ISLPR Language Services Blog

4 questions to ask yourself before you start writing.

Posted by on Apr 19, 2021 at 10:26 AM

At ISLPR Language Services, writing is the biggest problem we come across with candidates learning English as a second language. During a test, we won’t often tell candidates what format they should write in as we believe this is subjective and, in real life, the format differs from one piece of writing to another even on the same topic. However, the following 4 questions should help you work out how to write.

In writing, there are 4 basic questions to ask:

  1. What is the purpose? (i.e. Why are you writing? )
  2. Who is the audience? (i.e. To whom are you writing? )
  3. What do you want to say? (What is the meaning you want to express?)
  4. How can you best say it? (How can you say it most effectively?)

In particular, it is the meaning and the purpose that determine how you write.

In writing, you should aim to keep what you write simple and clear. As your language develops, you will automatically start to use more complex sentences to express your meaning more precisely but, if you try artificially to write long, complex sentences, you are likely to lose control and the sentences become incoherent.

How is this relevant to an ISLPR test?

  • In an ISLPR writing test, you will be given two short tasks to complete. Quite often, we will not tell you what format your answer should be written in. As stated above, this is because writing is subjective and, in real life, the format differs from one piece of writing to another even on the same topic.  The most important considerations are whether the format and the language are appropriate and the writing clear, grammatical and readily understood.
  • To learn more about the ISLPR writing test, read our Guidelines blog.

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