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Composition

Narratives (Story)
Text type scaffold

Purpose
To entertain
To inform

Audience
General

Features
• Introduction or orientation introduces the reader to the characters, the setting and
the conflict.
• Conflict tells the reader what the problem r dilemma is
• Actions lead the reader through the story as the suspense builds
• Climax brings the story to the most exciting part
• Resolution tells how the problems are solved and how the events hav affected the
characters
• A moral that is taught by the story
• Characters which are stereotyped
• The use of mixed tenses
• The use of description
• The use of direct speech

Writing process
In this writing workshop, u will write a complete story using traditional stories as your
focus.

Gathering information

Develop a traditional story you remember or the story you have used for your oral
communication activity. Alternatively, create a modern story with a message.
For example, write a modern story to present the following messages:
• Strike while the iron is hot
• You reap what you sow
• There is always someone better than you
• Slow and steady wins the race
• Respect your elders
• Blood is thicker than water

Organizing your material

Make some notes under the following headlings


• Setting – time and place
• Characters – good characters, bad characters, description, purpose in the story,
mannerisms
• Actions – leading up to the climax
• Climax – the most exciting part of the story
• Resolution – how the problems are solved and how the events have affected the
characters

Writing

Use your notes to write your story. Imagine the action happening and then tell the story
as if you are telling someone what is happening and what the characters are saying. Use
direct speech where you can, rather than explain what a character says because direct
speech tells the reader more about the character and makes reading livelier.

Revising and editing

To guide your revision and editing, ask yourself the following questions:
• Is my story simple enough to be understood
• Do my characters seem real in the story
• Do the actions move the plot along quickly to the climax of the story
• Is the message clear
• Are my tenses, spelling and punctuation correct

Narratives II (suspense story)

Writing process

In this workshop, develop a story that holds suspense for the reader. Build suspense
through the images you create with the setting, characters and actions. Think of the
climax or most exciting part of the story, then create the rest of the story around that idea,
so everything you write builds up to the most exciting part.

Gathering information
Setting: Where and when will this story take place? Set the scene in such a way that
readers anticipate the possible danger the characters will face.

Characters: Who r the characters? How do they think and feel about the situation they
are in? What is each character’s relationship with the other characters? Who r the
good characters? Who are the bad characters?

Action: What is goin to happen in the story? How r you goin to keep readers thinking
bout what could possibly happen next?

Complication: What is the problem the characters have to solve? What struggles do
they have with themselves, others or the environment?

Climax: What is the main event in this story that all the actions will build up to?

Resolution: How is the outcome of the climax goin to change the way the characters
act or think in the future?

Organizing your material

Draw a time line for your story so you can see the events in order.
Group the information for the introduction to the story together such as the setting,
the characters and a hint at what the future danger or problem could be.
Group information on the climax. Think of word groups to describe the characters’
actions and reactions to the event.

Writing

Write your story concentrating on building suspense for readers. Hint at the future
problem by describing the setting or by the reactions of the characters to what is
happening around them. Keep readers guessing about what will happen to the characters.
Use the direct speech wherever appropriate because it makes the characters through what
they say and how they say it.
Use words and phrases that give plenty of action to the story. To do this, use action verbs
and descriptive words to create images and movement in readers’ mind

Revising and editing

To guide your revision and editing, ask yourself the following questions:
• Does my story flow from the introduction of the setting and characters to the
climax through series of actions?
• Have I allowed readers to make predictions bout what could happen?
• Have I used descriptive words what give readers images of the setting, the
characters and the actions?
• Have I used action verbs to create a sense of action in the story?
• Have I given readers a satisfactory resolution to the story?
• Are my tenses, spelling and punctuation correct?

