One of the most common mistakes made by students in composition writing is writing out of point. That is a costly mistake. Students who write out of point usually do not realise that they have written out of point. They might even have felt confident that they had written and submitted a great piece of composition, only to be unpleasantly surprised when they receive the results. A piece of composition written out of point gets really low marks for Content.

Why do students write out of point in English composition?

This happens more for the current PSLE composition format. In the past, students were given 3 or 4 sequential pictures to write their composition. Writing out of point in that format is unusual because the plot and story line is clearly shown by the pictures.

However, in the current PSLE format, students are no longer guided by sequential pictures. They are given simply a topic and three pictures that are not in sequence and might not even be related. Students have to write their story based on the topic and at least one of the three pictures provided. Most students would choose one or two pictures for their composition.

The problem is, since they have to come up with the entire story plot without the help of sequential pictures, some of them get carried away in the process of writing and do not realise that they have gotten off track. They do not realise that their story plot has nothing to do with the topic given.

How not to write out of point in Primary School English Composition?

The big question many students and parents have is, how to make sure students’ compositions are not written out of point?

1. Keep the topic clearly in mind

Students who write out of point do so because they forget about the composition topic. Sometimes, they get too excited or are in such a hurry writing their story that they let the story progress without remembering the topic.

They can prevent this from happening by writing the topic clearly at the top of their writing paper. After writing each paragraph, stop. Look at the topic again and make sure the story is still on track.

2. Refer to the guiding questions provided

There are usually two to three questions or prompts provided in the question paper to help students think about the topic.

This is how the questions are usually phrased:

Example 1

Write a composition of at least 150 words about a frightening experience.

Consider the following points when planning your composition:

  • What was the frightening experience?
  • Why was it frightening?

Example 2

Write a composition of at least 150 words about a kind act.

Consider the following points when planning your composition:

  • What was the kind act?
  • Why was it a kind act?
  • What was the result of the kind act?

These prompts are provided to help students think about the topic. They are useful in helping students to write within the topic and not to get off track. Students should refer to these prompts and write their composition based on the prompts. That helps them to avoid writing out of point.

3. Link the story to the topic at important parts of the composition

We teach our students to link their composition back to the topic at various parts of their story, mainly the introduction, climax and conclusion.

For example, if the topic is about being honest, students can mention honesty in the introduction. During the climax, they can describe or mention the topic of honesty again. Likewise, in the conclusion, they should link their conclusion back to the topic and mention honesty before ending the story.

This is a useful step in helping our students not to write out of point in their composition.

4. Read through the entire composition after writing

Finally, after writing the entire composition, students should spend at least 3 minutes to read through it. Besides checking for grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes, they should also ask themselves whether their story is written according to the topic. This is common sense but many students do not read through their composition after writing, mostly due to a lack of time. As much as possible, students should try to allocate time to read through their composition before submission.


 

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Is your child’s composition written out of point? Has he or she lost precious marks for Content as a result of not writing according to the topic? Share with us in the comments!

Author: BIG IDEAZ

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