PRACTICAL APPROACH TO WAEC/NECO ENGLISH PAST QUESTIONS (3)
by Hassan Abdulbaqi
Write an article for inclusion in one of your local newspapers on the importance of immunization against childhood diseases in your locality (WASSCE JUNE 1988).
Now, like I stressed, you need to understand the question. Here, for instance, your understanding of the question must go beyond writing on the importance of immunization against childhood diseases. You must also understand that the question includes that you make it suitable for a local newspaper and your discussion of the importance of immunization against childhood diseases must be based on your locality. It should capture the beliefs of your people about childhood diseases which may be attributed to supernatural powers like we have the Abiku in Yoruba land and Ogbanje in Igbo land. You may also want to talk about the causes of childhood diseases in your surroundings and write things that the people in your area can identify and understand. They may also have misconceptions about immunization that you may want to clear and even inform them that it actually does the opposite of what they think. Don’t write about Nigeria as a country or the world at large, so as not to score low marks under Content. Understanding the question also implies that you are asked to write an article and not a letter to the editor!
This is an article, it should start with your topic. Your topic, as previously discussed, must capture the contents of your article. IMMUNIZATION: A SHIELD AGAINST CHILDHOOD DISEASES, for instance, is a good topic that contains everything you may want to write about in relation to this question.
You should start writing the body of your essay after the topic. So as to prevent mistakes and frequent cross outs which will make your article look untidy, you can decide to make an outline or rough work on how you want your points to be arranged in paragraphs and the examples/illustrations you’ll like to include in each point. Your article must be convincing and should also be filled with words that makes it clear that you understand immunization and that you do not only know what childhood diseases are but also how immunization can be a shield against them. Don’t be abusive in your approach and use words that people are familiar with. Don’t use the same words many times, try to use words and phrases that are synonymous to such words instead. You must also remember that you’re writing to readers, try to write in a way that makes the reader feel he/she is being addressed directly.
After your topic, you can start writing your article which should be preceded with an introduction of the article in the opening paragraph. Show in your article that you are writing for publication because you’ve not read any article on such an important topic in the local newspapers and you have decided to fill the gap with yours. That is, you tell the reason why you are actually writing. It may be that people have been talking about immunization without actually knowing its importance which is why they take it with levity hands. Your opening paragraph should hint your reader on the reason why you’re writing and the issues you want to cover. The following paragraphs should be the mention of the importance of immunization against childhood diseases in your locality. It is safer for you to discuss a single importance in each paragraph. This is an article and you set the introduction and follow it up with the points you raise on the importance of immunization. This must be properly arranged and well linked in paragraphs. You must have a concluding paragraph which makes it obvious that you are bringing the article to the end. You can show this by summarizing all the points you’ve raised and the conclusion your readers are expected to draw from it.
After the mentioning of your points, do no forget to add your conclusion which should be summary of all that you’ve written. Write your full name (+ comma) and the name of your town (since it’s based in your locality) on the line that’s next to your concluding paragraph. See, for instance:
In the end, go through your article before submission in the case of careless mistakes and errors. Now that you get the approach, try attempting this question by using these practical approaches. Submit to your teacher/tutor after writing.
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