how to write an article b2

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

how to write an article b2

In the B2 First Writing Paper you could be asked to write an article about a variety of topics. However, it’s often something you’ve recently learned to do or know a lot about. For example, the question might be about a concert you’ve been to recently, you favourite hobby or your hometown.

The idea is to write in a way that grabs the reader’s attention and keeps them interested until the very end.

Differences between articles and essays

  • In an article, you need to constantly be telling the reader what  you think .
  • The  article is informal,  the essay is formal and neutral.
  • The essay has a clear organisation, whereas the article  might not .

B2 First (FCE) Article: Structure

Fce, cae, cpe, practice, write & improve, b2 first (fce) article: writing guide.

Articles usually have a title. The title should be informative (give the reader an idea of the subject) and attractive ( make the reader want to read the article ).

  • No need for a complete sentence

Title A: The Internet: A Great Invention

Title B: Keep It Healthy!

Introduction

The start of the article should be linked to the title, introduce the topic and engage the reader. Often, an article starts with a question that introduces the topic which will be discussed in the article.

  • General statement about the topic.
  • Start with a question, problem or quotation.

Introduction A: The Internet has changed the way we live. It started as something that we could access only through a computer, but nowadays it is everywhere, and I love it!

Introduction B:  Are you a busy college student? Do you struggle to keep fit and eat healthily? Don’t worry! I am going to tell you exactly what you should do. Keep on reading, you will thank me later!

Paragraphs 1-2

Each should be clearly defined, not too long and clearly linked.

  • Describe issues in detail and use one paragraph per issue.
  • Use linkers, sequencing and sophisticated vocabulary.

Paragraph A1: One of the cool things about the world wide web is that you can ….. Paragraph A2: However, the greatest thing about the Internet is how you can learn tons of things… Paragraph 1B: First of all, you must start moving your body. You could go to the gym if ….. Paragraph B2: Secondly, your diet is just as important. I suppose you live on a low budget

An ending can state an opinion, give the reader something to think about, summarise the article or even end with a quotation.

Conclusion A: If you follow all these tips, I’m sure you will keep fit easily! And if you already tried that, let me know how you feel now

Conclusion B: In conclusion, the Internet has a lot of great things. For me, the best are finding information and learning online. What about you? What are your favourite things about it?

  Let’s summarize! – How to write an Article?

how to write an article b2

  • Try and engage the reader’s attention and interest. Ask questions at the beginning.
  • There should be a link between the opening sentence and the title.
  • Personalise the article using true stories or anecdotes.
  • If you decide to take a light-hearted approach or a more serious one, maintain the same style throughout the article.
  • Check your work for accuracy, punctuation and spelling.

Article could be light or serious (but should be consistent), depending on who the target reader is. May use some rhetorical questions e.g. Can you imagine a school where every student enjoys themselves?

More than Practice Tests

B2 first (fce) article: model answers, fce article example 1.

A local magazine has asked readers to write an article about their favourite things about the Internet. Write the article talking about the things you do with the Internet and recommend a website to other readers.

Write your article.

Student’s FCE Article Answer:

The Internet: A Great Invention

The Internet has changed the way we live. It started as something that we could access only through a computer, but nowadays it is everywhere, and I love it!

One of the cool things about the world wide web is that you can look up anything you want and nd out the answer straight away. Isn’t that fantastic? For example, imagine you are arguing with your friends about how to do something. Easy solution! Go online and find the answer.

However, the greatest thing about the Internet is how you can learn tons of things very cheaply or even for free! In fact, my favourite website is www.udemy.com,where people register to teach and learn about different things: music, website design, making apps, history, etc. So I totally recommend it to everyone!

In conclusion, the Internet has a lot of great things. For me, the best are finding information and learning online. What about you? What are your favourite things about it?

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Get Your (FCE) Article Checked!

Fce article example 2.

Fitness bloggers wanted!

Our fitness magazine is looking for influencers to write an article on how to stay fit when you are a college student. So if you have any cool ideas, send us an article in which you:

• Explain the type of exercise you recommend • Recommend a healthy but cheap diet • Give other ideas you like

Write your article .

Keep It Healthy!

Are you a busy college student? Do you struggle to keep fit and eat healthily? Don’t worry! I am going to tell you exactly what you should do. Keep on reading, you will thank me later!

First of all, you must start moving your body. You could go to the gym if you have the time. But if you’re busy – you’re a student, you should be busy! – don’t sign up for a gym. Instead, start cycling to college and give up using elevators. You’ll see how your fitness improves quickly!

Secondly, your diet is just as important. I suppose you live on a low budget, so I suggest you don’t eat out much. Eating out can be unhealthy and expensive. Sogo to your local supermarket and buy healthy, inexpensive vegetables and fruit.

Finally, pay attention to how you sit when you are studying. Posture is super important to feel well, especially if you are a student or an office worker.

If you follow all these tips, I’m sure you will keep fit easily! And if you already tried that, let me know how you feel now

B2 First (FCE) Article: Example topics

Fce sample article topic 1.

You see this announcement in the Leisure and Entertainment  magazine.

Could you live without internet for a month? Write and tell us what difference this would make to your life. We will publish the best article.

FCE Sample Article Topic 2

You see this announcement in a magazine.

We invite you to write an article on ‘The City of the Future’. In what ways will Cities be different in the future? In what ways will they be the same? The writer of the best article will receive a prize.

FCE Sample Article Topic 3

You have seen this notice in an international magazine.

Inventions have affected all our lives! Write us an article about one invention, explaining why you think it is important and saying how it has affected your own life.

The best article will be published in the magazine.

B2 First (FCE) Article: Writing Checklist

how to write an article b2

After writing your text, you can check it yourself using the writing checklist below.

