Writing

 

Cambridge English: First (FCE) / Writing

 

 

 

Cambridge English
 

First (FCE)
 

The Ultimate

FCE Writing Guide

                            

by EnglishApple.ru ®

 

 

What's in the Writing paper?

In the two parts of the Cambridge English: First Writing paper, you have to show that you can write different types of text in English. There are two parts and you have 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete both parts.

What's in part 1?

You’re given an essay title and two ideas clearly linked to the title. You write an essay giving your opinions about the title, using the ideas given. You must also add a third, different idea of your own linked to the title. The title will be a subject of general interest – you won’t need any specialised knowledge.

What do I have to practise?

Using language functions, such as evaluating, expressing opinions, hypothesising, justifying, persuading.

How many questions are there?

One compulsory question.

How much do I have to write?

140–190 words

What's in part 2?

You write a text from a choice of text types – article, email/letter, report or review.

To guide your writing, you'll be given information about context, topic purpose and target reader.

What do I have to practise?

Writing different types of text that could be included in the exam.

How many questions are there?

One task to be selected from a choice of three.

How much do I have to write?

140–190 words

 

FCE / WRITING / PART 1

 

Essays

Purpose of an essay

An essay is a piece of writing in which you are asked to discuss a topic that might be controversial or relevant somehow. It usually follows a class discussion.

Language

The language of an essay should be formal. Also, make sure that you justify all your ideas and that you use appropriate connectors to link your sentences and paragraphs.

Structure

When writing an essay, you can choose whether to give it a title or not. This could be the same question provided in the task. As for the structure, it should have an introductory paragraph, and a conclusion at the end. The body should consist of 2 or 3 main paragraphs, depending on how you decide to structure your ideas.

Giving your opinion

Typically, in an essay we tend to express our opinion at the end, although it is acceptable to do so at the beginning, too.

Common topics

Some common topics to write essays about are the environment, health and tness, work and employment, friendships and family, money, celebrities, etc.

 

 

Sample Task 1

In your English class you have been talking about different ways in which you can protect the environment. Now, your English teacher has asked you to write an essay.

Write an essay using all the notes and give reasons for your point of view.

 

What can people do to help protect the environment?

Notes:

1. Recycle

2. Using bicycles and walking

3. ........... (your own idea)

Write your essay.

 

Sample Answer 1

Protecting the Environment

One of the things that worries people most nowadays is the environment. In the last few decades, humans have been polluting way too much, which has had a negative effect on the environment. For this reason, we must protect it from now on.

First, we ought to start paying attention to the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. By doing so, we will reduce the quantity of rubbish, we will not throw away so many things and we will be able to recycle most of our waste.

Second, a very good idea is to stop using cars so much and start cycling or walking a little more. For example, instead of commuting by car, we can try to do it on foot or by bike.

Finally, if we really want to change things, we should teach young pupils about the dangers of contamination and pollution. It’s the only way to change the future, because they are the future citizens of the world.

In conclusion, I believe that if we do these three things, we can still prevent humans from destroying the environment.

 

 

Sample Task 2

In your English class you have been talking about work in your country. Now, your English teacher has asked you to write an essay.

Write an essay using all the notes and give reasons for your point of view.

 

Which is more important: to earn a high salary or to enjoy doing your job?

Notes:

1. Type of work

2. Time you spend working

3. ........... (your own idea)

Write your essay.

 

Sample Answer 2

Enjoying Your Work or Earning a High Salary?

Nowadays, people find it difficult to get a suitable job. Some people think the salary is too low, while others may have a good salary but do not like what they do. However, there are other things to consider, too.

Firstly, we need to think about how long we work for. If we work long hours, the salary should be good. However, maybe the most important thing if we work a lot is to enjoy our job. Otherwise, we will get tired quickly.

On the other hand, the type of work is also important. For instance, if we do a job we like but it is dangerous, the salary should be good. If we are not paid generously, maybe it’s not worth risking our lives.

Finally, we should also take into account holiday periods. If our job has few holiday periods during the year, maybe we can accept a higher salary in exchange.

On the whole, I am of the opinion that in order to be happy, the salary is less important than enjoying the job. However, it is difficult to be happy working for peanuts.

 

Sample Task 3

In your English class you have been talking about friendships. Now, your English teacher has asked you to write an essay.

Write an essay using all the notes and give reasons for your point of view.

 

What should we do to make and keep friends? 


Notes:

1. Being honest

2. Keeping in touch

3. ........... (your own idea)

Write your essay.

 

Sample Answer 3

Making and Keeping Friends

After family members, friends are the most important people in our lives. So we can all agree that making and keeping friends is essential. But what can we do to make friends and not lose them?

First of all, whenever we make a new friend, we must be honest and always tell the truth. It is not advisable to lie to your new friends because if they nd out, you will lose them.

Another important aspect is keeping in touch. Calling and meeting your friends regularly is the only way of keeping the friendship alive. However, this can be dif cult if they live far, so texting is another acceptable alternative.

