Composition Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide

Lindsay Kramer

As a student, you’ve likely done composition writing, even if the assignments weren’t specifically labeled as compositions. 

The truth is, it can be challenging to answer the question, What is composition writing? Here is the concise definition of “composition”: the way a writer crafts words, sentences, and paragraphs to create a coherent work. More broadly, composition writing covers all the kinds of writing you’ll encounter as a student and the strategies you use to write each type capably.  Give your writing extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly

What is composition writing?

Composition can mean two things. It can mean a piece of writing, or it can mean the art and process of writing. Composition isn’t a specific type of writing like an essay or a blog post. Instead, it’s a broad term that can refer to any (usually nonfiction) work and how a piece is written. Under the first definition, you might be asked to write a composition for class. Using the second definition, somebody might refer to “the essay’s composition” to discuss the format and word choice its author used. A composition is not the same as an essay. Here’s one area where the definition of composition writing can be confusing—an essay is a kind of composition, but the terms aren’t interchangeable. Every essay is a composition, but not every composition is an essay. A composition can also be a book report, a presentation, a short response to a reading assignment, or a research paper. 

The four modes of composition

There are four types of composition:

  • Description
  • Argumentation

Do these sound familiar?

They’re the four types of writing. Essentially, the definition of “composition writing” is the tone and structure a writer uses to express their position . When a composition is a work of fiction, its author typically chooses the composition mode that best expresses the work’s theme. Think of each of these as a composition writing format. You might use more than one of these composition modes in a single piece of writing. 

A description is a piece of writing that makes a clear statement about its subject. Here is an example of a description: 

Water, chemical symbol H2O, is a clear, colorless liquid that has a freezing point of 0 degrees Celsius and a boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius. Water is the most abundant atom in our atmosphere. All life-forms on Earth need water.

A description doesn’t speculate or offer up opinions or interpretations. It simply states the facts. 

Exposition is an interpretation of the facts. It expands on a description by introducing additional facts that shed light on how the subject fits into a larger discussion. It might explore related facts and what they imply and/or pivot to related topics through thoughtful transition sentences and extrapolation. It’s still grounded in fact; an exposition doesn’t include its author’s opinions on the subject. Take a look at this example: 

Although water is the most abundant atom in our atmosphere, entire regions are devastated by yearly droughts. These droughts can lead to mass starvation due to crop loss. Switching to more sustainable agricultural practices can reduce the impact of droughts, and doing this successfully requires cooperation between governments and corporations.  

Narration is the mode of writing that presents the author’s point of view. The writing is still about its subject rather than its author, but it discusses and explores the subject through the author’s description of their experience. Here is an example of narrative writing: 

I’ve always had a healthy respect for water, and I’d say that comes from an experience with it I had as a small child. It was a delightful summer day and my family decided to take the boat out. But then the sky suddenly turned gray, and our delightful summer day became a terrifying summer thunderstorm, with forceful winds pushing the boat as my brother and I tried to bail the pooling rainwater out with buckets. 

See how this example is about the author’s thoughts and feelings about water, whereas description and exposition stick to objective facts? Personal essays are perhaps the most common type of narration composition.

The last type, argumentation , isn’t really argumentative. Rather, it’s similar to a persuasive essay . In an argumentation composition, the writer presents two or more positions on an issue and, through a logical exploration of each, demonstrates why one position is the best choice. Take a look at this example: 

Researchers have identified multiple strategies we can use to prevent droughts. These include rainwater harvesting, desalination, switching to renewable energy sources, and combating deforestation. These strategies have different success rates . . . 

In this example, the writer would go on to compare these different drought prevention strategies and their recorded success rates. 

When do you write a composition?

You might be asked to write a composition as part of a composition writing course. It’s not uncommon for students to be required to take courses that focus solely on composition writing, often early on in their college careers, to prepare them for the writing they’ll do in other courses later. 

Your instructor might also assign you to write a composition when the assignment doesn’t quite fit the parameters of an essay or other established academic writing format. This might be because the assignment is primarily to give your opinion or perspective rather than support a specific position with evidence. You might also be asked to write a composition as a way to practice writing in one of the compositional modes we discussed above. 

How to write a composition in 5 steps

As we mentioned above, composition writing is a broad subject. There is no specific composition writing format, nor are you limited to any specific composition writing topics. 

If your composition is an essay—and often, this is the case—follow the standard essay format unless your instructor tells you to follow a different format. 

Composition writing follows the same writing process as every other kind of writing. Here are the steps: 

1 Brainstorm

Before you can start writing, you need to figure out what you’re going to write about! When you brainstorm, that’s exactly what you do. Take some time to think about your subject, the compositional mode you’re writing in, and the sources you’re using (if your assignment requires sources) to support your position. 

Jot down every idea, relevant fact, and connection you come across. You can also give freewriting a try as you brainstorm to see how your mind wanders through your subject and sources. Take your time with brainstorming because this is the stage where you might come across the perfect topic sentence and make connections among sources you might not have realized before. 

The next step in the writing process is creating an outline . This is a basic framework for your composition.  

An outline helps you organize your composition by giving you a visual overview of its flow. Depending on your assignment and instructor, you might be required to submit your outline and have it approved before moving forward with your composition. Even if you aren’t, it can be very helpful to create an outline so you have something to follow and refer to when writing and editing. 

3   First draft

Finally, it’s time to do some composition writing!

Using your brainstorming notes and outline, write your composition. Keep in mind that you don’t have to write it in order—in fact, it can be helpful to start with whichever part you find easiest to write, like the conclusion or one of the supporting paragraphs, and build it out from there.

Don’t worry too much about making grammatical mistakes at this stage. You’ll fix those when you edit your draft. Similarly, if a sentence or paragraph feels awkward, out of place, or otherwise not quite right, don’t dwell on it now. That, too, is something you’ll smooth out when you edit. When you’re writing your first draft, just focus on getting the words out of your brain and into your composition. 

If you didn’t come up with a title when you brainstormed or outlined, you might be able to write a clever one once you have a finished draft. 

With the first draft down, give yourself a break. You’re a better editor when you come back to your work with fresh eyes, so take a few hours—ideally, twenty-four hours or so—to work on other projects or spend some time relaxing. 

Once your break is over, read your draft again. Take note of all the grammatical mistakes and which words, sentences, and paragraphs feel off. Grammarly can help you catch mistakes at this stage.

Beyond any small edits like changing word choices, fixing grammatical mistakes, and smoothing out transitions between sentences and sections, look at the bigger picture. Try to see if there are any logical fallacies in your work or if there are areas where you can dive deeper into your subject. Editing is a holistic process, so pay attention to all the parts of your composition and how they work together. 

