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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Foolproof Academic Writing Template


Hi Wani & Pok Chah... n all the rest out there if you are reading this, hope you're having a brilliant day! well upon special request, today i will be blogging about how to teach writing especially for the muet 350 word academic essay component of the writing paper (800/4). however, this template can be adopted or adapted to suit any academic writing class... i thin it's the perfect answer to teaching writing in the weak to average classes and it will also be good for the better students as a starting point efore you allow them to break free from the template and do their own thing.

to begin with, they need to learn to brainstorm in an organised manner. therefore, i always make them write notes using the template below:

Intro:
1. current situation -
2. agree/disagree because -

1st Point:
1. key point -
2. reason 1 -
3. reason 2 -
4. examples -

2nd Point:
1. key point -
2. reason 1 -
3. reason 2 -
4. examples -

3rd Point:
1. key point -
2. reason 1 -
3. reason 2 -
4. examples -

Conclusion
1. agree/disagree again because -
2. what can the govt do? -


You need to train them to think in various styles when coming up with the 3 crucial points:
eg.
1. Short term, Mid term and Long term (smoking: S=bad breath, M=wasting money, L=health problems like lung cancer)
2. Individual, Society and Govt (recycling: I=3Rs, S= community collection/fund raising, G=recycling campaigns)
3. Social, Economic & Political/Spiritual
4. ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS?


anyway, here comes the best part: the writing template that is foolproof! only completely illiterate morons cant do this!

ACADEMIC WRITING TEMPLATE
(Get students to brainstorm first then use the points to complete these phrases)

Title: _________________________________

INTRODUCTION
Nowadays,/In this era of ...
In my opinion, I strongly agree/disagree that...
In this essay, I will discuss three solid strategies for _____ which include
____________________, _____________________ and _________________.

1ST POINT
Firstly,/First and foremost,...
This is because...
Moreover,...
For example,... and so on.
Therefore,...

2ND POINT
Secondly,...
This means that...
Furthermore,...
For instance,... and many more.
Thus,...

3RD POINT
Finally,/Last but not least,...
This is due to the fact that...
In addition,...
Take for example,... and others.
Hence,...

CONCLUSION
In a nutshell, the three strategies I have suggested are _______________, ______________ and _______________.
In my opinion, I still agree/disagree that...
The government can...

Basically, it wont take just one lesson to teach writing as this is a skill that is tedious but not impossible to learn. i'm sure you'll agree with me that if you break it down into manageable proportions, the students will be less intimidated, feel a sense of achievement and the lessons will not be too insurmountable/heavy/boring for them. Like i mentioned in a previous blog, the hardest part is to oil their critical thinking skills, that is if they even have any to begin with! hahahahahhah! ;-0

Anyway, here is a sample essay:

Question 2:
Since achieving independence in 1957, Malaysia has been known for its peaceful and multiracial society. What can be done to further enhance national unity and solidarity among the various races? Elaborate and give relevant examples in more than 350 words.

Nowadays, Malaysia is considered a leading tourist destination because we are famour for our multiracial society living together in peace and harmony. In my opinion, I strongly agree that national unity can be enhanced to strengthen solidarity among all the various race in this country. In this essay, I will discuss three solid strategies for enhancing national unity which include every individual's role in being more patriotic, be respectful of each different culture and mould a racially tolerant future generation.

First and foremost, every individual can play a part in enhancing national by being more patriotic. This is because when we are patrotic we will appreciate being a Malaysian citizen who has the right to live a peaceful and war-free life. Moreover, having high patriotism will ensure that we really love our country and we will not do anything to harm the peach and harmony. For example, every one of us can respect the 'Negaraku' song and 'Rukunegara', fly our national flag during idependence Day and so on. Therefore, if everyone plays their part and becomes more patriotic, this will easily enhance the spirit of national unity.

Secondly, as a loyal Malaysian, we should always be respectful of each and every culture found in this country. This means that respecting the main races like Malays, Chinese and Indians as well as the indigenous races will ensure that we will continue to live side by side in harmony. Furthermore, every race tat makes up the Malaysian society is unique and should be cherished for its special traditions. For instance, we should visit one another during the 'Open House' or wedding celebrations, religious festivals and many more. Thus by respecting the uniqueness of every culture, this helps us promote racial solidarity and enhance national unity.

Last but not least, it is every individual's responsibility to mould the future generation to be more patriotic. This is due to the fact that by educating our own children to be good and toelrant citizens, this will help us maintain our peaceful situation long into the future. In addition, children who are taught to be respectful of other cultures will learn to be more grateful for the peace and harmony our country enjoys compared to places like Gaza where they are now suffering the effects of war. Take for example, we can send our children to 'Sekolah Wawasan' or 'Vision Schools' where they can mix with all races, join multiracial community activities and others. Hence, by educating the young on patriotism, we are ensuring that national unity will continue to exist in the future.

In a nutshell, the three strategies I have suggested are to be more patriotic and respectful of each unique culture as well as to teach our children about patriotism. In my opinion, I still strongly agree that national unity can be enhanced if we all play an active role. I hope that our government can highlight this issue in the media by organising more patriotic campaigns so that we can produce a united society that can contribute productively to the achievement of Vision 2020.

Ok... so what do you think? Workable? Pls give me some feedback on this... ;-) happy writing or more specifically, happy teaching writing! Cheers for now! ;-)


37 comments:

  1. hi audrey. sorry, it took me a long time to arrive here. I think your template is great. But, for very poor students, they can only memorise the structures. When it comes to the ideas, they are just lost. Haha...Lack of vocab and reading are major problems these kids are facing. It helps with the average and good students. What do you suggest for the super weak students?

