National 5 English Tutor

Written by National 5 English Tutor

National 5 English Tutor is a blogging platform for various GTCS registered teachers of English to write helpful blogs for students, their parents and teachers on the National 5 English certificated SQA course. By following the below advice, we are confident that a student can improve their English grade, but individual motivation, perseverance and other factors must also be taken into account. This platform presents an approach to National 5 English; we do not claim it is the only approach. It has worked successfully for other students.

National 5 English folio advice for creative writing

Summarise book

The National 5 English folio allows a student to send a creative writing piece, if you choose to do so. For National 5 English students have to send two folio pieces.

Here are ten rules for creative writing that will help with National 5 English folio. These are not THE rules. Just bits of advice that you may find useful when writing your folio piece.

In descending order:


10. ‘Write a draft. Then let it rest.’     – Stephen King

Try to leave a piece of writing for at least 24 hours before looking at it again and starting to make corrections.


9. ‘Read a lot.’   – Stephen King

Reading will give you ideas, broaden your horizons and deepen your knowledge.


8. ‘Never use a long word when a short word will do.’  – George Orwell

Controversial, but try to make your writing flow. Don’t cram it with fancy words just for the sake of it.


7. ‘Never use the passive voice when you can use the active voice’ – George Orwell

The difference is ‘a man was seen’ (passive) and ‘we saw a man’ (active).


6. ‘Know and understand your audience’ – Pierre Berton

Ask your teacher what your ‘audience’ – the exam marker – is looking for.


5. ‘Recycle and read the good stuff before you write.’ – Pierre Berton

Before you start writing, read some writing that you like.


4. ‘Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary’ – Andrew Morton

Everyday life has details that need to be written about and can inspire.


3.  ‘Good copy = draft minus 10%’ – Stephen King

You still have to work to improve what you think is good.


2. ‘Look at every word in a sentence and decide if they are really needed. If not, kill them. Be ruthless.’ – Bob Cooper

Make sure every word has a purpose. Don’t let the writing become ‘flabby’ with words.


1. ‘Keep going’ – Joyce Carol Oates

Don’t give-up even when you’re stuck.


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