The Dark Shadow Shrine

If u think u need extra coaching in General Paper/English/Literature at the 'O'/'A'/International Baccalaureate level, the gates of my shrine are always open.....Drop me a note at or wadsapp me at 91384570 for more Singapore only hor.... :-)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Eat with Your Family Day

A local campaign which I mentioned recently for those who did the 2010 Cambridge compre on Food, where O'Sullivan observes that food can help to reinforce links and promote cohesion among family members..check it out HERE

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Skills from the Dark Shadow Manual

As the exam beckons (or looms....) and things draw to a close for the year, it is timely to re-visit the core skills taught. Let me know if u need me to 'conduct a flashback' on any of the skills below or whether u need me to touch on any particular areas that you think would be of help to you in your preparations for the paper.....You can either raise it in class or 'drop me a howler' at

Skills from the Dark Shadow Manual:

Paper 1:
1) How to Choose and Analyze Qns
2) How to Brainstorm (7 methods)
3) Essay Structure and Signposting Devices
4) Paragraph Development
-elaboration strategies
-Up-sized burger
5) Crafting intro and conclusion
6) Absolute terms
-how to disagree and 'agree'
7) Comparative Qns
8) Executing rebuttals
- 'big' and 'small' pic rebuttal

Paper 2:
1) Question types approach
2) pointers for summary
3) suggestions for paraphrasing
4) AQ
-big and small structure
-how to generate own input
-AQ in 2 parts
-use of common/related quotes
-quoting OVs (instead of SVs)
-how to address 'you'/'yourself'

GP REvision Kit

For those revising for ur Promos, Prelims and 'A' levels:

1) Click HERE to access the core notes for some of the useful major topics. Yes, you've been given  a copy of them before, but in case they're buried somewhere deep underneath ur bed, or ur dog had got to them, here's an emergency set....some of the stuff may be slightly outdated though, so use with discernment....or check with me if unsure.....try to see if  u can apply them to the qns below.....

2) use the following list of essay qns to practise question analysis and brainstorming:
- List of 2012 JC Prelim Essay Qns
- List of Cambridge Essay Qns till 2012 (by topics)

3) If run out of steam or momentum during revision, let me introduce to you a new gem of a find: the Ah Huat White Coffee -- guaranteed to give you the PERK that you need! and set ur head buzzing with ideas, at least for me! and I think it's halal....Simply kopilicious!

Sun Evening Class ALERT! How to OPEN&CLOSE with a BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Click HERE to access......Happy BANGING!!! :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Food/Business Ethics

Those who covered the 2010 compre on Babette's Feast regarding food, as well as essays on environment may find the following articles useful.....
In the compre, the writer raised the point that the food we consume is at odds with major concerns of the world, such as endangered species, cruel treatment of the animals, and exploitation of workers who are not paid fair can see these mentioned in the following articles....
Food ethics, by extension, also relates to business ethics, as some of the food we consume are business empires in themselves.

Article 4 below, which is in Chinese, talks about how the flying foxes are kept in cram cages; they are needed to feed on the coffee beans, as it is from their dung (i.e. waste matter) that the most expensive coffee in he world is derived! Yes, you heard it right! People are willing to pay S$60 per cup of such coffee in top hotels here.....

Sample Qn:
1. Should profits be the sole motive when it comes to running a business?
2. What we need to do is to get the common man on board, otherwise the environment is doomed. Do you agree? (TPJC Prelim 2011)
3. Environmental conservation is futile without government intervention. To what extent is this statement true? (ACJC Prelim 2012)
4. Environmentalism is a lost cause in our consumerist world. Discuss. (ACJC Prelim 2011)

Article 1: (source: Yahoo News Singapore, 22 Nov 2011)

Article 2: Workers go on strike on pig farm near Batam

Article 3
Article 4

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Overthrow the Tyranny of Low Expectations

A useful article (from Straits Times interview with the new Engineering Dean at NTU, who is a woman) to let us re-visit some of the main points regarding gender obstacles plaguing women in the workplace:
1)tyranny of low expectations with regard to women (hence less pressure to excel? and fewer opportunities?)
2)old boy's network/club syndrome
3)distribution of family duties; the burden tend to fall more on the woman than the man in the house

Note the useful stats: of the Fortune 500 companies, only 4% have female CEOs (one of them being Marissa Mayer, CEO Yahoo), and 16% have women on their board.

Open with a BANG using a seemingly unrelated quotation

An interesting look at how this writer uses a seemingly unrelated quotation from Martin Luther King Jr's 'I have a Dream' to lead it towards his stand about having fewer cars, fewer roads in Singapore.

China to cut coal use for cleaner air

For the foreign students who want to use China as an eg, this can be useful.....note the limitation to what China is trying to attempt at the end of the article, useful for rebuttal,,,,,

Thur Evening Class! -- Soft Power

We were discussing this the other evening...u can take a look at this article for a better understanding of soft power....there's a good quotation from Napoleon that demonstrates the difference between hard and soft power, or the limitation of hard power, which requires soft power to complement it: One can build a throne of swords, but one cannot sit on it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More on Media Freedom -- China!

One more article on media freedom HERE, continuing from those two I posted last night....Note the two sides to China's attempt to regulate cyberspace, much like the Vietnam one in the previous post, as well as Singapore's version mentioned in the previous post too. The watchdog role of the media to expose wrongdoings and corruption will inevitably be compromised when media freedom is curbed to prevent criminal activities like circulation of malicious rumours and defamation.....

This is a good article with a useful example. If u can't access the link, email me at and I'll send u a copy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Media Freedom?

Article 1:
Note the example of how the sectarian strife in Myanmar recently where the Buddhists torched and killed the minority Muslims can be attributed to the socially irresponsible media which abused the freedom accorded it....'political and commercial' reasons are cited for the irresponsible reporting that stoked racial hatred in the name of religion and nationalism; the latter identifies itself with the religion of the majority....

Article 2:
The new decree by the Vietnamese govt is to prevent exactly the kind of social instability that has plagued Myanmar, but also to prevent circulation of anti-govt views that will erode the people's trust in the govt. Another important point thrown up to justify restriction over the media is the protection of intellectual property rights.
Note the parallel law Singapore recently introduced to regulate the cyber landscape here. Websites that have more than 50,000 views per month have to apply for a licence with the MDA and comply with certain restrictions, which include the taking down of certain posts which the MDA finds inappropriate and objectionable.

Sample Qn:
1. Should any limits be placed upon media freedom? (NYJC Prelim 2012)
2. The media needs more control, not more freedom. Do you agree? (AJC Prelim 2012)

Article 1

Article 2

SIA studying switch to Biofuels

1) how technology is the cause of environmental degradation but also holds the key to its recovery
2) how the cost obstacle (often a limitation of technology) can be rebutted with govt incentives in the short run and economies of scale in the long run

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Colourful imagery for BANGing!

Note the example of the universal travel adapter mentioned at the end of the article....good for BANGing!