An essential reading skill is the ability to keep something that you have read in your memory (retention)
and remember something that you have read or learned (recall). To do these two things in the best
possible (maximum) way, some strategies are needed. A powerful reading technique you can use is the
SQ3R. The acronym SQ3R stands for five sequential techniques that can be used to engage in the
intensive reading of a passage or book. It allows a reader to extract the maximum amount of benefit
from a reading exercise. SQ3R is a five-stage active reading technique meaning Survey, Question,
Read, Recall and Review.
To survey a book, scan (read through quickly) the contents, introduction, chapter introductions and
chapter summaries. This act will let you get an overview (short description) of what the book is about.
You can also form your own opinion about the subject.
Ask questions on the passage or book and make a note of them. Write down any question that comes to
mind as you survey a book or passage. Finding answers to these questions may help you to better
understand the book.
Read the book or passage in detail taking care to understand the issues or points raise. The reading
should not to be too fast. While reading, you can take note of vital facts.
After reading, run through the details or sections in your mind several times. Separate the relevant from
• Reading the document again.
• Expanding your notes.
• Discussing the materials with your class mates.
• Teaching it to someone else.
Writing is a means of communication that makes use of the written word. Communication is a process
of giving people information. For communication to be effective, the reader must understand what is
written. The primary purpose of writing is to pass on a message that is clear to the reader. To
communicate effectively then, you must keep the interest and background of the reader in mind.
Writing is also important for record-keeping. Through writing you can keep a record of a lot of things
such as expenditure, events, history and books you have read.
Speech is the fastest means of communication but it is different from the written word. To communicate
through speech, you need to speak directly to the person. Speech does not involve the use of the written
word. It is easy to forget what is spoken but it is not easy to forget what is written.
To do well in writing, you need to form the habit of reading. You need to enjoy reading different kinds
of good books, novels, stories, newspapers and magazines. As you do so, you learn to spell and use
words correctly, you develop your imagination and you also learn to write correct sentences.
Also learn to visit places of interest and learn to be a good listener, especially to knowledgeable people.
Listen to the news, both national and international, on the radio and television.
should have the following three essential parts.
1. Introduction: This is a short part at the beginning of your piece of writing. It is in this part that
you are expected to give an idea of what you are writing about, that is, the topic. Your
introduction should be brief and interesting so as to arouse the attention of the reader. Start with
something interesting. A good beginning makes the reader want to keep reading.
2. The Middle Body: While in the introduction you try to arouse the reader’s interest, in the body
of your composition
, you try to sustain the reader’s interest. Here you divide the main topic into
sub-themes. Each paragraph therefore should be a part of the subject you are writing about. It
is in the body of your composition
that you give adequate information about your main topic.
3. Conclusion: This means a brief summary of what you have written. It is the part that shows
you are about to finish what you are writing. Try to make a good and final impact on the reader
by concluding very well.
More Practice and Identification of Conjunctions from a given Passage
A conjunction can be described as a joining word. Its major function is to join or link together two or
three words or phrases in a sentence. It can also join two clauses or sentences together. There are two
main types: coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. Other types of conjunction are correlative
1. Coordinating Conjunctions: Or, and, but, for, nor, yet.
2. Subordinating Conjunctions: Because, as, although, since, wherever, whether, after, until, if,
unless, before, while.
3. Correlative Conjunctions: both, and, not only, but also, either (or), neither (nor).
Coordinating conjunctions and correlative conjunctions are used to link sentence parts that are equal in
status. Subordinating conjunctions are used to join main clauses to subordinate clauses.
1. Habibat spoke quickly but courteously.
2. My dad cooks the food and my mother serves it.
3. Although the couple have been married for ten years, they have not had child.
Literature – Emphasis on using Elevated Language from Writing Poems to
differentiate it from Prose
Poetry uses condensed language that is rich with imagery. Techniques such as simile, metaphor and
personification are often used more in poetry than in prose and drama.
The language of poetry is concise. It is usually written in lines and stanzas that gives it rhythm. A poem
does not have to be divided into stanzas. Some poets use an irregular rhythm which is known as free
The language of poetry is often advanced and complicated. This is because of the various techniques
and imagery used by poets.
Figures of speech are words or groups of words used to give particular emphasis to an idea. The writer
in using a figure of speech deliberately changes the literal sense of the world. Figures of speech create
images or mental pictures in the reader’s mind. Most poets use figurative language more than other
1. Simile: This is an expression that compares two things that have certain qualities in common by
using “as” or “like” e.g.:
a. She roars like a lion
b. The house where the old woman lives is as old as a graveyard.
2. Metaphor: It is a comparison of two things that have certain qualities in common without using
as or like.
a. Data is oxygen.
b. Life is a stage.
c. We are the salt of the earth.
d. Bade is the black sheep in his family.
3. Personification: It is an expression that gives human attributes to non-human or ideas. E.g.:
a. Time waits for no one.
b. Hunger pushed him into the fire.
c. Throughout the journey the trees kept waving at us.
d. In the poem the young old origin, Nigeria is a person.
4. Alliteration: This is the repetition of similar consonant sound usually at the beginning of words,
in two or more words on the same line. E.g.:
a. The love of money makes people mad.
b. Keep the kettle and the kitchen.
5. Assonance: This is the repetition of similar vowel sounds in two or more words in the same line.
a. Eat the meat and beans with a smile
6. Pun: It is a play on words. It is another way of showing your skill as a writer or user of a language
as you use a word to express two or more meanings in one sentence. You can use two similar
sentence or sound of different words as in these examples:
a. Same word with different meaning: The only sole owner or the beach front crushed the
helpless soul with his soles.
b. Different words with similar meaning: The Physics professor has gone fishing.
7. Irony: This is a statement that seems to mean the opposite. The real meaning of what is said is
hidden. In fact what is said is the opposite of the literal statement.
a. The exam was very easy (in actual fact it was difficult).
b. I am really full (in actual fact I am very hungry).