How to Write Articles and Essays Quickly and Expertly
By Stephen Downes
Sept 13, 2006
Introduction: Four Types of Discursive Writing
From time to time people express amazement at how I can get so much done. I, of course, aware of the many hours I have idled away doing nothing, demur. It feels like nothing special; I don't work harder, really, than most people. Nonetheless, these people do have a point. I am, in fact, a fairly prolific writer.
Part of it is tenacity. For example, I am writing this item as I wait for the internet to start working again in the Joburg airport departures area. But part of it is a simple strategy for writing your essays and articles quickly and expertly, a strategy that allows you to plan your entire essay as you write it, and thus to allow you to make your first draft your final draft. This article describes that strategy.
Begin by writing - in your head, at least - your second paragraph (that would be the one you just read, above). Your second paragraph will tell people what your essay says. Some people write abstracts or executive summaries in order to accomplish this task. But you don't need to do this. You are stating your entire essay or article in one paragraph. If you were writing a news article, you would call this paragraph the 'lede'. A person could read just the one paragraph and know what you had to say.
But how do you write this paragraph? Reporters will tell you that writing the lede is the hardest part of writing an article. Because if you don't know what the story is, you cannot write it in a single paragraph. A reporter will sift through the different ways of writing the story - the different angles - and find a way to tell it. You, because you are writing an article or essay, have more options.
You have more options because there are four types of discursive writing. Each of these types has a distinct and easy structure, and once you know what sort of writing you are doing, the rest of the article almost writes itself. The four types of structure are: argument, explanation, definition, and description. So, as you think about writing your first paragraph, ask yourself, what sort of article are you writing. In this article, for example, I am writing a descriptive article.
These are your choices of types of article or essay:
Argument: convinces someone of something
Explanation: tells why something happened instead of something else
Definition: states what a word or concept means
Description: identifies properties or qualities of things
An argument is a collection of sentences (known formally as 'propositions') intended to convince the reader that something is he case. Perhaps you want to convince people to take some action, to buy some product, to vote a certain way, or to believe a certain thing. The thing that you want to convince them to believe is the conclusion. In order to convince people, you need to offer one or more reasons. Those are the premises. So one type of article consists of premises leading to a conclusion, and that is how you would structure your first paragraph.
An explanation tells the reader why something is the case. It looks at some event or phenomenon, and shows the reader what sort of things led up to that event or phenomenon, what caused it to happen, why it came to be this way instead of some other way. An explanation, therefore, consists of three parts. First, you need to identify the thing being explained. Then, you need to identify the things that could have happened instead. And finally, you need to describe the conditions and principles that led to the one thing, and not the other, being the case. And so, if you are explaining something, this is how you would write your first paragraph.
A definition identifies the meaning of some word, phrase or concept. There are different ways to define something. You can define something using words and concepts you already know. Or you can define something by giving a name to something you can point to or describe. Or you can define something indirectly, by giving examples of telling stories. A definition always involves two parts: the word or concept being defined, and the set of sentences (or 'propositions') that do the defining. Whatever way you decide, this will be the structure of your article if you intend to define something.
Finally, a description provides information about some object, person, or state of affairs. It will consist of a series of related sentences. The sentences will each identify the object being defined, and then ascribe some property to that object. "The ball is red," for example, were the ball is the object and 'red' is the property. Descriptions may be of 'unary properties' - like colour, shape, taste, and the like, or it may describe a relation between the object and one or more other objects.
Organizing Your Writing
The set of sentences, meanwhile, will be organized on one of a few common ways. The sentences might be in chronological order. "This happened, and then this happened," and so on. Or they may enumerate a set of properties ('appearance', 'sound', 'taste', 'small', 'feeling about', and the like). Or they may be elements of a list ("nine rules for good technology," say, or "ten things you should learn"). Or, like the reporters, you may cover the five W's: who, what, where, when, why. Or the steps required to write an essay.
When you elect to write an essay or article, then, you are going to write one of these types of writing. If you cannot decide which type, then your purpose isn't clear. Think about it, and make the choice, before continuing. Then you will know the major parts of the article - the premises, say, or the parts of the definition. Again, if you don't know these, your purpose isn't clear. Know what you want to say (in two or three sentences) before you decide to write.
You may a this point be wondering what happened to the first paragraph. You are, after all, beginning with the second paragraph. The first paragraph is used to 'animate' your essay or article, to give it life and meaning and context. In my own writing, my animation is often a short story about myself showing how the topic is important to me. Animating paragraphs may express feelings - joy, happiness, sadness, or whatever. They may consist of short stories or examples of what you are trying to describe (this is very common in news articles). Animation may be placed into your essay at any point. But is generally most effective when introducing a topic, or when concluding a topic.
