Advanced Writing Skills
Students will be asked in the examination to write a descriptive or argumentative piece of composition in about 150 – 200 words. The composition shall be in the nature of an article for a newspaper or school magazine or in a speech on a given topic. The writing will be based on the given visual or verbal input.
Input: Input can be in the form of broad hints, short outline or only a suggestive beginning. It can also be in the form of a figure or diagram. The only purpose of giving input for a piece of composition is to discourage the habit of cramming among students. They should be able to form their own ideas on a given subject or situation and express them in a language of their own.
Descriptive Writing: It describes some object, place or person.
Argumentative Writing: It aims at convincing the reader with the arguments in support of an idea presented.
An article consists of:
1. Title: An eye-catching title which attracts the readers’ attention and suggests the theme of the article.
2. Introduction: An introduction which clearly defines the topic to be covered and keeps the reader’s attention.
3. Main Body: The main body of two to five paragraphs in which the topic is further developed in detail.
4. Conclusion: summarizing the topic or a final opinion, recommendation or comment.
An article/ composition is usually in the form of a couple of paragraphs. It can be in a single paragraph also. It relates to one topic, theme or subject. In order to write a good piece of composition, students should keep in mind the following:
1. Think deeply on the given topic and study carefully the given visual / verbal input. Some other ideas may come to your mind. Arrange all these ideas / points in the logical order you want to develop for your article.
2. Now start writing and develop your points one by one into a single whole.
3.Your writing should be lucid (clearly expressed, easy to understand). Every sentence should naturally rise from the previous one and flow into the next.
4. The first sentence should be the topic sentence. It should at once introduce the main idea of your paragraph. Similarly, the last sentence should state the conclusion on the topic.
5. Divide your composition into suitable paragraphs.
6. The composition should be brief, meaningful and to the point. Don’t exceed the prescribed word limit.
7. Complete sentences should be used and the vocabulary should be rich. Colloquial* expressions and slangs* should be avoided.
*Slangs = very informal words and expressions that are more common in spoken language, especially used by a particular group.
*Colloquial = Used in conversation but not in formal speech or writing.
Q1. Children living in cities are rarely seen playing outdoors in the neighbourhood. Being busy with other attractions like the television and computer games, they miss the joy of outdoor play. Write an article in 150 words for the magazine, ‘Kids Talk’ highlighting the need and value of outdoor games. You are Reemesh/Rimi.
Value of Outdoor Games
“A sound mind dwells in a sound body”.
Games develop not only our composite personality but also teach variable traits of personality, life, character and society which we become devoid of them at the television and computer games. Participation in outdoor as well as indoor games contributes a lot in our health, hygiene and physique. But the children living in cities rarely participate in outdoor games in the neighbourhood like wrestling, hide-n-seek, tennis and football etc. They go on sitting before the idiot box and fail to exchange their views and thoughts. All know that children are very sensitive and tender. They are of impressionable nature and age. Whatever they watch on the television, it gets imprinted in their minds. Adventures thrill them and sensational programmes fire their imagination. They develop aggressive behaviour and turn violent, lethargy and lazy.
On the other hand outdoor games help in developing their physical and mental growth. They learn cooperation, fellow feeling, sympathy, cultural exchange and other etiquettes in life. They have resistance power and never get tired, troubled and give a chance to shine their hidden talents, stress tension and trouble remain far away from them and their memory becomes sharp and fine. They always have an attitude to learn more and more. They miss the pleasant laugh which rejuvenates our blood system. Their muscles, limbs and other bodily parts remain weak and feel the dearth of calcium. Their parts turn brittle and fail to contain strength. In the best interest of our children schools and society should make enough provisions for playing the outdoors compulsory.
2. You are Veer/Veena, a student of Class XII of SPS school, Maidan Garhi. While watching many reality shows on T.V. you felt that they are harmful for children. Write an article in 150-200 words on “Negative impact of reality shows on children”.
Negative Impact of Reality Shows on Children
There has been a lot of discussion on the relative merits of reality shows. When it comes to different people in society. There are a number of people who will argue that these shows are very good for children and there are many reasons to prove their point of views. But I think that these reality shows are not good for young minds and have a negative impact too. Firstly they watch television in excess without breaking their concentration regularly. Secondly as children they tend to ignore their other important activities such as reading, writing, social and some type of thinking skills. Today children have no interest in reading story books, to solve puzzles and other brain storming activities. They want to watch only and only television. Consequently they have poor eyesight, bad posture and other physical disorder due to lack of outdoor games.
