Register: Informal/neutralUse: all your colourful vocabulary:Phrasal verbs/idioms/impressive collocations.
Forms and conventions:Title: for films/books/restaurants use the name/title or if think up an imaginative title using an idiom/expression.
Planning, 6 step system:1. Read task, underline content points.2. Divide content points into paragraphs: Intro, décor, ambiance, service, food, recommendation.3. WHAT do you want to say? Add your notes to each paragraph in simple form.4. HOW are you going to say that? Brainstorm advanced grammar and vocabulary for each note.5. Forms and conventions: Title paragraph titles, fixed introduction.6. Write! Remember word limit is: 280-320
Introduction:Personal anecdote to grab attention. Introduce name of book/film, restaurant + location, course, TV show etc.Seldom do I find the time to…, however when I do take time out of my hectic schedule, I like nothing more than…Being a bit of a film buff/book worm/foody, the news that … had opened a new restaurant/released a new film/book had me itching to try/see/read it. So last week I popped down with a friend to check it out.Having never seen/read/tried… before I approached … with a sense of trepidation, not knowing what to expect. Soon however, all my fears were allayed.
Book reviews:Vocab to describe the book in general:a page-turner / a white-knuckle ride / a tearjerker / a laugh a minute / I couldn’t put it down.Vocab to describe specific parts:a slow start / a gentle introduction /gripping climax / nail-biting conclusion / cliff-hanger ending/ a shocking twist in the tailSetting:The book is set in _______(place/time)The action takes place in ______ (place/time)the present day (now)an alternate reality where vampires / wizards walk the eartha sleepy village in the USAthe bustling city of New YorkPlot:The plot centres around / focuses on (the adventures / lives of _________)The plot follows the adventures of _________(character name)Characters:Villain / hero / heroine / anti-hero / main character / protagonistThe characters are believable / well-crafted / a bit 2 dimensional.
Film/TV reviews:General:An all-star castheavily influenced by the films of..glowing reviewsstartling originalitysuspense builds upa polished performancea bold experimentan accomplished actoran unmitigated disaster (bad film)a dazzling display of his/her talentsmade a lasting impression on me.Brought a tear to my eyeLike watching paint dry (boring)I was on the edge of my seat (exciting)A blockbuster (big commercial film eg Superman)… sets off an amazing chain of eventsGripping film (exciting)The director/author evoked a magical atmosphere… awakened my interest in…Hold my attentionCapture the audience’s imagination.Spectacular set-pieces (main action scenes)… is cast in the role of…… is miscast in the role of……gives a(n) (un)convincing performance as…The film is let down by a clichéd script.
Restaurant review:Hearty mealWholesome foodPiping-hotSucculent/juicy (meat)CreamyWith a kick (spicy)Crunchy/crispyWell-seasonedPacked with flavourA steaming plate of..Hungry/starving/ravenous/famishedBustling eatery(restaurant)Lively atmosphereService with a smileA plate piled high with..Mouth-wateringTo die forHeavenlyTo lick your lips in anticipationRoastPan-friedGrilledSteamedFreshly-baked
Restaurants cont.Make a pig of one’s selfTo feast/gorge on (eat a lot of)To eat/drink to your heart’s contentDevour/gobble upSavourNibbleBiteLickAromas wafting from the kitchenCheap – economical/reasonably-pricedExpensive – pricey/costs an arm and a leg€20 a head (per person)
Killer Lines:Were I to sum up … in one word, it would be…… left a lot to be desired (wasn’t good enough)…more than lives up to the hype (is as good as everyone says it is)… is by far and away the best … you’re likely to … this year… really raises the bar (sets a higher standard)… sets the benchmark for other (others will be judges against how good it is)… ticks all the right boxes… holds up well in comparison with ……comes off badly in comparison with …
Grammar check listHave you included?· An inversion (not only/no sooner/seldom)· An inverted conditional (Were we to…)· A participle clause (Being…/Having gone…)· A double comparative (The more we… the more)· A cleft sentence (What is most crucial is…)· Idioms· Phrasal verbs