• Michelle Joycelyn Tan

There is no "SECRET FORMULA" or "SECRET FRAMEWORK" to good writing.

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

The team has been seeing more and more advertising on "the go-to framework for essay writing" or the best formula for PSLE writing etc, enticing parents to buy into the idea that a miracle formula exists.

The truth is, there is no "secret formula" to good writing. Especially the kind of writing ability that would take your child through his/her life rather than just getting a good score for a single exam.

Good writing speaks for itself and manifests in:

+ Clear structure

+ Unambiguous language

+ Clear thought processes

+ Interesting, beautiful or stylishly intelligent expressions

+ Sound conclusions

These are the perennial characteristics of a good a piece of writing.

Then beyond the basics, the quality of writing is determined by how stylish, or how deftly the author has strung words together to create both a beautiful effect when read, as well as reflect meaningful thought. Using bombastic words for the sake of using them is an easy mistake even adults make in an attempt to impress their readers.

So how does one develop good writing skills?

First and foremost, the grasp on the English language has to be there. Writing is the greatest application of one's grammar, vocabulary and comprehension skills.

  • The ability to read from an early age, as well as having good exposure to the good use of language, is key to English becoming instinctive and easy to use.

  • It is always advisable to start learning the language young so that children "acquire" language skills rather than through somewhat "forced" rote learning at a later age.

Secondly, one must come to understand how stories should have a logical flow - good story sense.

  • Thankfully, I-Creative Learner Literacy programmes begin developing our students' story-sense from the year they turn 4 (Nursery 2). By the time Winning Kids get to primary school, they posses an innate understanding of what a good story should look like and can focus specifically on mastering grammar and developing their own unique writing styles.

  • Writing styles should differ from person to person as every individual has their own personal voice -- your voice is your personality coupled with your point of view that shines through when you communicate. It is the mission of educators to assist students with developing this style through the course of their learning journeys.

Have consistent practice and have an adept writing mentor with you to make immediate corrections to sharpen your writing.

  • Writers at any age would attest to the need for consistent writing practice, as well as having editors, mentors, peer-marked practices to hone and refine their writing. If adults require such an environment, what more children?

  • The difference would be that the environment in which the child practices their writing has to be lively, interesting, thought-provoking and challenging to a degree far higher than those needed by adults so that their imagination and attention are captured. Immediate feedback encourages retention and active participation in improving the application of the language.

If tutors only teach frameworks for students to overcome specific titles, then there is a reliance on chance -- that relevant topics will be given during the exams.
Students would not be agile or creative writers, but produce cookie-cutter material and cliché stories.

In conclusion, there is no instant formula to truly good writing - it is not an overnight win.

Teaching creative writing is also not an easy task. Educators must have the right teaching training. They must also possess an in-depth understanding on what it takes to elevate another individual's creativity and writing, rather than just having children copy and replicate the tutor's work.

Deep learning and mastery will always require thorough learning and practice.


Ending this post with a few writing pieces from our primary school students:

At I-Creative Learner, we have clarity in our purpose, focus and mission. We believe in making headway and not playing a catch-up game - 26 years of hands-on experience and research gives us the edge and advantage.

We thank you for your continued trust in our work and for your support in recommending us to your friends and family.

Blessed 2020 and we hope that our contributions to your awareness of important ideas in education would assist with empowering your parenting!

1. In this challenge, students read the well-known story that had inspired the Yellow Ribbon Project in Singapore -- a story of forgiving a family member who has been incarcerated.
Students were given the freedom to reimagine the story and write from a different point of view. This student has chosen a surprising viewpoint -- of the offender's child. She explores the experience, feelings and thought processes of her chosen character.
Written by Ailey Chew, P5, from I-CL Hub (Chai Chee)

2. In this challenge, students were given the theme "Do Not Judge a Book by its Cover". They were not provided scenarios but had to invent a scene where a character had learned the key lesson of the theme. Students were encouraged to imagine realistic situations that they could possibly be caught in.
Students were encouraged to provide details and clues on the main character's life or situation that could affect their cognitive biases or perspectives.
Written by Rin, P4, from I-CL Hub (Everton Park)

4. In this challenge, students were asked to invent a fictional tale in the style of Aesop's Fables and other folklores that they have been exposed to.
This young writer chose to invent an ironic story of how the elephant grew a long trunk for creating a lie. That lie, however, comes true at some point in human history!
Written by Dion Wang, P4, from I-CL Hub (Chai Chee)

5. A popular title given by schools in exams, even at the college level, is "An Emergency." This is a title that students must be familiar with.
I-CL's Winning Kids are encouraged to steer away from cliché storylines and explore the possible viewpoints of participating characters.
This student chose to write from a surprising viewpoint of a person who was at the scene of emergency. The emotions felt behind the thought-processes and actions of the character were thoughtfully and skilfully recorded.
Written by Victoria Yee Wern, P5, from I-CL Hub (Chai Chee)

6. "Love Makes the World Go Round". Discuss.
We have all encountered such a broad theme and have wondered how to approach the subject. Every child has a unique point of view and style of writing. Here we present pieces from two students from different I-CL branches.
Written by Daylan Phoon, P5, from I-CL Hub (Chai Chee) and Alpha Thu, P5, from I-CL Hub (Everton Park) and

Hope you enjoyed the short reads!

The I-Creative Learner team has been impacting lives for the past 30 years and we will continue to do so!

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