For example, I have now concluded the first paragraph of my essay, and then expanded on it, thus ending the first major part of my essay. So now I could offer an example here, to illustrate my point in practice, and to give the reader a chance to reflect, and a way to experience some empathy, before proceeding. This is also a good place to offer a picture, diagram, illustration or chart of what you are trying to say in words.
Like this: the second paragraph sill consist of a set of statements. Here is what each of the four types look like:
Premise 2 ... (and more, if needed)
Thing being explained
Thing being defined
Thing being described
Descriptive sentence (and more, connected to the rest, as needed)
So now the example should have made the concept clearer. You should easily see that your second paragraph will consist of two or more distinct sentences, depending on what you are trying to say. Now, all you need to do is to write the sentences. But also, you need to tell your reader which sentence is which. In an argument, for example, you need to clearly indicate to the reader which sentence is your conclusion and which sentences are your premises.
All four types of writing have their own indicator words. Let's look at each of the four types in more detail, and show (with examples, to animate!) the indicator words.
As stated above, an argument will consist of a conclusion and some premises. The conclusion is the most important sentence, and so will typically be stated first. For example, "Blue is better than red." Then a premise indicator will be used, to tell the reader that what follows is a series of premises. Words like 'because' and 'since' are common premise indicators (there are more; you may want to make a list). So your first paragraph might look like this: "Blue is better than red, because blue is darker than red, and all colours that are darker are better."
Sometimes, when the premises need to be stressed before the conclusion will be believed, the author will put the conclusion at the end of the paragraph. To do this, the author uses a conclusion indicator. Words like 'so' and 'therefore' and 'hence' are common conclusion indicators. Thus, for example, the paragraph might read: "Blue is darker than red, and all colours that are darker are better, so blue is better than red."
You should notice that indicator words like this help you understand someone else's writing more easily as well. Being able to spot the premises and the conclusion helps you spot the structure of their article or essay. Seeing the conclusion indicator, for example, tells you that you are looking at an argument, and helps you spot the conclusion. It is good practice to try spotting arguments in other writing, and to create arguments of your own, in our own writing.
Arguments can also be identified by their form. There are different types of argument, which follow standard patterns of reasoning. These patterns of reasoning are indicated by the words being used. Here is a quick guide to the types of arguments:
Inductive argument: the premise consists of a 'sample', such as a series of experiences, or experimental results, or polls. Watch for words describing these sorts of observation. The conclusion will be inferred as a generalization from these premises. Watch for words that indicate a statistical generalization, such as 'most', 'generally, 'usually', 'seventy percent', 'nine out of ten'. Also, watch for words that indicate a universal generalization, such as 'always' and 'all'.
A special case of the inductive argument is the causal generalization. If you want someone to believe that one thing causes another, then you need to show that there are many cases where the one thing was followed by the other, and also to show that when the one thing didn't happen, then the other didn't either. This establishes a 'correlation'. The argument becomes a causal argument when you appeal to some general principle or law of nature to explain the correlation. Notice how, in this case, an explanation forms one of the premises of the argument.
Deductive argument: the premises consist of propositions, and the conclusion consists of some logical manipulation of the premises. A categorical argument, for example, consists of reasoning about sets of things, so watch for words like 'all', 'some' and 'none'. Many times, these words are implicit; they are not started, but they are implied. When I said "Blue is better than red" above, for example, I meant that "blue is always better than red," and that's how you would have understood it.
Another type of deductive argument is a propositional argument. Propositional arguments are manipulations of sentences using the words 'or', 'if', and 'and'. For example, if I said "Either red is best or blue is best, and red is not best, so blue is best," then I have employed a propositional argument.
It is useful to learn the basic argument forms, so you can very clearly indicate which type of argument you are providing. This will make your writing clearer to the reader, and will help them evaluate your writing. And in addition, this will make easier for you to write your article.
See how the previous paragraph is constructed, for example. I have stated a conclusion, then a premise indicator, and then a series of premises. It was very easy to writing the paragraph; I didn't even need to think about it. I just wrote something I thought was true, then provided a list of the reasons I thought it was true. How hard is that?
In a similar manner, an explanation will also use indicator words. In fact, the indicator words used by explanations are very similar to those that are used by arguments. For example, I might explain by saying "The grass is green because it rained yesterday." I am explaining why the grass is green. I am using the word 'because' as an indicator. And my explanation is offered following the word 'because'.
People often confuse arguments and explanations, because they use similar indicator words. So when you are writing, you can make your point clearer by using words that will generally be unique to explanations.
