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  1. #1
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    Writing Srories and Factual Reports

    Hello!
    That's a great site! I could hardly find a better one on the net. If I had to describe it, I would use the following key words: "qualitative", "informative", "helpful",... "perfect". :D

    This subsection is a real treasure. I am working on my own with some ESL literature and need help with compositions.

    Please, just go over the compositions below, and check them for any mistakes and stylistic incorrections. I would be grateful for a piece of advice on how I can improve myself.

    The task was taken from Mission FCE 1 coursebook. (If anybody is working with this book at the moment, I would be happy to get into contact with him/her.)

    Here it is:

    Mission FCE, Unit 1, Exam Focus, Ex. 12

    Task :
    Write the story and the factual report based on the pictures following the outlines on page 24.
    (The absence of pictures shouldn't be a problem, just look through this text and say whether it's written approriately.)

    Answer:

    1. Story:
    When I was visiting my cousin in Australia, I was offered the chance to fly a private airplane. After taking a few lessons on how to steer a light aircraft and what to do in case of an accident I was provided with a personal instructor, who would accompany me on my first flight.
    It was about to dawn when we got on to the tiny plane early in the morning. The sky was cloudless and according to the weather forecast the weather would not change until the next day. I was very excited and a bit nervous. The take-off was smooth and easy and within minutes we could get a marvellous view of the sunrise at an altitude of about two kilometres. It was amazing.
    A few minutes later we heard a loud bang, like an explosion. We saw smoke coming out of the propeller and it suddenly stopped rotating. We began to lose height. My instructor immediately took over the control of the plane and was trying to steer it upright to gain height, but it would hardly function. Then he said we had to prepare for an emergency landing. Fortunately, I saw a farmhouse not far away and suggested that we should try to land there.
    It was getting far too bumpy and I literally stuck myself into the seat. I was extremely scared, so when we were about to land, there was nothing left to do but pray. Just moments after I had closed my eyes, the plane hit the ground so fiercely that I was knocked out. It seemed eternity to have passed when I heard a voice. I opened my eyes and saw a man trying to drag out my instructor, who was badly injured. His whole head was in blood, but he was still alive as I could hear him mumbling something.
    I soon realised that my right leg was broken, but I could still move and helped the man to carry the instructor out of the plane, which looked like a pile of debris. Minutes later I looked round to see it explode in the distance.
    I was comforted to know that we were alive. After two weeks in hospital we were fit again and the man, who turned out to be a farmer, was awarded a prize for his bravery. It was an unforgettable experience, but despite all the dangers, I am still fascinated about flying and that’s the reason why I have entered the Galway Flying Club.


    2. Factual Report :
    Bob Smith was alone at his farm early in the morning last Sunday when he was woken up by a loud noise of an approaching airplane. He went out and saw a light aircraft crash not far from his farmhouse. The plane was occupied by two men – an instructor and a trainee.
    Alan Gordon and Peter Corey, the two victims, said there had been an explosion and smoke started to pour out of the airplane nose. They also said that moments later the propeller had stopped rotating, making the plane go out of control. This eventually led to an inevitable crash. The instructor, however, after taking over the control of the plane, applied all his skills to prevent it from hitting the ground vertically. By doing so Mr. Gordon saved the passenger’s and his own lives.
    The crash caused serious injuries to the instructor, as well as to the trainee. After this the fearless farmer had helped both men leave the burning plane seconds before it exploded. He was awarded a prize for his courageous actions. Mr. Smith commented: “It is nothing short of a miracle that both guys stayed alive. They were moments away from death! I am happy to know I grabbed them back from its hands.” Peter Corey said it was his first flight on a private airplane. “In spite of this accident, which almost cost me my life, I am still determined to fly and will do so by entering the Galway Flying Club,” – he added. God bless you, Mr. Corey.


    I am looking forward to your comments. Thank you. :D

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    At VCE level,I would say these would both get very good grades. They have what people are looking for- they are clear, organised.

    The style of the first is fine.

    The second reads more like a newspaper report than a factual report. I presume they want a genuine accident report, in which case the way it is written doesn't fit exactly. It would be fine for an article. If it is a report, shouldn't there be headings and shouldn't it look at the facts, then the cause? Instead of starting with names, start with the crash,, give details,then an explanation.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    PS- Change this:
    After an expertise the plane crash was put down to engine failure.

  4. #4
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    Hello!
    First, thank you very much for your help and a piece of advice you gave. :D

    The second reads more like a newspaper report than a factual report. I presume they want a genuine accident report, in which case the way it is written doesn't fit exactly. It would be fine for an article. If it is a report, shouldn't there be headings and shouldn't it look at the facts, then the cause? Instead of starting with names, start with the crash,, give details,then an explanation.
    Hm...you seem to be right. :?
    While writing, I basically stuck to the outlines given in the coursebook (Mission FCE 1). It's in Exam Focus section of the 1st Unit and it's about techniques for writing narratives. The authors divide narratives in two broad sections - stories (imaginary stories, true stories, describing experience, tales etc.) and factual reports. And that's where they define the latter as actually news reports (events, current affairs, accidents, disasters etc). So then they explain how these should be structured...
    It's strange but I'll bear your suggestions in mind.
    (I ignored headings because I wanted to focus on the body of the text...It's not required in the task, either...(As far as I know) One can ignore headings in the FCE just as avoid writing addresses in letters.)

    PS- Change this:
    After an expertise the plane crash was put down to engine failure.
    Thanks that you noticed this! It doesn't fit in there at all!
    (I'll delete this sentence.)
    Hm...Do you think the sentence "God bless you, Mr. Corey." shouldn't be there, either?...It's in personal style...hence, might not be welcome in a report.

    You mentioned VCE. What is it?...An exam like FCE, CAE or something?

    And again...Many thanks!!! :D

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I meant FCE- I'm a bad typist.

    You can ignore addresses in letters, but reports should look like reports, so headings are appropriate. Given the definition in your book, you have carried out the task well. When they ask, say, for a brochure, it should not just have a body text, but should have headings, etc. As I understand it,the reason they dropped addresses was to stop students writing huge addresses and taking up too many words. In a true report, there would be no call for 'God bless, Mr Corey', but in a newspaper report, this would be fine.



  6. #6
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    You're right...A heading must be there.
    Hm...What would be passable in this context? :?
    Would the following fit in:
    "Two Injured in Plane Crash near Newcastle" for example? :?
    I looked up some news articles dealing with plane crashes. There is also a sort of an introduction, which follows a heading and summarizes the whole article...Hm...the same function seems to have the first paragraph of my report, however... :?
    Would this be OK for my news report:
    "A farmer rescues two plane crash victims on Sunday morning not far from Newcastle. Moments later the plane explodes. Both crew members are badly injured but survive."
    Thanks :D

  7. #7
    sea.girl is offline Newbie
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    Re: Writing Srories and Factual Reports

    Im working with this book at the momen......if u want we can speak togetger. I found this site cos i had the same homework. To write factual report and story.
    Im lazy girl. So i decided to find smth in the net. And found this site. and im really HAPPY

  8. #8
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: Writing Srories and Factual Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by sea.girl View Post
    Im working with this book at the momen......if u want we can speak togetger. I found this site cos i had the same homework. To write factual report and story.
    Im lazy girl. So i decided to find smth in the net. And found this site. and im really HAPPY
    Welcome to the forum - I hope you will find it helpful. You are not likely to receive an answer to this from the original person, as if you look it dates back to 2004. However, please do ask questions - but start a new thread for each one.

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