Essay writing


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Essay writing

  1. 1. FCE: Essay Writing Checklist Compiled by Sandy Millin Before you write Finish these instructions.  Make a __plan__. If you write a question, answer it too. This is your ideas time. When you are writing, you can concentrate on the language you use.  Spend at least __a few__ minutes on your plan. This will save you time later and improve the organisation of your essay.  Use the plan to make sure you __answer the questions__ correctly and relevantly. While you are writing  ‘Write’ each sentence in your mind before you put it on paper. This will make your work easier to read.  Don’t write on every line. Leave a space and you will be able to correct yourself or add extra information later. Compare: In this box I am writing on every line. If I do a mistake there is very little space for me to correct it. I cannot add extra information if I need to. It is sometimes difficult to read. In this box I am not writing on every line. If I do a mistake there is space for me to correct it. I can add extra information if I need to. It is easier to read. Make statements Be bold with what you want to say. Try not to use too many modals of speculation or the reader may think you are not sure about the topic. For example: Travelling to other countries could be very good for combating racism. Better = Travelling to other countries is very good for combating racism. make make
  2. 2. FCE: Essay Writing Checklist Compiled by Sandy Millin Introduction The introduction should be two to three sentences long. It could include:  a sentence or two about the topic in general;  a sentence telling the reader whether the essay will look at one or both sides of the issue;  a question which you will answer in your essay. Highlight any useful words or phrases from these examples.  Nowadays, tourism is becoming more and more important to the global economy. But what are the negative effects of tourism?  Newspapers are full of articles about the effects tourism has on developing countries. It brings benefits to their economies and their people.  During the last thirty years tourism has been increasing in my country. There have been many benefits to this. Conclusion The conclusion should be two to three sentences long. It should include:  a summary of your main points;  your opinion;  a reference to the original question (try to rephrase it);  NO new information. Here are some conclusions from essays on the topic “Tourism causes more problems than it solves.” Which one is the most appropriate? Why?  To conclude, I strongly believe that tourism solves more problems than it causes.  In conclusion, I think it is great to share your life with other people from around the world.  To sum up, in my opinion there are more disadvantages than advantages to tourism for poor countries because tourists do not consider the effects of their holidays on the local people.
  3. 3. FCE: Essay Writing Checklist Compiled by Sandy Millin Learn words and phrases to link your work together Write these words and phrases into the correct place in the table. Putting your ideas in order Showing results / consequences Firstly – secondly – finally – in addition – furthermore – what’s more As a result – as a consequence – consequently - Because of this Showing reasons Showing contrasts There are two good reasons for ing – due to – owing to –for this reason – in order to infinitive Although – however – nevertheless – on the other hand – in contrast – in spite of – despite – even though Expressing opinions Giving examples I feel – I think – in my opinion – I strongly believe –- For example – for instance – such as – these include Write a paragraph about why people should (not) learn English. Use as many linking phrases as necessary. Try to use phrases which are new to you.
  4. 4. FCE: Essay Writing Checklist Compiled by Sandy Millin Use formal language Each of these sentences can be made more formal. How would you change them? 1. People don’t think about the damage they cause. 2. There are lots of things which can affect the economy. 3. Countries earn loads of money from tourism. Large amount of money 4. Tourism causes many different kinds of problems. (A great variety) 5. It is easier to go somewhere on holiday than ever before. (Abroad) 6. Some people think that tourism is bad for poor countries. Use the table to summarize the differences between formal and informal language. The number shows you which example to look at to help you complete the rule. Formal Language Informal Language No __constructions__.1 C________________ are acceptable.1 Use __formal__ phrases like:  ___many factors___2  ___large amount of money___3  ___a variety of___4 It is acceptable to use __informal__ phrases like:  ___lots of thing___2  ___loads of___3  ___many different kinds of___4 Use ___specific___ words linked to the essay topic whenever you can.5 ___General___ words are acceptable.5 Use ___passive___ structures if you can. This makes the text less personal. 6 Generally, use the ___active___ more than the ___passive___. 6
  5. 5. FCE: Essay Writing Checklist Compiled by Sandy Millin Use a range of adjectives Adjectives likes ‘good’, ‘bad’ and ‘nice’ are useful in informal language, but there are many better synonyms which you can use when writing a formal essay. How many synonyms can you think of for each word?  good / nice great, fine, excellent, interesting, awesome, fascinating, incredible,  bad faulty, poor, evil, Can you improve this sentence? Travelling to other countries is very good for combating racism. Check your writing carefully Read it slowly and check for these things:  Is your text between 120 and 180 words? To get higher marks it should be closer to 180 words. Have you included reasons to support your answer? You could also include examples to illustrate your points.  Check your spellings. A good way to do this is to read your text backwards. That way you see each word individually, instead of seeing what you think is there.  Have you used the correct prepositions for each noun / verb / adjective?  Is your essay formal enough? Remember to check everything from the table.  How long are your sentences? Can you use a linking word or should you make the sentence shorter?  Have you used the correct form for each verb? If the verb is the subject of the sentence, make sure it is a gerund. For the past simple and past participle, is the verb regular or irregular?  Check singular / plural forms. Do verbs agree? Are the adjectives all ‘singular’? Have you used plural forms after ‘one of’ and ‘a variety of’?
  6. 6. FCE: Essay Writing Checklist Compiled by Sandy Millin  Have you answered the question?!