Showing posts from May, 2011

First: Assess an article

If you are interested in writing articles, think about this one:
Today's television
"A load of old rubbish" or
"More choice than ever before"?

Is today's television still good value for money?
How would you answer this question? Pay a visit to the flo-joe website to take a look at one student's attempt.

Advanced Sample - Article on the past

Article The Times newspaper has asked the public to contribute articles for a series in their Sunday magazine supplement. If we make a concerted effort to conserve energy, could we live without electricity? They wish to receive your views and opinions on this subject. What do YOU think life would be like with no electricity? Send your articles to us at the address below or use the e-mail number. Write your article.

Back to the past Can you conceive your life without electricity? Imagine a complete power cutü. Imagine[m1]your house or your job without any artificial light. Imagine hospitals, commercial centres, even the street`s lights, all gone.And now try to assume that this is the new way of living. It sounds like a terrible nightmare, doesn`t it? üü
If this had happen, it would be necessary a complete change [m2]in our world. First of all, if there was no artificial light, we would need to adapt our timetables to the sun hours=. In additionü, a great amount[m3] of jobs would need to be …

Things to Remember: Exam Writing Checklist

Six months work have got us to the point where many of you can give advice from your own work on how to check work, so here's what three groups put together:

TPS/TPP = third person singlular/plural

Some more points that didn't get on the board:
10. Avoid repeating words, especially within sentences - look for pronouns. 11. Becareful of those deadly three dots! 12. Do everything you can to avoid mistakes in your first and last sentences - "Dear Alan, I am writting..."
And finally...
13. Read over our Things to Remember thread!

Link: British Council Article Archive

Still in need of inspiration? Go here for more articles than you will ever need - in alphabetical order. Use them for ideas, but make sure the constructions and grammar are always yours.

Keeping it Real

A new occasional feature. Real people writing for real reasons in the real world.

You might enjoy reading a real letter of complaint. We can't really recommend this style for the exams though!

First Samples - Essay

2. Essay (120-180 Words) You have recently had a discussion in your English class about places to live. Now your teacher has asked you to write an essay, giving your opinion on the following statement.
Whatever your age, life in the country is always better than life in the city.
There's a lot of opinions about where life is better but inmy opinion, the advantages are more ^ than the disadvantages ifü you live in the city. In the cities there're more options that you can choose. The important building are usually in the center, where everybody can arrive. There are also more activities, what is moreü, ifyou are a teenager the city is more amazingü, because it's bigger, there's more party, but ifyou're an adult it can also be better, because your office will probably be there. (Adults don’t go to parties then? Hmmmm!)
On the other handü the city is sometimes stressfulüü, because there's a lot of noise, traffic jamsüü and people.There's another problemüü which is…

Advanced Sample: Article

Over the last century people’s lifes have completely changed<!--[if !supportAnnotations]-->[m1]<!--[endif]--> upside down. This is due to, above all, [the existence of] electricity.
Nowadays, it has become crucialü for every single activity we do, since<!--[if !supportAnnotations]-->[m2]<!--[endif]--> doing the shopping, or takingü a warm bath; even when we are sleeping we relay on the alarm clock to go offü and make us start a new day on time. If electricity didn’t exist, life would be totallyü different. First of all, we would have to adapt our lives to sunlight, reducing working time from eight to five hours in winter. And, asü we wouldn’t have anything to do from sunset to dawn, we could sleep at least 9 hours every day!!
When it comes toü leisure time, we could only do outdoor activities, such as running, strollingü, or going out with our friends. We had to learn how to survive<!--[if !supportAnnotations]-->[m3]<!--[endif]--> wi…