As you should already know, the B2 writing paper consists of 2 parts. In Part 1 you always have to write an essay and there are NO options for which question you want to answer. Here is an example of a part 1 essay question:
As you can see, in the essay there are 3 points you need to discuss. These are very important because they will help you structure your essay. First of all we need to discuss point 3 which you need to come up with yourself.
I strongly recommend writing your idea in the gap on the paper next to the number 3 (if you’re doing a paper based exam) or write the 3 points on the note paper on your desk (if you’re doing a computer based exam) because this way you won’t forget or get confused what you’re writing about.
Very commonly, even in a well written essay, point 3 isn’t clear to the examiner which will reduce your content mark and possibly your communicative achievement mark too. Please also make sure your third point is on the same topic as the first two. In the example above your third point could be:
- Plastic waste (but for rivers and seas you would need to write about over fishing)
How do you get a good mark for your essay?
Well, firstly you need to know who you’re writing the essay for and whether it’s formal or informal. Usually in part 1, the intended reader of your essay is a teacher, so it should be semi-formal. This means no colloquial language, however everyday contractions (eg: don’t, wouldn’t, it’s) are allowed.
Next, what’s the aim of the essay? The essay should aim to give an opinion as a result of a clear discussion. This means that the whole essay should be unbiased and give all sides of the argument. Only in the conclusion should you include your opinion, and this opinion should be based on what you have discussed in the essay.
Last but not least, your essay to be well organised. Having a clear essay structure will increase your organisation mark and also your communicative achievement mark. Here is the recommended structure to use for your essay. A title is not necessary but can be included if you want to.
In the introduction, introduce the essay topic, for example: Nowadays there is a lot of pollution … NOT I’m going write an essay about … also, don’t include your opinion at this stage in the essay.
Next you should write one paragraph per point in the question and each one should be of a similar length. In each paragraph include a problem/solution, for/against or advantage/disadvantage depending on what the question asks for. In the example above this would be a problem and a solution. Again, don’t include your opinion at this point.
To complete your essay, you need to write a conclusion. If you have written too much and run out of time or space for your conclusion your communicative achievement mark will go down. Your conclusion should answer the original question and give your opinion but it using the information you have discussed in your essay.
Finally, here is an example of a good essay for the question we have been talking about and good luck with your essay writing!!