Monday, 29 March 2010

Essay Writing Tips

Taking from previous tutoring experience, I would like to provide students with some essay-writing tips (plus practice, myself, for future tutoring/teaching necessities):

1.Planning: Whether it is a persuasive essay or a comparison between two or more poems/two stories, planning is a crucial part of developing a student's personal idea of how he or she wishes to write the essay. It also provides the student with excellent organisational skills. If it is comparing two poems, for example, it is important that the essay compares and contrasts poetic techniques and concepts by creating a chart/table (labelling two columns 'comparisons' and 'contrasts,' for example; each student has his or her own techniques). Not only charts, but also bullet points under proposed section breaks may be another planning technique.

2.Construction/Structure: Structure gives clarity to the essay. Sometimes, section breaks make the essay appear neat.

3.Development: Most students might find it easier to write the body of the essay before developing the introduction.

4.Conclusion: It usually sums up the entire essay.

Generally, an essay is five paragraphs long. A student should avoid saying, 'I think,' or 'In my opinion' because the reader is well aware of the student's opinion as the essay is written accordingly. It is important to use transition terms like 'similarly,' 'therefore,' 'on the contrary,' 'on the other hand,' 'otherwise,' and 'likewise,' 'moreover,' and 'furthermore.' Transition words help the essay flow well. A student must not be afraid to express his or her opinions (providing evidence). Sometimes, a question might be asking the student to write what he or she 'thinks' is happening; this is where students become most confused; they always think there is a 'right' or 'wrong' answer, when sometimes there really isn't one. I always tell the students, 'don't be afraid to give your opinion; there is no right or wrong answer.' Also, students should write as if they are writing for someone who knows NOTHING about the topic at hand so instead of imagining that they are writing for their teacher, it is important to write for someone who is simply doing research on the topic they are writing about.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Chick Flicks 101

CHICK FLICKS 101 is the headline for my next Women's page story in London Bangla Newspaper. I'm really excited about this as I'm interested in seeing women's perspectives on the story (to print this coming Friday, 26/03/10). The following is my intro, a sneak peek:

Chick Flicks: The RIGHT of a woman to wear her frumpiest, yet most comfortable pyjamas and slippers, while munching on a selection of chocolate delectables and ice cream delights; not to mention, those ever so scrumptious desserts (strawberry cheescake topped off with whipped cream or chocolate fudgecake with chocolate syrup sliding across the surface and dripping down to the side). It's THE opportunity to forget the relationship issues, to eliminate the stress of work/coursework and to sink into the sofa with a remote control in one hand and edible delights on the other. What could be more desirable than slipping a Chick Flick into your DVD Player and losing yourself to it?

If you have any story tips or comments (on already-published stories) for either The Muslim Paper or London Bangla, contact me via or

The Muslim Paper and London Bangla Newspaper are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT NEWSPAPERS, not part of the same company. However, I am so grateful that The Muslim Paper has no problem with my writing for London Bangla and vice versa.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

One small step for man and one giant leap for mankind!

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD BROKEN: Wednesday, 4th of March 2010, 6:00 p.m. at London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, London, MOST CHILDREN READING WITH AN ADULT! And, I was honoured to be amongst the readers to participate. For more details, see

I'm on 2.31 :)