2017 PSLE English Composition Question - Sample Response


Write a composition of at least 150 words about a special gift.

The pictures are provided to help you think about this topic.

Your composition should be based on one or more of these pictures.

Consider the following points when you plan your composition:

  • What was the special gift?

  • Why was the gift special?

You may use the points in any order and include other relevant points as well.

Before jumping in straight to the sample response, let's go through the thinking process a writer should undertake in the planning stages.

Step 1 - Studying the Pictures

It is important to identify the important elements of each picture and describe them in the composition. Cultivating the discipline to do this ensures we fulfill the requirements of the question.

  1. Picture 1: boy; a wrapped present; boy could be presenting or receiving the present

  2. Picture 2: mug with handle; the words "BEST FRIENDS"

  3. Picture 3: short-sleeved sports jersey; the number "1"

Step 2 - Connecting the Theme to the Chosen Picture(s)

Fortunately for us, this is fairly straightforward for this particular question; no great leap of imagination is required to link the theme to all three pictures.

  1. Boy holding wrapped present: what he's holding is the special gift

  2. Mug with the words "BEST FRIENDS": the mug is the special gift

  3. Sports jersey with the number "1": the jersey is the special gift

Step 3 - Choosing Which Pictures to Use

​Note that the question requires the use of only one picture. Since the PSLE English Continuous Writing marking rubric does not award additional marks for using more pictures for their own sake, use more than one picture only if the chosen pictures fit into your story naturally. Otherwise, a writer will just be imposing additional restrictions on his or her own story for no real benefit.

The following picture combinations lend themselves naturally to the conception of a storyline based on the given theme.

  1. One picture: Boy holding gift

  2. One picture: Mug

  3. One picture: Jersey

  4. Two pictures: Boy holding gift + Mug

  5. Two pictures: Boy holding gift + Jersey

Theoretically, the following combinations are also possible...

5. Two pictures: Mug + Jersey

6. Three pictures: Boy holding gift + Mug + Jersey

However, it is not easy fitting options 5 and 6 into a storyline within 50 minutes (the suggested time allocation for Continuous Writing based on mark weighting for Paper One). The theme is a special gift, so the moment we bring in two gifts (Mug + Jersey), we risk writing out of point.

For our sample response, we've chosen to go with Option 3, written in the usual format that we use for the sample responses we provide in our regular Primary English and The Thinking Writer programmes.

Download the sample response for the 2017 PSLE English Composition question, "A Special Gift".

#Englishcomposition #CreativeWriting

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