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    Hi everyone,

    Could you please comment on my writing, including grammar, tone, style, content, language, organisation, coherence, cohesion etc. in GCSE English writing standard, and then tell me how can I improve the writing? Thanks a lot!

    Would you please tell me how many marks I'll get out of 21?
    The question is this: Write a short story based on the proverb"never judge a book by its cover"

    A student who taught a teacher
    I have been a teacher for forty years. In these four decades of teaching, I have always tried to understand the reason behind by students’ wrong-doings, and not to punish them as far as possible. I was changed by none other than Mary.

    Mary was a grade 5 student in my class in my third year of teaching. She was always the last to arrive, out of breath, when the lesson had started for more than ten minutes. Strangely still, even on the coldest days, I could see sweat drip from her head to her yellow blouse, which was supposed to be white. She always handed in the stained homework book to me in silence as I shouted at her to write a reflection. Once or twice Mary arrived half an hour late, so I was furious to let her stay after school. However, she left before six o’clock without my permission so I punished her even more. Mary was also a mysterious student as she rarely chatted with other classmates. All I knew about her was that she was poor, which I guessed by her shabby clothes, and hard-working because she always read a book at the corner of the classroom during recess.

    Despite being late for lessons, Mary had outstanding performance in school. Not only was she the first in form in every exam, but also the champion in running races in interclass competitions, even though she handed in a dirty homework book, the neat handwriting and well-organised answers deserved a good grade. What’s more, she actively answered all my questions during lessons and had a voracious appetite for knowledge, which made her always ask me questions when she had problems in understanding the lesson. This had always been my question “Why would such a good student always be late for school? “I admit I had suspected her of cheating.

    My question was still not answered before I left school very late at night at the end of term when I was trying to get an evening newspaper from a nearby store. To my surprise, Mary was looking after the store! She was attentively reading a textbook in the dim light of the store so she did not notice me. “Mary,” I called. She blushed and murmured “Good…good evening Ms Brown … please sit down.” My smile comforted her and she started telling me about the store. Her father had died and her mother had been sick for months so Mary took up the duty to deliver morning posts and evening posts to the customers of the store. That was the reason why she had been late for school all year. In the dim of light, I noticed a handwriting on her arm “Work hard, be a doctor! “

    My eyes glittered with tears on my way home. How wrong I had been as a teacher? I had always taught my students not to judge a book by its cover, but I judged an encyclopaedia by its cover! I had a negative attitude towards Mary, which I tried to convince myself was merely because I thought Mary was irresponsible for being late for school, and had no connection with Mary’s untidy, shabby state of appearance. My prejudice also made me suspected her of cheating. Thanks be to God as I had not been too repulsive to convict her for cheating in exams. Regretting profoundly my misconception towards Mary, I was also inspired by her strong determination, her hard work and her never-give-up spirit. After that, I started helping Mary with her study. Mary became a doctor at last.

    Never judge a book by its cover: read the book and cherish it. This book has taught a teacher who thought she knew everything.


    + Good story line.
    + Consistent purpose.
    + Near perfect spelling.
    + Good conclusion to story.

    - Simple punctuation.
    - Good use of clauses and commas, but syntax is not greatly varied.
    - More speech required to move story on quicker & sustain reader interest.

    Good effort!


    Maybe 16-17 if the examiner is generous
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