How to do that? Simply check your text/email by answering the questions one by one:

  • Have I covered all the key information required by the task?
  • Have I written only information which is relevant to the task?
  • Have I developed the basic points in the task with my own ideas?

Communicative Achievement

  • Have I achieved the main purpose(s) of the text (for example, explaining, persuading, suggesting, apologising, comparing, etc.)?
  • Have I communicated a balance of straightforward and more complex ideas?
  • Have I used a suitable style and register (formal or informal) for the task?

Organisation

  • Have I used paragraphs appropriately to organise my ideas?
  • Have I used other organisational features appropriately for the genre of the text (for example, titles, headings, openings, closings, etc.)?
  • Is the connection between my ideas clear and easy for the reader to follow? (For example, have I used appropriate linking words, pronouns, etc. to refer to different things within the text?)
  • Are the ideas balanced appropriately, with suitable attention and space given to each one?
  • Have I used a wide range of vocabulary?
  • Have I avoided repeating the same words and phrases?
  • Have I used a range of simple and more complex grammatical structures?
  • Have I correctly used any common phrases which are relevant to the specific task or topic?
  • Is my use of grammar accurate?
  • Is my spelling accurate?

B2 First (FCE) Article: Tips

how to write an article b2

  • PLAN your article.
  • Give your article a title.
  • Ask rhetorical questions to get your readers’ attention. Eg. What would the world be like without oil? What will life be like in 20 years time?
  • Speak directly to your readers. Eg. Let’s just imagine some of the possibilities.
  • Give examples where appropriate.
  • Use humour where appropriate
  • Give a conclusion and summary in the last paragraph.
  • Finally, give your opinion where appropriate.
  • REVISE your article to correct mistakes

Would you pass B2 First (FCE)?

B2 first (fce) article: useful phrases & expressions.

We will finish it with some useful vocabulary mostly used to organize information. Although it is taking a shortcut, if you learn several expressions for each paragraph in each type of text that could be on your exam, you will certainly be able to create a very consistent and well-organized text.

La farmacia viagra online ti dà i migliori prezzi per i farmaci generici. Breve tempo di elaborazione! Oltre mezzo milione di clienti! Pillole bonus gratuite per tutti gli ordini!

Rhetorical phrases:

Have you ever ……..?  What do you think about ……..?  Are you one of those people who thinks that ……? Are you one of those people who …….? What would life be like if ……? Will the future bring us ….. ?

Introducing your first point:

Firstly In the first place First of all   The first thing to consider is  One thing to consider is  To begin with

Introducing more points:

Secondly   Another consideration  Yet another consideration  Another thing to consider is Added to that  Apart from that  In addition to this

Introducing your final points:

In conclusion  To conclude  To sum up  So

Introducing your opinion:

I think   In my opinion  Personally, I believe that   In my view  If you ask me  To my mind  My personal opinion is

Teacher Phill

Cambridge B2 First (FCE): How to Write an Article

Typewriter with title: How to Write an Article - FCE

  • Mandatory task : no
  • Word count : 140-190
  • Main characteristics : interesting, engaging, personal opinion / comment
  • Register : semi-informal to informal
  • Structure : Title/introduction, 2-3 topic paragraphs, closing paragraph / conclusion
  • Language : adjectives/adverbs, colloquial expressions, phrasal verbs, idioms, linking words, interesting grammar
The most useful thing I’ve ever learned Have you ever learned something that completely changed your life? I can remember exactly how it was for me when I got interested in learning English and who helped me become the person I am today. I had always been in love with English music and I put in some work by myself, but only when I ended up in the English class of Mr. Weiss I got completely hooked. His amazing style of teaching struck a chord and my skills skyrocketed in no time. Feeling confident, I took the leap and moved to beautiful Australia where I was able to travel and even call it home for over seven years. And you know what?! I became an English teacher and now help people who are just like I used to be with the same passion as Mr. Weiss. I really think that I wouldn’t be teaching English had it not been for Mr. Weiss and his inspirational lessons. So, looking back, I hope my experience inspires others to find ways to help the people around them as well.

Introduction

An article is usually written for an English-language magazine or newsletter, and the reader is assumed to have similar interests to the writer. The main purpose is to interest and engage the reader, so there should be some opinion or comment. from: Cambridge English First Handbook for Teachers

Articles are part of the second section of the FCE writing exam. This means, that, actually, you can decide if you want to choose this type of text or, instead, pick one of the other ones available in this part (a review, report, letter/email or, if you take FCE for Schools, a story).

Articles are interesting and engaging

You might think that I’m joking because how could writing an article be interesting and engaging? The thing is that I’m not talking about you as the writer, but about the reader. Articles are less formal than, for example, an essay or a letter of application so they are usually more interesting and engaging to read.

However, keeping this in mind, writing an article can also become more fun. If you keep thinking about what would be interesting for the reader, it is easier and more engaging for you too.

So, in this article we are going to look at similarities which we can find in almost every FCE article writing task, such as structure, requirements, useful language and other things to pay attention to. This way, I hope you will feel more confident and knowledgeable.

What a typical article task looks like

Even though there are many different topics to write articles about and they might change a lot from exam to exam, there are certain similarities that I don’t want you to miss and with a little practice you will be able to find these characteristics really fast in every single task.

Example of an FCE article writing task

When you see a task like this (and please remember this for the future) you have to check two things:

  • What do you have to include in your article?
  • Who is going to read it?

Below you can see that I have underlined the key pieces of information for you and don’t forget to do the same with every writing task you see.

Example of an FCE article writing task with the key information underlined

OK, let’s start with what we have to include. In the box I underlined three questions we have to answer:

  • What is the most useful thing you have learned?
  • Who did you learn it from?
  • Why is it useful?

