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Cambridge English

Writing Paper

You will have to write a discursive essay in which you have to summarise
and evaluate the key points contained in two texts of approximately
100 words each. Candidates must integrate a summary of these key points,
an evaluation of the abstract arguments involved and their own ideas
on the topic in a coherent essay.

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CPE ESSAY WRITING (2013)


WHAT IS AN ESSAY?
An essay is a piece of writing where you, the author, explain your position on a topic.
Like all writing, it must be well-organized (into paragraphs), use proper
register (formal), and have correct grammar and vocabulary.
You must clearly explain your point of view (using examples to support your
argument), but you must also take into consideration the other opinion on this issue,
usually acknowledging the opposing opinion and/or explaining why the opposing
opinion is incorrect.

ESSAY STYLE : FORMAL


IMPERSONAL : Some might argue that / The danger is that / It is not uncommon nowadays
to see . Use : IT is rather than I think

TITLE IS OPTIONAL / NO HEADINGS


INTRODUCTION 1st Paragraph
Rethorical question. Addresses the reader.
Isnt it strange how being in the country relaxes us?
Can you imagine waking up every morning to the sound of birds singing?
Quotation.
Desmond Morris, the British engineer, once said :

DEVELOPMENT 2nd and 3rd Paragraph


1st point . Arguments for:
In the first place / On the one hand / One reason that
There are many advantages to
2nd point . Arguments against :
On the other hand, However, It cannot be denied that ,
Another negative aspect of is,

CONCLUSION 4th Paragraph


To sum up , In conclusion, to conclude , all in all , On balance, All things considered, It
would seem that, there is no/little doubt that, It may be concluded that

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General Advice

Content
Your piece of writing has to cover all the points mentioned in the task.
Everything that you write needs to be relevant to it. You will need to follow the
instructions you are given as to what you have to write about making sure that you
keep to the word limit.

Organisation
You have to organise your writing logically and with clear sentence structure so that
it is easy to follow your points. Moreover, you should remember to organise your
writing into clear paragraphs. Your text has to flow well from paragraph to paragraph
(using conjunctions, adverbial conjunctions and other connectors). Every paragraph
should be a clear idea. Many sentences linked together building an idea from its
beginning to its conclusion, and then each paragraph linked together so that the
whole piece of writing feels as if it flows.
It is also important to use different sentence lengths to make your writing more
interesting and easier to read. If every sentence you use is very long, your writing
will come across as very dull. Short punchy sentences are sometimes very useful.

Language
A range of vocabulary (adjectives, adverbs, nouns, etc.) must be used as well as a
range of grammatical forms (perfect tenses, conditional tenses, passive sentences,
modal verbs, inversions, etc.). Once youve finished your piece of writing, it would be
a good idea to go back through it checking for common grammar mistakes such as
unnecessary articles, verb tense disagreement, subject-verb disagreement,
misplaced prepositions, etc.
Although spelling errors and faulty punctuation are not specifically penalised, they
can sometimes impede communication. (N.B. American usage and spelling are
acceptable.)

Communicative Achievement
You will have to use the right format of the task to communicate your message.
For example, if you are writing a report you should use headings, since thats part of
the style of that format. Make sure you dont write one piece of writing in the wrong
style, i.e. a report in the style of a letter, an essay in the style of an article,etc.
Your message should be communicated clearly and using the appropriate register
(formal, semi-formal or informal).Introducing some simple and complex ideas will
also help you to get good marks.

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HOW ARE ESSAYS MARKED?

MARK FOR CONTENT:


All the content has to be relevant to the task.
The target reader has to be informed.
MARK FOR COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
They writer has to evaluate the key point and express his or her own ideas clearly and in an easyto-follow way.
The register has to be formal or neutral all the way through the essay.
MARK ORGANIZATION:
The ideas in the text have to be well organised to make it a coherent whole.
The ideas need to be arranged in a logical sequence through the use of cohesive devices.
MARK FOR LANGUAGE:
The writer has to use a wide range of sophisticated vocabulary and grammatical structures with
flexibility.

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CPE ESSAY WRITING STEPS:


1. Identify and underline the key points in both input texts.
Make sure to include that when you write your essay.
2. Summarise the key points in your own words
3. Use an academic writing style (formal or neutral register).
4. You must organise your ideas well, using an introduction, paragraphing and appropriate
linking devices.
5. You need to draw conclusions based on the information given throughout the whole of your
answer.

ESSAY MODEL 1
TITLE (OPTIONAL)
Introduction : Explain what the essay is about.
First paragraph: Summarize in your own words the key points of input text one. Give
your opinion.
Second paragraph: Summarize in your own words the key points of input text two.Give
your opinion.
Conclusion: Restate your previous arguments, sum up and relate to a broader context.

ESSAY MODEL 2
Find the common theme between the two input texts.
Example: The over-arching theme of these two texts is
First paragraph: Summarize in your own words the key points of input text one.
The first considers the fact that/ adopts a more viewpoint on
In my opinion there is little to disagree with in the first text.
the first text does not consider
Give your opinion
Second paragraph: Summarize in your own words the key points of input text two.
The second text is possibly more
Conclusion: Restate your previous arguments, sum up and relate to a broader context.
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FIRST STEP:

Identify the key points in both input texts.


