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    Why should I care about all those dead people?


    Sample FCE / CAE article: – for analysis of style

    Why should I care about all those dead people?

    Think back to when you were at school…. Do you remember sitting in class, listening to your teacher drone on and on about some boring dead author? I do!  I loved reading, but I hated learning about classic writers because the teachers failed to make them seem relevant in any way.

    Then I met Ms Cournane… Suddenly, all those dead writers came to life. I don’t know how she did it, but when she taught us about them, the novels weren’t just dust on a page anymore. They were stories of interesting characters with fascinating lives who captured my imagination. I started reading classic novels for pleasure rather than seeing them as an inescapable form of torture.

    Now Ms Cournane was neither young nor trendy. In fact she looked a little like a character from one of those old novels herself. She wore old-fashioned clothes, had frizzy yellow hair and a face full of wrinkles. But she also had a genuine interest in what she taught and what we thought.

    For that reason, I’ll be eternally grateful to her. Without her influence, I may never have discovered for myself the joy of being carried away to other times and places by the written word and a passion for the power of language. And that passion lit a fire in me that fed my love of literature right through my university studies.

    Writing an article 

    At least one of the exam writing tasks may involve writing:  an article / an entry for a competition / a review

    All are intended to be published in an English-language magazine, newspaper or newsletter (sent to members of a club or society). Read the instructions to be clear about who you are writing for.

    What is an article?


    An article:

    – is intended for publication in a newspaper, magazine or journal
    – is written for a wide audience, so it needs to attract and retain the readers’ attention
    – may include amusing stories, reported speech and descriptions

    – can be semi-formal or informal, depending on the target audience
    – should be written in an interesting or entertaining manner
    – should give opinions and thoughts, as well as facts

    An article can:

    A realistic article should consist of:

    1)  an eye-catching title  – to catch the readers’ attention and suggest the theme. (Have you read a magazine / newspaper / online article recently – what made you read it?).  Note: Articles can also have subheadings.

    2) an introduction – which clearly shows the topic to be covered and keeps the reader’s attention.

    3) the main body (2-4 paragraphs) in which the topic is developed in more detail.

    4) the conclusion – summarising the topic or a final opinion, recommendation or comment.

    Look at the sample article provided at the start of this post – can you find examples of the features mentioned above in it?


    Before you begin writing it is important to consider:

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