There are three topic points to write about and you will see that there are always three things that you have to include in your articles. If you can’t find three topic points, then look again because they must be there.

The second question I asked above was about who is going to read your article. In this case we are going to write for an English-language website, which means that normal people like you and me are the target readers.

In the FCE writing exam you always have to consider the reader of your texts as you have to adjust the register (formal, neutral, informal language) in your writing. With different levels of formality come different things you should or shouldn’t write, but in articles we normally expect the readers to be people like us so we can write in a more informal style .

Informal English means that you should use contractions like ‘I’m’ or ‘don’t’, colloquial words and expressions, for example, ‘awesome’ or ‘tons of’. Also, try to add some phrasal verbs because they are definitely a feature of informal language as well and last but not least, involve the reader personally by addressing them directly and even ask a question or two.

Again, always look out for three topic points to include in your article and be prepared to use informal language. If you cover all of this, you are already on a very good way to pass. However, there are still a few more things to consider.

How to organise your article

OK, we went through the first step analysing the task. Now we need to think about how we can organise the article so it is logical and with all the different parts included and well connected.

This step might be a little bit different from task to task, but, generally speaking, you can follow this process every time and you should be alright.

Can you remember the three things we have to include in our article? Yes, you can? You are a very good student 🙂 . We have to talk about what the most useful thing you’ve ever learned is (1), who you learned it from (2) and why it is useful (3).

It probably makes sense to give each of these points a paragraph in our article so we already have three sections. To me it seems as if we could use the first topic point in our introduction, which means that we don’t need a separate one, but it is always nice to have a short closing paragraph (similar to a conclusion in an essay). Adding that and a title, we end up with four paragraphs and our article would look like this:

  • Title & Introduction / Topic point 1 (What is the thing you learned?)
  • Topic point 2 (Who did you learn it from?)
  • Topic point 3 (Why is it useful?)
  • Closing paragraph / conclusion

Of course, there is always the option of separating the intro and the first topic point or combining two topic points in one paragraph and again, this depends on each task, but, in general, this is what every article looks like in the FCE exam.

Always make a plan

I can’t say it often enough, but, unfortunately, this is something that drives me crazy and a lot of students simply forget to do.

Always plan your articles before you start writing. It takes just a few minutes to create a list of paragraphs like the one above with a couple of words to remind you of what you want to write added to each heading.

There is nothing worse than writing for 25 minutes and then realising that you have to change something or move around different parts. Don’t make the same mistake and write a plan.

The different parts of an article

In this part of my post we are going to look at the different sections of an article in the FCE exam using our task from above so I can give you example paragraphs which include everything you should put in there as well if you want to become the boss of article writing.

In your introduction you always want to get the reader interested in your article. Your goal is to make the reader want to continue. As always, there are a couple of things for you to remember when you start writing:

  • Give your article a title.
  • Start with a personalised question.
  • Include the topic and give your opinion or comment on it.

An example could look like this:

The most useful thing I’ve ever learned Have you ever learned something that completely changed your life? I can remember exactly how it was for me when I got interested in learning English and who helped me become the person I am today.

There you have it. My article has a title, which doesn’t have to be super creative, the intro includes a question as well as the topic and my comment (“…helped me become the person I am today.”) and I’ve already answered the first topic question in the task (What is the thing you learned?).

I also kept some information to myself (Who did I learn from? Why is it useful?) so the reader wants to continue. Try to keep them guessing as this can be very engaging.

Topic points

Once we have our introduction ready and our readers can’t wait to find out more, we need to think about how we can present the rest of the information.

In our plan we decided to break the topic points up into two paragraphs, but we also have to focus on the other requirements of an FCE article:

  • Stick to the topic and don’t write about unrelated things.
  • Support your answers with some examples and/or reasons.
  • Use neutral to informal language (check the section ‘What a typical article task looks like’ above to find out what that means).
  • Use other language to make your article sound more interesting (adjectives/adverbs, idioms, phrasal verbs, linking words, play with some grammar).

And with all of this in mind, I wrote these two paragraphs:

I had always been in love with English music and I put in some work by myself, but only when I ended up in the English class of Mr. Weiss I got completely hooked . His amazing style of teaching struck a chord and my skills skyrocketed in no time . Feeling confident, I took the leap and moved to beautiful Australia where I was able to travel and even call it home for over seven years. And you know what?! I became an English teacher and now help people who are just like I used to be with the same passion as Mr. Weiss.

As you can see, I broke everything up in two paragraphs and only wrote about the questions supporting my answers. On top of that, I included a lot of useful informal language ( highlighted ).

Closing paragraph / Conclusion

Last but not least, we want to round off our article with a good closing paragraph. In the conclusion we want to achieve a few different things:

  • Summarise what you wrote in your article.
  • Comment on the topic or give your opinion one last time.
  • End your article in an interesting way.

The last paragraph shouldn’t be too hard to write if you’ve done a good job with your introduction and topic paragraphs. Because we have done exactly that further above in this post the conclusion becomes something like this:

I really think that I wouldn’t be teaching English had it not been for Mr. Weiss and his inspirational lessons. So, looking back, I hope my experience inspires others to find ways to help the people around them as well.

I put everything together nice and short. I summarise the points I made in the introduction and the topic paragraphs, gave my opinion (“I really think…”) and also addressed the reader directly again to end my article in an interesting way.

How your article is marked

Marking FCE writing tasks is like a science and for a lot of students it feels as if there is this big mystery and nobody really knows how it works. Actually, there are very clear rules that the examiners have to follow and the criteria are publicly available.

While it is possible to find all the information on your own I thought it would be a good idea to put everything together in an article for you. Check out how your writing tasks are marked by clicking  here .