In general, explanations are answers to 'why' questions. They consider why something happened 'instead of' something else. And usually, they will say that something was 'caused' by something else. So when offering an explanation, use these words as indicators. For example: "It rained yesterday. That's why the grass is green, instead of brown."
Almost all explanations are causal explanations, but in some cases (especially when describing complex states and events) you will also appeal to a statistical explanation. In essence, in a statistical explanation, you are saying, "it had to happen sometime, so that's why it happened now, but there's no reason, other than probability, why it happened this time instead o last time or next time." When people see somebody who was killed by lightening, and they say, "His number was just up," they are offering a statistical explanation.
Definitionsare trickier, because there are various types of definition. I will consider three types of definition: ostensive, lexical, and implicit.
An 'ostensive' definition is an act of naming by pointing. You point to a dog and you say, "That's a dog." Do this enough times, and you have defined the concept of a dog. It's harder to point in text. But in text, a description amounts to the same thing as pointing. "The legs are shorter than the tail. The colour is brown, and the body is very long. That's what I mean by a 'wiener dog'." As you may have noticed, the description is followed by the indicator words "that's what I mean by". This makes it clear to the reader that you are defining by ostension.
A 'lexical' definition is a definition one word or concept in terms of some other word or concept. Usually this is describes as providing the 'necessary and sufficient conditions' for being something. Another way of saying the same thing is to say that when you are defining a thing, you are saying that 'all and only' these things are the thing being defined. Yet another way of saying the same thing is to say that the thing belongs to such and such a category (all dogs are animals, or, a dog is necessarily an animal) and are distinguished from other members in such and such a way (only dogs pant, or, saying a thing is panting is sufficient to show that it is a dog).
That may seem complicated, but the result is that a lexical definition has a very simply and easy to write form: A (thing being defined) is a type of (category) which is (distinguishing feature). For example, "A dog is an animal that pants."
This sentence may look just like a description, so it is useful to indicate to the reader that you are defining the term 'dog', and not describing a dog. For example, "A 'dog' is defined as 'an animal that pants'." Notice how this is clearly a definition, and could not be confused as a mere description.
The third type of definition is an implicit definition. This occurs when you don't point to things, and don't place the thing being defined into categories, but rather, list instances of the thing being defined. For example, "Civilization is when people are polite to each other. When people can trust the other person. When there is order in the streets." And so on. Or: "You know what I mean. Japan is civilized. Singapore is civilized. Canada is civilized." Here we haven't listed necessary and sufficient conditions, but rather, offered enough of a description as to allow people to recognize instances of 'civilization' by their resemblance to the things being described.
Finally, the description employs the 'subject predicate object' form that you learned in school. The 'subject' is the thing being described. The 'predicate' is something that is true of the subject - some action it is undertaking, or, if the predicate is 'is', some property that it possesses. And the 'object' may be some other entity that forms a part of the description.
As mentioned, the sentences that form a description are related to each other. This relation is made explicit with a set of indicator words. For example, if the relation is chronological, the words might be 'first'... 'and then'... 'and finally'...! Or, 'yesterday'... 'then today'... 'and tomorrow'...
In this essay, the method employed was to identify a list of things - argument, explanation, definition, and description - and then to use each of these terms in the sequence. For example, "An argument will consist of a ..." Notice that I actually went through this list twice, first describing the parts of each of the four items, and then describing the indicator words used for each of the four items. Also, when I went through the list the second time, I offered for each type of sentence a subdivision. For example, I identified inductive and deductive arguments.
So, now, here is the full set of types of things I have described (with indicator words in brackets):
Argument (premise: 'since', 'because'; conclusion: 'therefore', 'so')
Categorical ('all', 'only', 'no', 'none', 'some')
Propositional ('if', 'or', 'and')
Generalization ('sample', 'poll', 'observation')
Statistical ('most', 'generally, 'usually', 'seventy percent', 'nine out of ten')
Universal ('always' and 'all')
Explanation ('why', 'instead of')
Statistical ('percent', 'probability')
Definition ('is a', 'is defined as')
Ostensive ( 'That's what I mean by...' )
Lexical ('All', 'Only', 'is a type of', 'is necessarily')
Implicit ('is a', 'for example')
Chronology ('yesterday', 'today')
Sensations ('seems', 'feels', 'appears', etc.,)
List ('first', 'second', etc.)
5 W's ('who', 'what', 'where', 'when', 'why')
As you have seen in this article, each successive iteration (which has been followed by one of my tables) has been more and more detailed. You might ask how this is so, if there are only four types of article or essay.
