Back in 2019 I created a website called The Way Experience with resources for teachers that EOIs all around the country use to prepare their official students.
But then I realised that I could help a lot more people and I created EOI Por Libre to help you succeed at your EOI Exam.
Today we’re going to start with one of the most common WRITING TYPES: ESSAYS.
We’re going to be looking at how to organise an essay in terms of structure, paying attention to the paragraphs, how to organise your ideas, and which linking words to use and that will help your reader follow your train of thought.
You can be asked to write:
- AN OPINION ESSAY: You need to present your opinion, providing examples and reasons to support it.
- A FOR AND AGAINST ESSAY: You need to present both sides of an issue. In the main body you pay attention to each side, providing reasons and examples. In the conclusion is where you can express if and why you find a side more convincing than the other.
Main purposes in essays: DESCRIBE, ANALYSE OR DISCUSS an issue, and also to give your opinion.
PARTS OF AN ESSAY
INTRODUCTION, MAIN BODY and CONCLUSION
Paragraph 1- Introduce the topic. The opening should engage the reader’s interest and give a hint of what is to follow. You can open your writing with a rhetorical question, with some factual information as a number or a percentage, or with a shocking statement.
MAIN BODY – TWO PARAGRAPHS
Paragraph 2 – State your arguments for
Paragraph 3 – State your arguments against
Paragraph 4 – Refer back to the topic
Summarise both sides and here you can say why you find one side more convincing than the other.
HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR PARAGRAPHS
- Begin each paragraph with a main idea.
- Then, develop this idea.
- Begin a new paragraph for each new idea.
- Use your list of structures and Speaking Worksheets when you are writing. You can find them in our Mobile App, EOI POR LIBRE, in the section RESOURCES/SPEAKING WORKSHEETS and use them as a reference, as a guide, when you are writing.
- Make sure to use a variety of structures and vocabulary adequate to your level.
WHAT NOT TO DO
Don’t use informal style: no contractions, colloquial words, or emotional language
NOW, A SUPER IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR WRITING IS HOW YOU LINK OR CONNECT IDEAS, INSIDE EACH PARAGRAPH AND THE TRANSITION FROM ONE PARAGRAPH TO THE NEXT.
So, let’s look at some of the linking words and expressions that will help the reader follow your ideas easily and smoothly.
USEFUL CONNECTORS AND LINKING WORDS
To list points
Firstly, First of all, In the first place, To begin/start with, Secondly, Thirdly, Finally
To list advantages
One/Another/A further/An additional (major) advantage of… is …
The main/greatest/first advantage of… is …
To list disadvantages, drawbacks or inconvenients
One/Another/ A further/An additional (major) disadvantage/drawback of.
The main/greatest/most serious disadvantage /drawback of… Another negative aspect of…
To introduce points/arguments for or against
One (very convincing) point/argument in favour of/ against …
It could be argued/It is often claimed/It is suggested that …
It is widely argued/ believed that … Some/many/most people/experts/scientist/critics ….claim/suggest/argue/ feel/maintain/believe/point out/agree/support the view that… are of the opinion that/convinced that…
To add more points to the same topic
in addition (to this), furthermore, moreover, besides, apart from, as well as, not to mention (the fact) that, also, /as well, both … and
To make contrasting points
on the other hand, however, still, yet, but, nevertheless, even so, although, though, even though, while, whereas, despite/in spite of
To introduce examples
for example, for instance, such as, like, in particular, particularly, especially,
This is (clearly) illustrated/shown by the fact that…
One/A clear/striking/ typical example of (this)…
To emphasise a point, use adverbs
clearly, obviously, naturally, needless to say
To make general statements
as a (general) rule, generally, in general, in most cases
To explain/clarify a point
in other words, that is to say, this/which means that
To express cause
owing to, due to (the fact that), because, as, since
To express effect
therefore, as a result/consequence, consequently, so, for this reason.
As with everything, LESS IS MORE, so don’t overload your writing with LINKING WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS.
Just select those that will help you convey your ideas clearly, as CLARITY is KEY in your writing.
Remember, use shorter sentences than you would write in Spanish, and do not forget to revise your verb tenses.
Using a checklist when you finish your writing is a very good idea.
You may now be wondering, ok, but which elements should I include in my checklist?
If I were in your shoes, I’d include the following elements:
Nº OF PARAGRAPHS?
Nº OF KEY STRUCTURES FOR YOUR LEVEL?
Nº OF KEY VOCABULARY/EXPRESSIONS FOR THIS PARTICULAR TOPIC?
ANY PHRASAL VERBS?
CONNECTORS? How many? Which ones?
Ok, so far so good! And if you want more quality content for your exam, download our new app!
In our free App you will find resources like readings, listenings and audios about the topics of the EOI Exam. You will also have scripts that you can read while you listen and that will help you expand your vocabulary, structures, phrasal verbs and collocations, so you can use them later more naturally.
I’m sure you’re gonna love it!! You can download it TOTALLY FREE.
And remember, PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT so keep up with the hard work and see you soon!