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Schreibtraining für den Englischunterricht


& Co.

Summarizing Information

and Forming Opinions

In my opinion

• Die Sprachzeitung •


Table of Contents


Fact File and Guidelines ....... 3


Transcript of Joe Biden’s Speech in Buffalo, New York, May 2022 ....... 5

MEDIATION (SPRACHMITTLUNG) Fact File and Guidelines ....... 11


Shakespeare-Sommer in Berlin: Derbe Witze und zarte Liebesränke ....... 12

SUMMARY Fact File and Guidelines ....... 16


The Guardian View on the Death of Queen Elizabeth II: The End of an Era ....... 17

DEBATE STATEMENT Fact File and Guidelines ....... 23


CRISPR-Cas9 ....... 24

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES Fact File and Guidelines ....... 29


In Nigeria, Colonial Thinking Affects Everyone. It Is Time We Found New Heroes ....... 29

CARTOON ANALYSIS Fact File and Guidelines ....... 35


Cartoon 1: Climate Change Impacts ....... 36

Cartoon 2: Dystopian Society and Technological Development ....... 39

WRITTEN COMMENT Fact File and Guidelines ....... 40


Urban Greening Can Reduce Impact of Global Heating in Cities, Finds Study ....... 41

ANSWER KEY ....... 46








letter is a written message sent from one person to

another person or group of people. It can be formal or

informal. There are different kinds of letters: promotion

letters, reference letters, letters to the editor,

thank you letters, resignation letters, cover letters,


An e-mail (“electronic mail”) is a digitally written

piece of writing sent to a person or group of people in

an electronic way and with the help of an electronic

device. E-mails usually operate across computer networks

(e.g., the Internet) or local networks.

A formal letter (or e-mail) is correspondence

written for a professional, business, or academic

reason. You avoid colloquial language and keep to a

certain professional style of writing. Formal letters

are usually written in block style with spaces between

the paragraphs.

An informal letter (or e-mail) is correspondence

written between friends, family, relatives, or people

you know very well. It is often very personal and

sometimes even colloquial.

A letter to the editor (“Leserbrief”) is a letter sent

to a publication (e.g., newspaper, magazine, journal)

about an issue of concern to the reader. A letter to the

editor is usually written to express support, critique,

or to comment on a certain issue or subject.


A written formal letter (or formal e-mail) is a very important piece of writing.

A “letter to the editor” is an example of a formal letter.

Avoid colloquial English, and try to be as formal and polite as possible. Use paragraphs in block style,

and follow the steps below to write a convincing formal letter.

1 Write the contact information (or e-mail address) and date.

2 Write the salutation – salutations use capitalization and end in a comma.

3 Write the body – formal letters are straightforward and direct. Try to get straight to the main idea. Focus

on important information and a good structure.

4 Write a complimentary closing – finish your letter with a complimentary closing and your signature.

Make sure that you proofread your letter to check grammar and spelling.


An informal letter (or e-mail) is more casual than a formal letter. You usually write informally to

a friend, family member, or acquaintance.

1 Write the date.

2 Write the salutation – you can start with a polite, friendly, and informal greeting,

like “Dear …” or “Hi/Hello!” End your salutation with a comma.

3 Write the body – informal letters focus on personal interests, feelings, or just share (personal)

news to keep in touch. You are even free to include colloquial language or slang.

4 Write a closing – finish your letter with a conventional or sentimental closing and your signature.

Make sure that you proofread your letter to check grammar and spelling.

© 2023 Carl Ed. Schünemann KG · Alle Rechte vorbehalten.


Letters, E-mails, Letters to the Editor

Useful Words and Phrases for Letters and E-mails


Dear …,

Dear all,



Dear Mr. Brown,

To Whom It May Concern,

To the Editor,

Introductory Phrases

Referring to your letter, …

I was delighted to get your letter …

It was good to hear from you …

How are you? I hope you are well …

I was really pleased that …

Body of Your Letter

Firstly, …

To begin with, …

It has been said/proven/discussed/clarified …

I suppose/regret/agree with/assume that …

I am certain that …

If necessary …

It seems …

On the one hand, …. On the other hand, …

Complimentary Closing

Best wishes,

Kind regards,


Yours faithfully,

All the best,


Take care!

