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Writing RATEr practice tasks

Task 1: Complete the sentences(target time: about 10 minutes)

Task 2: Writing an email (target time: about 15 minutes)

Task 3: Describing data(target time: about 20 minutes)

Task 4: Giving your opinion(target time: about 15 minutes)

Task 1: Complete the sentences

(target time: about 10 minutes)

  1. You recently took a field trip. You are not satisfied with the field trip. You write an email to complain to the teacher who organised it. Complete the following email to your teacher. Use the provided pictures to complete the sentences. If there is no picture, you can make something up.

Dear Mrs Reeves,

I am writing to let you know that I was not happy about the field trip we took recently. The trip was very disappointing because of several circumstances.

First of all, the bus was supposed to leave at 10 a.m.

  1. Because__________________________________________________________we

    were not able to leave until 10:30 a.m.

  2. Then, we lost even more time due to


    3. The idea of the trip was to study local wildlife in a nature reserve, but ___________________________________________.Closed
    4. As a result, we had to ______________________________________instead.Dieren in museum

Fighting students 5. Furthermore, some students

__________________________, so we had to leave again after only an hour in the museum.

  1. The trip cost us 80 euro’s, but _________________________________________.

  1. I think it would only be fair if _________________________________________.

I am looking forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

Sample answer task 1:

  1. several students were late
  2. the fact there was a traffic jam
  3. when we arrived, it turned out the reserve was closed
  4. we had to observe prepared animals in a museum
  5. were fighting
  6. I don’t think this trip was worth that much money.
  7. we could get a refund.

Task 2: Writing an email

(target time: about 15 minutes)

You’ve been working in the university library until 9.30 pm to finish a project, because another member of your team did not complete her share of the work. This is not the first time that happened, so you decide to send her an email.

Write an email to your friend in which you explain the problem to her. The email should contain the following elements:

  • an informal salutation and ending;
  • a clear description of the situation;
  • why this is a problem to you;
  • how you feel about this;
  • a suggestion for a solution.

Sample answer task 2:

Hi X,
The last couple of days I have been working on our project. The project is finished now, but I had to do your share of the work as well. This was very inconvenient for me, because I was already busy with some other deadlines this week. You promised to do the other part, so I feel kind of deceived now. This week has been very exhausting for me, and I think it is not fair that I had to do all the work. I suggest that you will do all the work when we have to do another project together.



Task 3: Describing data

(target time: about 20 minutes)

You are studying Media Sciences at University. For one of your courses, you have done research on the use of mobile devices among teenagers and adolescents. You looked at the differences between age groups, the use of different devices and online activities.

Look at the information in Figures 1 and 2.

Mobile Device Teenagers

Figure 1. Mobile device usage among teenagers and adolescents in 2016, by age group and percentage of people using a specific device. Source: CBS (edited)

Online activities

Figure 2. Time spent on online activities on mobile device among teenagers and adolescents in 2016, in percentages. Source: CBS (edited)

You have to write a brief research report (125-200 words) for a course in Research Methods. Your report should contain at least the following information:

  • How you did the research (you can make this up);
  • What the three most striking results are. You should use both figures;
  • A suggestion for further research.

NB:  do not write lists / do not use bullet points.

Sample answer task 3:

In order to examine the mobile device use among young people, I designed a survey in which I included questions on the use of various different of devices and the amount spent on different types of online activities. The questionnaire was filled in by 60 teenagers (12-18 years old) and 60 adolescents (18-25 years old).

The results of the survey show three striking findings. First of all, adolescents use smartphones and laptops more than teenagers do. Secondly, teenagers seem to use their mobile devices much more for playing games than adolescents. Additionally, adolescents tend to use their mobile devices much more for reading news articles.

For future research it would be worthwhile to investigate the use of mobile devices by other age groups like younger children and adults to find out more about how people’s behaviour changes in the course of a lifetime.

Task 4: Giving your opinion

(target time: about 15 minutes)

You read the following article in your university newsletter:

Ban on online games on campus

I believe University should put a ban on all online gaming websites accessed through University Wi-Fi. As a teacher, I notice all too often that students, instead of taking notes, are playing online games on their laptops during lectures. Since we can’t stop students from using the internet altogether, I urge the University Board to develop some kind of game block application that prohibits students from accessing these websites while making use of University Wi-Fi.

- Prof. Marcus W. Bolton

You decide to write a response to the university newsletter in which you:

  • give your opinion about banning gaming websites at University, and
  • give at least two arguments to support your opinion.

Your answer should be between 65 and 100 words.
NB: do not write lists / do not use bullet points.

Sample answer task 4:
I think Prof. Marcus W. Bolton has a good point. Students should not play games on their mobile phones during lectures. The professor puts effort in preparing lectures, so if  students attend, they should also put effort into learning something from the lectures. Furthermore, the professor can also get demotivated and distracted when he/she notices that students play games during lectures.