General Essay Writing Tips
Despite the fact that, as Shakespeare said, "the pen is mightier than the sword," the pen itself is not enough to make an effective writer. In fact, though we may all like to think of ourselves as the next Shakespeare, inspiration alone is not the key to effective essay writing. You see, the conventions of English essays are more formulaic than you might think – and, in many ways, it can be as simple as counting to five.
The Five Paragraph Essay
Though more advanced academic papers are a category all their own, the basic high school or college essay has the following standardized, five paragraph structure:
Paragraph 1: Introduction
Paragraph 2: Body 1
Paragraph 3: Body 2
Paragraph 4: Body 3
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
Though it may seem formulaic – and, well, it is - the idea behind this structure is to make it easier for the reader to navigate the ideas put forth in an essay. You see, if your essay has the same structure as every other one, any reader should be able to quickly and easily find the information most relevant to them.
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The principle purpose of the introduction is to present your position (this is also known as the "thesis" or "argument") on the issue at hand but effective introductory paragraphs are so much more than that. Before you even get to this thesis statement, for example, the essay should begin with a "hook" that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on. Examples of effective hooks include relevant quotations ("no man is an island") or surprising statistics ("three out of four doctors report that…").
Only then, with the reader’s attention "hooked," should you move on to the thesis. The thesis should be a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position that leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind about which side you are on from the beginning of your essay.
Following the thesis, you should provide a mini-outline which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay. Not only does this tell the reader what to expect in the paragraphs to come but it also gives them a clearer understanding of what the essay is about.
Finally, designing the last sentence in this way has the added benefit of seamlessly moving the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper. In this way we can see that the basic introduction does not need to be much more than three or four sentences in length. If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit!
Here, by way of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the following question:
"Do we learn more from finding out that we have made mistakes or from our successful actions?"
"No man is an island" and, as such, he is constantly shaped and influenced by his experiences. People learn by doing and, accordingly, learn considerably more from their mistakes than their success. For proof of this, consider examples from both science and everyday experience.
DO – Pay Attention to Your Introductory Paragraph
Because this is the first paragraph of your essay it is your opportunity to give the reader the best first impression possible. The introductory paragraph not only gives the reader an idea of what you will talk about but also shows them how you will talk about it. Put a disproportionate amount of effort into this – more than the 20% a simple calculation would suggest – and you will be rewarded accordingly.
DO NOT – Use Passive Voice or I/My
Active voice, wherein the subjects direct actions rather than let the actions "happen to" them – "he scored a 97%" instead of "he was given a 97%" – is a much more powerful and attention-grabbing way to write. At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or Me. Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked.
The Body Paragraphs
The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs and, as alluded to above, the main purpose of a body paragraph is to spell out in detail the examples that support your thesis.
For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point (as in the case of chronological explanations) is required. The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph.
A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of "George Washington" or "LeBron James" is not enough, however. No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant.
Even the most famous examples need context. For example, George Washington’s life was extremely complex – by using him as an example, do you intend to refer to his honesty, bravery, or maybe even his wooden teeth? The reader needs to know this and it is your job as the writer to paint the appropriate picture for them. To do this, it is a good idea to provide the reader with five or six relevant facts about the life (in general) or event (in particular) you believe most clearly illustrates your point.
Having done that, you then need to explain exactly why this example proves your thesis. The importance of this step cannot be understated (although it clearly can be underlined); this is, after all, the whole reason you are providing the example in the first place. Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant.
Here is an example of a body paragraph to continue the essay begun above:
Take, by way of example, Thomas Edison. The famed American inventor rose to prominence in the late 19th century because of his successes, yes, but even he felt that these successes were the result of his many failures. He did not succeed in his work on one of his most famous inventions, the lightbulb, on his first try nor even on his hundred and first try. In fact, it took him more than 1,000 attempts to make the first incandescent bulb but, along the way, he learned quite a deal. As he himself said, "I did not fail a thousand times but instead succeeded in finding a thousand ways it would not work." Thus Edison demonstrated both in thought and action how instructive mistakes can be.
