Wednesday, 29 March 2017

CAE Exam 2017 Writing practice. Free correction and feedback.

Hi Gustavo,

I will have my advanced exam in Mai and I see you offer free service of writings correction. I desperately need some one who can do this for me. It would be great if you would my essays too.

Kind regards,

Tabitha



Difficulty levelC1 /Advanced
Write your answer in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.
You have read an online article about changes in the types of subject taught at secondary schools. The article says that some traditional subjects may no longer be taught at school. Four of the subjects discussed are mentioned below, along with some of the readers’ comments.
Which subjects may no longer be taught at secondary school?
Music ‘Most students who are interested in music take lessons out of school.’
Geography ‘Why do we need to know the names of rivers and mountains around the world?’
History‘It’s all about the past. At schools, we need to be focussing on the future.’
Art‘Art lessons allow kids to explore their creativity.’
Write an essay discussing TWO of the subjects mentioned above. You should explain why you think these subjects should continue to be taught at secondary schools, giving reasons to support your answer.
You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed by other readers, but you should use your own words as far as possible.


Always improve, always remember

Education has always been subject to change. Likewise Secondary schools, were nowadays, traditional subjects may no longer be taught. In the year 2001 the management of the Secondary schools decided to no longer educate  traditional subjects, among others, music and history. (Feedback: words  or lines in red need to be checked/ corrected )
Although few students choose to take lessons out of school, there is still a majority that can’t afford taking music lessons after class. Recent survey has proved that students who are exploring their musical abilities, simultaneously improve many other skills. Musical activities seem to stimulate the brain, which causes the students to accelerate in almost every area. Students for example love to play music of their favourite bands. At the same time they improve their language skills by learning lyrics of all kinds of songs. (Feedback: Paragraph needs more order.  State your idea clearly in the firsl line and then justify it. Example: You say in the first line that Music should continue in schools and then in the following lines you give some arguments why).
This brings me to a completely different but equally important issue, namely the subject history. It might be obvious that there is no future without history. One can say that thanks to the past we can make better choices in the future. I believe we would all agree on the fact that we should remember the massive errors made during World War II and learn from it to avoid repetition of this horrible event. Though I realize my next argument is something quite different, I can’t fail to emphasise that discoveries made in the past will be of great benefit of our future. Why re-invent the wheel? (Again, be direct. In the first paragraph say: There is no future withouth history. It is fundamental to continue teaching histories in schools because... // So, state your idea and then give us some very good reasons).
To sum up I am convinced that traditional subjects like music and history should be kept on being taught at secondary schools. Musical creativity as well as the awareness of the past will make the students greatly valued by society.

...

Dear Tabitha I hope this feedback helps.
Please feel free to make some comments below.

Monday, 20 March 2017

CPE EXAM Practice. Writing correction and feedback


Hello Gustavo,

I have been preparing for my CPE exam for a few months now, but I concentrated mostly on the grammar, listening and reading parts. My writing has been rather neglected, since i passed my FCE exam about 4 years ago. 

I started visiting your blog and it really inspired me to start preparing more thoroughly for the exam, so I would be grateful if you could take a look at the article that I wrote and point out the mistakes that i'm sure i made a lot of. I took the liberty of using the task about happiness, that somebody sent to you, i hope that's ok. 

One last thing -I am aware that the word count is way above the limit, but since it is my first writing in a very long time, i didn't want to restrain myself ( on the exam I'll stick to the official word count limit ;) ). I hope that won't be a problem. 
 

Best regards,
Sophie


Task


An English languange magazine is running a series on the topic of happiness. You decide to send in an article.

You shoud briefly describe one or two situations in which you have expreienced a sense of happiness. you

should also analyse what contributes to feelings of happiness for many people, and suggest whether the pursuit 

of happiness is a worthwhile aim



A formula for happiness

Even though the sense of happiness is most likely familiar to most people, the causes of it can differ for everybody. Some individuals can experience contentment doing the most basic tasks and activities like spending time with their loved ones, working out or taking up a new hobby. Others, can have a different approach and find happiness in the oddest of situations like bungee jumping or on the contrary- lying in bed all day. Who are we to judge?

For me personally, happiness is a feeling, I try to aim for every single day, because is usually appears alongside others like love, empowerment or the sense of achievement. I can recall a few situations, which had me filled with happiness and which I consider milestones of my life. One of them, concerning my relationship is quite cliché, but to be honest, which relationship story is not? Before my fist boyfriend, I never really knew what people meant when they referred to “ butterflies in their stomach” . Little did I know about the swarm of butterflies that would came flooding in, when on one beautiful day, my boyfriend told me for the very first time that he loved me . Never before have had I felt so filled with love and happiness. So I guess what they say is true- that the fist “ I love you” is a moment you do not forget. (Feedback: Last line gives the impression you are taking about love. Maybe better to re-write and say something about "happiness").

Another moment in which I felt indescribable happiness, is connected with my academic career. A few years ago, I applied for a student exchange program in my university and I was extremely anxious since there was only one spot available and my competition was rather strong. After the results were announced and it was revealed that I was the one who got the spot, I felt like I could conquer the world- the feelings of happiness and achievement were overwhelming.

