What do you know about situational writing? Is it just about getting the format right? Ever wondered how you can score even better marks for this writing component?
To many students, the situational writing section is overshadowed by the essay writing section, which is longer and more ‘difficult’ to write. However, in the O Levels, the situational writing section actually carries the same weightage as your expository essay or narrative essay, at 30 marks each.
While students are not expected to write a lot for the situational writing portion, it means that you need to do more with fewer words. Your word choice and content becomes more important, as you can’t afford to waste time and words on unnecessary details or repetitions.
If situational writing is bogging down your English performance, let these tips guide you on how you can improve!
1. The golden rule: PAC
Have you actually listened in class if you don’t know this? Most English teachers use this acronym to remind students to keep three important things in mind: Purpose, audience, context!
These are the golden rules for tackling any situational writing question. It will determine the tone of voice you employ (how formal?) and what type of reasons you can give for your answer (what do they care about?).
You can almost always find the purpose and audience in the question itself. For the context, you may sometimes need to extrapolate a little bit and do some imagining.
2. Annotate the question requirements
In contrast to the essay questions which are usually just 1 or two sentences long, situational writing questions can be LONG. Many students make the mistake of zooming right in to the information that’s typed in bullet points, but that will cost you some marks if you miss out important information elsewhere in the question.
Apart from marking out the PAC of the question, make sure to annotate all the other question requirements you need to answer. Circle, underline, highlight!
3. Answer every requirement
Now that you’ve marked out all the question requirements, the next step is to ensure you answer every single one. A good way to help you keep track is to plan your response to each part even before you begin the actual writing. Simple bullet points or a mini mind-map will be sufficient for scaffolding your text.
As you write, it’s a good habit to tick off the points that you have covered. This will make it tons easier for you to keep track and confirm that you have fulfilled all the question requirements.
4. Add an insightful perspective
Examiners will be reading hundreds of student papers. Even if you answered every requirement, it may not be enough to stand out from the pack! To truly score a high mark for situational writing, you have to deliver an engaging and insightful personal voice that will blow the examiner’s socks off.
Often, this involves going a little more in-depth than what is asked in the question task. Always give reasons for your choices, but do so with reason and make sure not to go off-tangent!
The above are just some very brief pointers on how to write an effective situational writing piece – but if you are unsure of how exactly to execute any of them, don’t fret! When you join our English tuition, you can gain wisdom from our experienced Secondary English Tutors, who will go through all the techniques and tools you can use to excel in writing and other aspects of English. We also welcome primary school pupils to our PSLE English Tuition classes.
In addition, you will be able to receive detailed and targeted feedback on your work, which is something you won’t get just based on studying on your own! Make full use of this opportunity to learn from qualified and trusted tutors at Future Academy and give your English grades a power boost today!