HomeAdvanced Writing Part 2

OVERVIEW

  • In Part 2, you have to write 220-260 words.
  • You have to choose one task from a choice of three.
  • You may be asked to write a letter or email, a review, a report or a proposal.
  • The instructions will state clearly what you have to write and why you are writing it, as well as who you are writing for.

Identifying types of writing

The following statements are true about one or more of the types of text you may have to write in Part 2. Choose 🅐, 🅑, 🅒 and/or 🅓. Some questions have more than one answer.

  1. It is good to give this type of writing a title. 
  2. Headings within the text are appropriate. 
  3. This kind of text will begin Dear … . 
  4. This kind of text has to be clearly organised into distinct paragraphs. 
  5. This kind of text aims to persuade the reader. 
  6. The writer usually knows exactly who will read the text. 
  7. This kind of text usually tries to evaluate something that has happened or that the writer has experienced. 
  8. This kind of writing is more likely to be in a formal or neutral style than an informal one. 
  9. The writer usually begins with an overview of his or her reasons for writing the text. 
  10. The writer will try to begin this text in a way that will catch and hold the reader’s interest. 

Complete these sentences – taken from either a review, a letter/email, a proposal or a report – with the appropriate preposition. Then identify the text type that the sentence is most likely to have come from.

  1. I look forward  hearing from you again soon. 
  2.  conclusion, the campaign can be considered as having been a total success. 
  3. I’ve been terribly busy this month, but  last I’ve managed to find enough time to sit down and write to you properly. 
  4. Casablanca has to be one  the most romantic films ever made. 
  5. I recommend the first of the two options outlined above  a number of different reasons. 
  6. Do you prefer listening to music  your own or  the company of other people? 
  7. I am writing to congratulate you  the service which my wife and I received  your restaurant last night. 
  8.  the few slight problems which the group experienced this year, I have no hesitation  recommending the course for other students  the future. 
  9. The following recommendations are based  generally accepted estimates  regard to the city’s probable future needs for leisure facilities. 
  10. According  the results of our survey, female students make more use  the college’s libraries than male students do. 

Identifying what, why and who

What you have to write affects how you write your answer.
Complete the list below with the appropriate text type.


  1. Layout features: Title; Sub-headings
    Language features: Early statement of reason for writing; Absolute clarity of language describing something precisely; Ends with a conclusion – often a recommendation

  2. Layout features: Title; Sub-headings
    Language features: Early statement of reason for writing; Absolute clarity of language; Persuasive language; Argument backed up by clear reasons

  3. Layout features: Title
    Language features: Early statement of the subject; Some factual information about the subject; More of the content of the text should be devoted to the writer’s opinion than to facts about the subject; Writer’s opinion backed up by examples relating to the subject

  4. Layout features: Opening and closing formulae (e.g. Dear … , and Best wishes or Yours sincerely/faithfully)
    Language features: Clear opening paragraph giving reason for writing; Style will vary considerably depending on the intended reader

What you have to write usually includes two or three specific points that you have to deal with in your answers. Note down the three points of the topic in each of these exam tasks.

① A student website has asked readers to write a review of a website that they have found useful in their studies. The review should outline the content of the website, explaining why the reader has found it useful. It should also state how the reader would like to see the website develop in future.

Write your review.

The specific points here are:

②  You have received a letter from an English friend:

… As you know, I’m planning to study medicine at university. However, three friends are taking a year out and are setting off around the world when we leave school in June. I want to join them, but my parents say I’m too young and that it won’t benefit my studies in any way. How can I persuade them to let me go? And why don’t you come too?

Write your letter in reply. You do not need to include postal addresses.

The specific points here are:

③ The college where you study English wants to encourage students who are new to the local area to get involved in community life. You feel it would be particularly beneficial for students to do some voluntary work in their free time. Write a proposal for the college principal, outlining what kinds of voluntary work students could do. You should also explain how voluntary work benefits both the volunteers and the community.

Write your proposal.

The specific points here are:

When we write something, our aims can be described in functional terms: we may be writing, for example, in order to explain, to give our opinion, to recommend, to suggest, to apologise, to complain, to persuade, etc.
Look at the questions in Exercise
and note which functions are involved in each question.
(There is more than one function in each question.)

① 

Who we are writing for affects how we write. Look again at the questions in Exercise ❷.
Who are you writing for in each case? How does this affect what you write and how you write it?

① 

expressing functions

Match the sentences below with the main function they are used to express from the list. One sentence is expressing a function that is not in the list. Which sentence is that? What function is it expressing?

