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How to write an article? | B1 Preliminary (PET)

Level: B1
Article navigation:
B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Structure
B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Writing Guide
B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Example Answers
B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Exam Questions
B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Things to Focus On
B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Writing Checklist
B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Useful Phrases & Expressions 

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The article is an optional writing task in writing part 2 of  B1 Preliminary (PET) Cambridge exam where you can decide if you want to write an article or a story.

…let’s get into a bit more detail

An article that you’ll have to write is for publication in a magazine or websiteSo, like most articles in magazines it must be entertaining and informative, therefore, you need to keep your reader engaged and interested from start to finish!

…but that’s not all!

there will also be some kind of questions for you to answer or some kind of information that you have to give to your readers.  Below you can see a sample exam task:

FILMS
What kind of films do you enjoy? – question (1)
Do you prefer watching them at the cinema or at home? Why?- – question (2)


How to write an article? (in short):

  1. Answer the questions in the task – make sure you answer the question in the task or give the information that the task wants you to give as clearly as you can.
  2. Stay on topic – don’t write about anything that is not relevant to the task and make sure that everything you write is important for answering the question.
  3.  Organise your article in paragraphs – this is important to make it easier for the reader to follow your ideas. Three paragraphs should suffice.
  4. Use neutral/informal language
  5. Use relevant vocabulary – always try to include some vocabulary that is connected to the topic that you write about.

B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Structure

Any article in the B1 Preliminary (PET) exam can be broken up into four parts:

1. Title
2. Introduction
– start with an engaging question for the reader
3. Body
–  answer questions given in the task
4. Final sentence
– give a final comment
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B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Writing Guide

We will use this example exam task :

You see this notice on an English-language website

FILMS
What kind of films do you enjoy?
Do you prefer watching them at the cinema or at home? Why?
Write an article answering these questions and we will put it on our website!

Write your article.

Step 1: Analyse your task quickly

Task analysis is very simple. All you have to do is two things:

Firstly, find the questions you have to answer.

FILMS
What kind of films (question 1) do you enjoy?
Do you prefer watching them at the cinema or at home? Why? (question 2)
Write an article answering these questions and we will put it on our website!

Questions to comment on:

  1. Tell preferred types of movies.
  2. Do you prefer to watch in cinema or the home? why?

Secondly, find the topic of the article Films/Cinema. So now you need to brainstorm all the vocabulary that you can think of related to films. 

For example:  animated, romantic films, a big fan, drama, adventure movies, popcorn, screen, Netflix 

If you prepare some words related to the topic in advance, it will be much easier for you to write an article! We will use them later.

Step 2: Add a Title

Every excellent article starts with a good title,  don’t worry though it doesn’t have to be super special or super interesting. It is okay if your title is simple and just gives a general idea of what the article is about.

Here you can see three examples of a title

Home cinema or the big screen?

How to best watch the films you love

Home or cinema — How do you watch your favourite films? 

As you can see two titles started with how …  – howto articles are just very popular so it is good idea to use that form for your title.

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Step 3: Introduction

The role of the introduction is mainly to catch the reader’s attention, it can be done in the simplest way by asking a question. Why this way is good? Because at the same time, you will show the examiners that you can use the present perfect tense.

Here you can see two examples of an introduction

Have you ever screamed (present perfect) during a horror film?

Have you ever cried (present perfect) at the cinema?

Step 4: Body (answering the questions)

Here you answer the main questions that we identified in Step 1.

  1. Tell preferred types of movies.
  2. Do you prefer to watch in cinema or the home? why?

Remember these paragraphs should be the longest in your text and they should contain most of the information.

Also, we use the vocabulary that we prepared earlier in Step 1.

animated, romantic films, a big fan, drama, adventure movies, popcorn, screen, Netflix 

See the example answer below, with additional annotations you may find useful:

I know many people who love animated or romantic films, but for me, there is nothing better
than an amazing drama or adventure movie (answer 1) like ‘Indiana Jones’ because I’m a big fan of stories with fascinating plot. 

In my opinion, watching a film at home isn’t the same as going to the cinema (answer 2) to enjoy a great movie on a huge screen with popcorn and cola. (answer 2) If it wasn’t so expensive, I would go every week.

                  – vocabulary related to topic of films/cinema

                   – interesting grammar

Step 5: Final sentence

Finish your article with a nice final sentence. It doesn’t have to be anything special you can simply summarize your article or you can also try to be a little bit funny or end in a more surprising way.

Everybody loves films, I think you can enjoy them anywhere, even if not at the cinema, it’s still Netflix!

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See full article…

Home cinema or the big screen?

Have you ever cried at the cinema? Or have you watched a comedy and laughed until you cry?

I know many people who love animated or romantic films, but for me, there is nothing better
than an amazing drama or adventure movie like ‘Indiana Jones’ because I’m a big fan of stories with fascinating plot.