The point is, each sentence in one type of thing might be a whole set of sentence of another type of thing. This is most clearly illustrated by looking at an argument.
An argument is a conclusion and some premises. Like this:
Statement 1, and
But each premise might in turn be the conclusion of another argument. Like this:
Statement 4, and
Which gives us a complex argument:
Statement 4, and
Thus, Statement 1
Thus Statement 3
But this can be done with all four types of paragraph. For example, consider this:
Statement 1 (which is actually a definition, with several parts)
Statement 2 (which is actually a description)
So, when you write your essay, you pick the main thing you want to say. For example:
Statement 1, and
Statement 4 (thing being defined)
Statement 5 (properties)
Statement 1 (actual definition)
Statement 5 (first statement of description)
Statement 6 (second statement of description)
Statement 2 (summary of description)
As you can see, each simple element of an essay - premise, for example - can become a complex part of an essay - the premise could be the conclusion of an argument, for example.
And so, when you write your essay, you just go deeper and deeper into the structure.
And you may ask: where does it stop?
For me, it stops with descriptions - something I've seen or experienced, or a reference to a study or a paper. To someone else, it all reduces to definitions and axioms. For someone else, it might never stop.
But you rarely get to the bottom. You simply go on until you've said enough. In essence, you give up, and hope the reader can continue the rest of the way on his or her own.
And just so with this paper. I would now look at each one of each type of argument and explanation, for example, and identify more types, or describe features that make some good and some bad, or add many more examples and animations.
But my time is up, I need to board my flight, so I'll stop here.
Nothing fancy at the end. Just a reminder, that this is how you can write great articles and essays, first draft, every time. Off the top of your head.
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SECTION B: CONTINUOUS WRITING: 50 MARKS
CONTINOUS: ARTICLE: Description on a Person
A Prominent Malaysian Leader
As the fourth and most dynamic Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad will indelible impression on the sands of Malaysia for many years to come. He held the post for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, making him Malaysia's longest-serving Prime Minister, and one of the longest-serving leaders in Asia.
Born on 20th December, 1925 in Alor Setar, Dr. Mahathir is the son of a teacher. He is the youngest of nine children of a school teacher and a housewife. His father, Mohamad Iskandar, was of Indian descent, being the son of a Muslim and a Malay mother, while Mahathir's own mother, Datin Wan Tempawan Wan Hanafi, was Malay.He is married to Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali, they have seven children, four sons and three daughters. From an early age, Tun Mahathir had the importance of education drummed into him by his father, who was also a strict disciplinarian.
After his early education at the Maktab Sultan Abdul Hamid in Alor Setar, he enrolled at the King Edward VII College of Medicine in the University of Singapore. Armed with a MBBS degree in medicine, he set up his own clinic, the Maha Clinic in Alor Setar. As a doctor, Tun Mahathir came into close contact with people from variety of social strata and enjoyed a close rapport with them. He understood their problems. Thus, when he was thrust into the politic limelight, he strove to fulfil the needs of the people.
He was first catapulted into the world of politics when he became the Member of Parliement for Alor Setar in 1964. After holding a number of portfolios, including Minister of Education, Minister of Trade and Industry and Deputy Prime Minister, he finally became the Prime Minister on 16th July, 1981. The country flourished with Dr. Mahathir at the helm of the government. His contributions to the nation are so immense and par excellence. He has left his mark in every aspect – in politics, economy or education.
Realizing that government-owned enterprises are neither efficient nor profitable, he initiated the privation policy in 1983. This had immediate effect of cutting down bureaucratic ineptitude and operational cost while at the same time generating more revenue.
With collapse of the prices of agricultural commodities in the eighties, Tun Mahathir decided that it was time to shift the nation’s focus to more profitable areas. Thus, he started the industrialization programme. Reputed as the country’s top salesman, he showcased Malaysia to investors abroad in a bid to woo them. As a result of the heavy industrialization drive, major projects like national car project or PROTON and the steel company, PERWAJA, together with other mega project were launched one after another. Next, realizing that industrialization would require a good infrastructure, he set about improving it. The Mahathir era saw a successful completion of the North-South Highway, the East-West Highway, the Multimedia Super Corridor, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang and many more.
An astute politician, he charted the growth of the country’s progress from the day he took office. He envisages that Malaysia can only attain the status of a fully developed country if it becomes an industrialization one and this ambition has been his main agenda during his tenure. With this in mind, he announced Vision 2020, his most ambitious vision.
Frank and outspoken by nature, Tun Mahathir speak without fear nor favour. This has been the hallmark of thus much respected statesman. The inefficiency of local and international organizations has always come under his scrutiny and critism.
