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Promo Prep GP Essay Handiplast : Help, my essay is too short

Disclaimer : The tips below do not guarantee an A grade essay. Warning : They won’t guarantee a B either ! These may be handy fixes, but without knowledge and voice, born of real interest in what you are writing about, then you essay score will hit a natural lower maximum.

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Here’s a common concern :
You understand the question and you’ve written a relevant piece – but it’s just way too short. Insufficient breadth and depth. Your language is ‘safe and sound’ i.e. about 10 or 11pts on average. Can we fix this ?

1) Tweak the usual paragraph structure just slightly because this format seems to ask that you put off examples to later, after explanations. The tweaked version could be :
[ Point + Explanation with E.g. + 2nd Explanation with E.g. + Link back to the question ]

Sample Paragraph for the question “Nature teaches us much.Discuss.”
Nature teaches us many different values. Darwin’s notion of “the survival of the fittest” immediately comes to mind. The ferocity with which God’s creatures compete to sustain their own species is mirrored by how Man competes for survival. Think of corporate giants such as Microsoft and Facebook acquiring smaller weaker competitors, or even start-ups. Related to this foremost value, is the need to defend whatever we have the way animals protect their lives, homes or offspring. Animals have natural defence mechanisms. In fact, the stonefish, with its gravel-like camouflage and poisonous spikes, is a fine example of how defence should be multi-pronged. So humans too learn to strengthen ourselves materially, and psychologically for life’s challenges. Another value could be resilience demonstrated most unassumingly in the way the lizard’s tail grows back when it is cut off and how weeds can never quite really be gotten rid of. Humans, too, learn to resist the debilitating effects of failure or misfortune. These are just some of the values that nature teaches us.

2) Illustrate with worst-case and best-case scenario, if you only have very simple explanations
[ Point + Explanation + E.g.1 + E.g.2 + Link back to the question ]

3) What ? No examples ? Then, please compensate with several strands of explanations – then hope for the best
[ Point + Explanation1 + Explanation2 + Explanation3 + Link back to the question ]

Sample Paragraph for the question “Nature teaches us much.Discuss.”
Nature teaches us many different values. To begin with, Darwin’s notion of “the survival of the fittest” comes to mind as a value that Man has internalised. The ferocity with which God’s creatures compete to live is mirrored by how Man competes for economic survival. The haves accumulate wealth, power and knowledge in the modern world to have the upper hand over the have-nots. Related to this foremost value, is the need to defend whatever we have the way animals protect their lives, homes or offspring. They have natural defence mechanisms like camouflage that human armies also use to hide from enemies. Next is the idea of living in groups and cooperating that can be seen in the animal kingdom. People also realise the importance of family or community support in order to do well. The intricate foodweb that sustains all life is itself a fine lesson in mutual dependence. These are just some of the values that nature teaches us.

4) Make some room for some sensible internal debate, if possible.

Sample Paragraph for the question “Nature teaches us much. Discuss.”
It could be almost normal for city slickers to overlook what nature can teach us simply because we are surrounded by many products of our own design. But we could not be further from the truth. The actual fact is that many of the things around us have been made to replicate the efficient designs that already exist in nature. Granted, it can be argued that our very latest inventions like the internet or computers do not seem to borrow from nature. However, the pursuit of such artificial intelligence shows that scientists have learnt at least one thing from observing nature. They have learnt that human intelligence is immense compared to most creatures and human productivity can be enhanced if we can create machines that can think or possess artificial intelligence.

5) Not enough depth : ??? To be continued …

6) Not enough breadth : Refer to the BRAINSTORMING section of this blog

FINAL NOTE :
The fixes above can help, but do not stop there.
You would have figured by now that just aiming for a basic pass in the Essay paper will put too much pressure on the Compre paper. The overall result can be as disappointing as an S or U grade in total.

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