There are many reality shows which are being telecast on the silver screen such as Dance India Dance, Little Champs, Chhote Ustad, Boogy woogy, laughter Challenges. Talent Hunt etc. These shows are being viewed by the children interestingly and they want to be the part of such shows at the cost of their studies. I agree that these shows give a big platform to perform and draw out the talents of young children. Undoubtedly they do that but what about their childhood. They have to spend or live with the organisers for many months without family, without love and care. They lose their innocence, their childhood and to act as per the orders of the organisers just like the puppets. They perform under great stress and to the last extent of their abilities and physical capabilities. They face a big challenge to prove their best to compete with other participants. They face great stress and tension at the moment of Judges. Remarks, public votes consequently their elimination. The children have become the earning tools of their parents to earn name, fame and money. They act in place of learning. They are involved in many shows, serials, modelling and advertisements. This is child exploitation and should be censored to save their childhood. The innocent children do the stunts at home inspired by the shows and untimely entangle withmdeath. They also have deficit attention disorders or behavioural problems.
3. You are Sona/Sandeep, a worker in an NGO. You feel that media which has reached every part of the country can play an important role in spreading awareness about rights and responsibilities in society. Write an article in about 150-200 words on the subject.
The Role of Media in Spreading Awareness in Society
Media today encompasses Print Media such as newspaper, magazines, journals, periodicals etc. Electronic Media: radio, television, telephone and the internet. Entertainment media: Films and Music.
In the world of today, media has become almost as necessary as food, clothing and other requirement. It is true that media is playing an outstanding role in strengthening the society, it’s a mirror of the society. It is the duty of media to inform, educate and entertain the people as it is the fourth pillar of our democratic country. They help us to know what’s going on around the world. They put their lives in danger during attacks or a natural disaster, just to inform us of situation. It is partly because of them that awareness is spreading in the society. It is the media which shapes our lives i.e., we cannot think our morning without the newspaper. It is just like morning tea with biscuit. Our lives would be incomplete without the print and Electronic Media.
The role played by media in developing countries such as India, is key to realise the dream of inclusive development. Awareness regarding immunization programmes institutional deliveries, balanced diet, healthy lifestyle and family planning are spread through media to remote parts of our country. Today All India Radio covers approx. 98% of the population of India, Farmers in distant villages are able to find the true price of their produce through radio and telephone services. Even the spread of Education through Distance learning has made the dream of 100% Literacy a reality in the years to come.
Media is the watch dog of the political democracy. If it plays its role honestly, it will be a great force in building the nation but nowadays, media has become a commercialized sector eyeing only for news that is hot and sells. Instead of giving important information and educative programmes, all that one gets on television is sensational depiction of all new stories, their only goal being gaining television rating points (TRPs).
Media is an integral part of our society, but that’s also a fact that it’s too much intervention in everything is a matter of concern. People have to judge on their own by looking and listening to different channels for the same news and then form a conclusion.
4. You are Mamta/Mohan, a student of Class XII of Sarvodaya School, Nangloi. You feel that there is a wide gap between civic facilities in urban and rural India. All the progress in the fields of technology and economy is used up in improving the life of city dwellers, whereas rural people remain neglected. Write an article in about 150-200 words on the topic “How to bring the light of modernity to rural India”.
How to bring the Light of Modernity to Rural Area
India is still an agriculture based economy where by virtue of having 70% share of the agriculture/the ways of the economic development pass through the streets of our villages. But it would not be wrong to say that still these rural streets are without the lights of progress in social and economical terms. The physical conditions of villages are very pathetic, roads are still in deplorable condition. Most of the houses are still made up of mud and straw and even if they are constructed in bricks, they are not plastered in cement. Electricity is still a day dream for many of the villages, or those having electricity it is provided for few hours.
In Social terms also, many of the social evils are still in practice such as child marriage, Parda system. Adult illiteracy is also widely found in these villages. Superstition is the byproduct of many of the social evils and practices. These are the outcome of poor economic growth. All types of unemployment is found here. Most of the villages are poverty stricken. They are not aware of the modern gadgets. We are witnessing the tragic outcomes of this poor growth and lack of substantial support system in wake of failing monsoon or some other natural calamity. Our farmers are committing suicides and in some parts of the country their anger is being expressed in terms of Maoist movements. The worst part of the story is that Governments have since the time of Mughals reported to be means of crushing these movements with Coercion. In words of Chetan Bhagat .We are trying to kill symptoms rather than going into the roots of the disease. We are giving Crocin to the problem whereas it needs a strong antibiotic.
