Ah, the wonders of writing!

A must-have selection of GCSE resources, advice, tips, activities and wonderful web links

This library is all about improving writing; whether it be writing to describe, to argue, to comment, to persuade, writing letters, writing about personal experience or writing magazine articles, we've got it covered right here in this collection of resources and web links.

Enjoy, and good luck!


The softest kiss in film history

The Rookie and the Pro do descriptive writing.
From Result! issue 1 (pgs 30, 31).
Download The softest kiss in film history in PDF format
Cool, calm and collected

Learn how to construct your writing to argue.
From Result! issue 2 (pgs 30, 31).
Download Cool, calm and collected in PDF format
A burning issue?

It's time to be yourself in writing to comment.
From Result! issue 3 (pgs 30, 31).
Download A burning issue? in PDF format
Once upon a time

Writing about a time when...
From Result! issue 4 (pgs 30, 31).
Download Once upon a time in PDF format
Fitter features

Top tips for writing magazine articles.
From Result! issue 5 (pgs 30, 31).
Download Fitter features in PDF format
Who cares wins

Explaining your way to a better grade.
Fro Result! issue 6 (pgs 30, 31).
Download Who cares wins in PDF format

Everything you need to know about letters.
From Result! issue 7 (pgs 12, 13).
Download Retro-writing in PDF format
This game of inches

Writing powerful, persuasive speeches.
From Result! issue 8 (pgs 30, 31).
Download This game of inches in PDF format
Persuasive writing quiz

Check how much you know about persuasive writing with this quiz from BBC Bitesize.
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Topics for speeches

Here's a list of topics from past GCSE papers that you can use to practise your persuasive writing.
Download Topics for speeches in PDF format

Find a massive collection of topics intended for debate here on the 'Debatabase'. Each topic comes with a long list of pros and cons which you could use as a starting point for writing your own speech.
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This game will test your knowledge of persuasive technqiues - some of them apply to presentation devices as well as language features.
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Obama speeches

Use this worksheet to take a close look at Barack Obama's acceptance and inauguration speeches. Apply the same approach to analyse another speech of your choice.
Download Obama speeches in PDF format
American rhetoric

This website hosts a selection of movie speeches. Find two or three to analyse in the style of the Al Pacino speech in this week's Result!
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Persuasive techniques

Match up the techniques with the descriptions and the examples in this worksheet. Then, write a persuasive speech of your own using as many of the techniques as you can.
Download Persuasive techniques in PDF format
Watch the clip

Watch this clip from 'Any Given Sunday' that features the speech annotated in this week's Result! magazine.
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Write to your council

Write to your actual council arguing for improvements they should make to the lives of young people.
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How to write to an MP

Use the Bitesize guide to find out how to write a letter to an MP. This sample argues for new standards for the care of dairy cattle.
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Letter writing quiz

BBC Bitesize is brilliant for revision! Remember to go back to the KS3 and even KS2 pages for topics you need extra help with. This quiz is on the KS2 page and it's a lovely letter writing reminder.
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Letter generator

This online tool from ReadWriteThink is great for revising the layout of a letter, though you will need to provide all the words yourself!
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Letters for every occasion

Revise your letter writing with this website dedicated entirely to the art of putting pen to paper. You'll find guidelines and samples for all sorts of styles on this site.
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Getting letter writing right

Find tips on how to layout a letter, which form of address to use and appropriate abbreviations with this page on the Using English website.
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The Schoolsnet site has some information on the basic principles of writing to explain, along with handy exercises to perfect your technique.
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BBC Bitesize writing to explain

Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiaite between informing, explaining and describing. The BBC Bitesize site will help clarify the differences.
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Andrew Moore on original writing

The Universal Teacher website has a section on original writing. Although it's aimed at coursework it's great for revision too.
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Advice for writing lively articles

The Englishbiz site has lots of excellent advice for your GCSE English exams, including this guide to writing 'the liveliest, most interesting and involving article ever ...' which is a claim worth investigating!
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Writing a magazine article

This worksheet offers a useful, basic outline for writing a magazine article.
Download Writing a magazine article in PDF format
Engaging stories

Use the prompts and examples in this worksheet to help boost your grades when writing to entertain.
Download Engaging stories in PDF format
What's most important?

Think about the most important elements of your writing to entertain with this interactive tool from Teachit. Put the statements in order of importance and remember to apply them to your own writing.
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Writing tips

Sound advice here from Englishbiz on writing stories, including an A* example.
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Opening lines

Take a look at these opening lines from fiction and decide what makes them work. You could use them to practise your own writing by continuing the stories.
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Amy Tan talks

Author Amy Tan talks about her experience of writing from personal experience.
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Examples of comment from David Mitchell

A selection of videos in which comedian and writer David Mitchell gets on his soap box ...
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Jamie Oliver's cooking course

When he's not busy tracking down 'dream teachers' Jamie Oliver is also a celebrity chef. Here is a news article about him working with an exam board - use this as the stimulus for writing to comment (see this week's Result! magazine for more details.)
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Tasks to practise

Here's a splendid selection of tasks from the British Film Industry website which you could use to practise your writing. You might want to read through and cherry pick your favourites, or if you're really keen, do the lot!
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Writing bingo!

Here's a cute game from the BBC Bitesize site that will test your skills in writing for specific audiences.
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Use the opinion sections of the websites for The Independent and The Guardian newspapers and read some arguments. Pay close attention to how they are constructed and pick up some ideas for your own writing.
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Write to your MP

Have a look at www.theyworkforyou.com or www.writetothem.com to find out who your local concilors and MPs/MEPs are and practise writing to argue by sending them a letter about a local issue.
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Examples and suggestions

This document has an example of writing to argue along with questions and tasks and also pointers on how to write your own clear argument. Click on the image to open the file.
Download Examples and suggestions in PDF format
Writing to argue activities

This activity on writing to argue, persuade and advise is from BBC Bitesize, and though it's aimed at KS3, it's entertaining and worth having a play with as revision. If you want something similar, and more challenging, try this interactive tool for GCSE, also from Bitesize.
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BBC Bitesize - Writing to argue

You'll find some helpful reminders about writing to argue (and to persuade and advise) on BBC Bitesize. Read through, revise and test your understanding.
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Debating game

Test your skills in this debating game from BBC Bitesize. You need to pick the most persuasive answers to win!
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If you've read the 'Cool, calm and collected' article, and want to see some serious arguments in action, you can't go far wrong with these speeches about E-learning and the Internet as a force for democratisation. These are from Oxford University's debating hall, the Oxford Union, so you can expect them to be rather challenging. You'll also find lots of excellent (and inspiring!) arguments from speakers on www.ted.com.
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50 greatest movie moments

Write a description of your own favourite film moment using these 50 greatest movie moments as inspiration.
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Style models

It's always a good idea to find some good quality style models - the more you read, the easier you will find it to write in a similar style. Try Empire Magazine and The Guardian Film as good sources of film reviews.
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Write to inform, explain, describe

This resource from Teachit was originally designed to help students with their coursework, but you can use it to revise.
Download Write to inform, explain, describe in PDF format
Listen to advice

You can download this audiobite from BBC Bitesize and revise writing to describe on the go!
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Writing reminders

Another BBC Bitesize page with helpful advice on Writing to inform, explain and describe, plus an interactive tool to check you're on the right track.
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