It has been almost two decades since Tun Mahathir took over reins of the government. It has undoubtedly been the golden era for Malaysia with many notable achievements.
Find the meaning of the 16 bold words
CONTINOUS: ARTICLE: Description on Places
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is one of Asia's major aviation hubs and is a destination in itself. It is located at the top of the southern corridor of Peninsular Malaysia, bordering the states of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. It is situated in the Sepang district, approximately 50 km from the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. This RM 9 billion airport was opened by his majesty, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Jaafar on June 27, 1998. The airport which covers 10 000 hectares of land took less than 5 years to build. It has a capacity to handle 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo annually.
Despite its mammoth size, it is user-friendly and as our former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad pointed out, it is not just an airport but a piece of art delicates to beauty as well as the environment. It is often described as the “airport in the forest, forest in the airport” because it is a futuristic structure set in rainforest landscaping. Lush tropical forests, with its diverse and exotic flora, skirt the entire airport structure.
The control tower, standing at 130 metres, is one the tallest in the world. The colourful flora and the cascading waterfalls are part of spectacular and breathtaking sight which can be viewed from the Super View Corridor. Moving through the airport complex provides the visitor with glimpses of different forest – highlands, swamp, bamboo and multicoloured flora.
The five-level Main Terminal building which is 241 000 squares metres, is located right at the heart of the airport complex. The building with its futuristic design of glass and steel is both the entry and exit point of passengers. On the top of the building is the departure concourse, and other facilities such as foreign exchange counters and international telephone facilities.
The Satellite Building where passengers make connections to other international flights is linked to the Main International Building by an automated train shuttle. The Satellite Building houses lounges, prayers rooms, duty free shops and a 80-room hotel for transit passengers.
The KLIA will be the country’s nucleus that will spearhead business and trade. It is expected to provide 30 000 jobs and reap economic benefits for the country. The successful completion of the airport well ahead of schedule reflects the ability of Malaysians to build a world-class airport that has become the pride of the country.
CONTINOUS: Descriptive - Description of a Scene
A Road Accident
Road accidents are reported in newspaper and on television every day. There are more frequently caused by reckless drivers rather than faulty vehicles. Last Saturday, while I was travelling from Ipoh, I witnessed a serious accident. The scene of the accidents was vivid in my mind.
A motorcyclist was following behind was taxi very closely. He was so impatient that he was trying to overtake my taxi even near a sharp bend. At that critical moment, there was an oncoming car. The taxi driver swerved to the roadside and I got a terrible jolt. It was too late for the motorcyclist to avoid the car. His motorcycle ran against the bumper of the car and smashed its windscreen. The motorcyclist somersaulted over the car and was found lying in a pool of blood. It was a scene to chill the flesh! The car driver, who was cut by the flying glass, was in a state of shock. All that happened in split second and fear overwhelmed us.
The taxi driver stopped his taxi and I quickly ran to the nearest to the nearest telephone booth to inform the police and the hospital. From a distance I could see some people trying to help the injured motorcyclist and the car driver. They carried them into one of the onlooker’s car and sent them to the hospital for treatment. Meanwhile the taxi driver tried to control and directs the traffic. Soon the police arrived and they promptly took some measurements and evidence. After that they moved the damaged car and the motorcycle to the roadside to ease the traffic congestion. They also took down the evidence provided by witnesses and onlookers. Some sweepers were clearing the debris and the blood stains on the road.
When the taxi finally continued the journey, I silently thanked God for my narrow escape. I learned a good lesson that impatience and recklessness would bring harm and danger. I was happy to see that Malaysians are public-spirited and they render help to others readily. Since then I remember and follow the saying ‘more haste less speed’ and ‘prevention is better than cure’. I believe good road manners and roads safety campaigns can help to reduce the number of road accidents which cause injuries, loss and lives and properties.
CONTINUOUS: NARRATIVE WRITING – Title Given
My Most Embarrassing Situation
Everyone has been embarrassed at one time or another. It is that moment in time when you wish the earth would open up and swallow you. The anxiety and discomfort felt during that time which may only last a few seconds feels like time has stood still.
I remember so well when I had my most embarrassing moment. I was in Form 4 and it was during the school recess. The minute the bell rang for recess, I rushed to the toilet because I had been controlling my urges since class started. I didn’t want to miss class because the lesson taught that morning was to include tips for the forthcoming examination.