Finally, helping your friends when they need you is also an essential part of any friendship. As a result, your friend will value you and your friendship will become stronger.

To sum up, I should say that honesty and keeping in touch are very good ways of supporting your friends. However, the best thing you can do is to love them and help them whenever they need you.

 

 
Useful Expressions

 

Sample 1:

- One of the things that
- In the last few decades,
- For this reason,
- First, / Second, / Third,
- Finally,
-
By doing so,
- For example,
- In conclusion,

Sample 2:

- Nowadays,
- However,
- Firstly, / Secondly, / Thirdly,
- Otherwise,
- On the other hand,
- For instance,
- Finally,
- Take into account
- On the whole,
- I am of the opinion,
- In order to

Sample 3:

- we can all agree that
- First of all,
- It is not advisable to
- However,
- Finally,
- As a result,
- To sum up,

More Useful Expressions - Linking devices:

- on the one hand, / on the other hand,
- nevertheless
- Even so,
-
Even though
- However,
- In spite of
- Despite
- Although
- Because of this/that
- Therefore,
- It is therefore
- Thus
- As a result,
- As a result of this/that - For this/that reason,
- Consequently,
- As a consequence,

-

- Giving someone else’s opinion:

- Some people say
- Many experts claim - According to
- It is said that
- It is believed
- Itisafactthat
- The truth is that

Providing examples:

- Such as
- For example
- For instance
- Like

Concluding:

- In conclusion,
- I am of the opinion that

- On the whole, I would say that
- In my view,
- The way I see it,
- To sum up, if you ask me

 

 

FCE / WRITING / PART 2
 

Articles

Purpose of an article

The goal of an article is usually to talk about a topic you like or in which you are an expert. Also, your article should aim to keep the reader engaged and, in some cases, recommend whatever it is you are talking about.

Language

Articles are usually expected to be less formal than essays. Because they are intended to entertain, you can use more relaxed language, using contractions, phrasal verbs and more informal words. Also, it is common to use rhetorical questions and exclamation marks to keep the reader engaged or to make a point. You should address the reader directly and you can use humour where you think it’s appropriate.

Structure

Articles usually have a title. If possible, this title should be catchy so it grabs the reader’s attention. Then, you should have a paragraph for each aspect you are writing about. In your conclusion, you might be expected make a recommendation. It is a good idea to nish your article with a rhetorical question.

Giving your opinion

An article is all about your opinion, so feel free to give it wherever you feel it’s necessary. Usually, you are asked to write articles about topics you like or are

familiar with, so it makes more sense for your opinions to be generally positive. An article is a very personal piece of writing, so you can use rst-person sentences freely.

Common topics

You may be asked to write articles on a variety of topics: the Internet, health and tness, music, plays, hobbies, etc.

 

Sample Task 1

A local magazine has asked readers to write an article about their favourite things about the Internet. Write the article talking about the things you do with the Internet and recommend a website to other readers.

Write your article.


Sample Answer 1

The Internet: A Great Invention

The Internet has changed the way we live. It started as something that we could access only through a computer, but nowadays it is everywhere, and I love it!

One of the cool things about the world wide web is that you can look up anything you want and nd out the answer straight away. Isn’t that fantastic? For example, imagine you are arguing with your friends about how to do something. Easy solution! Go online and nd the answer.

However, the greatest thing about the Internet is how you can learn tons of things very cheaply or even for free! In fact, my favourite website is www.udemy.com, where people register to teach and learn about different things: music, website design, making apps, history, etc. So I totally recommend it to everyone!

In conclusion, the Internet has a lot of great things. For me, the best are nding information and learning online. What about you? What are your favourite things about it?

 

Sample Task 2

 

Fitness bloggers wanted!

Our tness magazine is looking for in uencers to write an article on how to stay t when you are a college student. So if you have any cool ideas, send us an article in which you:

Explain the type of exercise you recommend Recommend a healthy but cheap diet
Give other ideas you like.

Write your article.


Sample Answer 2

Keep It Healthy!

Are you a busy college student? Do you struggle to keep t and eat healthily? Don’t worry! I am going to tell you exactly what you should do. Keep on reading, you will thank me later!

First of all, you must start moving your body. You could go to the gym, if you have the time. But if you’re busy – you’re a student, you should be busy! – don’t sign up for a gym. Instead, start cycling to college and give up using elevators. You’ll see how your tness improves quickly!

Secondly, your diet is just as important. I suppose you live on a low budget, so I suggest you don’t eat out much. Eating out can be unhealthy and expensive. So go to your local supermarket and buy healthy, inexpensive vegetables and fruit.

Finally, pay attention to how you sit when you are studying. Posture is super important to feel well, especially if you are a student or an of ce worker.

If you follow all these tips, I’m sure you will keep t easily! And if you already tried that, let me know how you feel now.

 

Sample Task 3

Are you a music fan?