Through the editing process, you’ll end up with a second draft. At this stage, you’re almost ready to submit your work. 

5 Proofread

After editing your work, proofread it! This is the last look-over before you submit your composition to your instructor. 

At this stage, you’re primarily focused on catching any grammar , syntax, or spelling mistakes that can be fixed easily. When you edited your work, you did the heavy lifting of transforming a first draft into a second draft. Through that stage, you might have added new sentences or reworked existing ones. At this stage, check and see if you made any mistakes in those new sentences or if you overlooked any mistakes in lines you kept from the first draft.

Let Grammarly have another look at it too. Grammarly makes suggestions you can use to make your work stronger, like offering fixes to grammatical mistakes and ways you can make your work’s tone more cohesive. 

After proofreading your work and fixing any mistakes, you’ve got a finished, ready-to-submit second draft! The only thing left to do is turn it in to your instructor and wait for their feedback. 

Composition writing FAQs

Composition writing is the organization and process of creating a piece of writing. It broadly refers to all the kinds of writing a student may be assigned, which are typically types of writing like essays and reports. 

What are the different kinds of composition?

The four kinds of composition are: 

How is composition writing structured? 

There is no specific composition writing format. However, compositions typically follow a similar format as essays. Most compositions begin with an introduction that includes the work’s thesis, which is then followed by supporting paragraphs containing evidence from the sources the writer used in their research. After these supporting paragraphs, most compositions end with a conclusion that reiterates each point made and offers a new, final thought on the subject.

how to write a composition in english language

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8 Steps to Write a Good Composition (part 1)

Are you having trouble with your writing skills? Read this and you will find good and simple advice to make things much easier and your compositions much better. Even impressive. Just follow the 8 steps we will show you.


The first thing to consider is that a composition is not simply a piece of writing. It must be composed, it must have a structure and a cohesive organisation. Compare these two examples:

A-   My brother’s tall and handsome and with blue eyes and, yeah, well, maybe a bit fat, but not much, you know, something like your cousin, but maybe not that much. And he’s very funny, ha ha, I’ll tell you about what he did yesterday, but not now. And brown-haired. Almost dark. Well, not dark but… well, yeah, dark. Oh, I said funny, but well, when he’s got a bad day, uff, he scares me sometimes…

B-   My brother is tall, handsome and has got blue eyes. He is a little fat, but not much. His hair is dark brown. I like him because he is very funny and always makes me laugh. Nevertheless, he can also be quite serious sometimes.

As you can easily perceive, A is a good example of oral English, but it would be totally unacceptable for a composition. On the other hand, B is the right thing to say when writing, with simple, organised ideas. But B would be considered too pedantic and even unacceptable when talking in a normal conversation.

Using a correct language is part of it, but not enough. Both A and B are correct language, but  Spoken and Written language are different, they use, to some extent, different vocabulary, different grammar and, especially, a different way to express things!


Many think that planning is a waste of time, especially if you are sitting for an exam and time is limited. But the truth is that planning your composition will not only make the task easy and much better; it will also make it all faster. At least once you have practised a little bit.

First, you have to know what topic you’re going to write about. In most situations you will already know this when you sit down to write. And then, you must start making an outline:

1- opening sentence = topic + approach 2- ideas connected to the opening sentence 3- details about those ideas 4- closing sentence

When you are happy with the outline, it comes the time to do the writing, and here you should follow these other 4 steps:

5- write a title 6- organize ideas into paragraphs 7- write the composition 8- correct your composition

In this article we well help you to make a good outline, which is the basis of this method. We will complete the 8 steps in a second article (see part 2, to be published very soon). So let’s get started.

1- topic + approach = opening sentence (O.S.)


Think of the opening sentence as a little perfume bottle: the topic is the material (the glass), the approach is the shape of the glass, and all the composition will be the perfume inside the bottle. If some perfume falls outside the bottle, it will evaporate (and spoil your composition).

Think of a word or several words that will identify the topic. Think of a word or several words that will identify the approach. The topic is what your composition is about. Your approach is usually what your opinion about the topic is, or just the way you see it, or what you want to say about that topic. When you have the topic and the approach, write the opening sentence with both ideas.

Topic - Life in a village Approach - better than cities Opening sentence - Nowadays, most people prefer living in cities, but I prefer to live in a village because life there is much better and healthy.

Another example of O.S.- Life in a village is very different from life in the city. (topic: life in a village / approach: different from city)

2- ideas (points) connected to the opening sentence

Outline 1

Example of good points:

  • no pollution
  • people know each other
  • friendly people
  • contact with nature
  • life is cheaper

Example of bad points:

  • I live in Rome (not relevant to the O.S.)
  • Villages in the south of Spain are bigger than in the north (wrong, we must compare life in the village with life in the city, not comparing different villages)
  • Last year I visited a very beautiful village (not relevant to the O.S.)
  • Night life is boring (it contradicts the O.S. unless you compensate this with a “but…”)
  • People gossip and are nosy and messes with your life (modifies or contradicts the idea in the O.S.)
  • In the 14 th century many villages were created (who cares? We’re not talking about history)
  • My friend Tom lives in a village (not relevant, unless you use Tom’s opinion to support yours)
  • My friend Tom, from a village, is very friendly (digression: this idea is not directly connected with the O.S.. It is directly connected to the point “friendly people” and only indirectly connected to the O.S., so it’s no good)

3- details about the points  

Each point is the seed of a future paragraph (or section or chapter, if it is a long writing). For every point, think of a few details to explain that idea.

Example: - friendly people

  • people help you
  • people talk to you in the streets
  • people invite you to a drink in the bars

4- closing sentence  

Outline 2

1- a restatement of the opening sentence (you say the same idea but using different words) Example: There’s no doubt about it: life in a village is much better than life in a city .

2- a summary of the points (ideas) . Example: With a cheaper life, a close contact with nature, a healthy environment and surrounded by nice people, villages are the ideal place to live .

3- a look to the future . Example: I really think I should leave the city and look for a nice house in a village as soon as possible .

4- a related thought that grows out of the body (usually a conclusion from the points). Example: That’s why our urban societies are more efficient, but its people are less human .

5- mixed type (a combination of several types of conclusions) Example: That’s why I’m planning to move to a village, because life there is much better than in the cities (type 3 + type 1, even the whole sentence can be an example of type 4)

So if you follow this advice, you will find that writing turns easier and the results are much better than when you simply sit and write. Just remember the bottle of perfume:

  • The glass : The opening sentence. Your first sentence, which will contain all the ideas of your piece of writing inside.
  • The perfume : All the things you have to say. Don’t let even a drop fall outside the bottle.
  • The cap : The last sentence in your composition. The one that will close it and make it a finished piece of work.

