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FCE

WRITING GUIDE

Structure & tasks


Text type definitions
Tips for the Writing Paper
Essay, Report, Article, Review, Informal & Formal letter: guidelines, useful
phrases, correction grid, samples & activities
Avoiding repetition
Formal & Informal Language
Punctuation rules
Erro correction code
Assessment scale

FCE TIPS FOR WRITING PAPER


(1h 20 min)

DO

Read the whole question thoroughly and underline important parts.


Follow your Writing guideline for structure, language, etc
Make a plan for each answer, including ALL points.
Expand the points using relevant ideas and information.
Write in paragraphs, whenever appropriate.
Use a range of vocabulary, even if you are unsure of the correct spelling.
Check tense endings, plural forms and word order in sentences.
Check irregular past tenses and question formation.
Use language that is appropriately formal or informal for the task.
Choose a question you feel confident you can write about in Part 2.
Write clearly, so that the examiner can read your answer and check your
punctuation (see Punctuation rules)
Check that you have answered the question and covered all the points.
Use the writing checklist to check your own writing (see Writing lesson
plan at level B2)

DON'T

Don't misspell key words which appear on the question paper.


Don't use the exact words from the question paper too much.
Don't mix formal and informal language.
Don't use formal linkers in an informal letter.
Don't waste time writing addresses for a letter as they are not required.
Don't worry if you run slightly over the word limit.

ESSAY GUIDELINES

Draw an outline (7 )
Write your essay (25)
Check spelling and punctuation (2)
Writing checklist:see Checklist for writing B2 (5)
Check number of words: 140-190 (1)

DEFINTION: a piece of writing written for a teacher to give your opinion and arguments to support it
(reasons).
FUNCTIONS:
Agreeing and/or disagreeing
Giving information/explanations
Exemplifying
Comparing & contrasting ideas
Drawing a conclusion
REGISTER: neutral or FORMAL: no contractions, formal verbs/nouns/adj, impersonal tone (3rd p., passive
voice, It constructions)
STRUCTURE
-Use paragraphs
and leave some
space between
them.
-Dont use first
line indent

TITLE
P.1. Introduction: general information about the topic (Nowadays, People state, a
rhetorical question, etc)
P.2. Note 1 (Idea 1)
P. 3 Note 2 (Idea 2)
Arguments for only, Arguments against only, Arguments for &
against
P.4 Note 3 (Idea 3)
P. 5. Conclusion: summarize your opinion, arguments (+ some suggestions, prediction)

LANGUAGE
Grammar: modal verbs, passive forms, conditionals, comparatives, relative clauses, etc
Vocabulary: topic-specific vocabulary, collocations, formal verbs, nouns, adverbs, adj. (see doc. formal and
informal lang. avoid repetition (use of synonyms, antonyms; see also Cohesion & avoiding repetition doc)
Connectors
Addition: In addition, What is more, Moreover, etc
Contrast: On the one hand/on the other hand, However, At the same time, Nevertheless, Although,
Despite, etc
Listing: Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly/Finally
Examples: such as, For instance, For example,
Cause/Consequence: Therefore, As a result, For that reason, Due to, etc
Conclusion: To sum up, From my point of view, In conclusion, In my opinion, etc
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION: check capital letters, commas (see punctuation rules)

FCE- ESSAY CORRECTION


Subscale
CONTENT:
Content is relevant to the task
Target reader is informed

Commentary

On the whole informed rather than being fully informed; first/second question is not fully addressed; not fully developed

Writers opinion is clear


COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Essay written in a consistent formal
register, objective way
Essay format is used effectively

Communicative purpose

The use of colloquial language (e.g. xxx) is not consistent with the rest of the essay, there is use of personal, subjective
examples; register is suitable for the target reader.
Clear essay structure, Essay format is used effectively
INTRODUCTION,MIDDLE PARAGRAPHS (arguments for or arguments against or arguments for and one against,
CONCLUSION
Examples, explanations, comparison/contrast, reasons,agreement/disagreement

Ideas

Straightforward ideas/more complex ideas are communicated

ORGANISATION:
Text well organized

Clearly organized into paragraphs

A variety of linking words is used


Text is coherent

Ideas connected within the paragraphs, between paragraphs

LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
topic-specific vocabulary is used

Paragraphs interconnected

Range of voc: collocations,


adj,adv,more sophisticated voc.
No repetition: use of
synonyms/antonyms
Grammar
Range of tenses (relatives,
conditionals, comparat.,etc)
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

A (wide) range of everyday voc. used appropriately, Some attempt to use more sophisticated voc.

A range of simple forms, some more complex grammatical forms used


Xxxx forms are used with a good degree of control
Although there are errors they do not impede communication

Mark (5)

FCE- ESSAY CORRECTION

No.

