Writing to inform, explain and describe
The longer writing task
This writing task is 45 minutes, including planning time. Your response to the writing task is expected to be fairly detailed and wide-ranging. In the writing task, you will be expected to be able to show how you shape individual sentences and then organise them into a whole text, and how you choose to use and link paragraphs within an overall structure. You will be marked on spelling and punctuation. You will need to use various linguistic devices and choose interesting language.
The planning Make time to annotate the question. 5 minutes planning.
Giving the best responses
For the best chance of getting high marks it is important that you: do exactly what you are asked. For example, if you are asked to write a speech, you will get no marks for writing a letter answer the question that is asked. Make sure that you include material that answers the question. For example, the question will never ask you to include pictures, so do not waste your time drawing them respond to all the prompts. (such as bullet points), if any are given complete the task in the time allowed. Plan your time carefully.
Express yourself well Here are a few tips for writing good responses:
Take your time to plan your response. Read each task carefully, make notes and plan what you are going to write. Before you start writing, check that your plan responds to the actual task and that you are not going to write about things which are not relevant. Use as many skills that you have learned and that are appropriate to the question as you can, for example in your choice of persuasive or descriptive language. Watch your spelling and punctuation. Make sure that what you have written makes sense. If you realise it doesn’t, change it. If you cannot understand what you have written, it is unlikely that the examiner will! Try to leave a few minutes at the end to check your response carefully. Think about your handwriting, even if you are in a hurry. After all, you cannot score marks if the marker cannot read what you have written.
Writing to inform Some information texts: Railway timetable
Guide books Recipes Reviews Letters Brochures Posters (missing person)
Features of informative writing:
Audience (degree of formality) Purpose (what is the writer trying to achieve) Clear, easy to follow layout of text Use of headings and sub-headings Organisation of paragraphs Use of topic sentences to introduce a paragraph Use of cohesive words, which link sentences and ideas.
Writing to explain Some examples of explanatory writing: Text books
Manuals Newspaper articles Letter Magazines
Features of explanatory writing:
Clearly organised into paragraphs. Complex as well as simple sentences are used. Connectives such as ‘before’, ‘next’ and ‘once’ show the chronological order in which things happen. Connectives such as ‘because’, ‘since’, ‘owing to’ and ‘as a result of’ show cause and effect. The passive emphasises things and actions rather than people. Words such as ‘may’, ‘seem to’ and ‘apparently’ show when something is not proven. Explanatory writing can be in: - the first person, (I), if you are explaining something you did or experienced - the second person, (you), if you are explaining how to do something - the third person, (he, she, it), when you are explaining something outside your own experience.
Writing to describe Some examples of descriptive writing:
Advertisements Autobiography Biography Fiction Poetry Letters
Features of descriptive writing:
Can be subjective or objective viewpoint Thorough detail Five senses Adjectives and adverbs Imagery Entertaining – humour Variety of short and long sentences
Advice to a new School Council representative
The school year is almost over and your term of office as a Year 9 representative on the School Council is almost over. The notice below, calling for the new form representatives, has been posted on the class noticeboard. Newton Community High School Elections to the School Council These elections will be held at the end of next week. If you would like to be your form’s representative on the School Council next year, you should give your name to your form tutor. Your tutor will explain the election process to you this week. Form representatives should be prepared to: listen to the views and ideas of members of their form attend all meetings of the School Council take part in decision making report decisions back to their form represent the school at functions such as parents’ evenings.
You have been asked to write a briefing note for pupils who are considering
standing for election to the School Council for next year. These pupils, who have not been on a School council before, need to know what their duties will involve. You could also give some advice about the pleasures and pressures of the post. Write the briefing note for Year 9 representatives on the School Council. It should be about words long. Remember to: write in a style which is appropriate to secondary school pupils bring your advice to life with examples of what you have had to do use the frame to help you organise your ideas.
Over to you! Read and annotate the question in your pack.
Plan your answer. Write the answer to the question. Try to include the features highlighted this lesson.
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