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English

Article writing

An article is a complete piece of writing on an issue of public interest.it usually contains views or opinions of its writer on a specific issue or topic.

Useful hints on how to write a good Article.

  • Content:

The content depends on the topic you are asked to write on, but you must write on all aspects of the question to earn a good mark. Your points must be relevant to the question.

  • Organization:

Writing an article is the same as writing a letter to the editor of a news –paper. You are not expected to write a letter to the editor when you are asked to write an article for publication in a newspaper or magazine.

You are expected to write the title of the article clearly on top of the article.

You are expected to write an introductory paragraph in which you are to give your readers an insight to your topic.

Consider the interest of your readers and the affects you wants to create on the readers.

Presents your points in a logical order and develop your paragraphs adequately.

Write your name and class below at the end of your article.

  • Expression:

Your language should be formal since you are writing an article for publication in a newspaper or magazine

Topic for article call for expository prose and clarity of expression. Write in simple, straight-forward sentences and avoid using slangs.

Your vocabulary should be carefully chosen for effectiveness.

ASSIGNMENT:

Write an article for publication in your school magazine on the causes and consequences of increase in cult activities on our campuses.

TOPIC:  SUMMARY WRITING

WHAT IS SUMMARY?

Summary involves writing down a brief and concise account of a long passage. In other words, summary can be described as a shortened form of a long passage after removing all irrelevant points from the main points and giving a short account of the passage using your own words.

In any summary exercise, there is always a piece of written prose which students are expected to read and understand. The ability of students to to comprehend and report accurately the main points in a passage is always tested through the summary questions set on the passage.

There are four main things students have to note in order to write a good summary. These are:

  1. Brevity: This demand that they must be brief and concise in their answers. There is no room for the use of flowery language or any other additional information aside from the main points.
  1. Relevance: This calls for a candidate’s answers to be relevant to the points mentioned in the passage. Students are not expected in summary writing to give any fact or point outside the passage, however relevant they think the fact or point is.
  2. Proper coverage of the passage: this demand that students must read and understand every aspect of the passage. This calls for proper understanding of the passage since the passage is unlikely to lend itself so easily to them.
  3. Clarity:This means that the students are expected to put down their answers correctly.

HOW TO WRITE A GOOD SUMMARY

It is possible to score all the marks in summary in W.A.S.S.C.E, NECO and in any other examination, and it is also very easy to score zero. Students’ success in summary depends on how well they follow the procedure given to them on how to write a good summary. A student who fails to take the step-by-step approach to summary writing may end up flopping the whole exercise.

You are advice to take the following approaches in summary writing: READ THE PASSAGE VERY CAREFULLY: 

Most student fail summary simply because they fail to read the given passage carefully to understand it. You cannot write a good summary if you don’t understand the given passage. Most students feel that they can have a look at the questions first before reading the passage. This approach is wrong as this may tempt you to start reading the passage piecemeal within paragraphs, searching for where the answers are and thereby putting it down verbatim or word for word.

Writing a good summary demands that you read the passage very well so as to have a proper understanding of it before attempting to put down your answers. Having said this, reading and understanding the passage may take you more than one reading.

Firstly, reading the passage very quickly to know the subject matter of the passage. S.S.C.E summary passages are never titled. This is deliberate as it is meant to make students read through the passages and to forestall students’ attempt to guess at answers to the questions.

After the first reading, you can read the passage once again to intimate yourself better with the subject matter of the passage. After the second reading, you can then proceed to read the questions as this will provide an insight to what you will now focus your attention on when you are reading for the third time.

Re-read the passage for the third time and you can now underline or note where the required information for answering your question are. Of course, after the third reading, you should be ready to go back to the questions, and answer them.

HOW TO PUT DOWN SUMMARY ANSWERS. 

Write in sentences: summary answers should be written in sentences. When the student writes a preamble (A kind of introduction to his sentences) to his answers, the preamble must flow into the sentences.

For example, in a question where the student is asked to summarize the factors responsible for different levels of achievement in schools, the students will need to write a preamble to all his sentences. The preamble will be: “the factors responsible for different levels of achievement in school are……..” this can be followed by his sentences summarizing the factors. e.g. the factors responsible for different levels of achievement in schools are;

(I) Where the school are located.

(ii) Some schools are located in privileged areas where others are not.

The above sentences are complete sentences because they have their distinct subjects and verbs and other elements of a sentence. Another important thing is that you should not write more than the number of the sentences you are asked to write. Where you are asked to write two sentences, don’t write one sentence or three sentences.

  • Short and concise answers: summary answers should be short and concise. Avoid the inclusion of irrelevant/ extraneous materials in every scoring answer. Limit your answers only to information available in the passage.
  • Use your words: in writing down your answers, make use of your own words and expression as much as possible. You are not expected to engage in middles lifting of words and expressions from the passage.
  • Use good grammar: summary answers should be written down in good grammar and expression. Make sure that your answers are devoid of grammatical and expression errors.

CAUSES OF LOST OF MARKS IN SUMMARY WRITING.

