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7 Remember to Write!

 

After working on your listening comprehension and oral skills, we will now turn to writing.  Before you write one, let's look at some basics on how to write a good composition.

When you write a composition, take a while to consider the following points on how to write a good composition before you start


1. Choose the title

Choose a title that you feel you have something to say about. It’s easier to write about a topic that is somehow important to you.
 

2. Plan and brainstorm

Practically every topic can be approached from various perspectives. What is your point of view? What are the things you want to tell the reader? What would be relevant points to include in the text? When planning your text, you can make a mind map or a list - the main thing is to plan ahead. What are the aspects you will write about and in what order?

Photo: Flickr / London Permaculture

Photo: Flickr / Rob Enslin

 

3. Write

Start writing your composition. First, make a draft: don’t aim at writing a ready text at one go. When writing your text, pay attention to

  • the beginning: aim at catching the reader’s interest straight away. Never start your composition by answering the possible question in the title!
  • paragraphs: in a text of about 150-200 words you usually have 3-4 paragraphs. One starts the composition, one or two give grounds for your opinions and the last one closes the text.
  • closure: sum up your text or end it in some other interesting way - the main thing is that you end it instead of just stopping writing.

Make sure that your text is written in accordance with the instructions: the contents must follow the title, all the aspects named in the instructions are covered and the length is correct.


4. Check and double-check!

When you’ve written your text, it’s time to check it. First, read it through, aloud if possible: if you can read it aloud without hesitations, then it is fluent. Then choose a couple of grammar items you want to check: don’t try to check everything at once. Your check list might look like this:

  • sentence structure (subject - verb agreement, type of the sentence: statement, question, negative sentence)
  • tenses
  • word order
  • articles, prepositions 


Exercise 7.1

A composition

Write a composition of 150 - 200 words on one of the topics below:


1. My dream trip
What is your dream trip like? Is it a sunny beach holiday or an adventure in the jungle? Where would you like to go and why? What kinds of activities would you like to take up?

2. Lost
While strolling the streets of your new home city /town, you notice you’ve lost something that’s of great value to you. Or perhaps it was stolen? To get it back, write a notice to a local newspaper, describing the object, the place and the circumstances where you lost it. Offer a reward.

3. A village or a city?
Some people prefer to live in a small town, whereas others prefer to live in a big city. Which is your favourite and why? Consider the pros and cons of living in a city or a small village or town.

4. "Neighbours are the people who live near us."
In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good neighbour? Use specific details and examples in your answer.

4. With or without teachers?
Some people think that they can learn better by themselves than with a teacher. Others think that it is always better to have a teacher. Which do you prefer? State specific reasons to develop your composition.

5. When abroad...
An old saying goes “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, meaning that in a foreign country you should adapt to the rules of that country. What is your opinion on this? When abroad, do you need to adapt and follow the rules of that culture or should you stick to your own culture and the rules of it? Give your opinions and your grounds for them.


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