CPE – Prep / Writing – Test 2

Here I go again. Another Writing Test from ‚Authentic Examination Papers from Cambride ESOL‘. I really wonder sometimes what I have to myself into… The tasks don’t seem hard, but it’s the small things that count in this test. But, I have to say, I’d rather go into the exam and be a little insecure than overconfindent. Makes me pay more attention to what I am doing. I guess that’ll help 😉 Right, enough said, let’s go:

Part 1
another essay, summarizing and evaluationg the points made and including own ideas, in 240 – 280 words

Are you a ‚homie‘? If so you will be familiar with the idea of home being a place to unwind, reacharge, contemplate your day and simply being the most important place on Earth, as stated by the first text. And you might also know all about the possibilities of self-expression within your own walls listed in the second text. In fact, if you are anything like me, you might even celebrate these possibilites up to the point where ‚Better Living‘ comes knocking at your door! You might, on the other hand, be totally opposed to that, feeling more at home in public places like coffee bars. Which option you prefer ultimately depends on your personality and your experiences in life. No matter what type you tend to be, we may well interprete the fact that both texts come to the same conclusions, abeit from different points of view as proof for a universal truth: people need homes. The home is important to one and all. It gives us an idea of security and the feeling that we belong somewhere. It’s a deep wish in human beings to put down roots and we’re most fearful of losing the roof over our head. There are only a select few who chose life on the streets voluntarily. And they have a whole set of different reasons for that. So aside from these few the home is essential throughout all cultures on Earth, no matter how poor or elaborate, since it is linked to this deeply rooted need: security. So wether you use your home space to contemplate, to express yourself or th flee from, you are humand and so, on some level, that actually makes you a ‚homie‘, just like the rest of us.
(291 words)

Part 2
asks for a letter to a magazine that has a debate about manners going on among the readers. You’re supposed to weigh in with your opinion within 280 – 320 words.

Dear ‚Overall‘-Magazine-Team,
I have been enjoying your article about the significance of manners today and the ensuing debate among the readers. You’ve been asking for more opinions, so I am sending in my thoughts. I think it interesting that the debate mostly concentrates on the question wether manners are important and to what extent and how. Personally, I think manners are essential in the sence that they are always there. Manners are actions and behaviour according to certain rules. And the rules differ depending on the kind of relationships, situations, age and so many parameters. For example, I work in a hotel and we cater to a working clientel such as truck drivers or construction crews and such. The tone is rather casual and after the first two stays we’re usually on first name terms. Try that in a four star holiday resort or a business hotel! But we don’t have to compare hotels and their guests. Would anyone talk their boss the way they talk to their friends? Or family? No, there always are certain rules and all day long we distinguish which rules apply in what situation. So from this point of view, manners, regardless of their quality, are essential to any society. That is because every society relies on rules and on their members to obey them. To me it’s not so much the question wether manners are important. It’s more the question about how oblinging to the rules we need to be. If rules, and therefore manners, are that important, when is it time to break them and to behave differently? Because they change. Rules and manners. While in 18th century England calling your husband by his Christian name was the right thing to do. Some time people started to disobey this convention and today ‚honey‘ is a widely accepted name for the spouse. Manners, therefore, are a changing constant, changing with time. So I’d like to bring this question into the debate: when is it right to break the rules?
Best regards,
M. K. 
(339 words)

This time I wrote a draft by hand to each text. The two texts you’ve just read only have their structure and main argument in common. At this point during the paper, I’d go about checking for mistakes and also getting rid of the surplus words… If there are any native speakers around: assuming you had my style of writing, what would a native speaker do differently?

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