2011 EXAM FORMAT

Marks allocation for the literature component:

Poem 5 marks
Novel 15 marks
___________
Total 20 marks

Note that candidates will only be tested on NOVEL and POEMS.

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Complete Guide: QWERTYUIOP

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Here's an extract:

Write about one of the characters that you like in the short story,

QWERTYUIOP.

Miss Broome

Miss Broome was old Mr Bannister’s secretary for forty-three years. She typed letter by letter and she hated the young girls who touch-type without having to look at the keyboard. According to Harry Darke, the young girls gave Miss Broome “the push”. When her boss retired her after forty three years, she had no place to go, for the office was her home and the job was “all she lived for” (p25). Thus whenever a new girl came to work, her ghost which haunted the typewriter would scare the girl until she was too frightened to continue. Sure, Miss Broome was angry and vicious at first...

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Here is an example from the Guide:

CHAPTER 3

In this chapter we are introduced to Puan Kamsiah and her daughter, Siti. We are also introduced to Datuk Zulkifli and Datin Sharifah, who are Azreen’s foster parents; they are sponsoring Azreen’s studies in London. We also introduced to Puan Normala and Noor, her daughter. Noor and Siti are classmates.

Siti conveys to her mother what Noor has been telling her classmates that Madhuri has been murdered. Puan Kamsiah feels that the ‘wicked woman’(p12) Puan Normala is spreading ‘malicious lies’ (p12) about Madhuri and ‘the poor girl isn’t even properly laid to ground yet!’ (p12) When Siti quotes her mother’s description of Normala as ‘a slimy cobra with a three-forked tongue’ (p12), it gives us a hint of the character of Normala: She is, in fact, a busybody and the village gossip.




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Yes, the most comprehensive guide on Ann Fine's Step by Wicked Step to help you prepare for your SPM English 1119 Exam is out. Chapter by chapter analysis with lots of explanatory notes to explain the plot, theme, and characters of this loving & touching story. Page references are given to save you the trouble of having to locate important texts and quotes.


Complete Guide to Poems

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Sample Question and Answer

What does it mean when the poet says but on their brows there was not a sign of despair?

It means that despite the difficult situation they were in, they did not show any sign of hopelessness.


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Video-Cut Out the Fat

Friday, April 16, 2010

How Not To Write A Dialogue or Conversation

Just the other day Maria rather tactlessly drew Kennot Waite's attention to the rashes on his left cheek. That made him blush and now the rashes seem redder than a red rose and so he decides he must make an appointment with a skin doctor (that's a dermatologist) before the rashes paint his whole face red. Here's the exchange on the phone with the clinic's receptionist:

KW: Excuse me, I want to make an appointment with the doctor.
Woman : Err...may I know...?
KW: Okay, my name is Kennot Waite. What time can I see the doctor?
Woman : Mr Waite, I'll put your name down for three o'clock. Is that alright?
KW: Yes, that's fine.
Woman: Mr Waite, we'll see you at three. Goodbye.

You'll notice that the customary greeting is missing at the beginning of the exchange. Kennot Waite appears to be rather polite by saying "Excuse me" before he 'requests' an appointment. Actually his request is more like a demand : I want to make an appointment with the doctor. He should have said : Excuse me, I would like to make an appointment with the doctor.

When the woman asks Kennot for his  name, he cuts her off. And the interruption is rather rude and abrupt although he guessed correctly that she was going to ask him his name. At times one may have to interrupt, but one has to do it politely. For example, you may say: Excuse me, if I may inteerupt/Sorry for interrupting... Then you proceed with what you are going to say.

Another shortcoming of this dialogue is that there is no proper close. This is the conclusion before you hang up the phone. Kennot Waite should have responded by saying something like this: Thanks. Goodbye.

So, whether you are writing a dialogue in the PMR English exam or SPM English exam, the features of a dialogue are the same. Apart from the fact that the speakers must respect each other, a dialogue is just like other forms of essay writing; it has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

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