Web Interstitial Ad Example

【DSE英文科Tips】Paper 2摘星攻略《二》


In the last article, we have reviewed the format of Paper 2, identified some questions to think about when we plan our writing, and learnt how to succeed in the paper based on the three marking criteria: content, language and organisation. 

This time we’re going to look at some common text types (體裁) that would appear in Paper 2.  

I. Common text types in Exam Paper 2 (past papers 2015-2018)

Part A (10%)
Short-writing task: 200 words

Text Type:What are you writing?Letter to the editorSpeechFormal letterFormal letter
Role:Who are you?a reader of the Young Postthe President of the Students’ Unionthe chairperson of the school’s Social Service Clubthe class teacher of Class 6A
Intended reader/ Target audience:Who are you writing to?the Editor of the Young Postthe new students at your schoolthe school principalparents
Purpose:Why are you writing?to express your viewsto give advice(建議/勸告)to propose (提議) a projectto inform (通知)
Tone:What’s the mood? How should you sound like?argumentative(爭論的)persuasive(勸說的)persuasiveInformative(提供資訊的)

Part B (15%)Long-writing task: 400 words

Theme(elective module) Text Type
 Sports Communication Formal letter(to the principal) Letter to the editor Feature article Blog post
 Workplace Communication Formal email
(to the manager)
 School magazine article Letter to the editorResponding to a letter of complaint
 Debating Letter to the editor Letter to the editor  Debate speech
 Social Issues School magazine article Theme essay Report Letter of advice
 Short Stories Formal email
(to the teacher)
 Short story
 Popular Culture Report Proposal Letter to the editor Feature article
 Poems and Songs Formal letter
(to the Central Library)
 Opinion essay Blog post Application letter
 Drama Short storyInformal email(to your parents) Theme essay Magazine article

After knowing the common text types that would appear in Paper 2, we should familiarize ourselves with the format and style of each text type. Let’s explore three popular genres.

a. Formal letter/email
Past exam question:

Learning English through Poems and SongsThe Hong Kong Central Library is holding a language arts festival during the summer break to enhance students’ interest in learning English. Secondary schools have been asked to submit their suggestions for activities at the festival.As the chairperson of the school’s Poetry Club, your teacher has asked you to write a letter to the Central Library suggesting two interesting activities. You should also explain how these activities would increase students’ interest in learning English.(2015 DSE Paper 2 Part B Q.8)

Approaching the question step-by-step:

Text Type: formal letter

Role: the chairperson of the school’s Poetry Club

Intended reader: the Central Library

Purpose: to suggest English learning activities for the language arts festival

Tone: polite and persuasive (勸說的)

Example Outline:

GreetingDear Sir/Madam
Opening– State your purpose clearly
e.g. “In response to the Central Library’s open call for submission of activities at the coming arts festival, I am writing with two suggestions for your consideration.”
Body– Describe the 1st activity in detail and explain how it would increase students’ interest in learning EnglishUseful expressions for making a suggestion:
 · “My first suggestion is…”   
 · “First of all I suggest…”  
 · “I would like to suggest”- Describe the 2nd activity in detail and explain how it would increase students’ interest in learning EnglishUseful expressions for making further suggestions:
 · “I further suggest…”
 · “I would further suggest…”
 ·  “Another possibility is…”
 · “A further possibility is…”
Closing– Briefly restate your two suggestions and reasons- Show your willingness to offer further help
e.g. “I hope my suggestions are of benefit to you. I will be delighted/I am more than willing to provide more specific information regarding my suggested activities.”
Sign offYours faithfully
(Your title)
(Your school name)

b. Letter to the editor
Past exam question:

Learning English through Workplace Communication It has recently been claimed that in the workplace many Hong Kong fresh university   graduates are less hard-working and less willing to face challenges compared to those in the past.You strongly disagree with this opinion. Write a letter to the editor of the Hong Kong Daily disagreeing with this opinion. Support your view with three reasons and/or examples.(2017 DSE Paper 2 Part B Q.9)

Approaching the question step-by-step:

Text Type: letter to the editor

Role: a reader of the Hong Kong Daily

Intended reader: the editor of the Hong Kong Daily

Purpose: to express your view by giving reasons as to why you disagree with the stated opinion

Tone: argumentative (爭論的)

Example Outline:

GreetingDear editor,
Opening– State your purpose clearly
– Cite your stance
e.g. “I am writing to dispute recent claims about our graduates, which portray them as lazier counterparts to past generations who are unwillingly to face challenges at the workplace.”
Body1. Give reasons, present evidence (證據) (e.g. facts or figures) and examples to support your viewpoints
2. Raise opponents’ points of view and provide evidence to refute (駁斥) their points of viewUseful expressions for argumentative writing:“I believe/suppose…”              “It occurs/seems to me that…”“There is no doubt that…”“It is obvious/ undeniable that…”“Some people claim / argue / believe / think that…”“An argument commonly put forward is that…”“Those that support (topic) argue / believe / claim that…”“I can see no reason why…” “There is no evidence to suggest that…”
ClosingRestate your stance: you disagree with the stated opinion
Sign offYours faithfully,

c. ArticlePast exam question:

Learning English through Popular Culture‘Athleisure’ is currently one of the biggest trends in the fashion industry. This is a term for clothes that can be worn both for exercise and as everyday wear.Write an article for the local newspaper explaining possible reasons for the rise in popularity of athleisure.(2018 DSE Paper 2 Part B Q.6)

Approaching the question step-by-step:

Text Type: feature article

Role: a contributor

Intended reader: the general public

Purpose: to inform readers about the trend ‘Athleisure’ by explaining the reasons for its rise in

Tone: informative, journalistic and entertaining

Example Outline:

TitleGive your article a short and interesting title to attract the interest of the reader
OpeningIntroduce your topic by providing some background information of the issue/situation
e.g. provide a definition of athleisure
 BodyElaborate on the topic and give reasons and evidence to support your viewpoints
e.g.  reasons for the rise in popularity of athleisure: comfort, style, change in lifestyle, convenience, affordability, celebrity endorsement 
 ClosingBriefly summarise your ideas (make your conclusion concise and thought-provoking)

III. Recommendations for candidates

Things to consider when choosing a suitable topic for Paper 2 Part B:

  • Do I understand the question completely?
  • Am I familiar with the required text type (i.e. its format and style)?
  • Am I interested in the topic? Am I familiar with the issue discussed in the question?
  • What are my strengths in writing?

If you’re creative and have lots of original ideas → possible choices: narrative writing (記敘文) /descriptive writing (描寫文) e.g. short story, diary entry

Safer choices: expository writing (說明文) /argumentative writing (議論文) e.g. article, formal/informal letter, letter to the editor, one-sided/two-sided argumentative essay