Saturday, 25 November 2017

ASK Gustavo! F.A.Q CPE Exam

Hello Gustavo!
I found your email address on the website.It was available for those who would like to take the CPE exam.Could you please read my article? I doubt about its register. I have heard that the style should be neutral and it sometimes may contain some idioms depending on the target reader. Can you please explain what kind of register articles must have?And is it necessary to write a title?
I attach the document with the article.

Best regards,
Olga Mymrina

Hi Olga

Articles can be formal or informal depending on the reader. To decide whether to adopt an informal, neutral or formal style of writing, you need to read the task carefully. If for example the task says "write an article for the students' magazine", I would go for a rather informal style. On the other hand, if the instructions say write an article about globalization for a business magazine, I would definitely go more formal. 

Regarding the use of idioms, be careful with them, as they tend to be very informal and spoken. 

I hope I have been able to help you. Find your article here with some corrections I made. Feedback is in red. 

A health magazine has invited readers to write an article about significant changes to diet in their own country. Write your article (280-320 words) giving details of changes and your opinion on the positive and negative impacts of these changes.

 The flipsides of food changes

In an age of constant changes, we seem to have paid no attention to the way how Russians` food preferences have altered recently. Are we taking a turn to the worse or to the better in the way we consume food?

It is an undisputed fact that our diet has undergone a considerable change due to overall globalization and technological development as well. Fast food chains and semi-finished products (you mean pre-cooked meals?) have turned out to be part of our daily life since it is the incredibly busy lifestyle that prevents us from a healthy diet. One can watch youngsters eating burgers and chips after school or middle-aged adults buying some takeaway food. The access to the Internet gives us an opportunity to order products online (you mean food?/ delivery?) with the minimum of fuss. Moreover, you can relish the chance to try any overseas dishes, once regarded as inaccessible commodities.

Without doubt there are positives to these changes. Being fully occupied with work our citizens make an effort to earn money to sustain their families and it is premade food which saves plenty of time. I am sure you will agree that we no longer waste time making homemade food for hours after an arduously long working day. What is more, one can savour an exquisitely cooked dish which you have ordered without leaving home.

On the other hand, I am dubious about whether the changes to our diet have a positive effect on our lives. With obesity having come to the fore, people have realized the detrimental impacts from such a hectic regime. I personally believe we not only ruin our digestive system, but also make ourselves careless with our health and neglect our well-being.

Modern lifestyle has become appallingly sedentary as a result of us having everything at hand. It is definitely up to us whether to make any adjustments to our diet as our negligence may echo back.

I strongly suggest you organise your ideas. You need some structure even before you start writing. Example of a plan:
P1: Introduction
P2: Positive impacts of the changes + opinions, examples, anecdotes
P3: Negative impacts of the changes + opinions, examples, anecdotes
P4: Ending
Regarding the style, you are right, I am not sure of the register you are using either. At times, it seems more like an essay. Try adding some personalisation in the form of examples or anecdotes. 

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