Wow! Do you know 60% of Nigerians find it difficult to write a letter? Well yes and am telling you that, and i would say it again. It's just so naughty don't you think. Well am not surprised. But our case study today goes to Waec students who want to get A+ in Waec English language Paper. And i am going to share a tip on how to write the perfect letter in Waec English Language paper, anytime, anywhere, any day.
Welcome to the altar of exam success, i am "Osas Divine" your Admission coach.
Rules of writing a Letter in Waec English language paper.
- You must not write less than 450 words
- You must not write more than 1000 words.
- You must not misspell anything.
- You must not miss any punctuation mark.
- You must use different paragraphs for each point you raise in the letter. Don't write blah blah blah....
- Don't repeat any point's you raise, write different points in each paragraph.
- Use the topic as a guideline don't write off topic.
- Follow the rule of informal and formal letter depending on which one the topic falls under.
- Make sure you don't use words You don't know the meaning. Grammar makes your work professional but don't overuse it, write simple and understandable.
- Don't over cancel your writing
You must not write more than 450 words in the letter.
They would definitely signify this in your question paper.
The reason is that anything less can not effectively communicate your message.
However, the examiner does not need bla..bla...bla ...i mean meaningless point's.
If you are doing the greeting make it short and appealing to the reader.
Those shits, such as "How's Tosin, how's Ikechi I hope they are still going to school, what of baby Tayo, is she still crying."
Please save me those shits.
Students do this just to make the letter long because they are always lazy for ideas.
Writing more than 450 words is the first rule, but remember no exaggerating.
A perfect greeting in a perfect letter in Waec English language is " How is the family, hope they're all having a splendid time, send my regards. ( full stop)
Exaggerating it like, How is Tochukwu I hope he is now in school, what about Ade, did he get his admission? I hope mummy too is doing fine if so am also doing fine extend my greetings.
This is what I mean by bla...bla all in the name of writing more than 450 words.
Why it affects you instead of increasing your score.
- You're indirectly telling the examiner you don't have enough points to use.
- It makes the letter ugly and childish.
- Stories don't help, even if you are writing a formal letter make sure it's professional.
You must not write more than 1000 words.This is where you would find the officious letter guru's.
The one we call "Oversabi" or " I too know" in a layman language.
Most students like to do otherwise because they say don't write less than 450 words, they try to write terribly more just to impress the Marker/ Examiner.
Yes, that may be such a great idea but let me shock you.
- A letter that is too long goes out of point. What a Nigerian person call "O.P"
- It will lose value in some areas and if the examiner comes across it, he would see it as an opportunity to reduce your mark.
- It increases your chance of having a wrong spelling.
- The examiner would think you are trying to prove intelligence and you know it all, it would, therefore, draw more attention to what would have not been done.
Eg, he will check where you failed to dot your 'i' or cross your 'T'.
A perfect letter is within the range of 450 and 700.
Anything more than that would result in breaking another rule which is, you must not write off point.
You must not misspell anything.It's fine though because I don't expect you to know everything.
But remember that Waec English language script markers are strict and they would always look for something to reduce your mark even if it's one mark, and this is common in letter writing.
They would circle each place you spelled wrong. Some may not reduce mark unless it's too much some will remove Marks from each place you spelled wrong.
Such as spelling, Believe as Beleive.
So what this calls for is, write carefully after writing read it ten times if you have to but don't cancel too much.
Make sure you spell correctly, I am not advising you to do this because most invigilators would frown at it, but if you can do it quietly and smart, you can ask a friend to spell for you, but don't you dare ask the invigilator to spell for you
You must not miss any punctuation Mark
Just as spellings are deemed important, the most significant of them all is punctuation and all examiners will watch this.
The priority for this is high. But many students don't know where to put some punctuation marks.
Wait you don't know what punctuation means?
Punctuation is a mark used in sentence writing to pass a given expression, clarify meaning and give a structure to your writing.
Such as comma, apostrophe, full stop or exclamation mark.
It's important to use them correctly in a letter, I mean very important.
Remember we are trying to write the best letter so you can score A+ in English.
In other, for you to understand where and how to use punctuation you must get acquainted with reading.
When you read frequently, always watch the use of punctuation and master it.
Basic rules for using punctuation.
- Whenever you end a Sentence use a full stop. (.)
- Whenever you ask a question use a question mark (?)
- Use a comma to break down a sentence in most cases and other signs for expressions.
P.s : Read out your sentence, and follow the expression, use a comma in the place you want the reader to pause a little.
In all due respect, I am writing this letter to ask for a favor, I hope it fits for your approval.
When I first met Sarah, I told her she is pretty and she replied, " you're pretty as well".
Always remember to put a full stop at the end of a sentence and all other marks too.
Use different paragraphs for each point and don't write blah blah...blah.
# RULE, Do not write off points.
The best way you can impress your examiner and make your letter easy to understand is to have your point's in different paragraphs.
By so doing the examiner or reader would find a space to breathe.
