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  1. #1
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    Confused in interpreting the instruction of an essay.

    Hello everyone,I would be grateful if you can help me clear my doubts.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    You are a reporter for your school magazine.Your editor has asked you to write a short article on how female students have outperformed their male counterparts in mastering reading and writing upon completing primary education. Your article should integrate all the information given below. You should write at least 150 words.

    A bar chart and a table showing the percentage of students having mastered both writing and reading skills are given.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is actually an question in part 1 of writing paper of MUET(Malaysian University English Test). In this part, we are required to write linear test based on non-linear sources.

    The instruction of the essay states that I have to write an article on how female students have outperformed their male counterparts in mastering reading and writing upon completing primary education.
    However,the sample answer written by my teacher is merely an analysis of the bar chart given,comparing the percentage of mastering both skills by both sexes and concluding that female outperforms male.

    I don't think she has completed the task.She should have described how female scholars outdo male scholars and not merely compared the graph bar and table showing statistics.

    So sir and madam, what is the actual task in the instruction? What should I write?

  2. #2
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    Re: Confused in interpreting the instruction of an essay.

    For me, I understand it in connection with one IELTS tasks. It requires you to analyse a chart comparing and contrasting the performance of males and females in a given skill.

    If i were in your shoes, I would have done the following:

    1- Identify the various reading skills: (reference, new words, inference, etc.) (If given to you in the chart)
    2-identify writing skills (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.) (If given to you in the chart)

    3- Analyse the data given to you in the chart. Notice that when you see the percentage 32, for example, it is expressed in essays as: almost a third... When you have the percentage 78-85 then it could be the Vast Majority. if the percentage is something like 20, then it reads: Very few....


    Begin your essay stating the purpose (I.e. an analysis of the reading/writing skills mastery by males and females) Use such expressions as:

    The chart shows that...
    Males seems to be better in ............
    etc..

    Then, you have two options:

    A- To organise the essay according to aspects of comparison and contrast (i.e. one paragraph about males and females performance in writing; and, another one on reading)

    B- Organise the essay according to females/males (I.e. the first paragrpah on the performance of males in writing+reading; the second one being on females in writing + reading)

    You can use comparison and contrast phrases including for example;

    -X is better than Y in..
    -X scored more marks than Y in .....
    -While X.................Y is..................
    - Most ...
    -The majority of...
    -Two thirds of....
    -Almost a quarter of.....
    - Females................... In contract, males.............

  3. #3
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    Re: Confused in interpreting the instruction of an essay.

    Check this site. It can help you as task 1 gives an analysis of a chart:

    IELTS writing

  4. #4
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    Re: Confused in interpreting the instruction of an essay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammed Abu Risha View Post
    For me, I understand it in connection with one IELTS tasks. It requires you to analyse a chart comparing and contrasting the performance of males and females in a given skill.

    If i were in your shoes, I would have done the following:

    1- Identify the various reading skills: (reference, new words, inference, etc.) (If given to you in the chart)
    2-identify writing skills (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.) (If given to you in the chart)

    3- Analyse the data given to you in the chart. Notice that when you see the percentage 32, for example, it is expressed in essays as: almost a third... When you have the percentage 78-85 then it could be the Vast Majority. if the percentage is something like 20, then it reads: Very few....


    Begin your essay stating the purpose (I.e. an analysis of the reading/writing skills mastery by males and females) Use such expressions as:

    The chart shows that...
    Males seems to be better in ............
    etc..

    Then, you have two options:

    A- To organise the essay according to aspects of comparison and contrast (i.e. one paragraph about males and females performance in writing; and, another one on reading)

    B- Organise the essay according to females/males (I.e. the first paragrpah on the performance of males in writing+reading; the second one being on females in writing + reading)

    You can use comparison and contrast phrases including for example;

    -X is better than Y in..
    -X scored more marks than Y in .....
    -While X.................Y is..................
    - Most ...
    -The majority of...
    -Two thirds of....
    -Almost a quarter of.....
    - Females................... In contract, males.............
    Thank you for your replies.
    I'm still clueless but it is my fault because I should have included the information given


  5. #5
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    Re: Confused in interpreting the instruction of an essay.

    Let me assume that you have bar charts on the performace of males and females. Is that right? If yes, how about this suggestion:

    This bar chart is about the performance of males and females in two communication skills namely reading and writing after their completion of their primary education.

    In the writing skill,........................


    In reading, ......................................

    As a conclusion, the above chart shows that females have outperformed their male counterparts both in reading and writing.

  6. #6
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    Re: Confused in interpreting the instruction of an essay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammed Abu Risha View Post
    Let me assume that you have bar charts on the performace of males and females. Is that right? If yes, how about this suggestion:

    This bar chart is about the performance of males and females in two communication skills namely reading and writing after their completion of their primary education.

    In the writing skill,........................


    In reading, ......................................

    As a conclusion, the above chart shows that females have outperformed their male counterparts both in reading and writing.
    Thank you sir, you have given me a general idea of what should be written but I'm still not fully convinced.Below is my arguments,I would be grateful if you can correct me.

    What should I write in the body of the essay? Should I write it in depth , talking about how female students are more successful than male students ? Would comparing the percentage of the successful students suffice(they are more like a generalisation) ?

    This type of writing doesn't seem right to me as I am asked to write an article for the school magazine.Normally and most of the time we can never see any statistics included in articles.Articles are meant to give readers information and insight over what we talk about.So in this case, we should explain why the female students outshine male students with the help of these statistics (as statistics are fact to substantiate my arguments).It is just strange for me to read some articles starting with "This bar chart shows" followed some tedious comparison of percentage,saying which sex lagged behind and so on.I guess most readers are more interested in knowing how female scholars have been outstanding throughout the years and some insights about this incident.

    Am I right? I would be grateful if you can correct me if my argument is unlogical Thank you sir.

  7. #7
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    Re: Confused in interpreting the instruction of an essay.

    This is another story. I thought first that your essay was a homework of the like.

    If it is an article to be published in the school periodical, you will perhaps need to adjust the article in an expository way. This would be similar to the manner followed by journalists when they write their stories for newspapers.

    You can start your article directly with the conclusion saying thatn females in this school proved to be better than males in performance according to so an so source.

    The next paragrpah is a comparison and contrast in reading.

    The next one now is on writing.

    The next paragraph may be your opinion why such diverence happened.

    Then perhaps you give a wider picture of the reading/writing instruction in that school.

    May I suggest that you write something to be reviewed by us?

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