Factual descriptions
Text type scaffold

Purpose
To inform

Audience
General

Features
• An opening statement
• A series of paragraphs, each with a topic sentence and information about the topic
• A concluding paragraph
• Headings, subheadings, maps, photographs, drawings and diagrams to simplify
descriptions
• The use of the present tense
• The use of adjectives
• The use of technical or scientific language

Writing process

Gathering information

Think of an interesting animal, place or any other topic to research and write about.
Choose something specific, not general, for example, Monarch butterfly rather than
butterflies. Use the library or the internet to research your topic.
If you r researching an animal, u could gather information under the following
headings:
• Description
• Habitat
• Food/hunting
• Social habits
• Threats to survival
• Points of interest

Organizing your material


Using your research notes, organize your ideas under these headings in preparation
for writing

• Introduction – identify the topic, give a general description, give interesting


pieces of information to create interest
• Development – put the facts under separate headings to write into paragraphs,
provide details and create clear images using descriptive words
• Conclusion – summarise the main point
• Illustration – ways to make the description simpler or more vivid for the
readers
Writing

Use a computer, if you can, to set this out.


• Make your headings bold
• Leave a line spacing between the heading and the first sentence of each
paragraph.

Write your factual description using the information you have gathered. Write at least one
paragraph about each aspect of your topic.
• Each paragraph should describe one aspect. Begin a new paragraph to describe
another aspect
• Use heading and subheadings for your paragraphs to help the reader predict the
information in your paragraphs
• Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that gives the main idea of the
paragraph. Support the topic sentences with facts and examples that give detail
and evidence for your claim in the topic sentence

Revising and editing

To guide your revision and editing, ask yourself the following questions:
• Have I described the topic clearly?
• Have I begun each paragraph with a topic sentence?
• Do the facts in each paragraph support the topic sentence?
• Do the paragraphs flow from one to the next?
• Have I provided helpful headings for the description?
• Have I concluded by summarizing the description?
• Have I provided enough information for the reader to have a clear description of
the topic?
• Have I introduced the topic in an interesting, yet informative way?
• Have I used a formal style?
• Are my tenses, spelling and punctuation correct?
Journals
Text type scaffold

Purpose
To entertain
To inform
To record

Audience
Varied

Features
• Dated entries
• Entries in chronological order
• Recount of situation, events, reactions and thoughts
• Informal or formal depending on expected audience
• Written in the first person “I”
• Usually written in the simple past tense but may be written in the present tense for
dramatic effect

Keep a journal of activities that you do regularly. This journal will record the situation,
the events and your reactions and thoughts so that others can read it to have an idea of
what you do when you participate in that activity. For example, you may choose to keep a
journal bout co-curricular activities like Girl Guides or Badminton Club, or of hobbies
like collecting and playing computer games or maintaining an aquarium.

Writing process

Gathering information
You will already have the information for your journal because you are writing bout
something you have experienced.

Organizing your thoughts

Think bout the times you participated in the activity you chose. Use the following
questions to guide your writing
• What was the first thing that happened when you arrived?
• Who were there n what did they have to do?
• What were the activities that you took part in everytime?
• What were the activities on this particular occasion?
• How do you feel bout the activity you chose?
Writing
Date your entry, then record the events as they happened

Revising and editing

To guide your revision and editing, ask yourself the following questions:
• Have I begun each entry with a date?
• Have I covered all the important events of the day?
• Are my tenses, spelling and punctuation correct?

Feature article
Text type scaffold

Purpose
To inform

Audience
General

Features
• Has an interesting, eye-catching title
• Uses an opening paragraph to introduce the topic and create interest
• Has short paragraphs that give the background and further information on the
topic
• Includes personal comments and opinions, eyewitness’ or expert’s comments
• Has a concluding paragraph that gives a final comment on the topic
• Has eyewitnesses’ accounts written as direct speech
• Use simple language
• Often uses the active voice
• Uses the descriptive language

Writing process

Gathering information

Write either bout a real topic involving an event at school or in the community or invent a
story based on an unexplained happening in the community. For example:
• School sports day
• Fund raising
• The school play
• An unexplained light in the sky
• A mysterious disappearance
• A miraculous healing

Organizing your material

Organising your article under these headings


• Headline
• Introduction
• Supporting paragraphs
• Conclusion

Include photographs and/or illustrations

Writing

• Write your article in such a way that it moves along quickly


• Leave out any unimportant information, lengthy explanations or descriptions
• Include the direct speech of interviewees
• Use action words

Revising and editing

To guide your revision and editing, ask yourself the following questions:
• Have I captured readers’ attention with my headline and introduction?
• Does the background and information provide a clear picture of the topic?
• Have I kept my paragraphs short?
• Are my tenses, spelling, punctuation correct?

