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How to Writing an Argumentative or Persuasive Essay

Chapter 5

A brief summary on how to write an

Argumentative/Persuasive Essay


Introduction:  Definition of topic or issue

                                     Present view/take a stand


Paragraph 1:     first argument to support view

Paragraph 2:    second reason to support view

Paragraph 3:    third reason to support vie     

Conclusion:     Restating of view/stand 


  • Most important reason
  • Second, third reasons
  • Examples, situations
  • Facts, figures

Transitional words (used to link points and add similar, additional and contrasting points)

Similar/additional points

–       Moreover

–       Besides

–       In addition

–       Similarly

–       Likewise

–       For example

Contrasting points

–       However

–       Firstly

–       Secondly

–       Finally

–       On the other hand

–       Although

Expressions to use

  • It is undeniable
  • Without doubt
  • I am of the view
  • I fully support
  • I agree
  • I cannot argue with
  • I am inclined to think
  • I am convinced
  • In conclusion

1.Write a composition of about 350 words on one of the following topics. 

The various programmes for turtle conservation should be carried on. Do you agree or disagree?


Suggested Structure:


Explain the logistics of a turtle conservation programme

i.e. what is being done. State your stand for or against such a programme.


Agree –                 

A unique species of animals –

give facts as example;

part of the ecosystem,

so cannot do without it;

plays an important role in nature –

controls jellyfish population.

Stop practices of eating and selling parts of turtle and its eggs;

Preserve the species for future generations.

Revenue as a source of income for the nation

Four species of sea turtles in the world can be found nesting on Malaysian:

the olive-ridley turtle,

the hawksbill turtle,

the green turtle and

the leatherback turtle.

Disagree   –    

A lot of money spent.

A lot of manpower needed.

Waste of time and effort –

could be spent on helping poor people.

A matter of survival of the fittest –

if cannot survive, make way for stronger species. 

Conclusion –  

End your composition by reaffirming your stand.

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How to RETIRE to a ripe old age and be HAPPY

How to RETIRE –

Better Read and Start Planning NOW

4 Pre-Conditions for Retirement

I retired in year 2000 at age 52. I am now 61, thus I can claim that
I got more experience at retirement than most! I thought I should
share my experience with mariners because I have seen too many friends
and neighbours who became so bored that they have become a nuisance to
their spouse and children and to others!

A few of them have solved the problem by going back to work. They
were able to do so because they have a skill/expertise that is still
in demand. The rest (and many are my neighbours) live aimlessly or are
waiting to die – a very sad situation, indeed..

You can retire only when you fulfill these 4 pre-conditions:

Your children are financially independent (e.g. they got jobs),
You have zero liability (all your borrowings are paid up),
 You have enough savings to support your lifestyle for the rest of
your life,

AND most importantly,

You know what you would be doing during your retirement.

DO NOT retire till you meet ALL 4 Pre-Conditions. And of course you
should not retire if you enjoy working and are getting paid for it!

The problem cases I know of are those who failed to meet

When asked, “What would you be doing during your retirement?”
some replied, “I will travel/cruise and see the World”. They did
that, some for 3 months and then ran out of ideas. The golfers
replied, “I can golf every day.” Most could not because they are
no longer fit to play well enough to enjoy the game. Those who could,
need to overcome another hurdle – they need to the find the
“kakis” to play with them.

It’s the same with mahjong, bridge, badminton, trekking and karaoke
– you need “kakis”! Most could not find others who share their
favourite game and playing/singing alone is no fun. AND when they do
find them, a few of them found that they are NOT welcomed like my
obnoxious neighbour whom everyone avoids.

Thus if you are into group sports or games, you must form your groups
BEFORE you retire. You need to identify your “kakis”, play with
them and discover whether they “click” with you.

The less sporty “can read all the books bought over the years”. I
know of one guy who fell asleep after a few pages and ended up napping
most of the time! He discovered that he did not like to read after
all. We do change and we may not enjoy the hobbies we had..

Routine Activities to Fill Your Week

For most people, your routine work activities are planned for you or   dictated by others and circumstances.    When you retire, you wake up to a new routine – one that you yourself have to establish as nobody else would do it for you!