DO – Tie Things Together
The first sentence – the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective. Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should (ideally) also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together. For example, if you used "first" in the first body paragraph then you should used "secondly" in the second or "on the one hand" and "on the other hand" accordingly.
DO NOT – Be Too General
Examples should be relevant to the thesis and so should the explanatory details you provide for them. It can be hard to summarize the full richness of a given example in just a few lines so make them count. If you are trying to explain why George Washington is a great example of a strong leader, for instance, his childhood adventure with the cherry tree (though interesting in another essay) should probably be skipped over.
A Word on Transitions
You may have noticed that, though the above paragraph aligns pretty closely with the provided outline, there is one large exception: the first few words. These words are example of a transitional phrase – others include "furthermore," "moreover," but also "by contrast" and "on the other hand" – and are the hallmark of good writing.
Transitional phrases are useful for showing the reader where one section ends and another begins. It may be helpful to see them as the written equivalent of the kinds of spoken cues used in formal speeches that signal the end of one set of ideas and the beginning of another. In essence, they lead the reader from one section of the paragraph of another.
To further illustrate this, consider the second body paragraph of our example essay:
In a similar way, we are all like Edison in our own way. Whenever we learn a new skill - be it riding a bike, driving a car, or cooking a cake - we learn from our mistakes. Few, if any, are ready to go from training wheels to a marathon in a single day but these early experiences (these so-called mistakes) can help us improve our performance over time. You cannot make a cake without breaking a few eggs and, likewise, we learn by doing and doing inevitably means making mistakes.
Hopefully this example not only provides another example of an effective body paragraph but also illustrates how transitional phrases can be used to distinguish between them.
Although the conclusion paragraph comes at the end of your essay it should not be seen as an afterthought. As the final paragraph is represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format.
One way to think of the conclusion is, paradoxically, as a second introduction because it does in fact contain many of the same features. While it does not need to be too long – four well-crafted sentence should be enough – it can make or break and essay.
Effective conclusions open with a concluding transition ("in conclusion," "in the end," etc.) and an allusion to the "hook" used in the introductory paragraph. After that you should immediately provide a restatement of your thesis statement.
This should be the fourth or fifth time you have repeated your thesis so while you should use a variety of word choice in the body paragraphs it is a acceptable idea to use some (but not all) of the original language you used in the introduction. This echoing effect not only reinforces your argument but also ties it nicely to the second key element of the conclusion: a brief (two or three words is enough) review of the three main points from the body of the paper.
Having done all of that, the final element – and final sentence in your essay – should be a "global statement" or "call to action" that gives the reader signals that the discussion has come to an end.
In the end, then, one thing is clear: mistakes do far more to help us learn and improve than successes. As examples from both science and everyday experience can attest, if we treat each mistake not as a misstep but as a learning experience the possibilities for self-improvement are limitless.
DO – Be Powerful
The conclusion paragraph can be a difficult paragraph to write effectively but, as it is your last chance to convince or otherwise impress the reader, it is worth investing some time in. Take this opportunity to restate your thesis with confidence; if you present your argument as "obvious" then the reader might just do the same.
DO NOT – Copy the First Paragraph
Although you can reuse the same key words in the conclusion as you did in the introduction, try not to copy whole phrases word for word. Instead, try to use this last paragraph to really show your skills as a writer by being as artful in your rephrasing as possible.
Taken together, then, the overall structure of a five paragraph essay should look something like this:
- An attention-grabbing "hook"
- A thesis statement
- A preview of the three subtopics you will discuss in the body paragraphs.
First Body Paragraph
- Topic sentence which states the first subtopic and opens with a transition
- Supporting details or examples
- An explanation of how this example proves your thesis
Second Body Paragraph
- Topic sentence which states the second subtopic and opens with a transition
- Supporting details or examples
- An explanation of how this example proves your thesis
Third Body Paragraph
- Topic sentence which states the third subtopic and opens with a transition
- Supporting details or examples
- An explanation of how this example proves your thesis
- Concluding Transition, Reverse "hook," and restatement of thesis.
