This post will explain the best ways of writing an article for an article for the B1 preliminary as set out in the 2020 changes to the B1 Preliminary from Cambridge Exam English… it will provide useful phrases, example texts and example questions for you to practice at home.

 

The examiners are looking at the following criteria:

  1. Content

All of the content in the writing should be aimed at answering the question. It should be easy to understand and also take into account who is reading it. E.g. if it is a letter to a friends, it must be informal and familiar.

  1. Organisation

The organisation aspect of the evaluation refers to how clearly you present your ideas. If it is a letter, it must resemble a letter. You need to do it with paragraphs, the paragraphs must not be too short and they need to be set into separate topics. If you write a story it can be all in one paragraph but it needs to include a beginning, middle and end.

  1. Language

This part of the assessment focuses on the use of vocabulary and grammar. You need to show flexibility in their use and also include cohesive devices (X5) such as because, as, but, however, for example, like, and, in addition etc. To get a good grade in this part your grammar and vocabulary need to be accurate, appropriate and easy to understand.

  1. Communicative achievement

They are looking at communication of ideas; it must be clear, relevant to the question and the target reader, use good simple language with some complex grammar.

 

For some simple ideas on how to improve your writing, see 5 Simple Ways to Improve your Written English

 

Structure of an article:

Separate each part in to a separate paragraph.

 

Beginning:

Engage the reader and make them want to read more, you can begin with a question or a general opinion

Middle:

State your main points and relate them to personal experiences and opinions

Ending:

Summarize your main points but make an overall point to make the reader think they have learned something from reading the article

 

Suggested grammar structures:

Impersonal passive: It is said that HBO make the best movies in the world.

Modal verbs: It might be a good idea to take your time.

Conditionals: If I were you, I would watch it at the cinema.

Relative clauses: I know someone who lives in that area.

Wish: I wish I could eat chocolate every day.

 

Example of a question: 

You see this post on an English language website

 

What types of books do you most enjoy?

Do you prefer reading or watching Tv and what is the best way to take advantage of your free time?

 

Write an article about these questions. The best articles will be published on the site.

 

Example answer:

 

The most interesting way to spend your free time

Have you ever thought about the best way to spend your free time? If you want to know the key to making the most of your leisure time, this article is a must read.

Instead of turning on the TV every time you get home, why not try picking up a book. Reading is a great way to relax and it is also a fantastic way to open your mind. There is nothing like looking forward to getting home and reading a book that you are into. It helps you unwind, improve your imagination and it can even help you to learn a foreign language.

I have no doubt that reading will improve your life. If I were you,I would choose a new book today!

 

 

Useful language: Use these key phrases to answer the questions in the task

 

Involving the reader

  • Have you ever thought about…?
  • How would you feel if …?
  • What would you think of…?
  • Are you one of those people who …?
  • If the answer is …, you should….
  • What do you reckon to …?
  • What would live be like if…
  • Just think for a moment…
  • Just imagine…

 

Try to use extreme adjectives instead of intensifiers

  • Very good = awesome, excellent, fantastic
  • Very bad = awful, terrible, disturbing

 

Making the article lively and interesting (use adverbs)

  • importantly
  • surprisingly
  • worryingly 
  • the most amazing 
  • absolutely
  • suddenly
  • amazingly
  • fantastically
  • frighteningly

 

Developing your points

  • Another advantage of …
  • On top of all that…
  • What is more, …
  • Above all,,,
  • The reason I think this is…
  • The reason I feel this way is…
  • On top of that, …
  • Let’s start with …

 

Giving your own opinion

  • In my opinion, …
  • In my eyes, …
  • To my mind, …
  • As far as I am concerned, …
  • Speaking personally, …
  • From my point of view, …
  • As for me / As to me, …
  • My view / opinion / belief / impression / conviction is that …
  • I hold the view that …
  • I would say that …
  • It seems to me that …
  • I am of the opinion that …
  • My impression is that …
  • I am under the impression that …
  • It is my impression that …
  • I have the feeling that …
  • My own feeling on the subject is that …
  • I have no doubt that …
  • I am sure / I am certain that …
  • I think / consider / find / feel / believe / suppose / presume / assume / reckon that …
  • I hold the opinion that …
  • I dare say that …
  • I guess that …
  • I bet that ….
  • I gather that …
  • It goes without saying that …

 

Justifying opinions

To begin, you can use these basic (B1) phrases to justify an opinion in English:

  • because…
  • the reason is…
  • the reason I believe that is…
  • the facts suggest…
  • the evidence shows…
  • taking into account what I have seen…

 

Example questions: (titles provided)

  • Languages: The best language to learn

  • Places: The best place I have ever visited

  • Advice: The most useful bit of advice I have ever received

  • TV series: The most exciting series I have seen this year

  • Restaurant: The best restaurant I have eaten in

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