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How To Write Effective KCSE English Paper 3 Essays

If you have read and understood the set books, answering questions 2 and 3 in English paper 3 should be easy. After understanding the question, you will need to determine relevant points, characters, or episodes to use in your essay. Take the first ten minutes to analyze the question and make brief notes. A high-scoring KCSE essay should have an introduction, four to five body paragraphs and a conclusion, and should be around 450 words.

KCSE Essay Introduction

According to the 2022 KCSE Report an introduction should show that you understand the question. One way to show that you understand the question is by paraphrasing the question.  

First, identify the key words in the question before rewriting it in your own words. It is good practice to mention the book title and author. You can also provide a brief summary of the main points you are going to discuss in your article as in the example below:

Action speaks louder than words. Discuss the truth of this saying using illustrations from Leonard Kibera’s A Silent Song. (20 marks)

The character of an individual tells more than what they actually say. Mbane’s brother, In the story A silent song by Leonard Kibera, Ezekiel, preaches water and takes wine. He is so devoted to God as a preacher, but neglects Mbane, to agonize in the streets for a long time until he almost dies.

Writing KCSE Essay Body Paragraphs

KCSE essays should have four to five body paragraphs. Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence that introduces the point you want to discuss. Provide relevant evidence from the text and explanation after the topic sentence. Names of characters should be accurate to avoid losing points for textual errors.

The errors the students make in body paragraphs is to narrate events from the text instead of showing how the events support their point. Such paragraphs are described as “thin” by KCSE examiners, and they do not score full points.

Remember you should be arguing and supporting your topic sentence therefore avoid narrating the text. As you conclude the paragraph make sure you have a clincher sentence- a statement that ties your paragraph to the question. So be sure to have about 9 lines of evidence and explanation in each body paragraph to score full points. You can end your paragraphs with a “clincher”, a sentence that summarizes your paragraph as in the example below:

How to Conclude a KCSE Essay

End your essay with a brief paragraph that summarizes what you discussed in the body. You may start with the phrase “In conclusion…” followed by a summary of the moral lesson from the question. Keep the conclusion short, a maximum of three lines.  

In conclusion, the true gospel is the action of an individual because it is more practical than mere words. Actions work and satisfy the heart more than proclaiming the word of God.

Other KCSE tips of Answering Essay Questions

Remember to use simple language in your essay. Proofread your essay to check for spelling, grammar, and textual errors. We will be posting more sample essays to illustrate the kind of essays that KCSE examiners expect to see.

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