Having selected the right kit (writing features) you can then concentrate on using wide ranging detail from the original text in order to secure as many marks as possible: marks for ‘Reading’ 15 marks for ‘Writing’ 5
If you apply the wrong techniques and features – the text won’t provide a platform from which you can show off your ability to extract and use detail from the original – even though there are only 5 marks for ‘Writing’, it’s important to get it right.
Marks for Reading Band 1: 13–15 The answer reveals a thorough reading of the passage. A good range of ideas is modified, developed and integrated into the answer, contributing to a strong sense of purpose and approach. Responses are consistentand sustained. Band 2: 10–12 There is evidence of a competent reading of the passage. Some of the ideas and facts are developed, but the ability to sustain may not be consistent. Expect some attempt to integrate the material with occasional effectiveness. There is some supporting detail throughout. Band 3: 7–9 The passage has been read reasonably well, but the answer may not reflect the range and detail of the original. There may be evidence of a mechanical use of the passage. There is focus on the task and satisfactory reference, but opportunities for development are not always taken. Some supporting detail is used, but not consistently. Ideas are simply formulated.
Marks for Writing Band 1: 5 The language has character and sounds convincing. Ideas are confidently expressed in a wide range of effective and/or interesting language. Sequence is soundthroughout. Band 2: 4 Language is mostly fluent and there is clarity of explanation. There is a sufficient range of vocabulary to express ideas with some subtlety. The response attempts to create character or appropriate voice. The answer is mainly well sequenced. Band 3: 3 Language is clear and appropriate, but comparatively plain, expressing little character. Individual points are rarely extended, but explanations are adequate. There may be flaws in the sequence.
You should, then, practise extracting relevant material, modify or adapt it and then employ the relevant featuresand techniques associated with the target text type you are asked to write in.
Here are some of the text types that you might be asked to produce:
May / June 2011 (i) Imagine that you are the reporter, Rob Buchanan. You interview Dean Potter after the climb and ask the following questions: • Incredible! How did you manage to climb the face so quickly? • How do you answer people who say that what you do is foolish? • Can you tell us about your relationship with your climbing partner, O’Neill? Write the words of the interview
May / June 2011 (ii) Imagine you work for the Ministry of Agriculture. You have been sent to conduct a second investigationas to whether there is large foreign cat activity on Bodmin Moor. Write a formal report on your findings. In your report, you should comment on: • what local people believe about the presence of a beast; • the lack of conclusive proof and the alternative theories; • your recommendations with reasons.
May / June 2011 (iii) Imagine that you are the old man in the final paragraphs (When we returned…after our visit). Write a letter to your sister, who lives in a different part of the country. In your letter, you should: • describe, in your own words, what has happened to the town; • express your thoughts and emotions about the past, present and future.
October / November 2010 (i) Imagine that shortly after the marriage service, Mrs Ferris-Grebe and Mrs Kougarhave their first conversation together. Write the conversation that would take place. In the conversation you should explore: • their views on the wedding ceremony; • their feelings about the suitability of the marriage; • the differences between the two women and their families.
October / November 2010 (ii) Imagine a meeting between the writer and the town mayor to discuss the writer’s ideas for Rataia. Write the conversation that would take place. Include the views of both speakers on how the changes would affect: • the town; • the lives of the inhabitants; • the natural environment.
October / November 2010 (iii) Imagine you are a reporter investigating the cause of an infestation of mice that has occurred throughout the village of Malsam. Write your report for a national newspaper, using the headline: ‘Horror Plague Overwhelms Village. ’ You should include the following: • the effects of the infestation on the villagers; • the attitudes of the villagers to the Duvall family; • the comments of the Duvall parents and children.
May / June 2010(i) Immediately after the sequences that you have just read about, Signor Alessandro gives a TV interview. The interviewer asks three questions: • Some people say you are an eccentric man whose behaviour is odd at times. Are they right? • Can you explain the unexpected happenings that took place at the beginning of your Beethoven concert? • Do you think that the time has come for you to retire from conducting? Write the words of the interview.
