Text Structure

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For most of us at least, writing a good text is 10 % inspiration and 90 % perspiration. In other words we have to work hard to get it done. Before we put pen to paper (as they said in the «good old days») there is usually a lot of planning to do. After the first draft is completed there will still be room for improvement.

  • Is it clear?
  • Have I repeated words unnecessarily?
  • Have I varied my sentences enough?

You can usually assume that the more natural a text sounds, the more work has been put into it.

How much should you write for the English foundation course?

The written examination normally asks you to write two texts, one short, one long. The long text will be linked to the preparation topic. The short text may be linked to it, but very often it isn’t.

The instructions no longer specify a number of words you should write for the longer text, although it used to be 250. If possible you should aim at writing at least this much, but remember it is the quality of what you write, not the amount that counts. It is far better to write 200 words that are relevant and in correct English than 600 words of waffle that is full of mistakes.

Your text will be judged on three criteria:

  • Content
  • Structure
  • Language

In order to get the content right it is vital that you read the question carefully, and answer it as relevantly as you can.

Your long text should be divided into paragraphs, and your sentences should be varied and linked together in a clear way.

The language should be as correct and idiomatic as you can make it, so check your spelling and grammar before you hand in.

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