QUESTIONS ON INFORMAL LETTERS
1.You have gained admission to a famous university. Write a letter to your wealthy uncle giving, at least, three reasons which can convince him to sponsor you.
2.You have spent about six weeks in your new school.Write a letter to your father telling him about your experiences so far.
3. A friend of yours confided in you that she intends to drop out of school to get married. Write a letter to her giving, at least, three reasons why she should stay in school.
4.You are about to leave secondary school and a friend of yours who is attending school in another town has written to enquire about what you wish to do after leaving school. Write a reply to him explaining your plans.
5.Your younger sister who just finished secondary school has written to confide in you that she intends to travel abroad with her friends to explore opportunities for employment. Write a letter to her giving, at least, three reasons why she should not take such an action.
6.You have been staying with your elder brother for some time and a misunderstanding has ensued. Write a letter to your father giving, at least, three reasons why you feel you can no longer live with your brother.
7.Write a letter to your brother studying overseas describing the wedding ceremony of your sister which you attended last week and the role you played in it.
8.Write a letter to a friend with whom you had a quarrel, giving three reasons why you and him should resume your friendship.
9.Your pen friend abroad has written a letter asking you about the latest fashion and its effects on the youth in your country. Write a reply.
10.You have learnt that your younger brother intends to involve himself in examination malpractice during the WASSCE. Write a letter to him warning him of the dangers of such an action and urging him to concentrate on his studies inste
ARE YOU ASKING YOURSELF WHAT TO DO?
The questions above have been provided by WAEC to assist you understand the required standards expected in English Language final examination.
If you ask examiners they will tell you that a very substantial portion of essays marked are letters.Formal or informal.The obvious reason is that students tend to regard letter-writing as a way out as opposed to the monumental task of crafting other brain-bursting essays inside the exam hall.Is this due to ill preparation or laziness? Or is it due to examination tension and the temporary paralysis of the brain leading to inability to think of relevant points to put together for an impressionable score?
With reference to letter-writing it is one thing looking for the easiest way out and it is another eventually finding your self in a maze or getting caught like mouse in a trap! Our honest opinion is that most letters are mouse traps for students and their tutors need to let them know this. Why do we say so?
a…letters are the most technical of all the essay forms!…there is a list of content that must be seen and included in certain ways without which students can lose substantial marks…
b…letters hardly give examiners room for discretion or sympathy to students as in other forms of essay…
c…students hardly feel compelled to study the finer details of what is required for letters…the usual attitude is that they have been writing letters for long and should be able to accumulate “enough” marks with lesser effort than would have been expended on other forms of essay.
d…the advent of e-mails and net writing (such as we are presently using for this write-up) have ensured that students commit more spelling and punctuation mistakes which they don’t even realize … especially when writing informal letters!
i. pick one of the questions…
ii. remember the notes below
CONTENT OF INFORMAL LETTERS
What are the essentials of letter-writing? Is there a check list for tutors and students to use for doing fairly well in letter-writing? Please find below our humble submissions under layout,language and style for formal letters
2. Address of writer.
3. NO DESIGNATION OF THE ADDRESSEE TO BE INCLUDED!
4. Informal salutation such as Dear Daddy,Dear Uncle Wale or Dear Bobby
5. DON’T LET YOUR INQUIRY ABOUT HEALTH OR WELL-BEING OCCUPY MORE THAN A LINE!…SOME STUDENTS OFTEN DECEIVE THEMSELVES ASKING AFTER THE BABY,DOG OR EVEN THE FIGHT THEIR SISTER OR MOTHER HAD IN THE MARKET A FEW MONTHS BEFORE THE LETTER!…ALL IN A BID TO ACCUMULATE ENOUGH WORDS TO MEET THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF WORDS REQUIRED…its a wonder that students do not know or are not just prepared to know that such games are easily discoverable and promptly decoded with lesser marks.
6. A letter to a friend can be chatty and should reflect some measure of familiarity between two friends…tutors should please spend more time in giving examples to students because this is their Achilles heel as they tend to let go of their guard…very merrily!
7. Long sentences are allowed and can predominate…CONTRACTED FORMS SUCH AS WEREN’T,OR DON’T ARE ALSO ALLOWED (NOT ALLOWED FOR FORMAL LETTERS!)
8. Avoid the same errors from grammar,punctuations and spellings.
9. Balance the length of sentences and link your paragraphs.
10. Balance the number of sentences in each paragraph.
11. Apart from your introduction and conclusion use only 3-5 paragraphs with each expressing different ideas.
12. For conclusion restate the reason for writing.
13. For Yours sincerely,truly,lovingly etc those italicized words must start with a small letter.
14. No signature but first name of writer allowed.
15. Though colloqual expressions and slangs may be permitted know that they are very risky…also be careful about using new acceptable words such as femme fatale which might be known and approved more by markers from urban areas of the country…anyway,why risk words that are not likely to add more marks to your essay?
…for both formal and informal letters the tone should agree with the purpose of the letter…if it is for sympathy or condolence it should give comfort…even if it is a complaint against certain behavior it should indicate disapproval of such behavior without betraying annoyance or anger of the writer.
iii. check past Q/A booklets for similar answers
iv. then write yours…that is, do your own work,learn from the mistakes you make along the way, and the world will be a better, brighter place for you,at least academically (WIKI)
- How Waec Examiners Mark Your Mathematics Theory Answer Scripts (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- Doing Secondary School Homework in Front of Tv or “Studying” in Bed Is Self-deceit (edupedianigeria.wordpress.com)
- Are You Preparing for 2014 Waec/neco Ssce/gce? Have You Used Past Questions to Decode Which of These Topics Are Likely to Be Tested in the Exam? If You Can There Is No Need to Cheat! (edupedianigeria.wordpress.com)
- How Neco Examiners Mark Your Mathematics Theory Answer Scripts (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- “The SOUL’S ERRAND” BY SIR WALTER RALEIGH…ADDITIONAL REVISION NOTES,QUESTION AND ANSWER FOR WAEC/NECO LITERATURE EXAMS(123) (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- Themes and Important Quotes of “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes for Waec/neco Literature Exams (110) (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- Daffodils…summary,analysis and Sample Waec/neco Question and Answer (100) (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)