- Rephrasing main topic and subtopics.
- Global statement or call to action.
More tips to make your essay shine
Although it may seem like a waste of time – especially during exams where time is tight – it is almost always better to brainstorm a bit before beginning your essay. This should enable you to find the best supporting ideas – rather than simply the first ones that come to mind – and position them in your essay accordingly.
Your best supporting idea – the one that most strongly makes your case and, simultaneously, about which you have the most knowledge – should go first. Even the best-written essays can fail because of ineffectively placed arguments.
Aim for Variety
Sentences and vocabulary of varying complexity are one of the hallmarks of effective writing. When you are writing, try to avoid using the same words and phrases over and over again. You don’t have to be a walking thesaurus but a little variance can make the same idea sparkle.
If you are asked about "money," you could try "wealth" or "riches." At the same time, avoid beginning sentences the dull pattern of "subject + verb + direct object." Although examples of this are harder to give, consider our writing throughout this article as one big example of sentence structure variety.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
In the end, though, remember that good writing does not happen by accident. Although we have endeavored to explain everything that goes into effective essay writing in as clear and concise a way as possible, it is much easier in theory than it is in practice.
As a result, we recommend that you practice writing sample essays on various topics. Even if they are not masterpieces at first, a bit of regular practice will soon change that – and make you better prepared when it comes to the real thing.
Now that you’ve learned how to write an effective essay, check out our Sample Essays so you can see how they are done in practice.
Essay Writing Center
DIRECTED WRITING: 35 MARKS
DIRECTED: ARTICLE: Factual
You are concerned over the implications and long-term health effects of the haze. Write an article to the local newspaper expressing your concern based on all the notes below.
- the reasons behind the haze
- role of government and society
- steps that can be taken
- give relevant examples of:
- health complications
- roles of government and individuals
When writing the article you should remember:
- to lay out the letter carefully
- to use paragraphs
- that you letter is to the press
Haze: A Danger to Health
The haze is a constant phenomenon faced by Malaysia and her neighbouring countries. The haze is basically pollution of atmosphere, which is clogged with pollutants and other substances from forest fires.
The haze is a direct effect of forest fire in Kalimantan and other parts of Indonesia due to slash and burn method of farming. The Indonesian authorities appear to have no power to control farmers from practising such methods. The haze is further worsened by open burning practised by most Malaysians. Open-field burning of rice straw by the rice planters and open burning of dried leaves and garbage done by the public are a few examples that done by Malaysian. Many are ignorant of the health effects of open burning.
During the haze, hospitals and clinic often report a dramatic increase in respiratory problems, lung infections and asthma attack. The Air Pollution Index (API) usually indicates the hazardous and dangerous levels of pollution during this period. The haze has long-term side effects. Prolonged inhalation of polluted air will result in serious lung infection which particularly affects the elderly.
The government must play its role to reduce the haze treat. It has to cooperate with the Indonesian authorities to stamp out forest fires. The culprits must be brought to justice, either through healthy fine or prison sentence. Constant vigilance would ensure the perpetrators do not repeat their offence.
The government should also raise the public awareness of the dangers of forest fire. Continuous campaign of the cause, solutions and steps-need-to-be-taken to reduce the haze need to be promoted through all types of social media like television, radio, newspaper and even via internet. The authorities should also provide assistance to farmers and introduce more sophisticated forest clearing methods.
In Malaysia, strict laws must be imposed to penalise those who practise open burning. On-going campaigns on the dangers of open burning should be intensified. Individuals too have a role to play. They must participate in every campaign and stop burning. Students can advise their parents not to practice open burning.
Every individual has to remember that we do not own the world, but instead we lent it from our future generations. We must protect our world so that our grandchildren woulh have a healthy earth to live.
