top of page
  • Vanita Pal

Secondary 3 English Singapore: how to use language for drawing attention to something

Have you ever wished you had the creative genius to write superbly?

That your every word will be a call to others to wake up and take action?

The pen is indeed mightier than the sword dear friends.

The power of the written word should never be underestimated as it is one of the few things which survives time. And that is saying a lot.

The main point of this is to Grab peoples’ attention. We live in the era of instant Communication. Whether we are selling something, teaching something or want people to do what we are saying, Words are powerful and appeal to the masses.

Politicians are fully aware of this and their spee

ches are often power-charged with short, impactful phrases.

Presidents delivering that serious crisis

speech need a strong ‘gift of the gab’ to get through to everyone and placate jittery nerves. They need to reassure and comfort when matters get rough and out of hand. Remember the speeches from the PM of Singapore during the Covid19? Everyone had that ‘gloom and doom’ feeling but when he announced that taking that vaccine was of prime importance and we could slowly transition to a time when we could enjoy our meetings and outings as of old? It was inspiring and reassuring.

The mood lifted especially when he mention

ed we may even go back to not wearing masks. Note that it was not a confirmed assurance but a conditional statement based on our cooperative efforts in embracing the vaccine. Nevertheless, it was a carefully calculated speech and there was an immediate exuberance and general feeling of seeing the light at the end of the tunn


“Words, words, words” as Shakespeare said in Hamlet. “More matter and less art.

They matter if they are powerful enough to change the Future.


Antimetabole is one of the craftiest and dynamic ways of making waves.

The Golden Tip which has served me well for many years is antimetabole language device.

Antimetabole – I know what I like and I like what I know

Eg Antimetabole – I like what I want and I want what I like

Eg It took me by surprise and surprise took me to the end.

Eg The guardians were back and back they went to their guard.

It takes practice to do this properly.

After all, we still remember Yoda from Star wars don’t we?

“Action, it is time to take.” Yoda might say, instead of ‘it’s time to take action.’

It’s cute, funny and SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.

Yes, that’s what you want isn’t it? You want your words to speak for themselves. You need people to pay a second look at your banner, your blog, your little ‘message.’

Imagine if you are a student sweating over the concluding paragraph and you need to great that link back to the question.

The Conclusion must have that Key Note link to what the question is imploring you to answer.

You have to make it ‘ring’ in your grader’s ears.

How do you do it?

Step 1: Think of what your message is? Is it about linking to environmental hazards? Are you trying to round up such an essay?

Step 2: what is the main point? Eg. That we need to make an immediate change in our lives?

Step 3: The key note sentence – A change is what we should make and the change should be immediate.

Note the play on the words ‘change.’ It is important that we use those words to Full Effect. Pick on the key words to make that key note message.

Key Note speeches are the very essence of all public speaking material. You need to draw out the crowd and create that massive impact.

It does not matter even if you are writing to one individual or many. When you write, you write as if that person is directly in front of you, eagerly awaiting your every word.

Your words should be able to make that turnaround, that shift, that paradigmatic change to what you want.

If you can do that, you have the ‘joystick’ to control what anyone is thinking.

And controlling what others think, is very powerful indeed.

Imagine a scenario when you are writing a really important essay for your paper.

It has content but you have not made it impactful enough. You need the content to stand out and make the evidence and opinions relate to the question.

How do you make it relatable? Use the Golden Tip I taught you. Try using it to infuse your message with potent urgency.

Remember, the technique of using these Power Words can be used in writing or speaking. You need to prepare using the steps mentioned earlier.

Plan your line of thought. What do you want to say? The technique I have taught you today will merely enhance your writing and carry it forth to a new position. It will impact and make your words truly memorable.

Make that change in your writing today and ensure that you draw someone’s attention to your work. It will be one of the most satisfying benefits of writing really well.


bottom of page