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Writing: suggesting solutions (discursive composition)

 

Read the question

 

In Part 2 of the exam, you may be asked to give your opinion on a topic. and suggest solutions to problems.

Read the exam question below and underline the key words. Use the questions which follow to help you.

 

Your class has been doing a project on 'Animals in Danger'. Your teacher would now like you to write a composition to answer the following questions:

What can ordinary people do to protect endangered species? What do you think is the best way for them to do this?

 

Write your composition (120-180 words).

 

1. Which question in the exam task asks for your suggestions?

2. Which question in the exam task asks for your opinion?

Think about your reader

Work with a partner. Look at the exam question again and answer the following questions.

1. Who is going to read your composition?

2. Which style of writing will you use for your reader?

3. What format do you need to use?

Think about vocabulary

a The exam question contains the terms Animals in danger and endangered species. Complete the following ways of expressing the same idea in different words.

                1. Many animals today are threatened with.............................. .

                2. Many animals today are                ................................out.

                3. Many animals are becoming         ...............................

b Why are animals in danger? Put the words below in the correct category. Hunting:......................................................................................................................................... Threats to habitat:............................................................................................................................. Pollution:........................................................................................................................................

farming - forest - clearance - fur - housing - industrial - waste - Ivory - mining - motorways - over-fishing  - sewerage - skins - whale oil

c What can be done to protect endangered species? Complete the following text with the words below.

ban - charities - donate - join - laws - lobby

In order to protect endangered species, we can (1)     ..........................environmental

organisations, such as Friends of the Earth. We can also (2)........................money

to other conservation (3)..........................        . We can try to (4)..........................

Members of Parliament, so that they will introduce (5)..........................which (6)...........................        the sale of products from animals in danger of extinction.

 

Brainstorm the topic

 

Work with a partner and answer the questions.

 

1. Which animal do you think is most in need of protection?

2. How is it possible to help endangered species in your country?

3. Do you do anything to support the protection of endangered species?

4. What do you think is the best way that an ordinary person could help?

 

Compare two model texts

 

a Read the two model texts below and say which you think is better and why. Use the checklist below to help you.

 

. Does the composition include all the points asked for in the exam question?

. Does each paragraph have one clear topic?

. Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence, where necessary?

. Does the writer use linking words and phrases to make the meaning clear?

. Does the introduction give the reader an overall idea of the composition?

. Does the conclusion summarise the whole composition. or make a personal comment?

 

Model text 1

 

Everyone can and should make an effort to help protect endangered species.

We should never buy products made from animals in danger. All sales of fur coats should be banned, and it should be considered bad taste to wear even an old one. We need to make young people aware of the dangers facing this planet before it is too late.

We can try to influence local politicians, so that they will help to pass laws preventing hunting, pollution and the cutting down offorests.

Schools should make sure that Ecology is a compulsory subject, so that children know about the issues, and will grow up with a conservationist attitude.

Nobody should want to own anything made of ivory or alligator skin.

Children are the future, and they will live in a world with less diversity in wildlife than at any other time in the past. if we do not do something now.

We can join a wildlife protection organisation, and help to publicise the problems, by putting up posters in schools and public places, and organising fund-raising activities.

 

Model text 2

 

It is one of the great disasters of this century that people have slowly managed to destroy certain species by hunting, pollution and forest clearance. I believe that ordinary people can and should do something, however small. to help protect endangered species.

One example of action that we can take is to join a local conservation group, and get involved in the activities that the group organises. For example. we could offer to talk to schools about the problem of endangered animals in the local area. Furthermore. we should absolutely refuse to buy anything that contains animal products from endangered species, such as fur coats, alligator skin shoes or cosmetics made from whale oil. Donating money to charities which work to protect animals in danger of extinction. like the World Wildlife Fund, is something we can all do.

In my view, the best way for ordinary people to help endangered species is education. If schools gave lessons which raised awareness of the problems, children would understand, perhaps better than adults, that their own future is going to be bleak without a rich variety of wildlife on the planet.

 

b Rewrite Model text 1 so that:

 

. it has good paragraph organisation.

. it has a good conclusion.

. it states the best way to protect endangered species, as asked for in the exam question.

. it includes linking words and phrases.

 

Think about your introduction

a Look back at the two sentences in the introduction to Model text 2. Which sentence:

                1. gives a general background to the topic?

                2. introduces the main point of the composition, as asked for in the exam question?

b Write an introductory paragraph, giving general background and introducing the main point for the following topic.

                What do you think is the best transport to protect the environment?

 

Edit your text

a Look at the following first draft of a composition that a student wrote. Correct the errors in the text.

 

Many people (WF) thinks that the problem of protecting the environment is ^ concern of the governmet, but I believe that ordinary people can do (WW) anything too.

I think that we can give money to a charity that it protects the (SP) enviroment.

Out donations can help to change things, however small (WW) it may be.

In addition, we must stop killing wild animals and  (WF) destroy the nature. we can join a local organisation and take part in (P) it's activities.

Furthermoe, there are many other problems that we must solve them. People

can help reduce pollution by walking or taking the bus to work every day instead of (WF) drive their cars. (WW) Except this, we can try to drive only when ^ is absolutely necessary.

We should all try to protect the environment, because if we continue to damage the Earth, our children (T) hadn't (WW) nowhere to live.

 

b The writer of the text in a has used relatively simple structures and vocabulary. Rewrite the text using more sophisticated language, so that the composition would get a higher mark.

 

e.g. I think that we can give money to a charity that protects the environment.

 

Donating money to a charity that protects the environment is one example of action that we can take.

 

Exam practice: Write a composition

 

You are going to write a composition on the topic below. Do the tasks which follow.

 

Your teacher has asked you to write a composition which answers the following question:

What can we do to help reduce air pollution? What do you think is the best way to do this?

 

Write your composition (120-180 words).

 

. Read the question

                Read the question and underline the key words.

. Think about your reader

                Identify your reader, and a suitable style for your answer.

. Think about vocabulary

                Note down useful vocabulary before you start to write.

(TIP: try to express ideas in your own words, rather than 'lift' words and phrases directly from the question.)

. Think about paragraphing

Write an introduction, giving a general background to the topic. In the main paragraphs, write suggestions for different solutions to the problem. In the condusion, write your opinion on the best way to handle the problem.

. Edit your text

                Check your writing for errors when you have finished.

 

Further practice

 

Write a composition on the topic below.

 

You have been discussing the topic 'Today, we throw away too much rubbish'. Your teacher would like you to write a composition on the subject with the following title:

What can we do to recycle waste? What do you think is the best way to do this?

 

Write your composition (120-180 words).

 

 

 

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