Ahmad Harun bin Hashim
Seremban, Negeri Sembilan
From: Penilaian Topik Vista SPM/Sasbadi/2009
ARTICLE: Article for School Magazine / Newsletter
In spite of government’s clear call to students to study English well, many students still show very little interest in studying the language. As Chairperson of the English Language Society, you are going to try to persuade the students to study the language by writing an article in the school newsletter. In the article you have to tell the students the importance of studying the language. Your article is given in the point form below:
- will help you to further your studies
- will help you to get a job
- will help you in your job
- will help you in your travels
- will help you to enjoy many interesting programmes in television
- will help you to appreciate many of the world’s most beautiful literary works
The Importance of Studying English
It is a big concerned for teenagers nowadays as they are unaware of the importance of English language as they tend to ignore to learn the language. Students’ attitude towards the language is also crucial to make sure that these teenagers can face the future world better by learning English language as it is an international language.
Although the government has repeatedly told us of the importance of English, many students are still not bothered about studying it seriously. There is also a campaign that still on to make all the Malaysian becomes a better English learner, which is ‘Enhance Proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia, Strengthen the English’. English is the most important and the most useful language in the world today. There are many reasons why you should study the language properly.
First and foremost, English will definitely help you a lot when you want to further studies. Almost all books at university are written in English in all subjects. Plus, it is a compulsory for any candidate to pass English with credit before entering any universities. So, if you are poor in English, you will blow you chance for better education or worse, you are going to have a big problem studying at university.
The second reason why you have to study English well is that it will help you to get a job. When you go for a job interview, the interviewer will surely talk to you in English. The first impression you should give in order to success and have the job is, to respond in English fluently. Your chances of getting the job are very slim if you stutter while interviewing.
A good command in of English will also help you greatly in your job. If the company you work is actively involved in international trade, you have to speak to prospective customers in English. Miscommunication might occur if your English is bad. And this will put your company at risk and you will likely be dismissed if this happen.
Good English will also help you a lot when you travel. Every country in the world studies English. Even the roadside stall-holders in China speak fairly good English! At least some of the people you meet on your travels in other countries can understand English. The language is certainly practical when you are lost in your trip. Communication problem will not happen if you can converse well in English. Inevitably, English is one of the languages used in any airport in the world in making announcement. Knowing English well, therefore, make travelling overseas easier.
Besides all these, entertainment is one of the major advantages you will experience if you good in English. You will enjoy television’s best programmes. We must admit that many of the best programmes are produced by the Americans and British companies. High self confidence influenced by the programmes will indirect inculcate in yourself when you are fluent in the language. Quality time is worthily spent if you understand and enjoy the programmes.
Based from all the above elaboration, I hope that students will see the importance and realise how importance the language is for their own future. Although it is a second language in our country, it is now a main language all over the world.
DIRECTED: ARTICLE / REPORT: Newspaper Article / Report
There has been an attempted robbery in your area. As a newspaper reporter, you have been assigned to write a report of the incident for publication in a local newspaper. Using the notes below, write out your report.
- couple – taking a walk
- two men approached them
- ordered couple to give jewellery
- a struggle – husband injured
- one neighbour – taking a dog for a walk
- heard shouts – went to investigate
- robbers saw dog – fled
- couple made police report
Couple Foils Robbery Attempt
PULAU PINANG, Thu – An elderly businessman and his wife foiled a robbery attempt by two men armed with a screwdriver and a knife. The victims were reported safe from any bad injury.
Tan Ah Wok, 60 and his wife were taking a morning walk near their home in Helen Heights yesterday when two men on a motorcycle stopped them under the pretext of asking for directions. As Mr. Tan was giving directions, one of the robbers pointed a knife at him and ordered them to keep quiet. He then relieved Mrs. Tan of her jewellery and instructed Mr. Tan to hand over his ring and watch. When he refused, a struggle ensued. Meanwhile, his accomplice grabbed a helmet and hit Mr. Tan on the head with it. On seeing this, his wife started screaming.