Apart from Govt. it is the duty of NGOs and all big industrialists to adopt these villages and to make the life of village prosper and delightful. There must be a movement to set up educational institution in rural areas as well as industries to provide employment and better life prospects to rural people. Once they are educated and economically sustained, social evils automatically will disappear and our villages will be enlightened with the ray of modernity.
Q5. You are Mani. You are worried after reading a report on obesity among school children and the growing craze for junk food and diseases related to it. Write an article, highlighting the need to have good eating habits especially for students, to be published in the local daily. Do not forget to suggest a few tips to sustain good food habits.
Obesity among School Children
Obesity among school children has become a major cause of concern. Liberalisation and globalisation have brought a radical change in the lifestyle of the people. Many multinationals like Macdonalds, KFC and Pizza Huts have popularised the concept of the so called ‘Fast Food’. More and more school children have developed a craze for chocolates and Colas. The results have been quite disastrous. Obesity among school children is on the rise. And so are the diseases related to it.
‘Junk food’ may appeal to our taste but doesn’t suit our digestive system. Oils and extra fats harm our liver. They increase flesh and weight. Fresh home-cooked food is anytime better. It is more digestive than the ‘junk food’. Our food should contain more coarse cereals, green and leafy vegetables. Fruit, pulses, milk, eggs and curd must be the necessary parts of our food. Green salads have fibrous material. It is good for our health and digestive system.
School children should develop good eating habits. Hot dogs, burgers and pizzas will only cause obesity among them. They should have fresh and home-cooked food. It has more nutritious value but less calories and fats.
Q6. Write an article on ‘Alarming Growth of Population’ in about 150 words for your school magazine.
Alarming Growth of Population
(By Arun Govil)
From a nation of 36 crore people in 1947, India has become a nation of 100 crore people. The growth in population is phenomenal. We are the second most populous country in the world. However, if the growth rate goes on unchecked, we shall overtake China in the next twenty years. This population explosion is a severe drain on our natural resources and hampers all development programmes. Unemployment has increased. Then there is the problem of feeding the teeming millions as we go on adding an Australia to our population every year. Housing, clothing, education and medical facilities are required in the same proportion. This makes our plans an object of mockery. They fail to revive the economy as the target required keeps on expanding. The only ray of hope lies in having a workable, foolproof and scientific campaign of family planning. Vigorous drives must be launched to educate the masses on the dangers of over-population. China, which has frozen its population growth by adopting one family-one child programme, can be our model example. Strict laws should be enacted and enforced to punish couples who produce more than two children. These measures include heavy taxes, fines and debarring them from social benefits, getting government jobs or contesting elections.
Q7. You are Mrinal/Manisha. You are much concerned about the craze for westernization among the youths of today. You are worried about the erosion of our culture and values. Write an article on this issue highlighting the need to preserve our age-old culture.
CRAZE FOR WESTERNIZATION AMONG THE YOUTHS
India is a very ancient nation and her cultural heritage has always remained precious. Being the birth place of Rishis, Munis and Gods, people from foreign countries come here to get solace, knowledge, education, wealth and what not. The spread of “Brahm Gian of Bhagwat Geeta” is not hidden from anybody and any nation.
But with the passage of time our modern youths are hankering after the western civilization and fashion like mad people. They no longer want even to respect our old culture, customs and traditions of the society. The college-going students like to visit the movies, fast food corners, clubs, night resorts etc. They want to avoid their old parents and consider them as a burden.
In their clothes they cannot be distinguished whether he is a boy or a girl. After the marriage, they like to live separate from their parents. They have no corner for the sympathy of poor parents and others. Honouring the elder have gone from their minds just like throwing a fly from the milk. Just see what will happen to this nation?
It is high time for all of us to think deeply and honour our old culture, traditions and customs. These are the bones of our survival on this earth. Otherwise we will not prolong our stay on this earth.
Q8. You are Vinod/Vimla. You are worried about the hike in the prices of essential commodities like gas, pulses, vegetables etc. Write an article on this in about 200 words for publication in a local daily, suggesting certain steps to curb price-hikes.
