Flo-Joe for Cambridge English Exams

Cambridge English: Advanced

Check out students' answers to Flo-Joe's CAE Writing tasks with a teacher's feedback

Writing Class: Essay

Task Type: Essay

Your class has watched a documentary about the decline in the number of local buildings with an historic interest. You have made the notes below:

Factors behind the decline include:

  • a lack of space within inner cities for commercial and residential developments.
  • the fact that these buildings are not seen as worthy of preservation by town planners.
  • insufficient public funds to support the preservation of these buildings.

Some opinions expressed in the documentary:

  • We need to preserve old buildings for future generations.
  • Buildings with a local historical interest can be good for tourism.
  • Some of these buildings no longer serve a purpose and should be replaced with modern alternatives.

Write an essay discussing TWO of the reasons given for the decline in such buildings in your notes. You should explain which factor is more important, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed in the documentary, but you should use your own words as far as possible. (around 220-260 words)

Makeover: Joy

Read Joy's answer to this question below. Try correcting the piece of writing yourself first: use the marking codes to think about what might be wrong (or what's good) about the piece of work. Then when you're ready, click the green buttons in the text for our feedback.

The latest studies show that there is a decrease of WW number of old-fashioned buildings in the hearts of our cities. Often these buildings used to serve as factories or appartments S for a long time until they were thought to be not enough practical WO anymore.

The most significant reason for this decline is the increasing demand of WW place WW in the cities. As they grow bigger the search for good places gets harder and not seldom WW historic houses have to make way for new and modern facilities. Old buildings are often in need of costly renovation. Therefore it seems easier to pull them down and build something new instead. Gd

As already mentioned, a second factor is surely the lack of money provided to preserve the historical buildings. Instead of restoring old houses, people in charge decide to take them away and build something totally new which is cheaper and therefore a big advantage at first glance. Gd

What most people seem to forget Gd is that most of the tourists get WW attracted by a city’s old town. The historical buildings are the bumping WW heart of a living city. People love to discover historical places, to drink coffee between old-fashioned houses and they shop rather WO/WW in nice little boutiques than in big warehouses. That is, after all, a good reason to preserve historical buildings.


A very good response to the task, Joy. This is just what the question asked for: you’ve discussed two of the points listed and picked the one you think is the most important. You've included your own views and expressed these in your own words. The style is suitable for an essay, it’s well organised and your use of English, including grammar and vocabulary is good.

There were only a few mistakes:

  • ‘enough’ usually comes after the adjective/adverb it describes, not before.
  • ‘more often than not’ is a useful phrase to learn in this context.
  • we talk about the ‘beating heart of a city’.
  • and pay attention to how we use ‘rather’.
Well done!

Marking Code

/\ Word(s) missing

- Omit word

C Capitalization

Gd Good

O Organisation

P Punctuation

PE Poorly expressed

R Register/Formality

SS Sentence Structure

S Spelling

T Tip (Not wrong but a suggestion)

WF Wrong form

WO Word order

WT Wrong tense

WW Wrong word