Write an article for our magazine and tell us about:
the music you like and why
where see live music with friends
music in your country

Write your article.
 

Sample Answer 3

Music Is My Life!

Since I was a young boy, I have listened to music almost every day of my life.

Impressive, right? I know, I am a big music fan and I’d love to share my views with you.

Although I like pop music – it’s catchy and upbeat – my favourite kind of music is indie. I love indie because it’s a mixture of rock and pop, so it has the energy of rock but more likeable melodies.

Because I like listening to music so much, I love going to live gigs with my friends! In my town there are many places to watch bands play, but the best one is the Irish Pub in the city centre. They always have cool Irish singer-songwriters playing live at weekends.

As for music in my country, I don’t like it much, because I am not very keen on amenco. However, there are also many new pop bands which play really well.

All in all, I can say that music is my life. In fact, the only time I’m not listening to music is when I am sleeping! What about you? Do you love music as much as me?

 

Useful Expressions

 

Sample 1:

-  I love it!
- One of the cool things about
- straight away
- Isn’t that fantastic?
- For example,
- Imagine that
- However,
- the greatest thing about
- In fact,
- I totally recommend it to everyone! - In conclusion,
- For me,
- What about you?

Sample 2:

- Don’t worry!
- Keep on reading, you will thank me later!
- First of all,
- Instead,
- Secondly,
- Finally,
- pay attention to
- super important
- especially if
- If you follow all these tips, I’m sure you will

Sample 3:

- Since I was a young boy,
- Impressive, right?
- I’d love to share my views with you.
- Although
- my favourite kind of
- but the best one is
- As for
- However,
- All in all,
- In fact
- What about you

More Useful Expressions - Rhetorical questions:

- Have you ever...?
- Do you ever wonder...?
- What do you think about...?
- Are you a... like me?
- Are you one of those people who...?
- What would you say if I told you that...?

- Introducing different paragraphs/ideas:

- Firstly,
- First,
- In the rst place,
- The coolest thing about
- What attracts me most
- To begin with,
- One thing to consider is
- Another consideration,
- Secondly,
- As for
- As to
- Also, as regards
- In addition,
- In addition to that,
- Moreover,

- Concluding

- In conclusion,
- On the whole,
- Tosumup,
- To conclude
- Allinall
- ... you will not regret it!

 

 

Reviews

Purpose of a review

The purpose of any review is to talk about a topic in detail, assessing its pros and cons, and making some recommendations. Also, given its similarity to articles, reviews are expected to entertain the reader while being more informative.

Language

Reviews tend to be quite similar to articles, so the language can be standard or even a little informal. You should address the reader directly, in the second person, and you can use humour if you think it’s appropriate.

Structure

Every review needs a title. This should be as catchy as possible, to grab the reader’s attention from the beginning. In the introduction, you should introduce what you are talking about in a leisurely way, trying to entertain the reader. Each paragraph between the introduction and the conclusion should deal with a different aspect. And you should wait until the conclusion to make a recommendation.

Giving your opinion

Just like with articles, in a review you are expected to give your opinion throughout the whole writing, although the recommendation is expected to happen at the end. A review is very personal, so you can use rst-person sentences freely.

Common topics

Review tasks usually ask you to write about restaurants, books, lms, series, musical events, plays, etc.

 

Sample Task 1

Restaurant Review

You have found the following advertisement online:

Write a review of a restaurant.

 

Sample Answer 1

Restaurant Review

Foster’s Hollywood

Being a huge fan of traditional American fast food and restaurant styles, it’s no wonder that my favourite restaurant in Granada is Foster’s Hollywood.

Located smack in the middle of the city, this fast-food chain serves a wide variety of mouthwatering, American dishes at a reasonable price. These range from typical Tex-Mex nachos or French fries to more elaborate meals like traditional, homemade Bourbon steak. And if you’re hungry, it’s the perfect place to go, as their servings are absolutely huge!

Another cool thing about this place is its magni cent decor. If you’re a lm buff, you will quickly fall in love with this place, since all the walls are covered in famous movie posters! Apart from that, it’s got a spacious dining hall, super friendly staff and an outdoor terrace which is absolutely fantastic on summer nights!

The only negative thing I can say is that it is right next to a gym, which sometimes makes me feel guilty for eating so much!

Nevertheless, Foster’s Hollywood offers delicious meals in an unbeatable atmosphere, so you should de nitely give it a try. I promise you won’t regret it!

 

Sample Task 2

Film Review

Your local lm club is asking its members to write a lm review to post on its website. Write a review of a lm you have watched recently in which say whether you liked it or not and if you would recommend it to other members of the club.

 

Sample Answer 2

Film Review

Layer Cake

Did you know that Daniel Craig was already famous before playing James Bond? In fact, my favourite Daniel Craig movie is called “Layer Cake”, which he did a long time before becoming the most famous spy in the world.

Set in central London, “Layer Cake” tells the story of a drug dealer (played by Craig) and how he tries to give up his drug empire. However, not everything goes as planned and he gets into some serious trouble with some of his business partners.

