Writing the GP Essay – Write to convince!

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GP Essay

In this article, I will try to stress how you should go about writing an essay, especially those taking a GP (HSC) Cambridge paper.

Before going further, I assume you have read my 2 previous articles:

1) Writing – The Why And The Essence

2) How to write good english

Note: If you haven’t done so yet, please go read them and then get back to this one. (You should at least read ‘article 2’ above)

That said, lets get to work..

Writing an essay, especially an english GP essay, is something which can be very very interesting and easy to do. Yes, I know what I’m talking about from my own personal experiences! I was very weak in writing essays, perhaps partly due to the fact that I was a science student (you should have heard about this line from your teacher :) )

But with a correct strategy and correct personal commitments, you can achieve what I was able to achieve (that is an A, A+, A++ in almost all my gp essays).

Aim Of A Cambridge General Paper Essay

Let us consider some few points:

Why do we have to write an essay ? (ask yourself first and then look down.. 😉 )

1) To show (to the examiner) that we can comfortably express our thoughts and opinion in a clear, simple, effective and persuasive manner.

2) To show that we can fluently and maturely use the chosen language. (Read How to write good english)

3) To show that we can analyse, argue and discuss a given topic very intelligently and creatively

Very often, students fail to choose a correct topic to write their essay, ending up in a waste of time and effort. This gives rise to a stressful mind, especially in exams where your time is limited. Consequently, they fail to deliver a good essay and perhaps without finishing it on time. So, next we have:

Choosing The Correct A-Level GP Essay Title

– As a GP (general Paper) student, and hence for your gp essay writing, you are expected to have a general knowledge on almost any topic, coupled with a fluency and maturity in your langauge.

A) How to display fluency in our language? Read How to write good english

B) How to have a general knowledge on topics?

1) Participate actively in ALL your GP classes.

I never attended a class passively, I always participate, discuss, challenge and argue (sensible discussions) with my teacher. (I finally ended up as leading the class 😉 , ssshhh, keep it for yourself :) )

Don’t be shy, you will do mistakes, but most importantly you will learn from these mistakes to become better! So now on, don’t sleep in your classes, go rock that GP class!

2) Write down new, useful and prominent words or ideas that your teacher or any other student might have said.

Once at home, re-read them and make additional notes (make sure you read the trick I taught you in my article How to write good english) use the Internet or any other related informative materials to enrich your knowledge. These early months of your HSC classes are the most determining part. If you have not given enough time, you will not be able to absorb much information in your head.

3) Get to know topics beforehand

Your teacher will probably point out what he will be doing for the next class. So, go and get as much information as you can about that topic.. read them several times, structure them in order of “introductory info“, “benefits/advantages“, “consequences/disadvantages” and/or “any conclusive parts“.

4) Get a love and enthusiasm in your reading and collection of information.

Things should be to such a point that ideas start flowing in your head in a logical manner. Just a thought – If I ask you about Pamela Anderson, you will say more than you are being asked. Why? Because you have surely read, heard or seen things about her and most importantly this is an area of interest to you! (except if you a girl of course 😛 )

Writing The General Paper Essay – Structure of your Essay

1) Introductory Part (this should be 1 paragraph) – Give a small clear definition or explanation of what you will be talking about.

2) Body of your Essay(This should normally span to 8 paragraphs, but not too lengthy) Elaborate on 4 advantages and 4 disadvantages of the defined topic in paragraph 1. Give examples as and when needed!

3) Conclusion(this should be 1 paragraph) – Give a small conclusion on your own and if possible suggest a solution or any recommendation. This really makes for a good conclusion.

So, in all we have around 10 well balanced paragraphs. This surely makes for a fully-fledged essay within the expected number of words (as per the exam essay rules)


=> You are NOT supposed to prove the subject title of your essay! You should discuss and analyse it!

=> Give at least one example in each discussion or whenever you are elaborating an advantage or disadvantage. NEVER EVER write a GP Essay without an example! You will lose much points and credibility (in the eyes of your examiner)

=> Each paragraph should talk about ONLY 1 specific idea.

=> Make your paragraph fluent, make it flow. Do not just change paragraph abruptly.

=> Make your gp essay lively and convincing! You can write the most foolish essay, but if you write it in a convincing manner and with maturity, you will score the required marks! I know what I’m saying, trust me on that!

