104 Responses to Formats for O’level English Directed Writing Tasks

  1. Hassan says:

    Sir in today’s paper I have written some lines that I have learnt by heart from redsport. Koi masla tu nae ho ga?

  2. nailah says:

    hello! i sat down for my English writing today. i got a formal letter.i was told to make sure that my letter is polite and end with a suitable ending.will i lose marks if i didn’t include the address?

  3. Fatima says:

    Assalam alaikum sir . Tomorrow I have my english paper. I got a B before and giving a retake.will u mind telling me some last hour tips.

  4. Burhan Khan says:

    Sir, what is the difference between formal and informal writing. I have my exams on the 3rd,October 2017

    • Walaikum Salam,

      Formal language is mainly used in essays, formal letters, reports etc. It uses formal vocabulary, avoids contractions, uses a bit lengthy and complex sentences, and communicates information objectively.

      Informal language, on the other hand, is used in informal letters and dialogues in stories (when appropriate) in the O’level examination. Informal language comprises informal vocabulary, contractions, short and simple sentences, and communicates information in a personal and subjective manner.

      For further information, please google ‘differences between formal and informal language,’ you’ll find many resources.

      Best of luck for your examination!

  5. Hitlist221 says:

    Sir how should we be expected to start the body of our speech?.

    • The body of your is based on the content points given in the directed writing task. You can generally start with the first content point

      • Hitlist221 says:

        Sir another question I had is that how many marks are deducted for wrong format + untidy handwriting because in may june session,I was awarded a C grade in 12 and 22.
        I am retaking this oct/nov and don’t want to make the same mistakes again.
        And any another helpful tips to get a better grade?.
        Thank you in advance

        • Hitlist221 says:

          And is it okay to start your one word essay as a narrative by ‘first’ giving the introductory type of starting to that word and that start your story?.
          For e.g On the one word essay ‘Success’

          Many children start their lives in ‘rough situations’. Some have neglectful parents who don’t assist with any part of their lives. In contrast, others are practically smothered by parental involvement, unable to find their own identity. Some have divorced parents, live in poverty, or are exposed to drugs and alcohol. Children live in all kinds of conditions and are sometimes ‘set up for failure’ from the very start. But some children are able, despite their initial circumstances, to achieve great things in life. Some part of them drives them to succeed and, because of this, they learn the value of hard work and gain a stronger personal character than they might have developed otherwise.
          And then start our narrative?.

          • You can write a brief explanation of the key words comprising two to three sentences. This explanation must also be connected to the theme of your story.

            The beginning that you have written is too long. Make it brief.

            There are other more interesting ways to start a story, like using a dialogue, creating suspense, describing the scene vividly etc.

        • You would not have received a C in the writing Paper for just because of writing wrong format. There would have been some other issues with your paper too.

          I have already written a post including the last hour tips for your examination on this blog. Please check it.

  6. 1.Sir my paper 1 is on this tuesday..i want to ask you that do me have to mention a subject in formal letter.
    2.I also want to ask that in a letter(whether it is formal or informal) do we have to mention our address because my teacher was saying that write a letter like this:
    ABC apartments,
    XYZ road,

    29th September,2017

    PQR News,
    123 road,

    • 1.we*
      My teacher meant not to mention real address or true identity.
      Even dont mention your name in a speech:
      Ladies and gentleman,good morning.i am here to…..

    • If the letter writing task in the examination clearly mentions, start your letter “Dear Sir/Madam/Principal,” you must not include the address in your answer.

      If no such instruction is provided, then including the address in your answer will be your choice.

      • But will the marks be deducted for it because i just viewed the marking scheme.it says that a proper format is required in task fulfillment.
        And please tell should we add a subject in formal letter.

        • Also tell me how should we start and end a report.I am not asking about format .i am asking about body of report.how should we start it and how should we end.Give me a starting and ending of :
          You witnessed an accident on your way to school which made you late.Apologize your principal and report her about it.
          if you please.waiting for your reply.thank you very much for previous one.

          • The beginning of a report must clearly mention the purpose of writing it. You can use any of the following phrases to start your report:

            The aim/purpose of this report is to give you information/details about ……………… (the accident that took place at …(place)…. on …..date/time…..)
            This report is about ……………….. (the fight between two senior students during the recess at the canteen yesterday.)
            This report outlines ………………. (our plans for the annual picnic scheduled next month/at the end of the term.)
            I am writing to give you the details/information about …………

            The report could be concluded using any of the following phrases:

            I hope you find this report useful/helpful in ………………. ( your inquiry/investigation // understanding the circumstances of this incident/accident).

            These are just my suggestions. There could be several other ways to begin and conclude your report.

        • Of course, proper format is a requirement for a proper answer and marks will be deducted for its violation.
          Adding a subject in a formal letter is optional.

  7. UZma says:

    kindly describe in detail how to write Argumentative essay in C.I.E with sample answer and steps.

  8. Iniazhazimah says:

    Hi sir, does the report writing should be formal or informal?

  9. Sir,
    I have prepared well,and I have an English language olevels tomorrow.i just want to know that is solved red spot a good source And are its answers reliable.please be honest because I think my present is not being helpful to me.
    Thank you.

    • Red Spot Past Papers have some good examples of essays and letters/reports, however, all the responses are not equally good. You have to be critical yourself while reading the sample answers.
      As far as the sample answers of the reading paper are concerned, I do not recommend reading or using those answers for checking your practice work. Always use the CIE marking schemes for checking the correct answers to reading paper questions.

  10. sybaritic says:

    Dear Sir Younis,
    I would be appearing for my English olevels exam this May, 2017. I am very confused about the tone of language and style that is required to be used while writing a magazine article. I googled about it and found out it has to be opinionated and engaging with catch phrases you rarely find in formal writing. Please guide me on this matter.
    Thank you.

