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How to write an essay? | B2 First (FCE)

Level: B2
Exam:
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B2 First (FCE) Essay: Structure
B2 First (FCE) Essay: Writing Guide
B2 First (FCE)  Essay: Example essays
B2 First (FCE) Essay: Example topics
B2 First (FCE)  Essay: Tips
B2 First (FCE) Essay: Useful Phrases & Expressions
B2 First (FCE) Essay: FAQ

An essay is always written for the teacher. It should answer the question given by addressing both content points and providing a new content point of the writer’s own.

The language of an essay should be formal. Also, make sure that you justify all your ideas and that you use appropriate connectors to link your sentences and paragraphs.

When writing a professional essay, you can choose whether to give it a title or not. This could be the same question provided in the task. As for the structure, it should have an introductory paragraph and a conclusion at the end. The body should consist of 2 or 3 main paragraphs, depending on how you decide to structure your ideas.

B2 First (FCE) Essay: Structure

Introduction
Present and develop the essay question in your introduction
1 st body paragraph
State your 1st argument and give a reason. This should be your main point.
2 nd body paragraph
State your 2nd argument and give a reason.
3 rd body paragraph (optional)
State your 3d argument and give a reason.
Conclusion
Give your opinion
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B2 First (FCE) Essay: Writing Guide

Introduction

In the introduction, state the topic clearly and give a brief outline of the issue, saying why it is important or why people have different opinions about it. Do not express your opinion at the beginning of your essay (develop your essay in such a way that it guides the reader to the conclusion you draw).

Example: 

1st – 3rd body paragraph 

Supporting paragraphs make up the main body of your essay. Each new paragraph has one main idea, stated in a topic sentence.

How do I write them?

  1. List the points that develop the main idea of your essay.
  2. Place each supporting point in its own paragraph.
  3. Develop each supporting point with facts, details, and examples

To connect your supporting paragraphs, you should use special transition words. Transition words link your paragraphs together and make your essay easier to read. Use them at the beginning and end of your paragraphs.

Conclusion

The summary paragraph comes at the end of your essay after you have finished developing your ideas. The summary paragraph is often called a “conclusion.” 

It summarizes or restates the main idea of the essay. You want to leave the reader with a sense that your essay is complete.

Example:

 TIP: Pay attention to style and register

One of the most common register mistakes made by inexperienced writers involves using too personal manner in a piece of formal writing. A chatty style, characterized by the use of the words I and you, could be inappropriate and even offensive in a formal essay.

Me, myself, I

Everybody likes to talk about themselves, but when (for example) you’re writing about environmental issues, you should be talking about the environment and not about yourself.

YOU

The way word you is used in informal speech ‘You should have seen it!’ ‘if you know what I mean’ is not appropriate in formal writing. At best it sounds chatty and informal; at worst, disrespectful or even offensive. The word you points a finger at the reader. But the readers are not friends of yours, and you have no right to make assumptions about them.

B2 First (FCE)  Essay: Example essays

Subject:

In some countries, learning English is compulsory at school. Do you agree with this?

Student’s FCE Essay Answer:

Introduction

Whether we like it or not, English has invaded most schools across the globe. If these courses should be compulsory or not is an important question to consider.

1 st body paragraph 

To begin with, learning a second language is vital for students because it opens their world to new cultures. They not only learn a new language, but also learn about other cultures apart from their own. In a world that is rapidly becoming more and more international, an extended worldview can help the students thrive in such a cosmopolitan environment.

2 nd body paragraph 

Because English is the accepted language used in business throughout the world, it is necessary for students to prepare themselves and to be able to survive in the competitive workplace. If students do not learn English they will lose opportunities for promotion, new career paths, and the chance to be successful in a world that communicates only in English.

3 rd body paragraph 

Lastly, learning English as a second language should be compulsory, because otherwise only the most motivated will learn it. Most students need the structured atmosphere of a classroom in order to focus and apply themselves. Without this gentle push, the students can lose their drive and motivation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I think that English should be compulsory in schools. The students will not only have a better chance to be successful in their professional careers, but they will also be more enriched culturally. As well, because everyone is different , the courses should be compulsory so as to nurture those who need structure and guidance.

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Subject:

Your English class has had a discussion about advertising. Your teacher has asked you to write a composition about the following statement:

Advertising plays an important role in modern life.

Student’s FCE Essay Answer:

Introduction

In recent times, T.V. has been reaching a huge worldwide audience while advertising has become increasingly important in our daily lives. It is also present, however, in the cinema, magazines, newspapers and Internet. It now dominates our lives.