Once you have a good outline, you must use it to write your composition, essay or whatever you must write. Things are now much easier when you know all the time exactly what you have to say, confident that you’ll never get tangled, blocked or messed up in your writing. We can also guide you in this second phase (steps 5-8), but that will be in our next article:

8 Steps to Write a Good Composition (part 2)

Written by Angel Castaño


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5 tips on how to write an impressive composition.

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New year, new school, new opportunities for growth! Read our article as we share some tried and true tips for parents and children in the lead up to the first day of primary school.

A Whole New World Awaits

New classmates, new teachers, new school environment — your child’s tiny world is about to get a lot bigger. With these changes come opportunities for personal, social and cognitive growth.

The Countdown And Preparation Begins

In these weeks as you count down to your child’s first day of school, you may be wondering, “What will school be like for my child? Will my child be able to cope in the new environment?”

Parents can help by being proactive —  research from professionals at Duke University   suggests that establishing a strong communication channel with your child’s teachers helps and so does monitoring changes in your child's behaviour or mood when he or she first starts school.

Whether at home or in school, we’ve got some great tips for every stage of preparation that will help you (and your child) pave a smooth journey towards the new school term in January.

1. Create A Routine That Works

Studies have shown that  routines help children feel safe and secure . Set up a routine that works for your child — whether it’s a shower before dinner or an afternoon snack before naptime, it’s important that your child gets into a routine that he or she is comfortable with. 

2. Identify Friendly Figures In School

Helping your child identify teachers or staff he or she can go to for assistance is important. When your child recognises trustworthy figures of authority, he or she will feel more secure in the new environment.

Related Article: Gear Up For Primary 1

3. Prepare An 'Emergency' Fund

You may want to consider setting aside an “emergency fund” for your child. Placing extra money in a separate wallet or purse to be kept in his or her school bag means that your child will still have access to money if he or she misplaces pocket money. However, you should set some strict rules about when this money can be used.

4. Test Out That Transport Route

It may be a good idea to have a few dry runs of your child’s journey to and from school to help your child familiarise himself or herself with the route. Help your child identify key landmarks and remember the specific place where he or she will be dropped off or picked up from everyday.

Related Article: Raising A Responsible Child

5. Set Mini Goals To Achieve Together

Help to make the experience seem less daunting by setting mini goals for the first day of school. Start with small tasks like “Leave the house on time” or “Remember to bring my water bottle home” or “Meet one new friend in class today”. These mini goals give your child something to look forward to on his or her first day of school!

Download Our Special Guide To Surviving And Thriving In Primary 1

The Learning Lab would like to extend our help as you and your child are preparing for Primary 1 and the new adventures that lie ahead. Download our fun and informative guide filled with 25 great tips to help your child survive and thrive in Primary 1!

Writing is a creative medium for expressing thoughts and perspectives on diverse subjects. However, it can be difficult for your child to accurately convey his or her thoughts fluently in writing.

Writing essays and other literary compositions are an integral part of student life that extends to adult life. And although your child is far from the world of employment, it is worth noting that most jobs require writing skills at some capacity.

Here at The Learning Lab, we believe that effective written communication is a meaningful skill that helps our students become better at relaying information, conveying their thoughts and forming trusting relationships.

Nurture your child’s mastery of written English by introducing him or her to what we consider the five basic elements to writing an effective composition.

how to write a composition in english language

1. Determine the Central Idea of the Composition

An essay, as with most written compositions, has an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

The central idea connects these three parts to create one theme. It gives the composition direction and purpose, making it enjoyable and easy to read.

To bring out the central idea throughout the written composition, it is important to first identify the key words from the question. If the title or headline for the composition is provided, the key words would likely be supplied as well.

For example, if your child is tasked to write about “The Person I Admire the Most”, the key words are “person” and “admire”. In this case, the central idea would not only be about the person, but also about the qualities that make that person admirable and why.

how to write a composition in english language

2. Check That the Composition Has a Smooth and Cohesive Flow

Another element that makes a written piece effective is effortless flow. This involves weaving words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs together, in a logical manner, to support the central idea.

To achieve coherency, we recommend drafting an outline⁠ — ⁠an organised set of questions that will give your child clarity and direction in crafting the composition.

Using the same topic, “The Person I Admire the Most”, the outline may look like this:


  • Who is the person I admire the most? 
  • What makes this person distinctive?
  • What are the qualities I admire about this person?
  • Why do I admire these specific qualities about this person?
  • How does this person inspire me to become a better version of myself?

The outline helps both the writer and the reader understand the point of the composition in a smooth and logical manner.

how to write a composition in english language

3. Support Statements with Evidence

A composition supported by evidence in the form of interviews, dialogues, speeches, testimonials, personal accounts or citations from reliable sources suggests credibility and is more persuasive to the reader.

At the primary school level, students can provide anecdotal evidence — evidence collected in a casual or informal manner. They can rely on personal testimonies to provide real-life accounts and experiences to back up their ideas.

In secondary school, students are presented with several different topics or questions and may pick the one they wish to write about. These range from writing fictional stories to providing their thoughts on real-world topics like the impact of global warming.

As such, students in secondary school are encouraged to read up on worldly events so they remain updated on current issues and can incorporate quotes or facts into their composition where needed.

how to write a composition in english language

4. Evoke Emotion and Sustain Readers’ Attention

People read not only to be informed but also to be entertained, and perhaps to gain a new perspective about a subject or even to find inspiration. 

A well-written composition captures and sustains a reader’s attention. Your child can achieve this by using descriptive words or phrases to bring out specific emotions in readers. Figures of speech are also helpful in injecting creativity in his or her written compositions. 

Using metaphors and similes, for example, helps the reader understand a subject by comparing it to something else. If your child is describing a dull performance, he or she can write something along the lines of, “watching the show was like watching paint dry.'' 

Artful narratives help the reader relate to your child’s story more as compared to writing a matter-of-factly composition.

how to write a composition in english language

5. Work Towards a Distinctive Style

While the elements above are all very important in crafting an engaging and compelling composition, “style” is the one factor that can make a student’s composition stand out from the rest.

We don’t mean personality. What we mean by style is the manner in which a student consistently and distinctly writes. It’s the artistic flair with which ideas are put together in words. 

Mark Twain, for instance, is best known for his humour and sharp social satire. Jane Austen’s writing is filled with irony and often features female protagonists, while JK Rowling’s prose is easily recognisable through her vivid imagination and invention of strange words.

At The Learning Lab, our teachers look at facts as well as opinions. We want to be able to assess, through students’ writing, how clear and creative these ideas are processed and presented.

