Writing in Exams
Always remember to FLAP
When given a writing task
you should think of flap.
should I use?
Writing in exams at a glance
Forms could include • a letter
• a report
• an article
• a leaflet
• a speech
• a review
• FLAP the question so
you are sure you are
answering it correctly.
• What language should you use in the
writing test.
If it is a letter to an adult= FORMAL
• Who is the writing for?
Head teacher
• What is the purpose of the writing
• Are you writing to
Think FLAP
• Before starting any writing
• Think FLAP..
Letter Writing
Informal Letter
Read the question carefully.
Set out the letter correctly.
Plan your work carefully.
Make sure that your tone is appropriate.
Take care with your punctuation and
Your address
Greeting (Dear John,)
Short introductory paragraph (including purpose of
Three or four paragraphs that cover the points
(one point per paragraph)
Final paragraph – rounds off the purpose of the
Informal closure (Love from)
Your first name.
Imagine you have a friend who has decided to run in the
London Marathon (a distance of over 26 miles).
Write a letter to your friend or relative, giving your
15 Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF5 2YW
16th June 2008
Dear Hannah,
I hope you had a good holiday. I know you needed a relaxing break but then I
heard that the first thing you do on your return from Spain is to enter for the
London Marathon! can’t say I’m surprised knowing you as I do.
I know I could not talk you out of it, no matter how hard I tried. You’re too stubborn.
So I’m offering some advice so that you won’t end up with any injuries that you
always seem to get.
Firstly, I know you think that 26 miles will be no problem but you really should train.
I don’t mean just walking to the end of your garden and back. Eat fruit and
vegetables. I know I sound like your Nan, but it really does give you more energy
than crisps and chocolate. I would also suggest that you should drink water rather
than those energy drinks. I want to say that I am very proud of you. It may not
sound like I am but it is only that I am worried about you. I know that you will reach
your goal because you are so determined and I am sure you will be fine.
Good luck and keep up the good work.
C grade
Well set out.
Well organised.
Friendly tone.
Generally accurate.
More ambitious.
Included more detail.
Was better organised.
Built up the points a bit
• Said more about the
actual event.
• Did a bit more to capture
the tone of a friend writing
to a friend.
Dear Hannah,
I hope you had a good holiday in sunny Spain and that you had a really relaxing time.
I knew you needed a good break after all the stress of your recent examinations
but typical of you, you then decide to enter the London marathon. You must be
When I first heard about this I was tempted to try to talk you out of it, but
knowing what a determined character you are, I quickly realised that would be a
waste of time. Instead I am going to offer you a bit of advice because I wouldn’t
want to see a really good friend doing herself an injury – you know how accident
prone you are.
You do realise that a marathon is over 26 miles long don’t you? The best
runners can do it in just over two hours but it is going to take you a lot longer than
that, in fact, at least twice as long and probably longer. Now I am not trying to put
you off but you will have to train extremely hard over the next few weeks and I don’t
mean walking to the bottom of your garden and back! Eat the right foods which will give you
the energy you’ll need and try to resist crisps and chocolate. Before and during the race
drink plenty of water and don’t worry too much about those energy drinks – not sure how
effective they are really. Also try to avoid dressing up in heavy costumes – the race is hard
enough without all that extra weight and I want to be able to pick you out in the crowd.
I know I sound a bit like your Nan but I don’t mean to. I really hope that things go
well and I am sure that you will complete the race and raise a great deal of money for Save
the Children, your favourite charity.
Before you ask, I will, of course, sponsor you! All the best for the big day. I can’t wait to talk
to you about what will be a marvellous experience. I’ll look out for you on the tele.
• You can see that the basic letter is still there but this
• is better organised
• is more detailed
• builds up the points a bit more
• says more about the actual event
• does a bit more to capture the tone of a friend writing to a
• is largely accurate
• Uses a variety of sentence structure and punctuation for
A grade
Imagine you have a friend who has decided to run in the
London Marathon (a distance of over 26 miles).
Write a letter to your friend or relative, giving your
Write a letter to a friend who has moved to another area to live, giving
him / her news that he / she would be interested in.
Remember to;
set your letter out properly;
plan your paragraphs;
adopt the right tone;
take care with spelling, grammar and punctuation.
FLAP it!
Formal Letter
• Layout –The recipient’s address needed.
• Dear Sir / Madam, Dear Editor, Dear Mrs
• Ending – Yours sincerely / Yours faithfully.
• Business like tone.
Your address
Recipient’s address
Formal greeting
I am writing to…
4-5 paragraphs including reasons, opinions all in
formal, business like tone
Formal close
Full name
A local businessman has applied for permission to hold
an outdoor music festival in your area.
