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WRITING: ESSAY

ESSAY STRUCTURE

Paragraph 1: Introduction (Introduce the topic in a general way or paraphrase the question in your own words)
Paragraph 2: First idea (Deal with the first note, express your opinion, give reasons and include examples)
Paragraph 3 : Second idea (Deal with the second note, express your opinion, give reasons and include examples)
Paragraph 4 : Your own idea (Think of a personal idea, express your opinion, give reasons and include examples)
Paragraph 5: Conclusion (Write your opinion to conclude and summarize the essay and tie everything together)

INTRODUCING A PERSONAL OPINION


 In my (honest) opinion,…
 I (really) think…
 I (truly) feel…
 I (strongly) believe…
 From my point of view…
 In my view…
 My own view of this is that…
 My personal opinion of this argument is that…
 From my perspective…
 It seems to me that…
 As far as I am concerned…
 As I see it…
 As for me, I think / believe that…
 To my way of thinking, …
 My personal view is that…
 It is my understanding that…
 As I understand it, …
 To my mind, …
 Frankly, / Honestly, / Personally, I think / believe / feel / reckon / maintain that…
 I totally / strongly agree /disagree with…

INTRODUCING OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS


 Some people think / say…
 Many people argue/ say / consider that…
 It is sometimes / often argued / suggested / said / claimed / asserted that…
 It is a well-known fact that…
 Research has shown that…
 It is clear that…
 It is often the case that…
 It is a commonplace…
 For the great majority of people,…
 The public in general tends to believe that…
 A problem that is often debated nowadays is that of…
 Nowadays everyone agrees that / most people agree that…
 There is a wide variety of opinions about…
 There is a widespread attitude nowadays that…
 According to recent studies,…
PUTTING YOUR IDEAS IN ORDER
 There are two good reasons for…
 On the one hand, there are a number of reasons against…
 Firstly,… / Secondly,…/ Thirdly,… /Finally,..
 To begin with, … / To start with,… / First of all,… / In the first place,…
 Also,… / Moreover,… / Furthermore,…/ In addition,…/ Besides, … / What is more,… / In addition to…
 … too. / as well.
 Then,… / Later,… / After that…
 Not only… but also…
 Both… and
 Another important fact is…
 An additional fact is…

INDICATING THE CAUSE OR REASON


 Because / Since / As…
 … because…
 Because of…/ Due to… / Owing to…
 This / That is why…
 For this reason,…
 One of the main reasons is that…
 Given that…

INDICATING THE CONSEQUENCES, THE RESULT, THE EFFECT


 As a result,… / As a consequence,…
 Thus, … / Therefore,… / Consequently,… / Accordingly,… / In consequence,… / Hence…
 The consequence of… / The result of … will be that…
 … which means that…
 … which seems to confirm that…
 … which will lead to…
 It follows from this reasoning that…

EXPRESSING CONTRASTS
 However,
 Nevertheless,
 On the one hand,… On the other hand,
 But…
 Although… / Even if… / Even though…
 In spite of… / Despite…
 In spite of the fact that… / Despite the fact that…
 Yet…
 In contrast,…
 On the contrary,…
 Otherwise…
 While…
 Whereas…
 Unlike…
INTRODUCING EXAMPLES
 For example,
 For instance,
 … such as…
 … like…
 …, e.g. …
 Take the case of…
 To illustrate the truth of this…
 A single, but striking, example of this is…
 Several examples may prove useful to show / illustrate…
 This can be illustrated with an example…
 This statement serves to illustrate…

EXPRESSING ARGUMENTS
Developing or starting the argument
 The first thing that needs to be said (about the topic under consideration) is that…
 It should be stressed / pointed out that…
 What should be established at the very outset is that…
 First of all, / To start with, I propose to consider…
 It is worthy of remark that…
 It may be well to note that…
 I believe it can be said that…

The other side of the argument


 On the one hand, it is observable…
 It may be asserted, however, that…
 Another way of looking at this question…
 It is now time to discuss…
 The other side of the coin is that…

Indicating a supposition, toning down an argument


 There might well be…
 Let’s assume / suppose that…
 It is not an overstatement to say…
 One might reasonably / justifiably suppose…

Expressing a certainty
 It cannot be denied that…
 It is obvious to everyone that…
 It is undoubtedly true that…
 It is evident / true / certain / indisputable / undeniable that…
 It has been proved that…
 Few will dispute the claim that…

Indicating doubt or uncertainty


 It is questionable whether…
 It is unlikely that…
 It remains to be seen whether…
 It is to be doubted whether…
 It may well be that… but is certainly questionable / but it is hard to be sure / but I wonder whether…
 It cannot be ruled out that…
 It would be dangerous to think that…

EXPRESSING AGREEMENT
 It must be admitted / granted…
 I (completely / really / totally / absolutely / honestly / truly) agree with … on…
 I could not agree more
 Nothing could be truer than…
 I am in favour of…

EXPRESSING DISAGREEMENT
 It is hard to agree with…
 I totally disagree with…
 I am against…
 I find it impossible to accept / agree…
 I want to raise some objections…
 Some objections can be raised against…
 It is totally inaccurate…
 It is very far from the truth…

