In the B2 First Writing Paper you could be asked to write an article about a variety of topics. However, it’s often something you’ve recently learned to do or know a lot about. For example, the question might be about a concert you’ve been to recently, you favourite hobby or your hometown.
The idea is to write in a way that grabs the reader’s attention and keeps them interested until the very end.
Differences between articles and essays
- In an article, you need to constantly be telling the reader what you think.
- The article is informal, the essay is formal and neutral.
- The essay has a clear organisation, whereas the article might not.
B2 First (FCE) Article: Structure
Think of an interesting title which will make people want to read your article
Start your article in an interesting way. You could ask the reader a question or make a strong statement.
|1st body paragraph|
The first paragraph should involve the reader in some way.
|2nd body paragraph|
Build on the interest you have raised in the first paragraph by telling the next part of the story
Finish the article in an interesting way. This could be humorous or thought-provoking
B2 First (FCE) Article: Writing Guide
Articles usually have a title. The title should be informative (give the reader an idea of the subject) and attractive (make the reader want to read the article).
Keep it short (2-5 words) and clear
- No need for a complete sentence
Title A: The Internet: A Great Invention
Title B: Keep It Healthy!
The start of the article should be linked to the title, introduce the topic and engage the reader. Often, an article starts with a question that introduces the topic which will be discussed in the article.
- General statement about the topic.
- Start with a question, problem or quotation.
Introduction A: The Internet has changed the way we live. It started as something that we could access only through a computer, but nowadays it is everywhere, and I love it!
Introduction B: Are you a busy college student? Do you struggle to keep fit and eat healthily? Don’t worry! I am going to tell you exactly what you should do. Keep on reading, you will thank me later!
Each should be clearly defined, not too long and clearly linked.
- Describe issues in detail and use one paragraph per issue.
- Use linkers, sequencing and sophisticated vocabulary.
Paragraph A1: One of the cool things about the world wide web is that you can …..
Paragraph A2: However, the greatest thing about the Internet is how you can learn tons of things…
Paragraph 1B: First of all, you must start moving your body. You could go to the gym if …..
Paragraph B2:Secondly, your diet is just as important. I suppose you live on a low budget
An ending can state an opinion, give the reader something to think about, summarise the article or even end with a quotation.
Conclusion A: If you follow all these tips, I’m sure you will keep fit easily! And if you already tried that, let me know how you feel now
Conclusion B: In conclusion, the Internet has a lot of great things. For me, the best are finding information and learning online. What about you? What are your favourite things about it?
- Give your article a title.
- Try and engage the reader’s attention and interest. Ask questions at the beginning.
- There should be a link between the opening sentence and the title.
- Personalise the article using true stories or anecdotes.
- If you decide to take a light-hearted approach or a more serious one, maintain the same style throughout the article.
- Check your work for accuracy, punctuation and spelling.
Article could be light or serious (but should be consistent), depending on who the target reader is. May use some rhetorical questions e.g. Can you imagine a school where every student enjoys themselves?
B2 First (FCE) Article: Model Answers
A local magazine has asked readers to write an article about their favourite things about the Internet. Write the article talking about the things you do with the Internet and recommend a website to other readers.
Write your article.
Student’s FCE Article Answer:
The Internet: A Great Invention
The Internet has changed the way we live. It started as something that we could access only through a computer, but nowadays it is everywhere, and I love it!
One of the cool things about the world wide web is that you can look up anything you want and nd out the answer straight away. Isn’t that fantastic? For example, imagine you are arguing with your friends about how to do something. Easy solution! Go online and find the answer.
However, the greatest thing about the Internet is how you can learn tons of things very cheaply or even for free! In fact, my favourite website is www.udemy.com,where people register to teach and learn about different things: music, website design, making apps, history, etc. So I totally recommend it to everyone!
In conclusion, the Internet has a lot of great things. For me, the best are finding information and learning online. What about you? What are your favourite things about it?
Fitness bloggers wanted!