One of their neighbours, R. Subramaniam, who was taking his dog for a walk, heard the screams and when to investigate. On seeing Subramaniam and his dog, the robbers fled. “I was taking my dog for a walk when I heard someone shouting for help. Knowing that something was wrong, I ran there as fast as I could. Before I reached the scene, the robbers fled on a motorbike. They were probably afraid of my Rottweiler.”
Mr. Tan, who suffered a small cut on his head, was given outpatient treatment at a private clinic. He said that it was a horrified experience as he never expected the two men would attack his wife and him. He thought that they were lost and needed help. He also mentioned that the guard who in charge nowadays easily allowed the strangers to enter their residents. State CID Chief Supt Harun Din advised him and the people to be more careful in giving help to strangers. The guard also must be stricter in letting people from entering any residents without proper permission.
He added that the suspects, aged between 25 and 30, were believed to be illegal immigrants. He said there had been similar incident last week when two men approached a factory worker who was on her way home after work. The duo then relieved her gold chain and cash. He advised the residents to be alert and reports to police any suspicious-looking characters lurking in their area.
From: Spot on Model Compositions and Summary/Oxford Fajar/2007
DIRECTED: REPORT – Police Report
You witnessed an accident. The police officer has asked you to make a report. Use the points given below:
- when the event happened
- where the event took place
- how it happened
- description of the vehicles
- step taken
To: Sergeant Razali Kamrin
From: Julia Selamat
Date: 7th September 2011
Report of the accident on Jalan 2/14
On 7th September 2011 at 10.30 a.m., I was walking alone Jalan 2/14 which is next to the children’s playground. As I was about to cross the road to enter the park, I saw a car driving swiftly down Jalan 4/14. It was a Honda Civic with the number plate BEH 9110. Another car, a Toyota Vios 1.5 with plate number WHM 4657 came out of Jalan 4/14 as well. The Honda Civic was driving too fast that make it did not have time to avoid collision.
The accident caused a loud crash. The Honda Civic hit the Toyota Vios on the driver’s door. The door could not be opened and the driver had to get out from the passenger’s door. The driver of the Toyota Vios was lucky as he survived with no physical injuries. Both air bags popped up when they collided to each other. They both were fortunate as their car was not badly damaged and dented.
The Toyota Vios’s windscreen was shattered to pieces. The Honda Civic’s headlight and signal light were smashed. There was plenty of glass on the road. The two drivers startled to argue. The driver of the Honda City was a woman. They blamed each other and the argument stopped when her mobile phone rang. Most of the passerby slowed down their vehicle to watch the accident. Some pedestrian came by and offered help.
As it happened, I ran into my house which is close by. I called the nearest police station and in ten minutes, a police car drove up. I told the police officer I had witnessed the accident and offered to come out to the station to give a statement. The cars were towed to the side of the road first, and then were brought to the police station before to workshop. Pictures were taken for insurance claim.
In my opinion, the driver of the Honda City is to blame for the accident. She was driving too fast and did not pay any attention to vehicles coming out from the side road. The driver of the Toyota Vios should have stopped at the junction.
Write Better Compositions and Summaries for SPM 1119 English/Oxford Fajar/2006
DIRECTED: REPORT – Book Report
As a class project, you have been asked to write a book report. You decide to write a report of a book you have just read.
Use the following notes in your report:
- main characters
“The Story of My Life” is an autobiography written by Helen Keller. It tells us how Helen Keller, who was deaf, blind and mute, defied the odds to become one of the most celebrated personalities in the world. The story was set in Alabama in 1997.
In the first half of the book, Helen Keller writes about how she was afflicted with scarlet fever while she was still a baby and how illness left her deaf, blind and mute. The story outlines the frustration Helen Keller experienced as a child – alone in a dark and silent world – unable to communicate with anybody. The author then goes on to say how her life changed with the arrival of her new-employed teacher and nanny, Anne Mansfield Sullivan.