Practice makes perfect

With all this detailed information it is now time for you to get active. Look for different example tasks online and follow my step-by-step process to improve and become an expert when it comes to writing FCE articles. All you need is experience until you can find the different characteristics discussed here so you can write your texts almost on autopilot.

Please let me know if you like my post and if there are other things I can include or improve. Until then, happy practice.

Lots of love,

Teacher Phill 🙂

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B2 writing

Are you a learner at B2 English level (upper intermediate) ? This section offers writing practice to help you write clear, detailed text on a wide range of topics related to your interests. Texts include essays, reports, reviews, messages and emails.

Each lesson has a preparation task, a model text with writing tips and three tasks to check your understanding and to practise a variety of writing skills. Make a start today.

Choose a writing lesson

A covering email

A covering email

Learn how to write a covering email to accompany a job application.

  • Read more about A covering email
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A CV

Learn how to write a curriculum vitae, often called a CV in the UK or résumé in American English. 

  • Read more about A CV

A letter of complaint

A letter of complaint

Learn how to write a letter of complaint.

  • Read more about A letter of complaint

A report on working abroad

A report on working abroad

Learn how to write a report on working abroad.

  • Read more about A report on working abroad

A summary of a line graph

A summary of a line graph

Learn how to describe a line graph.

  • Read more about A summary of a line graph

An advert

Learn how to write an advert.

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An email to request time off

An email to request time off

Learn how to write an email to request time off work.

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An email to your professor

An email to your professor

Learn how to write an email to your university professor.

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An informal email to a friend

An informal email to a friend

Learn how to write an informal email to a friend.

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An opinion essay

An opinion essay

Learn how to write an opinion essay.

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Comparing two charts

Comparing two charts

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Giving instructions by email

Giving instructions by email

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Writing an article

Topic outline.

The purpose of an article is often to inform and persuade the reader. 

Articles give the reader information about a certain topic, bringing together and discussing different perspectives to provide a balanced argument which lets the reader make up their own mind about the topic. 

Articles can also be used to persuade the reader that a certain viewpoint is correct. For example, articles in newspapers or magazines might express a particular viewpoint or perspective; this may be positive or negative depending on the topic. 

The ways you use language and organise your ideas when writing an article will depend on the audience and the purpose you are writing for.

  • think about the audience that the article is for – w hen writing an article, you do not usually know your readers personally and so you will need to think about their likely interests and experience before you write
  • how you expect, or want, your audience to react – re member that the tone of most articles should be semi-formal, so before deciding on your tone imagine your article being read out loud and how that might sound to your reader. For example, an article reviewing a film may be humorous, even sarcastic, but that would not work well for more serious readers or topics
  • the purpose for the article – is th e purpose, or reason, for writing your article to persuade your readers to agree with you or to invite your readers to think about different points of view and decide for themselves? For example, do you need to sound reliable and well informed, or choose words that strongly convey a particular emotion?
  • how to keep your readers interest – ima gine how boring it would be for your reader if you used the same kind of sentences and simple repetitive vocabulary all the way through your article. Try to include a range of grammatical structures and relevant vocabulary to make sure that your reader wants to keep reading.
  • Plan a route through your article before you start writing it – th e structure of an article is usually in three parts. For example:
  • An introduction – engage your reader’s interest and introduce your argument or the main points of the topic to be discussed.
  • A middle – develop relevant and interesting points about the topic to interest and/or convince your readers to think about a particular perspective.
  • An end – d raw your points together and leave your reader with a clear impression of the argument you want them to believe or the viewpoints you would like them to consider.
  • Organise your ideas into paragraphs as appropriate – this will help you to develop and support your points convincingly, to build your argument and/or offer a full explanation of a particular point of view.
  • Show your reader at a glance what your article is about – articles usually have a suitable headline to attract their readers’ attention and you can choose to use subheadings (a bit like mini headlines) to help break your article up and move your reader on. Do not overdo these, but well-chosen subheadings can help to catch and keep your reader’s attention, as well as sum up the main points you are making.
  • Show the connections between ideas in sentences and paragraphs – for example, where a new point or idea follows on from what you have already said you might use linking words or phrases such as, 'in addition’, ‘likewise’ or ‘similarly’.
  • Example of an article

how to write an article b2

Oxford House

  • Writing an effective essay: Cambridge B2 First

Escribir una redacción eficaz para el Cambridge B2 First | Oxford House Barcelona

  • Posted on 28/02/2018
  • Categories: Blog
  • Tags: B2 First , C1 Advanced , C2 Proficiency , Cambridge CAE Certificate of Advanced English , Cambridge CPE Certificate of Proficiency in English , Cambridge Exams , Cambridge FCE First Certificate of English , Learn English

Students take language certifications like the Cambridge B2 First qualification for lots of different reasons. You might do it to motivate yourself to improve your language abilities, to prove your level of English to an employer, or even to achieve an ambition like travelling around the world and going to live in an English-speaking country.

The Cambridge B2 First exam includes a two-part writing section, which can be daunting for some people. So if you’re thinking about taking an exam like this, we have some top tips to help you write an excellent exam essay.

Most of the advice in this article can also be applied to any exam where you have to write an essay, such as the C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency or IELTS .

Writing test structure

Before we get into the details, let’s take a look at the structure of the writing paper. You have 80 minutes to write two texts – and it will go quickly!

The first part is the essay; the second part is an article, email, letter, report, or review.

You will be given the essay title and two ideas or prompts . It’s essential that you include both of these ideas in your essay, as well as another relevant idea that you have to come up with yourself .

You have to write 140-190 words in each part and it shouldn’t take you more than 40 minutes per answer .

Writing an essay in three steps

Take a look at this example from a sample paper and then think about how you would answer it in an exam:

Essay title:

Some parents teach their children at home rather than sending them to school. Is this a good or a bad thing for the children?