Identify and underline the key points in both input texts.
Make sure to include then when you write your essay.

Key points identified and underlined.

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EXAMPLES

Write an Essay summarising and commenting on the two texts. 240-280 Words

Key points are in bold.


Tackling Traffic Congestion
Policy-makers employ a wide range of measures to tackle the problem of traffic congestion.
Enforcement schemes such as setting strict speed limits on major roads and the use of
congestion charges in city centres are two such examples as are vehicle exclusion zones or
parking restrictions in busy pedestrian areas. However, it also makes sense to encourage
motorists to become less reliant on their car. This can be achieved by making public
transport more efficient and promoting the benefits of car-sharing with work colleagues,
thus reducing weekly fuel bills. And the increasing number of cycle lanes on many roads is
further evidence of how to win the hearts and minds of motorists in the fight against
congestion

The Joy of Motoring


Recent research into the attitudes of motorists shows we are still more than happy to get
behind the wheel. Despite rising fuel costs, insurance premiums and frequent traffic jams, 9
out of 10 of us still enjoy driving. Whether its visiting friends and relations, taking the
family for a day out or even commuting to work, the car remains first choice for many
people. Experts argue that unlike public transport, the car leaves us in charge of our own
destiny, giving us the freedom to travel when and where we want. The car also gives us the
opportunity to express ourselves. The kind of vehicle we drive tells the world something
about who we are or what we aspire to be. Cars are not simply a means of transport but also
something we wear.

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ESSAY MODEL 1
TITLE (OPTIONAL)
Introduction : Explain what the essay is about.
First paragraph: Summarize in your own words the key points of input text one. Give
your opinion.
Second paragraph: Summarize in your own words the key points of input text two.Give
your opinion.
Conclusion: Restate your previous arguments, sum up and relate to a broader context.
Essay on Motoring and Traffic Congestion
The need of motor vehicles in the modern world is undeniable. But although the benefits of
owning a four-wheeled transportation device are numerous, cars can also generate a lot of
problems.
On the one hand automobiles are absolutely necessary for some people. For instance, in the
USA, everybody needs a car to go to school or to go to work. With public transport being
slow or simply non-existent, having a car gives people a transport solution. Furthermore,
travelling by car also helps people avoid stressful situations. Owning a car means no more
standing in crowded buses or fighting with people in the subway.
On the other hand, all those cars in the streets mean facing traffic jams and of course
pollution. They create congestion and are one of the principal sources of contamination in
the cities. As a respond to this situation, governments are implementing a series of strategies
to motivate people not to use their cars so often.
Some of these government strategies involve car sharing and using bikes, while others fine
drivers who use their vehicles on certain days or at certain times; but this strategy does not
seem to be so efficient. Probably because doing something to avoid a fine, does not involve
really understanding the nature of the problem.
All in all, I am of the opinion that cars are indispensable in the current lifestyles and living
standards. We cannot disregard the impact they had on facilitating our existence,
nevertheless it is irrefutable that their numbers have reached levels where we must not
hesitate to act in downsizing them.

270 words

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ESSAY MODEL 2
Find the common theme between the two input texts.
Example: The over-arching theme of these two texts is
First paragraph: Summarize in your own words the key points of input text one.
The first considers the fact that/ adopts a more viewpoint on
In my opinion there is little to disagree with in the first text.
the first text does not consider
Give your opinion
Second paragraph: Summarize in your own words the key points of input text two.
The second text is possibly more
Conclusion: Restate your previous arguments, sum up and relate to a broader context.
The over-arching theme of these two texts is the use of cars in our society.
The first one adopts a more practical viewpoint on this subject, discussing different
alternatives to reduce a very common problem that many big cities have to deal with
nowadays, namely traffic congestions. This text makes the point that it is important to find
ways to tackle this increasing problem; whether it is through raising peoples consciousness,
setting speed limits, or even using congestion charges.
The main point made is that it is important that citizen not use their cars so frequently.
In my opinion, it is very important to try to reduce traffic congestions. However, the first
text fails to take into consideration reducing the price of public transport. This would enable
people to travel with ease and may encourage them to stop using their vehicles as much as
they do now.
The second text is possibly more descriptive. It discusses how people use their own car with
complete disregard for the drawbacks that this may bring. People accept drawbacks, such as
ever-increasing petrol prices, expensive insurances, traffic jams, etc. However, these
negative aspects do not discourage them from getting behind the wheel. The benefits of this
far outweigh the drawbacks.
Expensive though it may be, using their own car gives people the freedom and
independence that they would not be able to have otherwise. In addition, for some people
their car is not just a means of transport, it is also, somehow, an extension of their
personality.
I am of the opinion that because of our fast pace of life, we have become very dependent on
our cars to take us everywhere. This is simply where evolution is taking us.
291 words

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