The routine to establish should keep your body, mind and spirit   “sharpened”. A good routine would comprise:

a) One weekly physical sport – you need to keep fit to enjoy your
retirement. If you are the non-sporty type, you should fire your maid
and clean your home without mechanical aids. Dancing and baby sitting
are good alternatives.

b) One weekly mind stimulating activity – e.g. writing, studying
for a degree, acquiring a new skill, solving problems or puzzles,
learn or teach something. You need to stimulate your mind to stay
alive because the day you stop using your brain is the day you start
to die.

c) One weekly social activity – choose one involving lots of
urs. Get yourself accepted as a member to at least 3
interests groups. Unless you prefer to be alone, you do need friends
more than ever as you get older and less fit to pursue your sport.

d) One weekly community service activity – you need to give to
appreciate what you have taken in this life. It’s good to leave some
kind of legacy.

With 4 weekly activities, you got 4 days out of 7 covered. The remaining 3 days should be devoted to family related activities. In this way, you maintain a balance between amusing yourself and your family members. Any spare time should remain “spare” so that you can capitalise on opportunities that come your way like responding to an unexpected request to do a job or to take advantage of cheap fares to see places or to visit an exhibition.

Mind stimulating activities

Most judges live to a ripe old age. They use their brains a lot to decide on cases. I am sure MM Lee’s brain works overtime. He’s 80+ and still going strong. In “Today” you would have read of 2 inspiring oldies. One is a granny who learned to play the guitar at age 60 to entertain his grandchildren. She’s 70+ today and those grandchildren have grown to play with her. Another is an Indian radiologist who on retirement, qualified as an acupuncturist. He’s age 77 and still offers his services (by appointment only) including free ones to those who have no income. 

I guarantee you that they are happy people who discovered a “2nd wind” to take them to the sunset with a smile on their faces.

Mind stimulating activities are hard to identify. They require your
will to do something useful with the
rest of your life, a mindset
change and the discipline to carry it through.

Your Bucket List

Despite your busy routine, you will at times be bored. Then it’s   time to turn to your Bucket List.

Your bucket list contains a list of things to do before you kick the bucket. They are not routine and are usually one off activities. You need them to have something to look forward to. These include anniversaries, trips (and pilgrimages), visits to friends and relations abroad, re-doing your home, attending conferences (related to your hobbies), acquiring a new set of expertise. 4 such activities that are spaced our quarterly would be ideal.

Retirement Is a Serious Business

if you can afford to retire and want to, do prepare to live to your fullest. You need to be fit to enjoy it – therefore get into shape now.
You do not want to get up on a Monday and wonder what to do each
week, therefore identify your set of weekly routine activities now and try them out to confirm that they are the activities that you will be looking forward to doing each week, week after week.  

You bucket list
  of “rewards” or “projects” or “challenges” is needed to help you break away from the routine thereby make live worth living.  

Start listing what you fancy and refine it as you chug along in your   retirement. You will have so much fun; you would wish you were retired   since your turned 21   !

Uncle Teng

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How To Get Rid Of Insects

How To Get Rid Of Insects


不殺生又能驅趕 螞蟻, 蚊子, 蟑螂 的妙法
Methods that do not kill but get rid of ants, mosquitoes and cockroaches 

Ants don’t like sour things, mosquitoes don’t like spices and cockroaches don’t like fragrant things.

To keep away ants, squeeze fresh lemon juice on where they’ll be passing, and
also wipe the lemon slices on that surface.

Mosquitoes do not like spice. bury garlic under flowerbeds and clean dead leaves,
and keep the area clean.

Cockroaches do not like fragrance. Cut small pieces of soap, put them in a bottle with water, and put the bottle in a cupboard where you want to keep out cockroaches. After several days, they will be all gone and your cupboard will even smell good.

You do not need to kill mosquitoes: dissolve Vitamin C and B2 in water, wipe the water on your skin, and the scent will drive the mosquitoes away.
Put up orange coloured curtains, or orange plastic wrap around a bulb. Mosquitoes are afraid of orange light, and they will be gone.
Hang up a bunch of spring onions, and use gauze to wrap up the green sections of the onions, and there will be no more mosquitoes.
Putting a pot of Lilies, Milans, Roses, or Evening Primroses in your room will work too. 
四:在房內擺放 一兩 盆茉莉花,米蘭,玫瑰,夜來香等花卉,也可以驅除蚊蟲。

To drive away cockroaches, you can put pieces of cucumber where you want to keep them away.
蟑螂不喜歡黃瓜的味道,若不想蟑螂在你家裡開party,不妨將一兩 段掰斷的黃瓜放在它們經常出沒的地方。  

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How to reply a resignation letter

How to reply a resignation letter?