  • 1. having a parent as a teacher
  • 2. making friends
  • 3. …..

Question taken from http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/first/exam-format/ (Cambridge Assessment English, Feb 2018).

What could the third idea be? Stop reading, grab a pen and write down some ideas! Keep them general, but relevant. When you’ve finished, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see some of our ideas * .

Step One: plan it (10 minutes)

Step One: Plan | Writing an effective essay for the Cambridge B2 First | Oxford House Barcelona

That’s what my old history teacher used to tell me. I hate to admit it, but he was right! If you don’t usually plan before you start writing, you really need to get into the habit . Ten minutes may seem a lot, but the more time you spend planning, the clearer your ideas will be and the quicker the writing process will be.

A good place to start is to brainstorm keywords and phrases related to the topic.

Brainstorming Keywords | Writing an effective essay for the Cambridge B2 First | Oxford House Barcelona

Next, you should think about how you’re going to begin ( the introduction ), how you’re going to connect the three main ideas ( the body ) and how you’re going to finish ( the conclusion ). If you know where you’re headed , you’re much less likely to get lost along the way!

Step Two: write it (25 minutes)

OK, you’ve got our plan – you’re good to go ! It’s important to know what the examiners are looking for. The mark you get for the essay is based on the following four aspects :

Content: Have you included all three ideas? Remember, all content should be 100% relevant to the topic, so don’t go off on a tangent !

Communicative achievement: Is the style or tone of your essay appropriate? It should be neutral and quite formal, so avoid contractions (e.g. it’s, don’t, they’ll) and first person pronouns (e.g. I, me, my, we, us, our).

Organisation: Does your essay follow a logical order? To help your writing flow , try to include linking words. Here’s a website with some examples.

Language: Have you used a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures? Don’t always write the first word that comes to mind – look for synonyms . Using some complex structures (e.g. different verb tenses, passives, inversion) will boost your marks, but be sure to use them correctly!

Step Three: check it (5 minutes)

This final step is essential. It’s your chance to read (and re-read) your essay to identify any mistakes. No matter how careful you’ve been, there are probably a few things that you can improve. Check for spellings. Check for plurals. Check for verb agreement . Basically, check everything!

5 quick tips to improve your proofreading

  • Keep a list of (your) frequent mistakes, so you know what to look out for
  • Read it slowly
  • Use your finger to guide your eyes
  • Correct one thing at a time (e.g. only punctuation, then only spelling)
  • Focus on the little words (pronouns, articles, prepositions, etc.)

Still not sure if this is the right exam for you?

There are many benefits of earning an English certification, but before you decide to do so, it’s very important to check your English level . This will help you select the right exam course and make sure you don’t waste time completing one that’s too hard or too easy for you.

If you decide to do an exam preparation course with us, one of our trained level testers will work with you to assess your level. But, if you can’t wait until then, here’s a multiple-choice test for you to complete to give you some idea.

This article also outlines the differences between the Cambridge and IELTS exams to help you decide which exam is for you.

Glossary for Language Learners

Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

Daunting (adj): something that worries you because it might seem difficult to do.

Prompts (n): something serving to suggest or remind.

To come up with (pv): to think of something such as an idea or a plan.

To get into the habit (exp): to begin to do something regularly or often.

Headed (adj): destined for.

You’re good to go! (exp): you’re ready!

To go off on a tangent (exp): to start doing, discussing, or thinking about something completely different.

To flow (v): to proceed smoothly and continuously.

adj = adjective

pv = phrasal verb

exp = expression

*Example ideas: ‘group work’, ‘bullying’, ‘class sizes’, ‘working parents’, ‘free curriculum’

Pass your Cambridge Exam with Oxford House Barcelona

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  • Posted on 22/02/2018

4 Ways English Words are Born

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Home » B2 First » FCE Course » FCE Writing » FCE Article Writing

FCE Article Writing

Table of Contents

Do you know how to write an FCE article which will get the examiners smiling?

The way to do this is simple. You need to tick their boxes.

What are their boxes?

Their boxes are what you studied on my FCE Writing Marking criteria page. If you cannot remember them, you should go back and watch that video.

These marking criteria will guide you in your FCE article preparation.

We will look at these in more detail by examining some FCE exam samples .

FCE Writing Tip :  this is available for paid members only.

To access these, register here >>

Fce article format.

Remember for part 2 of the FCE writing part 2 you might have to write: an article, an informal email or letter, a formal email, letter, a report or a review.

They give you 3 questions from the above options and you have to answer 1 question.

One of the questions could be an article.

As I explain in the video below, you need to write between 140-190 words.

How To Pass B2 First FCE Writing Part 2 Articles

Below is a video I made a couple of years ago. You will:

See An Example Question

Critique An Example Answer

Learn Some Advice For Writing An Article

Read Some Examiner Comments

Correct Some Article Mistakes

Learn More General Tips For Writing An Article

Video Links:

FCE Handbook for Teachers

FCE Article Advice – Summary

Target reader:

English language magazine or newsletter

Style of writing:

Your article should be interesting and engaging.

You should write your own opinions or comments, so you can write in the first person “I think…” and you can write in an informal way.

You can also ask the reader questions “….don’t you agree?” This is a good way to keep the reader engaged.

You should give your article a title….we will talk more about the organisation and language to use in an article later on this page.

FCE Article Question 1

If you watched the first video above (I highly recommend watching it), you will have seen the Article question below. In the video above I showed you what an examiner thought of an example answer. On the rest of this page I will critique another answer for the same question, but before that we will remind ourselves of the question and then write a plan.

Remember, this question has come from the Cambridge English Handbook for Teachers .

FCE Article Question

FCE Writing Part 2 – Article – Plan Template

Did you see my last lesson on Part 1 Essays ?

