Cambridge Proficiency or CPE essay writing is the mandatory exam task in part 1. Here we will look at what you need to know and how to write a proficiency essay.
In the Proficiency essay question you are asked to summarise the key points in two given texts and to evaluate them with your own supporting opinions. Each of these texts is approximately 100 words each.
Initially you need to identify the key points in each of the texts. While the truncated nature of texts makes this task reasonably straightforward, be mindful of what the supporting sentences do in the context. Linking them with their respective key information should also simplify the process. Another essential element of this CPE essay and other writing tasks is the emphasis on the use of your own ideas and language. You should avoid “lifting” entire phrases, even individual words from the texts and put your efforts into drafting your own alternatives.
As always this is just a brief overview of what the essay intends to consider. Some initial comments on the topic for discussion and the overall context tend to provide the best approach. Having a strong initial sentence can also help focus reader attention on what you have to say.
There are many ways to address this question. A common method is to combine the respective key points together in two paragraphs for discussion. As the initial texts provided context, these points will more readily combine in the exploration of a particular facet of the theme.
A second approach might be to place each point in its own paragraph to explore. While such an option potentially facilitates better individual examination of points, the word limits in the question make such an approach a lot more challenging.
The conclusion should draw the essay to a natural end with some commentary and thoughts on what has preceded and on the themes provided by the texts. You may also find it an opportunity to add some further ideas that the essay has brought up.
Memory is something that defines us as humans in many different ways. It informs our perceptions of past events and memories, which in turn help us make present and future decisions.
We are fascinated with quality of having a good memory so much so that some people regularly apologize for poor recall. To add to this perceived flaw in our memories we now have to deal with the potentially less beneficial influence of technology on how we can recall information. No longer do we seek nuggets of knowledge from our memory banks but instead we make a technology source our first call. This has implications for how we may use and train our own memories in the future.
Our perception of our memory can also sometimes be at odds with reality where we are inclined to believe that memories are perfect representations of past events. Yet, this does not take account of how such memories has been shaped by experiences and the extent to which our imagination may have altered or influenced that memory. Nevertheless, we cannot imagine the level of loss for those whose memory is disrupted or lost through some type of catastrophic event. Memories speaks to the very heart of who we are and with this often debilitating setback it may hasten further health issues.
Memory is unquestionably complex as a concept but it still is one of the most valuable things we have in our lives. Notwithstanding this, we do attribute some remarkable qualities to it which may not necessarily be true. This should not be seen as a personal foible but should serve as a reminder of the need to retain a balanced view of memory.