Write a letter to your local newspaper either
supporting or opposing this idea.
FLAP it!
Dear Sir,
I am writing in responce to Mr Palmer’s letter suggesting to hold and outdoor music festival.
I am writing to say I agree with the idea.
The first reason I agree is because I love music and it sounds like a fun idea it will also bring
a lot of intrest to our area and may convince some people to move here.
The second is because lots of local businesses will benefit from this festival local shops that
sell food and drink should do well and if Mr Palmer uses a local catering firm they will benefit
as well. So hopefully the festival will bring in lots of revenue for local business.
My third reason is that it will bring in people from all over. Some people would say that’s a
bad thing others that it give’s the local people a chance to make new friends.
My forth and final reason is that the festival will highlight how good are area is at holding
such events and would attract more festivals and concerts and may even gain an annual
one which will create lots of revenue and boost are areas and towns economy.
To those who would say its going to be to loud or we will have drunks everywhere I would
say no we won’t because it’s only at a few concerts that you get that and that if it is planned
well there should be no trouble.
So to conclude I am for this festival mainly because I think it will raise lot’s of revenue for
businesses and open the door to an annual event.
Yours sincerly,
David Lloyd
B grade
Quite well set out.
Wrong closure.
Decent case.
No date
• Spelling.
• Punctuation.
• Less awkward in
• Get rid of repetition.
Rewrite the letter addressing the targets.
Report Writing
What is a report and what should it
• Gives information to create better
• Advise, perhaps persuade and make
Important Features of a Report
• Layout – organise your work. (Appropriate
main heading and sub-heading).
• Audience – Identify the audience carefully.
• Tone – Make sure it matches your
Helpful Structure and Sentence
• Give your report a title,
eg, Report into
• Introduction
report examines /
investigates / explores….
• Heading 1
• Heading 2
• Heading 3
• Conclusion
report concludes…
It is evident that…
It is clear that..
It is obvious that…
It is necessary that..
The priority should be…
Write a report for the governors of your school
on the out-of-school activities available to the
FLAP it!
I am issuing this report on out of school activities because of the trouble and
kaos some children get up to. I know that the children are not your
responsibility out of school hours but I thought you could do something to help
for example holding a youth club once or twice a week. It doesn’t have to be
run by teachers and it could be a great way for the school to earn money for
itself or other organisations. The school could also arrange other events such
as discos or trips to places. Not only does this keep children of the streets it
also gives them the opportunity to make new friends. Also there should be
other school activities eg, netball, football where all pupils are invited to
I am sure that you are all aware of the graffiti and what some children get up
to. That’s why I’m sure you will be interested in my ideas. This scheme will
do the community good and many people will be grateful to you. But mainly it
will get the children off the streets and somewhere safe. This scheme could
also decrease the crime level. Plus the school could benifit lots as well.
I hope you take this report into consideration.
What subheadings could be used in this report?
D grade
• Clearly written with focus
on task.
• Spelling errors.
• Polite tone.
• Some sensible points.
Reorganise and redevelop the
student’s report.
Possible headings;
Why the report is being presented;
The present situation;
Facilities / activities to improve the
Benefits that will follow;
• Layout – doesn’t look like
a report.
• Points not very well
• Headings and
paragraphs needed.
• An introduction explaining
clearly what the report is
• A more effective
Write a report about your school’s facilities for
the student council to consider..
FLAP it!
Facilities at … School
We have had loads of equipment over the last two years and now feel as though we
no longer need any equipment (apart from the usual things i.e. paper and books).
We have had new televisions, videos, stereos and computers. We have lived up to
our name ‘Technology College’.
All of our facilities are O.K. But we feel that the P.E. department should be updated
or new equipment bought. We think this because the P.E. department is one of the
oldest and it could do with having a re-paint as paint is coming off the walls. Also
some of the hockeysticks are wrecked in some way. And the tennis raquets are now
practically unuseable. Apart from that all our other facilities are used very often.
We all know that this school is old. But we feel that it is starting to look a bit tatty. For
example when you walk past the front of the school it looks dull. It looks as if very
little has been done to clean it over the past two years.
Range of Subjects
We have enjoyed a very wide range of subjects covering from art to physics. The
one thing lacking is languages. We do French but that is all. What about Spanish or
Italian? From recent questionaires it seems that there is a demand.
Out of School Activities
There could be more. We have sports clubs but that’s about it. We could do with a
wider range and try to involve the community in them.
B grade
• On task, clearly
• Headings are used.
