CPE Writing. Proposals

A proposal is a formal plan or suggestion that a group has to consider.

When you take CPE and write a proposal during the test’s writing part, you must remember the 5 criteria according to which your work is going to be assessed (and this concerns not only proposals but any other piece of writing you may be required to submit: articles, essays, reviews, reports, etc.):

  1. Content. Make sure all points are fully covered and effectively integrated.
  2. Range. Let a wide range of structures and vocabulary be used in a sophisticated and impressive way.
  3. Appropriacy of register and format. Bear in mind what exactly you are writing, and make the register (style) and format wholly appropriate.
  4. Organization and cohesion. Make your writing skillfully organized and coherent by using appropriate linking devices.
  5. Accuracy. Minimal error is a must on CPE.
  6. Target reader. Do your best to impress the reader.

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Write your proposal in 300-350 words.

A sample from “Cambridge Proficiency in English 4 Student’s Book:”

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The proposal above is given the highest mark by the examiner. It means that the task is realized outstandingly. We can see 1) sophisticated use of an extensive range of vocabulary, collocation and expression, entirely appropriate to the task set, 2) effective use of stylistic devices, 3) the register and format are wholly appropriate, 4) competent use of a wide range of structures, 5) a skillfully organized and coherent text, 6) excellent development of the topic, 7) minimal error. The proposal impresses the reader and has a very positive effect.

Taking all the points into account, we have attempted to answer the exam question:

I propose that Alicia Augello Cook, professionally know as Alicia Keys, is included in the exhibition “Great Achievers.” I make the suggestion in view of the fact that Ms. Keys is an immensely talented singer-songwriter and pianist, as well as an outstanding philanthropist, whose deeds are not limited to charity concerts and motivational speaking. As a matter of fact, she is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of the non-profit organization “Keep a Child Alive,” which provides medicine, orphan care and social support to families with HIV and AIDS in Africa and India.

As of May 2019, Alicia Keys has won over 150 music awards, including 15 Grammies. Since 2001, she has been an inspiration to numerous modern artists. Her songs about love, peace and self-improvement are powerful and thought-provoking, and I believe some of them should be played at the exhibition, setting the tone for the Keys’s area and showcasing the artist’s vocal skills. Thus, aspects of her distinguished career and activism are to be included.

To my mind, they could best be reflected through photographs, posters and, if possible, a slide show with Keys’s quotations, such as “Forgiveness is the only real revenge” or “When everybody loves someone, there’s nothing to fear.” A short biography would also serve the purpose. Another thing which may be worth mentioning is the recent makeup-free movement started by Ms. Keys, who advocates the idea of a woman embracing her true self by stopping “concealing what she is made of.” The point is liberating ourselves from conventions dictating us, women, what we must look or think like. Personally, I find this issue vital, and propose that at the exhibition it is reflected through interviews in which Alicia Keys shares her deep-seated beliefs.

I am of the opinion that, if there is an Alicia Keys area at the exhibition and it is organized in the way described above, visitors will have a good chance to familiarize themselves with life and work of a truly extraordinary American artist and, without a doubt, a great achiever.

(339 words)

We’d appreciate your feedback on the proposal above, and if you have any questions about exam preparation, please ask them in the comments below. Thank you for reading and good luck in your exams!

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