Persuasive magazine articles


Text type scaffold

Purpose
To inform
To persuade
To convince
Audience
Specific

Features
• An introductory statement – creates interest in the topic and outlines the point of
view of the writer
• An convincing argument – offers a series of supporting information and opinion
that supports the argument
• An conclusion – summarises the point of view
• Use of emotive words
• Use of jargon or specialist language common to the subjects and/or the target
audience
• Use of conjunctions

Writing process

Gathering information

Think of a topic that teenagers feel strongly about. Here are some topics to think bout
• Rules at school
• Rules at home
• Pressure of growing up
• Needing more money
• Social activities for teenagers
• Movies for teenagers
• Hopes for the future

Think of a question you could ask bout your chosen topic


For example:
• Why are there not enough organized social activities for teenagers?
• What do teenagers want to do in their leisure time?

Think of 5 questions that you could ask other students on this topic
Think of 2 questions to ask an expert on your chosen topic
Think of 2 questions to ask a witness

Conduct interviews to gather first-hand information for your article. Analyse your data
• What were the main ideas that came out of your interviews?
• Did a number of ppl agree with the same idea? Were there differences of opinion
Now decide what your point of view for your article will be by completing the statement
below.

I think that…

Organizing your material

Organize the information you have gathered into supporting and opposing evidence

Writing

Introduction
• Begin with sentences that create an interest so that the reader will read on
• State your point of view
Body
• Develop the arguments that support your point of view and back your
statements up with your own explaination and supporting evidence from your
interviewees
• Offer other points of view your interviewees have provided
Conclusion
• Summarise what ppl have said and what you want your readers to think when
they have finished reading

Revising and editing

To guide your revision and editing, ask yourself the following questions:
• Have I captured my reader’s interest with the first sentence?
• Have I made my point of view clear?
• Have I backed up each of my statements with explanations and evidence?
• Have I concluded in such a way that the final main message my reader reads will
be clear?
• Are my tenses, spelling and punctuation correct
Descriptive composition
You r normally asked to describe a person, an object, a place or a scene. Sometimes a
composition is not entirely one which requires description alone. Part of it maybe a
narrative or an imaginative composition. These 3 types are closely related. Most of what
is said here, therefore, applies to all 3 types

One of the ways of making your composition appear alive and interesting is to choose the
words you use carefully. Use words which are packed with meaning. Use concrete or
specific words instead of general ones

For example, everyone talks and walks, but how does the character you r describing talk?
Does he whisper, mumble, or stammer? How does he walk? Does he waddle, march or
trot? The words you use should give an indication of the character’s appearance. You
should “show” rather than “tell”.

Look: peep, peek, glance, stare, scrutinize, examine, glare


Beat: box, cane, punch, slap, pound, pummel, thrash
Ask: inquire, demand, order, plead, appeal
Cook: boil, roast, barbecue, grill, fry, bake, steam
Move: lunge, lurch, roam, stray, rove, meander
Cry: weep, wail, sob, moan, whimper, howl
Scare: terrify, terrorize, alarm
Say: announce, pronounce, declare, comment, proclaim, disclose

Remember, your description must conjure up a mental picture of the person or scene
described
If you r describing a person make the person come “ alive” by bringing in dialogue.
Use words which appeal to the senses. Communicate to the reader what has been
experienced through the senses.
Provide details. For example, u r describing a person, “show” exactly how he looks. Give
details regarding the shape of his face, head, hands and ears, the colour of his complexion
and his size. Go beyond the appearance. Use your power of imaginations and give details
regarding his character. Is he superficially kind, or is he genuinely interested in the
welfare of others?
Argumentative composition
The purpose of such a composition s to persuade and convince in order to alter the
opinion of another person – the reader. An apt choice of word and phrases is, therefore,
necessary to move the reader. This style of writing has to appeal to the intellect as well as
the emotions. To do this effectively, evidence or proof must be give to support one’s
arguments. The evidence can be in the form of facts or authoritative opinions.

You maybe required to express your own opinions. Do not make sweeping statements.
Instead be rational, for sound reasoning is required. Some topics require you to agree or
disagree with the given statements. Be ready to take a stand right from the beginning of
your composition and stick to it throughout. Be aware of opposing opinions and use them
to your advantage. Remember, you may repeat certain points for emphasis.