Price-rising has-become a routine with the government. Not a day passes when one does not hear about the shooting of pr ices. In a developing country like India, price-rising is good to some extent but we must keep in view the miserable lot of those who hardly get a square meal. The worst sufferers are the poor wage-earners who are always put in a great mess. The big money-lenders and the businessmen never care for this. It is the poor who has to think about the fulfilment of his daily necessities. The immediate hike in gas, pulses, vegetables and petrol etc. has put all of us in doldrums. This has disturbed the family budget of every domestic lady. They are unable to purchase even onions, pulses, vegetables etc. at high rates. Purchasing apples and other decent fruits is a day of bygone time. The life-saving medicines have become beyond the reach of a poor shop-keeper.
It is a very tentalizing situation. When the government makes a slight increase, traders, businessmen and others rise to the occasion. They increase the prices beyond limits and earn good profit. This brings a good problem to the common man. It is for the government to initiate steps to lower down the prices. More ration shops and bazaars on the wheels be set up to supply articles at the most competitive prices. The activities of the hoarders and stockists must be watched carefully. People should decrease their needs and the production should be increased.
Q9. Write an article in about 150 words for your school magazine on “The Influence of Technological Progress on Traditional Indian Life and Values.” You are Sugam of class XII.
INFLUENCE OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS ON INDIAN LIFE AND VALUES
Since time immemorial Indians have remained on the forefront of the world in guiding the people in spiritual and moral values of life. It has been the soil of peace and so many foreigners visit India to get salvation and peace. Due to scientific advancement, Indian values are losing their sanctity. The very system of joint family as well as, a nuclear family is eroding. We can no more see the elders staying with their children under one roof. The respect and recognition of elders as well as guests have taken a back seat. The technological progress has turned man into a selfish, greedy and materialistic person. The principles of compassion, tolerance and sympathy seemed to be swept away by the tide of time.
We have turned mechanical and are much after the western civilization. We are leaving and discarding our civilized rituals while the foreigners are much after adopting our cultures. It is correct that man has conquered time, space and distance but what is its use when we have lost all our brotherhood, fellow-feeling and cooperation. In metropolitan cities the residents do not know who our next door neighbour is. What is the use of this type of hellish life? While attaining material wealth, we have lost our spirit, philosophy and truth. The glamour of cinema halls, TV, restaurants, discotheques have taken significant role among the youths. It is very essential on part to instill the true moral values in our children. Otherwise there is not much time left to reach the doom’s day.
Q10. Water is a panacea for all but the scientists view that the third war may be fought on the issue of water. Keeping in view the need to save water, write an article on it in about 150-200 words.
Water is really a panacea for life since it not only helps in our proper growth but also encounters against so many fatal diseases that crop in our body. Our survival is much dependent upon water and its single drop wastage can impose a major threat to all living beings on this planet. There is 70% water on this planet but only 2% water is worth drinking. Due to global warming and the melting of glaciers may pose a tremendous challenge to all of us. So the scientists think that there would be acute shortage of water and the third world war will be on water. In India we feel a dire scarcity of water. During the summer season it is a sad commentary that most of the water taps become dry. It is estimated that by 2047 there will be a great dearth of water.
So it is essential on our part to save a single drop of water. But we adopt a very callous attitude towards the use of water. We become quite indifferent to the leaking pipes and taps. While bathing and shaving we leave the tap open and become careless for its use. It becomes our moral duty to harvest the rain water. In Meghalaya 200 years old system of tapping, streams and spring water for irrigation plants by using bamboos still exists. At places they rely on piped water, we have to construct dams for collecting the rain water. The rain water is saved to meet the demand at the hard times. It is the need of the hour to implement such plans and must realize that each drop of water is very precious. To retain the ground water, plantation drive should be launched.
Q11. Write an article in about 150 words for your school magazine on “Conservation of Natural Resources is the Need of the Hour.”
Conservation of Natural Resources is the Need of the Hour
This world is no more the good old world of plenty. Man has been exploiting, grabbing and robbing the earth’s resources in all possible ways. One thing has to be understood. Natural resources are not unlimited. If not replenished or conserved, they will extinct like many species of plants and animals. Every activity that man indulges in creates waste of some kind. Some of the waste can be recycled or reused. In fact, the need of the hour is to conserve the earth’s resources in all possible ways. Conservation and survival are the two sides of the same coin.
Degradation of the environment and degeneration of ecology have created havoc with the natural resources. Deforestation on a large scale led to droughts and floods. Pollution has affected our rivers, seas and fisheries. Our natural resources like coal, oil, petroleum, ores and minerals are being plundered shamelessly and mercilessly. If they are not conserved, all the natural wealth will soon become exhausted. Similarly, the water table has gone abnormally low. Used water can be recycled. The recycled water can be used for irrigation and for human consumption. Similarly human waste can be recycled into composite fertilizers. Recycling is reinventing. Recycling or reuse of the waste can compensate man’s merciless plundering and exploitation of natural resources up to some extent.