Our fitness magazine is looking for influencers to write an article on how to stay fit when you are a college student. So if you have any cool ideas, send us an article in which you:
• Explain the type of exercise you recommend
• Recommend a healthy but cheap diet
• Give other ideas you like
Write your article.
Student’s FCE Article Answer:
Keep It Healthy!
Are you a busy college student? Do you struggle to keep fit and eat healthily? Don’t worry! I am going to tell you exactly what you should do. Keep on reading, you will thank me later!
First of all, you must start moving your body. You could go to the gym if you have the time. But if you’re busy – you’re a student, you should be busy! – don’t sign up for a gym. Instead, start cycling to college and give up using elevators. You’ll see how your fitness improves quickly!
Secondly, your diet is just as important. I suppose you live on a low budget, so I suggest you don’t eat out much. Eating out can be unhealthy and expensive. Sogo to your local supermarket and buy healthy, inexpensive vegetables and fruit.
Finally, pay attention to how you sit when you are studying. Posture is super important to feel well, especially if you are a student or an office worker.
If you follow all these tips, I’m sure you will keep fit easily! And if you already tried that, let me know how you feel now
B2 First (FCE) Article: Example topics
You see this announcement in the Leisure and Entertainment magazine.
Could you live without internet for a month?
Write and tell us what difference this would make to your life.
We will publish the best article.
You see this announcement in a magazine.
We invite you to write an article on ‘The City of the Future’.
In what ways will Cities be different in the future? In what ways will they be the same?
The writer of the best article will receive a prize.
You have seen this notice in an international magazine.
Inventions have affected all our lives!
Write us an article about one invention, explaining why you think it is important and saying how it has affected your own life.
The best article will be published in the magazine.
B2 First (FCE) Article: Writing Checklist
After writing your text, 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:
- Have I covered all the key information required by the task?
- Have I written only information which is relevant to the task?
- Have I developed the basic points in the task with my own ideas?
- Have I achieved the main purpose(s) of the text (for example, explaining, persuading, suggesting, apologising, comparing, etc.)?
- Have I communicated a balance of straightforward and more complex ideas?
- Have I used a suitable style and register (formal or informal) for the task?
- Have I used paragraphs appropriately to organise my ideas?
- Have I used other organisational features appropriately for the genre of the text (for example, titles, headings, openings, closings, etc.)?
- Is the connection between my ideas clear and easy for the reader to follow? (For example, have I used appropriate linking words, pronouns, etc. to refer to different things within the text?)
- Are the ideas balanced appropriately, with suitable attention and space given to each one?
- Have I used a wide range of vocabulary?
- Have I avoided repeating the same words and phrases?
- Have I used a range of simple and more complex grammatical structures?
- Have I correctly used any common phrases which are relevant to the specific task or topic?
- Is my use of grammar accurate?
- Is my spelling accurate?
B2 First (FCE) Article: Tips
- ANSWER THE QUESTION
- PLAN your article.
- Give your article a title.
- Ask rhetorical questions to get your readers’ attention. Eg. What would the world be like without oil? What will life be like in 20 years time?
- Speak directly to your readers. Eg. Let’s just imagine some of the possibilities.
- Give examples where appropriate.
- Use humour where appropriate
- Give a conclusion and summary in the last paragraph.
- Finally, give your opinion where appropriate.
- REVISE your article to correct mistakes
B2 First (FCE) Article: Useful Phrases & Expressions
We will finish it with some useful vocabulary mostly used to organize information. Although it is taking a shortcut, if you learn several expressions 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.
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Have you ever ……..?
What do you think about ……..?
Are you one of those people who thinks that ……?
Are you one of those people who …….?
What would life be like if ……?
Will the future bring us ….. ?
In the first place
First of all
The first thing to consider is
One thing to consider is
To begin with
Yet another consideration
Another thing to consider is
Added to that
Apart from that
In addition to this
To sum up
In my opinion
Personally, I believe that
In my view
If you ask me
To my mind
My personal opinion is