The main characters are wonderfully played by the actors, who give an exceptional performance. However, some of the secondary roles seemed a little dull and two-dimensional.

As for the plot, it’s a real nail-biter, as you never know what is going to happen with the main characters. In fact, you will never be able to guess the ending!

If you are a fan of action movies, I completely recommend that you watch this lm. I am sure you will have a great time and it will be an unforgettable movie.

 

Sample Task 3

Other Reviews

A local campsite is running a competition in collaboration with a local magazine. They’ve asked you to write a review of the campsite, talking about the area and facilities and stating whether you would recommend it to other campers.

 

Sample Answer 3

Other Reviews

Holiday Campsite

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been really keen on camping. Every summer, my mum and dad would pack our tent and drive us to a different campsite across the country. Or at least that was the case until Holiday Campsite opened nearby.

Holiday Campsite is a camping facility that opened only a few years ago and really close to our town. But despite being so close, when you’re there you feel completely isolated from the outside world. This is so because it is almost surrounded by a beautiful forest which blocks the noise from the town.

The facilities at Holiday Campsite are simply amazing. There is something for everyone. If you like playing soccer, there’s a football pitch for you. If you prefer swimming, you can try their large swimming pools. And if exercising is not your cup of tea, simply chill out in one of the spacious relaxing areas they have.

So if you’re into camping and want to have an inexpensive holiday nearby, I suggest you go for this amazing campsite. You really don’t want to miss out!

 

Useful Expressions:

Sample 1:

Restaurant Review

- Being a huge fan of..., it’s no wonder that
- Located smack in the middle of the city,
- a wide variety
- mouthwatering dishes
- at a reasonable price
- their servings are absolutely huge
- Another cool thing about
- its magni cent decor
- you will quickly fall in love with this place - Apart from that,
- a spacious dining hall
- super friendly staff
- absolutely fantastic
- The only negative thing I can say is that - Nevertheless,
- unbeatable atmosphere
- you should de nitely give it a try
- I promise you won’t regret it!

Sample 2:

Film Review

- Did you know that...?
- In fact,
- Set in central London, “Layer Cake” tells the story of
- However, not everything goes as planned
- The main characters are wonderfully played
- dull and two-dimensional
- As for the plot
- it’s a real nail-biter
- you will never be able to guess the ending
- If you’re a fan of action movies,
- I completely recommend that you watch this lm.

 

- Sample 3:

Other Review

- Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been really keen on
- But despite being
- simply amazing

There is something for everyone.
- your cup of tea
- So if you’re into camping
- inexpensive
- nearby
- You really don’t want to miss out!

More Useful Expressions:

- Things you like:

- What really caught my eye
- What I enjoyed most about
- The thing I liked most
- I was really pleased with
- I was really keen on
- The coolest thing was
- The best thing about it is
- I got a lot of enjoyment out of
- I was completely gripped by

- Things you don’t like:

- However, all that glitters is not gold.
- I was really disappointed by
- I didn’t enjoy
- I was quite unimpressed by
- The worst part/bit was
- It was simply not good enough
- The worst thing is
- Something I didn’t like was

- Film & Book reviews:

- Characters, actors and others:
- the main character
- the main actor
- protagonist
- played by
- the characters are believable
- the main characters are well-crafted
- some characters are a little two-dimensional
- villain / hero / heroine / anti-hero
- (written) by
- directed by
- played by
- starring
- the lead role is played by
- star actor/actress
- play a secondary role
- author
- scriptwriters
- a production by

- The main action:

- The book/ lm/story is set in
- The action takes place in
- the plot
- The plot centres around
- The story focuses on the adventures of
- it’s a comedy/drama/thriller/romance
- the setting
- based on a true story
- inspired by true events
- a classic
- a historical novel/ film
- the plot
- fiction / factual

- Describing the story

- it’s a bestseller
- chapter
- ending
- a nail-biter
- a nail-biting conclusion
- a cliff-hanger ending
- a shocking twist in the tail
- action-packed
- addictive
- amusing
- adventurous
- (un)believable
- breath-taking
- exhilarating
- hilarious
- witty
- a page-turner
- a tearjerker
- a laugh-a-minute
- I couldn’t put it down - a slow start
- a gripping climax

Restaurant reviews:
- The food:
- a wide variety of mouth-watering starters/ main courses/ deserts
- I ordered ... accompanied by a side dish of ...
- the main course consisted of
- to be starving hungry / to be dying of hunger
- poor quality
- stodgy / bland/ tasty/ delicious/ exquisite/ processed food
- home-made / take-away / ready meal
- large selection of ...