  11. Raja Obaid says:

    please tell that how many paragraphs we have to write in speech and how many words??

    • The word limit is same for all the Directed Writing tasks, i.e. letter, report, speech, etc. You have to write between 200 to 300 words, and a speech of around 250 words will be perfectly fine. You should try to write at least four to five paragraphs.

  12. ibrahimamjad says:

    Sir today in reading paper , I wrote a summary of 194 words which I counted in last 5 minutes. I got panicked as I knew it had to be near 160. Thus I wrote in countbox: 180. Idk why I did this blunder. Sir will it cost me marks?

  13. Jacqueline says:

    can you send me another tips for both paper one and two for october papers please.

    Thank you

  14. Abdullah Munglah says:

    there is no date in the formal letter nor in the informal one. Pls advise, thanks

  15. iqra khattak says:

    how can we change the points jotted down into our own words for the summary specially when they are in relatively simpler words.

    • You do not need to change every word while writing your paragraph summary from the notes you have made in Question 1 (a). Simpler words can be left as it is and only the key words/phrases need to be changed with their synonyms. Changing the sentence structure and combining two or three points into one sentence also counts as using your own words.

  16. Osama Adnan says:

    Sir is it essential that we have to put speech marks in our speech at the start and at the end.Will any marks would be deducted if incase we didn’t include them?

  17. Nasir says:

    Sir, Farid, would you be able to provide me some source materials on A level English Language paper 9093. I appreciate your help in this regard. Thank you. Nasir

  18. Rabiya says:

    Sir, are many marks deducted if your word count in section 1 increases upto 15-20 words? (you have included each and every word in your count.)

  19. mariam aamir says:

    Sir , if a person hasn’t written his or her story in paragraph how many marks will be deducted ?

  20. noman yaqoobi says:

    if we are asked to start the report from “To the principal…’ and remember to add your signature and date. how and where do we mention all of these?

  21. Aamir Saeed says:

    sir, is there any easier way to note out the points from a paragraph for summary

    • Keep the given two themes in mind, i.e. advantages/disadvantages, uses of something in the past and in the present, etc, and find the points related to the first theme in the first half of the passage, and then mark the points of the second theme in the second half.
      Read the passage for identifying points while concentrating on the given themes.
      Write your points briefly and you don’t need to change them into your own words at this point.
      Don’t quote examples or repeat the same point in different words.
      Don’t count the given example points into your 15 points. Write at least 15 points on your own.
      You can always write extra points to gain marks for them in case some of your points are marked wrong.

  22. syed343 says:

    Sir, what can we expect in directed writing section of the may 2016 Paper 1?
    Mostly we are given task to write a report or a letter, isn’t it?

    • I am sorry I have never been a supporter of selective preparation for examination and I do not advise my students about guessing my students what is coming in the examination.
      If you would like to do predict the writing task in Directed Writing Section, see the past 2/3 years papers and try to guess the pattern.
      I’m sorry I won’t be of much help here.

  23. Nargis Sultana says:

    Thank you Sir

  24. Hammad Khalid says:

    Sir, which type of essay do you think is easier for a student to write, narrative or descriptive?

  25. Saif Khan says:

    Sir, in leaflets, brochures and magazine articles, do we have to start each paragraph with a heading?

  26. Niharika says:

    Are these the latest formats? For CIE O levels, because I have my English paper 1 examination tomorrow.

  27. Thank you so much sir these are very helpful.

  28. Faizan Karsaz says:

    Muhammad Younis Farid

    Please correct the format of Account Writing. One should never use format of a formal letter in account writing.

    For Speech, start and end with Speech marks.

    jazak Allah

  29. Bilal Arshad says:

    Sir is this important to mention address on both types of letter(formal and informal)

  30. syed343 says:

    Sir, what can we expect in directed writing section of the may 2016 Paper 1?
    Mostly we are given task to write a report or a letter, isn’t it?

  31. Hammad Khalid says:

    Sir, are we allowed to write “Lots of love” at the end of an informal letter? Also, the question of a report asks us to sign so where should we sign?

    • You can write ‘lots of love’ at the end of an informal letter.

      You will sign your report after writing “Yours sincerely./faithfully,/truly,” and will write your name below your signature.

      • Hammad Khalid says:

        Thank you.
        Where should we sign if we choose the second report format?
        Also, can you give me an example of how should we write the first paragraph of a report?

        • It is better to choose the formal letter format, if you are asked to sign your report in the question.
          You can start your report like this:
          The purpose/aim of this report is to give you the details of/information about ___________________________________________________. (Mention the main incident/event, time, place, people involved, etc.)

  32. Mohad ur Rehman says:

    Thank you sir, these are really useful.

      • Mohad ur Rehman says:

        sir in todays speech i misread the question and didn’t start from “good morning everyone”. How much marks should i expect to lose?

        • You should always follow the given instructions about the format and starting your speech/letter/format.

          Well, I cannot tell you exactly how many marks you would lose, as while awarding your final marks/grade for your speech/letter/report all the aspects of the task are taken into account, i.e. task fulfillment, use of vocabulary, grammar, register, sentence structure, format etc, and no specific individual breakup of marks for these aspects is available in the mark scheme.

          • Ahmed Khan says:

            sir is it possible that the examiner do not cut marks
            I also misread the question and did not start from good morning everyone
            I started like:

            respected teachers and dear fellows
            how are you doing on this beautiful morning

          • It is important to follow the instructions about the format and starting the answer. However, if the quality of your response is up to the mark in all other aspects, you shouldn’t be losing too many marks for this error.

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