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  2. my muet is 2morrow and i find your template helpful. wish me luck 4 2morrow~! ^_^

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  3. hey...i need your help to check my essay cos im not quite happy with my current marks. can you help me? if you agree to, i will email u my essay.

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  4. hi, can you help me with this question?
    wht should explain about it?

    question:
    The rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products. How will this effect the society? Give your opinion. you should write at least 350 words.

    For ur information, I will take first batch for muet session 2010. Help me to work it out :(

    *If u dont mind reply me on my facebook.
    my name is ward chen chen on that.

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  5. Thanks for your replies and comments. Sorry I haven't checked this site for some time.

    Betty: I'll try to develop a writing strategy for your super weak students, please give me some time and I'll get back to you.

    Tan Joey: really sorry i didnt see this post earlier. please email me the essay, i'll check it no prob. queendrey@gmail.com

    ward, i'll write the essay out for you and post it here soon. will also try to add you to my facebook.

    Cheers everyone.

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  6. Hey there Audrey , THANX A LOT for your Template n other Strategies that u hv share with us ...it has been very helpful for me ..but i hv to say this , itz quite hard to find ur blog among the clumps of other blogs..so i suggest u do some promoting or SEO around the Net..anyway cheers! love ya for what ur doing here..

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  7. Tarun.. that's cool. i'm happy you've found this site useful. i've not been actively promoting this site as i figure if people look hard enough, they will stumble upon it. plus i'm no techie, so i hv no clue how to increase my blog's visibility. hehe.. suffice to say if u n the rest spread the word, i'm sure my words will help more ppl along. ;-) cheers!

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  8. BM Student:can u give me some tips to make my essay much better?

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  9. Hello Madam Audrey! My MUET examination is less than a week away. Thank God I told myself to make some study and I think its not too late for me. And also I am glad I've found your blog before its already too late. This really2 helps me a lot because seriously I didnt know the real format for MUET paper. Gosh, I dont know what will happen if I didnt do some homework for this. Just stopping by to say countless thanks to you madam. Pray for me please :)

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  10. my pleasure to help Ifti.. :P keep posted to my blog. g'luck!

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  11. Hi ! I read through this essay, and I found out that is it okay if all the main ideas are basically from individual role?

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  12. hye. here is my prob. '...Do you agree with the statement? State your opinion in not less than 350 words.' I think this is argumentative type, but the statement 'state your opinion' make me little bit confusing. Can i choose to write the essay using either argumentative or discussive format? I am really confusing these few days, Help me please :(

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  13. whatever style u like, argumentative or discursive, it doesnt matter. u will be marked on 30 percent task fulfilment (means how logical, critical and mature your ideas are) and 30 marks for language and organisation. so just try your best n dont worry abt categorising the styles because at the end of the day, an examiner can tell a good writer from a weak one.

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  14. Madam Audrey!thank you so much!

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  15. hi audrey. i really impressed with your blog. i really need your help. can u please provide me how to start esay with good introduction and how to use bombastic words.... i will sit for muet on this saturday so pls reply me....

    *if u dont mind massage me in my facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/hanis.aliah1993

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  16. thank you ms audrey for a very helpful tips u have here.
    thank you very much

    am going to sit for my muet on this coming saturday.

    wish me luck

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  17. thanks a lot. this tips is very useful for me.

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  18. Thanks a million! Your blog is so informative, it helped me a lot.

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  19. Good stuff here, Audrey :) Keep it up!

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  21. wow, simple yet effective! can this template helps to get band 4 or 5?

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    1. if u hv flawless grammar then sure you can.. but bands 5 n 6 needs better elaboration, examples and ease of use of the language with strong command of vocab. :P keep pushing. :P

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  22. miss, is every year, the format for MUET is stay like this? jus asking.. :)

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  23. Hi,audrey .my muet exam is at next month.my grammar is very bad.what can I do to solve this problem?

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  24. Hi,audrey.....i'm retaking muet for tis march paper 2013......do u have any topic that might come out for writing ????

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  25. I'm taking MUET on a private basis. And my university needs at least a band 5. Of course, i aint that week in English, but the thought of no band 6 for few sessions shatters me. What do u think i should start working on now since the exam is on 9/3? Thanx Madam Audrey :) Ur help is vey much appreciated.

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    2. hii Fathin. i also need to take MUET and have to get band 5. Did you already achieve it? Do contact me in happyrainbowday@gmail.com

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  26. That's great! but if possible, please reduce the syntax error...it quite confusing to who is reading to it..=D

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  27. my muet is tomorrow. I found it REALLY USEFULL. A BIG THANKS ;)

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  28. Hi Audrey... i'm taking some of yr points/essays/tips for my students eh..he..he..:)tqvm... azleen

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  29. By the way, yr academic writing template is superb....! and i agree with u.. 'only completely illiterate morons can't do this..' ha..ha..:) - azleen

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  30. Hi Madam Audrey,here i have one little question.

    From the test above, you've stated that we may write 3 points in the essay, and this will be just enough.
    I'm confused that if my points are not strong or my elaborations are not good enough,can i write in 4 points form to amend it? What's your opinion? Do you recommend us to do like this?

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  31. Thank you very much cikgu :)

    I'm a follow educator, teaching MUET and your blog impresses me to no end! I'm now an avid follower of your blog and with your kind permission and blessings, I have used quite a number of your items here in the classroom and on the noticeboard. thank you very much, blessed be!

    ~ cikgu MUET

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  32. Hey! Actually, i was thinking could muet writing question be asked repeatedly from last several years?

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  33. Thank you so much this really help weak student like me in writing essays... writing is easier for me now and i become more confident in pass in muet at least band 3...wish u happy always...

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  34. Thank you so much for giving this helpful information.

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