5 Tips on Writing a Persuasive/Argumentative Piece for a Selective School/Scholarship Test

In this post, we’ll go through our top 3 entries for the writing competition and go through what was done well and what needed improvement. I’ll collect them into 5 tips below for how to write a competitive writing piece for the selective and scholarship exams. I’ll also announce the winner of our writing competition at the bottom.

Here are extracts from the top three writing pieces and their accompanying lessons learned.

Writing Piece 1:

Walking down the streets these days, you can’t help but see graffiti sprayed across old significant buildings, but is graffiti a form of genuine art?

 Tip 1: Relate to the Question: This is a great start to the introduction that relates specifically to the test question. Points were lost if the essay was on a different topic, say is graffiti illegal or graffiti is bad as opposed to graffiti being an art form.

To begin with graffiti is without a doubt a form of art because it makes the artist present their creativity and talent for what their passion is, graffiti. Similar to how painting shows the work off, graffiti artists want their work to be viewed and praised. That’s why graffiti is occasionally seen on eye catching arrangements. This is one of the reasons why graffiti is definitely an art.

Tip 2: Structure – the paragraph’s leading sentence relates to the question and it provides examples. Make sure you fully develop your argument. This paragraph could be polished up further with a real example of when art is viewed and praised.

To round off with, graffiti is a pinnacle of art because it displays the talent and creativity of the artist and that self-expression is key, ultimately making graffiti a form of definite art.

Tip 3: Conclusion that doesn’t introduce new topics – the conclusion clearly recaps the arguments and doesn’t introduce anything new.


Writing Piece 2:

Graffiti is a form of art because people stop to view and admire it. Various works of graffiti have been shown in museums throughout the world in different styles and people pay to view graffiti. In the streets, a unique work of graffiti art will be admired by at least someone. The fact that someone will stop to view and admire graffiti, makes it an art.

 Tip 4: Good Flow in paragraph – notice how with this paragraph all the “whys” are answered. For example, it says graffiti is a form of art because people look at it, so prove this – ok, it provides proof through museums charging people and then it links it back to the idea that if someone wants to pay to view graffiti in a museum, then it must be art.


Writing piece 3:

Graffiti is definitely not art because it destroys things that belong to other people. When you walk down the road, you see unsightly graffiti splashed on the walls of people’s houses. People don’t invite this graffiti, instead its forced on them by the vandal and the home owner ends up spending time cleaning it up. Art isn’t something that’s covered up, art is inviting and admired by all. How can graffiti be called an art? It’s just vandalism.

Tip 5: Doesn’t matter what position you take (for or against), in persuasive writing – again, this paragraph flows well and talks about graffiti being ‘uninvited’. A little error with its and it’s but that’s just a small thing. It doesn’t matter what position as long as you can write well for the position you take. You don’t get judged on your personal position on a topic, it’s how well you can persuade with your writing.


So there are our tips learnt from Exam Success spring writing competition. If you want this competition to run again, just let us know in the coments below.

Please to announce that the winner of our writing competition is K Hu! Well done! We’ll be in touch to send out your prize shortly!

Well done to all those who’ve taken the time to write a piece and created an entry. I hope all the individual feedback was useful to you to help you craft that amazing winning piece for the written expression test your upcoming selective school / scholarship exam!

Next: Getting into Brisbane State High School after Not Passing the First Round


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