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From Good to Great: Mastering English Composition Writing

Updated: Jan 24



William Wheeler's wisdom, "Good writing is clear thinking made visible," rings true even in the realm of primary school English compositions. Crafting an English composition is not merely about reaching a word count; it's about making each word count for the reader. This blog delves into the evolution of composition writing, showcasing how a student can progress from average to exceptional.



The Journey from Average to Exceptional Writing


1. The Initial Stage: Overcoming Repetition and Plot Gaps


Our journey begins with an early English composition from a P4 student. This piece, though earnest, suffered from repetitive phrases and lacked a cohesive storyline, with abrupt jumps and minimal emotional connection with the characters.


Key Flaws:

  • Overused phrases.

  • Disjointed plot progression.

  • Lack of emotional depth and character development.

  • Abrupt ending with little closure.



2. The Transitional Stage: Improvements and Persisting Challenges

Months later, the same student crafted an English composition about a mischievous act. Notable improvements were evident in the descriptive language and story setup.


  • Continuing Challenges:

    • Some plot holes remained unresolved.

    • Character motivations and actions were unclear.

    • The conclusion, though improved, still lacked depth and emotional resonance.



3. The Breakthrough: Crafting a Good Composition



Fast forward to a more recent piece, and we see a marked transformation. The student now adeptly sets the stage, uses the "Show, Not Tell" technique effectively, and builds suspense in the plot.


  • Highlights of Excellence:

    • Engaging and context-rich introduction.

    • Improved emotional connection through descriptive narration.

    • Cohesive and compelling storyline.

    • A satisfying conclusion that leaves the reader content.



Effective Strategies for Composition Mastery


  • Expanding Vocabulary: Encourage your child to replace simple adjectives with more vibrant ones. This not only broadens their vocabulary but also adds depth to their narratives.

  • Dynamic Sentence Starters: Guide them to start sentences in diverse ways to avoid monotony and spark interest.

  • Reverse Engineering: Analyze model compositions to understand good story structure and flow.

  • Spelling Notebook: Keep a log of spelling errors for regular revision and improvement.

  • Phrase Collection: Encourage your child to gather impressive phrases, categorizing them for easy access during writing sessions.


These strategies aren’t just about improving scores; they're about nurturing a love for language and storytelling. Witnessing a child’s growth from an average writer to a confident storyteller is one of the most rewarding experiences for a parent and educator.

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