How to write an article for New FCE exam

How to write an article for the New FCE exam? Here’s a sample topic that has been divided into paragraphs and each of the sections explained. 

Part 2 

You must answer this question.

You see this competition in an international magazine.

COMPETITION

Imagine you were on a desert island. What would you miss most? Write an article briefly describing an important object, person or place in your life and give reasons for your choice.

The best article will be published and the writer will receive £500.

Write your article in 140- 190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet.

Sample answer:

Life away from home


How would you feel about living on a desert island? I can’t imagine anything worse. I would miss a lot of things, but most of all I would miss my home.
 

You start with Paragraph 1- Introduction
In the introduction you :

– think of a title that will catch the reader’s attention

– include the topic- you might not know the reader personally, but still, you can address him/her directly (e.g. ask them a question)

Phrases you can use in the introduction:

Addressing the reader
Have you ever..
You absolutely must …
Can you imagine …
I’m sure you’d agree
I must tell you about …
You wouldn’t believe..
REMEMBER: It’s a semi-formal/ informal piece of writing make it interesting by including a range of language, e.g. adjectives and adverbs, phrasal verbs, collocations, relative clauses, linkers, one or two idioms. 
DON’T copy out the task- use synonyms

My home is a small house on the outskirts of a city. It was built about fifty years ago and has a small garden. In the summer our country gets very hot but our house is always cool.

Note that the question/topic says the description should be ‘brief’.

 

Phrases you can use to in the 2nd and 3rd paragraph:

Giving a strong opinion 
It’s absolutely stunning / terrible (strong adjective).
It took my breath away.
I will never forget it.
There’s nothing in the world like it.
Adding and developing ideas
For a start .. Secondly. / Thirdly./ Finally….
And then there’s the fact that ..
On top of that….
Apart from that….
I must also mention …
As if this wasn’t enough, …

Giving examples …. such as ../.. particularly …/ ….like…

You would probably think our house is nothing special, but I have lived there all my life and all my friends live nearby. It is a happy place, where I feel completely safe. Whenever I go away, I look forward to coming back, lying on my bed, reading a book and listening to my brother and sister arguing downstairs! 

In the 3rd Paragraph you :

– give specific examples to bring your article to life
– use informal language to involve the reader
– don’t forget to express your opinion
– be personal

I love travelling and meeting new people, but if I were on a desert island I would be away from the place I love most — my home — and I would hate that. 

In the last paragraph you :

– finish with a sentence which summarises what you have said
– end with an interesting last sentence
– give your opinion or express your feeling

Phrases you can use to end the letter

Giving a personal response
For me, / To me…..
Personally, I think / find / believe …
It seems to me … In my view…. One thing I love / remember …
I’ll never forget …

Over to you:

You have seen this advertisement in an international magazine.

INSPIRING PEOPLE

Tell us about a person you admire and why they inspire you.

We will publish the most interesting articles next month.

 

Write your article .  Write your answer in 140- 190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet.

Once again, over to you:

You have seen this advertisement on an international travel website.

CITY BREAKS

What’s your favourite city, and why? Write us an article:

• describing the city.

• saying why it is special for you.

We’ll publish the most interesting articles online next month

Write your answer in 140- 190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet.

Exam tip

* write a catchy title that gives the main idea

* try to involve the reader by using lively, chatty, semi-formal style, don’t sound too formal

* you can address the reader directly (I’m sure you’ll agree that …) or ask one or two questions (Have you heard …?)

* make your article more interesting by including a range of language, e.g. adjectives and adverbs, phrasal verbs, collocations, relative clauses, linkers, one or two idioms.

* give personal opinions, include description, examples, stories to support your views. Think of a suitable start and finish for your article

* use colourful language, such as phrasal verbs, collocations and idioms

*make sure you answer all the points in the question

*use the correct number of words  

*check your work for accuracy

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