Have you ever stare at an essay question and your mind just go blank and you just do not know where to begin? Fret not, you are not alone. Essay writing in any language is after all a creative process. It requires you to first understand the title, the keywords, the format and how to use the right words and points to create something meaningful.

Having said that, if you are taking STPM Malay as one of your Form 6 subjects, essay writing plays a big role to score an A for your STPM Malay paper. You will be tested on this component for three semesters.

1st semester: Esei Tidak Berformat
2nd semester: Esei Berformat
3rd semester: Penulisan Ilmiah

Here are some essential tips to master when you are writing your essays throughout the semesters.

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Important keys to remember for Penulisan Esei Tidak Berformat in your 1st Semester

In Bahagian C for your STPM Malay Paper 910/1, you are required to write 1 esei tidak berformat out of 3 options.

This is an individual essay where you need to keep your essay within the 600 to 650 words range. The total mark for this essay is 50 marks. You can check more about the marking scheme for this section and other essays in STPM for your further reference.

The essay structure for this section is as follows:

1st paragraph- PENDAHULUAN
2nd- 6th paragraph- 5 ISI (points)
7th paragraph- KESIMPULAN  

There are also four important elements that you should pay attention to for Penulisan Esei Tidak Berformat:

1) Analyse and identify the keywords of the questions before you start writing.

a) Faktor/Punca/Mengapa (Causes)
b) Kesan (Effects)
c) Langkah/Usaha/Cadangan (Steps/efforts/suggestions)

Sometimes, the essay questions would include two keyword combinations. For example:
Faktor + Kesan
Kesan + Langkah

2) Make sure your contents and points are relevant and you answer the questions with clarity.

Be specific with your points and expand your ideas with suitable examples using current issues/case study/ statistics.

3) Follow the right Malay grammatical and language rules.

Make sure you use the right imbuhan, tatabahsa and tenses throughout your essay. Be sure to use the standard written Malay language and not "bahasa pasar" during your daily conversation.

4) Check and proofread your essay in terms of punctuation as well as the right format of paragraphs.

Look out for any misspelling, missing out of commas, full stop, capital lettering from the beginning to the end. Be sure to always include 7 paragraphs for this section.

writing Malay essay
It is important to know what to expect when you are drafting and writing your essay during the examination.
Source: Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash

Information about Penulisan Esei Berformat for your 2nd semester

Welcome to your first coursework assessment for the STPM Malay paper! You will undergo this assessment during normal school lessons. Don't worry as you will be briefed by your subject teacher on the 8 essays regarding the formats, test dates and relevant documents that you need to prepare. The total mark of this section is 25 marks.

You will be assessed for 4 essays first as listed below:

a) Laporan
b) Teks ucapan
c) Ceramah
d) Syarahan 

Your subject teacher will then mark and grade your essays in a week and proceed with the second assessment of essays as follows:

e) Memorandum
f) Minit mesyuarat
g) Kertas cadangan
h) Surat kiriman rasmi (The final grade of your esei berformat will not include the marks of surat kiriman rasmi, but students still need to submit a complete essay under this format).

Similarly, the second batch of essay assessments will also be graded by your subject teacher in a week. Your subject teacher will then key in your results into the system set by Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia.

One of the learning outcomes of your 2nd semester while learning STPM Malay is you should be able to write and differentiate all 8 essays. Note that they have strictly fixed formats in terms of their paragraphs and titles.

Some essays may require you to include salutations at the beginning (teks ucapan, ceramah, syarahan), come out with fictional addresses or positions (laporan, memorandum) and even compose your signature (for surat kiriman rasmi and so on).

Important reminder: The essays adhere to the word limit from 600 to 650 words except for surat kiriman rasmi (250 words or less). If your essay exceeds the word limit, marks will be deducted.

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Getting ready for Penulisan Ilmiah for your 3rd semester

Students are required to write an academic essay of 2000 to 2500 words based on the themes taught throughout the 3 semesters. The total mark for this section is 50 marks.

Here are some step by step guidelines to prepare for your academic essay with a given theme example.

