B2.2 FCE Writing Part 2 – Review

One of the options in Part 2 of Paper 2 (writing) might be to write a review (120-180 words).

The review might be for an English language magazine, newspaper or website or for someone specific e.g. a teacher.  Subjects for the review might be a film, a book, a holiday, a product, a restaurant, a concert etc.)  There are examples in the latest writing homework sheets.

If you choose this option, include description, explanation and evaluation:  why the thing you are reviewing is/was good/bad.  Also, don’t forget to give your personal opinion:  would you recommend the thing you are reviewing?  Why (not)?  Justify the points you make with examples.

Revision tips:  Look in the course book and your notes for sections on describing, explaining, evaluating and giving a personal opinion (e.g.  expressing your interests (unit 2 – gerunds and infinitives), adjectives (unit 4), writing:  reviews (unit 4 – see the answer key for a model answer), language of contrast (unit 7 and the transformations in the review of the unit), using adverbs to express your attitude (unit 10 (writing articles but these adverbs could also be used in reviews).

Language focus:

1)  Reviews often include descriptions, personal opinions and recommendations.  Here are some transformation exercises to jog your memory on some structures / expressions for doing this…

Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence using the word given.  Do not change the word given.  You must use between 2 and 5 words, including the word given.

(1)  Although the plot did not grab my attention, I must say the cinematography was wonderful.  FOUND

Despite not being too interested in the plot, I ………………………………………. wonderful.

(2)  If you are not into seafood, do not bother coming to this restaurant.  BETTER

The restaurant mostly serves seafood so if you do not like fish, you ……………………………. find an alternative.

(3)  At the beginning it seems like it is going to be a tragedy but as the plot develops there are lots of comic moments.  IF

At the beginning, it seems …………………….. to be a tragedy but as the plot develops there are lots of comic moments. 

(4)  The story is well told but, disappointingly, the overall movie is not as interesting as the director’s earlier work.  WAS

Although the story is well told, overall I …………………………………… the movie because it was less interesting than the director’s earlier work.

(5)  You cannot compare it to anything else in the area, the other places are overpriced whereas the menu here is great value for money.  NO

There is ………………………………… it and anything else in the area.  The menu here is great value for money while everywhere else is overpriced.

(6)  It is surprising to hear a debut album that is so uncommercial.  BY

I was ………………………………. uncommercial this debut album is.

(7)  I was shocked by how violent the film was.  AMOUNT

I was shocked by ……………………………. the film.

(8)  You should not watch this film – it’s terrible!  AVOID

You should ……………………… film – it’s awful!

(9)  The musicians gave fantastic performances but the sound quality was not as good as it could have been.  PUT

The musicians …………………… great show but I was a bit disappointed in the sound quality.

(10)  If you are looking for something with realistic graphics that is always challenging to play, you will not be disappointed by this game.  LET

If you want realistic graphics and something that is always challenging to play, you will not feel ………………………. this game.

2)  Before checking your answers decide: (i) What type of review the sentences above could come from? (e.g. a concert, restaurant etc.)  (ii)  What is the main function of the structures in the sentences?  To give an opinion?  Recommend?  Describe?

3)  Now check your answers below:

  Suggested answer Give an opinion Recommend Describe Review
1 found the cinematography Find something + adjective

 X grabbed my attention

I must say the X was + adjective

    Film
2 had better   If you don’t like X, you had better not… / If you like X, you had better…

Don’t bother + verb+ing / don’t bother + with + noun (e.g. don’t bother with this restaurant.

  Restaurant
3 as if it is going     It seems / seemed (looks / looked) + as if + it (+ verb phrase e.g. was going to be / was / will / would / is etc.)

It seems / looks + like + it (+ verb phrase)

Novel, film?
4 was disappointed in / by Comparative structure:  (not) as + adj + as…

be disappointed in / by something

Adverb: Disappointingly, + opinion

    Film
5 no comparison between     You cannot compare it to…

There is no comparison between X and Y because… 

It is incomparable!

Restaurant
6 surprised by / at how I was surprised by how + adjective

It was surprising how + adj

Surprisingly, X is really + adj

    Album
7 the amount of violence in I was shocked by how much / the amount of / the number of / how many etc.     Film
8 avoid watching  this

avoid this

  You should / shouldn’t

Avoid + verb+ing

Avoid + noun

  Film
9 put on a     The …… put on a great show / gave a great performance Concert
10 let down by X will not let you down / disappoint you

You won’t feel disappointed / let down by X

    Computer game

 

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