HOW TO STRUCTURE A LEAVING CERT OPINION PIECE
HOW TO FRAME A COHERENT OPINION PIECE FOR THE LEAVING CERT FRENCH EXAM
I have found with many students, that they tend to rely on very limited vocabulary to express themselves. As an examiner for the Leaving Cert Honours paper, I have found the exact same conclusions, opening statements and connecting words in all three written pieces. The Diary entry is obviously a different type of writing, but for the more topical themes, the same formula is generally used. It would be advisable that students learn to use more than one way of making a point. Bearing this in mind, I have put together a few, to illustrate my point.
To begin the piece, you would need to have at least 3 strong opening phrases. Examples of these would be:
Je suis tout à fait d’accord avec cet article. – I am completely in agreement with this article.
Je suis fondamentalement en désaccord avec cette hypothèse – I completely disagree with this proposition.
After giving your first point, a lot of students then balance their argument from the opposing side, but use the same phrases again and again.
To view sample Leaving Cert & Junior Cert Revision Notes, please follow the links below:
Here are a few different ways of saying but or on the other hand:
Cependant – However
En revanche – In contrast
Remember that you are given a guide of between 75 words and 90 words. Examiners don’t mind if you go over the word count, but they don’t appreciate reams of information either. I would always advise students to make their points with clarity, and constantly refer to the question being asked. In this way, they stick to the crux of the question, and have a lesser chance of losing marks for irrelevant material. Let’s imagine that you were asked to write about the use of tablets in class: Make your point which agrees or disagrees with their use, balance your argument with an opposing viewpoint, then tidy it up with your own personal opinion, which may highlight your opposition or support of their use. I urge students to give a personal response to the questions being asked. The examiners know that you are aged between 16 and 19 so there really is no expectation that you would be completely aware of statistical evidence to support your answer. What the examiner does want to see, however, is that you have a valid opinion, and that you have the requisite French to express this.
The following are expressions you can use to introduce the personal component to your answer:
Pour ma part – personally speaking
Personnellement – personally
Finally, you will need to tell your reader that you are concluding your argument or opinion piece. The following might be considered.
Pour résumer – to conclude
Pour conclure – To conclude
En conclusion – In conclusion
En un mot et pour conclure – In short, to conclude
We have more comprehensive guides available to subscribed members of our Leaving Cert Plan
French Leaving Cert Monthly Revision Courses
To read more about our Revision Courses, please follow this link:
FRENCH LEAVING CERT REVISION COURSES
If you would be interested in attending one of our French Leaving Cert Revision courses, please follow the link below for more information. All of our monthly courses take place from September to May and are held in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Our Courses begin at 1pm and ends at 5pm. The cost is €60 and includes a 30 page booklet with exclusive French Notes content. During our revision courses, students learn how to write opinion pieces, Diary entries and/or the narrative (récit), learn active listening methodology, practice speaking and reading French comprehensions. They also do Translation exercises and study a specific area of grammar.
Remember to follow our account on Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where we are constantly uploading vital tips and expressions! https://twitter.com/French_Notes https://www.facebook.com/frenchnotesA1/