Writing task – example answers

Today samples of my students’ writing are the answers to the task recently published here. It is the first task, part A of the 3rd level exam. For your awareness, and additional educational effect I publish students’ work verbatim, with all errors

A soldier doing writing task. It's not that easy to write something in English!

A soldier doing writing task in English. Image source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

they’ve made. Hover the cursor over the highlighted part to see the comment on what is wrong with each part and then click the number to go to the footnotes with corrected version of the highlighted part.


First sample of writing (with errors!):


I would like to inform you about situation in Forward Operating Base Ghazni (FOB Ghazni). The most important issue is the unacceptable behaviour of the local security company named BAATFA. Our sentry at the gates and in the towers[1] noticed the following occurances[2].

The first, employees of the company very often late[3] for duty giving no justification or explanation.

The second, their weapons are left without attention. Moreover, personel of the BAATFA company use their guns in the wrong way aiming weapons at fellow soldiers.

The third, their[4]often chat with passers-by – local people disturbing them from[5] duties. Even more, they do not observe peremeter during noon prayers.

Because of all those occurances described above I suggest to talk to Afghan supervisor and put his attention[6] on this problem. In my opinion he has to provide refreshing training to his personnel and even some penalties to force them to obey the rules and appropriate actions[7]. Maybe other solution could be change[8] them[9] place of duty or to organize different sentry composition. For example, mix the sentry with soldiers from different countries.

Furthermore, I would like to ask for liaison with BAATFA director to clarify on each accusation.

To sum up, the situation concern[10] unacceptable behaviour of security[11] company has large influence[12] on all base security. I hope to solve this problem as soon as possible and inform you about it in my future reports.

[1] – Avoid citing the instruction phrases verbatim. If you regard a phrase from the instruction as very useful and absolutely necessary to explain the matters, use it in a different form – change the tense, change nouns into verbs or the opposite, make a passive voice active or an active voice passive, etc. In this case the following line would do: “soldiers who serve on towers and at the gates”
[2] – use “incidents” instead
[3] – “the company guards are very often late”
[4] – “they”
[5] – “distrackting them from duties” is the appropriate expression. Since this phrase is already used in instruction, rephrase it into, e.g. “disturb the sentry’s work”
[6] – “get his attention”
[7] – “act properly”
[8] – “to change”
[9] – “their”
[10] – whole phrase deleted
[11] – “the security”
[12] – “big influence” is a more popular  collocation, though “large influence” seems to be acceptable too

Second writing sample (with errors!):


I would like to inform you about unacceptable behaviour of the local security company, which in consequence can cause some dramatic or dangerous incidents.

First of all, the centries[1] are often late for their duty what causes gaps in observation sectors and timeline.

Secondly they do not obey any rules and principles regarding of[2] weapon using[3] including safety measures. For instance, they leave their weapons unattended or point rifles at other soldier, pose[4] a threat for[5] rest[6] of crue[7].

What is more, during the prayer times no one watches the perimeter. For the guards the most important on the duty are private things than security of rest inhibitants of the FOB[8].

Finally, frequent chats with local pedestrians disturb and destroy whole structure of duty roster. Furthermore, we do not know what kind of information are[9] exchanged.

To sum up[10] I propose any[11] changes in duty organization like mix[12] nations on the posts, separet[13] local guards from each other or use them only like a liaison between security forces (from CF) and local population approaching to the perimeter fence.

Please, consider proposes[14] mentioned above or implement other amendments to enhance security organization.

With respect,


[1] – “sentries”
[2] – delete redundant word
[3] – “handling”
[4] – “posing”
[5] – “to”
[6] – “the rest”
[7] – “the crew”
[8] – Possible rewording: “Private matters seem to be more important to the guards on duty than the safety of the rest of FOB inhabitants.”
[9] – “is”
[10] – “mitigate the situation”
[11] – “some”
[12] – “mixed”
[13] – “separation of the”. Usage of the verb “separate” would cause parallelism error, unless previous “mixed” is changed into verb form “to mix.”
[14] – “proposals” or “propositions” or any other noun that fits, e.g. “suggestions”