Guide to Directed Writing

Guide to Directed Writing

Directed writing is an important part in the IGCSE English Language exam. A little bit like composite writing in TOEFL, this part of the exam asks you to summarise the main points and opinions in an article and to evaluate these opinions. The question might specifically asks you to agree or disagree with the opinions in the article. The following are a few things that you should know before the test. (Not suitable for everyone since it is mainly for my own revision.)

Beginning and Ending

If you do not know the person you are writing to:

Dear Sir or Madam,

X xx xxxxx, xxxxx x xx xxxxx xx xxxx xxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxxx xx x x xx.  xxx xxxxxx xxx x xxx xx xx.

Thank you!

Yours Faithfully,
Celia.

If you know who you are writing to:

Dear Ms. Jenny,

X xx xxxxx, xxxxx x xx xxxxx xx xxxx xxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxxx xx x x xx.  xxx xxxxxx xxx x xxx xx xx.

Thank you!

Yours Sincerely,
Celia.

First paragraph

Components of a suitable beginning:

☐ I read your thing or listen to your speech
☐ I agree with you a lot / completely agree
☐ There is some differences in our opinions

It doesn’t matter if you are agreeing to the news article or not, you need to write that you agree with the writer of the news article since the writer will not want to read this anymore. There are several ways to do so:

  • I have recently read your xxx article addressing [the problem addressed].
  • I have recently listened to your speech with regards to [the problem addressed].

And then:

  • There are many valid points that you have highlighted to which I am in complete agreement with such as …
  • I perfectly / totally agree with many (notice here: many, not some) of your opinions, such as…

And if this letter is to criticise the writer:

  • However, there are some areas which I differ in opinion in such as the concept that…

Body Paragraphs

Components of a suitable body paragraph:

☐ To some degree, I agree with you
☐ But this is something you need to consider about
☐ There can be a balance

Always say that you agree with the writer’s points to some extent first, and list out the writer’s opinions and points. After listing out these, “However” and rebut the writer’s point.

Example

To begin with, I acknowledge that [Opinions of the writer with evidence from the original text]. [More opinions of the writer with more evidence from the original text]. However I feel that…

To be fair to you, exams aren’t exactly every student’s most requested wish. Perhaps back in your days, exams were less important because there was not as much competition for jobs in the world. However, in the 21st century,

Last but not least, I feel… Yes, [Opinion of the writer and some evidences]. But I think

Remember, do not be too extreme or no one is going to listen to you. Use phrases like: “I believe it is possible to achieve a balance between the two.” And words such as “perhaps”, “I feel that”.

Ending

// Remember again, always agree with the writer’s points to some extents first, than express your own points. This makes the register right.

Components of a suitable ending:

☐ Points you agree with the writer
☐ Points that you want the writer to consider about (your opinions against her points)

In conclusion, I felt that there were some reasonable arguments that you made such as… [Opinions of the writer]

However, I hope that I have made you realise that… [Your opinions] I sincerely hope that you will consider these points.


That’s all. Hope this helps!

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