Let's say the two themes given are:
a) Semantik
b) Sejarah perkembangan bahasa Melayu klasik 

1. Student decides to choose to write a topic based on Semantik
2. Student identifies the scope of the theme and decides on the final title under Semantik
3. Student starts writing the objectives of the study
4. Student proceeds to write about the importance of the study
5. Students continues to write on the scope of the study
6. Student determines the limitation of the study
7. Student constructs the methodology of the study
8. Student gathers information and starts writing about the title
9. Student compiles and organizes the writing under findings of the study
10. Student summarizes the findings of the study
11. Student concludes the study

Remember that this coursework submission is a group task. Each group needs to prepare 5 forms for this project to be submitted together with the final academic essay and also during the presentation of the essay.

a) Muka hadapan kerja khusus (lampiran 1)
b) Borang perakuan calon (lampiran 2)
c) Borang rekod khusus calon (lampiran 3)
d) Borang markah kerja khusus calon (lampiran 4)
e) Borang rumusan markah khusus calon (lampiran 5)

You can find the complete link of the coursework material (For Paper 4 and Paper 5) for your STPM Malay paper here. Rest assured that you can find the latest and relevant essay formats, sample essay questions as well as sample essays provided by Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia.

Writing STPM Malay essay
Group discussion will help you to create a well balanced academic essay.
Source: Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Ways to improve on your Malay essay writing

a) Read extensively and listen to diverse topics in Malay

When you prepare for your 1st semester and 2nd-semester essay writing, it is important to be well versed in national and global current issues. As you study past year papers and the STPM Malay syllabus, you will notice that the essay questions often revolve around determining PUNCA (factors), KESAN (effects), LANGKAH (steps) to overcome a particular issue. Hence, the tip to score well in your essay writing is to have valid points for each paragraph when you are writing.

Develop the habit of reading and listening to the news (could be offline and online), documentaries and interviews about the latest happenings. You can also access many language learning apps to improve your Malay essay writing like this app that was created by a teacher in Sabah for his students.

Some examples of popular topics are as below:

a) Environmental issues (the cause and effect of illegal hunting)
b) Education (ways to cultivate reading among students)
c) Economy (the benefits of buying local products)
d) Science and technology (the pros and cons of using e-wallets)

Apart from that, pay attention to language-related topics as you will be tested on that during the course assignment for your 3rd semester. As you are required to write 2000 to 2500 words for this section, remember to enhance your vocabulary and familiarize yourself with the right jargon.

b) Make sure you know the different requirements for various essays

For your 1st semester, you only need to write 1 esei tidak berformat.

Format: 7 paragraphs (pendahuluan- introduction, 4 isi - 4 points and kesimpulan -conclusion)

For your 2nd semester, you have to write 8 different esei berformat.

For your 3rd semester, make sure you are knowledgeable about all the language-related themes that are covered from Semester 1 to Semester 3 as you are required to write ONE academic essay based on two themes.

Don't worry as we got you covered so that you will have a clear overview of the complete format of the STPM Malay subject throughout the 3 semesters.

Reading STPM Malay Essay
Reading the news will help to improve your general knowledge of various topics.
Source: Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

c) Practice writing with a timer

It is important to note that you are sitting for a timed examination. Time allocation is the essence to have a smooth and steady examination. Hence, you should consistently and constantly practice writing within the given time frame so that you can prepare and do well for the real examination.

When you are used to writing under time constraints, you will find that your writing speed will increase when you are answering the question. Bear in mind that you should also allocate time to draft the structure of your essay by identifying the format, number of paragraphs, the main points, elaboration during the examination.

d) Master the techniques to expand and elaborate your ideas with a Malay tutor from Superprof

Nothing beats the experience of receiving useful and practical tips to write good essays from an experienced Malay tutor. You will learn how to include relevant explanation and elaboration to your points to make every paragraph systematic and well-written.

Through the detailed filtering system at the Superprof website, you can verify their teaching qualification and teaching methodology. At the comfort of your home, you will be able to match with a Malay teacher who has experienced learning and teaching STPM Malay at an affordable price!

You also do not have to worry about lack of practice as your Malay teacher will prepare plenty of STPM Malay model questions and past year papers for you to attempt during and after your lessons.

The best platform to master Malay essay writing quickly- Superprof

The process of decoding the STPM Malay Essay Writing is not a lonely one at Superprof. Your reliable Malay tutor will walk you through all the formats of the essay by semesters and equip you with sufficient exercise and feedback to advance in your writing skills.

Every lesson will be well planned to equip you with a complete guide to your STPM Malay Paper regardless of which semester you are currently at now. Also, your first lesson is free! Wait no longer and start registering to ace your essay writing and score that A!

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