Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Useful Words: Rating or Reviewing
Writing a review presupposes making judgments and rating, say, a service, establishment or work of art. For ESL / EFL exam-takers, this means having to come up with a variety of words that qualify what is being described, something which might present problems since making more than one assessment in such pieces of writing is the norm.

If words used to assess something are repeated, then candidates cannot expect to receive a satisfactory grade (at least in terms of their lexical ability and range). Using less formal words is also frowned upon.

Therefore, this list should serve as a brief catalog of go-to words aimed at digging students out of the proverbial hole they might find themselves in during the Writing section of an English exam.

The list has been divided into three categories: saying something is terrific, so-so and terrible.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Words to use instead of 'Important'

The first post in this series of "Words to use instead of ..." dealt with the overly used word "nice" (read about it here).

Today, I'll tackle that bane of every ESL teacher's existence, that word they often hear when helping students work on their oral exams or read when correcting essays, the one every student so easily lets slip out when they can't think of what else to say: important.

It's always "this must be done because it's very important" or "saving the planet is extremely important" or "graduating from a good university is very important these days."

Examiners might be lenient the first time they hear this word, but imagine hearing it 5 times in answers to 6 questions asked? To put it more mathematically, in a 10 to 12-minute examination where an exam candidate uses the word in five out of six responses, the examiner hears the same word once roughly every two to two and a half minutes. Though it's perfectly natural to hear pronouns, demonstratives and articles repeated, adjectives, verbs and nouns must be varied if you're aiming for a high score. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

C2 Sample Essay 32 (Richer nations sharing wealth)
Writing at C2 level (Proficient User) on English language examinations is the same no matter the awarding body when it comes to writing essays. If you are a candidate giving an exam in English (IELTS, CPE, ECPE, CELP, LRN, ESB, TOEFL), make sure you read my earlier post What do I do with the sample writing found on this blog? to get the most out of the sample essays provided on Argute Legacy.  

  The topic of this essay is to discuss whether wealthier nations should share their wealth with poorer nations or if each nation should fend for itself. If you are not taking an exam but need to discuss this topic, then read on and note down what you deem useful. If you intend to use this essay as part of an assignment, remember to paraphrase so as not to plagiarize.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Essay Writing: The Main Body - Supporting Sentences

Having discussed the overall organization of an academic essay, the introductory paragraph and the topic sentence of main body paragraphs, let's take a look at what we need to do to develop an argument

As mentioned in the first article in this series, students writing an essay as part of an assignment or an ESL/EFL examination often find it difficult to elaborate on the topic they have been given. One cause which can only be remedied by reading newspapers, academic journals or discussing current affairs and a variety of subjects with others, is a lack of ideas. The other is not knowing how to expand an argument, but fortunately this can be solved by putting into play the various types of supporting sentences available.

Let's see what these six types of sentences are.

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