Revisit Expository Writing Strategy Using The Theme Digital Defence

This week we engage our graduating students with the expository writing strategy that we had taught them last year. To help them recall and apply the strategy we discuss as a writing content the impact of fake news in our society as we ride the challenges brought about by the current COVID-19 virus. This topic is timely as we had just commemorated the Total Defence Day two weeks ago and the need for digital defence is made profound with the onslaught of fake news amid the virus outbreak that our students need to be alert about and know how to distinguish them.

As so se use the expository writing question below:

Berita palsu mengancam kesejahteraan masyarakat Singapura. Bincangkan

Step 1
We start discussing the writing content by showing the video above.

Step 2
We invite students to share various fake news that they have heard of amid the COVID-19 virus outbreak. From the MOH website, we learnt of the following fake news:

  • There were reports of a suspect case at Eastpoint Mall.
  • A message on COVID-19 has been circulating on WhatsApp asking the public not to visit certain public hospitals.
  • There were rumours circulating online that more than 100 arriving travellers from Wuhan were denied entry into Singapore.
  • There were rumours circulating online that an individual has died of the COVID-19 infection at a shopping mall in Singapore.
  • A Hardware Zone Forum post claimed that a 66 year old man died in Singapore from a newly identified virus that caused him to develop severe pneumonia.  However at that time there had been no deaths among confirmed cases of the COVID-19 infection.
  • There were posts by several Facebook users claiming that Woodlands MRT was closed for disinfection due to a suspected case of the COVID-19 infection. The posts also urged members of the public not to go to Woodlands MRT.
  • A website called ‘City News’ published an article titled “BREAKING NEWS: Singapore records six more coronavirus case, total of 16 now” claiming that five Singaporeans have contracted COVID-19 without going to China.  This is not true.  At that time, there was no local transmission of COVID-19 in Singapore.  All confirmed cases in Singapore by then were Chinese nationals who travelled from Wuhan.
  • There was a false statement on The States Times Review Facebook page on the supply of surgical masks.
  • There was a WhatsApp message circulating with a list of alleged places where suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been when this was not true.
  • A fake screengrab of a CNA tweet was circulated widely on social media saying that all schools including polytechnics and universities are to close next Monday (10 Feb) due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
  • A graphic that was aired on CNA’s Asia Tonight TV bulletin at 8pm on Thursday (13 Feb) mistakenly listed a coronavirus death to Singapore.

Step 3
We invite students to share how have these fake news impact our community. We encourage them to recount what they have seen, read and heard. From our experiences, we have seen how fake news cause:

  • Rakyat Singapura menjadi takut akan keselamatan diri sendiri
  • Rakyat Singapura mula meminggirkan sesetengah golongan orang
  • Rakyat Singapura bimbang akan kekurangan bekalan makanan
  • Rakyat Singapura memilih untuk tidak keluar rumah

Step 4
We invite students to share what they have learnt to distinguis fake news. At this juncture, we encourage them to share what they understood by the S.U.R.E (Source, Understand, Reseacrh & Evaluate).

The above discussion will help us to engage our students in revisiting the expository writing strategy that they have learnt and apply it in writing an expository essay based on the question on the topic above.

To know more about our expository writing strategy, do consider buying our Contoh Karangan Untuk Persiapan Peringkat O & N books.

Teaching Expository Writing Using The Theme Total Defence

Many students struggle to write good expository writing because they lack content and good writing technique. To teach students good expository writing technique is difficult if they do not have content. And so to help students with some content is a necessary first step to help them work on mastery our expository writing technique.

This week we commemorate Total Defence Day and what better theme to write an expository writing other than that on Total Defence. As an educator I notice that many students do not realize how close they are to building self-capacity for Total Defence through their engagement in school. One of these areas in through CCA, in particular the uniform groups. And such the video above can help students realize this as well as learn expository writing technique if it is used in teaching.

A possible expository essay question can be as follows:

Penglibatan pelajar dalam kegiatan kokurikulum pasukan berseragam dapat membina keupayaan mereka untuk menyumbang kepada pertahanan negara.

So how to use this video?

First I would have students collect as many vocabulary they can find that is related to the theme Total Defence from watching the video. Next they will pool together these vocabulary and work on translating them into Malay together through the use of Kamus Pro Online Dictionary.

Next, students will work on writing the different paragraphs for all the three segments in our expository essay structure. The structure and samples of expository essays can be found in our Contoh Karangan Untuk Persiapan Peringkat O and N books. Teachers and students who have access to these books will benefit from this post sharing.

Using the book as a guide, student would have enough resources from the video to choose to write either permulaan jenis suasana or permulaan jenis perbincangan for the Bahagian Pengenalan.

Students can then work on familiarising themselves with the P.E.E.L technique for the four content paragraphs in the Bahagian Utama. They can choose to focus on four out of the five uniform groups highlighted in the video for each of the four content paragraphs. I would insist that students use the different penanda wacana used in the expository essay samples found in the books for the different elements (Point, Elaborate, Example & Link Back) in the P.E.E.L technique for each paragraph.

In addition to that, I would insist that students write 6-8 sentences for each content paragraph – Point:1 sentence; Elaborate: 2-3 sentences; Example: 3-4 sentences; and Link Back: 1 sentence. This will give the expository essay good optics. Optics is achieved when all the paragraphs in an expository essay are of the same length. Optics is important because it provides balance for the overall expository essay and gives the impression that the student have explored equally enough for all the content paragraphs.

The video will provide enough resources for student to reflect for rumusan, cadangan, harapan and pendirian penulis, elements needed in the Bahagian Penutup.

Good luck! I hope you find this sharing useful.

Here is a well-written essay by Farah Nadhira on this topic after the above lesson was carried out in her Sec 4 Normal Academic class.