Are there any specific writing frameworks recommended for PSLE English Composition?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to writing frameworks for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) English Composition. The framework to be adopted would largely depend on the nature of the composition prompt and the individual student’s writing style. However, there are several commonly recommended writing frameworks that have been proven effective in guiding students to craft coherent, captivating narratives. These frameworks include the Five-Paragraph Structure, the PIE (Point, Illustration, Explanation) Structure, and the Story Mountain.


When preparing for PSLE English Composition, it’s imperative to utilize specific writing frameworks to ensure structural organization, coherence, and clarity. These frameworks provide a roadmap to guide the writing process, thus enhancing narrative progression and maintaining the story’s grip.

One such framework is the five-paragraph structure. It emphasizes a clear introduction, three distinct body paragraphs, and a thoughtful conclusion. Each paragraph serves a purpose in advancing the plot and cultivating suspense. The introduction sets up the characters, setting, and initial conflict, while the body paragraphs delve deeper into the conflict, building towards an emotionally charged climax and moving into resolution. The conclusion ties up loose ends, bringing satisfaction and completion to the story.

Similarly, the PIE structure (Point, Illustration, Explanation) is a vital tool in composition writing. It demands each paragraph to harbor a main idea, furnish supporting details, and provide an explanation of the point’s relevance to the narrative or argument. This focus on a single event per paragraph ensures smooth transitions, facilitating thoughtful narrative development.

Lastly, the Story Mountain is a creative writing framework. It uses a metaphorical mountain to represent narrative arc and plot progression. Beginning at the base with introduction, it involves rising action as we climb up, a peak for the decisive moment of climax, and falling action as we descend, finally leading to resolution at the base again. This structure helps build escalating tension, develop characters and conflicts, and move towards a satisfying resolution, all the while maintaining outcome uncertainty.

Employing these recommended writing frameworks results in a compelling narrative marked by a gripping storyline, transformative character growth, and a keen understanding of pacing. They assist in not just structuring action sequences but also in building character moments, offering a visual guide that inspires creativity and enables students to produce expressive and captivating English compositions for PSLE.

1. Five-Paragraph Structure

The Five-Paragraph Structure is a traditional writing framework often recommended for its simplicity and clarity. It divides the composition into three main parts: an introduction, a body (usually three paragraphs), and a conclusion.

The Introduction sets the scene and introduces the reader to the topic or the central conflict of the story. A good introduction draws the reader in, setting the stage for the rest of the composition.

The Body of the essay is where the main action happens. In narrative writing, this would typically involve the development of the plot, including the main events and the climax. Each paragraph in the body should focus on a specific point or event, ensuring a coherent and well-structured story.

The Conclusion wraps up the story, providing resolution to the conflict introduced in the beginning. It should provide a satisfying end to the story, leaving the reader with a final impression or thought.


The Five-Paragraph Structure is a classic and versatile writing framework that aids students in presenting clear, concise, and well-organized compositions. Though it’s commonly associated with essay writing, it’s equally applicable to narrative writing, such as what’s required in the PSLE English Composition. By breaking down a composition into manageable parts—namely, the introduction, three body paragraphs, and the conclusion—this structure ensures a coherent and compelling narrative.


The introduction serves as the opening act of the story, setting the tone and introducing the reader to the key elements—characters, setting, and a hint of the central conflict. The introduction should be enticing, drawing the reader into the world the student has created. It is important to begin with a strong hook—an intriguing sentence or a vivid description—that instantly captures the reader’s interest.

The introduction should also briefly present the main conflict or problem to be resolved, which would propel the plot forward. This problem could range from an interpersonal conflict to a personal dilemma or an external challenge that the main character needs to overcome.

Three Body Paragraphs

The body of the composition comprises three paragraphs, each of which further develops the plot. These paragraphs serve as the platform for escalating the conflict, introducing new characters or complications, and driving the story towards its climax.

The first body paragraph often delves deeper into the conflict introduced in the beginning, enhancing the tension and revealing more about the characters and their motivations. The second body paragraph typically represents the height of the conflict or the turning point— the climax. It’s the most intense part of the story where the characters are in deep crisis. The third body paragraph is where the crisis starts to resolve, leading the story towards its conclusion.