The second part of the book relates how Helen Keller studied the deaf and dumb language and learnt how to write using Braille and then went to college and graduated. The story goes on to say how she spent the rest of her life helping the deaf and dumb all over the world.
I enjoyed reading every page of the book. I found some sections of the book, especially those that deal with the early part of her life, poignant and touching. It made me realize how difficult life must be for the handicapped. It also made me realize how fortunate I was. It has made me more sympathetic towards the plight of those who are less fortunate than I am, especially the handicapped who has given up hope in the face of misfortune, and the severely handicapped who have lost the will to live.
The story is very touching and informative. It arouses the feelings of the readers. I admire Helen Keller for her determination and diligence. I appreciate the painstaking efforts taken by the teacher. The book has a good moral lesson for all. It shows the triumph of the human spirit in the face of indomitable obstacles. It makes us wonder whether Helen Keller was just another victim of fate or whether her birth has a special significance. Was Helen Keller fortunate or unfortunate? Helen Keller was unfortunate to have suffered the cruel twist of fate but the world is fortunate to have had a person like her. Her life shining example to prove the adage, “where there is a will, there is a way”.
DIRECTED: REPORT – Report to Principal
You are very disappointed by the conditions and services provided by your school canteen. You decide to write a report to inform your school principal about the poor conditions and services of the canteen. These would include:
- insufficient table and benches
- food and drinks not covered
- too little food counters
- dirty and clogged drains – smelly
- food – expensive and lacks variety
- inadequate food – late comers have nothing to buy, to eat
- cold food – not fresh
- rude canteen workers
To : Mr. Hasnan bin Jalal,
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Permata
From : Malik bin Abdul
Date : 24 March 2011
Report about the School Canteen
I am writing this report is to draw your attention regarding the school canteen. Many of the students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Permata are unhappy about the conditions at the school canteen. There were lots of complaints regarding this issue.
In the first place, there are insufficient tables and benches. Our school has a student population of over 1 000. There is only one period of recess time for all forms. More than 80 per cent of the students go to the canteen during recess to buy food and drinks. Unfortunately, there are only about twenty-five tables and fifty benches which can accommodate less than half the number of students. As a result, many students have to stand while eating.
The food sold at the canteen not only expensive but lacks of variety. The menu is the same every day. For the past five years, ever since the present canteen management took over, students go back to the same food.
The hygiene and preparation of food leave a lot to be desired. The food and drinks are not covered. They way canteen attendants dress speak volume about hygiene. With their lackadaisical attitude, the food they sell would one way or the other become contaminated.
My fourth complaint about the canteen pertains to the etiquette of the canteen workers. They are rude and arrogant. They often shout at students. The students are always on the receiving end of their bad moods.
We hope that conditions at the canteen will improve. The canteen should provide better amenities. There should also be a different menu everyday so that students will not have to taste the same food day in and day out. Cleanliness should be given top priority.
We hope that you will look into our complaints and take steps to remedy the situation. The students are prepared to boycott the canteen if their complaints go unheeded.
Malik bin. Mohd Jalil
DIRECTED: FORMAL LETTER: Letter of Complaint
Raju a/l Lingam,
123 A, Lorong Bahagia,
07231 Bandar Baru Sentol,
Bandar Baru Sentol Council,
07200 Bandar Baru Sentol 16 JUNE 2011
Uncollected Rubbish and Clogged Drains
I am writing this letter is to attract your attention to the above title. As the representative of the community, I am calling to tell you that the 300 odd residents living in Taman Sentosa are extremely unhappy about the lackadaisical attitude of the local town council towards the uncollected rubbish and clogged drains in our area.
2. The rubbish in our area has not been collected for more than a week. The rubbish is supposed to be collected on alternate days but this has not been the case. The town council workers collect the rubbish according to their own whims and fancies. The uncollected garbage has attracted not only flies and mosquitoes but also wild dogs which had attacked the residents on several occasions. These stray animals also scatter the rubbish and make the roads dirty and smelly. As a result, residents have to bear the discomfort of stench from the garbage and risk their health.