Without realising, I had rushed to the girls’ toilet. The prolonged control and an upset stomach made worse by two glasses of cold milk in the morning made me grunt and groan in what I thought in what I thought was the privacy of the cubicle. I thought I heard giggling outside and wondered why the giggles sounded unusually near. A few minutes later I came out the cubicle and discovered my horror that I had entered the girls’ toilet. To make matters worse, the few girls standing outside didn’t even turn away when I came out. Instead they looked down at me, then only they turned quickly away. Horror of horrors, I had forgotten to zip up! No beetroot could have matched the colour of my face at this point in time!
They news of my predicament spread like wild fire throughout school. I was truly the talk of the town. I felt like I could either walk around feeling perpetually self-conscious and embarrassed or I could turn the situation round, perhaps even to my advantage. I remembered my mother’s words that ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. So I decided to make fun of myself, to laugh at myself too. It works. Everyone got bored after a while and nobody teased me after that.
It was indeed an eye-opening experience for me. I have learnt that when people laugh at you, you should laugh along. You must not take yourself seriously. Learn to look at yourself through other people’s eyes and you will realise that most of the time when they laugh at you, they just want to have some fun. They mean no harm. If you can make people laugh, it’s like bringing sunshine into their lives and as someone said, ‘those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.’
CONTINUOUS: NARRATIVE WRITING – With a starting phrase
Write a story starting with: “The widow had to work hard to bring up her little son alone...”
The widow had to work hard to bring up her little son alone. This was after her husband’s early death. She and her son lived in a wooden house. It was a small house with only one bedroom and a kitchen.
Mariam wanted Sam to study hard to get good result. So she would not let Sam help her do any household chores or wash his own clothes. The years flew by. Sam sat for his SPM examination and pass with flying colours.
His mother was very happy. She went round telling her friends, “My Sam will be leaving for the city to study in a college. He will become a Manager one day. I’ll move to live with him in the city. Then, my struggle is worth it.”
So Mariam continued to work hard to send money to Sam who was studying a business degree. For Mariam, it was a tough life. Meanwhile, Sam kept on phoning home to ask for more money. Mariam even had to borrow from her neighbours and friends to send her son the money.
Three years Sam stopped calling home. He did not even let his mother where he was. When she phoned the faculty, they told her that he had graduated and left for job. However, they could not her more. Mariam was baffled. Where was Sam? She was so sure he would come back and fetch her for city. So, she started to pack some of her bags and boxes.
Three months later, there was still no news or call from Sam. One day, Mariam’s niece, Kate, came to talk to her about Sam. She told her aunt, “Auntie, a friend of mine met Sam in a bank. He’s the branch manager. This is his address.”
Early in the morning, Mariam took the first bus to the city. At the bus station, she took a taxi and showed the taxi driver the bank address. On the way there, she told the driver about Sam and what a filial son he was.
The driver stopped his taxi in front of a tall building. She got out of the taxi and smiled at him happily. This was the moment she was going to meet Sam. She imagined him showing surprise and delight at meeting his mother. Inside the building, a security guard asked her who she was looking for. She told the guard Sam’s name.
The bank staff saw an old lady holding a worn-out handbag. They were wondering, “Who is this woman? Why is she asking for our manager?”
Meanwhile, Sam pretended he did not know his mother. Feeling disgusted and ashamed, he asked the security guard to ask her to leave. Mariam was shocked to hear that! She looked Sam in a disappointed feeling ever, and ran out of the bank.
Back in her house, Mariam cried the whole night. She cried and cried till she had no more tears. The next morning, she was sitting by the window with Sam’s photo on her lap. She saw him walking towards their house. Soon she was shouting and crying, “My Sam is back! My Sam is back!”
Sam ran towards her and hugged Mariam as he never let go. He was so sorry and regretted the way he behaved. His colleagues were the one who made him realized his big mistakes neglected his mother.
The neighbours heard her. They too shouted and cheered, feeling happy for her.
CONTINUOUS: NARRATIVE WRITING: With an ending
Write a story ending with “... En. Nizam was grateful he had such good neighbours.”
Not even in his wildest dream did En. Nizam think he would lose so much in such a short time. It had been a trying period. When he got word that his father was on his death bed, En. Nizam’s family rushed to his hometown. Even before the funeral rites were over, he received a call from his immediate neighbour that his house was partly destroyed by fire and that the cause of the fire was believed to be arson.
Members of En. Nizam’s immediate family and his relatives were in state of disarray. First, it was the death of an elder member of a family, then this misfortune. Although En. Nizam was worried, deep in his heart he knew that he had very good neighbours, friends who would stand by him in good times and bad.
Sure enough, the minute he set foot in the compound of his house, he knew he was right. His neighbours, Mr. Subra and En. Majid, were there taking a close watch on the house. He learnt from them that the neighbours had been taking turns to keep an all-day vigil on the house. He thanked them from the bottom of his heart.
