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Sample Essay

Sample Question
You have three children aged 9, 11 and 13 and you want to send them away for a summer holiday. The
advertisement shown below offers something that may be suitable.
Carefully read the advertisement and the notes you have made. Then write your letter to PGL, covering the points
in your notes and adding any relevant information about your three children.
Write a letter of between 120 and 180 words in an appropriate style. Do not include addresses.

Macmillan Publishers 2003.

Sample Essay

71B Warden Road


Bristol
BS6 AG2
The PGL co.
708 Penyard Lane,
Ross-on-Wye,
HR9 5NR
8th May, 2003
Dear Sir,
I am writing about your advertisement, and I would like
to ask more details.
I have three children one daughter and two sons who
are 9, 11 and 13. The oldest son has been playing football and
he likes any sports, and the younger brother keen on fishing,
but he doesnt like any sport. My daughter has no experience
about activities because she has an asthma but it is not hard.
I hope that they can enjoy this opotunity. If they can
join this, would you tell me the place and what kind of
activities they can do and if there is any discount for the
children.
I am looking forward hearing from you.
Faithfully,
Takako Tanaka

Macmillan Publishers 2003.

Assessment

Content
Q. Does the letter do everything the question asks? Are any parts muddled or irrelevant?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
A. The letter does most of what the question requires but it does not ask about availability in August. In
addition, the enquiry about a discount for the children is not put clearly. The real situation is that the parent
wonders whether there would be a discount for sending all three children at once. The letter is rather short, so
these two failures show up all the more. There is no credit for adding addresses, which the question says are
not required.

Organization
Q. Is the letter arranged and paragraphed in an appropriate way?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
A. The letter is arranged and paragraphed in an appropriate way. The first paragraph serves as an introduction
to the whole letter, the second describes the children and the third asks for information.

Sentence structure and cohesion


Q. Are the sentence structures correct and interesting? Are the sentences linked to one another to make the
letter flow smoothly and clearly?
______________________________________________________________________________________
A. The sentence structures are basically correct, though and and but are overused. There are no linking
words like finally but they are not really needed. The letter is brief and simple and progresses in a logical
way; see, for example, how the second and third sentences of the second paragraph follow on from the first.

Range
Q. Is there a good range of vocabulary and is it used correctly?
______________________________________________________________________________________
A. The vocabulary is adequate.

Macmillan Publishers 2003.

Accuracy
Q. Are the verbs and nouns used grammatically? Are there any other points of grammar that need to be
changed and improved?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
A. There are several grammatical errors. The oldest son has been playing football uses an inappropriate verb
form, while the younger brother keen on fishing does not use any verb at all. However, would you tell me the
place and what kind of activities they can do and if there is any discount is good, though it would have been
better to have a comma after place instead of and (see Sentence structure and cohesion). Also, the writer
does not seem to know that John is a boys name and says that her daughter suffers from asthma. Examiners
might not penalize this because there are no other clues to the sufferers sex. However, in the examination as
a whole, it is important to pay attention to this kind of detail where it exists (e.g. his/her pronouns).

Appropriacy of register
Q. Is the style appropriate?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
A. The style and approach are very appropriate.

Macmillan Publishers 2003.