The things you can do and learn online for General Paper (and Project Work).

An interactive beginner’s guide to writing an argumentative essay is available at

Found via


I’ve had to take the IELTS test for my skilled migration to Australia. Thankfully, I did pretty well in the test on the first try (9 overall) and I’ve since been trying to help some people I know with their test preparation.

Today, I thought about creating another WordPress site, this time with an IELTS focus. But it looks like all the free WordPress domain names with “IELTS” in them are taken. So I’m thinking I’ll just use the General Paper site for it, since there’s quite a bit of overlap between the two assessments systems. Both the Singapore-Cambridge General Paper and IELTS have a group from the University of Cambridge as one of the examining authorities.

So, watch this space for some ideas preparing for your English Language assessments, while I have a think about it.

The animation that accompanies this talk given by Sir Ken Robinson is fun to watch.

But what about the validity of the claims? Crispin Weston presents an extensive critique.

Here’s a tool that could help you figure out your topic, create a thesis statement and generate an outline.


Have a go at using it and post about your experience in the comments.

Facts galore

You need facts to back up your ideas in writing. Plus, some facts are just plain interesting. I’ve just discovered Factbrowser. Go have a look and search for the statistics you need.

Cycling safety statistics

Cycling Oxford

Since I moved to Sydney, I’ve basically stopped cycling, barring a few rides, and only one of those on a road bike.

I found the following statistics and posted them on Facebook, but I thought maybe some of you might want to have a look and do some analysis of the figures as well. What do the figures mean? Which city/state/country is the safest?

London: Population 8M, 407 cyclist deaths and serious injuries 1st 9 months of 2011

Singapore: Population 5M, 500 cyclist casualties (including 15 fatalities) in 2011

NSW: Population 7M, 52 fatal pedestrian crashes, no separate category for cyclists among vehicles (?) at

Australia: 22M, 26 to 46 cyclist deaths per year, 2000 to 2005. “More meaningful Australian data on cycling crashes is difficult to access due the lack of exposure data for cycling, differences in police and hospital data records, lack of data retained by road traffic authorities and the fact that many cycling accidents occur off-road”

Some really well articulated pointers on how to generate solutions. For all of you doing Project Work. Also helps to give context for GP.

Innovation in Africa tips From Ethan Zuckerman's post 'Innovating from constraint': Innovation (often) comes from constraint (If you've got very few resources, you're forced to be very creative in using and reusing them.) Don't fight culture (If people cook by stirring their stews, they're not going to use a solar oven, no matter what you do to market it. Make them a better stove instead.) Embrace market mechanisms (Giving stuff away rarely works as well as selling it.) I … Read More

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