In my opinion, watching a film at home isn’t the same as going to the cinema to enjoy a great movie on a huge screen with popcorn and cola. If it wasn’t so expensive, I would go every week.

Everybody loves films, I think you can enjoy them anywhere, even if not at the cinema, it’s still Netflix!

engxam logo english exams

FCE, CAE, PET

Practice Tests Online

Get your writing checked, track your progress online.
Sample papers, online practice tests & tips.

B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Example Answers

You see this notice on an English-language website

FILMS
What kind of films do you enjoy?
Do you prefer watching them at the cinema or at home? Why?
Write an article answering these questions and we will put it on our website!

Write your article.

Student’s  Answer:

Films

There are many types of films, most adults like to watch romance films and most children likes to watch cartoons but for me, I like to watch romance and musical films.

I prefer watching them at the cinema because of the sound effects and the screens are so much bigger than our house one, sometimes the film even look so real. When you are going to an outting with your friends, you can buy the food and the drinks there but I don’t like to eat the popcorn there.

However, when my parents don’t want to go to the cinema, I have no choice but to watch it at home.

Grade: 4-5/5

Content:  5
Communicative Achievement: 4
Organisation: 4
Language: 4

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You see this notice on an English-language website

FILMS
What kind of films do you enjoy?
Do you prefer watching them at the cinema or at home? Why?
Write an article answering these questions and we will put it on our website!

Write your article.

Student’s  Answer:

Hi, my name is Antem. I likes watch films, but there are little cinemas in our city.

I prefer watch fantastic films at the cinema in 3D, because they realise and interesting. My favourite filmes are ‘star wars’, ‘hobbit’ and, Harry Potter and the half-blood prince’

I prefer watch films at the cinema park in Alatir. If you ask: Why do you like watch film at the cinema park? I answer, that I like eat pop-corn and ice-cream. Else, I like go to the cinema with my family. It’s very funny! We go to the cinema one time a month, and two times a week on holiday

Grade: 3/5

Content:  5
Communicative Achievement: 2
Organisation: 2
Language: 2

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B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Exam Questions

You have seen this advertisement in the school magazine.

Restaurant
Which is the best restaurant you have ever been to?
Write an article giving your opinions.
The best articles will be published in the magazine.

Write your article in about 100 words.

You have seen this advertisement in the school magazine.

Technology
Is technology a good thing or a bad thing?
Write an article giving your opinions.
The best articles will be published in the magazine.

Write your article in about 100 words.

You have seen this advertisement in the school magazine.

Your Favourite Possession
We would like to know something about your favourite possession.
Write an article for the school magazine explaining why this possession is so special to you.
The best articles will be published in the magazine.

Write your article in about 100 words.

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FCE, CAE, PET

Practice, Write & Improve

Get your writing checked, track your progress online.
Sample papers, online practice tests & tips.

B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Things to Focus On

The examiners are looking at the following criteria:

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 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.

Communication

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

 

Organization

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.

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 friend, it must be informal and familiar.

 

engxam logo english exams

FCE, CAE, PET

Practice, Write & Improve

Get your writing checked, track your progress online.
Sample papers, online practice tests & tips.

B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Writing Checklist

After writing your e-mail, you can check it yourself using the writing checklist below.

How to do that? Simply check your text/email by answering the questions one by one:

Content

  • Is the article about the topic stated in the task?
  • Does it answer the question(s) in the task?
  • Does it include all relevant information in about 100 words?

Communicative Achievement

  • Does the text use the conventions of an article (addressing the reader directly, expressing an
    opinion, sharing personal information)?
  • Is it written in a style suitable for the magazine stated in the task (often for a school, club or
    website and therefore informal)?
  • Is the purpose of the writing clear?

Organisation

  • Does the text use paragraphs appropriately to organise the ideas?
  • Does the text use other organisational features of an article (for example, a title, introduction of the topic)?
  • Are the ideas presented in a logical order? Is the text easy to follow?
  • Does the text use a variety of linking words or cohesive devices (such as although, and, but,
    because, first of all, finally, as a result etc., and referencing language)?
  • Is punctuation used correctly?

Language

  • Does the text use a range of vocabulary?
  • Does the text use a range of simple grammar accurately (such as basic tenses and simple clauses)?
  • Does it use some complex grammatical structures (such as relative clauses, passives, modal forms and tense contrasts)?
  • Is the spelling accurate enough for the meaning to be clear?
engxam logo english exams

FCE, CAE, PET

Practice, Write & Improve

Get your writing checked, track your progress online.
Sample papers, online practice tests & tips.

B1 Preliminary (PET) Article: Useful Phrases & Expressions 

Although it is taking a shortcut, if you learn several phrases for each paragraph in each type of text that could be on your exam, you will certainly be able to create a very consistent and well-organized text.

Engaging 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…

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

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

Making recommendations and suggestions:

It would be a good idea to…
Wouldn’t it be better to…?
Why don’t we…?
What about… ?
How about… ?
Shouldn’t we… ?
Let’s consider…
Why not… ?

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