Narrative Writing Tips

When you are writing a narrative essay, you are telling a story that has a main idea or theme. To make your story interesting and realistic, you must include descriptive detail that will help the reader to visualize and experience the story as it unfolds. Create specific detail by appealing to the reader’s five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. For example, if you are writing about a picnic, you might want to jot down details about how the food looked and smelled, the weather, and background sounds.

Avoid attaching vague labels to people, places, and things. For example, a reader can more easily visualize “a robin wrestling with a wiggling worm in its beak” than just “a bird.” Because birds come in all shapes and sizes, if you simply write “a bird,” the reader is left to figure out exactly what kind of bird you are discussing and what it is doing. Besides, the alliteration produced by “wrestling with a wiggling worm” may make the story more inviting to the reader’s ear. 
narrative writing tips

When you are organizing your essay, you have to make a decision about the order in which you will present your major ideas and information. Chronological order is used to write about events in time sequence from the past to the present, whereas reverse chronological order moves from the present to the past. Space order shifts the reader’s attention from one space to another—from left to right, from top to bottom, from above to below, and so on. Space order is ideal for writing descriptions of landscapes, homes,
people and events.
Narrative writing

Order of importance is a great way to capture the reader’s attention and build suspense. It can be a helpful way to organize a science or technology paper, because starting off slowly prepares the reader for more complex concepts and ideas.

I hope above mention tips will be helpful to improve your narrative writing and make your essay or story more exciting to read.
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Are you looking for a pen friend? Find one on PenPal Palace

As with many things in life, the best way to improve your level of English is by using it. The idea is simple, but putting it into practice can be difficult. If you live in a non-English speaking country, it’s difficult to find people with whom you can practise your English.

Fortunately, the Internet offers many opportunities to find online language partners. Pen pal or pen friend is a person with whom one becomes acquainted through a friendly, regular correspondence (like email or letter). You can even speak in English with this person using programs like Skype or Google Talk.

PenPal Palace

A great website to find a language-learning partner is PenPal Palace. It’s free, quick and easy. With PenPal Palace you’ll not only be practising your English, but you’ll also have the chance to get to know new people and their cultures, as well as exchanging ideas with others.

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VocaTube - learn the vocabulary related to the classroom and school in English

VocaTube - learn the vocabulary related to the classroom and school in English

In this new post about the VocaTube series, we present you a list of high quality educational videos that we have selected from YouTube. These videos will show you the most relevant vocabulary related to describing people and objects in the class, like for instance blackboard, notebook or exam.

Remember that vocabulary can only be improved with practice and listening through repetition. It’s difficult for everyone to understand from the beginning but you’ll notice that the more you listen, the better your understanding.

English school vocabulary (includes a test) – elementary English

Link to the video on YouTube

Classroom objects – elementary English

Link to the video on YouTube

Slang that you might hear in the classroom – intermediate English

Link to the video on YouTube

The classroom song: learn numbers and commands – intermediate English

Link to the video on YouTube

Classroom of the future: education and technology – advanced English

Link to the video on YouTube
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Model Answer - IELTS (Task 2)

In the past, shopping was a routine domestic task. Many people nowadays regard it as a hobby.
To what extent do you think this is a positive trend?

As the standard of living in many countries was not as high as it is today and most citizens were not wealthy, many households carried out shopping for the sole purpose of purchasing weekly necessities. Shopping trolleys and baskets were smaller and usually it was the woman’s task to go to the grocery store and stock up on what the family required.

Today this has all changed with advertising, marketing, mass production and the rise in popularity of consumerism. Shopping has become a favourite pastime for many consumers. Shoppers not only crowd into covered shopping centres and malls to buy products but combine this activity with other options like drinking coffee, watching movies etc. For this reason it is seen as a good way to spend your day.

This may regarded as a positive trend by shopaholics who enjoy spending their free time purchasing products, window shoppers, people who enjoy keeping up with the latest trends, shoppers who like walking around shopping districts as a form of exercise and of course manufacturers who stock shops with products. If shopping has come to be a hobby then this means that people also enjoy a higher standard of living.

Others however may view this shift in shopping habits negatively as they believe that it leads to unnecessary waste, social pressure to keep up with trends or that free time could be used more creatively.

To conclude, current shopping offers more choice and is more enjoyable than routinely buying necessities. It is a matter of personal preference how a person choses to spend their free time and shopping is one of the many options available.
Question taken from Cambridge IELTS Trainer p.90
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Model Answer - IELTS (Task 2)

In many parts of the word there is continuous coverage of sport on television. Some people believe this discourages the young from taking part in any sport themselves.
Discuss this view and give your opinion.

