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Organizing a written text Part 1

We want to help you improve your writing skills, and while we're at it, help you pass the DELE exams.

Category: General

a) Before you begin to write:


- If you can choose a topic, choose one that does not affect you emotionally or ideologically. Once you have chosen a topic, focus only on its more superficial aspects; if you go too deep into it you will end up focusing on content, and this exam is testing you on your speaking form, not on the content of the topic. It’s not about being superficial either, but you probably wouldn’t be able to write the Spanish version of Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” in 30 minutes.


- On a blank sheet of paper, write all the ideas you can think of on the topic.


- Then, organize them in paragraphs. For example: 


1st paragraph


The explanation of the title and why it is an interesting topic. Don’t give your opinión yet. If you want, talk about a strange situation, give an anecdote

2nd paragraph



















3rd paragraph

4th paragraph

The general and objective opinión


5th paragraph


Your opinion (if you want, you can also give an opposite opinion, so  readers can make their own conclusions)

A good idea is to end with a rhetorical question  



- Next, think of all the words, adjectives, nouns and verbs you can come up with that would be appropriate for the topic.


- Then, join the sentences with conjunctions commonly used in written texts:

Cause  ya que , puesto que, dado que (given that)

                        Condition  siempre y cuando (provided), excepto que (except that),      con la condición de que (on the condition that)

Consecuence  por lo que(so that), de modo que(so that), así que(so), así pues (thus)

Finality  con la finalidad de (in order), con la idea de (with the idea of), a fin de(que)

Time  mientras que, al mismo tiempo (at the same time)  -grouped-)

Mode  de tal modo/ manera que, (thereby)

Disjunction (bien ...bien....)

Oposition por contra, and sin embargo (however), a pesar de lo cual

Concession  aún con ger., por más que, por mucho que, used with the subjunctive)

Relative clauses  a los que, con los cuales (with which), con cuyos (with whose)....



- Then, join these ideas with connectors to make paragraphs of more than three and/or five lines. Add justification (give reasons, examples, quotes). It’s best to start each paragraph with a connector that summarizes the content that follows.


            Introducing a topic: A propósito de (about) , en lo que respecta a...(in respect to…), acerca de... (about…)podemos decir (we can say), ser un asunto controvertido (to be a controversial topic), una cuestión que se debate a menudo (an issue that is often debated).

            Structuring the text: en primer lugar ... (first)en segundo lugar (secondly), por un lado ... por otro (on the one hand…on the other hand),

Varios factores han contribuido a ...,(several factors have contributed to) el primero... el segundo... por último (the first…the second…lastly), en último lugar (lastly), para terminar (finally).

            Summarizing: en definitiva (ultimately), en resumidas cuentas (in short), en suma...(in short…)

Introducing examples: Tal como, así, tal es el caso de (such is the case), entre otros (among others), por caso

Explaining: Es decir, en/con otras palabras (in other words), mejor dicho,

            Adding or enumerating: No sólo ... sino que además....(not only….but also) y por si fuera poco ...., como por ejemplo, es más, además de lo dicho hay que mencionar (it should also be mentioned), sin olvidar...(without forgetting), y encima...  

           Presenting an opinionsoy de la opinión de que mi opinión(I am of the opinión), según el criterio de, se tiende a creer, estar convencido de que (to be convinced that),

            Expressing certainty: lo cierto es que(the truth is that), no se puede negar que (it cannot be denied that), es indudable (undoubtedly), en efecto

            Expressing doubt: está por ver (it remains to be seen), es improbable (it is probable), lo cual introduce un elemento de duda (which introduces an element of doubt)

Expressing agreement or disagreement: discrepar, parece que resulta difícil admitir...(it seems easy to admit)

Contrasting:  parece que... (it seems that) pero en realidad (but in reality), por un lado...(on the one hand) aunque por otro,no obstante (however), al contrario (on the contrary), por el contrario (on the contrary), en cambio.

Concluding: en conclusión (in conclusion), para concluir (to conclude), como conclusión podemos decir (in conclusión, we can say), solo queda añadir.., a modo de resumen.. , finalmente (finally)