Expository composition
An expository composition involves facts and ideas. You have to give information,
instructions on how to do something or explanations related to a given topic. Such a
composition calls for simplicity in style and clarity, for instructions must be clear so that
anyone can reading the composition will know how to carry out a task based on what you
write. You may get a title like “ Describe ways of getting rid of household pests” or
“Explain how you make Chinese dumplings”.

You may begin writing such a composition by defining the given topic. For example, you
r writing on “Being a lady”, you could begin with:

“Being a woman does not qualify a person to call herself a lady. Being a lady means…”

Details are often required in expository compositions and they have to be systematically
presented. In some ways an expository composition is like a reflective composition. The
difference depends on whether you r explaining the topic or reflecting on it. The
difference is really very narrow and we should not split hairs over classification. The
main thing is that you present your facts clearly
Reports

If we talk about practical experience transferred onto paper, we mean reports and report
writing in particular. Only from a personal contact with the object examined comes
inspiration and material for writing. Shapes and names of reports may vary as well, just
as their goals. Humanity reports involve more of a personal impression, while scientific
report writing requires lab work and theoretical base.

• Book Reports
• Lab Reports

Book Reports

Book report writing is somewhat close to critical reviews, but still stands on its own.
The main difference is in feedback. When writing a book report, you are supposed to
share your impressions and evaluate the content in accordance with three main
parameters: theme of the book, its characters, and plot. Critical review, in its turn, also
gives advice on how unsatisfactory parts and mistakes are and what could’ve been
corrected.

When deciding upon what to report on, choose a book you feel positive about. Your
report writing will only benefit from such a choice since your personal interest in the
book will contribute to in-depth analysis and stimulate critical thinking. Good analysis
starts during reading. Get ready to take notes on details that you think will be important
during the writing process. Also, keep a tentative plan of a future book report in mind,
and pay attention to the quotes that will support your point of view. Quotations are
extremely important when it comes to writing book reports because they are the facts
you are operating with.

Book report is usually a relatively short assignment, so you should better decide what
point of the book will be analyzed. The most obvious criterion is the plot. At this point,
you, as a book report writer, should give a summary of the story in context of its
significance to the audience, historical generation it was initially intended for, and,
finally, its worthiness for future generations. Your task is to avoid plain retelling. The
potential audience (which is your teacher or professor usually) knows what’s going on
with the characters. He/she will be more interested in your understanding of the problem,
so what you need to do is write about your feelings and back them up with parts of the
authentic text.
Another way to write a book report is to explore the characters. Here you will need to
reveal hidden relations between the types of heroes and the way they bring forward the
problem that is central to the plot. Is a character positive or negative? How does author
explain peculiarities of his personality? Can the main character be described as the son of
his epoch, and what was the historical context that influenced formation of his nature?
The more detailed you get, the deeper the analysis will be. Author’s quotations have to be
your main arguments.

A tale as old as time is the theme that is put into the book. Really, there are not so many
topics in the history of literature to dance around. Three is the most. It is the way authors
twist them that makes books interesting and worth reading. When writing a book report
and concentrating on the underlying themes, analyze the problem that became a purpose
for writing, and how it is revealed through scenes and characters. Give some light on how
a theme influenced you personally and tell if this problem is still popular nowadays.

Lab Reports

Lab report requires different sets of skills. It gets more into details and practice. Close to
lab reports are case report writings and psychological reports. They all need theoretical
framework.

Apart from small requisites such as the Title Page and Bibliography, there are several
big parts that need deep thinking. One of them is the Abstract – a part that is common for
all scientific research papers. Its goal is to introduce the topic to the readers, and also give
a brief description of the purpose of the experiment, its significant findings and major
accomplishments.

When writing a lab report, be sure to include Introduction where you will introduce a
problem in greater details, and also share your predictions and expectations with the
audience. Your problem has to sound significant even if you are a beginner who is
investigating quite a regular object. Find an angle at which your research will gain new
meanings.