May / June 2010(ii) Imagine you are the writer’s friend, Lary. Write a letter to a member of your family after your visit to the gorilla sanctuary. In your letter you should: • make the chimps and gorillas sound interesting and lovable; • give your impressions of Mark and of Madame Yvette; • persuade your family to support the work of the sanctuary.
May / June 2010(iii) As a result of the dispute between neighbours, a public meeting has been called. At this meeting, in turn, the writer’s mother and the father next door are given the chance to present their views. The chairperson of the meeting asks the mother the following question: “Can you explain why you and other people in the neighbourhood believe that things have ‘gone too far’?” The chairperson of the meeting asks the father next door the following question: “Can you explain your position and views on this matter?” Write the words of the public meeting.
October / November 2009 Imagine you are a schools inspector and you have recently visited the school described in Passage A. You are not pleased with what you have observed. Write your report, in which you: • outline and explain the reasons for your dissatisfaction; • make some recommendations to improve matters.
May / June 2009 Imagine you are Aunt Pegg. After one week of looking after the children, you write a letter to their parents in which you: • give your impressions of the children; • give an account of your progress with them so far; • tell your plans for the next week.
October / November 2008 Imagine you are a reporter, writing from the area. Write the newspaper report which would have appeared a week after the eruption of Vesuvius. Use the following headline: Tragic death of respected Naval Commander: Eruption causes terror and destruction in Bay of Naples
May / June 2008 Imagine that you are Donovan Webster. You are being interviewed for a television programme about your visit to Diudiu in Mongolia. Your interviewer asks the following questions: • Could you start by telling the viewers a little about Diudiu’s lifestyle? • What did you admire most about Diudiu? • How has your meeting with her made you consider your own life-style and values? Write the words of the interview.
October / November 2007 Write a newspaper report using the headlines printed below. Base what you write closely on the reading material in Passage A. Lost family found alive and well − hours from death Dramatic rescue by fishermen Include the following in your report, in any order you wish: • comments about the rescue made by some of the people involved • reference to what life on the Ednamair was like before the rescue took place • feelings experienced by the family and the Japanese crew
May / June 2007 Your school or college has a group for older students, which debates matters of general interest and current affairs. Imagine that you are a member of this group and have been asked to attend Dr. Zinc’s talk in the public gardens. Write a reportto the committee that organises the group. In your report give your reasons whether or not Dr. Zinc should be invited to speak at one of the debates.
October / November 2006 Imagine you are the writer of Passage A. Write a diary entry in which you explore your thoughts and feelings about the trip so far. You will be sending your diary entry to your friends and family. In your entry include • the impact of the landscape • your reactions to people and places.
May / June 2006 You have recently stayed at the Shamrock Hotel and, most surprisingly, you thoroughly enjoyed your stay. Write a letter to Mr and Mrs Doyle explaining the reasons why you liked the hotel so much. You know that the Doyles will use your letter to advertise the hotel in future.
October / November 2005 Imagine that you live near to Gatsby’s house where the parties take place. You object to the parties for several reasons, including the lavish display of wealth. Write a letterto the owner of the house, setting out your various objections and justifying each one by developing ideas and details from the passage.
May / June 2005 Imagine that you are writing a visitors’ guide to the area described in Passage A. Write an introductionwhich: • describes the attractions of the area • persuades people with different interests to spend some time there.
October / November 2004 Write a letter to the organisers of an athletics competition expressing your views and concerns on the issue of the equal participation of able-bodied and disabled athletes. Base the content of your letter on ideas from both Passage A and Passage B. In your letter, consider and develop these points: • that the decisions have ‘turned sport upside down’ • that traditionalists will not like the changes • that some disabled athletes do not think enough has been done.
May / June 2004 You are the presenter of a radio programme about dangerous expeditions. You have invited Walter Bonatti and Ranulph Fiennes to talk about their experiences. Write the transcript of part of your conversation. During the conversation you, the presenter, should ask the following questions: • What qualities do you think a successful explorer or mountaineer needs? • Do you think you are testing your luck and your endurance to too great an extreme?