After inspecting the damage caused by the fire, En. Majid handed donations collected by the residents living in the area. His neighbours had passed the hat around and the donations came up to a significant amount. Although, the donations was still short of the amount required to repair the damages, en. Nazim was grateful.
The next day, En. Nazim was even more overwhelmed by the care and concern shown by his neighbours. They were there to extend their condolences and to show their support. Donations came pouring in. The women folk were busy preparing all the meals for the family.
With the help of his neighbours, En. Nizam got a building contractor to repair the damaged sections of the house. The repair and renovations took almost a week to complete. When the house was ready, the neighbour turned up in full force to congratulate him.
Tears welled up in E. Nizam’s eyes. He was at a loss for words. En. Nizam was grateful he had such good neighbours.
Which do you prefer, living in the countryside or living in the city?
I think living in the countryside is far better than living in the city. There are numerous of reasons why living in countryside is the better than the city. The scenery, the streets, the people and the paced are totally different compare to the city.
The first outstanding characteristic about the countryside is that it is beautiful and peaceful. The air is fresh and the surroundings green. This is because the countryside is free from pollution, be it air, land or noise pollution. There no such perfect peaceful view that you can see other than in the countryside.
There are no crowded streets and heavy traffic in the countryside. Thus there are no fumes from cars and smoke from factories buildings to pollute the air. The trees surrounded the countryside help the people from inhaling the polluted air. The freshness smell of plant somehow helps the people of the countryside to have a healthy life.
Furthermore, people in the countryside are more conscious of keeping their surroundings clean and so there is little throwing of rubbish everywhere, only at designated places. This is unlike the cities where if the garbage trucks do not collect the rubbish disposed by household or restaurants, the city will be overflowing with rubbish! This will attract the mosquitoes, fly, rats and wild dogs to pollute their surrounding that will cause them to have diseases like dengue and cholera.
Thirdly, heavy traffic and crowded streets increase the level of noise pollution. The honking of cars in the streets is continuous and the crowds on the roads increase the hub of activity. There are also sound of the machine used in manufacturing factories, loud radio in and out the mall. These add to the noise of the city. Even if one lives in residential areas, one is never far from busy streets.
However, in the countryside, life is slow-paced. There is no need to rush around because there are not too many places to go. Most places are close by and people can walk or cycle. Less vehicle used, so less fumes is released.
The most heart-warming thing about the countryside is the attitude of people. People are friendly and helpful. If there are any happy or festive occasions, everyone pitches in to help. This feeling of cooperation and neighbourliness is what separates the countryside from the city.
In the city, people are too busy to take note of the people around. Some hardly even know their neighbours. So they would not even be bothered about what happens to people around. This is why the crime rate is increasing in the city because bystanders do not rush in to help if a crime is committed on the streets.
The pace of life in the countryside is slow so people have more time to enjoy life as the day goes on. Thus, for me to enjoy the quality of life, I prefer to live in the countryside.
In my opinion, one has not experienced life until one has lived in the city. There is so much to see and experience in the bright lights of the city that you cannot get in the countryside. Here in the city, you can learn about how to get along with people of different types, encounter varied situations and solve problems. All these help a person to grow in maturity. After all, experience is the best teacher.
In the countryside, however, you only move around people you are used to. So, you seldom encounter strangers or new and demanding situations. Life is more mundane and routine-like. Staying in a secure, safe place does not allow for one to gain new experiences and grow in maturity.
Furthermore, young people need a life that is exciting and pleasurable. It is the city that offers you entertainment- cinemas, parks and eating places. Here you can hang out with friends and family members. Life as fast-paced and this keeps you active and alert all times. And when it comes to educational opportunities, the city abounds in this. There are good school and libraries that are necessary for your mental development. Furthermore, there are places like museums and educational centres where you can go, to increase your knowledge.
Such places that offer you entertainment or learning opportunities are of course not available in the countryside. For entertainment, there is only the occasional festive celebration or marriage feast or fishing outing. Some may find this appealing but not me. Moreover, opportunities to widen your knowledge are limited in the countryside.
Another point in support of living in the city is the available of jobs. In the city, you can find a job that suits your qualification or interest. If you find a job unsuitable, you can always move to another. This, naturally, increases your earning power and you have better chances of a more comfortable life. Of course, one may argue that one can live in the countryside and work in the city but this will only incur extra expenses and unnecessary inconveniences.
Thus, for all the reasons mentioned above, I think that life in the city is better than living in the countryside. After all, you are young only once.
Social Networking Website
A large number of internet users have joined social networking websites. A social network service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people. For example is for those who wants to share interests and, or activities. A social network service essentially consists of a representation of each user which known often as a profile, his or her social links, and a variety of additional services.