Be sure to describe the procedure itself in the lab report. The key words for this part of
report writing are being precise. Give detailed description when providing information
on the type of equipment and materials used, especially if they are unique and specific.
Pay attention to measurements – the numbers have to be correct. The procedure itself has
to have a step-by-step description. Your writing has to have a shape of good and helpful
instructions. Some of the readers may want to repeat your experiment.

One of important steps in writing a lab report is critical analysis of your own work. It
has to be placed in the section called Results. After you got data from experiments, think
over it and make a deep evaluation of its significance. It is better when your statements
are backed up by visual proofs such as tables, graphs, and figures. If your report is
handwritten, illustrations have to be understandable and readable. But it is better to hand
in typed reports and tables constructed with the help of computer graphics.
Finally, go to writing your conclusion. Remember the predictions and expectations you
made in your introduction? Well, it’s high time to get back to them (refer to them the
audience) and state which of them turned out to be true and which failed to pass the
testing. If there was something wrong with the actions you took, write about it to warn
your followers from repeating the same mistakes. Write if something could’ve been done
better, but concentrate on your achievements, as well.

Among the most popular report types, there are case and analytical report, and business
report writing. Depending on the depth of analysis, all of them can be written following
the pattern above.

Report writing can come in different shapes, depending on your topic and supervisor’s
requirements. It can also contain all or just part of report writing components. We will
give the full list of requirements for successful report writing, and will also provide you
with professional help on writing a report.

1. How to Write a Report. The Letter of Transmittal


General guidelines:

This is a separate document that accompanies report writing. It is usually brief. By


sending a transmittal letter you let your recipient know that you are sending a report, and
will also give him an idea about what is being sent and what are your basic requirements.

Our advice on writing a report:

• This document has to be written in accordance with the letter etiquette. Be sure to
include address, a name of your recipient, and all the important information. Also,
end a transmittal letters with a one-sentence paragraph that establishes goodwill
by thanking or complimenting the recipient.

• Do not include a transmittal letter unless specifically requested to do so.

2. How to Write a Report. The Title Page


General guidelines:
There are four main pieces of information that have to be included into the title page:
- the report title;
- the name of the person, company, or organization for whom the report has been
prepared;
- the name of the author and the company or university which originated the report;
- the date the report was completed.
A title page might also include contract number, a security classification, or a copy
number depending on the nature of the report you are writing.

Our advice on writing a report:

• A tutor might have a specific request as to your title page. Ask him.

3. How to Write a Report. Acknowledgments


General guidelines:

Good report writing includes a page of gratitude to those who helped the writer in his
process: his supervisor, teachers/professors, librarians, family, etc.

Our advice on writing a report:

• Make them look sincere. Don’t just say, “Thank you…” and give the list of
names, but refer to each one separately and thank him/her for something specific.

4. How to Write a Report. The Summary Abstract


General guidelines:

The Abstract communicates the scope of your paper and the topics discussed to your
reader, and, in doing so, it facilitates research. When doing a summary of your report
writing, go over the main parts of it (Introduction, Body, etc.), and summarize each of
them in one sentence.

Our advice on writing a report:

• It’s better to write Summary Abstract last. By this time you will know the content
of you report, and will be able to outline its most important features.

• To make a good outline, ask yourself, why would another researcher be interested
in this research, or what should a reader be sure to know about the research?

5. How to Write a Report. The Table of Contents


General guidelines:
The table of contents is a reflection of report writing structure. Sections and subsections
should be numbered and titled in such a way as to help the reader find his way through
your report.
- list all headings and subheadings (excluding the title page, table of contents, and other
preliminary matter), giving page numbers for the first page of each section;
- reproduce the headings and numbering exactly from the body of the report;
- include the full titles of the appendices.

Our advice on writing a report:

• Make a draft table first. It will help you to organize your materials and thoughts.
Remember that it can be altered during the process of writing.

• Dot leaders from the heading to its page number make navigation around the
Table of Contents easier for you and your readers

6. How to Write a Report. The List of Figures, Tables,


Illustrations
General guidelines:

The figures/tables/illustrations should be numbered in order with the chapter number and
the figure/table/illustration number within that chapter. When there are six or more
figures, tables and illustrations, they are listed on a separate page with their
corresponding page numbers in the text. If only a few exist, then they are included in the
table of contents’ page.

