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DIRECTED WRITING

5.1 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.

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.

5.2 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.

Sample essay and practice 1 Articles


General guidelines Articles are pieces of writing giving information, advice or suggestions to the readers. They are usually written for the school magazine or school newsletter. The tone and style are formal. An articles format Title can be taken from the rubric Writers name Just write By, and then followed by your name just below the title. 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 ....................

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.

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