Name: ______________________________________
Subscale
Commentary
CONTENT:
Is content relevant to the task?
Is target reader fully informed?
Is writers opinion clear?
COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Is the correct style of writing used?
Is essay format used effectively?
Is appropriate functional language used?
Are straightforward ideas
communicated? Or more complex ones?
ORGANISATION:
Is text well organized?
Is there a variety of linking words?
Is text coherent?
LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
Is topic-specific vocabulary used?
Is interesting vocabulary used?
collocations, adj,adv
Is there any repeated vocabulary?
Grammar
Is a wide range of tenses used? And
complex structures?
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

Band: _______
Mark (5)

FCE Paper 2 Writing


How to pass the Cambridge
First Certificate Writing Section

6. Writing essays
Introduction and tips (Writing essays)

ANSWER THE QUESTION


PLAN your essay
REVISE your essay to correct mistakes.
4 or 5 PARAGRAPHS, with Introduction and Conclusion
The first paragraph should be a general introduction to the subject
Develop your arguments in the middle paragraphs
Give reasons to support your argument
Use a variety of discussive words and phrases
Give examples where possible
Use formal language
Don't use contractions (we're, I've etc.)
Sum up your argument in the final paragraph
The final paragraph is the best place to express your opinion clearly.

Useful Phrases (Writing articles)


Presenting two advantages or disadvantages together:

not only but also


not only but also

Presenting two opposing views:

on the one hand, on the other hand

Expressing Contrast:

21

nevertheless
even so
even though
however
in spite of
despite
but
although

www.brays-ingles.com

Writing essays

FCE Paper 2 Writing


How to pass the Cambridge
First Certificate Writing Section

Expressing results:

because of this
therefore
thus
as a result
for this reason
consequently

Giving examples:

such as
like
for example
for instance

Expressing the opinion of someone else:

some people say


some people say that
many people say
many people say that
people often say
it is said
it is said that
according to

Sample Questions (Writing articles)


1. You have done a project on transport in your English class. Your teacher has
asked you to write an essay giving your opinions on the following statement.
Because cars are so convenient public transport has no future.

Write your essay in 120-180 words in an appropriate style.

2. You have had a discussion on fashion in your English class. Your teacher has
asked you to write an essay, giving your opinions on the following statement.
Young people never want to dress the same as their parents
Write your essay in 120-180 words in an appropriate style.

22

www.brays-ingles.com

Writing essays

FCE ESSAY
Example question
In class you have been discussing technology. 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.
You must write your answer in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.
Nowadays, technology is everywhere. Has technology made peoples lives better or
worse?
Notes
Write about:
1. medical science
2. the internet
3. your own idea

Sample Answer
LIVING WITH MODERN TECHNOLOGY
Modern technology has radically changed the way we live and even how long we live for.
However, some might argue that these changes have created new problems that we have
yet to solve.
The internet, for example, has become such an integral part of peoples lives that it feels as
though it has existed forever. It is a fantastic means of communication as well as source of
information and knowledge. Likewise, mobile phones allow us to stay in touch with each
other as well as access the world wide web when were on the bus, in a bar, or even
walking down a busy street. The danger is that people become addicted to their devices. It
is not uncommon nowadays to see couples sitting together staring at their phones instead
of speaking to each other.
Medical science is another area in which great advances have been made. Consequently,
people are living longer than ever. However, unless we change the age of retirement, our
governments risk running out of money.
In conclusion, I am convinced technology has improved our lives but we still need to take
some difficult decisions about how to make it best work for us.
http://desktopenglish.net/fce-writing-part-1-essay-answer-2015-exam/

REPORT GUIDELINES

Draw an outline (7 )
Write your report (25)
Check spelling and punctuation (2)
Writing checklist: see Checklist for writing B2 (5)
Check number of words: 140-190 (1)

DEFINTION: a piece of writing usually written for a superior (e.g. a teacher) or a peer group (e.g. members of
an English club).
FUNCTIONS:
Giving factual information.
Making suggestions/recommendations.
REGISTER: formal, impersonal; more informal for a peer group.
STRUCTURE
-Use paragraphs
and leave some
space between
them.
-Dont use first
line indent

It

TITLE
P.1. Introduction: purpose, aim of the report: The aim of this report is to; This report
outlines (the issues), This report is intended to.
P.2. Fact 1 (Idea 1)
P. 3 Fact 2 (Idea 2)
HEADINGS for each paragraph
P.4 Fact 3 3 (Idea 3)
P. 5. Conclusion: make recommendations/comments: It is therefore recommended that,
needs., It is clear that, 2nd conditional

LANGUAGE
Grammar: modal verbs, passive forms, conditionals, comparatives, relative clauses, It sentences, 3rd person,
longer and complex sentences, etc
Vocabulary: topic-specific vocabulary, collocations, formal verbs, nouns, adverbs adj. (see doc. formal and
informal lang, avoid repetition (use of synonyms, antonyms; see also Cohesion & avoiding repetition doc)
Connectors
Addition: In addition, What is more, Moreover, etc
Contrast: On the one hand/on the other hand, However, At the same time, Nevertheless, Although,
Despite, etc
Examples: such as, For instance, For example,
Cause/Consequence: Therefore, As a result, For that reason, Due to, etc
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION: check capital letters, commas (see punctuation rules)

FCE- REPORT CORRECTION


Subscale
CONTENT:
Content is relevant to the task

Commentary

Target reader is informed

On the whole informed rather than being fully ; first/second task is not fully addressed; not fully developed

COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Report written in a consistent
register, suitable for the target
reader
Report format is used effectively
Communicative purpose

Formal and impersonal or more informal for a peer group. The use of informal/formal language (e.g. xxx) is not
consistent with the rest of the report; there is use of personal, subjective examples; register is suitable for the target
reader.
TITLE, HEADINGS, INTRODUCTION, DEVELOPMENT (2 or 3 par.), CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATIONS.
Imbalance of length between x and x paragraph
Give factual information/facts are stated; make recommendations/comments, some examples.

