Writing in Exams Always remember to FLAP When given a writing task you should think of flap. What • • • • Form Language Audience Purpose 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. L= LANGUAGE • What language should you use in the writing test. If it is a letter to an adult= FORMAL LANGUAGE EXAMPLES DIFFERENT LANGUAGE TYPES FORMAL INFORMAL RELAXED PERSUASIVE DESCRIPTIVE ARGUMENTATIVE AUDIENCE • Who is the writing for? Head teacher Friend Employer Yourself Parent purpose • What is the purpose of the writing • Are you writing to Inform Describe Entertain Persuade Argue Imagine 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 spelling. Layout Your address Date Greeting (Dear John,) Short introductory paragraph (including purpose of letter) Three or four paragraphs that cover the points (one point per paragraph) Final paragraph – rounds off the purpose of the letter. 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 opinions. 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. Love, Lillian C grade • • • • Well set out. Well organised. Friendly tone. Generally accurate. Targets • • • • More ambitious. Included more detail. Was better organised. Built up the points a bit more. • 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 mad! 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. Love, Lilian. • You can see that the basic letter is still there but this one: • 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 friend • is largely accurate • Uses a variety of sentence structure and punctuation for effect. 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 opinions. 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 Thomas. • Ending – Yours sincerely / Yours faithfully. • Business like tone. Layout Your address Recipient’s address Date 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! Address Address 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. Paragraphs Decent case. No date Targets • Spelling. • Punctuation. • Less awkward in places. • Get rid of repetition. Rewrite the letter addressing the targets. Report Writing What is a report and what should it do? • Gives information to create better understanding. • Advise, perhaps persuade and make recommendations. 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 audience. Helpful Structure and Sentence Starters • Give your report a title, eg, Report into • Introduction This report examines / investigates / explores…. • Heading 1 • Heading 2 • Heading 3 • Conclusion This report concludes… • • • • • It is evident that… It is clear that.. It is obvious that… It is necessary that.. The priority should be… • AVOID USING I, YOU, WE! Write a report for the governors of your school on the out-of-school activities available to the students. 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 watch. 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 situation; Benefits that will follow; conclusion Targets • Layout – doesn’t look like a report. • Points not very well organised. • Headings and paragraphs needed. • An introduction explaining clearly what the report is about. • A more effective conclusion. Write a report about your school’s facilities for the student council to consider.. FLAP it! Facilities at … School Equipment 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’. Facilities 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. Buildings 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 presented. • Headings are used. • Reasonable standard of accuracy. Targets • • 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 ‘questionaire’ • 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 recommendations. 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. Remember 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 Newspapers Articles • To inform and, in most cases, to entertain. • Look carefully at the wording of the question. • 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.” Targets • Paragraphs! • Spelling and punctuation errors. 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. Vegetarianism. 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.