TOPIC 6: WRITING SKILLS | ENGLISH LANG 1
TOPIC 6: WRITING SKILLS | ENGLISH LANG 1
Name and signature of the sender
What is an essay?
Is a short piece of writing on a subject especially as part of a course of studying.
There are several types of essays but the main ones are three which are classified according to the purpose.
a) Narrative essay
This is the kind of writing that gives an account of an event that the writer has witnessed and which he or she wants to share with the reader. This kind of writing needs to be so carefully written in order to make the reader understand the incident.
The following are some of the guidelines to be followed for effective narration.
i) Write on an incident that is amusing, exciting or significant. The writer should put essential details of the incident into the reader’s mind that will help the reader be involved and share the writer’s experience.
ii) Give your story a structure i.e. the narrative essay needs to have the beginning, the middle and the end in which the beginning need to capture the reader’s attention, the middle has to narrate events chronologically were as the ending of your story should quench your reader thirst.
iii) Piece your climax of the story close to the end so as to create suspense to the reader
iv) Create suspense in the story, this is used to arose the readers excitement hence enhancing the understanding of the story suspense is created by delaying the climax.
v) Use the techniques that will make your reader experience that as the use of imagery that is powerful in eroding emotion by so doing you set how the reader will respond.
vi) Be consistent in the use of point of view i.e. is decide what person to use, it may be either the first or the third person, when this is consistent, it makes the reader follow your story without difficulty
b) Descriptive essays
This is the type of essay that is meant to tell us things people, event or place look like i.e. it is used to describe the physical features of the people, things, event or places.
The following are the things to be considered in order to develop a good descriptive essay
i) Before you start your description, list your vivid memories, that means list all things that you remember then categories, the list into
people, places or things after that choose items on the list that interest you and which you will include in your essay.
ii) Determine some variables of your writing I.e. think about your audience, topic, purpose, format of presentation and the situation in which
you will make your description.
iii) Organize your essay start your description at a certain focal point, that means you should have a center from which the description
proceeds, in a logical direction i.e. you may describe something from top to bottom or from near to far or from other perspective
depending on the thing being described.
iv) Use metaphors to add life to every day or boring subject matters. The use of metaphors may help in making ordinary things seem new.
E.g. the guys tip toed in the mine fields of garbage.
v) Try to incorporate five senses in your description i.e. Use the words that appeal to senses hence making the description affection.
vi) Consider the impression that you want to make i.e. be conscious about the effect that you want to bring to your audience such as whether
you want your audience to like or dislike something or a person you are describing, you may also wish your reader to be flattened or
amused e.g. skinny vs. slim give different impressions
Example of the descriptive essay
In terms of population, Kigamboni is averagely populated by people of different tribes, religions and race. But rather a great number happens to be people of the coast from Zanzibar and Pemba. Both Christians Muslims and other religions exist among the population of Kigamboni Hehe, Sukuma, Chagga with many other tribes. All these make up the people we see in that area.
The environment in Kigamboni is awesome considering the green vegetable around, the ocean at large bringing the breeze towards the area. And due to the ocean, people have to cross using a ferry well known as Panton to get to town for their activities. Despite existence of fishing activities, trade centers, people in Kigamboni still manage to keep the environment clean.
Weather in Kigamboni is good, sunny at times rainy too but worthy. It even facilitates growth of crops such as coconut yams, potatoes and more helped by the fertile soil around the areas. And so far no disaster has occurred involving the weather.
Economically Kigamboni is full of various activities, trade, fishing, industries. People living have a normal life standard for an African as they participate in various activities.
Kigamboni happens to be a very unique place that lately it’s been heard that it will be renovated to a very big- beautiful city, so maybe then it can always remain a perfect home for me and every other citizens living there.
c) Expository essays
It is the type of essay or composition which is meant to present information, explanation opinions or ideas about something.
These are the essay we most often write at school and they usually rely on the writers experience that means without experience these essays cannot be
The following are some of the strategies of expository essays
- Choose the topic that you are familiar with, for example if your given a task to write about the disadvantages of corruption
- Development a thesis statement that will act as the basis of your explanation; For example the following statements,
– It is good for people of different religions to marry
– Civil education can lead to free and fair election
– If a female student gets pregnant, her parents should be held responsible
- Determine your purpose and audience
The purpose will make you decide on the style and the audience will guide you how to write your exposition.
“Bride price is outdated”, Discus
The business or official letters file into several categories as follows
- Application letters – for job application
- Query letters – for seeking information
- Complain letters – claiming something
- Resignation letters – resigning
- Inquiring/order letter – for ordering goods
- Confirmation letters – confirming or indicating that things will be done
Consider the following letters
P.O. BOX 232,
11th July 2013
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER,
MWANANCHI COMMUNICATION LTD,
P.O. BOX 1123,
DAR ES SALAAM.
