Lydia Teh

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Lydia Teh is the author of 11 books including the best-selling Honk! If You’re Malaysian which won The Star-Popular Readers’ Choice Awards in 2008 for non-fiction. She was a newspaper columnist at The Star and The Sun for three years and seven years respectively. Since 2009 she has been operating a franchised Cambridge English for Life centre. She has a Certificate of Proficiency in English and a Cambridge International Certificate in Teaching and Learning.

Judge’s Tips:

  1. Write according to the topic. For example, “What can school students do to save the environment and support climate action?” Don’t write what adults can do, but what school students can do.
  2. Don’t write sentences that are too long. If you can’t read a sentence in one breath, it is too long. Try not to write more than 20 words in a sentence but if you need to write 26 words to get your idea across, go ahead. (The last sentence has 26 words). But only a couple of long sentences, please. Too many and the judges might get a headache.
  3. Don’t write your essay in one long paragraph. The judges will get lost in it. For the above topic, there should be about 6 paragraphs. The more points you have, the more paragraphs there should be.
    Paragraph 1: Opening
    Paragraph 2: Point 1
    Paragraph 3: Point 2
    Paragraph 4: Point 3
    Paragraph 5: Point 4
    Paragraph 6: Ending