Lastly, it’s worth reminding your son or your daughter that there are no set rules in writing. This is what makes the English language attractive and interesting — its contextual flexibility, socio-cultural variations and playfulness.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath

how to write a composition in english language

Bring Out the Wordsmith in Your Child

The foundation of effective communication is literacy; the ability to read and write. But at TLL, we want our students to go beyond learning how to simply read and write.

In our English programmes, a lot of emphasis is placed on allowing our students to exercise their powers of putting the English language on paper; gaining confidence, picking up the tricks of the trade and tackling common problems along the way.

Through our simple yet effective 6-step structured approach to writing, we introduce students to good writing, teach them specific writing techniques and help them understand the importance of characterisation, tone and imagery.

From generating ideas and structuring the flow of the story for a story curve to detailing the characters’ successes or failures in the climax, click here to find out more about TLL's structured 6-step writing approach.

how to write a composition in english language

Early Years

Nursery 2 – kindergarten 2.

In addition to building a foundation for word recognition, vocabulary and sentence structure when it comes to writing, our early years programmes also inculcate fundamental skills in reading and speaking.

how to write a composition in english language

Primary 1 – Primary 6

At the primary levels, we help develop our students' ability to analyse questions, craft precise answers and produce writing of greater quality, sophistication and length to excel in all examinable components of the English subject.

how to write a composition in english language

Secondary & Junior College

Secondary 1 – junior college 2.

Our secondary to junior college programmes help students further develop their writing, speaking, comprehension and listening skills, enhancing their overall language appreciation and mastery. 

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How to Write a Composition

Last Updated: October 6, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 796,200 times.

You don't have to be a good writer to write well. Writing is a process. By learning to treat writing as a series of small steps instead of a big all-at-once magic trick you have to pull off will make writing a composition much easier and much more fun. You can learn to brainstorm main ideas before you start writing, organize a draft of those main ideas, and revise your composition into a polished essay. See Step 1 for more information.

Composition Template

how to write a composition in english language


Step 1 Read the assignment closely.

  • What is the purpose of the composition?
  • What is the topic of the composition?
  • What are the length requirements?
  • What is the appropriate tone or voice for the composition?
  • Is research required? These questions are good for you to ask.
  • Pre-writing: gathering your thoughts or research, brainstorming, and planning the compositions
  • Writing: actively writing your composition
  • Editing: re-reading your paper, adding sentences, cutting unnecessary parts, and proofreading

Step 3 Do a free-write...

  • Try a timed writing by keeping your pen moving for 10 minutes without stopping. Don't shy away from including your opinions about a particular topic, even if your teacher has warned you from including personal opinions in your paper. This isn't the final draft!

Step 4 Try a cluster or bubble exercise.

  • Write the topic in the center of the paper and draw a circle around it. Say your topic is "Romeo & Juliet" or "The Civil War". Write the phrase on your paper and circle it.
  • Around the center circle, write your main ideas or interests about the topic. You might be interested in "Juliet's death," "Mercutio's anger," or "family strife." Write as many main ideas as you're interested in.
  • Around each main idea, write more specific points or observations about each more specific topic. Start looking for connections. Are you repeating language or ideas?
  • Connect the bubbles with lines where you see related connections. A good composition is organized by main ideas, not organized chronologically or by plot. Use these connections to form your main ideas.
  • Don’t worry about coming up with a polished thesis statement or final argument now; that can come later in the process.

Step 6 Make a formal...

  • Your thesis statement needs to be debatable. In fact, many thesis statements are structured as the answer to a well-formulated question about the topic. "Romeo & Juliet is an interesting play written by Shakespeare in the 1500s" isn't a thesis statement, because that's not a debatable issue. We don't need you to prove that to us. "Romeo & Juliet features Shakespeare's most tragic character in Juliet" is a lot closer to a debatable point, and could be an answer to a question like, “Who is Shakespeare’s most tragic character?” [5] X Research source
  • Your thesis statement needs to be specific. "Romeo & Juliet is a play about making bad choices" isn't as strong a thesis statement as "Shakespeare makes the argument that the inexperience of teenage love is comic and tragic at the same time" is much stronger.
  • A good thesis guides the essay. In your thesis, you can sometimes preview the points you'll make in your paper, guiding yourself and the reader: "Shakespeare uses Juliet's death, Mercutio's rage, and the petty arguments of the two principal families to illustrate that the heart and the head are forever disconnected."

Writing a Rough Draft

Step 1 Think in fives.

  • Introduction, in which the topic is described, the issue or problem is summarized, and your argument is presented
  • Main point paragraph 1, in which you make and support your first supporting argument
  • Main point paragraph 2, in which you make and support your second supporting argument
  • Main point paragraph 3, in which you make and support your final supporting argument
  • Conclusion paragraph, in which you summarize your argument

Step 2 Back up your main points with two kinds of evidence.

  • Proof includes specific quotes from the book you're writing about, or specific facts about the topic. If you want to talk about Mercutio's temperamental character, you'll need to quote from him, set the scene, and describe him in detail. This is proof that you'll also need to unpack with logic.
  • Logic refers to your rationale and your reasoning. Why is Mercutio like this? What are we supposed to notice about the way he talks? Explain your proof to the reader by using logic and you'll have a solid argument with strong evidence.

Step 3 Think of questions that need to be answered.

  • Ask how. How is Juliet's death presented to us? How do the other characters react? How is the reader supposed to feel?
  • Ask why. Why does Shakespeare kill her? Why not let her live? Why does she have to die? Why would the story not work without her death?

Step 4 Don't worry about "sounding smart."

  • Only use words and phrases that you have a good command over. Academic vocabulary might sound impressive, but if you don’t fully grasp its meaning, you might muddle the effect of your paper.

Step 1 Get some feedback on your rough draft.

  • Try writing a rough draft the weekend before it's due, and giving it to your teacher for comments several days before the due date. Take the feedback into consideration and make the necessary changes.

Step 2 Be willing to make big cuts and big changes.

  • Moving paragraphs around to get the best possible organization of points, the best "flow"
  • Delete whole sentences that are repetitive or that don't work
  • Removing any points that don't support your argument

Step 3 Go from general to specific.

  • Think of each main point you're making like a mountain in a mountain range that you're flying over in a helicopter. You can stay above them and fly over them quickly, pointing out their features from far away and giving us a quick flyover tour, or you can drop us down in between them and show us up close, so we see the mountain goats and the rocks and the waterfalls. Which would be a better tour?

Step 4 Read over your draft out loud.