ORGANISATION:
Text well organized

Clearly organized into paragraphs

A variety of linking words is used


Text is coherent

Ideas connected within the paragraphs, between paragraphs (ideas are connected across sentences and paragraphs)

LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
topic-specific vocabulary is used

A (wide) range of everyday voc. used appropriately, Some attempt to use more sophisticated voc.

Range of voc: collocations, adj,adv

No repetition: use of
synonyms/antonyms
Grammar
Range of tenses (relatives,
conditionals, comparat.,etc)

SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

Impersonal sentences, A range of simple forms, present simple most frequently used; some more complex grammatical
forms used
Xxxx forms are used with a good degree of control
Although there are errors they do not impede communication

Mark (5)

FCE- REPORT CORRECTION

No.

Name: ______________________________________
Subscale
Commentary
CONTENT:
Is content relevant to the task?
Is target reader fully informed?
COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Is the correct style of writing used?
Is report format used effectively?
Is appropriate functional language
used?
Are straightforward ideas
communicated? Or more complex
ones?
ORGANISATION:
Is text well organized?
Is there a variety of linking words?
Is text coherent?
LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
Is topic-specific vocabulary used?
Is interesting vocabulary used?
collocations, adj,adv
Is there any repeated vocabulary?
Grammar
Is a wide range of tenses used? And
complex structures?
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

Band: _______
Mark (5)

7. Writing reports
Writing reports

Introduction and tips (Writing reports)


ANSWER THE QUESTION
PLAN your report.
Make sure you have at least 4 paragraphs.
Every paragraph should have a heading which explains what the paragraph is about.
You first paragraph heading will be INTRODUCTION and your last, CONCLUSION or RECOMMENDATIONS
Use formal language.
Use impersonal language: the 3rd person, it constructions and/or the passive voice:
Do not use contractions.
Try to make recommendations in the final paragraph.
REVISE your report to correct mistakes.

Useful phrases (Writing reports)


Headings - to include:
Introduction
Subject of each paragraph
Conclusion or recommendation(s)

Introductory Paragraph:
The aim of this report is to outline and to make some recommendations on...
This report outlines (the issues, etc)
This report is intended to inform about.

Recommending:
You may wish to consider
It is therefore recommended that(present clause)
It needs
A conditional clause : (The museum, the club, etc) would have a brighter future if its (displays, facilities,etc)
were improved or If the opening hours could be extended and the prices reduced slightly, the new caf would
undoubtly be more popular with students.
It is clear that

Use of impersonal tone:


3rd person examples: (some examples have been taken from text act. 1 p. 44, a sample answer for act. 5 p. 45)
The lack of choice puts many
students off using the caf

There is nowhere to sit


comfortably...

The majority of the people claimed


that...

The opening hours are too


limited...

The tables and chairs in the present


caf are old and basic

These explanations are


difficult to read...

It constructions examples:
It could be argued that

It appears that

It can be seen that

It is clear that

It was found that

It seems that

It is doubtful that

It is widely accepted that

Passive voice examples

If possible, this needs to be reviewed

Vegetarians feel that they


are not being catered
for...

The (museum, the club, etc) would have a


brighter future if its (displays, facilities,etc)
were improved

The opening hours could


be extended

25 |

Adapted from: www.brays-ingles.com FCE Paper 2 Writing How to pass the Cambridge First Certificate Writing Section

FCE REPORT
Example Question
Writing part 2 (140-190 words)
The college that you attend has recently experienced a reduction in student numbers and is
interested to know why current students think this has happened. The college principal has
therefore asked you to write a report which:
1) details which parts of the college that current students like the most
2) suggests ways to modernise the college to attract more students next year
Write your report.

Example Answer
Introduction
The purpose of this report is to give details about the best aspects of our college and also
to recommend some possible changes to make it more appealing. Current students at the
college were asked for their opinions.
Positive aspects of the college
The most common college facilities that were praised were:
1) The large number of modern computers in the library
2) The affordable prices in the canteen and the varied menu
3) The interactive whiteboards for multimedia lessons in most classrooms
Areas to change
Some disabled students complained that there is only one small lift to access the
classrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor. It was also mentioned that the college currently lacks
Wi-Fi access, which means students have to go to the library to read their emails instead of
using their smart phones.
Recommendations
Most students suggested that the college should build a second lift at the other end of the
college to make the upper floors more accessible to disabled students. It was also
recommended that free Wi-Fi could be provided in the canteen area. In my view, both of
these changes would help to make the college more attractive to new students.
http://desktopenglish.net/cambridge-first-certificate-report/

ARTICLE GUIDELINES

Draw an outline (7 )
Write your article (25)
Check spelling and punctuation (2)
Writing checklist: see Checklist for writing B2 (5)
Check number of words: 140-190 (1)

DEFINTION: a piece of writing usually written for an English-language magazine or newsletter, and the
reader is assumed to have similar interests to the writer.
FUNCTIONS:
Interesting and engaging the reader
Giving an opinion or making comments
Telling anecdotes
Giving examples
Giving descriptions
REGISTER: light-hearted/friendly (in that case, contractions can be used) or more formal, depending on the
target reader. Always lively.
STRUCTURE