Our advice on writing reports:

• In some report writings a correct sequence is essential: 1) list of figures, 2) list of


tables, 3) list of illustrations. Don’t make a page break between them.

7. How to Write a Report. The Executive Summary


General guidelines:

This part of report writing is usually no more than one page in length, and includes:

- the purpose of the report


- background to the report
- sources of information
- main findings
- conclusions and recommendations.

Our advice on writing a report:


• While abstracts are brief summaries that address a technical audience, executive
summaries represent report writing in such a way that it could stand on its own
and would make sense to a non-technical audience.

8. How to Write a Report. The Introduction


General guidelines:

The Introduction should be a brief but thorough discussion of the context of the problem.
A typical introduction is about 1½ to 2 pages long. It includes:
- purpose or objective of writing the report;
- background information (for example a brief history of the organization, context of
topic or problem);
- literature review (what researches have already been made in this field)
- scope, that is, the size or extent of study, amount of data collected, time frames, focus of
data collection or discussion (for example, a department or whole organization);
- methodology, that is, the kind of data used (for example, who was interviewed, what
type of material was referred to);
- assumptions and limitations, (for example, given the above material, any assumptions
that were made and any limitations placed on the material included in the report);
- plan that briefly overviews the argument, framework or logical structure of report
writing.

Our advice on writing a report:

• Don’t begin your Introduction with a sentence that is either too broad, or too
narrow. Be specific.

• If you include illustrations into your introduction, you will help the readers get a
better understanding of the context.

• Before writing about the purpose, make sure you understand it clearly. If you
don’t, your reader won’t, either.

• When giving literature review, try to make comparisons. Introduce two different
opinions on one topic, and out of them make your own point of view/conclusion.

9. How to Write a Report. The Body


General guidelines:

The Body of the report writing is the main part that includes all the facts and materials
essential for the understanding of the problem. It usually has three sections:
- Theories, models, and hypotheses. This section is optional. By giving it, you introduce
the theoretical basis for your project;
- Materials and methods. This is a part where you describe (and illustrate) the materials
used, and give a step-by-step report on how you were completing your task;
- Results. This section summarizes your efforts and gives information about what you
discovered, invented, or confirmed through your research.

Our advice on writing a report:

• If you made a mistake during any of your steps, write about it, too. It will show
the depth of your research, for you had to correct it.

• Results have to be presented in a straightforward way.

• Tables and illustrations are the best way to demonstrate your materials and
results. By providing them, you secure your reader’s understanding of a problem.

• To make the parts of your Body paragraph fit together, give a short summary of
every sub-section, and provide a smooth transition from one part to another.

10. How to Write a Report. The Conclusion


General guidelines:

This is the last part of your report writing. Sum up the main points and refer to any
underlying theme. If any questions or issues remain unresolved, mention them in the
conclusion. Write in a brief, concise manner, for your readers are already familiar with
everything you talk about.

Our advice on writing a report:

• Don’t introduce any new information.

• Before writing a conclusion, make a draft of it. Go over your report writing, and
underline all the important information that has to be repeated. Your conclusion
has to stress the importance of the research.

• Make a smooth transition from the Body to the Conclusion.

11. How to Write a Report. Recommendations


General guidelines:

Give directions/propositions on how a problem you’ve investigated can be solved. List


them clearly, and rely on the materials that you used.

Our advice on writing a report:


• A numbered list is always a good idea. It gives quick access to your
recommendations, and doesn’t send your readers wandering around the section.

12. How to Write a Report. References


General guidelines:

List all the sources of information that you used during your report writing. Use an
alphabetical order.

Our advice on writing a report:

• To keep track of numerous sources, begin writing them down in the very
beginning of your report writing. There is nothing worse than going back and
desperately looking for information.

13. How to Write a Report. Appendices


General guidelines:

Include data tables, background calculations, specification lists for equipment used,
details of experimental configuration, and other information needed for completeness, but
which would bog down the discussion in the body of the report. Your Appendices must
each have a footer with numbered pages for that appendix.

Our advice on writing a report:

• Include in an appendix any supporting evidence, such as tables, which is not


possible to incorporate in the main body of the report.