Well guys, these were only some hints and some advice from me, based on my personal experience. The biggest work is to be done by you. You have to write a lot of essays to get good at it. It’s just like playing football, the more you train, the better you perform. Heed your teacher‘s advice carefully. Go ask him and discuss with him any problem or confusion you might have. I wish you all the very best for your GP Essay Writing preparations and go rock those exams! Cheers!

An additional suggested reading:

=> Secret to your success! Do you have a vision of who you are & who you want to be ?

=> Method Of Presentation Of Topics

Valuable Feedback / Comment / Review From People Like You

  1. “Writing the GP Essay – Write to convince!”. Good job this is such a useful and helpful step.

  2. Well thats good and this is a different type of essay, nice effort.

  3. AlexM says:

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Michael says:

    Excelent. Your blog is really interesting. To have a good resource you should not only to add smth, but do it with your soul. You cope with it.

  5. Sam says:

    Your blog is interesting but reading this post gives me the gitters…i’m havig my GP examinatons in 2 weeks and reading this had made me feeling totally unprepared. on top of that, i usually write in total 6 paragraphs for my essay!…

  6. Wakish says:

    Sam, I tried to email you for some advice, but I think you provided a fake email, that’s unfortunate.

    2weeks to prepare for a GP examination seems a bit tight, but everything is possible. I would advice you to read and write everyday during the remaining 2weeks you have. On weekends, try reviewing any gp essay discussion that your teachers have been doing and concentrate on essay topics which you can write. Don’t go for complex work, keep it simple, but effective.
    All the best Sam! Keep us updated about how your exams went on..

  7. Taahaa says:

    Hey…nice blog…i have recently started GP…what would recommend me to read?

  8. Wakish says:

    Taahaa, thanks for your comment.
    I would advise you to read all the writing/english topic that you can find in my categories of “Good writing skills” and “GP Essays”. Because I explain alot of my personal experience and tricks.

    Apart that, you should try to search for quality english article online. Keep reading and writing, it’s crucial if you want to be good at it.

    I would also recommend you books like “GP Power” or “Critical Thinking” and last you should have a GOOD GP teacher.

    Keep me updated about your progress.

  9. ChiawYee says:

    Great post =)

  10. Wakish says:

    Chiaw thanks a lot for your comment and visit 😉
    Hope to see you often around.. :)


  11. Mukhe says:

    First of all, i would like to express my gratitude to the effort you have made in writing your blog. I have been in constant search for that “Critical Thinking” book but i have been unable to find it. I will make sure though, that i get myself a copy VERY soon.

    I top my class in GP, although i am usually quiet and shy and i am always sitting somewhere in the corner at the back. However,(hehe, i have been using these expressions quite often lately, we are supposed to be using them in GP. I have been mugging them up..”In addition to”, “As a result”, “Despite of” blahblah)-as i said that i got good grades-i did not do well in my recent examination. My teacher,whom i don’t trust, wrote a comment stating “The essay is good in the context of Nepal(hope you know my country, or should i give you some hints?..ok…mmm…Land of Himalayas..or mmm..Mt.everest should be better..ok that should suffice)but it is required that you write more global examples!!” I am fond of reading the local english newspapers and i also do have access to Newsweek and times or the economist. I had been previously informed that in Gp, if we can write essays that have local examples with global viewpoints, than it’s better. I am confused, should i or should i not write local points to re-inforce my essay???

    mmm, and could you please write more about writing the initial and final paragraphs as these needs to be accentuated because these are the areas where the reader get’s an impression of the writers ability to express his or her opinions.

    Could i add some more points??..ok?..ok then..mmm one should also be careful not to write the “I” word and should be equally aware not to generalize facts such like, say, “everyone believes that carbon dioxide is the key factor that has helped to accelertate the Global Clomate change phenomena”….or “Catcher in the rye is probably the best fiction ever written about a teenage boy” or something like that, hope you got what i mean.

    btw, i bookmarked your webpage..cheers!

  12. Wakish says:

    Hi Mukke, thanks for the appreciation.