Expert Q&A

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

  • Write a point, and expand 2 lines on that particular point. Thanks Helpful 8 Not Helpful 1
  • Open source software called Free Mind can help with the pre-writing process. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 1
  • You can always add more circles to your guiding diagram if you think the much you have is not sufficient. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 2

how to write a composition in english language

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About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a composition, start with a brainstorming session to get your thoughts down on paper. You can create a formal outline during this time, or experiment with bubble exercises and free-writing. Next, create a clear thesis statement to base your composition around. Then, write an introduction, 3 main paragraphs, and a conclusion that summarizes your argument. Read through and revise your content, and don't forget to proofread thoroughly! To learn more about the "rule of 5" and how to back up your statements in a composition, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Composition

how to write a composition

Do you want to excel in your English Language subject or exceed everyone’s expectations while taking an exam? Then you need to know how to prepare a great composition!

Compositions happen to be one of the most important aspects of learning the English Language. However, the task can be challenging and stressful in a sense that the topics are wide-ranging and the requirements are always strict. Don’t worry if you are not completely sure how to express your opinion on a particular topic correctly. With a few tips and tricks, you’ll be able to prepare the most effective writing piece whenever you need.

​Effective Planning Gives Right Direction

Planning is very important for preparing a great composition. It aids in organizing your thoughts, keeps good control over the writing process, motivates to write better and faster, and helps to keep on track.

To be more prepared for starting to write your composition, you need to answer the 5 W’s and 1 H:

1. Who is the main character of your story? 2. Where do the events take place? 3. When does it happen? 4. What happened? 5. Why did it occur? 6. How was everything solved?

After answering these questions and identifying the main purpose of your composition (to inform, persuade, entertain, call attention to something), you can proceed to writing.

​Use a Common Composition Structure

When writing a composition, it is essential to know its main parts. A typical composition in the English Language consists of the heading, introduction, main body and conclusion.

When choosing a title for your composition, make sure it relates to the presented content. Keep it short and catchy to grab the reader’s attention at once. A good title can range from two to several words and it is not recommended to use a heading that looks like a long and complex sentence.


The next important thing after the heading is the introductory paragraph. It basically lets the reader find out what your composition is about and makes him or her follow to the main part. Therefore, make sure that your introduction:

  • is interesting enough to hook the reader’s attention;
  • prepares your reader for what is to follow;
  • lets your reader know what your composition will be about;
  • is clear and not too lengthy.

If your introduction fails to catch the reader’s attention, then you’ve done not a great job. Consider to insert a dialogue, intriguing facts, shocking information or a joke to grab the reader’s interest.

After the introductory paragraph, make a smooth transition to the main part of your composition. This is the part where the main story develops. A good body should support the statement you’ve made in your introduction. It is where you express your feelings, thoughts and ideas on a particular topic.

While writing, keep the following things in mind:

  • keep the sentences simple and short for your reader to easily follow your thoughts;
  • avoid complex structures and expressions;
  • use transitional words and phrases to connect the sentences and paragraphs.

Remember that the main body is the heart of your composition, that’s why state the main points consistently and reasonably.

The conclusion is the last but not the least part of your composition. Never end your story abruptly, take time to beautifully conclude your work. Make sure that the last paragraph of your composition is simple and summarizes the main idea of your writing piece, not presents new points and opinions. This is a vital aspect of your composition, so it shouldn’t be underestimated.

​Pointers to Good Composition Writing

Take note of the following things while writing your composition:

1. Your writing should be concise, vivid and sharp. 2. Never use the slang if it doesn’t fit the format of your composition. 3. Don’t use the words if you are not sure about their meaning. 4. Keep your sentences short and not overwhelming. 5. Take care to do a clear and consistent point of view.

Revise your story once it is completed to make sure that you’ve prepared a masterpiece!

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  • Short Composition


What is the Meaning of Composition?

The composition definition can be stated as compiling words and phrases to narrate a particular event or convey a certain message. Composition writing is a very easy method to get the point across and that too in a short amount of time. The composition can be easily understood because often they are written as a form of short composition. Some short composition writing examples are message writing, dairy entry, notice etc.



Composition Writing Format

The composition like a paragraph includes three main parts an introduction, body and conclusion. 

Introduction- This includes the definition of the topic if any and the meaning of the same. And if the topic is about informing something then the introduction includes the aim of the composition.

Body- The body of the composition includes more details about the topic and explains in a very elaborated way so there is a very clear idea about the subject the composition is conveying.

Conclusion- The conclusion paragraph should include supporting concepts covered throughout and give your last thoughts on the fundamental idea of the topic.

Write a short composition on ‘My Hobby.’

Kids Painting

Kids Painting

A hobby is an enjoyable activity that we engage in to pass the time. When we are not engaged in our daily activities, we do something we enjoy. Every one of us enjoys pursuing one or more hobbies. Hobbies allow you to stay active. Hobbies provide us with entertainment. They assist people in remaining energetic at all times. Drawing is one of my hobbies. I enjoy drawing using a variety of colours. It brings me joy to draw. My favourite time of day is when I go home from school because I have more free time to paint. On my notepad, I enjoy drawing photos of my mum and father. They're my favourite ones. Fruits like mango, orange, and banana are other favourites of mine to paint. My mother encourages me to keep drawing. Everyone at my school enjoys my drawings as well. My teachers always invite me to join in school competitions. There is a small room in my house that my father built. I've retained all of the drawings I've made in that room. I drew a mango, a pineapple, mountains, a cow and many more things. My mum and father are always ready to gift me all required art supplies. They are overjoyed that I do not waste time and sketch in my spare time.

Different Types of Composition Writing

Practice exercise.

Write a short notice as the class monitor regarding the upcoming summer vacation dates and the summer camp schedule.

Composition Exercise

Composition Exercise

Date- 1-05-20XX

This is to tell all students that during the summer holidays, which will start soon from April 25, 20XX to June 15, 20XX our school will have a summer camp that will run from Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Many engaging activities in English relevant to studies, such as sports and exercise, will be available. You will be responsible for your own transportation. Those that are interested should contact their assigned teacher.

Class Monitor

Do it Yourself

1. Write a short composition on ‘A Weekend Trip’.


2. Write a short composition on ‘A fantasy world.’

A Fantasy World

A Fantasy World

3. Write a short composition on ‘ My Favourite Subject’.

Class of Students Reading

Class of Students Reading


FAQs on Short Composition

1. What is the definition of writing a brief composition?

These are short texts aimed at a specific individual who is not present at the time but will be in a short period of time, and the writer will not be present at that time. It can be used to send a crucial message to someone who will be arriving shortly at the location. For instance, write a notice for the upcoming story writing competition or update about the upcoming exam schedule etc. 