Each body paragraph should focus on a single event or point, which not only aids in maintaining coherence and focus but also facilitates smooth transitions between different parts of the story.

The “Three Body Paragraphs” method is an essential component of composition writing, particularly suited for PSLE English Composition. This technique allows students to effectively structure their narrative, ensuring a gradual development of plot and character that peaks in a dramatic climax before moving towards resolution. The concept of the three body paragraphs can be likened to a three-act play, each act serving a specific role in the overall narrative arc.

The first body paragraph often functions as the ‘rising action’ in the story. It builds upon the exposition provided in the introduction, presenting the characters and setting in greater depth. More importantly, it delves into the core conflict or challenge that propels the narrative forward. This paragraph serves to engage the reader’s interest, providing insights into the characters’ motivations and gradually escalating the tension.

The second body paragraph is typically the stage for the narrative climax. This is the turning point, the peak of the story’s tension or conflict. It presents the characters in the throes of their dilemma, where emotions run high and decisions bear far-reaching consequences. The second body paragraph often features significant character development, as characters confront their conflicts, revealing their true strengths, weaknesses, and values.

The third body paragraph marks the ‘falling action’ of the story. This is where the plot starts moving towards resolution, the crisis begins to ebb, and characters start to grapple with the aftermath of the climax. This paragraph might present a solution to the conflict, a realization on the part of the characters, or a transformative change that leads towards the story’s conclusion.

In essence, the “Three Body Paragraphs” structure fosters narrative progression and coherence. It encourages students to focus on individual events or points in each paragraph, which enhances the clarity of the narrative and allows for smooth transitions between different stages of the story. However, the magic of storytelling lies not just in the structure, but in the creative and emotive elements that fill this structure. The success of a composition ultimately hinges on a well-chosen plot, relatable characters, and an engaging writing style that captures the readers’ imagination and evokes their empathy. Thus, while students should strive to adhere to this structural framework, they should also infuse their narratives with creativity, authenticity, and emotional depth.


The conclusion is the final act, providing a resolution to the conflict and wrapping up the narrative in a satisfactory manner. It reflects the outcome of the events and conflicts presented in the body paragraphs, and indicates what the characters have learned or how they have changed.

A memorable conclusion leaves a lasting impression on the reader. This could be achieved by providing thoughtful insights, evoking emotions, or painting a vivid image of the final scene. It’s also crucial to avoid introducing new characters or conflicts in the conclusion, as it can leave the story feeling incomplete or confusing.

In essence, the Five-Paragraph Structure is a powerful tool in guiding students to write effectively. It provides a clear roadmap for narrative progression, ensuring that the story unfolds logically and engagingly. However, it’s worth remembering that while this structure provides a solid skeleton, the flesh and soul of the story come from creative ideas, expressive language, and the ability to engage the reader’s emotions and imagination. Therefore, students should feel free to express their creativity within this structure, making their compositions not only well-structured but also uniquely theirs.

2. PIE Structure (Point, Illustration, Explanation)

The PIE Structure is another writing framework that encourages a clear, concise, and well-organized narrative. Each paragraph within the body of the composition follows this structure:

Point: This is the main idea or event for that particular paragraph.

Illustration: This involves providing specific examples or details to support the main point.

Explanation: This involves explaining why the point and illustration are relevant, and how they contribute to the overall narrative or argument.


The Point, Illustration, Explanation (PIE) Structure is a potent writing framework that can effectively shape a student’s PSLE English Composition. With its emphasis on clarity, logical progression, and detailed exploration of ideas, the PIE structure helps students to craft compelling and well-structured narratives. Here’s an in-depth exploration of each component of the PIE structure and its function within the composition.


The “Point” is the backbone of each paragraph in the composition. It represents the main idea, event, or theme that the paragraph will explore. In the context of narrative writing, the point could be an important event in the plot, a significant character trait, or a key aspect of the setting. This point should be clear and concise, immediately giving the reader an understanding of what to expect in the paragraph.

The point also acts as a transition, seamlessly connecting different parts of the story. By linking each point to the overall narrative thread, students can ensure a coherent flow from one paragraph to the next.


“Illustration” refers to the use of specific examples, descriptive details, or narrative events to support and flesh out the point made. These illustrations enable readers to visualize the narrative, drawing them into the world the student has created.