RE: APPLICATION FOR THE NEWS EDITOR POST
I read with interest your advertisement that appeared in the Mwananchi news paper of 10th July 2013 through which you declared that you are in need of a qualified news editor. So, I write in response.
I am a graduate from the University of Dar Salaam were I got my degree in journalism in 2008. Since my graduation I have been working as a free lancing news editor for various news papers in Tanzania so have ample experience in the field of editing. Other qualifications that I posses will be evident in the CV and the certificate copies that I have enclosed with this letter.
I will be pleased to work with a prosperous and International standard news paper like yours. The experience that I have most in these few years convinces me that I can work to meet your standards. Working with your company will make me advance my carrier further. Indeed, I regard may self as the right person your company is looking for.
I am ready to appear for interview at your convenience. I’m also looking forward to receiving a positive response from you.
- The senders address
- The receivers address
- Title/heading of the letter
- Body of the letter
Should have four paragraphs
i. Opening (reflects the title)
ii. Give brief description of your recent qualifications and experience
iii.Describe why your special, why you should be considered and others
iv. How you will be contacted and your readiness for the interview.
7. The ending or closure of the letter
This goes with the words yours faithfully if the address is unknown your sincerely if the address is known
MTWARA WATER AUTHORITY,
P.O. BOX 8877,
RE: APPLICATION FOR THE SECRETARY POST
I learned of the position as advertised recently in the daily news paper that you are in need of a secretary and so I write in response.
I am a Diploma holder of secretarial courses at the Mwalimu Nyerere College in Dar es Salaam. I have worked as a secretary in an NGO in Dar es Salaam for two years after receiving my diploma hence I have experience on this field. The certificates to prove this plus other qualifications I have as indicated in my CV will be attached with the letter.
I have considerable working experience which makes me feel confident about the fact that I can work to meet your needs. I will be very pleased to get job with a good and accurate company.
I would welcome an opportunity to get discuss with you during the interview hence am hoping for a positive response.
Write an application letter to the general manager, Mtwara water authority, P.O. BOX 8877, Mtwara. Apply for the post of a secretary as advertised recently in the daily news paper.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Letter to the newspaper editor are formal letters which are written on different subjects. For example complains about something like poor sewage system, poor services offered by certain company. In that scenario one may wish to write a letter to the editor to express his/her point of view. Try to keep them short under 150 words because the longer one may be cropped by the editor.
Guideline on how to write letters to the editor
1. State the argument you are responding to
2. Deal with one issue per letter.
3. Do not be abusive.
4. It should be logically organized
– a brief explanation of the arqument you are opposing
– followed by a statement of your own position
– present your evidence
– close with a pithy comment.
5. Use facts, figures and expert testimony whenever possible
6. Respect the opinion of people with special knowledge or experience.
7. Proof read your letter carefully for errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar.
8. A letter should not be mailed the same day it is written.
9. Try to view the letter from the reader’s perspective.
10. Always include your names, address, day-time, phone number and signature.
Format on how to write the letter to the editor.
1. Receiver’s address
4. Main body
5. Ending of the letter
6. Sender’s address
P. O. Box 34
Dar Es Salaam.
Dear Editor ,
RE: DIRTINESS IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT.
Your main body should have at least 4 points each in an independent paragraph (so the main body should be of 4 paragraphs)
Yours in building the nation.
Good Citizen(your name)
P. O. Box………
DAR ES SALAAM
CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)
-It is the document that gives ones use account in terms as education, date of birth, work experience employment status, citizenship etc.
There are 2 ways/style of writing a CV
- British style
- American style
- BRITISH STYLE CV
I. PARTICULARS/PERSONAL PARTICULARS
Name – (John Mario Woolworth)
Marital status- single/married/widow
Date of birth…………….
Place of birth…………..
2013-2017 University of Mzumbe
B.A of Public Administration
2010-2012 Shaaban Robert Secondary School.
A – level education, Division I
2006-2009 Tusime Secondary School
O-level education, Division II
III EMPLOYMENT TO DATE
2012 to-date Human Resource Manager
Kwanza Bottlers Ltd
2016-2018 Personnel officers
Driving, computer literacy in Ms.word, Mc.excel
Should be someone who knows you well
SAMPLE OF A BRITISH STYLE CV
- PARTICULARS/PERSONAL PARTICULARS
Name Caroline Senga
Marital Status Single
Address P.O. BOX 123 DSM
Date of Birth 21st March, 1994
Place of Birth Mwanza
2. EDUCATION/ QUALIFICATIONS
2014-2017 University of Dar es Salaam
B.A of Sociology
2012-2014 Shaaban Robert Secondary School
A-level education, division I
2008-2011 Cornelius Girls Secondary
O-level education division III
2001-2007 St. Mary Junior School
Fluent in French
Name Nicholas Raphael Mbena
Address P.O. BOX 678 Iringa
Tel no. 0784-188840
2.AMERICAN STYLE CV
To obtain a post of human Resource Manager
IV. WORK EXPERIENCE
VI. PERSONAL INTERESTS
In includes: – football, Jogging, Reading novels
(i) The major differences between American style and British style are that the American style has an objective for which the CV is written while British style has no
(ii) British style contains many details in the personal particulars while in American style there is only address of the writer
(iii) British CV can be attached to different letters while American CV is attached to particular letter
Question: – Write your own CV using British style and another using American style
A memo is defined as a short note that is written by the superiors to their subordinates whom they lead or work within an organization or institution.
