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Planning an essay 1 Read the sentences about planning an essay. Tick (✔) the sentences (1–9) that are true for you. Before I start writing an essay … 1 I read the question or task carefully to make sure I know what I have to do. 2 I note whether the essay is an opinion essay or a for-and-against essay. 3 I underline the key words in the question that relate to the content of the essay. 4 I underline the key words in the question that relate to the purpose of the essay. 5 I think about who I am writing for and whether the essay needs to be in a formal style. 6 I decide how many paragraphs I need to write. 7 I brainstorm ideas for each content paragraph. 8 I decide the logical order of the content paragraphs. 9 I note how many words I need to write.
2 Your teacher has asked you to write an essay. Read the essay question and follow steps 1–9 in 1. Some people say that cooking programmes on TV are good because they teach us how to cook. Other people say these programmes are for entertainment only and there are better ways to learn how to cook. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
3 Read a student’s ideas (a–h) for the two content paragraphs in the essay in 2. Match three ideas (a–h) with the paragraphs. There are two ideas that you should not use. Paragraph 1: Good points about cooking programmes on TV
Paragraph 2: Bad points about cooking programmes on TV/Other ways to learn how to cook
things down. d there’s no time to write an t fas too go es mm gra a TV pro es are good entertainment. b Cooking programm like cooking programmes. c My sister doesn’t s. ebrity chefs make mistake d It’s funny when cel is spaghetti carbonara. e My favourite meal you can stop the video. f Videos are best – e. when they eliminate someon tic ma dra it’s ef rch ste g On Ma k. es don’t teach us how to coo h Cooking programm
4 Read the Study tip then look at the sentences you chose in 3. Which is the topic sentence for each paragraph? 5 Read the introduction and first content paragraph for the essay question in 2. Answer the questions (1–4) below.
STUDY TIP Each content paragraph in an essay should be about one idea. Content paragraphs usually begin with a topic sentence which expresses the main idea or argument of the paragraph. After the topic sentence the main idea should be developed by using explanations, details or examples.
Are cooking programmes on TV good or bad? Cooking programmes such as Masterchef are very popular in our country. But do they teach us how to cook or are they for entertainment only? First, I am going to talk about the positive things and then I am going to talk about the bad things. I agree that these programmes can be entertaining. Often, the chefs invite famous celebrities onto the programmes and this can be funny when the celebrities make mistakes. In addition, competitions like Masterchef can be very dramatic when contestants are cooking with a time limit or when they are eliminated. 1 Which sentence should be removed? 2 What is wrong with the title? Can you think of a better one? 3 In which sentence does the writer clearly state their opinion? 4 Which two expressions does the writer use to give an example?
6 Read the beginning of the second content paragraph. Choose the correct alternative.
In addition / However / But / Furthermore, I do not think that these programmes teach us how to cook. 7 Write the second content paragraph using the ideas from 3. 8 Read the Study tip and decide which is the better conclusion, A or B.
9 Write five things that you are going to do when you write your next essay.
STUDY TIP The conclusion of an essay should clearly state your opinion and highlight your main arguments. You should not simply repeat the same words as in the main paragraphs.
In conclusion, I think cooking programmes are generally good but if you are serious about cooking you should learn from a video or a real person who can answer your questions.
In conclusion, the positive things about cooking programmes are that they are interesting and the bad things are that they don’t teach you how to cook.