Can you remember how long to plan your answer?

a) 2 minutes

b) 5 minutes

The answer: I recommend taking 5  minutes to plan your answer in the exam! I talk about this in my next video…

Write A B2 First: FCE Article Plan

Have you planned any academic writings before?

Maybe you have your own approach to planning, which is great.

Exam preparation is not a ‘ one size fits all ‘ approach.

FCE Exam Tip :  this tip is available for paid members only.

Different student have different ways of preparing and that is fine. The trick is to find the best method for you and that is where I can help.

Many of my students have found my FCE writing plan template very useful…so you can try this, download it here:  My plan template or complete a plan online here .

Try to complete the template using the question above and spend no more than 5 minutes on this. You may need to add another paragraph or make small changes to the template if you think they are necessary.

Are you a fan of George Michael’s music? (Tell me in the comments at the bottom of this page)

I quite like some of his songs. This song is stuck in my head at the moment….writing a plan shouldn’t take much longer than the length of this song:

My B2 Article Plan

This is available for Gold FCE members only. Register here >>

Sample FCE Article Answer 1

Below is an article which one of my students wrote.

I recommend downloading the answer and correcting any mistakes you find.

Download This Sample FCE Article Answer

FCE Article Answer 1

FCE – Examiner Assessment Scale Template

Have you finished marking the article?

Great, now I want you to get into the mindset of an examiner and fill out the assessment scale below.

FCE Vocabulary Tip :  this tip is available for paid members only.

If you can’t remember how to complete the form below, go back to an earlier page in this course and look at the FCE writing marking criteria page .

Complete the template here and you will be emailed a copy of your answers. It looks a bit different to the template below .

Sample FCE Article Answer 1 With My Critique

The most useful thing that I have ever learned is using a computer. When I was young, the computer was not widespread. Not every family had one because it was very expensive and it was considered a luxury good. At school, I learned to use a PC when I was 8 years old. It was strange because if I think about my nieces , they have been able to use a lot of electric al devices since they were 1 year old .

It was different for every child that was born in the 1990s. At school we used only two Windows programs: word and excel. Our best school work was writ ing a book of world recipes . Then, when I studied at High School I achieved an ECDL certification. I passed seven exams on seven different computer modules. However , I think that I learn t much more from the other people tha n from the courses: when I work with somebody , I note what he does, if he knows something different than me, so in this way I learn a lot of different things about different programs. I note th at computer ability is very important for everyday life but also for work ( ‘work’ is an uncountable noun ) . Using Windows programs is the basis for every company.

Examiner Assessment Scale Template With My Comments

Fce article – pass or fail.

Your writing will be marked according to how many marks it was awarded on the examiner assessment scale. You need a minimum of 24 out of 40 possible marks to pass the FCE writing paper. Remember, there are 2 different writing to complete, so you need to average 12 out of 20 for each writing task.

This student got:

Content: 4/5

Communicative Achievement: 2/5

Organisation: 2/5

Language: 3/5

Total: 11/20

If the student got 11/20 for their part 2 writing task, they would need to get 13/20 in the part 1 essay in order to pass the writing paper.

You do not need to pass every exam paper to get the B2 First certificate, but you do need to average 60% + across all 5 exam papers.

FCE Article Vocabulary

Engaging the target reader:

What would you think if….? Would you ever….? Does…..appeal to you? ….., don’t you think/agree? What if….

Linking words: The first thing that springs to my mind is…. Funnily enough, … Imagine + second conditional/verbing Amazingly, …. Interestingly, ….

Classroom/Homework Activities

Here are some B2 article activities for you or your students to complete:

  • Make sure you are a  Gold member in order to access all website exercises.
  • Watch this video and fill in this form (a copy will be emailed to you)
  • Read this article question,  take 5 minutes and write a plan for it here.
  • Compare my plan with yours
  • Print, find and correct mistakes on this example article
  • Fill in this assessment scale template with your ideas from the example answer
  • Compare your mistakes with the ones I found here
  • Compare your assessment with my assessment
  • Add more notes to this worksheet in future lessons.

Class handouts/hard copies…

  • Article video
  • Writing tips worksheet
  • Article question
  • Plan worksheet
  • Example article printout
  • Examiner assessment scale template printout
  • My mistakes
  • My assessment scale notes

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how to write an article b2

  • B2 Article Video

B2 Short Story Video

The main purpose is to describe and express a personal opinion about something which you have experienced and to give the reader a clear impression of what the item discussed is like.

More exercises available:

writing

You are required to produce two pieces of writing. The first piece is compulsory and will be an essay of 140-190 words. For the second, you can choose from an article, email/letter, essay, review or report (B2 First for schools the report is replaced with a short story) of 140-190 words.

  • B2 Book Review Video
  • B2 Descriptive Email Video
  • B2 Place Review Video
  • B2 Short Story Video
  • B2 Cities of the Future
  • B2 Fast Food
  • B2 Following Fashion
  • B2 Live Concert
  • B2 Pollution Problems
  • B2 Taking a Gap Year
  • B2 A Work of Art
  • B2 Being a Celebrity
  • B2 Life Away
  • B2 Preventing Crime
  • B2 School Improvement
  • B2 Shopping Online
  • B2 Tablet or Laptop
  • B2 The Countryside
  • School Canteen
  • B2 A School Trip to Italy
  • B2 An Important Day
  • B2 Forgetful Girl
  • The Hidden Beach
  • The Lost Photo
  • B2 IMDb Website Review
  • B2 Jurassic Park Book Review
  • B2 Mountain Bike Park
  • B2 Romeo and Juliet Play Review
  • B2 Ted Film Review
  • Scarlett Animation Review
  • B2 Berlin Travel Report
  • B2 Shops Report
  • B2 Visiting Places Report
  • B2 Birthday Party Letter
  • B2 Computer Games Email
  • B2 Favourite Film Email
  • B2 Holiday in Thailand Email
  • B2 New Attraction Letter
  • B2 Place to Visit Email
  • B2 Spending Money Email
  • B2 Visiting Relative Email

reading

You need to be able to understand a range of texts, including how they are organised and the opinions and attitudes expressed in them. The texts will be from sources familiar to you such as magazines, articles, fiction and advertisements, but targeted at the interests of students.

