The Cambridge b2 exam format for writing skills 7

FCE First Certificate course Lesson 16

Dialogue Lesson 16

Dialogue 16: Writing an essay, example

Instructions: With many stars being criticised lately for complaining about their enduring lifestyle and the constant attention received by the media, the question remains: isn’t that the price for fame? What are the pros, cons and limits of the price for fame? Write your essay.

Alexandra has to write her essay. She has outlined her main ideas and bullet-pointed the arguments and examples. She only has to write 180 words but has compiled plenty of ideas to choose from. This is her first draft.


In this essay I will discuss the different paths to fame and its consequences on those celebrities’ lives and the privacy issues raised. Indeed many celebrities complain that they have no privacy and are outraged with the ruthless tabloid tactics used by the mainstream media. We will see:

1) how people become famous,

2) the pros of fame,

3) the cons of fame,

4) the limits of the price for fame [conclusion]

(Argument 1)

Becoming a star can be achieved in different manners – whether you are an actor, a musician, an athlete, a content creator, a CEO or a regular person appearing in a reality show:

  • Some people have taken it upon themselves to become recognised and be famous as often fame and success are interpreted as being synonymous to them. They don’t always have a particular talent but are desperate for media attention, posting real time news, updates and selfies on social networks, parading their children, showing off their figures…
  • Others will do literally anything to be in the limelight or to remain in the public eye.
  • Others however try during their entire career to remain private people, seeking success in the field, striving to become a name in their industry but without any interest in fame.
  • And others that have tasted fame have tried to pull out from the public eye but have lost their relevance.

(Argument 2)

The pros of fame are numerous and we can easily understand the appeal:

  • Brands endorse celebrities, giving them large sums of money or freebies to promote their goods or services.
  • Celebrities get invited to red carpet and other glamorous events.
  • You can become a sensation and a spokesperson for a generation or a field (YouTube).
  • You can use your international status to give coverage to charities and promote good causes across the globe.

(Argument 3)

The cons of fame are also countless:

  • Celebrities have to put up with the constant criticism of the fan base and the general public, receiving hurtful emails, nasty comments on Twitter and so on.
  • The tabloids are constantly tracking down celebrities.
  • Celebrities can also be very easily forgotten or disposed of: losing one’s relevance, giving the celebrity a feeling of emptiness. Some are then desperate for a comeback.
  • Celebrities can get lost in the whole glitz and fall into a spiral of drugs and other excesses.
  • Celebrities can feel lonely.
  • Celebrities can be the target of serial celebrity pranksters, harassment, burglars or stalkers.


The limits of the price for fame:

  • Although, it is important to receive criticism and appraisal from your viewers or followers, in order to improve your performance or sell more, some criticism is just a negative flow having the adverse effect on the star’s life and career choices.
  • Ability to stay relevant is what stops them from taking a break. Breaks are a death sentence for most celebrities, destroying their livelihood.
  • In this day and age, the whole concept of privacy is falling apart.”

Vocabulary Lesson 16




long-lasting, persisting

the price for

the cost of, the result of

the pros and cons

the advantages and disadvantages

to take it upon oneself

to accept responsibility for something without being asked to

in the limelight

to be the focus of public attention

to strive to

to make great efforts to obtain or achieve something

to endorse someone

to recommend something in an advertisement, to back or show support to someone

a spokesperson

a person who makes statements on behalf of an group or a group


very many, too many to be counted

to put up with something or someone

to tolerate

to track down

to find something or someone after looking for them in a lot of different places

to dispose of

to get rid of, to throw away

a prankster

a person fond of playing practical jokes, of playing pranks

to have the adverse effect

having a unfavourable result or negative effect


Exam Tips 16

Exam tip FCE lesson 16

How to write a LETTER or an EMAIL:

Before writing a letter, please consider whom you are writing to and the purpose of the letter:

  • a complaint (formal)
  • a suggestion (formal),
  • an advice (informal)
  • an application (formal),
  • an enquiry (formal),
  • asking questions (informal)
  • an informal personal catch-up
  • good wishes (informal),
  • congratulations (formal).

General tips for a successful writing piece:

  1. check you are using the right tone: formal or informal.
  2. make sure that you include all the information that you have been asked to cover
  3. ensure that you completing the task based on the requirements
  4. proofread your work to remove any typos or other mistakes before submitting your work

What is the difference between an informal and a formal letter?


Informal Letter

Formal Letter


Generally between 2 people that know each other quite well. The tone is similar to a conversation: with numerous questions being asked (showing interest), the use of emotions (i.e. enthusiastic tone…) and a lot of information being shared.

More of a professional or non personal exchange. Both people don’t know each other that well or aren’t on a first-name basis.


You can use contracted forms (I’m, aren’t…)

You must not use contractions


Hello/Hi/Dear + Recipient’s first name

Dear Madam, Dear Sir, Dear Miss, Dear Mr …., Dear Ms ….

Standard openings

How are you?/I hope you are well.
How have you been lately?/ How are things?/How are you doing?
Thank you for your last letter.
It was good to hear from you.
I was actually quite surprised to hear that… Do forgive me for not writing sooner. / I am sorry I haven’t been in touch lately.
It’s been ages since we last spoke.

I am writing in response to your ad/article/letter… I am writing with regard to…
I am writing on behalf of…
I am writing regarding…

Receiving information

That is great news about…
I am so glad to hear that…
I am truly sorry to hear that…

I am writing to thank you for the information you provided me with….

Giving information

You will never believe what/that…
Another thing I would like to mention is…
I thought you might be interested in knowing / to hear about / to know that..
By the way, did you know that…?

I am writing in order to inform you that…


I’m writing to apologise for…
I hope you can forgive me for… I’m really sorry that…

I would like to express my sincere apologies…


I’m writing to let you know that I am not very happy with the…

I am writing in order to complain about… I am writing to complain about…


Keep in touch!
I look forward to hearing from you. Write (to) me soon.

Yours sincerely (if you know the person’s name) Your faithfully (if you don’t know the person’s name)
I look forward to receiving your reply.

Grammar and Vocabulary recommended Videos

Exercises FCE 16

Vocabulary Exercise

Comprehension Exercise

Grammar Exercise