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Grade 10 English Writing

Descriptive Composition

A descriptive composition describes people, animals, places or things that really exist or are imaginary.

Sample topics with guidelines for writing

1. An unusual person

Note down some details about this person.

His/her name; interesting features; achievements

What makes him/her different from the average person

Qualities of the person; humble, kind, talented, exceptional, famous, notorious, modest

2. You are staying in a hostel and have made a few good friends. Write a letter to your parents, describing one of those close friends in about 350-400 words. You may follow the guidelines provided.

Your relationship with the person – relative or friend

How did you become acquainted?

Qualities of the person; warm, kind, generous, understanding, jovial, admirable, interesting, helpful

Other qualities – a willingness to teach you many things. (You may decide to state the qualities directly or you may prefer to give instances of things the person did or said to demonstrate the qualities you mentioned.)

Your own feelings towards the person.

3. You are writing a letter to your pen friend. In your letter you describe your neighbourhood.

General impression of location, appearance, and occupation of residents.

Your relationship with neighbours – friendly, helpful, interfering, indifferent, quarrelsome. Give a few examples of how attitudes are shown.

Your feelings about living in this neighbourhood

Your idea of an ideal neighbourhood.

Sample descriptive composition topics

  • Describe an occasion when you found yourself in an awkward position.
  • Write about an occasion when you did not heed advice that was given to you.
  • A person I admire very much.
  • Describe some of your experiences as a member of a study project.

Narrative composition

A narrative composition tells a story. It may be about something fictitious or it may be about a real event.

Sample topics with guidelines

1. You are trapped on the tenth floor of a burning building. Write an exciting narrative with yourself as the main character. Give your story a title.

You may start like this:

About ten in the morning, we were alarmed by shouts of ‘fire’ in the building. We made a dash for the stairs but found that the smoke was too thick. The emergency exit, for some unknown reason, was sealed. Someone telephoned the fire brigade….

2. Complete this story about a girl who was leaving home. Make sure that there is conflict and an unexpected outcome.

Where was Farah going?

Why was she leaving home?

What thoughts and feelings were running through her mind as she sat in the train?

Did her parents know she was leaving? How did she feel about it?

What decision did she make in the train?

What happened in the end?

You may begin like this.

At 6.30 that Monday morning, Farah slipped out of the house with her suitcase and walked into the drizzle. By seven she was sitting in the train bound for…..

Sample narrative composition topics

  • Write a story based on the following:
    a. I could not understand why he turned to me.
    b. Something about his expression alarmed me.
    c. She took days to make a decision.
  • Write a story about a message that was misread.
  • Write a story about a danger that was averted.

Expository composition

The expository composition deals more with facts and ideas rather than with personal impressions. The main skills involved are describing, explaining and interpreting.

Sample expository composition topics

  • Choosing a career
  • Pollution
  • Ways of dealing with stress
  • A national leader whom you admire very much
  • The importance of fitness

Argumentative and discussive composition

Argumentative and discussive compositions test your ability to debate or discuss a proposition using sound reasoning and careful organisation.

Sample argumentative and discussive topics

  • Young people today are self-centred and materialistic. Discuss.
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad.
  • Television has done more harm than good. Discuss.
  • How would you convince a friend of the dangers of drinking?

International Short Story Writing Contest for School Children