- The staff:

- head chef
- waiters
- staff
- service
- attentive/ friendly/ charming/ helpful/ caring
- forgettable/ acceptable
- can hardly get a smile/ inattentive / slow/ disappointing

- The atmosphere / decor:

- location
- setting
- attractive setting
- decor
- magni cent decor/ modern/ antique/ cosy / minimalist / attractive
- spacious / spotless
- dull/ dusty/ lthy
- indoor / outdoor

- The price:

- reasonably priced / cheap / inexpensive
- worth the money / good value for money
- expensive / overpriced / not worth the money / pricy
- poor value for money
- book in advance
- always fully booked

- Recommending:

- This book/ lm/restaurant would be absolutely perfect for
- I would have no hesitation in recommending this book/ lm/restaurant to
- In conclusion, I recommend this book/ lm/restaurant to anyone who
- I would highly / strongly recommend...
- I strongly advise you to...
- Everyone should try it / give it a try
- ... not to be missed!
- I certainly wouldn’t recommend...
- I strongly advise you against / not to...
- You should probably give ... a miss.

 

Report

Purpose of a report

Reports are usually written to analyse a previous experience you have had, like a trip, or a place you have recently visited. They tend to look at something that has passed, which you have to analyse and then make some recommendations for improvement.

Language

The language of a report is expected to be formal and objective. For this reason, you should avoid including yourself or your views in most of your sentences. However, you must give your opinion in the conclusion or recommendations paragraph.

Structure

The report is the only piece of writing which has a title and subheadings. Each paragraph should have a subheading which summarises its main topic. Also, the introduction can always be “Introduction” and the conclusion, “Conclusion” or “Recommendations”.

Giving your opinion

There are two main ways to give your opinion in a report. You can give it at the end of each paragraph, saying how you would solve or improve each aspect. Or you can give leave it until the nal paragraph, where you can summarise how you would solve or improve each aspect.

Common topics

Some common topics for reports include talking about visits to museums, local businesses, trips and excursions, important events, etc.

 

Sample Task 1

The gym you work for has been losing members recently and would like to know why they are leaving. The gym manager has asked you to write a report about why these customers are leaving. In your report you should specify what the problems are and should give recommendations for improvement.

 

Sample Answer 1

Introduction

Improving Our Gym

The aim of this report is to explain the main reasons why members are leaving the gym. After interviewing some clients, we have identi ed some serious problems.

Limited opening hours

Some members have complained that the gym opens a little late for them. For this reason, workers cannot exercise before going to work. If the gym opened at 7 a.m., clients could exercise easily before going to work.

The changing rooms

Many of the lockers are broken so customers cannot leave their belongings in a safe place. Also, some of the showers are not working properly so members have to queue before having a shower. In order to solve this, I suggest replacing all lockers and showers immediately.

Lack of parking spaces

Some previous members have joined gyms which have a parking lot. Although we cannot build a parking lot, we can offer a parking area for bicycles. As a result, this might encourage members to use their bikes to come to the gym.

Conclusion

To sum up, I believe that if we take care of these problems, members will be happier and will decide to stay with us.

 

Sample Task 2

Your college has just published the rst issue of the new college magazine. The organisers are interested in knowing what students thought about it, so they have asked you to write a report. In your report, you should talk about what the students liked and disliked about the articles, the sports section and the news section. Then, you should make suggestions on how to improve the magazine.

 

Sample Answer 2

Introduction

The New College Magazine

The purpose of this report is to outline students’ opinions about the new college magazine, and to make recommendations based on their views.

The articles

Most students thought the articles were interesting and well written. However, they did not talk about modern topics, so some students found this part of the magazine a little boring.

The sports section

It is thought that the sports section is good, but most articles were about football or basketball. This is not a good thing because most of our sporty students play rugby, not football or basketball.

The news section

Many students complained about the news section, because it only focused on news about the college. These students were expecting to read some news about the city, too.

Recommendations

In order to solve the problems above, I recommend taking some measures. Firstly, article writers should focus more on technology and other modern issues. Secondly, we should consider writing more about rugby and less about other sports. Finally, we should include some news about our city. If we do these things, the magazine will be more interesting to our students.

 

Sample Task 3

You have visited a new car museum in your town with your school. Now your teacher would like you to write a report talking the things you found most and least interesting and whether you recommend the visit to future students.

 

Sample Answer 3

Introduction

The Car Museum

The aim of this report is to assess last week’s visit to the car museum and to decide whether it would be a good idea to visit it in the future.

Interesting exhibitions

All the students who visited the museum agreed that the best part of it was the 19th-century cars exhibition. It displayed some models of the rst cars that arrived in Spain. As a result, we learned a lot about the history of cars in our country. Another interesting exhibition was the one about sports cars, which we all enjoyed.

Guided tour and less interesting exhibitions

Although most displays were ne, most of us did not enjoy the cars exhibited in the exhibition of the fastest cars of the 20th century. We believe that there is a lack of faster and more interesting models. Also, the live talks by some of the guides were a little too long and boring.

Conclusion

Despite the boring talks and some dull exhibitions, I recommend this visit to all students in our school. I believe most students will nd it quite interesting and educational.

