For all you secondary school students out there – here are some ways you can make your situational writing better.

1. Analyse the prompt
The first thing you should do while reading the situational writing prompt is to analyse it carefully. This will help you to get into character and be mindful of your tone while elaborating on the important points in the prompt.

Here is a general guide for analysing the prompt:
Purpose (What do you hope to accomplish through this formal letter?)
Audience (Who are you writing to?)
Context (What prompted you to write this letter?)
Writer’s Role (What is your role/character?)
Format (e.g. formal letter, newsletter, etc.)
Tone (more on this later!)
Required Points

Mark out these areas while reading the prompt and you’re all set to start writing!

2. Structure your proposal
After you’re done analysing the prompt, it is time to structure your proposal.
Start off by giving a brief context of your proposal and introducing the reason you are writing it.
A general statement in the opening paragraph tells the reader what the proposal is about
You can provide some background

Next, your following paragraphs should explore and elaborate on the subject matter.

A series of paragraphs about different aspects of the subject builds up the bulk of the information

Finally, your conclusion should include the following:

A summary of the whole proposal
A polite statement thanking the reader for his/her favourable consideration of your ideas

3. Language
Keep in mind these language tips as you write, for a well-rounded and watertight proposal.

Be clear and precise → usually with little use of literary devices such as metaphors or similes
Adopt a formal and unbiased tone
Be persuasive (convincing your reader of your point of view) but yet respectful and polite
Present tense is generally used if it is a proposal about currently known facts or events.
You may also need to use the past tense if you are citing a particular event that has already happened.
Employ a clear topic sentence for each paragraph and connectors to make your writing more fluent and coherent.

Adapted from iThink issue 25/26 and Inspire issue 15. Check out these ilovereading.sg magazines for more useful tips!