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: Review

Task Type: Review

You see the following announcement in a magazine:


Have you read a book or seen a film that has a central character whose life is affected by an event or decision they make early in the story.

What did you learn about the person's character? Did the book or film help you to understand how the person was affected by this event or decision?

Send us your review for our next issue.

Write your review for the magazine readers. (220-260 words)

Makeover: Anja

Read Anja'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.

To the '60s and back again

One of the most intriguing books I have read recently is "11/22/63" by Stephen King, published only a few years ago. Not being especially T enthusiastic neither about the author nor PE the science-fiction genre, I was instantly hooked regardless.

The story is set both in the present and the 1960s with the main character Jake Epping setting out to prevent the assassination of JFK. Jake Epping is an ordinary English teacher at a high school in Maine, divorced, no kids. As a time traveller he is determined to honor the pledge he made to his dying friend to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from shooting the 35th president.

Not only does Jake's initial and rather spontaneous decision to step back in time reflect traits of his character, but it also influences the unfolding action fundamentally. WO Judging from his behavior in WW this critical moment as well as in key situations later in the plot, Epping seems to be a decisive, brave, loyal and responsible kind of person. However, he repeatedly risks his mission and altering the future radically by first falling in love with a woman named Sadie Dunhill and then feeling recurrently tempted to spill all his secrets to her. The book ends with Epping putting the world's fate first and his feelings and personal happiness last.

In conclusion, I think the book paints quite a positive and heroic picture of its protagonist. While I do not feel uncomfortable with this approach, I deem the ending rather exaggerated in terms of Epping's altruism.


This is a very good answer Anja. You've given a summary of the person's character and the impact on him of the decision to save JFK.
The review is written in an appropriate format and in an engaging style that would hold the reader's attention throughout.
It's clearly organised. Starting with an introduction to the book, two main body paragraphs and a well-crafted conclusion bringing the review to a close. Good use of cohesive devices to link your ideas and sentences together.
Finally, you have used language flexibly and shown your ability to describe simple and complex ideas clearly. I have made a couple of stylistic comments, which I think helps a couple of sentences flow a little better, but these are subjective rather than corrections.
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