    Mukke, your teacher is right, as well as you are. But where is the clash? As the name suggest, General Paper implies a sound knowledge on “General” things – including both local and international concepts.
    You said ‘local examples with global viewpoints’ – I think you’ve confused yourself here, what does that mean? :- In your essay, you should not have only and only local examples in all paragraphs. Balance it; give local example in one paragraph, and global examples on the other..etc

    You see, when anyone will read your essay and see only local examples, the first reaction would be that ‘this guy’ has a local awareness only. Do you want to sound like this? Of course not!

    Writing excellent english with excellent grammar and punctuation will not give you 100% mark. You have to demonstrate also that you have a “general awareness” and you can only show this by giving local AND global examples.

    PS: I’m sorry for the late reply, but december is a real busy month..lol

    Let me know if you’ve got the reply 😉


  13. mukhe says:

    thanks!..i seem to know where i might have gone wrong. OK, i will work on to balance my essay with both local and global examples.

    That should do.
    hehehe..i have a busy week ahead too.

  14. Wakish says:

    mukhe glad to hear that! 😉
    I’m sure you will rock the papers now, all the best!


    PS: Hope to see you around from time to time 😉

  15. asmita says:

    uve mentioned zat one skd be lively in class n interact with teacher.. well im dng my hsc nw and 4 my gp classes i cant put zat into practice coz z tacher gimself is so boring..

    but for other classes ive saww that to sit in front and interact wiz teacher make myself mre cnfident n im more active in claasss..

    well thkss ur good advices keep guiding us..

  16. Guy Genave says:

    Dear Wakish,
    I was very lucky indeed to come across this site on GP. I am preparing myself to sit for Cambridge GP next yeararound Oct/Nov. I hope to receive more help from you. What I have read so far are really interesting but I feen I need a lot more to improve my writing, specially in writing argumentative essays.
    Thanks a lot

  17. Wakish says:

    thanks for the feedback and sharing your actual experience in class. It’s indeed boring and a waste of time to have such teachers alas! But in this case, don’t let this affect your studies, put in the effort yourself 😉

    @Guy Genave:
    Hi Genave. Thank you so much for the appreciation. Please do feel free to contact me if you have any doubt..etc. But if I do take time to reply (at the moment), it’s that I’m busy with work and rl. But I won’t forget to give a reply though late 😉
    Btw, I have other articles which might interest you, just have a look at the categories on the right hand side (sidebar or side menu). Thanks!


  18. Khin Yew says:

    thanks for the wonderfull notes and points that you have written. It surely would be of great help.

    However, i was wondering if u had any links or examples of good/excellent GP Essays? I am taking my AS GP Paper in MAY and would like to compare my essays with good ones. Im a rather good user of the language but would still like to improve my writing style.

    Another problem that i have is to recall examples. i read my local newpaper, websites, blogs, magazines but i just cant recall examples during the exams. any advice?

    Thanks a lot. Cheers.

  19. Esha says:

    Hi, I’m Esha…erm..Im having difficulties to write GP essays…i do manage but I want to get a perfect A+….can any1 plz help me…actually I want to write very very good english which I think is one of main skill I lack…can any1 plz help! Thnx

  20. may says:

    hi, mi’m may. i have difficulties bringing my ideas arcoss. also, i am not very sure on how to go about writing in a convincing manner. someone please help me. i’m failing my gp.

  21. roman bhattarai says:

    thanks.this blog is my favorite one .
    great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. vashiket says:

    hey waakish…my greatest compiments to you. i`m from mauritius too! im in upper 6 and at main i do maths,physics and chemistry.im two months away from exams! well i`m competing for the national scholarships and i`m aiming for an A+ in GP. my problem is i have not worked many gp essays and always end up with a B in gp!..i really need some advice from you my friend.i need resources,links,books ..anything that might help me not only for GP but for other subjects too!(for the practicals too)
    thanking you in advance….

  23. vashiket says:

    i don`t know if you come online often now.. but if u do please reply me the soonest….

