PSLE Composition Guide

Just like this featured image, a good essay requires careful planning and building.

You fail to plan, you plan to fail

[1 para only]

  • An exciting and mysterious paragraph to hint to your audience what you are about to write.

I had had enough. I could not wait to get into the taxi and make my way to the train station. After spending an entire week here, I was eager to leave. I could not bear the thought of being here for a single minute more.

Conflict / Problem
[2-3 paras]

  • You need to introduce the problem and how it came about.
  • When did it occur?
  • Where did it take place?
  • Who are the characters?
  • Introduce your characters and the setting.
  • What happened that led to the problem/event/incident?
  • Describe how you/the characters feel, and how the setting changed.

eg. Setting (Where+When):

 I remember it was a Sunday afternoon. My sister and I was at the train station. The moment I stepped into the train station, I was greeted by a clamour of sounds. Hordes of passengers chatted loudly as they dragged their luggage behind them to the train platform. An announcement crackled from the faulty loud speakers in several loud, intermittent blasts. Raucous laughter rang out from a group of students queuing up for their tickets. Being late, my sister and I immediately jostled our way to the ticket counter.

 eg. Characters (Who)

I turned around and got the rudest shock of my life. The Kelly I knew had been reduced to mere skin and bones. Gone were her chubby cheeks and cute, round face. Instead, her face had become angular and her cheeks were sunken. Thoughts raced across my mind. What had made her become so skeletal?

*Notice even while introducing my setting and characters, I am being very detailed about the surrounding environment, the physical features of my characters etc.

  • Describe the incident/problem vividly.
  • How did the problem occur? Why?
  • What is the main problem here?
  • Describe how you/the characters feel, and how the setting changed.

I stared at the broken vase in dismay (Emotions). Why did I have to be so careless? How was I going to explain the mess to my aunt? (Thoughts)

[1 para]

  • Here is where the problem or conflict is resolved.
  • Problem should not be resolved too simply. Describe in detail.

[1 para]

  • Moral of the story? Lessons learned?
  • Suggestions?
  • Emotions?

As I lay back on my bed, I recall the events of today with tears in my eyes. This incident has clearly etched the value of “Kindness” in my mind, and today I have learnt that greed can destroy. As I close my eyes and allow sleep to conquer me, I felt the last teardrop rolling down my cheek.

 Final Notes

  • Check, check, and check!
  • Does your narration make logical sense?
  • Punctuation, grammar, or spelling mistakes?

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