This is a short summary of some style points to keep in mind when attempting the tasks in the Cambridge English: Advanced writing section. Part 1 of 5, click the buttons to read more about the the different styles of writing you may have to do in the exam:

Essay Email/letter Proposal Report Review


Who is the audience? The audience is a teacher or professor.

What is the purpose of the writing? You need to develop an argument or opinion.  Usually this is done in 5 paragraphs: introduction, reason 1 (with examples), reason 2 (with examples), addressing counter-arguments (with examples), conclusion.

Is it formal? Yes.

Should I use headings or bullet points? No.

How should it start? It’s important to provide a kind of framework for the reader in your opening paragraph.  If you have been asked to give your opinion on something, you should state what your opinion is (or give a hint) at the beginning.  This shows that you have a clear goal in mind and a desired outcome for the reader (to be convinced by your arguments).  Without this, you give the impression that you have just thought about things, and written some things, and you managed to convince yourself at the end.  That is appropriate for a blog or journal entry, but not for an essay for your teacher.

How should it finish? You need to clearly state your opinion in your conclusion.

Go back to my tips for a different section of the Cambridge English: Advanced exam

Reading Writing Listening Speaking Practice test