Useful Expressions

-

Sample 1:

- The aim of this report is to
- After interviewing some..., we have identi ed some serious problems.
- Some members have complained that
- For this reason,
- Also,
- In order to solve this, I suggest
- immediately
- Although
- As a result,
- To sum up, I believe that if we take care of these problems,
 

Sample 2:

- The purpose of this report is to outline..., and to make recommendations...
- However, ..., so...
- It is thought that
- This is not a good thing because
- Many students complained about..., because
- In order to solve the problems above, I recommend taking some measures.
- Firstly,
- Secondly,
- Finally,
- If we do these things,

- Sample 3:

- The aim of this report is to assess... and decide whether
- All the students... agreed that the best part of it was
- It displayed
- As a result,
- Another interesting
- Although..., most of us
- We believe that there is a lack of
- Also,
- Despite..., I recommend this visit
- interesting and educational
 

More Useful Expressions

- Purpose, result and consequence:

- As a result (of this),
- This has resulted in
- As a consequence,
- Therefore
- It is therefore necessary to
- For this reason,
- because of
- in order to
- in order for
- so that
- so

- Recommending:

- I suggest/recommend
- I would like to suggest/recommend
- I therefore suggest
- I advise you (not) to
- I believe it would be bene cial
- It would be advisable to
- You may wish/want to consider
- If you wish to..., you should
- If we wish to..., we ought to

Starting your report:

- The aim of this report is to
- As requested, I am writing this report to
- This report aims to outline/assess
- The purpose behind this report is to

 

 

Letters & Emails

Purpose of a letter or email

The purpose of the letter or email will depend on each task. Some tasks ask you to provide your friend with some important information, while others will ask you to apply for a job, complain about something or ask for information.

Language

The language depends entirely on the type of task, but in general you should use an informal style only if you are writing to a friend or close relative. Otherwise, you should stick to more formal language, which happens in letters of inquiry, application or complaint.

Structure

All letters or emails should have a similar structure. You need an opening and closing formula; an introductory and closing paragraph; and a body consisting of as many paragraphs as ideas you are asked to discuss.

Common topics

Many letters or emails to friends and relatives include giving advice on a certain subject like visiting your town or keeping t, or maybe some tips on how to deal with a problem. As for formal letters and emails, they usually ask you to apply for a job or a volunteering programme, or to complain about something or ask for information. Sometimes these topics may appear in combination.

 

Sample Task 1

Informal Email

An English friend of yours is visiting your city next summer. Write to him and tell him about the places he should visit and the clothes he should wear. You must also offer him to stay with you during his stay.

 

Sample Answer 1

Informal Email

Dear Jack,

It’s great to hear from you after so long! How are you doing? I’m so excited about your visit next summer. Let me give you some tips so you can get ready.

First of all, there are some places which you can’t miss! For example, here in Granada you should totally visit the Alhambra, an ancient Muslim palace. It was nominated to become one of the new seven wonders of the world. Also, don’t forget to check out St Nicholas viewpoint – you’ll have the best views of the Alhambra and the whole city.

As for clothes, remember that it can get super hot in Granada, especially for foreigners! So forget about long sleeves or trousers and just pack some shorts, T- shirts and sandals. Oh, and remember to bring a cap, too!

By the way, do you have a place to stay? If you want, I could put you up in my place. I have a spare room and it would be great to have you here.

Anyway, I must dash now. Drop me a line soon and let me know what you think. Best wishes,
Carlos

 

 

Sample Task 2

Letter of Application

You have seen the following advertisement in a newspaper:

Write a letter applying to become a volunteer.

 

Sample Answer 2

Letter of Application

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

We are the National Diabetes Organisation and we are organising a camp for diabetic children. We need volunteers to work with us during the camp. Your responsibilities will include:

- Teaching children about diabetes
- Playing games with them

Also, you should speak several languages because it’s an international camp.

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing with regard to the advertisement posted in yesterday’s newspaper about the camp for diabetic children. I would like to take part as a volunteer, if it is possible.

As you can see in my résumé, I completed a degree in nursing, so I am quali ed to teach children about it. Besides, I suffer from diabetes, so I am quite familiar with this illness and how to deal with it.

Furthermore, I have some experience organising entertaining events for children, as I worked at a regular camp for children last summer. For this reason, I am capable of organising and playing fun games with children.

Finally, I must say that I can speak 3 languages, since I have spent some time abroad, in England and Germany. Therefore, apart from Spanish, I am uent in English and German.

Can I ask about the duration of the camp? What is the daily timetable?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

José 

 

Sample Task 3

Email of Application and Inquiry

You have come across the following advertisement online:

FITNESS SUMMER CAMP

Do you need to get t in a short period of time? Do you have experience exercising but want to learn even more? Come and join our tness summer camp. It will be a great experience and you will return home feeling better than ever and knowing much more about healthy lifestyles.

 

Write an email to nd out more about the camp.