  24. Wakish says:

    hey there, thanks for your comment. Since you have only 2 month left, it’s very crucial you do the essentials, reading too many books or essays will not really benefit. But you should write as many essays as you can. I would do the following:
    1) Build a small vocabulary book, revise them everyday and use them in your essays.
    2) There are different topics to write on essays and Cambridge GP essay paper is set to allow different students to write on different topics. So, the best thing is you spot which areas you are most motivated and comfortable to write for. For example, I love writing on topics which Art/Science in it. So I would concentrate on having as much vocabs, expressions, informations, descriptions and anything related to them. I then attempt several papers containing titles with those areas. As I write, I start seeing some patterns in my essays and I spot which ideas, descriptions and examples will most probably fit in any title having those elements of Art/Science. Then you use them again in the others..etc
    3) The most important thing, is to stay in touch constantly with your GP teacher, give him all your essays to mark. Sit down and discuss with him what you lack in your essay and writing. Where you could improve..etc. A teacher interaction is vital if you want an A+, else it’s a B.
    4) Maintain an atmosphere of trust within yourself.

    ==> A side point, don’t just concentrate on essays, cultivate and work out your question types papers also. Since only essay will not bring in the A+ 😉

    I wish you all the very best my friend.

  25. Genisha Chhantel says:

    OMG! I am so glad that I have found myself a very good GP’s blog. Thank you Wakish, I really appreciate this blog more than anything at present. I am doing my A levels in Nepal and seriously that is the last place you want to do A levels in. My GP teacher is the worse. I feel like he hardly teaches anything because all he talks about is boring stuffs about him and not terrorist or global recession (something which might make an appearance in the exams and definitely not a question on him). To sum it all up he is pretty useless so I thought I would find informations myself and your amazing blog had it all. But what I am really looking for is essays written by previous students so I can compare and write better essays myself. I think if I do my GP now, I will probably get a C but like everyone else, I am striving for As in all my subjects and as you have said it, I am a science student thus it is a tad difficult for me. Wish I had taken Sociology. Hmmm, it also does not help that I have about just 2 months to prepare, the date is out. GP paper for Oct/Nov session is on 19 October. Time is running out. Once again, thank you very much. I think without this blog, I would still be almost clueless.


  26. Genisha Chhantel says:

    Oh, I know this is a GP’s blog but since I have learnt that you are a science student care to share some notes on science with me? Maybe a website or something? I am taking all the science subjects (Pure).I am taking all this subject’s exam next year only so I am thinking I have ample time to prepare for it. Your help will be much appreciated. Till then, I hope this does not annoy you that I am asking for too much.


  27. AHMAD says:

    hey, i am jus tooo happy to find such an AWESOME GP website… listen, i have a big problem to solve.. i am giving GP exam this year in nov.. have hardly a month left.. the prob is that i dont have a proper GP teacher as i live at a remote place… PLZ tell me books to study, websites of excellent gp essays, and all the other stuff to help me get an A- grade… if i dont get an A grade, i may have to wait till june and waste a whole year.. Plz, help me asap.. i am counting on you.. reply asap… thanks, Wakish

  28. bad-gp says:

    hi there! I’ve lend in this blog by accident but it seem very interesting! My problem is that i don’t like any subject but am having my hsc exams in two weeks!! i don’t know if am going to pass it but one sure thing is that, if i don’t, mom will kill me! 😛

  29. Wakish says:

    @Genisha Chhantel:
    Thank you.. all the best! About the science part, I don’t think I would have time at the moment and science need more time to prepare than English 😉 Sorry :S

    I have tried emailing you with some advice, but you gave me a wrong email.. just too bad dude, you ruined my energy and time to email you, thats bad!

    If you don’t like anything, then it’s trouble dude. Try to at least make some effort. Wish you all the best!

  30. Pranjal says:

    Hey, I have been taking GP classes for a 3 months now and man have they been hard. Its like no matter how much I try it keeps knocking me down and the grades i get are like very disgracing. When was in lower grades i was one of the best in essay writing but since my A level started its just a dream.
    Please help me!!!!!!!!!

  31. Ricky says:

    Hi Wakish,i’m also a mauritian lad and I need your help.I’ve written an essay and i would like you to correct it and to tell me my mistakes and my level if possible.I would be very grateful to you if you could do this to me.I give you my email address,you can either add me on msn or send me your email if you want so i can send you the essay: rckyshay@yahoo.com. Reply ASAP please…
    Thanks a lot,i’m waiting for you.

  32. Wakish says:

    unfortunately I don’t have free time at the moment. And I don’t correct essays as such and if I would do, it would definetly not be free of cost :)

    I can quickly provide some guidelines and advice, provided you do your part of the job and ask some intelligent questions.

