Good writing consists of three stages:
- Post-writing and proofreading
- Pre-writing: Brainstorm, cluster, organise ideas, think about expression and vocab, produce an outline (paragraph by paragraph detailed plan) – know the ending before you begin.
- Writing: Write the essay (new/better ideas and forms of expression emerge as you write – incorporate them). Focus on ideas, expression and structure.
- Post-writing and proofreading: Always revise your essay – for homework assignments, make time to edit your first draft and produce a second draft. Add, omit, change ideas. Change the order of ideas. Improve expression and sentence structure. Check spelling, punctuation and grammar. In exam conditions – re-read and improve where possible.
The best way to improve your writing is to keep writing. Also read a variety of material – fiction, biographies, sports journals, newspapers, etc – to gather inspiration for new ideas and good styles of writing.
When it comes to writing speeches, here are is a checklist that will help you during all three stages of the writing process:
Formalities of Speeches
- Opening address
- Choosing a side
- Overall defense or attack of the motion
- Include audience – you, we
- Appeal to the audience
- Final confirmation of truth of your chosen side
- Rhetorical Questions
- Triadic Phrasing (The Rule of Three), Listing
- Metaphors, Similes
- Hyperbole, Understatement
- Anecdote; Humour
Features of a Good Essay
- Attention grabbing intro
- Summarising, thought-provoking conc (no new ideas)
- Focus on the task in every paragraph
- Original, fresh ideas
- One distinct idea per paragraph (topic)
- Logical flow from one paragraph to the next
- Examples, evidence, facts, support for distinct idea (topic)
- First and last sentence of each paragraph – still on same topic
- Transitions between paragraphs where possible/appropriate
- Advanced level of expression and vocabulary, appropriate word choice
- Sentence structure – accurate and varied
- Punctuation – accurate
- Accurate spelling and grammar
Points 1 – 4 above will gain you marks under the heading of Purpose (30%); 5 – 8 under the heading of Coherence (30%); 9 – 12 under Language (30%); point 13 under Mechanics (10%).