Students’ use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well they can control their grammar and vocabulary.

  • Use of English Part 1
  • Use of English Part 2
  • Use of English Part 3
  • Use of English Part 4
  • Reading Part 5
  • Reading Part 6
  • Reading Part 7

For this part, you practice vocabulary by using words with similar meanings, collocations, linking phrases, phrasal verbs, etc.

  • B2 First Use of English Video
  • Becoming Famous
  • Cycling Scheme
  • Film Stars and Music Celebrities
  • Going on a diet
  • Single or Mixed Sex Schools
  • The History of Football
  • The Poor and Less Fortunate
  • The Special Bus
  • Why do we need to play?

For this part, you practice grammar and vocabulary.

  • Better swimming
  • Cardboard Bike
  • Dealing with waste plastic
  • Drinking Water
  • Fit for Sports
  • Following Your Nose
  • Growing Bananas
  • Holiday with a Friend
  • Making Perfume
  • The Farm Trip
  • The Jobs Market
  • Tree Climbing
  • Weather Forecasting
  • Young Enterprise

For this part, you practice vocabulary word-building by changing different words using a base word.

  • Angel of Mercy
  • Fast Food Industry
  • Life on Other Planets
  • Music in Schools
  • Mystery Weekend Break
  • Pollution Problems
  • Understanding Time
  • Workforce on the Move

For this part,  you have to express a message in different ways showing flexibility and resource in the use of language.

  • B2 First Use of English Part 4
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 1
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 10
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 2
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 3
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 4
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 5
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 6
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 7
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 8
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 9

For this part, you practice how to understand the details of a text, including opinions and attitudes.

  • Cycling to India
  • Hottest Place on Earth
  • Living and Working in Another Country
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Wrestler who Wrote a Book

For this part, you practice how to understand the structure and follow the development of a text.

  • Benefits of Getting Fit
  • Our Polluted World

For this part, you practice how to find specific information in a text or texts.

  • Collecting Things
  • English Seaside Resorts
  • Teenage Summer Camps

how to write an article b2

Requires being able to follow and understand a range of familiar spoken materials, such as news programmes, public announcements and other sources, but targeted at the interests of the learners.

  • Speaking Part 1
  • Speaking Part 2
  • Speaking Part 3
  • Speaking Part 4
  • Listening Part 1
  • Listening Part 2
  • Listening Part 3
  • Listening Part 4

In this part you talk to the examiner about yourself and your life, e.g. your name, school, interests and future plans.

B2 Speaking Part 1 Exercise 1 B2 Speaking Part 1 Exercise 2 B2 Speaking Part 1 Exercise 3

In this part, you talk about two photos on your own which you have to compare for about 1 minute . After you have finished, your partner will be asked a short question about your photo. When your partner has spoken about their photos for about 1 minute , you will be asked a question about their photos.

B2 Speaking Part 2 Exercise 1

In this part you express ideas with your partner by looking at a discussion point that the examiner gives you.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you focus on general aspects of a topic with the examiner or you may involve your partner.

In this part, you will hear people talking in eight different situations.

Entertainment Short Conversations Talking about Sports

In this part, you will hear someone being interviewed.

Extreme Snowboarding Future Options Newly Published Book Sailing around the World The Talent Show

In this part, you will hear five people talking about different things.

A Good Teacher Demonstration

In this part, you will hear an interview.

Mountain Climbing Weekend

execises

  • Customs and Traditions
  • Entertainment and Leisure
  • Environmental and Nature
  • Future Jobs and Education
  • Identity and Well-being
  • Travel and Adventure

Customs and Traditions explores how we celebrate our cultural identity across the globe.

  • Christmas Hard Exercises
  • Story of Halloween
  • Valentine Message

Entertainment and Leisure explores how we spent our free time.

  • Going Shopping

Environment and Nature explores the way humans and animals live, adapt and change on our planet.

  • Global Changes

Exploring how different societies create roles for people to develop their skills and knowledge.

  • Future Schools
  • Sport at School
  • School Rules
  • Fashion Design

Exploring how we learn and adjust to the world around us. .

  • Taking Risks
  • Natural Disasters

Exploring how we experience the world through our life journeys

  • Travelling around the World

Cambridge English exams are designed for learners at all levels from the pre-intermediate level Cambridge English: Key (KET) to the very advanced level Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE). These exams give candidates proof of their ability to use English in a wide variety of contexts, relevant to work, study and leisure activities.

A2 Key | B1 Preliminary | B2 First

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How to Write an Essay for B2 First (FCE) Writing

Luis @ kse academy.

  • noviembre 24, 2019

As you probably know already, Cambridge English exams usually have some or all of the following parts: Reading, Writing, Use of English and Listening. In this post I am going to talk about the FCE Writing B2 part and, more specifically, about how to write an essay for FCE Writing . We will see a good example of an essay for FCE and you can check out a full FCE Writing Guide where you can find more examples of emails , letters and other types of writings.

Essay Sample Answer

Este artículo también está disponible en castellano.

The Ultimate B2 First Writing Guide: 15 B2 Writing Sample Tasks and 300+ Useful Expressions (Guías de Writing para Exámenes de Cambridge)

What are the parts of the FCE Writing?

