In O’levels English Language Paper 1 (Singapore, Syllabus 1128), you will encounter The Situational Writing in Section B.
You will need to write 250–350 words on a given situation which will involve viewing a visual text. The weightage (30 marks) is the same as Section C: Essay. Candidates will need to write a text of 250–350 words based on a given situation which will involve viewing a visual text (e.g. an email, a letter, an article, a report or a speech) to suit the purpose, audience and context.
How to score?
You will be graded according to your content and language. To get the top band for Task Fulfilment, you must show a very good understanding and clear awareness of the PAC (Purpose, Audience and Context).
To get the top band for Language and Organization, your language must be accurate with hardly any errors in grammar, expression, spelling and punctuation. You must use a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures.
To really, really shine, stand head and shoulders above your peers, your script must demonstrate a high level of personal engagement and inject your personal voice. Most students are caught in the Average-Marks-Belt because they are unable to differentiate themselves due to a lack of character in their writing or they merely copy or re-hash the points given in the stimulus.
Remember, your ideas and facts must also be well-linked and sequenced, such that the information presented is very clear.
What are the types of situational writing?
- Formal Letter
- Informal Letter (for tips on informal email writing, check here)
- Article / Newsletter
1. Understand what are the requirements of the question.
The first thing you should do for situational writing is to analyse the prompt. A prompt is the brief passage of text (first few paragraphs) in the question paper and the visual stimulus that paints the scenario. Within the prompt, you should identify the PAC and apply the 5Ws brainstorm principle. Ask yourself, who am I writing as? This will help you to get into character (who are your writing as, are you a student leader giving a speech? You need to be mindful of your tone while elaborating on the important points in the prompt.
Identify the writer’s role – What is your role/character?
Format (e.g. formal letter, newsletter, article, proposal, speech, complaint letter, report)
P (What do you hope to accomplish through this speech/article/formal letter/proposal)?
A (Who are you writing to?)
C (What prompted you to write this letter?)
2) Always refer to the visual stimulus / text given
Pay attention to the details provided, annotate by applying the 5Ws and 1H principle.
3) Structure your proposal
A general rule of thumb, the situational writing (except speech and article) should be divided into 6 body paragraphs in the order of :
Para 1 : Intro:
You should explain what is your objective of writing this and why they are writing it. This will show that they understand the objective and purpose behind the situational writing question.
Para 2 : Point One
Para 3 : Point Two
Para 4 : Point Three
Para 5 : Counterargument + Rebuttal (if necessary)
Para 6 : Conclusion
-summary of the whole proposal
-a polite thank you for favourable consideration of your ideas
Keep in mind these language tips you write, for a well-rounded and watertight proposal.
> Write in present tense (predominantly) unless you are citing a past event
> Be persuasive, respectful and polite.
> Be clear and precise (describe with details your activity e.g. how you will be conducting the event)
>Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence and connectors to make your writing more fluent and coherent.
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