If you don't know how to use paragraphs, should i say go back and kindergarten? Anyway, let me guide you.
Use sentences to build your paragraph, it should not be overlong. Different points in a different paragraph.
After a Paragraph, leave a single line and not more than that before writing the next paragraph. Appropriate spacing makes your work neat, but watch your excesses and don't over compress a Paragraph.
A paragraph makes it easier to read.
Don't rewrite the same point in different paragraphs, use different points.I have said this more than once.
Waec English language examination is not such a paper you must joke it, have it at the back of your mind that you're going nowhere without it.
So whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well.
The best letter that carries more mark is what am teaching.
Don't beat around the bush and don't write one thing ten times whether in the same paragraph or not.
Let me show you what am talking about.
In my school, the teachers are very strict and Mrs. Okoro the Physics teacher falls under this category, I really don't like strict teachers however am doing my best to cope, but don't you think it's bad to be strict while teaching, strict teachers are bad. What do you hate about strict teachers?
This is an empty paragraph, it has no point and it carries no marks.
How about this.
In my school the teachers are strict. Take for instance Mrs. Okoro the Physics teacher who flogs students for failing a test, to me it makes a student get irritated at the subject. I love a teacher who corrects and not only punishes, what is your take In this?
Which of them makes sense to you?
There you go, never beat around the Bush.
It just like saying you are an amateur.
Make your work decent.
If the point you're trying to pass is ' You don't like strict teachers. Don't occupy the whole paragraph with that.
Make it meaningful by telling us why you don't like the strict teachers, an example of who a strict teacher is In your school and what makes him or her strict.
But one reminder.
Whenever you're writing don't compose it just to impress the examiner.
Make it real as if you were writing it to someone. And stick to these rules.
Use the topic as a guideline don't write off topic.
Always recheck the topic to remember what you are writing.
If you ever write outside that topic, you're making a delicious mistake.
E.g You are writing to your principal on reasons why he should change your English language teacher.
And you include reasons to change your physics teacher, then you're on your own. (O.Y.O)
Stick around your topic and give solid points not just anyhow points.
Follow the rules of informal and formal letter depending on where the topic falls under.
You cannot write both in the same way.
A formal letter.Is a business or an official letter you write to an organization.
E.g A letter to your principal is a formal letter because the school is an organization.
A letter to U.B.A Manager is a formal letter because it's is considered official.
How to write a formal letter perfectly in Waec English language.
1. Use two addresses, yours should be on the right-hand side and the organization address should be on the left-hand side.
2. Leave a line after your address before writing the receiver's address.
But remember to put the name of the organization in the address of the receiver.
3. Include a date under your address.
4. Use punctuation rightly.
5. After the address, salutation comes next even If you know the name of the person, don't use it in the salutation eg.
Dear Mr. Samuel,
Because it is official.
Dear sir, or Dear Ma'am, is the most suitable.
You can combine it if you don't know the gender of the person Dear Sir/Ma'am.
6. After your salutation, the headline comes next. The heading should carry the purpose/title of your letter. Ensure It is professional.
E.g 1 A LETTER OF REQUEST TO CHANGE OUR ENGLISH TEACHER
E.g 2 A letter of Appreciation for the Award in the Quiz Competition.
Note these two titles.
Examiners will always check.
If you use small letter/lower case in your title you have to underline it.
But if you use Capital letter/Upper case don't underline.
Make sure your rulings are straight don't rule with your hand.
7. After the headline, start with an introduction but make sure you don't start greeting like.
How is your friends and family, or whatever? A formal letter is straight to point. No beating around the bush.
Start by referencing something and stating the purpose of your letter e.g
A LETTER TO CHANGE MY ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER.
In reference to my result which was very poor Last term In English Language, i am writing this letter for a change of my English language teacher.
That is it, no need for more stories. You get your complete mark.
8. Next start the body of the letter, by giving your points why you want your principal to change the teacher and how it would help you more.
Make sure your body keeps all the rules I have taught you.
Don't forget to add a conclusive Paragraph, that should carry something like you're hoping for a reply and the summary of your whole paragraphs.
9. After the body, just appreciate the reader for his time and co-operation. This is the conclusion aspect. Give it a good finishing touch.
10. Write the subscription.
Subscription is the part you end your letter.
A good letter that starts officially must end officially.
The appropriate subscription for a formal letter is Yours Faithfully,
Then your Full name, if it is a business letter sign After your name, but not really important.
Make sure you don't write something like this.
The first one would have been better but it should have a comma at the end, not a full stop.
The second one would have also been better, but don't use an apostrophe in yours.
How to write a perfect informal letter.An informal letter is written to your friends, close people or relatives.
1. It only has one address which is Yours.
2. After your address, write the salutation. The salutation must, I repeat must have the name of the person because in this case, you know the person, you can also use a pronoun instead of a noun.
Note: Don't use extend my greetings, it is an old fashion way. Instead, use Send my regards.