2. What's the difference between a composition and an essay?

Any creative effort, whether it's a short story, poem, essay, research paper, or piece of music, is referred to as a composition. As a result, the primary distinction between an essay and a composition is that an essay is a form of composition, whereas composition is any creative work. The other main difference between essays and compositions is the length of the two. While essay however short is a more detailed look than a composition which is short. 

3. What is the significance of composition writing?

Writing and composition are crucial tools in literacy, education, and, most importantly, communication. People can communicate ideas, feelings, emotions, opinions, debates, and many other types of information through composition and writing.

How To Write Good Composition Essays

writing compositions

Writing is a creative tool for expressing ideas and viewpoints on a wide range of topics. However, it may be challenging for one to express themselves clearly in writing.

Writing essays and other literary productions is an essential aspect of student and adult life. And, while you might still have a long way from the workforce, it is worth noting that most careers demand some level of writing ability.

Primary school composition is where many of us begin to harness our writing skills. Teachers and parents both play a part in helping primary school students to learn on how to write a good composition.

Want to know more about the basic elements of a composition essay? Keep scrolling!

model compositions


Most written compositions and essays all have an introduction, body paragraph and a conclusion.

A good introduction captures the reader’s attention, and this makes them more keen to read on. This is why the first paragraph is crucial in creating an effective composition.

The main idea of this is to connect these parts together to create a good flow. This allows the composition to stick to a theme and makes it an interesting read.

In the beginning, it is important to first focus on the keywords and the clear purpose of the composition from the given topic. The keywords are most likely linked to the title and headline of the composition.


As mentioned above, a good flow makes a good composition. This is where you put your writing skills to the test by combining phrases, vocabulary together logically to create paragraphs that support the ideas of your composition.

Drafting an outline in this stage would be helpful in organizing your thoughts and good points in composition writing.

The outline will help both the writer and the reader in understanding the purpose of the composition. There is no right or wrong way to do this as this is where you are allowed to test out your ideas and fill in the missing blanks to perfect your composition.

A common trouble seen from writers is that they can’t think of anything else to add to the topic. You can put yourself in the reader’s shoes and ask yourself questions that might be asked by the reader.

good writing from first sentence


Adding support from reliable sources into your composition makes it more persuasive to the readers and provides credibility.

There are different levels when it comes to composition writing.

For primary school compositions, students can write and provide supporting statements in a more informal and casual manner. They can rely on personal experiences to describe and back up their ideas in their paper. They can use creative ways to make their composition writing interesting.

For high school students who are given much deeper and difficult topics beyond creative writing, it is helpful to read up on events happening in the world to be updated on current issues. This is useful in writing compositions which are more factual than descriptive.


Some good compositions use descriptive writing to capture the reader’s curiosity and attention.

This can be achieved by using a distinct form of writing style in describing the topic at hand, which can also bring out specific emotions from the readers.

If you are writing a composition with a main character, describing the character’s emotion would be helpful in allowing the reader to connect with the character. Creative narratives can help the readers to relate to the story and be entertained.


creative writing

It can be tempting to call it a day once you’ve finished writing the paper. But it is good to let it sit and come back after a while to go through the paper to see if there are any changes needed.

Allowing friends, family or your teacher to read through is also useful as they might point out confusing sentences or wrong grammar. This helps ensure that your composition is clear and accurate.


Worried that your child can’t grasp the basic principles of composition writing?

Then, here’s the perfect solution for you – SLC!

SLC offers English language classes that will help improve your child’s vocabulary, grammar and so much more. With top-tier educators that utilize a variety of teaching approaches, your child’s education is in safe hands.

Our class levels cater to students that are in the primary and secondary level. We ensure that all of our students not only improve in their academic performance, but also improve their practical daily use of the language as well.

Interested in signing your child up for SLC’s language classes?

Have your child take our comprehensive and all-inclusive Online Diagnostic Assessment. So that we can help them reach their full potential!

If your child has been showing little to no improvements even with the use of practise papers or tuition classes, perhaps it’s time to try something else. ​

Our Online Diagnostic Assessment helps children to discover his/her ‘problematic’ spots and learning-behavioural profile. This combined with SLC’s method and materials can help your child learn effectively to improve his/her grade and deepen his/her foundation in the language.

Simply fill in the form below to book your Online Diagnostic Assessment now. Slots are limited, be sure to book fast!

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What Is Composition? Definition, Types, and Examples

StockSnap / Pixabay

  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

In the literary sense, a composition (from the Latin "to put together") is the way a writer assembles words and sentences to create a coherent and meaningful work. Composition can also mean the activity of writing, the nature of the subject of a piece of writing, the piece of writing itself, and the name of a college course assigned to a student. This essay focuses on practicing how people write.

Key Takeaways

  • In writing, composition refers to the way a writer structures a piece of writing.
  • The four modes of composition, which were codified in the late 19th century, are description, narration, exposition, and argumentation.
  • Good writing can include elements of multiple modes of composition.

Composition Definition

Just like a musician and an artist, a writer sets the tone of a composition to his or her purpose, making decisions about what that tone should be to form a structure. A writer might express anything from the point of view of cool logic to impassioned anger. A composition might use clean and simple prose, flowery, descriptive passages, or analytical nomenclature.

Since the 19th century, English writers and teachers have been grappling with ways to classify forms and modes of writing so beginner writers can have a place to start. After decades of struggle, rhetoricians ended up with four categories of writing that still make up the mainstream of Composition 101 college classes: Description, Narration , Exposition , and Argumentation .

Types of Composition Writing 

The four classical types of composition (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are not categories, per se. They would almost never stand alone in a piece of writing, but rather are best-considered modes of writing, pieces of writing styles that can be combined and used to create a whole. That is to say, they can inform a piece of writing, and they are good starting points for understanding how to put a piece of writing together.

Examples for each of the following composition types are based on the American poet Gertrude Stein's famous quote from " Sacred Emily ," her 1913 poem: "A rose is a rose is a rose."


A description, or descriptive writing, is a statement or account that describes something or someone, listing characteristic features and significant details to provide a reader with a portrayal in words. Descriptions are set in the concrete, in the reality, or solidity of an object as a representation of a person, place, or thing in time. They provide the look and feel of objects, a simultaneous whole, with as many details as you'd like.

A description of a rose might include the color of the petals, the aroma of its perfume, where it exists in your garden, whether it is in a plain terracotta pot or a hothouse in the city.

A description of "Sacred Emily" might talk about the length of the poem and the facts of when it was written and published. It might list the images that Stein uses or mention her use of repetition and alliteration.

A narration, or narrative writing, is a personal account , a story that the writer tells his or her reader. It can be an account of a series of facts or events, given in order and establishing connections between the steps. It can even be dramatic, in which case you can present each individual scene with actions and dialog. The chronology could be in strict order, or you could include flashbacks.

