Writing guideA formal/semi-formal letter/emailDear Sir or Madam,I’m writing in response to your advertisement for ‘The Journey of a Lifetime’ in the June edition of the Student Gazettenewspaper.I have just finished my studies at school and have a place at University. Before I start my degree in Business Studies and thenpursue a career, I would like to take a gap year in order to increase my experience of the world.My interests include mountain biking and sailing. This year at school I was involved in raising money for a local children’s charityand I was also responsible for helping to organise the school drama festival.I enjoy meeting people and I feel being involved in one of your gap year projects could help me to improve my communicationand teamwork skills.I would be grateful if you could send me information about your organisation and details of how to apply.Yours faithfully,Becky Raven.Formal expressionsOpening salutationDear Sir or Madam fiDear Mr RylandsfiDear MartinfiReason for writingI am writingClosing salutationYours faithfullyYours sincerely/Best regardsBest wishesExtra Writing Practice to (request/complain about/inform ) in response to in connection to Referring to previous contactThank you for your letter/email With regardFurther to your letter dated Give good/bad newsI would be delighted to We would be happy to Unfortunately Refer to future contactI look forward to hearing from you. have any further questionsIf you require any further information,Write an answer to this question. Writeyour answer in 120–180 words in anappropriate style.You have seen an advertisement on yourschool notice board to have a pen friendin the United Kingdom with the chance tostay in England for a week in the summer.In return your pen friend would also visityou. Write a letter to introduce yourselffor the first time. Begin your letter DearPen Friend please do not hesitate to contact me.19923 FCE WritingGuide.indd 1992127108 10:18:27

A less formal letter/emailHi MariaI’m really sorry about last week. I was really ill so I had to cancel my own party. Anyway, this isjust to let you know that I’m now having my birthday party next Saturday. So the good news isthat I can invite you again! Would you like to come?I can’t hire the local hall so it will be at my house. It starts at 7 and there’ll be about 20people there. You can get to my house on the number 60 bus. Ask the driver to stop on InsleyRoad. We’re at number 76.By the way thanks for the birthday present you sent. The shirt was a great fit! I’ll wear it atthe party. Look forward to seeing you on Saturday.Best wishesRitchie.Less formal or informal expressionsGive reason for writingJust to let you know that.I’m emailing you to.I’m so happy because.The good/bad news is that.Unfortunately.ApologiseI really sorry but.I’m afraid that.Say when and where/Give detailsThere is/are.It’s at/starts at.You can get there by.Offer/RequestWould you like to.?Can I.?/Could you.?Would you mind if.?Recommend and suggestYou should/ought to.Why don’t you.?How about.?ThankThanks for.I’m really grateful for.End Look forward to seeing you./See you soon.Bye for now.All the best/Best wishes.Give good news/bad newsExtra Writing PracticeImagine you are Maria in the email from Ritchie above. Write a reply(120–150 words.)– Apologise that you cannot come to the party.– Explain why not.– Suggest meeting for lunch/Say when/Recommend somewhere.200Writing Guide23 FCE WritingGuide.indd 2002127108 10:18:28

A reviewIntroduce yoursubject forreview.My favourite film of the last few months was ‘CasinoRoyale’. It‘s the latest James Bond film but it‘s verydifferent from previous films.The first thing you notice about the film is that Bondis younger and more aggressive. The female characteris also a spy and more than the usual ‘Bond girl’.,In addition, it‘s worth seeing because it s much morerealistic.Review someof the positivepoints.One problem with the film is that it happens in lots oflocations and the plot is a bit too complicated. It alsoneeds to be about 30 minutes shorter. Nevertheless,the scenes in the Casino have lots of tension and thecriminal characters are particularly evil and interesting.Mentionsomeweakerpoints.So overall I‘d recommend the film as it‘s a new kind ofBond movie and not the usual predictable mix of fancycars and stupid gadgets. It‘s certainly a good choice ifyou want to watch a DVD next Friday night.Conclude with youroverall opinion.Useful expressionsI ntroducing your reviewThe aim/purpose of this review is to.My favourite. is.The first thing you notice is. escribing positive featureDOne thing I really like about it is.It’s worth seeing because.A really good part is when.Describing weaknessesOne problem is.It isn’t very.One thing that could be improved is.It also needs more.Final commentsOverall, I (strongly) recommend.It’s certainly a good.(Nevertheless) it’s much better than.Extra Writing PracticeYou recently saw this notice in an English-language magazine calledCinema World.Tell us about your favourite film of the year!What was your favourite film of the last few months? Write us a review ofthe film you saw (120–180 words.) Include information on the characters,the style of the film and explain why you liked it so much. The best reviewswill be published next month.20123 FCE WritingGuide.indd 2012127108 10:18:30

