Getting ready to write.

One Way to Plan Your Work

There's no single way to plan a writing answer, but here's a two-step process that tries to get you to focus on

- the tasks you've got to do
- the language you need to use
- avoiding copying from the question
- getting variety in your vocab

Take a look at this question:

Apply this two step process.

Step 1.
a. Underline all the FUNCTIONS you have to carry out in this exercise.
b. Highlight the important information words in the question.

Here are's our version:

QuestionYou are reading an English language magazine and you see details of a language school that you are interested in.


If you would like to study English on a course that has been specially designed to meet your needs and interests, then contact the Principal of the Effective Learning School giving details of your:
  • Motivation for studying English; length of time studying English; strengths and weaknesses in the language
  • Preferred start date and length of course
  • Hobbies and interests
We will contact you once we have received your details in order to arrange a programme of study for you.
Write your letter to the Principal of the school. (around 120-180 words)

Step 2
a. For the ideas you underlined, think of ways to say or write those functions
b. For the words you highlighted. Think of examples and/or other words with the same or similar meanings.

Here are's our try:

"I am writing to you to..."
"I would like/would rather"
Giving examples 
"For example", "such as", "including"

"I'm good at", "I really enjoy", "I find xxxxx really (enjoyable)"
 "I wish I could...."
Start date: 
I'd like to begin on
I'd like a course that lasts
Hobbies and interests: 
When I get some free time...

What youve done is use the question to write a plan, and produce a list of language you need in your answer.- We managed to write over 40 words there - for a 150 word essay! 

It's all going to be relevant as you've used the question for inspiration! Ut's probably more or less in the right order too.

Now all you need to do is connect it all up, personalise it, add in some linking words and make sure the formality is OK - and you should get a satisfactory mark!

Give it a try on your next homework!