Q12. You are the member of the Environment Club of your school. After visiting many places you have realised that it is the need of the hour to protect environment. Write an article on this topic to create awareness among the people.
Degradation of the environment continues unabated. The need of the hour is to protect and preserve the environment and the ecological balance. This menace can be fought against only by creating awareness among the people. Rapid deforestation has been the main cause of environmental degradation.
The price of progress has been rather heavy. Many forest belts have been cleared away to set up industrial units. Rapid urbanization swallowed the remaining green belts. Deforestation on a large scale led to disastrous results. Famines, floods, and land erosions have destroyed the ecological balance. The need of the hour is to plant more and more trees. Trees bring rain and keep the upper soil intact. Our rivers and lakes have become dumping grounds for industrial wastes, garbage and dirt. Their water has not remained fit for human consumption.
Our cities are becoming dirtier every year. Delhi, the capital of India, has earned notoriety for being the fourth most polluted city in the world. The emission of smoke from factories have converted our cities into big gas chambers. Only a concerted effort by all can help in maintaining the ecological balance. Only then this vast country will become a pleasant and clean place to live in.
Q13. Write an article in about 150 words for your school magazine on “Aping of Western Culture by the Younger Generation.”
Aping of Western Culture by the Younger Generation
It is the age of globalization. The world has shrunk to a global village. The modern industrial culture is the product of western culture. It is quite natural that it dominates the cultural scenario of the civilized world. The younger generations like fun, enjoyment and adventure. Their fascination for the materialistic culture is quite obvious. They ape western culture. Sometimes they make mockery of old ideas and ideals.
Culture and ideas know no geographical limits. Liberalisation of our economy opened gates for multinationals in India. They are the ambassadors of western styles, values and culture. Our young men and women have fascination for Ray-Ban goggles, Addidas shoes, Le Coste’s T-shirts and, Pepe-jeans.
The growing pub-culture in big cities has popularised boozing among young men. Late night Discoes and Beer-Clubs are doing the rest. Actually, the younger generation in India is passing through a cultural crisis. They are not exposed to the spiritual and lasting values of Indian culture. It is the fault of our education and upbringing. We should develop confidence and pride in our own culture. We will have to take the lead to make others follow us.
14. You are Ajay/Aarti, a student of Class XII of Sarvodaya School, Dilshad Colony. You feel disturbed to read news about increasing cases of honour killing in Northern India. You feel that such attitude of some elders in the society deprives children of their free will and pose hindrance in choosing life partner and career of their choice. Write an article in about 150-200 words on the topic “Honour Killing – a Stigma on Modern Society”.
Honour Killing – A Social Evil
Honour Killing, now popularly and ironically called by media as Horror killing is a social evil that has existed in our society for a very long time. It might have emerged with the onset of civilization. The root cause of this social evil lies in exercise of parental authority, over their children as their matter of right. Especially in the patriarchal societies, the thinking that whatever parents think is right; that children can’t take good decisions for their life partners, their future or career goals. Majority of Indian parents don’t trust their children when it comes to decide their life partner or career. Even if society had not been divided along the lives of caste and creed, problems would have persisted in other forms. But the evil of Honour killing began to raise its ugliest head when structure of society became more and more complex. It is more frequently found in rural areas where the light of education is yet to reach.
These things are very shocking in context of Honour killing. First of that the perpetrators do not regret after killing their daughters, sisters and their boyfriends. Rather the killings are glorified. Secondly, ways of killing are very heinous and brutal going beyond the limits of humanity. For example. In Delhi the couple
was electrocuted after being closed and tied in an iron box.
Third thing is that not only older generation i.e., parents but the youths who are expected to bring out the social change and revolution in society are also killing their sisters, cousins in the name of family honours.
Whatever the reason and whoever is the perpetrator, Honour Killing is totally wrong and a punishable crime. It is against the pattern of society and civilization. Each older generation must give way to the forthcoming generation the freedom to take their decisions about their life priorities. We must have trust in our children and respect their decisions. Even it is not right, no law allows us to kill our children. The practice of Honour killing must be stopped immediately and all legal agencies. Govt. NGOs, Social activists should come forward to rescue the young boys or girls who have decided their life partners on their own.