Writing Strategy

Try to use a variety of phrases to move your narrative forwards. Choose ones which show that the next event happened immediately afterwards or some time later.

1. Read the Writing Strategy. Then complete the sequencing phrases and match the headings below with groups A and B.

Immediately after        Some time later


     1   s__ __ __ __ __ __y

     2   at t__ __ __  m__ __ __ __ __

     3   just t__ __ __

     4   a few m__m__ __ __ __ l__ __ __ __


     5   shortly a __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

     6   a s__ __ __ __ while l__ __ __ __

     7   before l__ __ __

     8   after a w__ __ __ __

     9   soon a__ __ __ __

     10   s__ __ __


your own answers

2. Read the task and the model text. Underline three sequencing phrases in the email.

Imagine you’ve just visited your French penfriend in Paris. Write an email to your English friend in which you:

–  describe your penfriend’s house.

–  describe a crime you saw taking place in Paris.

–  say how you and your friend reacted to the crime.

–  ask for some information.


Dear Holly,

Hope you’re well. I stayed with my penfriend Cécile in Paris last week. She lives in a beautiful flat near the Canal Saint-Martin. It’s a really trendy part of town. At weekends, lots of young people sit by the river, have picnics and play the guitar.

During my stay with Cécilie, we saw a mugging in the centre of town, near the Eiffel Tower. A man grabbed a woman’s handbag and ran off with it. Straight away, her boyfriend chased after him, but the street was very crowded. Soon, he gave up.

We both felt quite shocked at first, but the woman didn’t seem too upset. After a while, we stopped worrying about it and the rest of the holiday was really enjoyable.

Really looking forward to visiting you next week. Are we going camping? What do I need to bring?

Best wishes,



your own answers

3. Read the writing task. Then make brief notes following the structure in the table below.

Imagine you’ve just spent three days in New York with the family. Write an email to your English friend in which you:

–  give a short description of the hotel you stayed at.

–  describe a crime you saw taking place.

–  say whether the crime changed how you feel about the city, and why.

–  ask for some information.

What is your hotel like? (large / small, friendly / unfriendly, etc. 


What crime did you see? (mugging / shoplifting / robbery, etc.)

Where were you and what happened? 


Did you feelings about New York change? (safe / dangerous, friendly / unfriendly, etc.) 


What information do you need? 



your own answers

Writing Guide

4. Write an email using your notes from exercise 3. Remember to include and develop all four points in the task.


your own answers

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