Exam English

In Cambridge First or Cambridge Advanced, you might be asked to write an article. But are you aware what makes an article distinctive from other styles of writing?

1 your reader is identified
An article is much like a direct conversation with your reader. The exam question may inform you who your readers are. As an example, the learning students at a school, or the people surviving in a town or those who are thinking about sports. Whatever you write must speak to this reader and engage their interest from the comfort of the sentence that is first.

2 This has to obtain attention
if you are anywhere on the web these days, you’ll be bombarded with articles with headlines that pull the reader in. It really is called “click baiting” and all the writer is attempting to accomplish is make you open the page to read through their article. You need to think like a journalist if you are writing your article.
Go through the heading and also the first line of this article. How did I get your attention?*

3 It has to be interesting
For a write-up to function, it offers to enough be engaging to read through all the way through. Remember how bored the examiner needs to be after reading fifty exam papers. Ensure it is easier for them to get a good impression about your writing by entertaining them. Add humour, actual life or made up examples, or make up quotes.

4 It has to be easy to read
Use subheadings to split the text up and make clear paragraphs. Write in a semi-informal, conversational style. While making sure there is organisation to your ideas. The planning stage is vital because of this. Spend 5-10 minutes ideas that are brainstorming pick the best three or four. Think exactly what your subheadings might be and then write a short introduction that lets the reader understand what to anticipate.
Keep in mind that you would like your reader to help keep reading, so do not inform them exactly what they’re going to read. This isn’t an essay! In an essay you usually restate the question, explain how you would answer it and possibly say why it is important. In a write-up, that will kill your reader’s interest.
Look back only at that paragraph. What sentence style have I used that makes it semi-informal and speak right to the reader?**

5 Write a ending that is good an essay you sum up the points that have gone before and draw a conclusion from that. However in an article, it’s easier to give the reader something to perhaps think about by asking them another question or giving them a call to action. Often, the best endings link back once again to the starting point in some way.
Listed below are two endings i really could use with this article:

  • Look at your internet browsing history from the day that is last. Which articles got your attention? Can you observe how it was done by them?
  • So, so now you understand how to write a write-up, the trend is to write one giving advice on something you realize about?

Common mistakes students make in articles

  • The language is too formal and much more suitable for essays. Avoid words like: in conclusion, some people say, nevertheless, on one hand etc.
  • They do not use quotes or examples
  • They either use not enough, or too many, questions. The questions, called questions that are rhetorical they do not require a response, shouldn’t become more than one per paragraph. Good examples are:

      * A title which makes the topic immediately clear. For many good reason, people like reading lists! And a direct, rhetorical question in the first paragraph to create readers would you like to find out of the answer.
      ** I’ve used the vital to give instructions. E.g. Think??¦Keep in mind??¦Write??¦Spend??¦

      Article contributed by Nicola Prentis who is a trained teacher and essay4you 20% off materials writer, based in Madrid and London. This woman is the writer of Speaking Skills (B2+) – a self study book with Collins.

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