  1. One possibility would be to organise a meeting to find out how other students feel about the proposed new timetable. 
  2. It is disgraceful that members of your staff should have such a careless attitude towards their work. 
  3. I should not have borrowed your bicycle without asking your permission. 
  4. One of the options would be more expensive to implement than the others. 
  5. The third option seems to me to be the preferable choice because it would benefit the largest number of people. 
  6. Your success is a magnificent achievement and one that you should take great pride in. 

In the Cambridge English: Advanced exam, you need to show that you can express functions in more than one way. Here are example sentences using some of the functions that you often need to express in the exam.
In each case, one word is missing. Complete the sentences with appropriate words.

Complaining

  • I am writing to complain  the service I received in your hotel last weekend.
  • If I do not receive a satisfactory response, then I shall have no  but to send a full account of the way I was treated to your Head Office.
  • It was very upsetting to be spoken  so impolitely  your reception staff.

Persuading

  • I feel sure you would  it if you did not  advantage of this exceptional opportunity.
  • There’s no denying the  that this is a very generous offer.
  • Surely you must  that opportunities like this do not arise very frequently.

Recommending

  • If I were in your , I wouldn’t hesitate to seize the opportunity on offer.
  •  my opinion, the best  of action would be to carry out a survey to discover how local residents feel about the proposal.
  •  no circumstances should you  a hasty decision.

Giving reasons

  • There are a number of reasons  I am of this opinion.
  • I should like to  forward the case for a rather different approach from the one that has been taken in the past.
  • The project has been temporarily suspended owing  a lack of funding.

exam practice

STRATEGIES

[five_sixth]

  1. Choose the task that you think you can write the best answer to.
  2. Read the question very carefully, underlining the key points. Think about what kind of text (e.g. letter, report, proposal, etc.) you have to write and follow the English conventions for that text type.
  3. Think about who you are writing for – should your language be formal, informal or neutral?
  4. Think about why you are writing (for example, to inform, to entertain, to persuade, to complain, etc.) and how this will affect your response.
  5. Make a plan before you start writing.
  6. Organise your answer in clear paragraphs.
  7. Use a variety of structures and vocabulary – make a quick list of possible
    structures and vocabulary before you start.
  8. Allow time to check your writing.
  9. Aim to spend about 45 minutes on your answer, including planning and checking time.[/five_sixth]

[one_sixth_last]

You can write in either British or American English, but keep to one or the other. Do not write, for example: The theater is in the centre of the town.

[/one_sixth_last]

 

Write an answer to one of the questions ❶-❸ in this part.
Write your answer in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

  • Choose the question for which you feel you have the language to write the best answer, even if that is not the question that interests you most.
  • Only answer a work-related question if you have some experience of a workplace, as that is essential to give the answer an authentic flavour.

❶ Your company would like to offer work-experience placements to students in an international college. Write a letter for publication in the student newspaper at the college.

Your letter should explain what your company does, what kind of work-experience placements are available, and how students would benefit from the experience.

Write your letter.

(A letter like this wants to encourage the right kind of students to apply, so it needs to provide clear information about true nature of the work on offer.)

❷ A website has asked readers for reviews of new software applications. Write a review of an application that you have used. Your review should comment on what is special about the software. It should also explain who might find the software most useful or appealing and why. Your review should also suggest one way in which the software could be improved.

Write your review.

(Even if you are describing software that you feel is perfect, you need to make at least one suggestion for its improvement. Do not forget that it is not essential to tell the truth – you could, for example, always say that the Help notes are not comprehensive enough, even if you have found them very thorough and clear.)

❸ Your local city council is investigating whether the city centre meets the needs of the city’s inhabitants. You have been asked to write a report for the council.

Your report should discuss the entertainment and restaurant facilities in the city centre from the point of view of people of your age group. It should also describe at least one way in which the city centre could be improved to meet your age group’s needs more effectively.

Write your report.

(Remember that your report must focus on one particular age group – do not forget to say which at the start of your report – and not on the needs of the city’s inhabitants in general!)

References
Acknowledgements

All authors must admit to a dependence on the work of others. We are no exception. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the publications and reference sources that we have consulted and adapted for educational purposes. It would also have been quite impossible to have produced the material on this website without adapting a variety of authentic resources that we have regularly referred to. While every effort has been made, it has not always been possible to identify and cite the sources of all the material used or to trace all copyright holders. We will be happy to omit any contents or include any appropriate acknowledgements when they are brought to our notice.

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