As your manager has accepted the resignation,

here is a sample letter,


Dear X,

It is with deep regret that I accept your notice of resignation as [insert job title] with the organisation.

I appreciate your excellent contribution as [insert job title] to the team and the organisation for the past six years and am sorry to see you go.

I understand your decision to move on and have forwarded your letter of resignation to the Human Resources Department and Accounts Department who will contact you with further information on the procedures related to your departure.

I will organise a meeting tomorrow to discuss your handover of roles and responsibilities for a smooth transition leading to your last day on [insert last day of employment].

Thank you again for your commitment and dedication as [insert job title]. I wish you every success in your future undertakings and hope that you will keep in touch.

Yours sincerely,
[Insert manager’s name and job title]








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How to Tell When Someone is Lying

Watching body language in addition to what is spoken might just save you from being a victim of fraud, or it could help you figure out when somebody’s being genuine. The police do this during an interrogation.

 You have to learn the little facial and body expressions that can help you distinguish a lie from the truth.

Here are some steps and tips to do so.

1. Learn to recognize deflections.

Usually when people are lying, they will tell stories that are true but are deliberately aimed at not answering the question you asked. If a person responds to the question “Did you ever hit your wife?” with an answer such as “I love my wife, why would I do that?”, the suspect is technically telling a truth, but they are avoiding answering your original question, which usually means they’re lying.

2. Mind exaggerated details.

See if they are telling you too much, like “My mom is living in France, isn’t it nice there? Don’t you like the Eiffel tower? It’s so clean there.” Too many details may tip you off to their desperation to get you to believe them.

3. We have illustrators and manipulators.

Illustrators are a sign of telling the truth, this is when you are using your hand gestures to talk. Moving your hands while you are talking is a sign of telling the truth. We also have manipulators. These, are the opposite of illustrators. An example of a manipulator can be playing with your wrist-watch, your jewelry, pulling on your ear lobe, etc. People who behave this way tend to be hiding something. The last, commonly unknown sign of hiding something is reptile tissue, most people have a reptile tissue in their nose, and it itches when you’re hiding something. But, before you assume that the person is hiding something, please establish a base line.

4. Base Line:

 A base line is what someone acts like when they are not lying. You have to get a base line before you proceed with anything. Imagine you have a itch on your nose ever since you got out of bed. And someone thinks you are hiding something because you scratch your nose when answering a question…oops. What the person should have done is establish a baseline. To establish a baseline, you need to see the person when they aren’t lying. Try asking what their name is, and what they do for a living.

5. Look out for micro-expressions.

Micro-expressions are split second facial expressions that flash on a person’s face for a less than a 25th of a second and reveal the person’s true emotion underneath their facade. Some people may be naturally sensitive to them, but almost anybody can easily train to be able to detect micro expressions. Put focus to the upper and lower eyelids, the corner of the eyes, the mouth and the muscles surrounding the mouth, the eyebrows and forehead.

6. Shaking hands…

When you meet the person who you think is deceiving you, shake their hand. Take note of the temperature. When you are sure they are lying to you, pretend to be leaving and quickly grab their hand for a “Good-Bye” Handshake. If the temperature is colder, they are fearful.

7. Notice the person’s eye movements.

 Contrary to popular belief, a liar does not always avoid eye contact. Humans naturally break eye contact and look at non-moving objects to help them focus and remember. Liars may deliberately make eye contact to seem more sincere. You can usually tell if a person is remembering something or making something up based on their eye’s movements. When someone is remembering details, their eyes move to the right (your right). When someone is making something up, their eyes move to the left. It’s usually reversed for lefties. (although not always true.) 