In you email, you should:

- explain why you would benefit from this camp
- ask for more information about the diet and accommodation

 

Sample Answer 3

Email of Inquiry

To whom it may concern,

My name is Lindsay and I am writing regarding your tness summer camp. I am really interested in joining in and becoming t during the summer.

Since I was a child, I have always been a sporty person. I have done many different sports, from golf to running or kayaking. So I am quite familiar with exercising in general. However, a couple of years ago I suffered a knee injury and have not been able to do any sport since then. But now I am fully recovered and I am ready to become t again. And your camp is a perfect opportunity for me.

Also, I am writing to enquire about several aspects of the camp. Firstly, I would like to have more information about the diet we would follow at the camp. I am a vegetarian, so I would appreciate a variety of vegetarian dishes. Furthermore, what is the accommodation like? Will we sleep in huts or tents? If you could answer these questions, I would be really grateful.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,


Dave

 

Sample 1:

- Dear Jack,
- It’s great to hear from you after so long!
- How are you doing?
- I’m so excited about
- Let me give you some tips
- First of all,
- For example,
- you should totally visit
- Also, don’t forget to
- As for
- especially
- So forget about
- Oh, and remember to
- By the way,
- If you want,
- Anyway, I must dash now.
- Drop me a line soon
- let me know what you think
- Best wishes,

Sample 2:

- Dear Sir or Madam,
- I am writing with regard to the advertisement posted
- I would like to take part..., if it is possible.
- As you can see in my résumé,
- I completed a degree in..., so I am quali ed to
- Besides,
- Furthermore, I have some experience
- For this reason, I am capable of
- Finally, I must say that
- Therefore,
- CanIask
- I look forward to hearing from you.
- Yours faithfully,

Sample 3:

- To whom it may concern
-
My name is... and I am writing regarding
- I am really interested in
- Since I was a child, I have always
- So I am quite familiar with
- However,
- Also, I am writing to enquire about
- Firstly,
- Furthermore,
- If you could answer these questions, I would be really grateful.
- I look forward to hearing from you.
- Yours faithfully,

Useful Formal Expressions:

- Greetings:

- Dear Sir or Madam, You don’t know the name of the addressee.
- Dear Madam, You don’t know the name of the addressee.
- Dear Sir, You don’t know the name of the addressee.
- Dear Mr Johnson,
- Dear Ms Marshall, 

Reasons for writing:

- I am writing with regard to the advertisement
- I am writing regarding your advertisement
- I am writing in order to complain about
- I am writing to complain about
- I am writing in relation to
- I am writing to enquire about
- I am writing to receive more/further information about
- I am writing to suggest
- I am writing to offer suggestions
- I am writing to inform you about
- I am writing to provide you with information about
- I am writing to let you know that
- I am writing to request permission to

 

Asking for information:

- The first thing I would like to know is
- First of all, I would like to know
- I wonder if you would mind telling me
- Could you please let me know (if/whether)...?
- Could you also tell me...?
- Would you mind telling me...?
- I would also like to know if...?
- I was hoping that you could tell me

- Organising paragraphs:

- First of all,
- Firstly,
- In the rst place,
- My rst complaint is
- The rst problem is
- My rst concern is
- Secondly,
- In the second place,
- In addition (to this/that)
- Another possibility is
- A further possibility is
- I would also like to let you know that
- I would also like to inform you about
- Another piece of information that might be useful - Finally,
- In conclusion,

Ending the email or letter:

- I look forward to hearing from you.
- I look forward to your reply.
- I look forward to receiving your reply.
- I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
- I look forward to receiving your explanation.
- I look forward to receiving a full refund.
- If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
- If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.
- I am at your disposal should you require further information.
- Should you require further information, I am at your entire disposal.
- I would like to thank you in advance for Thanking you in advance,

Closing the email or letter:

- Yours faithfully, You don’t know the name of the addressee.
- Yours sincerely,
- Sincerely,

Useful Informal Expressions:

Greetings:

- Dear Sarah,
- Hello Sara,
- Hi Sara,

Introductory paragraph:

- How’s it going?
- How are you doing?
- How are things?
- How are things going?
- It’s great to hear from you!
- Long time, no see!
- Sorry I haven’t written for ages, but
- I’m really sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you.

Reacting to good news:

- I’m glad to hear that
- I’m so happy that
- Great news about your
- I’m very happy to hear about - It’s so great that

Reacting to bad news:

- I’m so sorry to hear about
- Sorry to read about
- Ican’ttellyouhowsadIamthat
- I’m extremely sorry to hear about
- It’s just awful to hear that

- Introducing paragraphs:

- Oh, by the way,
- Hey, did you hear about...? - One more thing,
- Asfor
- By the way, tell me about

- Ending the email or letter:

- Well, I gotta go now.
- Anyway, I should get going.
- I’ve got to leave you now.
- I’d better get going.
- Well, it’s time to go
- Make sure you write soon
- Don’t forget to drop me a line soon. - Look after yourself.
- Take care of your self.