1 st body paragraph 

Although this is a great opportunity for the media to make money, it can have a negative influence on the general public. Nowadays it seems there are no limits. Advertising campaigns sell products using fear, sex, humour, violence and above all by creating competition between people and a ‘need’ for a product.

2 nd body paragraph 

Buying a bigger car, a T.V. or more expensive perfume than your neighbour is causing excessive consumerism. We are victims of fashion. If you do not buy the latest smart phone or computer you are out of touch with the modern times. A teenager wearing the wrong clothes or using an old mobile is seen as a ‘freak’.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is no doubt about the importance of advertising in modern life. Nevertheless, it has created stress and envy. Many people do not realize they are being brainwashed and spend money without thinking.

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B2 First (FCE) Essay: Example topics

You have done a project on transport in your English class. Your teacher has asked you to write an essay giving your opinions on the following statement.

Because cars are so convenient public transport has no future.

Write your essay in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.

You have had a discussion on fashion in your English class. Your teacher has asked you to write an essay, giving your opinions on the following statement.

Young people never want to dress the same as their parents.

Write your essay in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.

You have had a discussion on the media’s treatment of famous people in your English class. Your teacher has asked you to write an essay, giving your opinions on the following statement.

Famous people such as footballers, film stars and politicians, deserve to have a private life without journalists constantly following them.

Write your essay in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.

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B2 First (FCE)  Essay: Tips

  • ANSWER THE QUESTION
  • PLAN your essay
  • REVISE your essay to correct mistakes.
  • Use a variety of discussive words and phrases
  • Give examples where possible
  • Use formal language
  • Don’t use contractions (we’re, I’ve etc.)
  • Sum up your argument in the final paragraph
  • The final paragraph is the best place to express your opinion clearly.

B2 First (FCE) Essay: Useful Phrases & Expressions

Introduction

The trend nowadays is towards ….
Over the past ten years or so the media have frequently carried reports of ….
Recent research indicates that ….
Hardly a week goes by without another report of ……….. appearing in the media.
This raises the issue of whether ……
Although most people would generally agree that ………… few would deny that ….

Stating your opinion

As I see it,
It seems to me that ………… I would also say that ….
I am convinced that ……………
I am inclined to believe that ………………
There is no doubt in my mind that ………………
One of the drawbacks of ……. is ……….
However, one of the benefits is that …………
Changing topic
As regards the causes for this, …………..
Concerning the causes for this, ………
As for the causes, ………..

Presenting arguments

One justification is often given for ……….. is that……………..
Advocates/Proponents would claim that ………………
Those who object to …………….. often argue that ……………….
Another objection is that ……
However, it should not be forgotten that …………..
……….. are opposed to ……………. on the grounds that ……………..
From the point of view of ……………..
According to ………………..

Describing causes

One factor which has led to ………… is …………..
One of the factors which has brought this about is ………
The problem often stems from ………………..
The situation has been exacerbated by …………….
………….. has only made the situation worse.
One consequence of ……………. is …………….

Proposing steps and measures

As regards the most appropriate response to this situation, one suggestion would be to ………
The first step to be taken would be to ……..
To alleviate the situation people should ………..
In addition they ought to ……………
To begin to tackle this situation society/individuals/the government need/s to This can only be dealt with if …………
To overcome this problem, …………..
Were the government to ……………, the situation would doubtless improve.
Individuals can do a great deal to …………
The burden of responsiblity lies in the hands of ……..
It is vitally important that ………
Legislation should be introduced to control ……………..
It would be a grave error if we ……………..

Concluding

All in all it seems to me that ………..
The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that …………………..
All things considered, ………….
On balance, I tend to believe that …………
The world would surely be a better place to live in if …………..
If people stopped ….ing, we would have/ we could look forward to a ……………
The prospects for the future will be bleak/grim unless ……………….

B2 First (FCE) Essay: FAQ

Should you do a plan?

Yes! You must make a plan to organise your writing. On the day of the exam, you will be stressed and feel pressure. A plan is your way of organising you text and your thoughts.

What happens if I write more than 190 words?

Nothing… Well, almost nothing. In the past for every 5 words extra, they took away a point, however, now they do not. It is not good to go over 190 words because of time, but you can. I wouldn´t write more than 200 words because they will probably lower the mark they give you for content. They will determine some of it to be unnecessary.

What counts as a complex language in the exam?

You MUST use complex language at B2 level. You must use attention-grabbing vocabulary and a variety of grammar structures. The passive voice, relative clauses, modal verbs, conditionals, reported speech and inversions all count as COMPLEX grammar forms and you must use them. Otherwise, you can address academic experts and pay someone to write your paper if you need help to write an essay for you.

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