In narrative writing, the illustration often involves descriptive details about characters, settings, or events. By vividly describing the emotions, actions, and reactions of the characters, the noises, smells, or colors of the settings, and the tension, conflict, or resolution of the events, students can make their stories come alive.


The “Explanation” is where the significance of the point and illustration is brought to light. It provides a clear connection between the point, the illustration, and the overall narrative. In a narrative composition, the explanation often involves the characters’ motivations, the implications of the events, or the atmosphere of the setting.

The explanation ensures that each paragraph is not merely a standalone segment of the story, but a crucial part of the larger narrative. It aids in maintaining narrative continuity and building towards a cohesive and compelling conclusion.

In conclusion, the PIE Structure is a versatile and effective writing framework for PSLE English Composition. By guiding students to clearly establish their points, vividly illustrate their ideas, and effectively explain their relevance, the PIE structure helps in crafting narratives that are engaging, logical, and deeply immersive. However, while this structure provides a solid foundation, it is the creativity, expressiveness, and emotional resonance of the writing that truly make a composition stand out. Thus, students should be encouraged to infuse their unique voices and perspectives into their compositions, even as they adhere to this structure.

3. Story Mountain

The Story Mountain is a creative writing framework that guides students in creating a compelling narrative arc. The “mountain” metaphorically represents the plot progression, starting from the base, climbing to the peak, and descending back to the base.

At the base of the mountain, we have the introduction of the characters, setting, and initial conflict or problem. As we climb up the mountain, the story builds tension and excitement, leading to the peak of the mountain – the climax of the story. The climax is the turning point, where the main character confronts the conflict. As we descend the mountain, the story resolves, and we see how the characters have changed or what they have learned. Finally, at the base of the mountain, we reach the conclusion, wrapping up the story and providing closure.


The Story Mountain is a beautifully conceived writing framework that aids in creating gripping narratives. It uses the metaphor of a mountain’s journey from base to peak, and back to base, to represent the narrative arc’s trajectory, helping to shape a compelling, well-paced story.

The concept begins at the mountain’s base – the starting point of the story. It’s here that the narrative’s foundation is laid. The introduction of characters, the establishment of the setting, and the hint at an initial conflict or problem, all come together to provide the backdrop against which the story will unfold. This segment is crucial in setting the tone and creating the context necessary for the reader’s understanding and engagement.

The journey upwards is an escalating tension, the rising action of the narrative. This phase involves the development of the initial conflict, the unfolding of events, and the deepening of character relationships. The action builds, and the plot thickens, propelling the narrative towards the climax. It’s in this phase that the narrative tension should reach its zenith, holding the reader in suspense and making the story’s outcome uncertain.

The peak of the mountain represents the story’s climax—the highest point of tension, the moment where the conflict comes to a head. Here, the protagonist faces the problem or challenge directly, triggering a change or resolution in the plot. The climax is often the most emotionally charged part of the story, a decisive moment that determines the narrative’s direction.

As we start the descent from the peak, we enter the falling action phase of the story. It’s here that the conflict begins to resolve, and we witness the aftermath of the climax. Characters respond to the events of the climax, and the story moves towards resolution. This stage often reveals changes in characters or circumstances, showing growth, transformation, or newfound understanding.

Finally, at the mountain’s base again, we reach the story’s conclusion. It provides closure to the narrative, tying up loose ends, and clarifying the outcome of the story. It often highlights what the characters have learned or how they have changed, giving the reader a sense of satisfaction and completion.

The Story Mountain is more than a writing framework—it’s a tool that teaches students the essence of storytelling. It guides them in building suspense, developing characters, escalating conflict, and creating satisfying resolutions, all crucial elements in crafting a compelling narrative. Through the Story Mountain, students learn the art of pacing, understanding when to slow down for character moments and when to speed up for exciting action sequences. It’s an effective visual guide that inspires creativity and encourages thoughtful narrative development.


While these writing frameworks can provide a solid structure, it’s essential to remember that good writing also involves creativity, effective use of language, and the ability to engage the reader. Encourage students to experiment with different writing techniques and styles within these frameworks to develop their unique voice and flair. Effective writing is not merely about sticking to a certain framework but about telling a compelling story that resonates with readers.