Happiness is a feeling experienced by a great number of people around the world every single minute. So what exactly contributes to this feeling ? The answer to that question is unfortunately, not that easy. Happiness is a very personal and individual concept, so the means to achieving it can be different for literally everybody. Obviously, there are some things that are universally known for contributing to this feeling like family, love, realising dreams and even money, but there is no formula or recipe for happiness. When you think about it, that is a good thing- it helps us discover ourselves on a different, psychological level.

The pursuit of happiness is a lifelong experience. It can be hard, it can be challenging, it can even make you want to give up on chasing a feeling, that can be so easily taken away. But it is important to remember, that once you finally find it, you will realise that everything leading up to that moment was worth it. That, in my opinion, is the purest of human needs- wanting to be happy. (Feedback: What you write as a conclusion must be somehow connected to what you wrote before. I fail to see this connection. It is not so clear to me).




General Feedback:

All in all well done. The text is organised and the level of grammar and vocabulary are more than just Ok! 

Just remember to stick to the number of words and you should do great in the exam. Best wishes and please give us a Like on Facebook or Google+




CPE free writing correction and feedback 2017

Hi Gustavo! :)

The moment I found this website I realized that it would definitely help me improve my writing skills as I can get to see the way in which other candidates approach different tasks and compare them with mine, but when I found out that you were also correcting writing papers, I was just delighted.

I would very much like for you to take a look at my essay and briefly comment on it as I haven’t really gotten anyone to check one of mine and was curious as to whether I’m doing them correctly.

If you were kind enough to do that, I’d forever be grateful! :)

Nicolás Procopio



Question

Read the two texts below. Write an essay summarizing and evaluating the key points from both texts. Use your own words throughout as far as possible, and include your own ideas in your answers. Write your answer in 240 – 280 words.

Fashion is full of contradictions

It is beyond dispute that fashions plays an important role in social and cultural life today. Since it has such power, it is natural that questions are asked about its role in society. The fashion industry has always said that it gives people the freedom to express their unique individuality, even to experiment with alternative identities. However, critics argue that fashion dictates to society what should be considered beautiful and elegant, and ultimately encourages everyone, especially the young, to dress in similar ways. It is this very ambiguity that makes fashion fascinating and which can also provoke hostility.

Is fashion for everyone?

There will always be those who say that fashion is trivial and that obsession with it is the sign of a second-rate mind. But despite this, it is hard to believe people who say that they are not interested in what they wear. They may mean they are not interested in fashion, and believe that following the latest trends is a waste of time. They look for comfort and a reasonable fit in the clothes they buy, and that is sufficient. However, there is something shallow about asserting you don’t care what you look like, because in your heart of hearts you know it isn’t true. Appearances do matter, when, most of the time, they are all we have to go on.

My essay:

(no Title?)

Both texts consider how important a role fashion plays in our current society. (Feedback: Intro is too short, make it at least 2-4 lines long)

The first text is concerned with the apparent sense of independence that fashion gives us. It essentially argues that even though some people believe that fashion is an amazing way to express themselves and show the world their true colors, in the end, it is nothing but a subtle way to tell people what is socially acceptable and what is not. The writer seems to be of the opinion that this paradox is what makes fashion one of the most controversial topics in the world. (Feedback: The ideas in the first and second sentences seem no to be connected. Idea in sentence 3 is not clear enough for me: what paradox? )

Unlike the first text, the second one outlines the underlying significance of fashion in our world. It is mentioned that although some may argue that they do not care about fashion, deep down we all do. The author also emphasizes the importance of ‘appearances’, which I completely agree with, given that nowadays we live in a very materialistic world where personality is constantly overlooked. (Feedback: the second one outlines the underlying significance of fashion in our world? what do you mean by that? I don't think your paragraph really captures the essence of text two)

To sum up, I believe that fashion is definitely a force to be reckoned with, since over the past few decades it has become one of the biggest industries in the entire world. There is no denying that fashion has its own hierarchy full of categories which people fall into, regardless of their sex, race or religion. However, I’m inclined to believe that the benefits of fashion far outweigh its potential downsides, as it allows us to be ourselves and promotes self-expression – in its own twisted way. (Feedback: Make your conclusion shorter. 3-5 lines should be more than ok).


.........................................................................................................................................
Final comment:

Dear Nicolás. Thanks for following the blog. Please give it a Like on Facebook or on Google+

I hope you find my feedback useful. I also invite you to make comments on other students' writings. 

Best Regards


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Dear Gustavo, 

I'm writing you to ask if you could check this piece of writing I've recently written. 

I look forward to reading your opinion since, from what I've read in your blog, you seem to be totally honest and quite demanding, like the CPE exam is supposed to be. 

Thanks in advance and have a nice day!

David Belastegui



Write an answer to one of the questions 1-3. Write your answer in about 300 words in an appropriate style. Put the question number next to your answer.