- Closing the email or letter:

- All my love,
- Love,
- Lots of love,
- All the best,
- Take care,
- Best wishes,
- Best,
- Regards,
- Kind regards,


Some additional examples of essay writing.

 

Essay
Model question

TASK

In your English class, you have been talking about the subject of cultural heritage. Now your English teacher has asked you to write an essay.

Write an essay using all the notes and give reasons for your point of view.

Is is a good thing that countries spend a lot of money on their heritage?

Notes

Write about:
1. preserving the past
2. investing in the future
3. ________ (your own idea)

Write your essay in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.

 

 

Essay
Model answer

Most countries spend large sums of money protecting their national heritage. However, there is strong argument that we should look forwards and not backwards, spending less money on preserving the past and more on securing our future.

On the one hand, it is important that we remember our heritage. Once it is lost, it is lost forever. Caring for important monuments helps with this. It also attracts tourists, which has an economic benefit for everyone.

On the other hand, governments spend a lot of money on museums and keeping historic sites in good condition when poor people need houses to live in and businesses need better roads for transporting their goods.

Another argument is that by making heritage sites attractive for tourists -for example, by putting on entertainment – we give a very untrue picture of the past and sometimes damage the local environment.

To conclude, while there are strong arguments for not spending too much on preserving the past, I believe it is important to protect the most famous sites for the future generations but it is not realistic to try and save everything. We need to invest in the future too.


 

Essay
Model question

TASK

In your English class, you have recently had a discussion about science and young people. Now your English teacher has asked you to write an essay.

Write an essay using all the notes and give reasons for your point of view.

Science is very important in the 21st century. How do you think it could be made more appealing to young people?

Notes

Write about:
1. television programmes
2. interactive museums
3. ________ (your own idea)

Write your essay in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.

 

Essay 2
Model answer

Although young people love gadgets and technology, some see science as uninteresting and ‘uncool’. Over time, the number of young people, particularly girls, pursuing science and technology studies and careers has dropped.

One way in which science could be made more attractive would be to have lively television programmes presented by celebrities, with subjects which were relevant to the experience of the young. We live in a celebrity culture and children identify with well-known young people.

Another idea would be to set up interactive science museums in every town, where parents could take their children. It is much better to teach children the principles of science through hands-on experiments than to lecture them in a classroom.

Of course, there would be more incentives if the average scientit were better paid and young people were made aware of the range of jobs available. A lot of people are put off a scientific career because they think it means working in a badly paid job in a boring laboratory.

Whichever way we choose, it is vital that more young people are attracted to science, since society’s prosperity depends largely on continuous scientific progress.


 

Essay 3
Model question

TASK

In your English class, you have recently had a discussion about relationships. Now your teacher has asked you to write an essay.

Write an essay using all the notes and give reasons for your point of view.

Is it better to live alone or with someone else?

Notes

Write about:
1. independence
2. money
3. ________ (your own idea)

Write your essay in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.

 

Essay 3
Model answer

Nowadays more people are deciding to live by themselves. Some people claim this is more enjoyable and in young people it develops a sense of responsibility, whereas others disagree. I personally tend to believe that for me, being a young individual, it is better to live with someone else.

Firstly, it can be quite lonely to live by yourself. By nature, we are social animals. Secondly, it is more expensive because you have to pay all the rent and bills, so you have less money to enjoy life. Last but not least, it can be quite hard to find a nice flat for one person, so you might not be able to live in the best area.

On the other hand, the main advantage of living alone is that there is nobody to tell you what to do, so you can live your life in your own way. What is more, you can organise or decorate your house as you want. There is no one else to disagree with.

To sum up, there are strong arguments on both sides. In conclusion, I believe that while living alone is better for some older people who have more money and like privacy, this option is not the most suitable for young people who need to share the costs and at the same time enjoy parties and social life.

 


 

Essay 4
Model question

TASK

In your English class you have been talking about happiness. Now your English teacher has asked you to write an essay.

Write an essay using all the notes and give reasons for your point of view.

Whether you are happy or not depends on the personality you are born with. Do you agree?

Notes

Write about:
1. money
2. health
3. ________ (your own idea)

Write your essay in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.

 

Essay 4
Model answer

Some people claim they are naturally cheerful. However, in my view, how we lead our lives is the main reason we are either happy or unhappy.

Take money, for example. Money doesn’t automatically make us happy. In fact, it makes some people very unhappy because they are frightened of losing what they’ve got. On the other hand, if we’re not greedy and don’t spend it foolishly, it can reduce stress and give us security.

Then consider health. If we eat badly, get too little sleep and don’t exercise, our health will decline and make us miserable. Eating well and going for lovely long walks in the countryside can make us feel better generally.

The third thing I think is important is to have a positive outlook on life. We should all enluy things like music and being with our friends. At the same time, it’s important to spend time alone and live as simply as possible, which is not easy in the 21st century!

All these make a big difference to our happiness, no matter what our natural temperament.