Most social network services are web based and provide means for users to interact over the internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Online community services are sometimes considered as a social network service. In a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks.
In the last five years, they have been growing up more and more popular. This increase in their popularity has led to a large number of members.
One of the many reasons why Yahoo!, MySpace and Facebook social networking websites have increased in popularity is due to the fact that they cover a wide variety of different topics, issues and interest. They do not just focus on one particular group of individuals or one particular issue. Their policy is to invite as many types of internet users to join as possible. By this, it gives members a wide selection of online friends to choose from.
If you are looking to join a social networking website that is more focused on creating friendships or partnerships between internet users preferable with the same interests, then you will want to focus on social networking websites. They have a particular focus. The prevalent websites focus on important issues, topics and hobbies, such as pet owners, religion travel and others. So before you join, think of an issue you are interested in and sign up for the website that focuses on that issue.
What really sets them apart from other websites? What is so special about them? These are questions which have been asked by many who show interest in joining. Primarily, it is the community. As mentioned, such social networking sites tend to focus on a particular topic, issue or hobby. This means that if you are a keen traveller and you would like to speak to other keen travellers, you will want to join a traveller’s networking sites.
The difference between these social networking sites and traditional ones is that you will automatically be paired with hundreds, if not thousands, of other internet users who share the same interests, views or beliefs as you. This is a big bonus to the members.
Another benefit to joining the social networking website is that you are, in a way, safer than those who are members of other networks. Most of them require activation before joining the site. Before activation can occur, many users are required to state their reasons for wanting to join the network or they may be required to fill out a small questionnaire pertaining to determine whether or not they have a genuine interest in the topic focused on by the network in question. By pairing you with a group of individuals who share the same beliefs, views and interests as you do is advantageous to members. It means that you do not have to spend hours researching a person or speaking to them just to learn what they are or are not interested in. Therefore, this enables you to jump right in and start making friends, almost as soon as you are granted access to the site that you have chosen. This service gives the social networking websites a great edge over other websites.
CONTINUOUS: ONE-WORD ESSAY
Pollution is an issue of concern in the modern world that we live in today. There are many types of pollution, namely air, water and noise. Pollution in our environment will undoubtedly affect our quality of life. Our naturally beautiful world becoming ugly because it is suffering from the effects of environmental pollution. Pollution can also cause various health problems and other negative effects.
Air pollution is caused by the emission of toxic gases from vehicles, factories and open burning. Nowadays, there are more and more vehicles on the road as society gets more affluent. More and more people strive to have a better quality of life by having the convenience of driving to their destinations instead of taking public transportation. Automobiles provides transport to millions people around the world to enable them to travel to their workplace, school and other places, therefore, the air around us is getting more polluted by the carbon dioxide that is emitted. Carbon monoxide is another type of gas which harmful to the environment as it can cause the reduction of oxygen in the bloodstream.
Another example of contributor to the air pollution is the manufacturing factories. The manufacturing of products in factories to meet the growing demand of society is also causing air pollution. Factories release toxic gases to the environment. Some factories also use coal to generate heat and energy. As a result from the burning of coal, carbon dioxide is released into the environment.
Besides factories, many people are still practising open burning as a way of disposing their household wastes. Although burning our household wastes is a convenient way of getting rid of our rubbish, it is harmful to the environment as it contributes to the worsening of the air quality. As a result, air pollution causes people to suffer from health problems such as chest pain and asthma. In extreme cases, people can contract lung cancer.
Water pollution is also a problem that we are currently facing. The marine life is the first to suffer from water pollution as they depend on the nutrients in the water to survive. As a result, we are robbed of beautiful sea corals and unique species of fishes. Besides ruining our marine heritage, the disappearance of marine life will affect the livelihood of fishermen, not to mention our source of food. Water pollution is caused by harmful waster from industries, farms and sewerage systems which are dumped into our sources of water such as rivers and lakes. This irresponsible act contaminates our drinking water and can cause serious health problems and can even culminate in death.
Noise pollution is another form of pollution. Noise from heavy machinery and vehicles can cause hearing problems and in extreme cases, deafness. As there is growing number of vehicles on the road, we are exposed to noise pollution every day. The government in advanced countries encourage their citizens to take the public buses and trains by providing an affordable and efficient transportation system. This effort discourages people from driving their private vehicles and consequently reduces the number of vehicles on the road.
We must work together to reduce pollution so that the future generations can live in a healthy, unpolluted environment. As the saying goes, precaution is better than cure. Lets hands on hands together by recycle and conserve the world for the better future.