Just how to write a CAE essay/letter/report/proposal
I rate a student’s Writing Part 1 Essay, then give suggestions on how to rewrite it. Can we take it from a B to an A?
In addition made a video about writing essays – see the section below.
Our Videos about CAE Writing
A Skype chat with Marina in Italy – we discuss how to plan the essay in part one of the CAE Writing test. I emphasise the significance of planning, and my theory that you should not only plan your paragraphs, but also which structures you are going to use and which vocabulary fits this issue.
In this video I put myself in my students’ shoes and try to write a CAE Writing Part 1 essay. Watch when I destroy my keyboard that is poor while an essay. Laugh when I am rudely interrupted as I fail to type the word ‘government’ 7 times out of 8. Cringe.
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Most CAE students don’t make obvious, basic mistakes like your/you’re or its/it’s. But they do have trouble with things like:
You’ll want to learn the essential difference between defining and non-defining clauses that are relative. Your non-defining clauses need commas, while your defining clauses should not have commas.
I experienced lunch with my grandfather, who is 90 years old. (the half that is second of sentence tells you more about my grandfather. It really is bonus information, so there has to be a comma.)
I had lunch with my pal who lives in Prague. (i will be very cool and popular – I have plenty of friends. If I say ‘I experienced lunch with my pal’ you do not know which friend I mean. And so the ‘who lives in Prague’ clause offers you information that is essential. Therefore, no comma!)
Note that pronouns that are non-defining be changed to ‘that’, therefore you should never write a comma followed closely by ‘that’. (this might be especially a problem for German speakers because in German you must use a comma before ‘that’.)
Gerund vs infinitive
Gerund means the form that is-ing of verb. This will be a part that is tricky of since there are no rules and you have to master every verb one after another. English! Argh! Anyway, be sure these structures are known by you:
I used to reside in China (= I lived in China).
I’m used to hearing German (= hearing German is normal for me).
I look forward to meeting you.
I stopped smoking (= I quit).
I stopped to smoke (= I stopped the thing I was doing because i needed to have a cigarette).
I will suggest buying new computer equipment. (Suggest and advise will also be followed closely by gerunds.)
I would recommend you buy new computer equipment.
So difficult! So prepositions that are many! So many mistakes! Just learn as much as you can easily and don’t forget, every single student who has ever taken the CAE exam has struggled with prepositions. It’s not just you!
I will move to Zurich if I get the job. (The speaker is confident.)
If i acquired the task I would move to Zurich. (The speaker just isn’t confident.)
I would have moved to Zurich if I had got the job. (But the speaker did not get the job and did not proceed to Zurich.)
Not taking chances
A lot of students always write the same, safe, things they always write. To master advanced vocabulary and structures you need to use advanced vocabulary and structures!
It is hard adequate to produce a piece that is well-structured of with good vocabulary that fits the content. But keep in mind that the examiners read hundreds and a huge selection of essays and a lot of of these are very boring! If you make yours interesting (though the style, unexpectedly good vocabulary, maybe even bull crap or two) the examiners will be really happy and you will certainly be REWARDED.
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Students often ask if I offer a writing correction service. Well. to be truthful I’m not very motivated to accomplish this right now. You really need to find a trained teacher on italki instead. Follow this link to read about italki. (Watch the video with David to hear more info on writing correction.)
Q – Do i need to use spelling that is british?
A – No, it does not matter. However, if you employ American spelling, be consistent during your writing.
Q – How important is spelling and punctuation?
A – It really is pretty important – it won’t be a big deal if you make a trivial mistake. If the mistake stops the reader from understanding everything you mean you will lose points.
Q – How important is the expressed word count? What the results are if I write too words that are many?
A – the expressed word count is helpful information, not a rule. But should you the job properly you will write on 220-260 words. In the event that you write 300 words then you’ve probably written lots of stuff you certainly do not need. In the event that you write 200 words you’ve probably forgotten something.
DO waste that is NOT in the exam counting just how many words you have got written! And not add or remove words simply because associated with the homework assignment word count – it will turn out clumsy and weird.
All that said, when you are practicing for the writing section, i suggest you stick to the suggested word count.
Observe that the exam that is computer-based automatically count what number of words you’re using. Handy! See this short article to find out more about the CAE that is computer-based exam.
Q – i understand i must use complex sentences to get a grade that is good but I’m focused on making mistakes. Will it be more straightforward to have a simple text with no mistakes?
A – Cambridge says that students who make mistakes while attempting to use structures that are complex get credit for trying (provided that the mistake does not stop your reader from understanding).
Q – My handwriting is terrible! No-one can see clearly! Will I lose points?
A – No. Your handwriting is not too important. Just be sure it may be read. Also, you don’t need to rewrite your text (and you also do not have time for you to rewrite it) – whether or not it’s got lots of bits crossed out, don’t worry. Every student’s writing looks the same!