In recent years sports programmes have become extremely popular. As there are local, national and international sporting events on a daily basis e.g. baseball games, the Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup etc. the media is present at these events and ready to transmit the highlights to the world. In addition to regular media coverage there are sports channels that show sports around the clock.

Perhaps because sport programmes are heavily advertised, readily available and a form of entertainment, young people find it more attractive to watch sport than take part in it. In fact, many young people enjoy going to crowded stadiums to watch live events as well as to sports bars and cafes to view sports on the big screen. This time could be better spent actually being a participant rather than a spectator in a sport as a person benefits physically in the long run from exercising.

I do not however believe there is a direct relationship between watching and participating in sports. There are many young athletes who can be seen training hard and taking sports seriously as well as others who take this up as a hobby. This does not mean that they don’t also like watching programmes on television.

It is of course a good idea for young people to exercise their body and gain confidence from all the positive qualities sports have to offer. Perhaps seeing others on TV will actually motivate them to try a new sport or learn a new technique they might apply to their game.

Question taken from Cambridge IELTS trainer p.48
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The Ultimate Firefox Add-on Combo to Learn English


Learning English can be a challenge so the tools should be easy and fun to use. Most of all, they should be simple, helpful and not get in the way.

This post describes three great add-ons that you can install on Firefox and that would certainly help you in your journey of improving your level of English.

The Multi-Translator
The Multi-Translator

This new translator has everything you need. It has the ability to get translations from up to three sources (Google/Bing/Pragma) in more than 60 languages. It has a drag and drop ability, a ctrl-M quick translate, and you can even type in your own text for translation. It does however lack the ability to translate the whole page, but I do not think that is needed when you are trying to learn English.

The Multi-Translator example

Add this Multi-Translator to Firefox

The Dictionary - Audio Companion
The Dictionary - Audio Companion

Yes, a dictionary but with one great feature that allows you to hear the word being pronounced. Pronunciation is very important, why learn English if no one can understand you? I chose this add-on not only because of the audio pronunciation tool, but also because it’s other great features like a thesaurus, idioms, example sentences and many more.

The Dictionary - Audio Companion example

Add this Dictionary - Audio companion to Firefox

The Spell Checker
The Spell Checker

There is a lot of bad spelling online. If you are using the web to learn, you need to make sure that you are learning correctly. This add-on simply highlights all the spelling mistakes on a page. It doesn't get in the way and it’s a helpful time saver when you are translating text or listening to it.

The Spell Checker example

Add this Spell Checker to Firefox

This is a guest post by Ernest Smuga. Ernest is the creator of English Language Learning Software i Immersion. Check out i Immersion on Facebook.
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Improve your English Writing

Regarding the development of writing skills, the Greek philosopher Epictetus offered wise advice: “If you would be a reader, read; if a writer, write.” One of the best ways to develop your writing skills to their fullest potential is to write on a consistent basis —at least five days a week. Because it is almost impossible to guess which topics are going to appear on a writing test or assignment, the best way to prepare for writing challenges is to master the essentials of brainstorming, outlining, writing a lead sentence, and writing powerful concluding paragraphs.

The plain truth is that skillful writers do well on writing assignments and essay writing exams. If you wish to do well on writing exams, concentrate your energy on becoming a better writer by reading & writing consistently and asking for helpful feedback and pointers from teachers and professional writing tutors.
improve english writing
To help you reach your writing goals, you should also concentrate three specific main forms of writing: persuasive, expository, and narrative writing. Learn and understand each form of writing for better result in English writing. 

Because it is impossible to predict the subject matter that will be presented on an essay-writing assignment or standardized examination, the key to success is to hone your critical thinking skills through consistent immersion in reading and writing activities. This article provides you complete writing help to excel on writing assignments. The different English essay writing models providing top-, middle-, and low-scoring writing examples will help you to grasp the key components of a successful essay. Carefully studying these writing models will help you become more proficient in identifying your own weaknesses and strengths.
improve english writing online
A scoring rubric for each specific type of essay is also mention in Essay scoring criteria of my article. After you complete each essay writing exercise, use the rubric to score your essay to see if you have scored the optimum score of 6. If you find that the majority of your content, development, organizing, and language scores are level 4 or lower, it is advisable that you rewrite your essay with the goal of improving on your areas of weakness.
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