Flo-Joe for Cambridge English Exams

Cambridge English: Proficiency

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Writing Task (go to Checklist)

Writing Paper Part 1. Task Type: Essay

Read the two texts below.

Write an essay summarising and evaluating the key points from both texts. Use your own words throughout as far as possible and include your own ideas in your answers.

Our Relationship with Food

The British relationship with food has undergone a fundamental change over the past 50 years, and in quite a contradictory fashion. Meals were once made up of simple, local ingredients using recipes that had been followed by previous generations. Now food has become a sensory and cultural phenomenon. Food production and catering is a multi-million pound industry. Top chefs show us how to cook the most delicious 3-course meals and supermarkets provide all the ingredients we need. Yet at the same time, we are less willing to spend time cooking than was once the case and instead spend huge amounts on take-aways and ready-meals.

The Ready-Meal Industry

Latest figures show that the UK ready-meal industry is experiencing continued growth despite the recent economic downturn. And the reason for this success? Time-poor consumers continue to want exotic, convenient, mealtime solutions whilst at the same time being cautious about over-spending on take-aways and trips to the restaurant. And the future looks even brighter for this industry with innovative and niche sectors opening up to cater for as wide a range of tastes as possible. And which meals are we eating? Italian remains the favourite cuisine closely followed by Indian and Chinese.

Write the essay. (around 240 - 280 words)

What you need to do to pass
Read our checklist first to understand what the examiner is looking for in a good answer.

Ideas for writing
Ask yourself the following questions to help you get started:

  • What are the key points in each extract?
  • How do the points in each text relate to each other?
    - Do both texts have different points of view?
    - Do the texts complement each other in any way?
  • Now make some notes about your reaction to the key points in each text:
    E.g. are these changes peculiar to the UK or are they happening everywhere?
    Is convenience food necessarily a bad thing?
  • Whilst making notes think about how you might paraphrase the key points to avoid copying sections from the texts.
  • Do you have any anecdotal evidence to support your own views? E.g. "My own country is beginning to experience similar changes ..."
  • How many paragraphs should your essay have? What will the focus of each paragraph be?

Drafting and proofreading your work

You should look at your first draft of the task and decide:

  • Have you answered the question?
  • Is the layout and organisation appropriate?
  • Is the language accurate with a good range of structures?
  • Is the style appropriate and consistent?
  • Is your essay informative as well as being interesting to read?

If the answer is 'no' to any of these questions then you will need to do some more drafting!



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