• Reasonable standard of
an introductory paragraph
taking more care with
sentences, e.g. at the
beginning of the sections
headed ‘Facilities’ and ‘Buildings’
• checking spellings such as
‘raquets’, ‘unuseable’ and
• developing some of the points
made such as in the last
section giving
examples of worthwhile out-ofschool activities
• making it a little less casual, e.g.
‘loads of equipment’
• writing a conclusion with some
FLAP it!
Your school or college is concerned about the
facilities for the disabled.
Your head teacher or principal has asked you for a
report outlining what has already been done to help
the disabled and suggesting improvements.
You could also complete a paragraph plan
before you write your report!
Your town or district has received a grant to improve
local facilities.
Write a report to the local council suggesting how this
money could be spent to benefit the community.
FLAP it!
FLAP it!
Your school or college has decided to hold a “Charity
Fun Day.”
The head teacher or principal has asked you to write
a report to him / her suggesting which two charities
you think should benefit, and why. Write your report.
Articles for Magazines and
• To inform and, in most cases, to entertain.
• Look carefully at the wording of the
• If help is given in bullet points – use it.
• Follow the instructions about the length of
your answer.
FLAP it!
Filling about one to two pages in your answer book,
write a lively article with the title, “The Joys of Exercise”
for a magazine for people of your age.
Ever wondered what the point of it all is? You spend endless hours sweating
pints, out of breathe, sick and nauseous – and for what? A slightly slimmer figure;
that’s all! I hate the thought of feeling as if someone was strangling my lungs,
squeezing every last breath from may aching body. I feel dizzy at the thought of it
all. And yet why do I do it, I hear you ask? Well, it’s simply this: because the
experts say so. Surely it would make a little more sense to diet to shed those last
few pounds instead? But no – we need to exercise to stay healthy. They say 30
minutes of exercise a day can help you keep I n shape. If only it was as simple as
that. Of course, they fail to mention that despite all this excrutiating exercise, we
have to watch what we eat as well. Or rather what we don’t eat – which by
today’s standards is pretty much everything! So again, I ask why do we do it? Ok
so fair enough maybe the evidence does say we should cause ourselves a heart
attack or two exercising, in the name of keeping fit…but I wonder why we really
put ourselves through such agony? I think its this. Its not for statistics. Its not to
know that we should run half a mile without stopping, should we need to it’s for
our own self esteem. We feel proud to say we can swim that extra length. We’re
chuffed to be able to run up and down the stairs without losing our puff. And we
can finally have that confidence to strip off into our bathers and not worry about
what everyone else is thinking of us. So this summer take it upon yourself to fitten
up. It may not be fun but it is sure fantastic to see the end result. Occupy
yourself with something constructive this summer – get fit.
B grade
Sounds like an article.
Lively and interesting.
Good sense of audience.
Use of questions to
involve the reader.
• Exclamation marks to
indicate tone.
• Some informal language,
“we’re chuffed.”
• Paragraphs!
• Spelling and punctuation
Write a lively article for a newspaper or magazine on
the subject of the eating habits of the British. You may
use your own ideas but you can also consider one or
more of the following:
“Typical” British food / non-British food.
Healthy eating / junk food.
Eating in / out
Write about one to two sides in your answer book.
FLAP it!
What Happened To Proper Cooking?
What do you think is the typical British meal? Roast beef with roasted potatoes and
veg.? Or chicken tikka massala from the Indian place down the road? Never has
there been such diversity in British taste. Bombarded from all around by the garish
attraction of burgers and fried chicken, compared to grandma’s dreary Sunday
roast, you might have thought that the battle for children to eat healthily had been
lost, but no: give them some delicious pasta instead or the attractively packed carrot
chunks you get in supermarkets.
The culinary habits of the British never used to be up to much, but look at us now.
Noone would even question the fact that fajitas and fromage frais are now among
our favourite dishes.
The broadening of our palates, the increasingly varied food that we eat must be
good things surely? Not necessarily. In the process of discovering all these new
foods, we’ve forgotten how to cook.
A staggering percentage of people now eat out most nights of the week. People may
want to show off their new designer kitchens, but often they have no idea how to
use them. A famous chef was heard to remark ‘The thing most often used in the
modern kitchen is the microwave. People may have the most expensive kitchens
but in the end all they use them for is to microwave last night’s Big Mac’.
So is convenience and the need for speed ruining cooking? Will our great British
stodge puddings disappear for good? This reporter thinks that the microwave is here
to stay.
A- A*
• sounds like an article
• answers the question
• well organised
• lively, interesting and entertaining
• accurately and ambitiously written.

Transactional Writing