Showing posts from April, 2010

An Advanced Proposal

A sample of a Proposal from one of our Advanced students is now available on the download site. Please note the teacher's comments at the end: it's a great example of someone using what they've studied (and perhaps this website!) to do very good homework. Producing this level in an exam would be very difficult, but would certainly get a very high mark.

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Language for Writing Complaints

Here's a selection of "complaining language" from the British Council, Madrid Adults. Particularly formal language is in italics.
Some introductory sentences: I am writing to you to express my indignation/ outrage that I feel I must complain about the manner in which I am writing to you following a most regrettable incident I am somewhat concerned about something which occurred I am writing to you because I feel I can no longer put up with - direct! I feel I must express my deep unease at the manner in which I would just like to mention a little problem which has cropped up/ arisen concerning
Detailing the complaint: I was absolutely outraged to learn that - direct! I find it quite appalling/ most regrettable/ totally unacceptable that X should + verb - direct! It is quite beyond belief that a grown adult should + verb - direct! I was quite amazed to discover that - direct! You can imagine my surprise when It is rather unfortunate that he should + verb
Apportioning blame: The whole …

Reviewing More Complex Writing

Some tasks on paragraphs and organisation.

Go here for one on narrative organisation (useful for stories, review and writing about trips, travel etc, and here for another.
Go here for another on sentence transformation to develop more complex sentences.
Finally, go here for some complex sentence writing. COndense your ideas into fewer words to make a real impression.

Are we alone in the Universe?

Hello everyone. This is not a discussion of SETI, but homework!

You write your homework. You finish it. Hallelujah, you think. Done. Now let's hand it in and see how many yellow highlights I get this time!
But are you doing everything you can to reduce those highlights?
The reality is that some people do not check thier writing as much as they need to. One reason for this is because it is, if we're honest, not always that interesting and actually pretty difficult.
We can't check it for you, I'm afraid. But you could check it for each other. There are almost certainly one or two students in your group you know quite well now (hopefully more than that!). Why not agree to finish homework a couple of days early, and hand or send it to each other before you hand it or send it in? Email is rather useful for this...
You'll check thiers, they´ll check yours and you might both get some corrections, some opinions and even some ideas for how to do another one better in the future…

Advanced: Application Letter

A sample formal letter - you don't need to speak Polish to use it!
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Planning Practice

Helping you plan and organise your wriiting. Go here for 15 (yes, 15!) Fact Sheets, 8 worksheets and even a game to play.

The materials here are for all kinds of writing. Exam students should choose carefully for the kind of writing you will find more useful (notice all the work on letters!).
Concentrate on the topics you find most challenging.

Useful Language for Reports and Proposals

A selection of expressions at a formal register.

Here's some things that might help your homework writing(s).

The purpose/intention/aim of this report/proposal is to outline / present / discuss / give a brief comment / suggest / sum up the last...
This report contains the relevant details concerning the problem as you required.
It's based on my observations/extracts from the questionaries / the feedback from participants...
As requested, I am submitting this report concerning...
This report is submitted in support of our request for...

Findings (Reports) /Suggestions (Proposals)
I suggest ... as it would result in...
Consideration should be given...
It would be prudent / inadvisable / advisable to ... on the grounds that it / owing to the fact that / due to the fact that...
I am opposed to the idea of...
It would be mutually advantageous
I suggest that the problem of... can be addressed through...
For the satisfaction of... the ... should be...
Another …

Reports and Proposals: Headings & Subheadings

It may just be a personal thing, but I don't like proposals or reports (for example) referring to titles or headings in the body of the text.

For example, if you put this:
Food Food is one of the most...
I would suggest you change it to:
Food This is one of the most...
Miles Brickman

Writing Tip: Vocabulary in Homework

Make sure your vocabulary in your homework is showing you can talk about the topic. Identify the topic(s) in the question, then use your coursebook.

Find the chapter(s) in your coursebook that refer to the topic(s) and look out some useful words. At FCE aim for six-plus, ideally a mix fo verbs, nouns and, best of all, some combinations and, if the formality is right, a phrasal verb or two are very wise.

At CAE it's similar, but you're probably looking for ten words/phrases or more. Check your formality carefully, and be on the look out for synonyms at all times.

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