8. Be aware of their emotional responses

Timing and duration tends to be off when someone is lying. If you ask someone a question and they respond directly after the question, there is a chance that the person is lying. This can be because they have rehearsed the answer, or they’re already thinking about the answer just to get it over with and move forward. A delayed answer can be a sign of lying. To tell the truth takes 2 parts of your brain at most, however to lie takes 6 parts of your brain. If the person has a long story then you can ask them to tell it backwards. Liars have trouble telling stories backwards, because in their mind they have rehearsed it forwards, but not backwards. And, as with smiling, facial expressions of a poor liar will be limited to the mouth area.

Pay close attention to the person’s reaction to your questions. A liar will often feel uncomfortable and turn their head or body away or even subconsciously put an object between the two of you. Also, while an innocent person would go on the offensive (usually responding with anger, which will usually be revealed in a micro expression directly after you say you don’t believe them), a guilty person will often go immediately on the defensive (usually by saying something to reassure their facts, such as deflections).

9. Listen for a subtle delay in responses to questions.

An honest answer comes quickly from memory. Lies require a quick mental review of what they have told others to avoid inconsistency and to make up new details as needed. However, when people look up to remember things, it does not necessarily mean that they are lying.

10. Be conscious of their usage of words.

Verbal expression can give many clues as to whether a person is lying, such as:
Using/repeating your own exact words when answering a question
Not using contractions
Avoiding direct statements or answers (deflections)
Speaking excessively in an effort to convince
Speaking in a monotonous tone
Speaking in muddled sentences
Vocal pitch rising
Using classic qualifiers such as “I’m only going to say this once…”
Using humor and sarcasm to avoid the subject
Using Deflections (beating around the bush, not answering the question.) 

11. Allow silence to enter the conversation.

If they’re lying, they will become uncomfortable if you stare at them for a while with a look of disbelief. If they’re telling the truth, they will usually become angry or just frustrated (lips pressed together, brows down, upper eyelid tensed and pulled down to glare). 

12. Change the subject quickly.

While an innocent person would be confused by the sudden shift in the conversation and may try to return to the previous subject, a liar will be relieved and welcome the change. You may see the person become more relaxed and less defensive.

13. Watch his or her throat.

A person may constantly be either trying to lubricate their throat when he/she lies by swallowing or clearing their throat to relieve the tension built up. A person’s voice can also be a good lie indicator; they may suddenly start talking faster or slower than normal, or their tension may result in a higher-pitched speaking tone. See baseline info

14. Check the facts.

If you have the means, check the validity of what the liar is saying. A skilled liar might give some reason why you shouldn’t talk to the person who could confirm or deny a story. Perhaps the liar will infer that the person is particularly favourable towards the liar, or that the person would have little time for you. These are probably lies themselves, so might be worthwhile overcoming your reluctance and to check with the person you’ve been warned against. 

15. Judge the character.

 Most people tell the truth most of the time, and will cherish their reputation. Liars will ’sail close to the wind’ – they’ll artificially bolster their reputation so that they seem more credible or desirable than they actually are.
If you overhear a version of an anecdote that seems wrong, listen to those alarm bells – it might be a liar.
If someone takes the time out to ingratiate themselves with you out of the blue, it’s very flattering, but you have to ask, why are they doing that?
If John rubbishes or smears people more than normal, John is possibly putting in the groundwork so the audience are more receptive to John, and less receptive to the people who John has lied to – they’re discredited before they can say ‘John is a liar’.

Note –

Some people are extremely experienced or even professional liars. He or she has told their made up story so many times that they are actually believable, getting all their days, dates and times down perfectly! Sometimes, you may need to simply accept that you can’t catch every lie all the time.
If you do catch a lie, don’t reveal it to the liar; they will just adjust their story. Once you know one thing that is not true, you can use it to find more of the net of lies, and other nets of lies. Then decide which points you reveal and to whom.

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How to read

How to read?

1.  First skim (read very quickly) through the whole passages or article.

2.  Do not read every word and do not rush, occasionally for a moment to read some thing important.

3.  Use a pencil to guide your eyes across the pages as you read.

4.  Underline main idea or topics that you come across.

5.  Main idea or topics are usually, but not always, the first or second sentence of the paragraph.

6.  The introduction is a paragraph with a special purpose. It contains the main idea or topic of the entire passage. If the passage is an argument, it should also state the writer’s opinion.

7.  The conclusion often summaries the main points of the passage.

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