A short story,Carl s family had an important reason for leaving the house at two in the morning, andso everyone had gone to bed early. In fact Carl had been so excited about flying for thefirst time he could hardly sleep. When he managed to, he dreamt his saw his mother, thetwins and himself all running down the airport runway chasing the plane as it took off.He was screaming, ‘Wait! Wait!’ Suddenly, he woke to a voice saying, ‘Wake up Carl. Getdressed! We‘re late!’After a one-hour journey down the motorway they finally arrived at the airport. ‘Yourflight is boarding now,’ said the person at check-in. ‘If you run you might catch it.’ Asthey ran through the airport and reached the gate the plane was moving off. Carl shoutedto his family, ‘Quick, follow me!’ He raced ahead out onto the runway. ‘Wait! Wait!’ heshouted.Just then, he woke. Carl‘s alarm clock was ringing and his mother smiled at him. ‘It‘ stime to get up Carl. We don‘t want to miss the plane.’Useful expressions ackground and atmosphereBIt was raining with flashes of lightningoutside The house was quiet and I sat all alone It all began on a day when I had been We were very tired and had been travellingall day C ontrasting time and eventsAfter As soon as I By the time At the same time While I was -ing, they were Meanwhile A second later T he climax/endingJust then In the end Eventually Finally, I realised That was the last time I’d ever Extra Writing PracticeYour teacher has asked you to write a story (120–180words) for an international magazine. The story must beginwith the following words: Rachel’s family had an importantreason for waking up early that morning and her mother had setthe alarm clock for 5am.202Writing Guide23 FCE WritingGuide.indd 2022127108 10:18:31

A reportAlways include atitle to explain thepurpose. You couldalso say who thereport is for.State the purposeof the report.To: The Principal of the SchoolFrom: Class 5Subject: Ideas for the school ‘eco-day’The aim of this report is to present Class 5’s ideas for events atthe school during ‘eco-week’.Poster competitionOur first idea is to run a poster competition. Each student coulddesign a poster about the environment. For example, it mightshow how to recycle or suggest switching the standby switch offon the TV.Sub-headings area good idea andhelp the reader.Give examples tohelp explain.No carsWe could ask all students to walk or cycle to school during theweek. The only problem would be that some students live too farfrom the school. However, they could ask their parents to sharecar journeys with others and save petrol.Contrast and addinformation wherenecessary.DisplayOur final plan is to have a display in the main hall of all theobjects you can recycle. For example, we could show how plasticbottles can be made into coats.To sum up, everyone was very enthusiastic about the‘eco-week’. Next we would like to advertise the events during theweek by sending a letter to all teachers to give to their students.Don’t forget tosummarise. You mightalso want to say whatneeds to happen as aresult of the report.Useful expressionsIntroducing the report/Stating the purposeThe following reports outlines The aim of this report is to The report is based on Giving reasons/RecommendingAs result of we think This is a good idea because We recommend this because Introducing ideasThe first/Another idea is to One possibility is to Our final idea/plan/suggestion is to Contrasting and alternativesOn the one hand on the other One problem is /However In contrast Proposing and suggestingWe should/could We would like to If possible, we It might be a good idea to One suggestion is to GeneralisingIn general On the whole.Concluding and summing upIn conclusion To sum up.Our final recommendation is that.Extra Writing PracticeWrite an answer to this question.Write your answer in 120–180words in an appropriate style.There is a problem with parkingat your place of work (or study.)There is not enough room for cars.You recently attended a meetingwith a group of people to discussways to solve the problem.Write a report on the meeting.Describe the best ideas andpropose a solution.20323 FCE WritingGuide.indd 2032127108 10:18:33

