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Situational Writing

*based on students' recollection

Task. You are Betty. Write an email to your friend, Aisha, persuading her to join you for a race.


  • A race
  • Win attractive prizes
  • Your mother has offered to pay for the admission fee for both of you
  • Free gifts at the race: banana and a cap

This is an informal invitation email or an informal persuasive email. Most students would have done practices on this particular type of situational writing, so it is a manageable question.

Key points for success:

Composition Writing

*based on students' recollection

Write a composition about A Long Wait. Your composition should be based on one or more of these pictures.


Picture A. An angry person sitting down with a drink next to him/her


Picture B. A calendar with a marked date


Picture C. A long queue

Key points for success:

The question is more challenging than the composition question in 2021, A Promise, which students can easily relate to. Although is unlike the common themes covered in school, it is possible to write an interesting and relevant storyline. The most important thing is to keep calm and think.

Planning with the ABC Method

1. Analyse Title and Pictures

๐ŸŽฏ What are the keywords?

A โ†’ Only ONE incident

Long โ†’ We recommend that complications in storylines resolved within 24 HOURS to ensure that it remains relevant and keeps the storyline snappy. In this composition, that means the end of the wait happens in the story and even if the wait started some time ago, the focus of the story is the 24 hours that the storyline is in. Keeping the story within this time frame, students can expand the details and emotions in their stories.

Wait โ†’ It must be a situation whereby you are HELPLESS or POWERLESS to do anything but wait it out.

๐Ÿ˜Š What are the emotions linked to the title?

The experience of waiting can be positive, negative, or even bittersweet! You can be rewarded after the long wait, feel like you totally wasted your time or have something happen that makes you thankful for the process / outcome of the wait.

๐Ÿ‘€ How do we analyse the pictures?

Ask 5W1H questions about the pictures.


Situation prompt: WHERE were you, and WHY were you there? WHO were you waiting for? WHAT made you so angry?


Event prompt: WHAT is the significant event on that date? WHO/WHAT were you waiting for? WHERE were you? WHAT did you do while you waited?


Situation prompt: WHERE were you? WHY were you queuing? Is it for a person, thing, or event? WHAT made you stay in the queue?

2. Brainstorm Plot Possibilities


Picture A.
I waited for a friend at a restaurant for hours. He/She did not arrive due to a misunderstanding. Felt really lousy after the long wait.

Picture B.
My family played a prank on me and pretended that they had forgotten my birthday. I waited the whole day, which felt like a really long time, feeling awful about myself. Only later that night did they reveal the surprise birthday party, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The long wait made was worth it.

Picture C.
My grandfather was not feeling well and his appetite was bad. He requested for our favourite soon kueh that morning so I decided to go buy some to surprise him. The queue was really long and I ended up waiting for more than an hour. During the wait, I realised that this was how long my grandfather would wait in line each time he bought me the very same soon kueh. I knew then that it was his way of showing his love. I stayed in the line even though I was tired and my back was aching. I wanted to show my grandfather the same love he has shown me. When my grandfather saw the soon kueh, his eyes lit up and it made the long wait worth every moment.

3. Create an Interesting Character

The characterโ€™s personality must be relevant to the storyline.

Take the sample storyline for Picture C for instance, a relevant character trait can be impatience, which would make the wait more of a struggle.

Find out more about our ABC DEF Composition Writing Methodology here!