Memo is mainly meant to inform about issues such as meeting, problems
The following are the parts of the memo (format)
1. Title – usually written memo or memorandum
2. Name of the address (which comes after the word to)
3. Name of the writer (it comes after the word from)
4. The date of which the memo is written
5. The subject
6. The body of the memo (the main content)
7. The name of the secretary who typed the memo/Title
TO: James Mason
DATE: 18th July 2013
Kindly inform other teachers above the meeting which will take place tomorrow in the staff room at 10 o’clock am. Class teachers should come with their monthly reports. I hope everyone will attend, making the meeting successfully take place.
NB: The name of the sender has to be followed by the sender signature or initials. In the main body of the memo you ought to show what the topic is about and what you expect from the addressee.
Imagine you are the head prefect at your school write a memo to other perfect telling them to attend the meeting that you have called to every prefect that he/she thinks is have worth discussing.
TO: HASSAN KILOKO
FROM: HEAD PREFECT
Kindly inform all the prefects that early Monday morning 26th September, 2013 there will be a meeting at 10:00 am sharp. Attendance is compulsory. All prefects are respected to come with matters worth discussing at the meeting.
WRITING MINUTES OF THE MEETING
Meetings are formal gatherings convened in order for people to discuss various issues known as AGENDA.
AGENDA is a Latin word meaning THINGS TO BE DONE.
Agenda refers to business items to be dealt within/ during the meeting.
WHY TAKE MINUTES?
Minutes give you a permanent record of what was said in the meeting, there are several reasons why you might find this record useful.
i To remind you of the actions that you and other people agreed to take.
ii To remind you of what was decided.
iii To tell those who couldn’t attend what was said
iv To form the basis of decision making at the next meeting.
v To take actions and make follow ups.
Minute taking may be annoying tedious and often and difficult as you have to write down accurately what was said without writing word to word.
The Following guide line is useful in writing minutes (formal minutes) should include the following.
I. Title of the minutes
This will include the name of the organization and the reason for the meeting. The title should include the date, time and location.
MBEZI BEACH HIGH SCHOOL
Minutes of the staff meeting to evaluate the form six 2013 results, held on 15th August 2013 3:00 PM in staff room NO. 2.
You should list the names of those who are attending the meeting. The Chairperson always reads the list, usually followed by the secretary or
recorder. You may put the secretary last. Ideally you should list the attendees in order of seniority.
III. Apologies for absentees
You should make a list of those who made apologies
IV. Body of minutes
You should write the minutes themselves. Use headings to highlight the main points. Use paragraph numbers so that each item is easily identifiable.
The Chairperson should sign and date the minutes
VI. Action points
You should highlight the person responsible for a particular action which was agreed at the meeting. It is then clear who is supposed to be doing
HOW SHOULD THE MINUTES BE?
Minutes should be brief, clear, accurate, and complete, in a suitable tone. In writing minutes you should always keep in mind that the reader of the minutes is always the most important person, if the readers cannot understand what you have written, the minutes are worthless.
You can be brief by doing the following:
a Separate the important parts of the conversation from the phatic and write the important parts only. Example The audit of stock took four weeks because
of the variation of stock levels and the poor state of the record
b Include only the information needed by the readers of your minutes. E.g. If the chairperson starts by saying “We welcome Michael to our meeting”, Do not
include this in the minutes.
c You should try to avoid saying or noting who said what unless it is essential, otherwise the minutes can become resistive and boring.
Although you should make your minutes as brief as possible, do not leave your reader to give what you mean.
-If the same word is used again and again you can make the abbreviation in a bracket. The abbreviation can be used on its own in the test of the minutes for example Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)
Here what is meant is that the writer of the minutes should use the correct vocabulary and an appropriate tone when writing the minute.
As the minutes later you will be responsible for all the facts in the minutes. So you should understand what is going on in the meeting.
This will allow to summarize what is said accurate if you do not understand something ask for help, otherwise you risk problems arising later on if people
query what you have written.
Do not tempt to use words just because they sound impressive, they may have a slightly different meaning from the actual words used at the meeting.
You should be careful not to leave out useful information when trying to be brief. For Example if your minutes say that a letter from the client was read
and discussed. This does not give any useful information we need to know what was in the letter and the outcome of the discussion.