Students lost marks heavily in summary exercises because they fail to adhere strictly to the principles and procedures guiding the practice of summary. A careless student will lose some marks because various penalties are imposed on every careless presentation of summary answers. The causes of loss of marks in summary writing are:

  1. Mindless lifting of words from the passage: This is a grievous offence in summary. Mindless lifting of a passage means copying down the answers verbatim, using the exact words and expression of the writer of the passage. Firstly, it shows poor understanding of the passage and secondly, it means that the student cannot put down another person’s thoughts, points and ideas in his or her own expression. Indiscriminate lifting does not merit marks in a summary test; it only attract zero.
  1. Absence of conciseness and relevance: Conciseness and relevance are rigidly demanded in summary. Inclusion of irrelevant or extraneous and unnecessary material in every scoring answer will attract the penalty of deduction of one mark.
  1. Phrases and incomplete sentences: In summary, you are expected to write your answers in complete sentences with subjects, verb and probably other elements of a sentence present in them .When  a student writes phrases where complete sentence are demanded , the examiner will award 2 ½ marks instead of a mark of 5 for each of the scoring answers.
  1. Wrong preamble/introduction: In summary answer where the students write a wrong preamble which does not flow with his sentences, he or she can only score 21/2 marks instead of 5. Where the preamble taken with the rest of each answer makes a sentence, the student will score a full mark of 5.
  1. Writing two scoring point in one sentence: where a student writes two scoring points in one sentence, he or she will gets marks for the first one while the other point will be regarded as irrelevant by the examiner.
  1. Writing more than required  number of sentences : Where a candidates writes more than the required number of sentences, the required number of sentences will be marked  and examiner will ignore others. The danger of this is that the scoring answers may be in those sentences the students writes in excess.
  1. Grammatical/expression errors: with every grammatical and expression error, the students loses ½ marks.

You should be aware that one imposition of one penalty for an error does not preclude the imposition of another penalty for any other error committed even in one scoring answer. In other words, the imposition for inclusion of irrelevant or extraneous material in one scoring answer will not arouse pity in your examiner not to impose penalty for another error you committed in the same scoring answer. Therefore, you have to make sure that you practiced summary regularly so as to acquire the necessary skills and techniques of summary writing.

TOPIC: ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VOICE

ACTIVE VOICE: a verb is used in the active voice when the doer of an action is made to function as the subject. Here, it means the writer or speaker is more interested in the doer.

Examples:

The teacher is teaching the students.

The student comes late every day.

He preached a good sermon last Sunday

PASSIVE VOICE:a verb is used in a passive voice when the receiver(object) of an action is made to function as the subject. The focus is more on the receiver  of the action.

Examples:

The students are being taught by the teacher.

A good sermon was preached by the pastor last Sunday.

ASSIGNMENT

Change the following into passive voice.

  • We have climbed that mountain many times.
  • The politicians perceived the voters in different ways.
  • Mosquitoes carry diseases.
  • The examination will be completed next week
  • When will you paint your house.

SUMMARY WRITING

CONTENT:

ASSIGNMENT: New oxford English For Senior Secondary School SS2 page 127-128.

TOPIC: MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES

The development of manufacturing industry in Nigeria did not receive an early boost as the country, right from the start, considered herself primarily as an agricultural country. Added to this was the unwritten law of colonial economy to the effect that Nigeria should provide cheap raw materials for the British and other Western manufacturing firms.

The negative effect of this orientation was an unhealthy dependence on the importation of manufactured goods whose costs out-weighed the income generated by the raw materials exported.Theimport-oriented attitude of the Nigerian indigenous businessmen further denied the country a good start. This trend however started to change as Nigeria latter pursued an industrialization strategy based on import substitution known as the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). The programme is mainly to discourage avoidable importation and to emphasize the local sourcing of raw materials for the existing industries.

The pioneers of early industrial development in Nigeria were foreign companies whose activities at the time centered around produce merchandising and general trading. These companies, such as the U.A.C, John Holt, SCOA, PZ and CFAO were later to form the nucleus of local manufacturing industries.other companies include Lever Bothers to manufacture soap,toiletries and detergents, the Nigeria Breweries Limited and the Nigerian Tobacco Company Limited. Public utilitycorporations  like the Electricity cooperation of Nigeria, which was later changed to National Electric Power Authority,( but now Power Holding Company of Nigeria) , Nigeria Ports Authority and Nigerian Railway Corperation were established  as a vehiclesfor industrial development in the country.

The manufacturing industries are now classified under the private sector of the economy and the companies under this sector are under the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria. The Government established an industrial development coordinating Department  in the Federal Ministry of Industries with powers to handle and treat all matters relating to initial approvals, for the establishment of industries and other businesses in Nigeria. It is also to advise the government on policy review, proposals on tariffs, excise duties and various incentive scheme as they relate to industrial development.The manufacturing industry in Nigeria includes; chemical industry like  NAFCON, salt production, cement manufacturing, vehicle assembly plants, machine tools manufacturing companies, paper manufacturing companies, sugar companies, oil companies, etc.

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