• Vanita Pal

Why is Style important for writing English compositions?




This is a blog on writing Styles and why they are important for English compositions in secondary schools.

I will be taking a quick look at the importance of writing with style and how you can do this for your compositions.

Definition of Style

Writing stylishly is like laying on the creamy foam on a café latte. It adds to the exquisite taste and lends that mellowness to the experience. Style makes a reader want to read further, it promotes excitement and thrill. Style is also about your individualism. You are stamping your seal of personal taste when you apply your very own style.

Writing with style is an acquired art form. It cannot be borrowed or copied. That is the worst possible assumption to make. All too often, I find students reading model essays from guidebooks and memorizing huge chunks of essays to be used in their exams.

Style has to be cultivated and learnt. There are a couple of ways to do it but if you are a serious student who earnestly wants to cultivate a style which pushes you past the threshold of your present grades, always opt for this method.

a) practice writing several essays

Practice makes perfect right? Well…..yes. You need to remember that you need an important ‘guide’ when you practice. It doesn’t make sense to just keep repeating mistakes does it? There are certain ground rules which you need to follow but the easiest one is to simply do a bit of reading on the side.

Yes, you may read composition guidebooks but make sure that you do not memorise the stuff, please. Just observe the style used. Note how the words seem to melt into each other and how the ideas are brought to attention. Observe the dexterity in describing events. A good writer never repeats words and phrases. Always aim for a variety of descriptions.

b) Read works of famous short story writers or guidebooks

Reading is another way of cultivating styles. You may wish to observe how each author has his/ her own style. You could write in a prosaic way or write with wry humour. Always aim to write distinctively. Aim to appeal and impress. It is not just about littering your essay with content. It is the Way You Do It. Style, is after all an art form isn’t it?

Alright. You have been practicing and reading. And you are still not sure about what Style is all about.

What if this applies to you?

Or, what if you tried adapting one of the styles you had read and it sounded dreadful when you tried it out yourself.

Ok. The best advice is that you have to use trial and error when you are starting on something new.

Do not overreach but aim for something articulate and simple.

Your intention is to relay your information in the best possible way and Style should not get in the way. It should actually aid you in your writing.

If you are already in secondary 4, you will not have much time so aim for guidebooks. Choose your guidebooks carefully. One way is to scroll down the Contents page and scrutinize the choice of essay topics. The topics should be creative and current. Only get a book if it complies with both.

And make sure that there is a vocabulary section for the book. It should be inserted in each model essay so that you can use the words for your own essays.

Words

These are the backbone of every piece of writing. If you want to stand out, the only way is through words.

“Words, words, words.

These were Shakespeare’s words from Hamlet. Words are always important are they not? And you need the right timing and method to deliver the words. Encase your words in engaging content and use words to embellish a point. Words can give colour, cadence and charm to an otherwise dull statement. It is all about your choice of words and the Way You Want to say it.

Whether you choose a narrative or expository topic or even an argumentative essay, choose a stylish way of presenting your details. A mundane example can be brought to life with the way you choose to portray it. At the end of the day, it lies in your hands. You hold the pen and it is up to you to craft your story according to your will. The student with style can get through any type of essay topic as style is subjective and you do not need to prepare by memorizing.

Start making ‘style’ an important feature of your essays and you won’t regret it. I promise!