Cambridge B1 Preliminary (PET): How to write an article in 2020

Cambridge B1 Preliminary (PET): How to write an article in 2020

Cambridge B1 Preliminary (PET) - How to Write an Article

Summary

  1. Mandatory task: no
  2. Word count: around 100 words
  3. Main characteristics: title, interesting/engaging language
  4. Structure: introduction, main paragraphs, ending
  5. Language: interesting adjectives & adverbs, questions
  6. Example

Home or cinema – How do you watch your favourite films?

I know many people who love animated or romantic films, but for me, there is nothing better than an amazing drama or adventure movie like ‘Indiana Jones’ because I’m a big fan of stories with a fascinating plot.

In my opinion, watching a film at home isn’t the same as going to the cinema to enjoy a great movie on a huge screen with popcorn and cola. If it wasn’t so expensive, I would go every week.

So, if you want to give me some money to go to the cinema more often, or to tell me which you prefer – the cinema or the TV screen, leave a comment.

Introduction

In the PET exam you always have to write an email, but you can choose if you want to write an article or a story.

In an article task you get the topic from a website or magazine and there is some information or questions that you have to write about. Also, your language should normally be between neutral and informal.


>>> Find out how to write an amazing email for PET here. <<<

>>> For great information on PET story writing click here. <<<


What does a typical article task look like?

In every writing task in the PET exam there are a few things you have to analyse before you can start to put your pen to paper.

  1. What is the situation?
  2. What do I have to include in my article?
  3. Who is going to read my article?

It is really important and helpful to answer these question first because you get a lot of useful information so writing the article becomes easier from the beginning.

A typical article task might look like the one below:

PET - Example article writing task

Now that we have a task, let’s answer the questions from earlier.

Firstly, your article needs to be about films and secondly, there are two main questions that you have to answer in your text (films you enjoy [1] and if you prefer going to the cinema or watching films at home with reasons [2]).

Last but not least, the readers of the English-language website are the people you write your article for. That means your language should be neutral to informal because it is not for your friends, but neither for your boss or teacher.

In neutral English you can use contractions like ‘I’m’ or ‘she’s’, phrasal verbs or informal punctuation (e.g. ‘!’), but no slang words or anything that is not in the dictionary.

How to organise your article

You can always organise your articles in a similar way. This makes it a lot easier for you because you will know how to complete this kind of writing task step by step.

In the last part we saw that there are normally two main questions that you have to cover. In our example the two questions are:

  1. What kind of films do you enjoy?
  2. Do you prefer watching them at the cinema or at home? Why?

As there are two main points it is probably a good idea to have two main paragraphs in your article. In addition, you should always have an title and a final sentence so we get to four parts in total:

  1. Title
  2. What kind of films do you enjoy?
  3. Do you prefer watching them at the cinema or at home? Why?
  4. Final sentence

This works for every article writing task so you can relax and really focus on what you want to say instead of worrying about the structure of your text.

Always make a plan

It happens too often that students have bad writing tasks or make unnecessary mistakes because they just start to write instead of taking just a few minutes to think about their article first.

If you plan your article, you can save a lot of time because you know exactly what the different parts of your text are and what you want to include.

Don’t make the same mistake. Plan your writing tasks and be ready.

The different parts of an article

In this part I’m going to show you examples of the different parts of a PET article. As I said before, every article uses a similar structure so you just have to adapt it to the topic of your specific task.

Example of a PET article writing task

Look at the task again and remember what we have to do. With this in mind, are you ready?

Title

Every good article has a title. When you read a newspaper, magazine or website you always find titles (and sometimes even subheadings) at the top of an article.

Try to make the title interesting so the reader wants to see what you have to say. For example, in our task from earlier we could choose one of the following ideas:

  1. Films I like (and how I watch them)
  2. How to best watch the films you love
  3. Home or cinema – How do you watch your favourite films?

You can see that the topic is clear and it creates some interest for the reader. However, don’t feel stressed. If you just use the title “Films”, you won’t lose any marks. It is more important to give your article some kind of title.

Main paragraphs

The main paragraphs are the most important pieces of your article and you should always think about these two things:

  1. Does the paragraph talk about about one of the main questions in the task?
  2. Do I use good language (neutral/informal, linking words, good grammar and interesting vocabulary)?

One of the most important things in the PET Writing exam is that you have to answer the questions in the task very clearly. Don’t talk about things that are unrelated, but focus on the topic. An example for one of the main paragraphs could look like this:

I know many people who love animated or romantic films, but for me, there is nothing better than an amazing drama or adventure movie like ‘Indiana Jones’ because I’m a big fan of stories with a fascinating plot.

In my opinion, watching a film at home isn’t the same as going to the cinema to enjoy a great movie on a huge screen with popcorn and cola. If it wasn’t so expensive, I would go every week.

You can see that I answered the question about what films I enjoy. I only focused on the question and gave some examples.

In the first paragraph I talk about film genres (animated, romantic, drama, adventure) as well as one specific film (Indiana Jones). I also tried to include some interesting grammar (I know many people who…, nothing better than) and vocabulary (amazing drama, I’m a big fan of…, fascinating plot). On top of that, I used different linking words to connect my ideas (who, but, because).

In the second paragraph I say how I prefer watching a film (going to the cinema) and I explain why (huge screen, popcorn and cola). I also included a conditional sentence for good grammar (If it wasn’t so expensive, I would go every week.).

This sounds like a lot of information, but is you practise regularly, it will become easier and easier for you to do the same.

Final sentence

As soon as you finish your main paragraphs, you should end your article with a nice final sentence. It can be a little bit funny or surprising, but you can also just summarise your article. Remember, the more interesting your article is, the better it is for your marks.

So, if you want to give me some money to go to the cinema more often, or to tell me which you prefer – the cinema or the TV screen, leave a comment.

In my final sentence I try to be funny (I’m not a very good comedian 🙂 ) and I speak directly to the reader. This is a good way of making your article more interesting because the reader feels as if they are part of the text.

Before we finish this post, think about the other parts of B1 Preliminary as well. Apart from Writing, one of the most difficult papers is Reading. I have written posts for each task and I definitely recommend having a look at them too. Just check the pictures below.

Start to practise today

Don’t wait until the last minute to practise your writing skills. Start today and practise as much as you can. Use the information in this article to help you improve yours.

Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think about writing articles.

Lots of love,

 

Teacher Phill 🙂

10 Responses

  1. Disath Mendis says:

    Today is my exam this article is very useful for me thank u very much

  2. Diana says:

    I’m going to take PET exam today. Your articles helps me a lot to prepare for it. Thank you!

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