3. We are also disappointed with the town council workers for not clearing the clogged drains which are filled with rubbish. The drains would usually overflow when there is heavy rain and the rubbish would then flow into the compounds of our houses. Besides, putting up with the unbearable stench emitted from them, the residents have to spend hours cleaning their compounds of rotten vegetables, food leftovers and other rubbish.
4. Due to dengue outbreak recently, we are really concerned about the residents’ health especially the children. Fogging service also was not done accordingly to the schedule. The fogging authority only did their job whenever a case of dengue aroused. They even fogging the neighbourhood late at night that caused us to leave the residents. They need to consider the residents who have babies and also to those who need to wake up early in the morning for work. The fogging also caused the people to have breathing problem when we were not told the exact time of fogging.
5. We have made numerous appeals to the Municipal Council to look into our complaints but to no avail. We have been putting up with this predicament for more than a week. We hope the health authorities would do something to check these health hazards.
(RAJU a/l MANIAM)
DIRECTED: FORMAL LETTER: Letter of Application
You came across the following advertisement for the post Accounts Assistant Clerk.
Write a letter of application together with curriculum vitae to the manager.
In your letter, include the following:
- your curriculum vitae
- the reasons for your interest in the job
- your ability to work independently
- pursuing a degree in Accountancy
Do remember to:
- use the formal letter
- use all the points given
- elaborate each points given
Chong Mei Lin,
40, Jalan Templer,
Taman Hati Bersih,
76 000 Seremban,
Lim and Sons Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd.,
Lot 123, Interstate Industrial Area,
76 001 Nilai,
Negeri Sembilan 18 JULY 2010
Dear Sir / Madam,
Application for the Post of Accounts Assistant
I wish to apply for the post of Accounts Assistant as advertised in The New Strait Times dated 15th July 2011.
2. I have the necessary qualifications as stated in my curriculum vitae which is attached to this letter. I have experience working in both food manufacturing and also auto manufacturing fields. I am currently working in Lazat Ice Cream Sdn. Bhd. in capacity of an Accounts Assistant and have been here since January 2008. Before this, I was working in TFR Auto Enterprise as an Accounts clerk. Since my present position offers little prospect for career advancement, I would like to be attached to a fairly large organisation such as yours.
3. I would like to work in Nilai as I intend to further my studies and get professional qualification. I have registered with a college in Nilai to do ACCA on part-time basis. With this high additional education level and knowledge, I can perform better in applying the accounts knowledge in the future job.
4. I can assure you that I am capable person who can work independently. I am able to handle full sets of accounts, up to three sets at a time. I am interested in working with a company like yours as I feel I can grow well with the company. I am a team player, adapt easily to any working environments and can work with people from all works of life.
5. I was active in extra-curricular activities and was considered as responsible and dedicated worker. I led and organised many activities for the school clubs so I am confident that I can be an asset to your company in this capacity. Furthermore, i have a good command of English.
6. In view of my qualification and experience, I would expect a salary more than RM 2 000. And since I have my own car, I would have no problems travelling outstation should the job require.
7. I look forward to hearing from you and I am fully prepared to attend an interview at any time convenient to you.
(RAJU a/l MANIAM)
DIRECTED: INFORMAL LETTER
Your friend in Singapore has written to you to inform you that his cousin in Penang was down with dengue fever. He would like to know the situation in Malaysia as he plans to bring his family over for the holidays in June. Write a letter to brief him about the current situation.
In your letter, include the following:
- express concern over the health of your friend’s cousin
- news about the situation
- steps taken authorities
- present situation
Do remember to:
- use the informal letter format
- use all the points given
- expand each of the points given
- write in paragraph
No. 34, Street of Fame,
Taman Bukit Bintang,
14 January 2011
How are you? I’m sorry to hear that your cousin had dengue fever. This problem seems to have become very serious all of sudden. We always feel that the problem is not our concern until someone close to us is affected.