  1. You have read the extract below from a letter to a newspaper. Write your letter to the editor, commenting on what you have read and expressing your own views.

I remember the days when young people dressed smartly, were always home by 10 p.m, listened to proper music, were polite and respectful to their elders, and never ever used bad language. They obeyed the rules because they realised that their parents knew better than they did. And I believe they were happier as a result.
---------------

Dear Editor,

My name is Joshua Green and I am writing you to express my absolute disagreement with the opinion expressed in one of the letters sent by your readers and recently published on the Sunday issue of your newspaper.  (Feeback, Keep it short but say which opinion)

Having lived for over 65 years and worked as a professional sociologist, I have developed a broader perspective of life than that of the people who brought me up in my youngest years. Thus, I firmly believe that young people today are not lost or deranged as the letter implies because, although it is true that they are less happy than before since they present higher suicide and depression rates, they also account for most of the progress that we are making as a species.

Furthermore, I believe that the concepts of “smart music” and “smartly dressed” contain a quite palpable amount of bias and subjectivity that ultimately makes me believe that this person is not quite used to one of the most common events in our universe, change. This inexorable fact, to which humanity is well accustomed, brought about science, philosophy and progress in general. And the youth, notwithstanding their tendency to use profanity and disrespect their elders, are essential to keep alive the flames of creativity and curiosity that drive this change.

In conclusion, I believe that the person who wrote that letter has a number of things to learn, and if he or she is eager to expand his/her understanding of the intricacies of the youth, then the TV or social media should not be the sources of this knowledge. Instead I would recommend social studies conducted by scientists, which will not be biased and will objectively challenge the reader’s worldview.

Yours sincerely,
Joshua Green


Feedback:

Dear David. First of all thank you for following the blog. You asked me to be totally honest with the feedback so here I go. 

Here is the issue that I have with your writing. So... your name is David and you are a young student but you decided to imagine that you are an old man called Joshua Green to write your answer ???  If so, why would you do that???

Sure, you can use your creativity and write to the Editor from an invented character´s point of view, but in my opinion that is far too much effort and a very time consuming thing to do in the exam. If you answer as David it is just fine. 

That said, I have to compliment you on the level of vocabulary that you used. It is perfect for CPE and the text is also well organised. Yes, it reads quite aggressive at some points and I would probably want to change that but, thumbs up.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Free CPE Writing correction and feedback 2017

Hello Gustavo,

I have been visiting your blog website very often since I started working on my writing part of the CPE exam. I have struggled with creating a template for articles as I thought this might safe time but I haven't managed to succesfully put one together.

For that reason if you were so kind to look at an article I wrote as I haven't had the chance for anyone to look over it.

Lucia CH


Task

An English languange magazine is running a series on the topic of happiness. You decide to send in an article. You shoud briefly describe one or two situations in which you have expreienced a sense of happiness. you should also analyse what contributes to feelings of happiness for many people, and suggest whether the pursuit of happiness is a worthwhile aim. Write your article


LITTLE HAPPINESS OR HAPPINESS IN LITTLE?

There is something soothing about the repetitive sound of a photocopier printing endlessly and its corresponding dancing light. It was when I first paid full attention to this situation's nuances that I realised I was experiencing happiness. Or is this too much of a big word to use in this case? (Feedback: I personally find the photocopier example a little odd. I would probably have written something about watching children play or a flower blossom, or sth like that...)

Nowadays we are engrossed in a speedy life which leaves little room for noticing small things, let alone the chance to enjoy them. BUt this might be the cause for a never-ending search for happiness.

Since that realisation moment, whenever I think of a happy time I recall the simplicity of the situation. Such as the sunlight filtering through the buildings into my skin when waiting at the bus stop in a summer afternoon or even the warmth of a bunch of people traveling on a train in the middle of a cold winter are details that if noticed can offer happiness. In my opinion, life's small peasures have the potential to add up and provide us with a constant happy feeling. 

This thought might appear idealistic, and trust me I am aware of how fairytale-like it may sound. Samll worries in our lives might become a constant nag and therefore stand in the way preventing us from seeing beyond them. Likewise, bigger problems in life can take up most of our thinking time quite reasonably. All of those will jeopardise our search for happiness which will make us feel unfulfilled. It may often appear that we are in a constant rough ride, however it is all down to how we face these struggles in life. It may all be down to looking at life through the right lens. Rather than thinking of happiness as a dead-end aim, we might be better off by seeing it as a journey. Surely life istelf is a journey too!

Overall, my conclusion is that the key to everyone's happiness lays on being present and letting go of major constricting expectations. Finding contentment in the here and now would give anyone the perfect intention to work towards a happier existence.



Feedback:

Dear Lucia, unfortunately I do not have a positive feedback for you. I have the feeling that you started on the right way and lost your way.

You were supposed to describe ( in detail ) one or two situations in which you experiences happiness. Then write about what usually means happiness to people ( example, success, money, love? ) and then suggest if it is a good idea to "look for happiness".

In my opinion you did not write what you were supposed to write.