The First (FCE) Writing has only two parts. For each part, you must write a composition which will depend on the instructions you receive for each task. For the  first part , you will always be asked to  write an essay , as it is the only option provided. However, in the  second part , they allow you to choose one out of 3 options. These include  different types of writing , which are : letters/emails ,  articles ,  reviews and  reports . Each piece of writing must have between 140 and 190 words , approximately.

Since they are different types of writing , the language and structures to use will also differ. But that’s what I’m here for, to explain to you exactly how to write each part. And today, I’m starting with  how to write an essay .

How to Write an Essay for FCE Writing

An  essay is an opinion writing with which we analyse a topic , a situation or an issue from different points of view , providing different arguments and expressing our opinion about it. For this reason, an  essay must have the following features:

  • Purpose: What we usually do with an essay is to analyse and assess a topic, situation or issue which, in some way, is interesting or controversial. It is normally set as a writing task after a class debate. In the exam, you have to imagine the debate, obviously.
  • Tone and style: Given that you’re writing about a  serious or controversial issue , an essay is written in a formal style, so we must stick to an objective tone and style . Our language must be formal, thus avoiding words that are simply too common or generic (E.g.:  things, stuff, get,   etc.) and contractions (E.g.:  can’t, don’t, won’t,  etc.).
  • Structure: Like every piece of writing,  an essay must present a defined structure . For starters, we can choose either to give it a title or not. Personally, I would say that it is more appropriate to have an essay with title . Then, the body must be divided into introduction, idea 1, idea 2, idea 3 and conclusion. This means that, in general,  essays must have 5 paragraphs ,   although it is not entirely necessary.
  • Opinion:  There are countless ways of expressing your opinion in an essay, so you must choose the one that suits you best. However,  it is advisable to remain impartial throughout your writing and give your opinion only in the last paragraph , as a conclusion. But, as I say, it is optional. The most important thing is that you justify everything you say in your essay.
  • Coherence: Coherence is essential in every type of writing, but especially in an essay. As it tends to be an argumentative text, you must avoid writing incoherent paragraphs that have nothing to do with one another. Your ideas must  follow a logical order and be well connected with appropriate linkers .

FCE Writing Essay Example

Now that we are familiar with the  characteristics of an essay for First (FCE) Writing , let’s take a look at an  example of an essay at B2 level , both at the task and at a sample answer.

Instructions of an Essay

In the following image you can see the instructions of an essay which involves a typical topic, that of the environment:

How to Write an Essay for FCE sample task / cómo escribir un essay para Fce ejemplo actividad

In these instructions, we must pay attention to the following:

  • The  first paragraph introduces the topic: … different ways in which you can protect the environment.
  • The  second sentence is usually the same in every task:  Write an essay using  all the notes…
  • In the box , you are given the main topic as a question and they give you something to talk about:  recycle, using bicycles and walking, your own idea . As you can see, you have to come up with the third idea, something connected to the topic which is not provided in the exam task.

Given the model task above, each paragraph will correspond to a different idea, apart from the introduction and conclusion. Again, it is only natural to have 5 paragraphs. So, the best way to know how to write an essay for FCE Writing is to take a look at an  example of an actual essay for FCE Writing :

How to Write an Essay for FCE sample answer / cómo escribir un essay para Fce ejemplo respuesta

At first sight, the essay has  a title and 5 paragraphs (introduction + idea 1 + idea 2 + idea 3 + conclusion). And if we stop to read the essay more carefully, we’ll notice the following things:

  • The paragraphs are visual and well defined , which is very important.
  • The title summarises the topic  of the essay. Another option is to use the question ( What can people do to help protect the environment? ) as title. However, it usually tends to be too long, so I prefer to summarise it into a shorter heading.
  • Introduction: it introduces the topic in a general way and it leads to the second paragraph (first idea).
  • Paragraph 2: it deals with idea 1.
  • Paragraph 3: it deals with idea 2.
  • Paragraph 4: it deals with idea 3.
  • Conclusion: we express our opinion to conclude and summarise the essay.
  • It uses connectors to define the development of the essay:  firstly, second, finally, etc.
  • It doesn’t use many contractions or pet words.
  • One of the things that
  • In the last few decades,
  • For this reason,
  • First, / Second, / Third,
  • By doing so,
  • For example,
  • In conclusion,

This is a good example of an essay for FCE Writing . By the way, you must bear in mind that it has been written to simulate a strong B2 level, without reaching C1.

FAQ: Do I get penalised for writing over 190 words?

This is the most typical question in this part of the exam and the answer is « yes and no «. Let me explain myself. Cambridge English examiners don’t count the number of words and penalise you based upon that fact alone. There’s a rumour going around among teachers and pupils that says that for every 10 words over 190, they take «this many» points off, but it is not true. However, think about this: if you’ve written 50 or 100 words more than asked, you are probably including irrelevant information to the task , right? Now that’s a reason for losing points. In the same way that if you  write under 140 words you are probably missing essential information , don’t you think?

For this reason, I always recommend writing up to 10 or 20 words over the limit. In this way, you won’t lose any points for including irrelevant information.

FCE Writing Guide with examples (pdf)

Although I intend to write more posts on how to do each piece of writing for FCE, if you don’t want to wait any more, simply download the official KSE Academy FCE Writing Guide . In this guide you will learn:

  • How to write an essay  and 3 examples.
  • How to write an article  and 3 examples.
  • How to write a review  and 3 examples.
  • How to write a report  and 3 examples.
  • How to write an email or letter  and 3 examples.
  • Over 300 useful expressions for every FCE Writing .

Would you like to see a sample of this guide? Here it is!

Did you find this useful?  Why not share it with other teachers and students of English? Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, y YouTube. 🙂

Luis @ KSE Academy

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