Hi! Welcome to this page! Where we will be answering one of the most frequently asked questions by all WASSCE (GCE WAEC) candidates, “how can I write a waec standard essay and get a good grade in my English paper”?
If you have successfully registered for the 2021/2022 waec or you have a plan of registering, then this page is for you.
For all WAEC candidates out there, “knowledge is not planted in a place neither is it stagnant water that everyone goes to only one place to fetch; it is everywhere. The incurable disease that grows in some students’ heart, is the refusal to take a step towards the search for knowledge’.
To know something, curiosity comes first, then our desires strive us to get it”. As a WAEC candidate, you have to drive yourself into researches, explore some topics before the commencement of the examination.
In regards to my findings on this particular topic, which secrets are yet to be known to some student, I will be revealing to you some concrete secrets that will be of help to you during your WAEC examination.
As a WAEC candidate, have you ever asked yourself if you can still give a good definition of an essay in your own perspective? Aside from the one being taught in the class. Do you feel as though want a good grade too, when some other students are being credited for writing a good essay while you are not, I guess you don’t know there are little secrets to it?
However, being intelligent is not enough if you can explore some things helpful to you. You might find it interesting to write an essay and still end up as a failure who knows nothing about writing a good essay.
The word ‘ ESSAY’ is broad, and oftentimes, difficult to attempt. Nevertheless, it is a must you write an essay in your WAEC examination whether you like it or not.
‘ESSAY’ is like a session with the basic aim of expressing your ideas and support it with facts, statements, analysis and interpretations.
At this juncture, each WAEC candidate should know that all these aforementioned are piled into part A theory question in English waec exam. As this article emphasized igniting WAEC candidates on ‘How to write a good essay’ as every essay is a test of how to make your ink flow along with your ideas on a particular given topic.
Oops! What a long introduction.
HOW TO WRITE A WAEC STANDARD ESSAY
Below are the tips on how you can write a waec standard essay in your fourth coming WAEC exam
To write a good waec standard essay, candidates must get used to identifying. It is not enough for you if you know what essay is without the components in which I have mentioned earlier.
Candidates need to get used to familiarisation on the topics they are meant to attempt in part A. To identify gives you hint on given title/topic. Examiners might not be nice enough to tell you if the different topics you are asked to write on is an expository, descriptive, narrative, article, and argumentative. You will be expected to figure this out yourself.
Being familiar with those topics you met in the WAEC examination preparatory class/past questions will enable you to know about the type and the different topics derived from each type.
For instance, for the theoretical questions in part A;
RELATED QUESTIONS YOU WILL MEET IN YOUR WAEC ESSAY PART
i)As a citizen of a country, write on the role of government in education.
ii)Write on any childhood memories you would love to remember
iii)write a letter to your school principal, stating “some methods on how to inculcate academics morale in students”
iv)Write a letter to your friend about “the new development in your school”
v) write a debate topic on “Schooling in public school is better than private school”. Write out your speech for or against the motion.
Vi)you saw the Great Wall of China in your textbook, write something about it, describing how it is to your classmates as a tourist you embarked on
Vii)for the publication of your school magazine. Write an article on “reasons, some students interest in the educational system in your country diminished”.
Seeing from the above, WAEC utme candidates need to be familiarised with the features. Hence, never confuse an expository essay with an argumentative essay. If expository tends to expose the causes, a role so argumentative tends to argue its points for acceptance. To know the task in front of you. “Never restrict yourself to a spot, move beyond also”. Make more researches, revises and be familiar with the UTME English theory questions in part A.
Another secret on ‘how to write a good essay in waec‘ is to discover your niche. As writers are meant to discover their niche in the area of writing, so you as a WAEC candidate must do that to avoid confusion.
Candidates must at least be good at three out of the types under essay. Discovering your niche makes the journey on writing a good essay give birth to an awesome write-ups.
Having discovered your niche.
2. GOOD INTRODUCTION
You should not ignore a good introduction to the essay you are meant to write on.