A narration about a rose might describe how you first came across it, how it came to be in your garden, or why you went to the greenhouse that day.

A narration about "Sacred Emily" might be about how you came across the poem, whether it was in a class or in a book lent by a friend, or if you were simply curious about where the phrase "a rose is a rose" came from and found it on the internet.

Exposition, or expository writing , is the act of expounding or explaining a person, place, thing, or event. Your purpose is not to just describe something, but to give it a reality, an interpretation, your ideas on what that thing means. In some respects, you are laying out a proposition to explain a general notion or abstract idea of your subject.

An exposition on a rose might include its taxonomy, what its scientific and common names are, who developed it, what the impact was when it was announced to the public, and/or how was it distributed. 

An exposition on "Sacred Emily" could include the environment in which Stein wrote, where she was living, what her influences were, and what the impact was on reviewers.


Also called argumentative writing , an argumentation is basically an exercise in comparing and contrasting. It is the methodological presentation of both sides of an argument using logical or formal reasoning. The end result is formulated to persuade why thing A is better than thing B. What you mean by "better" makes up the content of your arguments.

Argumentation applied to a rose might be why one particular rose is better than another, why you prefer roses over daisies, or vice versa.

Argumentation over "Sacred Emily" could compare it to Stein's other poems or to another poem covering the same general topic.

The Value of Composition

A great deal of debate enlivened college theoretical rhetoric in the 1970s and 1980s, with scholars attempting to throw off what they saw were the confining strictures of these four writing styles. Despite that, they remain the mainstay of some college composition classes.

What these four classical modes do is provide beginner writers a way to purposefully direct their writings, a structure on which to form an idea. However, they can also be limiting. Use the traditional modes of composition as tools to gain practice and direction in your writing, but remember that they should be considered starting points rather than rigid requirements.

  • Bishop, Wendy. "Keywords in Creative Writing." David Starkey, Utah State University Press, University Press of Colorado, 2006.
  • Conners, Professor Robert J. "Composition-Rhetoric: Backgrounds, Theory, and Pedagogy." Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture, Hardcover, New ed. Edition, University of Pittsburgh Press, June 1, 1997.
  • D'Angelo, Frank. "Nineteenth-Century Forms/Modes of Discourse: A Critical Inquiry." Vol. 35, No. 1, National Council of Teachers of English, February 1984.
  • Hintikka, Jaakko. "Strategic Thinking in Argumentation and Argumentation Theory." Vol. 50, No. 196 (2), Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 1996.
  • Perron, Jack. "Composition and Cognition." English Education, The Writing Teacher: A New Professionalism, Vol. 10, No. 3, National Council of Teachers of English, February 1979. 
  •  Stein, Gertrude. "Sacred Emily." Geography and Plays, Letters of Note, 1922.
  • What Is Expository Writing?
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Key Tips On Writing Good Compositions For Primary School

  • Primary School Composition Writing

Key Tips On Writing Good Compositions For Primary School

6 Tips On How to Write a Good Composition For Primary School Students

Writing is one of the creative ways for us to express thoughts and perspectives on a variety of subjects. However, for your child, it can be challenging to express what they want to convey accurately.

After all, it isn’t the same as talking to your friends, since in composition, they look for proper language. Unfortunately, Singlish isn’t proper English, and it’s not allowed in any paper! Moreover, writing literary compositions is essential, so long as your child remains in school. In fact, it can even extend to adulthood, since most jobs require some writing skills.

Telling your child to “Read more books”, “Write more compositions”, or “Use better phrases” can be too generic Sure, practice makes perfect, but you also have to work smarter, not harder.

Effective written communication is important in relaying information and conveying thoughts. Hence, it is important for your child to take note of these tips that can help them get one step closer to writing an impactful composition.

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty, let us understand what is composition writing all about.

Composition writing is tested in Paper 1 of the English language paper. It requires students to write a narrative essay based on a given theme and at least one of three picture prompts. The length of the essay is 150 words for P5 and P6 students (and lower for P1 to P4 students).

Students are assessed on their ‘Content’ and ‘Language’. To score well for the former, students need to demonstrate creative, logical and relevant ideas that align with the topic. Language, on the other hand, focuses on more technical aspects such as grammar, punctuation and spelling. A well-written composition will present clear and coherent ideas expressed in an appropriately creative manner.      

But before you read this post… you might want to download this ebook first.

More than 18,725 parents have downloaded this ebook for their children. A compilation of some of the best compositions from our students.

how to write a composition in english language

  • Common Test / Exam Compo Topics
  • Strong Intros
  • Descriptive Scenes
  • Impactful Endings
  • Powerful Vocabulary

1. Study the theme

Most picture compositions are composed of:

  • Introduction
  • Conflict / Problem

These four connect with one another to create a singular theme. It gives direction and purpose to the story to make it easy and enjoyable. When bringing out the central idea, it’s important to identify the keywords. For this, advise your child to look at the title.

Determine the Type of Composition

When it comes to the title, there can be three types of compositions :

  • Positive (e.g. A Memorable Event, An Achievement)
  • Negative (e.g. A Disappointment, A Bad Decision)
  • Neutral (e.g. A Competition, A Promise)

Get your child to read the theme carefully and identify the keywords. They could help your child figure out the type of composition they have to write.

A) Positive Composition Type

Positive composition types refer to – as the name suggests – a happy or an uplifting theme. Topics that fall under this umbrella include “A Celebration”, “A Success” and “A Pleasant Surprise” to name a few. Writing these type of composition can seem deceptively easy at first. However, the challenge lies in successfully incorporating a problem element in the story while staying true to the theme.

B) Negative Composition Type

Negative composition types include topics such as ‘Making a Mistake’, ‘Something That Was Damaged’, ‘A Disagreement’ and ‘Being Anxious’. Such compositions feature unfavourable circumstances and detail how the protagonist navigates these challenges. The overemphasis on negative composition types in the past means that students may struggle to come up with fresh takes and instead, stick to overused plot ideas.

C) Neutral Composition Type

Finally, the neutral composition type arguably provides the most room for creativity and nuance. This category encompasses prompts like “Something Unexpected”, “A Long Wait”, “Being Curious” and “An Adventure”. Although this allows for students to come up with novel ideas, care must be taken not to write out of topic.

Encourage them to categorise their compo question as well. This can help because sometimes, children may make the mistake of writing an accident as “A Memorable Event”.

how to write a composition in english language

Yeah, no injury is worth remembering, since you probably won’t consider an incident that got you hurt as special.

2. Analyse/choose the pictures for your composition

A very common mistake is that children follow the topic… but they forgot to use any of the three pictures! This can prove fatal to their final marks because if none of the pictures are used, it’s an automatic fail in Content, which comprises half the marks in the picture composition.

