The previous post you have go through the first 3 steps for Writing Task 2, along with Analysis and Practice Part for General Training Module. This post will furnish you with 2 remaining steps: Step 4 (Write an essay) and Step 5 (Check for Mistakes).
Step 4—Write the Essay
You should try to write a short (one or two sentences) introduction for your essay. The main purpose of an introduction is to tell the reader what you are going to write about. Your introduction must state the main issue (or the main focus) of the essay. Look at the first paragraph of the Demonstration essay again:
With modem telecommunications, even people who live in very remote areas have access to television. However, even though television is clearly very popular, the effects on people of watching television are often negative.
Notice that the second sentence of this introduction talks about the main issue—the negative effects of television. The main issue sentence is usually at the end of the introduction. When you mention the issue here you should avoid copying too many words from the question paragraph. If you copy long phrases or sentences, these will be ignored by the marker and they will not count towards the 250 words you need to write.
Apart from giving the main issue, if you want to write a slightly longer introduction you could add a first sentence which says something very general about the topic. In the example from the Demonstration essay, the first sentence docs this.
Like the introduction, the conclusion of your etsay should be short, just one or two sentences. The content of the inclusion is more flexible. You can:
• mention the main point of your essay again (in different words)
• give your opinion strongly
• talk about future effects or consequences
• make any other comment that you think is relevant.
Because your essay is relatively short, it is not necessary to summarise the ideas or arguments you have used in your essay. Look at the conclusion from the Demonstration essay:
In conclusion, I think that something should be done as soon as possible to protcct the community from the negative effects of television. If the situation is left to continue as it is, many new problems for individual and societies will arise in the future.
The first sentence gives the writer’s opinion about one of the mam points in the essay. The last sentence talks about future effects or consequences.
Later, when you arc working through the sample essays at the end of this section, pay attention to the kinds of things that are mentioned in the conclusions. Eventually, what is relevant to put into the conclusions of essays in an English style will become clearer to you.
The body of the essay
This is the most important pair of your essay because it contains your arguments and evidence or examples.
The first sentence of each paragraph in the body of your essay should give the main point oí the paragraph, or otherwise indicate clearly to the reader what topic will be discussed in the paragraph. This kind of sentence is called a topic sentence. You have seen in the Reading section of this book that the English style for most paragraphs cs to have a top*c sentence as the fire sentence.
In the Demonstration essay, you will sec three good examples of paragraphs that start with clear topic sentences.
Paragraph 2: Individual can he negatively affected in three ways
Paragraph 3: There are also various negative effects on families and societies.
Paragraph 4: There are two key ways to minimise the negative effects described.
Almost all the body paragraphs written in the sample answers follow this pattern. Having topic sentences at the beginning of paragraphs Is the clearest form of organisation in English. It will help the reader follow your line of thinking.
While you are writing your essay, you should show clearly where new paragraph begin by starting the first line of each paragraph two or three centimetres from the left-hand side of the page. This is called indenting. If you do not indent in handwritten work, it may not be clear to the marker where the paragraph divisions are. As a result, the organisation of your essay will not be clear either.
Use appropriate linking words to make your writing more cohesive. Linking words such as firstly, secondly, also, in addition, however, on the other hand, will help the reader understand your writing. Make sure you know how to use the most common linking words. There is an exercise on linking words at the end of Reading Section 3.
Sample question 5
Many newspapers and magazines feature stories about the private lives of famous people. We know what they eat, where they buy their clothes and who they love. We also often see pictures of them in private situations.
Is it appropriate for a magazine or newspaper to give this kind of private information about people?
Give reasons for your answer.
Sample Question 6
Many young people choose to continue their education at colleges or universities in English-speaking countries such as Britain, Australia or America.
What are the benefits of studying abroad? What are some of the problems that students might experience when studying in a foreign country?
Give reasons for your answer.
Using the plan below (or your own plan) you have written in Step 3 in the previous post (Part 1)) to write the essay for Sample question 5.
Remember to include:
• an introduction
• paragraphs in the body of the essay that start with topic sentences
• a conclusion.
Don’t forget the linking words and don’t forget to indent.
Time target: 35 minutes per essay
Step 5—Check for mistakes
You should allow two minutes at the end of the test time to read through your essay and make corrections. This could make a difference to your final score.
The following is a sample essay for Sample question above. The essay has a broad range of grammatical errors in it. Find the errors and make corrections by crossing out and rewriting.
Check your corrections with the Band 8.0 Model Essay below:
Generally, people read newspapers to find out about world current affairs and they read magazines to be entertained. Therefore, one would expect to find articles that feature the private lives of famous people in magazines rather than newspapers. However, nowadays, more and more newspapers include stories like these which are neither informative nor useful.
In my opinion, this type of gossip about people’s private lives should not be in newspapers for several reasons. Firstly, for example, the fact that Princess Diana is going out with a sportsman is not important news. Secondly, if newspapers want to publish articles about famous people they should focus on their public events and achievements. In other words, if there is an article about Princess Diana it should be about her works of charity, which will increase public awareness of important problems. In addition, journalists should make sure that they write about the facts only, not rumours. One should be able to rely on newspapers for the actual truth.
Magazines, on the other hand, focus on social news so I feel it is more acceptable for them to contain some features about famous personalities. In addition to being popular reading, these stories often benefit the stars by giving free publicity to them, thereby helping their careers. However, I also believe that magazine stories should not mention things that are too embarrassing or untrue just to attract people to buy the magazine. Sensational stories, such as these, cause great unhappiness to the people concerned.
In conclusion, I think newspapers should concentrate on real news but magazines can feature some articles on people’s private lives.
Read the essay you wrote for Sample question 5 and correct any mistakes you find. Remember: the quickest way to make corrections is to draw a line through the old word(s) and write the new one(s) above.
Time target: 2 minutes per essay
Using your own plan for Sample question 6 write the complete essay. Then check what you have written and make changes as necessary.
Time target: 40 minutes
Have you finished your essay? Compare your essay with the Band 7.5 sample below:
Studying overseas has clear advantages, but it is not without its problems.
The main benefits of studying overseas are academic ones. Generally, the standard of education is higher. This is because colleges and universities have up-to-date equipment and other resources. Also, teachers and lecturers are highly-skilled professionals who are aware of all the latest developments in their fields of interest. A final point is that the qualifications which a student obtains are valid usually anywhere in the world.
As well as the obvious academic benefits, students also gain experience of another culture, improve their language skills and meet many new people. Thus, they will develop many interpersonal skills and become more tolerant. They will become more emotionally mature as they deal with living apart from their family. This helps their personal development as they become more independent.
Although, in some cases, there are some negative effects. Most importantly, if students are not properly prepared academically before they go abroad, they could have difficulties following lectures or writing assignments. Furthermore, young students may have problems adjusting to a new culture and could experience loneliness and homesickness. A final problem could be that they adapt so much to Western culture that they have problems readjusting when they finally return home.
Other possible problems are difficulties in adjusting to a different climate, different food and different lifestyle. With appropriate preparation and support most students should be able to avoid or overcome these obstacles.
However, in general, I consider the advantages of an overseas education much greater than any of the disadvantages described above.