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Writing in Formal Language: The Caravan

In this worksheet, students use a series of questions to transform a first-hand eyewitness report into a formal, impersonal and concise report.

'Writing in Formal Language: The Caravan' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Writing

Curriculum subtopic:  Purpose and Audience Awareness

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

There has been an incident. You are the police officer who has been sent to investigate. Work through the following questions to write up your report in formal and impersonal language, from the statements given to you by eyewitnesses.

 

Eyewitness report:

Me and Dave were sleeping out in the caravan on his mum's drive because she always invites all his family, like aunties and everyone, over for Christmas dinner and they all stay over and there's no-where left for us, not even for Dave because his Gran has his room, so we were in the caravan. Anyway, we played cards for a bit and then we went to sleep. Next thing I knew, I thought it was a dream, it was all bumpy and stuff and I sat up and shouted for Dave and then I looked out of the window and it was like a motorway. So basically we were driving, well, being driven along a motorway. Anyway, then we thought we were being robbed, well, the caravan was being robbed, so we called you lot, and read the signs that went past so you knew where we were, and you came and stopped the car. And that's it.

 

 

You can re-read the eyewitness report as you go through the questions by clicking on the Help button.

To clarify what has happened, start by putting the following events in the correct order. Hover your mouse over the events to read them in full.

Column A

Column B

1st
The witness was staying in a parked caravan.
2nd
During the night, the witness was awoken.
3rd
The witness phoned the police.
4th
The witness read aloud signposts which they could ...
5th
The police located the vehicle and stopped it.
6th
The caravan appeared to be moving along the motorw...

Formal Language

Can you transform this sentence from informal language into formal language?

"we thought we were being robbed, well, the caravan was being robbed, so we called you lot"

 

Which is the best version below?

We thought the caravan was being robbed so we called the police.

We thought the caravan was being stolen so we called the police.

We thought the caravan was being stolen so we called you lot.

 Formal Language - Connectives

The witness in this text uses the connectives "and" and "so" very frequently. Alternatively, which connectives could he or she use instead of these words?

 and so
additionally
moreover
consequently
therefore
likewise
eventually

Formal Language: Apostrophes and Contractions.

Sometimes the use of an apostrophe tells us that two words have been shortened and put together, which is a contraction and counts as informal language.

The phrase "the caravan on his mum's drive"  uses an apostrophe but isn't a contraction because it means "the drive b___________ to his mum"

(Write the missing word in the text box below.)

Impersonal Language

Re-read this extract from the text:

 

Me and Dave

 

Transform it from personal language into impersonal language - choose the best option below.

Dave and I

The witness and a friend.

The witness and a friend named Dave.

Impersonal Language

At one point the witness says: "So basically we were driving," but then corrects him/herself and uses the impersonal  __________  __________ instead.

 

Write the missing words in the answer box below.

Impersonal Language

Who does the phrase "you lot" refer to in the text?

Concise Expression

Concise means keeping the number of words to a minimum whilst still including all the important information; leaving out anything which doesn't need to be there.

 

Re-read this extract from the text:

 

"she always invites all his family, like aunties and everyone, over for Christmas dinner"

 

Which of the following clauses could be removed from the sentence WITHOUT changing the meaning?

she always invites all his family

like aunties and everyone

over for christmas dinner

Concise Expression

Re-read this quotation:

 

"it was all bumpy and stuff"

 

This statement is concise and explains what was going on, but it is very informal. Which of the following would be both concise and more formal?

I called Dave because I was being bumped up and down on the bed like were were moving.

It felt like we were moving; it was bumpy.

I thought we were travelling because there were bumps; the caravan was moving.

  • Question 1

To clarify what has happened, start by putting the following events in the correct order. Hover your mouse over the events to read them in full.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

1st
The witness was staying in a park...
2nd
During the night, the witness was...
3rd
The caravan appeared to be moving...
4th
The witness phoned the police.
5th
The witness read aloud signposts ...
6th
The police located the vehicle an...
  • Question 2

Formal Language

Can you transform this sentence from informal language into formal language?

"we thought we were being robbed, well, the caravan was being robbed, so we called you lot"

 

Which is the best version below?

CORRECT ANSWER
We thought the caravan was being stolen so we called the police.
EDDIE SAYS
"We thought the caravan was being stolen so we called the police." is the best example of formal language from the three options.
  • Question 3

 Formal Language - Connectives

The witness in this text uses the connectives "and" and "so" very frequently. Alternatively, which connectives could he or she use instead of these words?

CORRECT ANSWER
 and so
additionally
moreover
consequently
therefore
likewise
eventually
EDDIE SAYS
These two types of connectives are called connectives of addition (and) and result (so). The words will not fit into any situation, so you need to check the context but they are usually good alternatives to using more simple words which can sound too informal.
  • Question 4

Formal Language: Apostrophes and Contractions.

Sometimes the use of an apostrophe tells us that two words have been shortened and put together, which is a contraction and counts as informal language.

The phrase "the caravan on his mum's drive"  uses an apostrophe but isn't a contraction because it means "the drive b___________ to his mum"

(Write the missing word in the text box below.)

CORRECT ANSWER
belonging
belongs
EDDIE SAYS
In this instance, the apostrophe is used to signify that the caravan belongs to the witness's friend's mother.
  • Question 5

Impersonal Language

Re-read this extract from the text:

 

Me and Dave

 

Transform it from personal language into impersonal language - choose the best option below.

CORRECT ANSWER
The witness and a friend named Dave.
EDDIE SAYS
'Dave and I' is still personal, as it uses 'I'. The best option in the context of a police report would be to still name the friend. Therefore, the third option is the best one to use.
  • Question 6

Impersonal Language

At one point the witness says: "So basically we were driving," but then corrects him/herself and uses the impersonal  __________  __________ instead.

 

Write the missing words in the answer box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
being driven
EDDIE SAYS
The correct words in the impersonal form are 'being driven'.
  • Question 7

Impersonal Language

Who does the phrase "you lot" refer to in the text?

CORRECT ANSWER
the police
police
EDDIE SAYS
The witness refers to the police when he says "you lot", as the text is a report of his conversation with a police officer.
  • Question 8

Concise Expression

Concise means keeping the number of words to a minimum whilst still including all the important information; leaving out anything which doesn't need to be there.

 

Re-read this extract from the text:

 

"she always invites all his family, like aunties and everyone, over for Christmas dinner"

 

Which of the following clauses could be removed from the sentence WITHOUT changing the meaning?

CORRECT ANSWER
like aunties and everyone
EDDIE SAYS
"like aunties and everyone" is unnecessary as it just gives further detail of who is in the family.
  • Question 9

Concise Expression

Re-read this quotation:

 

"it was all bumpy and stuff"

 

This statement is concise and explains what was going on, but it is very informal. Which of the following would be both concise and more formal?

CORRECT ANSWER
It felt like we were moving; it was bumpy.
EDDIE SAYS
"It felt like we were moving; it was bumpy." describes the event without any unnecessary information.
---- OR ----

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