    All the best!

  33. ayoushee says:

    thanks.. this encouraged me.

  34. mariyam says:

    this blog was really helpful. thx.

  35. yash says:

    hi, i wanted to know that whenever am writing an essay, it necessary to have equal amount of positive points(advantages) and negative points(disadvantages)??
    I mean if i agree on an topic, can i give move positive points than negative points? plz help me..

  36. ROSHAN says:

    for expressing the examiner that we are being ready for future, to deal with this world.we are ready for accepting challenging task.and lastly we are being ready for creation of new world in no one have thought before

  37. Wakish says:

    thank you 😉

    thank you for the appreciation :)

    I usually give a balanced discussion, that is like 4 positive points and 4 negatives point and then after words I give my own conclusion.
    But there are topics which will have more negative points than positive ones and vice versa. So there’s no specific amount. But you do not want to give only 1 or 2 of them since these would not make a well balanced essay with the required numbers of words 😉

    I’m not sure what you intended, but thanks for writing 😉

  38. Ocan says:

    You could stand in for a teacher of GP. Tell me did you really used to do that? I have referred a couple of colleagues to your site for some really good spunking in GP

  39. Wakish says:


    That’s how I scored a 1 in my GP essay paper 😛
    I think if you follow my tips + add your own observation and hardwork, you are bound to score A+.

    All the best!

  40. BIBHUSAN says:

    i graps alot of aknowledge from this site this site is really useful guys

  41. JB says:

    u rock!!! dude!!

  42. Rukia says:

    haha! I saw this when there’s just 5 hrs remaining for my exam ! That stinks because I was really never into reading books and collecting information but I guess its time for change now ! My GP teacher is quite good because he always appreciates my ideas and my works (in my opinion). My vocabulary and language are pretty stinky .My friend told me that may be its because I don’t watch english movies and books but I’m not into reading or watching . Well anyways I’ll keep in mind some important things . Your site is awesome !It’s surely worth bookmarking !

  43. hasan says:

    Thanks for posting its very informative article .

  44. Bivushann says:

    I would like to call it awesome. You have kept quite valuable guidances for those of us heading for good GP grades. Once again, this is awesome.
    You are a lot lot better than my GP teacher!!
    [ Don’t worry, i wont be a fool to repeat the same words again and again in the exam hall. I learnt that from you!]
    Keep up the noble work!!

  45. Abbas says:

    Your blog is really very inspirational!! Thanks alot for sharing your personal experience and advise. I will definitely apply it in my GP studies. :)

  46. siew hui says:

    Er, I am from Brunei. Just one month ago, I had hear of this subject, GP. We haven’t got lots of practice on essay, but the teacher has given us a test. Hopefully I would not be skinned alive when I got my test back. Would you please recommend websites of excellent gp essays and others sources that would help me with my GP? I would pretty much like examples of GP essay to see how it is down. My introduction was always poorly done !

  47. Siew Hui says:

    Er, I am from Brunei, of Southeast Asia. Just one month ago, I had hear of this subject, GP. We haven’t got lots of practice on essay, but the teacher has given us a test. Hopefully I would not be skinned alive when I got my test back. Would you please recommend websites of excellent gp essays and others sources that would help me with my GP? I would pretty much like examples of GP essay to see how it is done. Thanks!

  48. KESHAV says:

    well,….im going for my a-level final exams…..but im stii nt ready…i cant write a proper essay…n i dnt knw hw to improve my handwriting….i’ve an aweful 1!….i do read…but i forget them as soon as i close z buk….i tried to use a copybuk bt im nt sure hw to do it…what do u advise me?…..im scared!

  49. bishal says:

    tommorow is my exam and i have never write an essay..

  50. Sasha says:

    Good advises! I’m going to follow these steps for sure. Thank you very much! 😀

  51. Tcy says:

    Great, helpful! Thank you so much!

  52. Wakish says:

    thanks guys! All the best!

  53. Maaz says:

    really nice information you got there. Keep up the good work. I have my GP exam in a week . Lately , I haven’t been writing a lot of essays since I was busy with other subjects. What do you recommend I do in these last 6 days. Should I read more or should I start writing. My school is currently off , so I am pretty much on my own now :/ . Help will be appreciated.

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