TITLE (engaging!)
P.1. Introduction: connected with the title
P.2.
Development
P. 3
P. 4. Conclusion: opinion, article is rounded off

-Use paragraphs and


leave some space
between them.
-Dont use first line indent

LANGUAGE
Grammar: modal verbs, passive forms, conditionals, comparatives, relative clauses, past tenses (for personal
experiences) etc
Vocabulary: topic-specific vocabulary, collocations, (formal) verbs, nouns, adverbs, adj.; avoid repetition (use
of synonyms, antonyms; see also Cohesion & avoiding repetition doc); colorful language, direct questions to
speak directly to the reader and to catch his attention: Have you ever?; exclamatives. See useful phrases
(Writing articles)
Connectors
Addition: Besides, also, In addition, What is more, Moreover, etc
Contrast: On the one hand/on the other hand, However, At the same time, Nevertheless, Although,
Despite, etc
Listing: Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly/Finally; The first thing to consider, Another consideration
Examples: such as, For instance, For example,
Cause/Consequence: so, Therefore, As a result, For that reason, Due to, etc
Conclusion: To sum up, From my point of view, In conclusion, In my opinion, etc
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION: check capital letters, commas (see punctuation rules)

FCE- ARTICLE CORRECTION


Subscale
CONTENT:
Content is relevant to the task

Commentary

Target reader is informed

On the whole informed rather than being fully ; first/second question is not fully addressed; not fully developed

COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Article written in a consistent
register, suitable for the target
reader
Article format is used effectively

Light/Friendly tone or more serious (always lively); The use of informal/formal language (e.g. xxx) is not consistent with
the rest of the article
TITLE (engaging), INTRODUCTION, DEVELOPMENT (1 OR 2PAR.), CONCLUSION (opinion, article is rounded off)

Communicative purpose

To interest and engage the reader, opinion, description, personal experience (anecdotes), some examples

ORGANISATION:
Text well organized

Clearly organized into paragraphs

A variety of linking words is used


Text is coherent

Ideas connected within the paragraphs, between paragraphs (ideas are connected across sentences and paragraphs)

LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
topic-specific vocabulary is used

A (wide) range of everyday voc. used appropriately, Some attempt to use more sophisticated voc.

Range of voc: colorful vocabulary,


collocations, adj,adv, exclamations,
direct questions to the reader
No repetition: use of
synonyms/antonyms
Grammar
Range of tenses (relatives,
conditionals, comparat.,etc)
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

A range of simple forms,present simple most frequently used; some more complex grammatical forms used
Xxxx forms are used with a good degree of control
Although there are errors they do not impede communication

Mark (5)

FCE- ARTICLE CORRECTION

No.

Name: ______________________________________
Subscale
Commentary
CONTENT:
Is content relevant to the task?
Is target reader fully informed?
COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Is the correct style of writing used?
Is article format used effectively?
Is appropriate functional language used?
Are straightforward ideas
communicated? Or more complex ones?
ORGANISATION:
Is text well organized?
Is there a variety of linking words?
Is text coherent?
LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
Is topic-specific vocabulary used?
Is interesting vocabulary used?
collocations, adj,adv, colorful vocab.
Exclamations and direct questions to the
reader?
Is there any repeated vocabulary?
Grammar
Is a wide range of tenses used? And
complex structures?
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

Band: _______
Mark (5)

REVIEW GUIDELINES

Draw an outline (7 )
Write your review (25)
Check spelling and punctuation (2)
Writing checklist: see Checklist for writing B2 (5)
Check number of words: 140-190 (1)

DEFINTION: a piece of writing usually written for an English-language magazine, newspaper or website. The
main purpose is to describe and express a personal opinion about something the writer has experienced (e.g.
a film, a holiday, a product, a website, etc) and to give the reader a clear impression of what item discussed
is like.
FUNCTIONS:
Describing and giving explanations (key functions)
Making a recommendation to the reader (sometimes) unless the review is negative: giving reasons
to avoid.
Giving opinion and factual information.
REGISTER: serious or light-hearted style (in that case, contractions can be used), depending on the target
reader.
STRUCTURE
-Use paragraphs
and leave some
space between
them.
-Dont use first
line indent

TITLE
P.1. Introduction: state some basic facts, mention what youre reviewing by name
P.2.
P. 3

Body: facts & opinion

P. 4. Conclusion: recommendation or reasons to avoid; cover some questions from the task

LANGUAGE
Grammar: modal verbs, passive forms, comparatives, relative clauses, etc
Vocabulary: topic-specific vocabulary, adj. & adv., adj.- collocations; avoid repetition (use of synonyms,
antonyms; see also Cohesion & avoiding repetition doc); see useful phrases (Writing reviews)
Connectors
Addition: In addition, What is more, Moreover, etc
Contrast: On the one hand/on the other hand, However, At the same time, Nevertheless, Although,
Despite, etc
Examples: such as, For instance, For example,
Cause/Consequence: Therefore, As a result, For that reason, Due to, etc
Conclusion: To sum up, From my point of view, In conclusion, In my opinion, etc
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION: check capital letters, commas (see punctuation rules)

FCE- REVIEW CORRECTION


Subscale
CONTENT:
Content is relevant to the task

Commentary

Target reader is informed

On the whole informed rather than being fully informed -Does the reader get an idea about the book, film, course, etc?
first/second question is not fully addressed; not fully developed

Is the writers opinion clear?


COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Review written in a consistent
register, suitable for the target
reader
Review format is used effectively

The use of colloquia/formal language (e.g. xxx) is not consistent with the rest of the review, there is use of impersonal
examples; Semi-formal, contractions can be used, personal language; register is suitable for the target reader.

Communicative purpose

1st two paragraphs: GENERAL DESCRIPTION + DESCRIPTION OF THE COURSE, BOOK, FILM, ETC (characters, some of the
story ), FINAL OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION (summary about the thing reviewed, what makes this experience
different)
Opinion,Description, explanation, details, personal recommendation, opinion

ORGANISATION:
Text well organized

Clearly organized into paragraphs; It moves from general information in the introduction to more specific details

A variety of linking words is used


Text is coherent
LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
topic-specific vocabulary is used

Ideas connected within the paragraphs, between paragraphs

A (wide) range of everyday voc. used appropriately, Some attempt to use more sophisticated voc.; Connected with the
topic, specific vocabulary to give opinion, to make a recommendation

Range of voc: collocations, adj,adv


No repetition: use of
synonyms/antonyms
Grammar
Range of tenses (relatives,
conditionals, comparat.,etc)
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

A range of simple forms, some more complex grammatical forms used


Xxxx forms are used with a good degree of control
Although there are errors they do not impede communication

Mark (5)

FCE- REVIEW CORRECTION

No.

Name: ______________________________________
Subscale
Commentary
CONTENT:
Is content relevant to the task?
Is target reader fully informed?
Is writers opinion clear?
COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Is the correct style of writing used?
Is review format used effectively?
Is appropriate functional language used?
Are straightforward ideas communicated?
Or more complex ones?
ORGANISATION:
Is text well organized?
Is there a variety of linking words?
Is text coherent?
LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
Is topic-specific vocabulary used?
Is interesting vocabulary used?
collocations, adj,adv
Is there any repeated vocabulary?
Grammar
Is a wide range of tenses used? And
complex structures?
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

Band: _______
Mark (5)

INFORMAL LETTER/E-MAIL GUIDELINES

Draw an outline (7 )
Write your letter (25)
Check spelling and punctuation (2)
Writing checklist: see Checklist for writing B2 (5)
Check number of words: 140-190 (1)

DEFINTION: It is written in response to the situation outlined in the question. It is usually written to an
English-speaking friend or colleague.
FUNCTIONS:
(it depends on the question)
Giving opinion
Giving advice
Making suggestions
Congratulating
etc
REGISTER: informal: contractions, phrasal verbs,etc
STRUCTURE:

-Use paragraphs
and leave some
space between
them.
-Dont use first
line indent

GREETING
P.1. Introductory paragraph: it depends on the activity (e.g. congratulating, saying thanks,
etc)
P.2.
P. 3
Middle paragraphs: development of ideas
P. 4. Final line
CLOSURE
NAME

LANGUAGE
Grammar: imperatives, modal verbs, conditionals, comparatives, relative clauses, exclamatives, direct
questions, question tags, etc
Vocabulary: topic-specific vocabulary, phrasal verbs, colloquial nouns, adj. (see doc. formal and informal
language), avoid repetition (use of synonyms, antonyms; see also Cohesion & avoiding repetition doc); See
useful phrases (writing informal letters or emails).
Connectors
Addition: also, too, as well as, etc
Contrast: but, Although, Despite, etc
Examples: such as, For example,
Cause/Consequence: so, then, because, etc
Changing topic: well, anyway
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION: check capital letters, commas (see punctuation rules)

FCE- INFORMAL CORRECTION


Subscale
CONTENT:
Content is relevant to the task
Target reader is informed
COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Letter written in a consistent
informal register
letter format is used effectively

Commentary

On the whole informed rather than being fully informed

The use of formal language (e.g. xxx) is not consistent with the rest of the letter

Communicative purpose

Clear letter structure, letter format is used effectively


GREETING, INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH, MIDDLE PARAGRAPH (S), FINAL LINE, CLOSURE, NAME
(it depends on the activity)

Ideas

Straightforward ideas/more complex ideas are communicated

ORGANISATION:
Text well organized

Clearly organized into paragraphs

A variety of linking words is used


Text is coherent

Ideas connected within the paragraphs, between paragraphs

LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
topic-specific vocabulary is used

Paragraphs interconnected

Range of voc: collocations, adj,adv,


colloquial phrases, exclamation
marks, questions to the reader
No repetition: use of
synonyms/antonyms
Grammar
Range of tenses (relatives,
conditionals, comparat.,etc)
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

A (wide) range of everyday voc. used appropriately

A range of simple forms, some more complex grammatical forms used


Xxxx forms are used with a good degree of control
Although there are errors they do not impede communication

Mark (5)

FCE- INFORMAL LETTER CORRECTION

No.

