CAMBRIDGE C1 ADVANCED (CAE) PROPOSAL – TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

If you found your way to this post, you must be an advanced student and quite likely, also a candidate for Cambridge C1 Advanced. In that case, you might as well be familiar with the information I am going to share here. Having said that, you can still use this post as a tool to help you revise and rethink what a proposal is all about. Try this: before reading the content under each question or heading, test your knowledge by answering yourself first. Give it a shot! At worst you will build up curiosity. At best you will boost your confidence. And now, without further ado, let’s get down to work.

PROPOSAL – TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

16 questions to ask yourself about: Cambridge C1 proposal.

(scroll down for my answers)

 

1- Is it compulsory? 

2- Should I use a title and headings?

3- How many words should I write?

4- What is a proposal?

5- Who is it written for?

6- What is expected of candidates?

7- What kind of language should students focus on?

8- Do I know at least two examples of the functional language previously mentioned? 

9- What is in common with other C1 writings? (Say at least three things)

10- What is the main difference between a report and a proposal?

11- Should I express my opinion? If so, when?

12- Should I write a long introduction?

13- How can I start the introduction?

14- How can I recommend courses of action? 

15- How can I create an effective conclusion?

16- Do I need to learn how to write a proposal even if I know I can choose another type of writing?


ANSWERS

1- Is it compulsory? 

No. A proposal may be one of the tasks in Writing Part 2.

There are five types of tasks (proposal, review, report, letter, email or informal letter) and you will be given three of them to choose from.

2- Should I use a title and headings?

Yes. This will help your proposal look well-organised and up to the mark.

3- How many words should I write?

Between 220 and 260 words.

4- What is a proposal?

A proposal is a formal piece of writing that is intended to inform about a situation and offer suggestions for improvement (recommendations) as well as convincing the readers of the benefits of implementing those changes.

5- Who is it written for?

“A proposal may be written for a peers group (such as colleagues or club members), or for a supervisor (such as a boss or a college principal).”

Source: C1 Advanced. Handbook for teachers.

6- What is expected of candidates?

“Candidates will be expected to make one or more suggestions, supported by factual information and evaluation, in order to persuade the reader of a course of action.”

Source: C1 Advanced. Handbook for teachers.

7- What kind of language should students focus on?

“Students should work on functional language for evaluating and for making suggestions and polite recommendations and will need to be able to use a range of persuasive language.”

Source: C1 Advanced. Handbook for teachers.

8- Do I know at least two examples of the functional language previously mentioned? 

Evaluating

  • It has been observed that ….
  • A survey among _________ has shown that / has shed light on …

Making suggestions 

  • It is suggested that + clause
  • I’d like to put forward the following suggestion.

Polite recommendations

  • It is highly recommended that … + clause
  • I propose that we create/promote …

Persuasive language

  • This change will have a powerful impact on …
  • It has been proven that the implementation of ____ brings great benefits to ___

9- What is in common with other C1 writings? (Say at least three things)

  • Brainstorming ideas and forward planning will head you in the right direction before you start writing.
  • You must pay close attention to what is asked and avoid writing irrelevant content.
  • Be aware of the word count and the appropriate layout.
  • Deploy your arguments with suitable advanced language and complex grammatical structures.
  • As with the essay and the report, proposals need an introduction and a conclusion.
  • Use advanced connectors.

10- What is the main difference between a report and a proposal?

Whereas a report looks into something that exists/existed and analyses it, a proposal also looks at the present situation but it goes beyond by suggesting actions for change. It is about the future and about how to make improvements.

11- Should I express my opinion? If so, when?

Yes, but do not express it openly until the end of the proposal. Throughout the writing take a distance by expressing your ideas from an impersonal standpoint with structures like these:

  • It is recommended that …

12- Should I write a long introduction?

A concise introduction mentioning the topic of discussion and establishing the main purpose of the proposal is best. 

Make an effort to paraphrase and change the words given in the task as much as you can. 

13- How can I start the introduction?

The main purpose/aim of this proposal is to…analyse, highlight, bring attention to…

and recommend some possible solutions/courses of action.

14- How can I recommend courses of action? 

    • It would be advantageous to
    • It is suggested/recommended that … 

15- How can I create an effective conclusion?

The conclusion should summarise what you have said before, if possible in different words.

  • Taking all of the factors into account…

16- Do I need to learn how to write a proposal even if I know I can choose another type of writing?

The answer to this is very personal. If I were you, I would be well acquainted with all the tasks. That gives you more scope for successful writing. 

 


NOTE

Here are links to three articles explaining in detail how to write an essay for the Cambridge C1 exam.