I think the phrase “Out of Point” now strikes terror in my heart when it comes to the new format primary compositions. It was not a big area of concern with the old format, unless a student did the Picture composition instead of the Continuous and even then…
So lets get down to it. How does a student go out of point?
1) P3-P4 Instructions
In the question, it will be stated from which point of view (1st or 3rd person) the student is supposed to write from
E,g Write a composition about a competition you took part in.
In this case, the student MUST write in the 1st person using ‘I’ or ‘me’ and not in the 3rd e.g. Mrs. Lim
2) Helping Words
While it states that the student may use the points in the box, please take note that the student should not change certain things such as the setting.
E.g If one of the 3 pictures shows the beach and in the box it mentions the water, it is not advisable for the student to write the story with a setting of being on a mountain.
3) P5-P6 Themes and Pictures
Following the theme is essential here. And this is the easiest way to go out of point when weaving the theme with the pictures.
Write a composition about An Act of Kindness
Seems easy enough? Many students will look at those pictures and automatically write about how they found a suitcase full of money and after being in a dilemma about what to do with it, they gave it to the police. This would be considered Out of Point as the theme states An Act of Kindness and not An Act of Honesty. And no. Returning the suitcase in this case is not considered being kind, its being honest.
The issue of going out of point is a scary one. Almost half of the total marks will be taken away if the student has written out of point. It can be a real waste even if the student is a great descriptive writer.
In my next post, I’ll write about what I do in my classes to help students not make this mistake.
Enjoy your weekend!