How to write a report for the B2 (FCE) test

for B2 Cambridge First


A report is another piece of formal writing. It is based on facts (you’ll probably have to invent those ‘facts’ for the exam, and that’s okay). By writing a good report in English you will demonstrate that you can organize and communicate factual information using a formal tone. As with other pieces of formal writing (for example, essays, formal emails, articles, etc.), there is a special format used to write reports in English.

Parts of an English report
1. Title

This part will give the reader a general idea of the topic of your report.

Make sure that you follow the capitalization rules for titles. You can find more information about how to write titles in English here.

2. Introduction

In this section, you should state clearly the purpose of your report and what information you are going to include.

Try to paraphrase (use your own words) to write the information given in the instructions.

3. Topic points

In these paragraphs, you will give most of the information and details of your report. It should be factual and clear. It shouldn’t sound like a story or like a novel.

You should write at least 2 topic points. One topic point per paragraph. Each paragraph must contain a topic sentence.

What is a topic sentence?

A topic sentence is a sentence that includes the main point (idea) of a paragraph. It has the information that readers need to understand what is the most important point in the paragraph.

The topic sentences guide readers and protect them from confusion. They usually appear at the beginning of each paragraph.

Click here to learn more about topic sentences.

4. Your suggestions/ recommendations

This is the last part of the report. You need to finish it up by writing your recommendations. You must base your recommendation on the facts that you wrote in the topic paragraphs.

Make sure that your recommendations are well-connected with the topic points that you wrote in the previous paragraphs.

Steps to writing a report

Step 1: Make a plan

Step 2: Write it

Step 3: Check it

Now that you know the parts of a report and the steps to follow, let’s see an article sample for the B2 (FCE) Cambridge writing test.

Useful language

For the introduction:

  • This report describes…
  • This report is based on …
  • The purpose of this report is to …

For the topic points:

  • Currently …
  • To begin with …
  • It appears that …
  • It seems that …
  • Furthermore/ In addition
  • In general/ Generally speaking
  • It is generally believed that …
  • almost always/ nearly always
  • Most/ The majority of + noun
  • noun + tend to be + adjective

For your suggestions/ recommendations:

  • All things considered …
  • Based on the findings of this report I recommend/ suggest + verb-ing
  • I would recommend/ suggest + verb-ing
  • Although both… I think that …
  • It would be advisable that …
Pro tips for writing reports

Make sure that you:

  • wrote a title that shows what the report is about
  • divided the report into clear paragraphs with subheadings
  • answered all the parts of the question
  • did NOT use contractions or informal words
  • Used connectors and formulaic expressions (useful language)
Practice time

You have been asked to write a report about entertainment in your city for a travel magazine. Write your report in the comments below.


How to learn new words easily using word families

If you want to improve your English it is critical that you have a rich vocabulary. Among other skills, the ability to identify word meanings is extremely important if you want to speak fluently.

Here I am going to share five tips that will help you remember new words and their meanings easily.

Tip # 1

Identify the part of speech of the words you learn. Along with the writing or pronunciation patterns, learning the part of speech can help you remember words and create sentences more easily. The part of speech indicates how the word functions in meaning as well as grammatically within the sentence. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are examples of parts of speech.

Tip # 2

Organize your vocabulary by word families. A word family is a group of words that have a common pattern. Words that belong to the same family have the same combination of letters or a particular sound.  They are an excellent tool to learn and remember words.

Tip # 3

Look for other words that belong to the same family. Most online dictionaries display a list with nearby words or other entries for the word. Look for those entries to find out other words that belong to the same family.

(source: McMillan Essential Dictionaries Magazine, Issue 14, December 2003)

Tip # 4

Write down in your notebook all the words that belong to the same word family. Graphic word organizers are the best. You can draw a table in your notebook or download a super cool word organizer that I have created specially for my students.

Example of word families + parts of speech

Part of the speech  families  

Tip # 5

Write your own examples using each of the words that you add to your notebook or word organizer. It is crucial that you understand the meaning and how to use each word that you learn.

It seems like a lot of work. However, in the long run it will pay off; specially if you are planning to take the IELTS, TOEFL, CELPIP or any Cambridge test.


Let’s practice. Complete the sentences below using the correct word from the table above.

  1. “_____________ is in the eye of the beholder” ~Shakespeare (hint: noun)
  2. Although Maria has been looking for a new job _________, she hasn’t ___________ yet.  (hint: adverb, verb)
  3. John is a very ___________ person. He exercises every day. (hint: adjective)
  4. What’s you final _____________? Are you going to buy the detached house in the suburbs or the condo downtown? (hint: noun)
  5. I’m not going to _______________ such disrespectful behavior! (hint: verb)