EMPHASIZING PARTICULAR POINTS


 Moreover, it is significant that…
 It is well worth noting that…
 It is interesting to note that…
 It is essential to realize that…
 It might be a good idea to…
 I wish to focus my attention on…
 It should be taken into account...
 That is another factor that should be taken into account / consideration / borne in mind
 It is necessary at this point to consider…
 … deserves special consideration

INTRODUCING YOUR CONCLUSION


 To sum up, … / To summarize, … / To conclude,…
 In conclusion,…
 All in all,…
 On the whole,…
 By and large…
 In short, …
 In a nutshell,
 In the end,…
 In brief,…
 In order to finish…
 As shown above,…
 Generally speaking,…
 For these reasons, …
 All in all, I must acknowledge that…
 The most sensible / satisfactory conclusion I can come to is that…
 The only possible conclusion to be drawn from all this is that…
 On the whole it is clear that…

FCE ESSAY SAMPLES


Your essay must be between 140 and 190 words.

EXERCISE 1

In your English class, you have been talking about how long young people should stay in education. 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.

Essay question

All young people should continue at school or college until at least the age of 18. Do you agree?

Notes

1. qualifications for jobs

2. students who don’t like school

3. … (your own idea)

Although in my country compulsory education finishes at the age of 16, I believe that young people should continue

in education at least until they are 18.

There are two good reasons for encouraging young people to stay at school. Firstly, because jobs are becoming

more and more specialized and technical, it is almost impossible for 16-year-olds to find work. Secondly, if they stay

at school, they will receive the education and training which will create more opportunities for them in the future.

On the other hand, many students would like to leave school at 16. This is because they find school difficult or they

do not enjoy studying. They would prefer to be working and earning money.

A further point is that unmotivated students disrupt lessons and this causes problems for students who do not want

to study. Therefore, after 16 they should only study technical or practical subjects that interest them.

In conclusion, I believe it is a mistake for people to leave school too soon, because they will miss opportunities

which may arise in the future.

[179 words]

FCE ESSAY SAMPLES


Your essay must be between 140 and 190 words.

EXERCISE 2

In your English class, you have been talking about the advantages and disadvantages of travelling abroad on holiday.
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.

Essay question

Is it better to visit places in your own country or a foreign country when you go on holiday?

Notes

1. which is more interesting

2. which is cheaper

3. … (your own idea)

There are strong arguments in favour of both staying in your own country and travelling abroad. I personally think

that people should do both.

There are several reasons for staying in your own country. Firstly, I believe it is important to know, enjoy and feel

proud of your country, and there is usually a lot which is fascinating about its history and culture, which is important

to learn an experience. Secondly, you may be able to save money by finding cheaper accommodation. Finally,

because you speak the language, you will avoid many of the problems you might encounter when travelling abroad.

On the other hand, when you go abroad, you can learn from the way other people live. Also, if you choose the right

destination, it may be just as cheap as travelling in your own country, especially if you use youth hostels. Finally, it

gives you an opportunity to learn and practise other languages, which is good for your education.

For these reasons, I think that people should travel abroad from time to time, but also spend time visiting their own

country to appreciate what is good and interesting in both.

[192 words]

FCE ESSAY SAMPLES


Your essay must be between 140 and 190 words.
EXERCISE 3

You’ve recently had a discussion in your English class about society. 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.

Essay question

University should be free for everyone. Do you agree or disagree?

Notes

1. taxes

2. opportunity

3. … (your own idea)

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether university should be free or not. Among these are taxes,

equality of opportunity and the economy.

Firstly, a proportion of taxes should go to education. Some might say if you can afford university, then you should

pay for it. But, this does not take into account the fact that higher earners pay higher income tax, so there are

already contributing more.

Secondly, by making university free for all, it creates more opportunities for those from low-income backgrounds.

Although they may still have difficulty meeting other costs such as accommodation, it makes the playing field more

level.

In addition, having an educated workforce is proven to help the economy grow. The more educated people there

are, the higher the standard of living for everyone. Consequently, more people will be able to pay taxes to fund the

education of future generations.

In conclusion, university should be free for everyone. It makes economic sense and ultimately benefits all members

of society.

[167 words]

FCE ESSAY SAMPLES


Your essay must be between 140 and 190 words.

EXERCISE 4
In your English class, you have been talking about TV-watching habits. 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.

Essay question

Do children spend too much time watching television?

Notes

1. education

2. physical activity

3. … (your own idea)

Nowadays many homes have more than one television, and some children even have a TV in their bedrooms. It is

not surprising, then, that statistics show that watching television is the most popular activity for the majority of

children.

There is no doubt that children need time to relax after school, and most children’s programmes are certainly very

entertaining. Furthermore, some television programmes, especially documentaries and news programmes, are

educational and informative, and can contribute to a child’s education.

Having said that, many children’s programmes are of poor quality, and children learn nothing from them. What is

more, watching television is a very passive activity requiring no physical activity. In my view, it would be better if

children spent more time on more creative and imaginative activities, and on sport.

To sum up, I believe that parents should limit the amount of time that children spend in front of the television to

one or two hours a day. Otherwise, we run the risk of creating generations of unhealthy and ill-educated young

adults.

[172 words]