An articleGive it a titleThree ways to save energy aroundthe homeIn a time when the world is trying to save its naturalresources, it‘s easy for many of us to help by usingless energy in our houses.Use clearparagraphsfor eachpart of yourarticle.Introduce thesubject byrestating thequestionTake, for example, standby switches on TVs. Manypeople don‘t realise that when you aren‘t watching it,you might still be using electricity. All you have to dois switch it off at the plug when you go to bed andyou‘ve already reduced your electricity bill.A second way to use less energy is to fit special lightbulbs which last longer than normal light bulbs and useless energy. They cost a little more but in the longrun, they save you money.Finally, put a sweater on! When it gets cold, manypeople turn up the heating. But if they just put asweater on they would quickly get warmer withoutusing fuel.Don’t forgeta conclusion.Sometimes you caninclude a messageto the reader.So next time you are about to switch it on or turnit up, ask yourself if you really need to and saveyourself some money at the same time!Extra Writing PracticeWrite an answer to this question.We are looking for an article (120–180 words) thatsuggests three ways to improve the local community.Explain why this is an important issue and suggestthree ideas to help. The winning article will receive a 50 book token!204Writing Guide23 FCE WritingGuide.indd 2042127108 10:18:35

An opinion essayRead the student’s answer to the following exam question.Write an article and give your opinion on the following statement: ‘It’s important that youngpeople should learn to earn money early on in life rather than being given pocket money.’From the moment we leave school to the time we retire, most of us will have to work in order to earnmoney during our life. So the question is whether we should have to work before this time as children orwait until we become adults.In my opinion, children should have to earn pocket money. By that I don‘t mean that they should have fulltime jobs but that there are plenty of things they can do around the house such as the washing-up orgardening.In addition to helping at home, working for money gives children a greater sense responsibility. What‘s more,parents who simply give children money are not preparing them for the adult world. You could also argue thatwhen children earn their money, when they buy something it will mean so much more.So, to sum up, I believe that children learn from the experience of earning money and find out that nothingin life is for free.Useful expressionsIntroductionSome people claim/believe/sayIt is sometimes said that The question is We often read/hear that Stating your opinionIn my opinion,As I see it,From my point of view Making extra pointsWhat’s more In addition Furthermore Introducing a contradictory pointAlthough/Even though Despite noun/gerund/Despite the fact that However Contrasting views for and againstOn the one hand/side on the otherWhile it’s true that You could also argue that Nevertheless, /However, One advantage/Another disadvantage is that Even though ConcludingOn balance I feel/believe that.In my opinion Summarising To sum up, in conclusion, Extra Writing PracticeWrite an essay (120–180words) giving your opinion onthe following statement: ‘Youngpeople are spending too much timein front of screens (TV, computer)and have stopped learning what“real life” looks like.’A ‘for and against’ essayThere are two ways to structure a ‘for and against’ essay. You can either contrast an argument forand against in each paragraph OR give all the arguments for in one paragraph and then all thearguments against in the next paragraph. Notice how these two answers for the same FCE question arestructured:Some people believe that learning a language is one of the most useful subjects at school andshould be compulsory for all pupils. State the arguments for and against this view.20523 FCE WritingGuide.indd 2052127108 10:18:36

Version 1For many children, school is the obvious place to learn another language.However, there are so many other important subjects such as mathematicsor history that not all pupils have enough time to study everything.Contrast anargumentfor andagainstin eachparagraph.One argument for making language lessons compulsory is that more andmore professions need people with langua