Name: ______________________________________
Subscale
Commentary
CONTENT:
Is content relevant to the task?
Is target reader fully informed?
COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Is the correct style of writing used?
Is informal letter format used effectively?
Is appropriate functional language used?
Are straightforward ideas communicated?
Or more complex ones?
ORGANISATION:
Is text well organized?
Is there a variety of linking words?
Is text coherent?
LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
Is topic-specific vocabulary used?
Is interesting vocabulary used? collocations,
adj,adv, colloquial phrases, exclamation
marks, questions to the reader
Is there any repeated vocabulary?
Grammar
Is a wide range of tenses used? And complex
structures?
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

Band: _______
Mark (5)

FORMAL LETTER/E-MAIL GUIDELINES

Draw an outline (7 )
Write your letter (25)
Check spelling and punctuation (2)
Writing checklist: see Checklist for writing B2 (5)
Check number of words: 140-190 (1)

DEFINTION: It is written in response to the situation outlined in the question. It can be written to a potential
employer, a college principal or a magazine editor.
FUNCTIONS:
(it depends on the question)
Giving/requesting information
Applying for a job: Describing your qualifications/professional experience
Complaining
etc
REGISTER: formal: no contractions, formal verbs/nouns/adj
STRUCTURE:

GREETING
P.1. Introductory paragraph: reason(s) for writing
P.2.
P. 3
Middle paragraphs: development of ideas
(P.4 )
P. 5. Final line
CLOSURE
NAME

-Use paragraphs
and leave some
space between
them.
-Dont use first
line indent

LANGUAGE
Grammar: modal verbs, passive forms, conditionals, comparatives, relative clauses, etc
Vocabulary: topic-specific vocabulary, collocations, formal verbs, nouns, adverbs, adj. (see doc. formal and
informal language), avoid repetition (use of synonyms, antonyms; see also Cohesion & avoiding repetition
doc); See useful phrases (writing formal letters or emails).
Connectors
Addition: In addition, What is more, Moreover, etc
Contrast: On the one hand/on the other hand, However, At the same time, Nevertheless, Although,
Despite, etc
Listing: Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly/Finally
Examples: such as, For instance, For example,
Cause/Consequence: Therefore, As a result, For that reason, Due to, etc
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION: check capital letters, commas (see punctuation rules)

FCE- FORMAL LETTER (letter of application) CORRECTION


Subscale
CONTENT:
Content is relevant to the task
Target reader is informed
COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Letter written in a consistent formal register

Commentary

On the whole informed rather than being fully informed; first/second question is not fully addressed;
not fully developed

Communicative purpose

The use of colloquial language (e.g. xxx) is not consistent with the rest of the essay, there is use of
personal, subjective examples; register is suitable for the target reader.
Clear formal letter structure, letter format is used effectively
GREETING, INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH, MIDDLE PARAGRAPH (S), FINAL LINE, CLOSURE, NAME
Mention/explain work experience and qualifications; why you want the job

ORGANISATION:
Text well organized

Clearly organized into paragraphs

Formal letter format is used effectively

A variety of formal linking words is used


Text is coherent

Ideas connected within the paragraphs, between paragraphs

LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
topic-specific vocabulary is used
(qualifications, skills, etc)
Range of voc: collocations, adj,adv,

A (wide) range of everyday voc. used appropriately, Some attempt to use more sophisticated voc.

No repetition: use of synonyms/antonyms


Grammar
Range of tenses (present/past (cont),
perfect, diff. forms of future,relatives,
conditionals, comparat.,subordinates, etc)
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

A range of simple forms, some more complex grammatical forms used


Xxxx forms are used with a good degree of control
Although there are errors they do not impede communication

Mark (5)

FCE- FORMAL LETTER (letter of application) CORRECTION


Name: ______________________________________
Subscale
CONTENT:
Is content relevant to the task?
Is target reader fully informed?
COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
Is the correct style of writing used?
Is formal letter format used effectively?
Is appropriate functional language used?
Are straightforward ideas communicated?
Or more complex ones?
ORGANISATION:
Is text well organized?
Is there a variety of linking words?

Is text coherent?
LANGUAGE:
Vocabulary
Is topic-specific vocabulary used?
(qualifications, skills, etc)
Is interesting vocabulary used? collocations,
adj,adv
Is there any repeated vocabulary?
Grammar
Is a wide range of tenses used? Pres.
perfect, diff. forms of future,relatives,
conditionals. And complex structures?
SPELLING & PUNCTUATION

No.

Commentary

Band: __
Mark (5)

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LETTER OF APPLICATION & COVER LETTER

Cover letter
Many employers will ask you to write to them or phone them for an application form and
further details when they advertise jobs. Sometimes you will be asked to send your CV or
resume.
Your CV or curriculum vitae lists your educational and career history and is a useful
summary for an employer of all your educational and employment achievements up to the
present time. You must always ensure that it is up to date.
A covering letter may then be very useful because you can enclose it with your CV or a
completed application form. In your covering letter you can draw attention to particular
information which you wish to highlight. Such a covering letter might look like this:
Dear Mr Sorefoot
Fashion Shop Manager
Please find enclosed my completed application form for the above position.
As you will see from my form, I have ten years experience with Bates Retail
as a Fashion Shop Manager.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will be able to invite
me for an interview. I can be contacted at any time by phone, fax or email
at work or at home. I would very much welcome an opportunity to discuss
my application in greater detail and convince you that I am the right person
for the job.
Yours sincerely

Frances Slimwaist

If you have filled in an application form you do not need to send a CV because all the relevant
information should be on your form.

