If you want to pass the CAE: C1 Advanced Proposal, which is one of the possible questions in part 2 of the CAE writing exam paper, you can either watch this video, or read the rest of the page below, where I take you through the same content:
We will look at:
-an example proposal question
-some advice for writing proposals
-an example proposal answer
-we will then critique this proposal answer
-look at some examiners critique of the proposal answer
-look at some mistakes from the proposal and how to correct them
-finally we will look at some general tips for writing a proposal.
Cambridge English Assessment Scale
In order to get high marks in this exam paper, you should first gain an understanding of how examiners mark your part 1 and part 2 writings. I show you how they mark them in the following video, or you can read about it in the Cambridge English Advanced handbook for teachers:
C1 Advanced Proposal Tips
So in part two I suggest that you take 45 minutes so that's five minutes to plan your work at the beginning 35 minutes to write and five minutes to check through your work at the end. Let's have a look at some more advice for writing which has also come from the Cambridge English Advanced handbook for teachers. Write down the important notes on this worksheet.
So here are some of the key words from this advice:
these are the really important words that you need to try and address in your proposal writing.
Now what I'd like you to do is to read the example proposal question and answer below which have come from pages 44 and 48 of this document: https://shop.swiss-exams.ch/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Advanced.pdf.
While you're reading the proposal I would like you to give the proposal a mark from one to five one being bad and five being good for each of the four marking criteria: content, communicative achievement, organisation and language. Write your marks on this examiner assessment scale template. You should also write down your comments why you awarded each mark accordingly. Write down some of the good points and other bad points. Take as long as you want to do this. The more detail you write down in your comment section the better.
CAE Proposal Examiner Comments
Okay hopefully you've done that. Now we can compare the examiner's marks and comments from page 48 of the above document with your own marks and comments. Also write down what you think are the most important points from the examiner's comments here. This will be really useful in helping you to realise what the examiners are looking for. If you can get into the mind of an examiner, this task will be really helpful for you when you are writing your proposal.
Examiner's Comments Critique
So hopefully you've done that now what we can do is we can have a look at the bits which I thought were really important points from these comments.
So even though the communicative achievement is not great it says the register and tone are appropriate and the use of headings is suitable in this context.
The language they've used is appropriate for their target reader and also target reader is fully informed because all of the content is relevant text has been well organized and coherent, easy to follow with a variety of cohesive devices and more complex organizational patterns used that's good. Also there has been a range of vocabulary used appropriately and finally a range of simple and complex grammatical forms so your sentences don't need to be lengthy they can be short and simple but if you can use some complex grammar and complex vocabulary with a good range of linking words or cohesive devices and the overall passage addresses the target reader and is written in an appropriate way for the target reader and it's well-organized, you're going to get good marks in the exam.
CAE Proposal Mistakes
When I read the proposal answer, I noticed some mistakes with the language. These could be to do with grammar or spelling or that it's difficult to understand, so I've written down some of these mistakes and what I'd like you to do is to try to find the mistakes below and correct them.
the not destruction of the Municipal
imported material of best quality
the biggest and more luxuous public building
By destructing the building
with absolutly no doubt
some painting and repairing on the wall and floor
the best would be
took my letter in consideration
CAE Proposal Corrections
Okay so hopefully you've spotted some of the mistakes above. Now what we can do is we can have a look at the corrections:
to not destroy the Municipal (‘To not destroy’ because ‘the not destruction’ doesn't make sense. Destruction is not the right type of word, we need to use a verb.)
imported material of the best quality (You need the article ‘the’ before 'best'. You normally put ‘the’ before a superlative ‘the best, the worst, the biggest’ and we can see ‘the biggest’).
the biggest and most luxurious public building (We need to say 'most' before 'luxurious' and 'luxurious’ is spelt with an 'r' and an 'i'. This is a good sentence as well because you don't need to repeat the word ‘the’ before most and that shows that we know when to omit words if we can. That's a good thing to show the examiner you know that a word isn't necessary in a sentence and you don't need to repeat it.)
By destroying the building (In this sentence 'destructing' is not the right verb we need to say ‘destroying’).
with absolutely no doubt (The following sentence ‘absolutely’ has an e between the ‘t’ and the ‘l’).
some painting and repairing to the walls and floors (‘walls’ and ‘floors’ should be plural).
the best addition would be (‘the best’ should be followed by a noun and we can use for example the word addition here ‘the best addition’).
took my letter into consideration (Finally, we normally say ‘to take something into consideration’).
So let's have a think about some final questions with proposals. Again, I advise taking and summarising the most important points below and adding them to this document.
Should the language be formal or informal?
Well this depends on who the target reader is if it's your colleague or one of your peers maybe it can be slightly more informal but most of the time it will need to be formal and it will need to be to someone who's your boss for example, so it does depend on the target reader but more often you'll need to be formal. If it's to your colleague it shouldn't be really informal, you should still write as if you're in a business mentality so you should still write in a formal way.
Should you use paragraphs and headings?
Paragraphs are good to use for every writing that you do and introductions and conclusions are also always important. Headings can be used for different points of the proposal so if you have a main point that you want to address, you can put a heading or a little title for this, but not necessarily in every proposal you write.
If you want to set your students a class activity without using computers. set them the following instructions:
- Read this proposal question, then take 5 minutes to write a plan for it here.
- Download and correct any mistakes you find on this proposal answer.
- Compare the last step with the mistakes I found here.
- Print and complete this assessment scale with your thoughts on the proposal.
- Is your assessment similar to this examiner's?
- Print off this form and complete it with the tips and techniques you learn on this page and elsewhere.
You can find the instructions above using online templates etc. here.
Write your own answer to the question above. You can also find other writing questions for C1 Advanced proposals in my book. You can submit a writing via my Cambridge writing exam service, then I will mark it and give you feedback based on the official marking criteria (if I have time).
Finally for homework you should read the Cambridge English Advanced handbook for teachers if you haven't already read this document it's a really useful document for every part of the C1 Advanced CAE exam so I really recommend it.
If you didn't know, I have a CAE writing video course with loads of tips, techniques and exam strategies. This course will be really useful for you if you want to know the best way to pass every part of the C1 Advanced writing paper. I have combined all my knowledge into one ULTIMATE CAE course. You can start this course by signing up for my newsletter here >>
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