightly said , the police are wasting their time hunting down an old man and a young boy instead of chasing criminals and fighting the gun culture. The way the State tackled the situation pissed me off. If I were the state or authorities, I would have a discussion with Rory and Granda before making a decision. The decision made must be acceptable to Rory and Granda. As a conclusion, people like Rory and Granda should be treated with greater respect and compassion and not like cases to be solved.

PRACTICE 12 Faith in the God is essential. Using the evidence from the novel, explain how this is shown in the novel you have studied. Support your answer with close reference to the text. GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author that you have chosen. State the character who conveys this message. Give examples from the story to support your answer. 95

SAMPLE ANSWER In the novel Catch Us if You Can by Catherine MacPhail, Faith in God is Essential is one of the messages in the story. Rorys prayers are in the form of warm and friendly conversations with God, which he addresses as The Big Man. Rory is a character who has faith in God. Rory promises to be good and do good things if The Big Man would make Granda wake up when he sees his grandfathers face pale, his mouth open and he is hardly breathing. Personally, I think that Rory has prayed earnestly and respectfully to God for help. In life, we know that God consoles us through prayer when we are troubled. In addition, Rory believes that The Big Man wanted him to escape as things go smoothly. Rory promises to collect money for the Salvation Army if The Big Man keeps Granda safe. Rory tells The Big Man that they both are having great time and Granda is no trouble at all. In my opinion Rorys faith in God is bigger than his fears. Even though Rory did not know much about religion, he was full of faith. He knows that God is there to guide him to do the right thing and to take the right path. The other evidence that resembles Rory as a person who has faith in God is when he and his grandfather did not crash since Granda cannot drive well. Due to that, he believes that The Big Man is looking after him. In my view when one constantly prays to God, one is granted courage to face difficulties and challenges. As a conclusion, prayers play a vital role in keeping Rorys spirit up and prove that faith is essential in life. I believe that Rorys faith in God has provided him comfort, strength, encouragement and healing for both Granda and him.

PRACTICE 13 Love, compassion and family relationship are important in ones life. Using the evidence from the text, explain how this is true. Support your answer with close reference from the text. GUIDELINES Name the novel and the author that you have chosen. Discuss the different aspects of love. Give your views with examples from the text. SAMPLE ANSWER Catherine MacPhail put the elements of love, compassion and family relationship in her novel, Catch Us if You Can. From the beginning to the end of the story, those three elements hold the story together. 96

The love between generations shows that love is continuous and never ending. For example, Rorys love for his Granda is unconditional and vice versa. He is ready to sacrifice anything so that he remains united with his grandfather. The grandfather, in turn, has devoted his life to bring up the child from birth and his whole life revolves around him. In my opinion all of us must love both our parents and our grandparents at all times. Love in a family and the power of love among family members are also portrayed in this story. For example, Sammy, his wife, Ruby and son Tyrone portray a warm and loving family. Besides, Bernie, his wife and daughter are equally warm-hearted and helpful. Rab and Annie are loving and caring too. In life a strong family bond builds a strong society. Love and respect among Rorys friends also keep him from troubles. They look upon Granda with great affection. Darren, the one who is the weakest in the class, shows much compassion for Rory and helps him as much as he can. Mrs. Foley also shows sincere, love and care for Rory. She shows her concern towards Rory when Granda is admitted into the hospital. She realizes that Rory should not be in the childrens home. I believe a good friendship is always important. As a conclusion, the concept of the elements of love, compassion and family relationship bring beauty to the story.

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