Just how to write a CAE essay/letter/report/proposal
I rate a student’s Writing Part 1 Essay, then give suggestions about simple tips to rewrite it. Can we take it from a B to an A?
I also made a video about writing essays – start to see the section below.
Our Videos about CAE Writing
A Skype speak to Marina in Italy – we discuss how exactly to plan the essay in part one of the CAE test that is writing. I emphasise the importance of planning, and my theory you will use and which vocabulary fits the topic that you should not only plan your paragraphs, but also which structures.
In this video I put myself in my own students’ shoes and try to write a CAE Writing Part 1 essay. Watch as I destroy my poor keyboard while writing an essay. Laugh when I fail to type the term ‘government’ 7 times away from 8. Cringe as I am rudely interrupted.
BACK ONCE AGAIN TO TOP
Most CAE students do not make obvious, basic mistakes like your/you’re or its/it’s. Nonetheless they do have a problem with things such as:
You need to learn the difference between defining and non-defining relative clauses. Your non-defining clauses need commas, while your defining clauses shouldn’t have commas.
I experienced lunch with my grandfather, who is 90 years of age. (the next half of the sentence tells you more info on my grandfather. It is bonus information, generally there has to be a comma.)
I had lunch with my buddy who lives in Prague. (I am very cool and popular – We have lots of friends. I had lunch with my friend’ you don’t know which friend I mean if I say. And so the ‘who lives in Prague’ clause provides you with essential information. Therefore, no comma!)
Note that non-defining pronouns cannot be changed to ‘that’, so you should never write a comma followed by ‘that’. (that is especially a problem for German speakers because in German you HAVE to use a comma before ‘that’.)
Gerund vs infinitive
Gerund means the -ing kind of a verb. This can be a tricky element of grammar since there are no rules along with to master every verb one after the other. English! Argh! Anyway, make certain these structures are known by you:
I used to call home 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 possess a cigarette).
I recommend buying new computer equipment. (Suggest and advise may also be followed closely by gerunds.)
I would recommend you buy new computer equipment.
So very hard! So many prepositions! So many mistakes! Just learn as many as you can easily and don’t forget, every single student who has ever taken the CAE exam has struggled with prepositions. You are not alone!
If I get the job i am going to go on to Zurich. (The speaker is confident.)
I would move to Zurich if I got the job. (The speaker is not confident.)
If I had got the task I would have relocated to Zurich. (however the speaker did not get the job and did not relocate to Zurich.)
Not risks that are taking
Plenty of students always write the same, safe, things they always write. To master advanced vocabulary and structures you have to use advanced vocabulary and structures!
It really is hard adequate to produce a piece that is well-structured of with good vocabulary that fits this content. But understand that the examiners read hundreds and hundreds of essays and a lot of of those are very boring! Yours interesting (though the style, unexpectedly good vocabulary, maybe even a joke or two) the examiners will be VERY happy and you will be REWARDED if you make.
BACK AGAIN TO TOP
Students often ask if I offer a writing correction service. Well. to be truthful I’m not very motivated to do that right now. You ought to find a trained teacher on italki instead. Follow this link to read about italki. (Watch the video with David to listen to more info on writing correction.)
Q – Do I have to use British spelling?
A – No, no matter. However, if you utilize 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. Then you will lose points if the mistake stops the reader from understanding what you mean.
Q – How important may be the expressed word count? What are the results if I write too many words?
A – The word count is helpful information, not a rule. But when you do the task properly you will talk about 220-260 words. Then you’ve probably written lots of stuff you don’t need if you write 300 words. In the event that you write 200 words no doubt you’ve forgotten something.
DO NOT waste time when you look at the exam counting just how many words you’ve got written! Rather than add or remove words just because associated with expressed word count – it’ll come out clumsy and weird.
All that said, when you’re practicing for the writing section, i would recommend you stay glued to the suggested word count.
Note that the computer-based exam will automatically count exactly how many words you are using. Handy! See this article for more information about the CAE that is computer-based exam.
Q – i am aware i have to use complex sentences to have a good grade, but I’m worried about making mistakes. Can it be easier 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 (as long as the mistake does not stop your reader from understanding).
Q – My handwriting is terrible! No-one can see clearly! Can I lose points?
A – No. Your handwriting is not too important. Just be sure it could be read. Also, you don’t need to rewrite your text (and you paper essay writing also don’t have time to rewrite it) – if it’s got a lot of bits crossed out, don’t worry. Every student’s writing looks exactly the same!