Essay Writing – Articles

An article is a piece of writing on any subject of public interest, specifically for publication in a magazine or a newspaper. The topics of such articles may be narrative, descriptive, argumentative or expository. It is important to recognize the audience for which the article is written as this determines the tone and language. The audience may be large or limited. The article however should have a mass appeal or to be able to appeal to a large number of people with different biological, psychological and social background at the same time.

Rudiments of Good Article Writing

  1. Write just the title of the article and go straight to the introductory paragraph. Make sure to give your article a catchy title
  2. Make the tone and language suitable for the audience specified
  3. Go straight to the point
  4. The body must be well-organised and developed strictly respecting the writing style or clarity, originality, or imaginativeness, unity, precision and coherence.
  5. If the article is a controversial topic, make reference to previous articles supposed to have been contributed by others on it.
  6. Write your full name and address at the end of your article. If for a school magazine, write your full name and class.

Sample Question

Suppose you were asked to write an article suitable for publication in your school magazine on ‘Examination malpractices in public examinations and their remedies


Title: Examination Malpractices: Causes and Remedies

Paragraph 1:       Explain what examination malpractice means, stating the various forms. E.g. impersonation, copying answers from textbooks, etc.

Paragraph 2:       State efforts being made by the government, examining bodies, school administrators etc. to curb this evil

Paragraph 3 and 4: Give reasons why the efforts being made by the various bodies are not yielding the desired results. State the root causes of the evil, suggesting solutions to them.

Paragraph 5:       Conclude by giving your opinion on how to finally curb the evil. This should be followed by the writer’s full name at the right hand corner of the next line. Write your class underneath your name.


Use the outline given to write a full length essay on the topic

  1. Structure – Active and Passive Structures.

When the subject of a sentence represents the doer of an action, the verb of the predicate is in the active voice. When the subject of a sentence represents the sufferer of the action, the verb of the predicate is in the passive voice. More often than not, verbs are used in the active, and less frequently in the passive


Active                                           Passive

Chikebroke the plate                    The plate wasbroken by Chike

The workers swept the streets      The streets were swept by the workers.

Nkechiate the food                       The food was eaten by Nkechi

When changing Active to Passive, the following must be noted:

  • Only transitive verbs (i.e. verbs that receive objects can be used in the passive). This implies that the active sentence has an object that becomes the subject of the passive sentence
  • The tense of the transitive verb in the active sentence determines the tense of be in the passive sentence.
  • The preposition ‘by’ is introduced in the passive sentence. (not in all cases except when absolutely necessary).

Note that not all active sentences can be changed to passive because the passive form has its proper place and function in English.

Consider the following

  1. Sentences with transitive verb:
  • Ada travelled with Obi to Enugu
  • She slept for a whole day.
  • Sentences with linking verbs.
  • He became a lawyer
  • You friend seems a very nice person.
  • Sentences with special transitive verbs like the following:
  • They have a new house.
  • The new dress fits the girl.
  • She resembles her mother.

The passive form should not be seen simply as an alternative to the active form. The main reason for using the passive is used

  1. To give due emphasis to the verb activity rather than the active subject:

Coal is mined at Enugu.

‘Things Fall Apart’ was written in the 1950’s

  1. When the doer of the action is not known.

He was killed during the war.


  1. Change the following sentences into the passive
  • They appointed him a prefect
  • The policeman is chasing the thief.
  • The dentist extracted one of my teeth yesterday.
  1. Write the active form(s) for each of the following:
  • The papers were collected by the teacher.
  • A speech was made by the Chairman.
  1. Vocabulary Development – Words Associated with Cultural Entertainment

Italy is a nation that hosts unique and fascinating events of international resonance throughout the year, providing innumerable opportunities for experiencing intense emotions.

Art exhibition are inspired by over a thousand years of heritage, and events such as the Venice Biennale with its design and contemporary art focus, are flanked and alternative with theatre and ballet performances. For music lovers, the festivals and operatic seasons offered by Milan’s La Scala and the Verona Arena are unique. But that’s not all. It offers a wide range of traditional and modern cultural events, such as literary festivals or the many carnivals held, most notably in Venice, but also in many other regions, and the various historical and religious representations that fill Italy with fantasy and vitality throughout the year.

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Italy is also a natural filmset. Its beautiful scenery makes it the perfect background for every kind of film production. From its metropolises, to its renaissance palaces and amazing natural landscapes. Italy is an ensemble of art, culture, natural landscapes, tradition, magic………… in a word diversity. Enjoy Italy and its daily countless events!


  1. Find the meanings of the words written in bold
  2. Find more words related to entertainment.


Indicate the subordinate clause used in each of the underlined expression and state the function of  each.

  1. The girl wanted what I could not give her.
  2. I know I must succeed.
  3. The book about which so much has been said is not interesting.
  4. The man behaves as though he were the boss.
  5. He talked so loud that he disturbed the students reading for their examination.


Section A

  1. The house is not mine; it is __________ my uncles    B. mine uncle    C. my uncle’s    D. my uncle
  2. As a boy, I enjoyed __________ novels read    B. reading    C. to read    D. to be read
  3. The manager was entrusted _________ solving the problem. with    B. by     C. for   D. to
  4. The artiste wore a _______ at the concert. silk blue beautiful dress     B. beautiful blue silk dress     C. blue beautiful dress    D. silk dress beautiful blue \
  5. If I had known in time, I would have done it ____________ himself    B. themselves    C. ourselves     D. myself

Section B

Test for Continuous Assessment B,  Effective English, page 226

See also

Structure – More about Phrasal Verbs

Comprehension – Reading for Critical Evaluation

Speech Work – Rhyme Scheme

Comprehension – Reading for Implied Meanings

Essay Writing (Formal Letters): Letters of Complaints

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