Letter of application
If you are responding to a job advertisement you may be asked to write a letter of application.
This is the letter which lists all your work experience and qualifications and should also
explain why you want the job.
Structure:
Greeting
Dear .......... ,
Introduction
Begin your letter by telling the reader where you saw the advertisement:
I am writing to apply for the post of Fashion Shop Manager advertised in
the 'News Shopper' of 14 February 2002.

Main body
(2nd paragraph) You would then go on to list your experience and relevant qualifications:
I have worked in the retail industry for a total of ten years, first as a sales
assistant in a department store and for the last three years as a Section
Head and Deputy Manager at Jones the Bootmaker.

(3rd paragraph) You might then go on to mention the particular abilities and skills that you
have:
I believe I have all the skills, knowledge and expertise that you are looking
for. I have lots of retail initiative, can schedule and prioritise tasks and can
work to strict deadlines. I also work particularly well with people and would
enjoy leading the team and working with clients and customers.

(4th paragraph) Say why you are particularly interested in this job:
I am applying for this position as I am looking to progress from junior to
senior management. I have always been interested in the latest fashion
trends and developments and I believe your organisation is a well-run
quality fashion business. I would very much like to work for your company.

Final paragraph
(Final line)You might then close the letter with the following formula.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will be able to invite
me for an interview.

(Closing) Close the letter


Yours faithfully
Your sincerely
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv176.shtml

FCE & CAE WRITING


FORMAL & INFORMAL ENGLISH
http://www.engvid.com/english-resource/formal-informal-english/

Formal English: We use it when writing essays for school, cover letters to apply for jobs, or
emails and letters at work.
Informal English: We use it with friends, children, and relatives.
The following list will help you to recognize the informal and formal ways of saying the same
thing. The list is divided into sections of: verbs, transitions, emphasis words, abbreviations, and
slang.
Verbs Informal & Formal
Informal

Formal

say sorry

apologize, apologise

go up

increase

go down

decrease

set up

establish

look at

examine

blow up

explode

find out

discover

bring about

cause

put off

postpone, delay

rack up

accumulate

make up

fabricate

Informal

Formal

stand for

represent

find out

discover, ascertain

leave out

omit

point out

indicate

go against

oppose

get in touch with

contact

Its about

It concerns, Its in regards to

need to

required

think about

consider

get

obtain

put up

tolerate

deal with

handle

seem

appear

show

demonstrate, illustrate, portray

start

commence

keep

retain

free

release

get on someones nerves

bother

Informal

Formal

ring up

call

show up

arrive

let

permit

fill in

substitute, inform

block

undermine

give the go ahead, greenlight

authorize, authorise

Transitions Informal & Formal


Informal

Formal

Anyways

Nevertheless

Plus/Also

Moreover/ Furthermore

But

However

So

Therefore/Thus

Also

In addition, Additionally

ASAP

as soon as possible/at your earliest


convenience

Okay, OK

acceptable

In the meantime

In the interim

I think

In my opinion,

Informal

Formal

In the end,

Finally

To sum up

In conclusion,

In a nutshell/Basically

To summarize,

Anyway,

Notwithstanding

All right

Acceptable

Well,
To top it all off,
On top of it all,
In order to

Emphasis Words Informal & Formal


Informal

Formal

lots of/ a lot of

much, many

tons of, heaps of

large quantities of, a number of

totally

completely, strongly

really, very

definitely

Letter Expressions Informal & Formal

Informal

Formal

Hi Robert,

Dear Sir or Madam

Just wanted to let you know

I am writing to inform you

Love,

Yours sincerely, Yours faithfully,

Cheers,
Yours Truly, Best regards, kind regards
Hope to hear from you soon

I look forward to hearing from you

You can call me if you need anything

Please do not hesitate to contact me

Abbreviations Informal & Formal


Informal

Formal

ASAP

as soon as possible

T.V.

television

photo

photograph

cell

cell phone

net

Internet

Slang Informal & Formal


Informal

Formal

Informal

Formal

kids

children

bad

negative

good

positive

really big

considerable

right

correct

wrong

incorrect

smart

intelligent

cheap

inexpensive

loaded

rich

FCE & CAE- Writing


Cohesion and avoiding repetition
http://www.dcielts.com/ielts-writing/cohesion-and-avoiding-repetition/
This lesson shows you different ways you can improve the cohesion of your writing and
avoiding repetition killing two birds with one stone. These are extremely important skills to
master and the good news is that much of the language you need here is simple language.
Simple is very often best.
See how it works
This paragraph is a model of how you should write your sentences and paragraphs so that they
are cohesive and avoid repetition. As you read it, you should see there are different ways I link
my sentences together. Most of techniques have something in common in that I use a word in
every sentence that links back to something that has come earlier. What this means is that the
readers finds it easier to follow my argument, because as they read they can make the
connections between my sentences. This is cohesion. You might also notice that I tend not to
repeat words very often, but that I do choose words with a similar meaning which is also
something you should aim to do. There are several different ways I achieve this. Perhaps the
most important one is by the use of pronouns which are among the most common words in
English. Although you should also not forget about using synonyms and different word forms
two more advanced language skills.
Think about pronouns
Pronouns are words such as:

he/she/it

this/that/these/those

one

both
The way these words work is that they refer back to something already mentioned and replace
that word. So used well, they help you avoid repeating words and link your writing.