As we are all aware of the introduction in WAEC letter writing, you also have to be aware of the introduction in other essays. Think of an idea to shoot in your introduction to an essay.
Think creatively, interpret the title of the essay before starting your introduction. “Your introduction in any of the essay you are given to write on in WAEC is an eye-opener to the examiners”. What I meant by eye-opener is that “the construction of your introduction will determine the mark to get’.
Your introduction should be in your mind, practice how to introduce beautiful ideas if you really want to attract more marks to your Essay. Learn how to entice the examiners with your introduction.
Captivate their hearts with your overwhelming construction of introduction. This would trigger examiners to have the interest to carry on and read your essay body/content and eventually fetch you more mark.
3. YOUR PARAGRAPH
As a candidate, learn how to get yourself accustomed to paragraphs in an essay. The best way to write a good essay is to make use of paragraphs. An essay might be five paragraphs, depending on the ideas you have. Don’t give room to carelessness in paragraphing your essay. It is important to introduce paragraph in an essay writing.
The hidden secret of paragraph in the essay is that; it permits you to introduce an idea per paragraph before moving to another paragraph. As a WAEC candidate, considered your paragraph as your utmost priority, don’t forget to paragraph your ideas. Paragraphs are highly recommended and appreciated by the examiners
If you can hit the ball well, you will have a good score on paragraphing your ideas step by step. Don’t make it difficult to do, makes it easier and beautiful to work on to avoid failure in English language examination.
In every essay, you are to write on, your level in which you are capable of making ideas birthed depends on how talented you are on developing the ideas. A good secret behind a good essay is to state down those ideas somewhere in your question pain before putting it on your answers sheet. As you tried to state ideas, try to analyse the ideas, put it into situations in reality. Learn how to avoid diversion from a topic to another topic when stating and developing your ideas.
Be conscious of your ideas, don’t digress, follow the stipulated number of words given to you. You might have to write on 450 words in an essay, be sure in how to go about it. The difference between stating ideas and developing ideas are too clear in the sense that, if you can state your ideas, try to endeavour to develop it constructively with examples. Let your mind flow consciously with your tenses, Concord, punctuation marks. That is very important to do.
In conclusion to how to write a good essay, all candidates should spend time proofreading their essay. The essence of proofreading is to extract some grammatical errors which you might have made while writing. “Nobody is perfect when it comes to writing on an essay”.
To all WAEC candidates, make sure you have a good ending in your essay. As you tend to start with a good introduction, remember the ending also. “the examiners are your readers in WAEC examination. Try to put them into consideration as you will not be present when essays are being marked to explain yourself.
Always note that;
All topics on the essay are based on what has happened in reality and not abstract. Then, be current about things happening around you to make you have an insight into the topics on giving ideas.
Your average performance and contribution to essay writing in the class will determine how well prepared you are for the essay in your WAEC examination.
All WAEC candidates must work more on their essay writing ability to make researches, get familiar with the questions in your UTME series, be ready to express your ideas brilliantly. Make your essay meaningful.
The secrets to “HOW TO WRITE GOOD ESSAY” has been analysed to all WAEC candidates. Your essay is not fiction writing. Take notes and make sure you worked harder to write a good essay after reading this article. “The best way to help yourself is to be creative in your essay”. “IF THE TOPICS IN ESSAY ARE NON-FICTION, LET YOUR IDEAS BE WRITTEN WITH FACTS”.
HOW WAEC ENGLISH ESSAYS ARE MARKED
Below are what examiners look at when marking your waec English essay paper.
For each essay “content” has a maximum of 10 marks.
