O Level English Tuition: Situational Writing Tips and Model Essay

General Paper (GP) Tuition & O level English Tuition specialists

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“O” Level English, Paper 1, Section B: Situational Writing

For this section, candidates are required to write 250–350 words on a given situation which will involve viewing a visual text.
Candidates can expect a variety of situations and they must respond accordingly.

Based on the, “O” level syllabus,  assessment objectives, candidates must note the following:

  1. write in internationally acceptable English
  2. write to suit purpose, audience and context
  3. write clearly, effectively, relevantly and coherently
  4. show understanding of a variety of written and visual texts at the literal, inferential and evaluative levels
  5. show understanding of how use of language achieves purpose and impact

Below is an example of a Situational Essay to illustrate the appropriate response.

Section B [30 marks]

You are advised to write between 250 and 350 words for this section.

You should look at the poster on page 3, (note: not shown for website versions of notes) study the information carefully and plan your answer before beginning to write.
Your local town council is planning to set up a new committee in your area to benefit the residents. The Editor of the constituency newsletter has invited residents to give their views on the matter, in a letter to be published in the monthly newsletter.

Your letter to the Editor must include the following content:  which one of the three committees will best fit your community, how residents can benefit from the committee, why it is the most useful of the three committees and how residents can contribute to the committee.

Write your letter in clear, accurate English and in a confident, persuasive tone, to convince the Editor and the readers of the newsletter that this new committee will most benefit your community. You should use your own words as much as possible. 

Basic Teaching Points


This is a case where candidates are required to study all the three suggested committees, after which they must explain their reasons for choosing one of these committees over the other two.

A good candidate will demonstrate that the selected option is far superior to the other two committees but it also has a likely problem. He/she will then offer suggestion to solve this problem.

In rejecting the other two suggested committees, the candidate must show how these committees are not as suitable although they have their strengths. Candidates must be able to see the links between the 1st and 3rd bulleted points and, the 2nd and 4th bulleted points so that they do not waste time repeating themselves.

Finally, bearing in mind the assessment objectives expected, a good answer will compare and contrast all the three committees to persuade that the selected committee is the best choice.

Note: Further discussion and notes will be given out at our O level English Tuition classes

Sample Model  Essay


James Wong

Block 19

4, Jalan Anak Bukit

Western Town Tower,

Singapore, 588799


17 March 2018


Editor, The Constituency Newsletter

Western Town Council

Singapore 233445


Dear Sir/Madam,

Views on Choice of New Committee

First and foremost, I would like to thank you as a resident of Western Town council for giving us a say in the choice of the new committee. After studying the profile of our constituency, I feel that the Health Committee would be the best choice to benefit the residents compared to the Green Committee and Safety Committee.

The Green Committee and Safety Committee both have valid points to benefit the constituents but they may not fit the community best. The Green committee encourages the residents to adopt a more healthy and environmental-friendly lifestyle while the latter protects the residents from neighbourhood crimes. However, the proposed events suggested by the two committees may only be applicable to a select group of people. The Green Committee suggests the growing of herbs and vegetables which require residents to have enough patience and necessary skills. The ‘ upcycling’ projects also demand creative and innovative residents in order to transform unwanted products for new uses. Similarly, the joint police-resident neighbourhood patrol of the Safety Committee is not suitable for the residents such as students or office workers who do not have spare time to assist. Thus, this may limit the participation rate of the residents which will consequently affect the effectiveness of these two committees.

On the other hand, the Health Committee is more effective as its events cater to all ages. For adults and children, the committee will organise weekly inter-block games such as football, basketball and table tennis which will allow the residents from different backgrounds to befriend one another while improving their level of activeness. In this way, the neighbours who are strangers before can become friends, thus strengthening the bond between them and fostering a sense of community. Since the people have a lot of demand on their time, the committee can modify the frequency of the activities to earn more continued support and participation from the residents. With the increased attention of people on health issues, the residents can share ‘ Healthy Food’ recommendations and recipe with one another with the help of social media. This not only create a healthy and happy neighbourhood but also strengthen the social fabric among residents.

In addition, there is a growing concern over the mental and physical health of our elderly due to the aging population. The Health Committee will work on the review of the sport facilities and fitness station to encourage more elderly residents to keep fit as well as provide a place for them to interact with one another to lead a healthy and active life. For many of whom are indigent, the Health Committee also provides subsidised health checks, right at their doorstep, a welcome service in order to offer a more convenient and low cost healthcare for our elderly residents.

Hence, the Health Committee can best benefit our community in the long run as its high participation rate of residents from all ages and backgrounds make it more sustainable than the other two committees. I hope you will take my suggestions into account, and once again thank you for the chance for us to give our views on this matter.

Yours sincerely,

John Wong


This is a result of 2 drafts. The first was written after a lesson on situational writing for us to understand if a student can apply what he has learnt. After which, personalised feedback is given to help student see where they can improve and to comment on their individual writing styles. Then the student will be tasked to do a brief re-write to internalise techniques. More of these will be covered during our classes.

Knowledge Skills – Subject Specialists for GP Tuition and  O-Level English Tuition

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