Some common problems: - you don't have enough to say about the topic - you don't know how to begin - you don't know how to organise your ideas - you are unsure of your grammar, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary - you don't know how to end your composition - you don't have enough time
STEP 1: Preparing (i) BRAINSTORMING. Once you have chosen the topic... - make a list of all ideas that come into your mind. - don't worry about grammar or spelling (you don't even have to write in English!) - don't worry whether the idea is relevant or not
STEP 1: Preparing (ii) GROUPING YOUR IDEAS. Read through the list of ideas you have written down. Are some of the related to others? Write the same number or letter next to all the ideas that form a group. GETTING RID OF IRRELEVANT IDEAS. Cross out ideas that don't fit into any of your groups. NAMING THE GROUPS. Give each group a name. This will help you in the next stage to write the first sentence of each paragraph.
STEP 1: Preparing (iii) ORDERING YOUR IDEAS. Number the groups in the order you would like to mention them.
STEP 2: Writing (i) Now that you have a clear idea of what you want to say, you are ready to begin writing. DON'T WORRY ABOUT GRAMMAR, SPELLING OR PUNCTUATION. Just try to get your ideas down on paper as quickly as possible. Write a DRAFT (!!!) and leave margins to make notes in. Circle the words you don't know how to spell or how to write it in English.
STEP 2: Writing (ii) Your composition will include the following parts: - the opening - the body - the closing (restate the opening in different words)
STEP 3: Improving (i) When you have finished to write the draft, reread it and mark the things that need improving. 1. the content: -Have you included all the points you wanted to mention?
STEP 3: Improving (ii) 2. the organisation: - Are your ideas easy to follow? - Have you presented them in a logical order? - Have you used connectors to link your ideas?
STEP 3: Improving (iii) 3. the language: - Are your sentences complete? - Is the word order correct? - Are the verb tenses correct? - Is the vocabulary appropriate? - Have you repeated the same word too often? - Is the tone appropriate (too formal / informal)?
STEP 3: Improving (iv) 4. the spelling and punctuation: - Is your spelling correct? - Does every sentence begin with a capital letter and end with a suitable punctuation mark? -Have you used capital letters where necessary?
STEP 4: Rewriting (i) When you are satisfied with your work, copy it onto a clean sheet of paper. Be sure that... - your hanwriting is neat and easy to read. - you leave margins. - your paragraphs are clearly indicated.
And remember that... If you can't find the proper spelling of a word, or you don't know it in English, try to use another word that you can spell it and you already know!