AP Lenguaje y cultura
Strategies | PART A: E-mail Reply
You can improve your performance on the exam by using the following strategies.
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1. Understand the formatAs the directions state: "You will write a reply to an e-mail message. You have 15 minutes to read the message and write your reply." Your reply should contain at least 125–150 words in order to answer the e-mail effectively.
2. Budget your time wisely.In order to complete the task in the 15 minutes provided, make sure you leave yourself enough time to compose a comprehensive reply.
3. Use the formal registerThe directions explicitly state that your reply should use a formal form of address. Be sure to write your e-mail using theUstedform, and use appropriately formal expressions for your greeting and your closing.
4. Determine the taskAs you read the e-mail, identify the questions you are being asked and underline them. As you formulate your reply, make sure you re-read the questions to see that you've covered everything.
5. Mark up the page.Avoid having to re-read parts of the e-mail: underline or circle key words or sections that prompt you for information you need to answer or provide, or for which you need to ask for more details. This helps conserve time and guides your thought process.
6. Respond to the questionsFocus your reply on responding to the questions you are being asked. Make sure your answers are complete and comprehensible.
7. Request more detailsIt is a requirement of this format that you request more details about something mentioned in the message. Remember to engage with the e-mail by asking for more details and eliciting further information about something mentioned.
8. Pay attention to cultural referencesInclude cultural references mentioned in the e-mail in your reply, as appropriate.
9. Vary your vocabularyTry not to repeat words or expressions; look for appropriate synonyms and alternate ways of saying things to prove you have a broad vocabulary. Avoid overly-used words.
10. Use complex languageRaise your level of communication by using a variety of structures. Include compound sentences and complex structures rather than sticking to basic language.
11. Watch your verb tensesBe consistent in your use of verb tenses. You will want to show a range of verb tenses if appropriate, but be careful to maintain consistency. If you are writing in the present tense, stay in the present tense. Alternating between past and present tenses can make your writing confusing.
12. Use what you knowIncorporate what you know —historical and/or cultural information— if it applies in order to demonstrate your knowledge.
13. Be accurateCheck your writing for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and accentuation errors. You will be graded on both your ideas and the quality of your expression.
14. Make sure your message is completeBe sure to include all the elements requested in the directions: "Your reply should include a greeting and a closing and should respond to all the questions and requests in the message. In your reply, you should also ask for more details about something mentioned in the message."
15. Check your workOnce you finish writing, re-read your response to make sure you have answered all the questions and asked for further information. Pay attention to the following:
· Eliminate repetition.
· Be concise.
· Eliminate weak verbs.
· Is your reasoning logical?
· Does your writing flow well? Have you used appropriate transitions?
· Is your e-mail clear and cohesive?
16. Memorize the direction lines!
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