Aptis Advanced: How to Write an Article
Writing an article is one of the tasks in many public English exams, including the B2 Cambridge FCE and Trinity ISE II, and the C1 Cambridge CAE and Trinity ISE III. So knowing how to write an article is an essential skill.
In general, when you write an article it’s for readers of a newspaper, magazine or website. In the case of the Aptis Advanced Writing Test, it’s for an online publication. We’re going to be pitching our sample answers at C1 level, as that’s what most Advanced students are hoping to attain.
So let’s look at what any good article should include, the kind of language to use and how it should be laid out.
Outline of how to write an article
Articles must have a title, and they may also have subtitles, if the word count permits. You cannot write more than 220 words in Aptis Advanced Part 3, so it’s unlikely you’d be able to use subtitles here. There’s already a lot of info you have to include, as we’ll see in the exam rubric. So our advice is to just think of a brief title, and save the rest of your allotted words for the actual article.
It’s a very good idea to start with a rhetorical question, as you need to catch the reader’s interest. Think of interesting articles you’ve read, and how the writer engaged your attention from the beginning. That’s what you need to aim for!
Articles often contain varied and colourful language of description and may include the writer’s opinion, examples or anecdotes (again, if the word count permits). A touch of humour often works well. One of the criteria for marking Part Three of the Advanced Test is that the article be both informative and interesting.
The register you use depends on the topic and target reader, so it can be informal, semi-formal or formal. But whichever you choose, you must use that register consistently throughout the article. In Aptis Advanced you’re writing an article for online publication on a website, so the most appropriate register would be semi-formal or informal.
Structure of an article
Articles should be clearly organised into paragraphs:
- introductory paragraph
- main body (usually two or three short paragraphs)
- concluding paragraph
In the case of Aptis Advanced, you must include some (or all) of the notes they provide you with.
In all exams you must ensure you follow all of the instructions, as task fulfilment is one of the marking criteria.
The conclusion should sum up the main point of view that the writer wants to express, and referring back to your opening question in some manner can be an effective way to round things off.
So let’s recap on all that, with a few examples as well.
1. Don’t forget the title
2. Introduction: Opening with a question helps engage the reader and make them want to read more. Here are some ideas:
Have you ever considered …? / Have you ever thought about…? / How would you feel if …? / What would you do if …? / Are you one of those people who …? / What would life be like if… / Just imagine… / Remember the good old days?
Then carry on introducing the subject matter.
3. Main body: State your points in one or two paragraphs, making sure to include as much information from your notes (including some kind of diagram or table) as possible.
4. Main body continued.
5. Conclusion: Make an overall point so that the reader feels they’ve learned something from or been entertained by reading the article.
You’ll find the complete version – plus the rubric and all the notes you had to use – in Aptis Advanced Writing Test 1 with Sample C1 Answers.
We’ll be giving you more Advanced writing practice very soon – watch this space!
Meanwhile, check out the other free Advanced materials we’ve already published:
- Mock-exam video 1: Aptis Advanced: Speaking Practice Test 1
- Video 1 with C1 Answers: Aptis Advanced Test 1 with Sample C1 Answers
- Mock-exam video 2: Aptis Advanced: Speaking Practice Test 2
- Video 2 with C1 Answers: Aptis Advanced Test 2 with Sample C1 Answers
Vocabulary: Aptis Advanced Vocabulary Practice Test 1