My neighbour’s daughter who was in Standard 6 last year could not sit for UPSR examination because she was down with dengue fever on the eve of the exam. Fortunately, the authorities gave her an exemption so she is now in Form One. There were also a few students taking the examination in the hospital.
According to the news, students made up nearly 30 per cent of the 1 500 suspected cases over the first three weeks of the year. About 53 per cent of 621 confirmed cases last year comprised children and youth under the age of 24. These statistics are quite worrying. This has prompted the health ministry to increase checks on aedes breeding grounds in school and public areas. The construction sites are largely to blamed. The problem is made worse by the rainy season. The stagnating water attract the mosquitoes to lay egg and breeding on the areas.
The authorities have taken various steps to control the situation. Fogging has been carried out in many public areas and most of the housing estates. Contractors at the construction sites have been instructed to take appropriate actions and warned to clean up. They could be fined up to RM 3 000 for breeding aedes mosquitoes. Lot of campaigns through the television, radio and newspapers were taken to make people aware of the issue and take precaution rather than cure them.
Before the long holidays for the Chinese New Year, schools all over Malaysia carried out a clean-up campaign of the school compound. The residents’ association in my housing are also organised a family day clean-up of the housing estate. There were huge piles of rubbish especially old tyres and containers littered by the hawkers near the might market site.
The situation in Malaysia has improved since the end of January. There have been no reports of new cases of dengue. So, don’t worry. You can bring your family for a holiday here in June. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.
Send my regard to your mom and dad. Do take care.
Your school is having a month-long ‘A Healthy Body Campaign’. As President of the Health Club of your school, you decide to give a speech on the ‘Tak nak Campaign’ recently launched by the government.
Tak Nak Campaign
A very good morning to our dear Principal, Mr. Hasnan bin Jaafar, teachers and students.
Recently, our former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched an anti-smoking campaign called “Tak Nak”. You can now see this short and rhyming catch phrase “Tak Nak” everywhere – on billboards, posters, TV ads, and sometimes I even hear it on the radio. Though some people have criticised our government for setting aside a staggering sum of RM100 million over 6 years for the campaign, it is nothing compared to the huge amounts that tobacco companies spend to promote smoking.
But in this war against smoking, money definitely talks; it is necessary for the Tak Nak Campaign to constanly remind us of the hazard of smoking because about 50 Malaysian teenagers light up for the first time every day. In fact, some of these youth progress steadily from this to regular use, with addiction raking hold within a few years. And this is despite the warning on every pack of cigarettes that states unequivocally “Smoking is dangerous to your health”.
What can the Tak Nak Campaign do to combat this? Their aggressive advertising creates media awareness among the public, especially among the fashionable young crowd, that smokers have yellowed teeth and suffer from shortness of breath and tells them that it is not cool to smoke. It is also not responsible of them to affect non-smokers with second-hand smoke.
Also, there is a succession of infomercials on TV and in the papers showing the debilitating effects of tobacco addiction on the body and gruesome statistics of smoke-related deaths. We are now familiar with the graphic pictures of damaged lungs on billboards which should scare people into not smoking. This works, as I know some of my friends are quitting now, or trying to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke per week.
However, I feel any anti-smoking campaign is more effective if other people and organisations are actively involved too. Yes, the first step has been taken by the top, but sad to say, many of our politicians smoke themselves. Nearer to home, so do some of our parents and teachers.
These adults have to be good role models by not smoking themselves. If they do smoke, they should tell their children and students that they regret that they ever started, and then take steps to quit smoking as soon as possible. They must practise what they preach.
On a more positive note, I commend the Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union for its zero-tolerance of smoking because they know that smoking and health just do not mix. How can our sportsmen excel if they cannot stop smoking.
Dear teachers and students, thank you for your attention. Let me end my speech by reiterating that smoking is a bad habit, so make Tak Nak your mantra. If you have started smoking, say Tak Nak and quit! And if you haven’t started smoking, say know that smoking not only damages your health but you are also literally burning your money.