There are many possible plots just from one theme. However, always ensure that your child chooses at least one of the pictures and incorporates it into the story. Make sure there is some focus of the object in the story. Otherwise, your child probably won’t score very high in Content.

Of course, your child might have trouble deciding what picture to use. To help your child’s decision, let’s take a look at last year’s PSLE’s Picture Composition as an example.

how to write a composition in english language

One thing your child should consider is their current vocab. Ask them, “If you were to select this picture, do you have the necessary words and phrases to effectively describe it?”

For example, some may find it easier to use the first picture and use it as the primary focus of their story, because they might know a variety of words for anger (e.g. furious, livid). Your child should keep this in mind when choosing the picture since it gives them a writing advantage.

Whether you are writing a picture composition for primary 3,4,5 or 6…You may ask, “Should my child always avoid a picture because they don’t have the vocabulary/good phrases for it?”

The answer is: No.

What this means is your child should take this chance to expand their vocabulary, so that they could write for a broader range of topics. Moreover, you never know when the pictures might come up again, albeit for a different theme.

3. Plan the Composition

how to write a composition in english language

Ever heard of, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” Your child should always plan for their picture compositions. While there is nothing wrong with writing on the fly, it is risky for less experienced writers. They may come face to face with the following problems:

  • Sudden transitions: What happened between two sentences remain a mystery. (e.g. I chased the thief. I caught him)
  • Change of pronouns: This happens when students decide to write from a third-person perspective and then switch to a first-person halfway, or vice-versa.
  • Writing a meaningless introduction: If the composition is about A Bad Decision, your child should not describe trivial things like the weather.
  • Lack of closure/weak ending: Your child may find themselves stuck in trying to solve the conflict they came up with or end the story.

Ask your child to pen down any ideas that come into their mind when they brainstorm for the topic.

Get them to lay out the following:

  • The characters & the roles they play in the story
  • The main problem
  • The resolution.

Think of the story as climbing a hill, getting to the top, and coming down it. From there, your child should order the points like this:

how to write a composition in english language

Most importantly, make sure the essay is realistic!

Even though you and I wish it was possible, if someone got into a car accident, there is no way a doctor would just put plaster and send them home.

4. Writing the Introduction

The introduction is similar to a first impression: It helps readers decide if it is worth reading. That is why your child is encouraged to write compelling introductions.

True, memorizing introductions from model compositions does help, but it defeats the purpose of creative writing. Writing is like art; it tells the readers something about the writer, and no two pieces are the same.

With that said, here are some common ways your child can start off with:

Your child can begin the story with a direct speech. Get the protagonist to say something captivating and meaningful to the title. This can help move the plot along or open up a door to show what happened.

For example, in the PSLE question A Long Wait, your child may start with a line like this:

“I’ve been waiting for hours!” I grumbled.

Get your child to begin with actions, use vivid phrases to describe them. Doing this is a powerful way to capture the reader’s attention, and they’ll ask: Why is the character doing that?

An example would be:

Amanda tapped her fingers on the table, furrowing her brows as the seconds ticked by. She stared at the time in her phone and heaved a sigh for the umpteenth time.

C) Description

This could apply to:

  • The character
  • The setting

When doing this, ask your child to consider these questions:

  • What is the character doing when the story began?
  • How did he/she feel?
  • What he/she would say at that point?
  • Where did the story take place? (Note: For this one, get them to describe the setting via two out of the five senses. Alternatively, they can describe the setting as the story is written)

5. Writing the Body

Hoo, boy. This would be a long section, so fasten your seatbelts.

The most essential part of the compo is the body, because that is where most of the action is. When it comes to the body, there are three parts to consider:

A) Rising Action (Events before the conflict)

Most of the stories you and your child might have read would always include some problem that the protagonist has to face. Without it, there would be no story, and the plot can be dry. The same goes for any picture composition.

One of the mistakes students make is to state the problem right after the introduction. This runs the risk of an underdeveloped story, which can affect their Content marks. Your child needs to learn how to write the events preceding the main problem, then describe the conflict. This is better known as the rising action.

For example, your child can describe what the character(s) did or did not do that may have caused the problem they would face as the rising action.

It does not have to be long, but it must build up the story’s tension, which would lead to the climax.

​B) Climax (The main problem)

This is where the peak of the story occurs, and the turning point happens. Your child should aim to show as much action and the characters’ emotions as possible. Depending on the topic, your child may need to write one of these types of conflict:

  • Internal conflict: A moral dilemma (e.g. Your best friend stole a wallet. Should you tell the teacher, or keep it to yourself?)
  • External conflict (Man-made) : (e.g. a bully)
  • External conflict (Natural): (e.g. a fire)

C) Resolution (Falling action)

The third part of the composition’s body is the resolution, or how the main character solves the problem. This is better known as the falling action. Unfortunately, many students would rush through by writing one or two sentences due to lacking time or ideas. This comes at the cost of a sudden transition.   

A thing to note is that most resolutions, primary school kids write would involve a figure of authority to solve the conflict for them. After all, in real life, most kids would turn to the adults, such as you or their teachers, to solve the problems.

If the story involves thieves, it would always have policemen included. In the case of a fire, no doubt there would be firemen. Rarely, the main character would solve the problem themselves.

It is true that some types of compositions(e.g. A Crime You Were Involved In) would leave them little choice but to involve the adults. If that happens, your child should describe the character’s attempts to do something about the problem before help arrives.

For a better resolution, your child should ask themselves two questions:

  • What could the protagonist do to solve the conflict?
  • How did he/she feel when they attempted to handle the problem?

6. Writing the conclusion

Once the resolution is done, remind your child to wrap up with an ending. That is where your child is supposed to tie up the loose ends and close the story. It is essential to give the readers an ending they are satisfied with, and not keep them in suspense.

What your child can write in the conclusion:

  • Character’s reflections and thoughts about the story’s events
  • Their feelings over what happened
  • Their concluding actions or decisions of future actions.

Regardless, it’s advised for your child to always link the ending back to the theme or topic they are writing about.

It may sound like a lot to take in, but it’s possible for your child to learn how to write a good primary school composition. Writing is like any other skill; there are no shortcuts.

Once your child masters the six tips, all your child needs is time and practice. After all, it doesn’t matter how slowly your child progresses, as long as they don’t stop.

See more related articles on Writing Samurai:

  • Common PSLE Composition Topics – How to Handle Them?
  • PSLE English Composition – Marking Scheme with Pictures!
  • Best Compositions for Singapore Primary School Students
  • How to Write Argumentative Essays
  • How to Write Discursive Essays

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how to write a composition in english language


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