“Content” refers to the relevance of ideas to the topic and its specific audience and purpose. It also refers to the appropriateness of the language and relevance to the central theme and its development. The adequacy of treatment of the subject matter is important and there must be some originality in approach. A reproduction of knowledge from another subject like Biology or Economics not original to the writer will lead to a reduction of marks. Above all, any deliberate distortion of ideas will be penalized e.g. writing a letter to an editor instead of an article, will be punished. Engaging in an irrelevant topic to the question set will lead to being awarded zero marks. Where the composition appears to be totally irrelevant, the scripts will be referred to the Chief Examiner. Sometimes, many candidates hastily choose a topic they do not understand. Consequently, the topic is frequently misinterpreted, distorted or abandoned halfway for lack of acceptable material e.g. a candidate who was asked to write on an incident but who wrote on an accident will lose marks for irrelevancy if the question has no relevance to an accident.
Following the rules of grammar and punctuation judiciously is not sufficient, a passage without errors of language can be considered badly phrased or difficult to follow based on form and content.
An unusual and unexpected approach will, however, not be rejected without careful consideration.
For each essay, “organization” has a maximum of 10 marks.
“Organization” refers to the correct use of formal features such as good paragraphing, appropriate use of emphasis and arrangement of ideas. Paragraphs are expected to be chronologically, spatially and logically coherent.
What examiners look for include a suitable opening, adequate development into paragraphs, links between paragraph, balance, unity, coherence, and a suitable conclusion. For example, in a letter, all features must be present. Absence of necessary feature or wrong use will be penalized. Paragraphs are expected to be effectively linked for a good score. The usual problem here is inadequate preparation. Many answers lack paragraph development or logical slanting. Again, single-sentence paragraphs are usually common. At the extreme, some essays have one or two paragraphs.
For each essay, “expression” has a maximum of 20 marks.
The expression refers to vocabulary chosen, which should reflect the general audience, atmosphere or format of composition, e.g. vocabulary for an informal letter. Vocabulary must also be controlled and the structure of the sentence.
An example of the distinction being made about vocabulary is the language expectations for an article in a school magazine, which should be a storytelling experience, or for expressing a personal opinion. On the other hand, the language in an article for publication is expected to be formal.
Sentences of informal letters can be long, while those for formal ones short. But incomplete sentences will be penalized. There is also room for emotional language in an informal letter. Judicious and imaginative use of figurative language is also allowed. Descriptive words to create a vivid picture of an incident are also allowed.
Examiners are not expected to be unduly influenced by mechanical errors in awarding marks for expressions but this is perhaps the greatest problem to students, many candidates suffer from a severely restricted vocabulary and inadequate exposure to idiomatic English. Many sentences are translations of the mother tongue, resulting in many un- English collocations. The real cause of the problem is the neglect of extensive reading.
4. MECHANICAL ACCURACY
For each essay, “mechanical accuracy” has a maximum of 10marks
Mechanical accuracy refers to grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) rules to be complied with. Errors discovered will be penalized by examiners, and 1/2 mark deducted for each, up to a maximum of 10marks.
Candidates are expected to use skilful and sophisticated ways of punctuations and should avoid being “caught” by examiners especially on errors indicated by WAEC in its yearly Chief Examiners’ Reports.
5. ADDITIONAL TECHNICAL NOTES FOR MARKING ESSAY / COMPOSITIONS
Examiners will mark on the principle of positive marking i.e. credit will be awarded for what is done right, and penalty will be given for errors and blemishes. Penalties are not in all cases numerical deductions, but the award of a mark lesser than would have been awarded if there were no blemishes.
Once the examiner determines the length of about 450 words, he or she will rule the point. No errors are to count for mechanical accuracy after this point but will be underlined if found and taken into account in giving the mark for “expression”.
When a composition is short or below its required length the maximum mark for M.A shall be proportionately reduced. This will be done before the examiner awards the overall mark for M.A. While there is no penalty against a long composition, generally, the length may count for either a reward or a penalty under CONTENT, ORGANIZATION and EXPRESSION.
If a candidate attempts more than one essay question, only the first one answered will be marked. No penalty shall be given for others.
If a candidate writes on a topic that is irrelevant to the question set, zero shall be awarded for content and organization, and not more than 8 marks out of 20 for expression. The mechanical accuracy bit of it will be treated as stated above