Exercise 6 of the ESL paper could also be a review writing.

The review could be for a book, movie, restaurant etc. that you enjoyed (or didn’t!)

The exercise is worth 16 marks and you should write about 150-200 words.

Let’s dive right in. I will be using a book review for examples. I have included a sample review at the end.

  • Introduction: state the book’s title, author’s full name, the setting of the story, giving a one-line description of what the story is about. Use adjectives to describe the book such as insightful, beautiful, controversial etc.
  • Brief description: give a one-paragraph synopsis of the plot of the book, shortly expanding your one-sentence description in the introduction. Don’t write the whole story, only the beginning! Use the present tense of verbs and linking words to outline the story chronologically. Bonus points if you can use words that fit the theme of the story. If, for example, the book is of the fantasy genre, use words like magic, summon, fate, spells etc.
  • Opinion: this is where you have to write down how the book impacted you. Was it inspiring? Thought-provoking? Life-changing? You could praise the book or criticise it, stating why.
  • Recommendation: you must state whether you would recommend this book, to whom and why.

Let’s look at a sample. See if I’ve stuck with the points above.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini has to be the most devastatingly beautiful book I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Set in 20th century Afghanistan, it tells the story of how a young boy’s friendship is tested by war and betrayal.

Amir, the son of a wealthy Afghan, shares a close friendship with their household servant’s son, Hassan. But a fateful kite-flying competition tethers their bond, and as war forces them to part ways, the boys’ lives take them on a journey of love and redemption.

The book made me realise how precious yet fragile the relationships we build are; and that we must always take a chance on our loved ones. It taught me the importance of the people in our lives and how they shape us to be who we are.

The Kite Runner is a beautifully narrated tale, the writing just as simple as it is heart- breaking, the characters realistically portrayed. I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy character-driven stories set in troubled times.

Time Management

For the core paper 1, spend about 20 minutes in this exercise.

For the extended paper 2, spend 30 minutes on this exercise. Allot 5 minutes to plan the points you will include in each paragraph. Take 20 minutes to write your review, keeping in mind all the above tips. Use the final 5 minutes to proofread and make any changes.

That’s the end of the ESL paper. Good luck!

Notes submitted by Lintha.

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