How to prepare an A+ SPM English story essay to memorise
by Tan Le Tian
In previous blog post, I have shared with you how I got A+ in SPM English by memorising 1 story essay. Feel free to read that article first before continue with this 😊
I have also written an ebook with my full ghost story essay I have used for my actual SPM in 2014, and and show examples on answering different titles with the essay. 😍
Since then, I received a lot of questions on how to prepare a good story essay to memorise, and how to link it to different titles. 😝
This article will try to address all of them. So please keep reading.😋
Preparing your own unique story essay
Firstly, it is not advisable for anyone to memorise others' essay directly.
Because if two students (in same region) are discovered to use the EXACT SAME ESSAY, both their marks will be penalised by examiners.
So it would be best to write your own essay to memorise.
But if you find it difficult to write your own essay, one way to prepare a unique A+ story essay is by modifying a model essay to become your own. (at least half of it should be different, to be safe)
And don't share your essay with friends haha 🤭, my teacher has warned me back then.
For good model essay, perhaps you can get from seniors who have scored well in exam.
What is the requirement of the story essay?
1. Story that brings good moral value
Any reasonable story are fine, including common ones like car crash, flood, and fire accident.
It does not necessarily need to be a ghost story, like the one I have memorised.
Ideally, the story have to bring a positive Moral Value, because it is one of the grading factor.
For example, in my essay, the main character make a mistake to steal things because of poverty. But in the end, he got punished and learned from his own mistake, and promised himself to never do it again.
2. Avoid sensitive topics in story
Also, your story should be easy to understand and neutral for a wide range of audience (regardless of age, gender, culture, race).
Because your SPM exam scripts will be sent over to other states to be marked by examiners.
You never know who will be assigned to mark your essay. So it is better to play safe and avoid any potentially risky content.
Last year, a student has sent me a story essay about a sad love story between a vampire, a werewolf and a human girl.
I find the story very interesting.
But would the story be something acceptable and understandable to an elderly examiner with age 60 years old and above?
I don't know. So, my suggestion is to avoid sensitive topics like above, and play safe with universally acceptable topics .
For example, another student has sent me a story essay about flood.
It talked about how much parents love their children, and bravely protect them in the disaster.
I would recommend this type of story. Because parents' unconditional love to their children is a universally accepted value among different audiences.
3. Flexibility of the story of essay for linking
I know some people who memorise a few story essays instead of 1 essay and in exam they just use the appropriate essay to answer the exam questions.
For me, I think memorising 1 story essay is already sufficient to link to different titles.
Because I have taken some time to make my story more flexible to different type of title (happy, sad, funny, grateful etc.)
In my story, after "I" got chased by the "ghost" until the dead end in the hospital, anything can happen next.
Depending on requirement of the exam title, the "ghost" can be anything.
For a funny story, the "ghost" can be your friend playing a prank on you.
For a friendship / hero story, your friends may be the hero that protect you from the "ghost".
For a police story, the "ghost" may be a drug addict that has lost his mind. The policeman appear and catch the "ghost" before it has a chance to harm "I".
As you can see, there are endless possibilities and anything can happen in a story.
So when preparing your story essay, do make it more flexible for different titles.
By practice linking the same essay for many different titles, you will become more creative on how the story can lead to different type of endings.
How to improve quality of story essay
Assuming now you have a story essay (by modifying a model essay or writing your own), how to improve it further?
A quick way to improve is to include creative (good) phrases for weathers, emotions and actions of your story.
You can always "copy" and "memorise" those creative phrases / sentences from other good essay, instead of coming out with something on your own.
1. Creative Phrases for Weather
Regardless of your story type, most likely you will talk about the weather to set the mood of your story.
For example, my ghost story happens on a rainy evening (to make it feel creepy).
The simple way to write is:
"Last evening, it was raining heavily..."
But instead, it could be improved with the creative phrases below:
- It was a dark and gloomy evening, the skies were covered with dark clouds. One could easily tell that it would be raining cats and dogs soon.
- Lightning zapped through the skies, brightened my sight for a short moment. I could see the face of the creature as it slowly approaching me with a big evil grin plastered on her cold pale face.
2. Creative Phrases for Emotion
Regardless of the story type, most likely the main characters will experience some kind of emotion (sad, happy, anxious, fear etc.)
As I am writing a ghost story, the primary emotion is fear/anxiety.
The simple ways to write about it is:
"I felt very very scared when the ghost appear..."
Instead, there are better phrases to describe the tense situation:
- Gut-ripping fear flashed down the length of my spine as I heard the incoming footsteps.
- It was a frightening and ghastly sight! My heart was lodged in my throat. My legs turned to lead. My mind convulsed. Every muscle in my body screamed at me to flee, but I remained frozen with tears of fear welling up in my eyes.
If your character are laughing at something foolish, the simple way to describe is:
"They laugh at his foolish action ..."
Instead, it could be enhanced with some creative phrases:
- All of us burst into uproarious laughter.
- Daniel and Danny appeared from the back of the alley while laughing their heads off at my foolish acts.
If a person is very angry, the simple way is:
"He is very very angry..."
Instead, creative phrase could be:
- His face was purple with rage.
3. Creative Phrases for Action
Regardless of your story type, there will be some common actions that the characters will likely do.
When they faced a difficult situation (flood, chased by ghost), they may scream, run or pray for their safety.
Normal way: "I hear someone scream ..."
- Out of the blue, a loud scream pierced through the air.
- "Help! Can anybody hear me?" A mighty scream ripped from my throat.
Normal way: "I pray ... "
- I could do nothing except praying to god, hoping to receive a saviour.
Normal way: "I ran away ..."
- I ran helter-skelter out of the nursery room.
4. Ensure the essay is free of grammatical error
As you can see from the examples above, there is plenty of creative phrases you can easily apply to enhance your story essay.
I prefer to memorise those creative phrases / sentences instead of using my own words, because it helps me to reduce grammatical errors.
In a story, past tense is usually used for all the verbs, which means, "ran" should be used instead of "run".
When writing the sentences on my own, sometimes I may forgot change the verb to past tense.
But I won't go wrong by using creative phrases / sentences structure, because they are already grammatically correct.
To ensure your essay is free of grammatical error, it is important to let your teacher check through your essay before you memorise and use it for the exam.
In summary, here are the 3 important points this article aim to emphasise:
- Prepare a unique story essay that has good moral value, no sensitive topic, and flexible to link to different title
- Use more creative phrases for weather, emotion and action in story
- Ensure the essay is free of grammatical error by getting someone to check through
Thank you so much for reading till the end. 😇
Since I published this post 2 years ago, a lot of SPM students have messaged me to help review & improve their story essay 😇
So if you need some suggestion in improving your essay, feel free to message me ya 😊
I will try my best to help and answer any questions 😝
Message me via IG: letian.tan or WeChat: skyletian97 😊
I am aware that the creative phrases and examples provided in this article may be insufficient.
I have provided more examples of creative phrases in the ebook with my full ghost story essay, feel free to check that out on spmpaper.me homepage.
You can also message me and I will send the ebook to you for free ❤️☺️
Thank you once again.