PART 1 – WRITING AN ESSAY (also known as a discursive essay or composition)
The student must write 140-190 words.
There are basically 4 types of essay/composition.
1. Advantages/Disadvantages (Pros and cons).
2. Agree or disagree with the title (in a logical way!)
3. Giving opinions or suggestions about the title.
4. Writing about issues in modern society such as: health, pollution, internet, technology, ecology, men and women, economic crisis.
How to write a good discursive essay (composition)
Before you start
Read the question carefully. DO NOT write an irrelevant answer. ANSWER THE QUESTION!
- Plan your essay. Spend about 5 minutes on this. It will make your life easier
- Give your essay a title
- Control your time. Spend about 40 minutes
- You MUST write your essay in 140-190 words. Write 190 words, NOT 140!!
- A composition is usually more formal than an article, so present your work as a ‘scientific’, coherent argument
- Use formal language. DO NOT use contractions, colloquial expressions or a ‘chatty’ style
- Write at least 3 paragraphs with a clear introduction, contrast of arguments and a logical conclusion
- Make sure your argument is clear
- Use difficult grammar and more complex sentences
- Use conditional and passive sentences
- Don’t worry if you make small mistakes. You will get more points for using difficult grammar
- Give an opinion ONLY when appropriate
- Give your opinion at the end, NOT at the beginning
When you have finished
- Make sure you have expressed yourself clearly
- Check your writing for grammar mistakes
- Check your writing for spelling mistakes
Structuring your composition
Most people write about 10-12 words per line.
Mathematics! You have to write a total of 190 words, so you should write about 15 lines in total.
Here’s an example of how to set out your essay
|Introduction 3 lines
Paragraph 1 4 lines
Paragraph 2 4 lines
Here’s an example of some good expressions you could use in the 4 parts of the essay
|Introduction To begin with/ Firstly,
First of all I would like to consider…
The first thing (I would like to consider) to be considered is…
Nowadays, it seems that…/ In recent times…
Contrasting arguments Paragraph 1
On one hand, it could be said that…
Despite the fact that …/ In spite of…
Although it could be said that…
It is often thought that…
On the other hand, it could be argued that…
Although it appears that…
Apart from that…
What is more, …
It would seem, however, that…
To sum up,/ In conclusion,
Because of / As a result of this / Owing to / As a consequence of
Therefore, in my opinion,
On this basis, I can conclude that