How to Pass FCE Writing part 2 “REPORTS”

1. Tense. Read the question carefully. What tense should the REPORT be in?
2. Layout. (Mise en page) This should be very tidy and well organized with underlined sub-headings. (I have put my subheadings in bold)
3. Imagine that the report is real!

Example Question:
The school where you learn English has decided to buy some DVDs in English. You have been asked to write a report for the Principle suggesting what kinds of DVDs the school should buy. In your report you should also explain why students at the school will enjoy these DVDs.

OK, so if this was a real situation, you would probably ask all the students what sort of DVDs they would like. You would maybe do this with a questionnaire. Also, if the situation was real, you would probably have a budget. How much do DVDs cost? What is the situation at the moment? Are there already a few DVDs or none at all? You have to use your imagination.
So, I’m going to answer the question using the Present Simple in the Introduction. I’m going to use the Simple Past (and Passive) in the second part, and I’m going to use some modal verbs in the conclusion. (I want to show the examiner that I can use a lot of different tenses.)
Remember – this is a REPORT to the Principle, NOT a letter!

Example Answer:

English Connection School of English intends to buy a selection of DVDs for the school library. This report examines what sort of DVDs are appropriate.

Current Situation:
At the moment there are more than 100 videos in the school library. However, not many students still possess a video recorder therefore no-one borrows them.

Student’s choice:
All students were given a questionnaire which asked what sort of DVDs the students would like to see. The results are as follows: More than 75% of students wanted to see British films. Although they prefer American films for their action, almost everyone agreed that British films are easier to understand. Suggested films include “Harry Potter”, “The Queen” and “The King’s Speech”.
Students are also interested in documentary and factual films, particularly documentaries about science, nature, animals and history. These films have a slow and clear commentary and at the same time they are educational. Films of this sort include “Into the Wild”.

A full list of requested films is attached.

• DVDs currently cost between 5 and 20 Euros each, depending on the age of the film.
• I suggest buying 100 DVDs to replace the videos which are no longer used.
• Buying at least 3 copies of the most popular films would be sensible.
• This should be possible with a budget of 1,000€.

213 Words

(I have put in the answer that “a list of requested films is attached” – of course, I am only pretending. I will not really attach a list of films.)

The examiners are looking for a clear and logical answer.
Start with “Report on ……..” Then write your introduction.
Finish with “Recommendations” Then write your conclusion.
The other sub titles depend on the question.

Let’s look at another report question:

A group of language students age 14 – 18 is going to visit your town. You have been asked to write a report on different places to eat, both for them and their teachers.

Report on Restaurants in Vannes, Brittany
Vannes is a pretty medieval town with a Port which attracts tourists all year round. There are plenty of places to eat for all types of budget.

Galettes and Crêpes
For students on a tight budget, the best place to eat is in a Crêperie. You should try these pancakes which can be filled with anything you like, such as cheese and ham; and then try a sweet crêpe with, for example, chocolate, lemon or apples. The menu is long so there will be something for everybody.
Each Galette or Crêpe costs between 3€ and 7€. Try “Le Dan Ewen” in the Saint Patern part of town.

Salon de Thé
Alternatively, why not try “Le Salon d’Agnès” in rue Noé? Agnès makes wonderful homemade quiches and salad and cakes. Go early (12 o’clock) to get a table. This is also the best place to go if you just want some hot chocolate, or coffee and a cake.

There isn’t a McDonald’s in the town centre, but there are places near the Port where you can buy sandwiches. For a really cheap meal, try the pasta shop in rue Thiers. You choose your pasta and your sauce and you can either eat it there or take it away. Most local students find a place to sit down at the Port.

Italian & Pizza restaurants
There are plenty of these throughout the town, but “Le Cosy” in rue Thiers is particularly good.

Fish & Seafood
Brittany is well known for its seafood. Try a plate of “Moules Frites” in one of the restaurants at the Port.

Gastronomic Restaurants
You will find several restaurants which serve traditional French dishes. You could try the Alsace restaurant at the Port, or go to the Saint Patern part of town where there are lots of good restaurants. Le Terroir has a very nice, cosy atmosphere, especially in winter as they have a log fire.

• Always book on a Friday or Saturday night, especially if a large group is going.
• All prices include service.
• Don’t have wine with your Galettes and Crêpes, drink Breton Cider instead.

Note the use of “bullet points” in the final RECOMMENDATION paragraph. You don’t have to use them, but it looks more like a report if you do.
If you don’t know the name of real places – invent them.

Finally, and this is REALLY IMPORTANT, check your spelling and grammar for stupid mistakes such as “he have” or “you can to buy a sandwitch”.