CPE course
Writing&Speaking with Ashley!
5th lesson. Writing. Essay.
Lesson timelines:

0:08 - Intro to the lesson and lesson plan
0:47 - Brief overview of writing the Essay
8:30 - Summary of the homework and detailed feedback
23:05 - Breakout room practice
46:05 - General Ashley's feedback and corrections
3 things to bear in mind:
It is semi-academic
  • no official APA / MLA formatting, quoting, bibliography, etc.
  • no sourcing of statistics or back-up info (you have no access to the internet in the test); however, you can invent:

Hardly a week goes by without another report of … appearing in the media.
Over the past ten years or so the media have frequently carried reports of … .
(maybe this isn't scientific or true, but the examiner will never know/check)
It is formal
  • no contractions (don't --> do not)
  • but / and --> however / furthermore
The aim is to PARAPHRASE the two texts (say what they say using different words) and EVALUATE (a.k.a. give your opinion)
  • if you only paraphrase, then it's a summary / rewording
  • if you only give your opinion, then it's an article / review
Key points
No one-size-fits-all (e.g. some do 4 paragraphs, some 5).

Look at the handbook to see how widely different the essays are (and the examiners graded them positively despite their structure).
The "easiest" format to follow is the 4-paragraph structure:

  • introduction (contextualising the topic)
  • paragraph 1 (evaluate and give opinion on text 1 - implicitly or explicitly referencing it)
  • paragraph 2 (evaluate and give opinion on text 1 - implicitly or explicitly referencing it)
  • conclusion (reiterate your view + give rounding up sentence and/or food for thought)
Some general suggestions
  • However, a lot of (many) people doubt
  • Technological advances in other (spheres) domains / fields
  • [zero article] the space → space travel to space, work in space
Essays discussed on the 5th lesson:
"A college magazine editor has invited contributions to a special feature entitled 'Getting around: motorbike or scooter?'
Write a 280-320 word article for the feature."