Former/latter/respectively/such
These words work in much the same way and are typical of more academic writing.
You should note:

former and latter are used with the

such is typically used with a word following it: e.g. such a case

There and then


Another way you can use this type of linking language is when you are writing
about times and places. The key words here are there and then, though you can
also use at that time and in that country

Synonyms
This is a key technique. The idea is that you dont repeat the word, you use another
similar word or phrase. Very often, you will need to use phrases and not individual
words to do this well.

Change of word form


Sometimes it is often enough to change the form of the word from a verb to a noun
or a noun to an adjective. By doing this, you are showing how you can use
language flexibly. You should note that when you are learning words, you should
learn the different forms of the words (see my academic word list exercises for
more on this).

Read more: Cohesion and avoiding repetition | http://www.dcielts.com/ieltswriting/cohesion-and-avoiding-repetition/#ixzz428oE1Uqc


Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

PUNCTUATION RULES
1. Use capital letters:
a) At the beginning of every sentence.
b) For proper nouns, abbreviations of proper nouns, names of languages and nationalities,
days, months and the pronoun I.
Dont use capital letters for other words.
Example:
On Monday and Wednesday Juan and I go to our English class at the University of Seville. Our
first exam is going to be in February.
2. Use a period/full stop, question mark or exclamation point/mark at the end of every
sentence (only one per sentence). Dont put a question mark or exclamation point/mark at
the beginning of the sentence. Dont join sentences with commas.
Examples:
Incorrect:
- Where did you go on holiday?!!!
- We went to Kenya, the weather was good, we went on a safari, we took photographs of the
wild animals. It was very exciting!
Correct:
- Where did you go on holiday?
- We went to Kenya. The weather was good. We went on a safari and took photographs of
the wild animals. It was very exciting!
3. Dont end a list of words or a sentence with suspension points.
Examples:
Incorrect:
I saw the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower,Versailles. . . when I was in Paris.
I had dinner with my parents, my grandparents, my brother . . .
On the flight you can drink coffee, tea, Coke . . .
Correct:
I saw the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and Versailles when I was in Paris.
I saw the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles and other interesting places when I was in Paris.
I had dinner with my parents, my grandparents and my brother.
I had dinner with my parents, my grandparents and other relatives.
On the flight you can drink coffee, tea or Coke.
4. Dont put a comma after so or but in sentences like these:
Examples:
Incorrect:
I was hungry so, I ate a hamburger.
I wanted a hamburger but, I didnt have any money.
Correct:
I was hungry, so I ate a hamburger.
I wanted a hamburger, but I didnt have any money.
5. Put a comma when a) making lists
Example
I like playing tennis, listening to music and watching TV.

b) To separate adjectives when there are a number of adjectives before the noun
Example
Hes an enthusiastic, hard-working student.
6. Put a comma after for example, however, moreover, nevertheless, in fact, as a
result, later, therefore, all in all, generally, finally, in my opinion, etc. and after a
time phrase at the beginning of a sentence. Put a comma after Also and Besides if they
are at the beginning of a sentence.
Examples:
He was tired. However, he couldnt sleep.
He likes lots of sports. For example, he plays football, basketball and tennis and goes
swimming every week.
He was hungry. Also, he was very tired.
He was hungry. Besides, he was very tired.
In 2014, he left school and went to university.
7. Put a comma before and after a non-defining relative clause. Dont put a comma before
defining clauses:
Examples:
My friend John, who went to the same school as me, has just written a best-selling novel (nondefining)
He gave me the letter which/that was in a blue envelope (defining)
8. When you put the subordinator at the beginning of a clause to introduce the main clause,
you
need to put a comma between the two clauses. When you put a subordinator between
two clauses to connect them, you should not use any punctuation
Examples:
Before he turned on the TV, he did his homework.
He did his homework before he turned on the TV.
When everyone in a family helps with the housework, they have a better relationship.
They have a better relationships when everyone in a family helps with the housework.
Sources: - http://institucional.us.es/aiidi/ rea de ingls (IDI)
- Compiled by author

Writing correction code - Try - Activities BBC | British Council 2007


Writing correction code
Code Use

Example

WW
WT
WF
snow.
WO
SP
P
X
M
R
?
!
RW

Wrong word
Wrong time
Wrong form

As our plane flew on the mountains we saw snow.


As our plane flew over the mountains we see snow.
As our plane flew over the mountains we was seeing

Wrong order
Spelling
Punctuation
Extra word
Missing word
Register
Not clear
Silly mistake!
Try re-writing

As our plane over the mountain flew we saw snow.


As our plane flue over the mountains we saw snow.
As our plane flew over the mountains; we saw snow.
As our plane flew over to the mountains we saw snow.
As our plane flew over the mountains saw snow.
As our plane flew over the mountains we observed snow.
As our plane flew over the mountains we saw snow.
As our plane flew over the mountains we seed snow.
Our vehicle flies, we snow find, over mountains you saw it.

www.teachingenglish.org.uk