Typical Exam Question
Nobody can argue with the fact that education is a vital component in the development of a child, but what kind of education is best is not easy to decide. (1) I think subjects that teach culture like Greek or Latin are useful, but subjects like computer programming are vital in today's high tech society because they make the student very employable. (2) So, which of these subjects should be taught at school? (3)
The study of ancient languages, like Greek or Latin, is not relevant to the society of today. (4) It allows the student to understand ancient texts and learn about the past, however,(6) that brings very limited employment opportunities. (5) Education should make the student stronger and more able to survive, and the study of these subjects does not do that. (7)
Learning computer programming (9), however, guarantees the student a good living. (4) There is a worldwide shortage of computer programmers, and furthermore, (6) society is changing so fast that there will be an even greater demand for these skills in the future. Learning computer programming enables the student to leave school with confidence in the future, (5) and that should be the function of education. (7)
In conclusion, (6) what I think is that (10) all education is good, and has a value, but schools need to teach material that gives the student other benefits, like secure employment opportunities, when they leave. The school has failed if its students are unemployable when they leave, even if they can speak or read Greek or Latin. (7)
The first paragraph, THE INTRODUCTION, needs to have three parts - THE CONTEXT SENTENCE, which puts the subject into context (1), THE THESIS SENTENCE (2) and a LINKING SENTENCE, which links the introduction to the rest of the essay. (3)
(2) Notice that the second paragraph is about ANCIENT LANGUAGES and the third is about COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, both of which come from the THESIS STATEMENT. The function of this sentence is to introduce the ideas that will be discussed in the rest of the essay, and is also written in the first person 'I think....'.
(3) The third part of the introduction, the LINKING SENTENCE, is in the form of a question, because this connects to the rest of the essay which is the answer to this question. (4)
It is important to start a paragraph with an INTRODUCTION SENTENCE, which gives the main idea of the paragraph. The sentences which follow give the detail to support this introduction sentence.(5) (6)
For a text to flow in a fluid way, it needs to have LINKING ELEMENTS, like HOWEVER, FURTHERMORE and IN CONCLUSION. Linking is used to connect paragraphs, but it is also very important to connect the ideas within paragraphs and sentences with linking.
The use of advanced sentence structures such as NOMINALISATION (9) and CLEFT SENTENCES (10) can improve the final mark. Examples of these are given here.
Finally, notice that the conclusion is the answer to the question that was asked in the last line of the introduction,(3) and the detail of the answer was given throughout the essay.(7) This ties the whole document together to give a connected structure.
An easy way to understand ESSAY WRITING is as follows:
SAY WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY - THE INTRODUCTION.
SAY WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY - THE DEVELOPMENT.
SAY WHAT YOU JUST SAID - THE CONCLUSION