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