Connectives to Structure

Your Letter

firstly/secondly/thirdly …



due to





in conclusion

to summarize

4 © 2023 Carl Ed. Schünemann KG · Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Letters, E-mails, Letters to the Editor


Background Information

In May 2022, a mass shooting occurred in Buffalo, New York. Ten people (mostly African Americans) were

murdered by 18-year-old Payton S Gendron, who also livestreamed parts of the attack. The 18-year-old wrote

a manifesto in which he described himself as an ethno-nationalist who supported white supremacy and who

wanted to commit political violence.

Write a formal letter to the White House that refers to Joe Biden’s speech and expresses your

concern about both the mass shooting in Buffalo and US gun laws.

Transcript of Joe Biden’s Speech in Buffalo,

New York, May 2022

1 … OUR NATION’Sstrength has always come from

the idea – it’s going to sound corny, but think about it –

what’s the idea of our nation? That we’re all children of

God. All children – life, liberty. Our universal goods, gifts

of God. We didn’t get it from the government. We got it

because we exist. We were called upon to defend them. …

2 Look, I’m not naïve. I know tragedy will come again. It

cannot be forever overcome. It cannot be fully understood

either. But there are certain things we can do. We can keep

assault weapons off our streets. 1 We’ve done it before. I did

it when I passed the crime bill last time, and violence went

down. Shootings went down. …

3 Look, the American experiment in democracy is in a

danger like it hasn’t been in my lifetime. It’s in danger this

hour. Hate and fear are being given too much oxygen by

those who pretend to love America but who don’t understand

America. To confront the ideology of hate requires

caring about all people. Not making distinctions. … seeing

that we’re all part of the divine.

4 … – look, we are the most multiracial, most dynamic

nation in the history of the world. Now is the time for the

people of all races, from every background, to speak up as

a majority in America and reject white supremacy. These

actions we’ve seen in these hate-filled attacks represent

the views of a hate-filled minority.

5 We can’t allow them to distort America. The real

Ameri ca. We can’t allow them to destroy the soul of the

nation. …

President Biden gives a speech in Buffalo, New York,

just days after a gunman killed ten people at a

Buffalo grocery store.| Photo: David Maxwell/EPA/

Picture Alliance

6 We have to refuse to live in a country where Black

people going about a weekly grocery shopping can be

gunned down by weapons of war deployed in a racist


7 We have to refuse to live in a country where fear and

lies are packaged for power and for profit.

8 We must all enlist in this great cause of America.

9 This is work that requires all of us. Presidents, politicians,

commentators, citizens. None of us can stay on

the sidelines. We have to resolve that here in Buffalo, that

from the tragedy, this tragedy, will come hope and light

and life. It has to. …


Semi-automatic and automatic weapons have a high fire rate and are usually only used in war.

corny kitschig; abgedroschen — crime bill Gesetz zur Verbrechensbekämpfung (b. Gesetzentwurf) —

distinction Unterschied — white supremacy rassistische Ideologie, nach der Weiße anderen Menschen

überlegen sind (s. Vorherrschaft) — to distort verzerren; entstellen

Source: The White House. “Remarks by President Biden and First Lady Biden Honoring the Lives Lost in Buffalo,

New York, and Calling on All Americans to Condemn White Supremacy.“ Delvan Grider Community Center, Buffalo,

New York. May 17, 2023. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/05/17/remarksby-president-biden-and-first-lady-biden-honoring-the-lives-lost-in-buffalo-new-york-and-calling-on-all-americansto-condemn-white-supremacy/>

accessed June 9, 2023.

© 2023 Carl Ed. Schünemann KG · Alle Rechte vorbehalten.


Letters, E-mails, Letters to the Editor

Step 1 Pre-writing

Before writing a formal letter on an important or recent issue, you should remember to think about

three important questions:

— Who is my addressee?

— What is the intention or purpose of my letter?

— Which style of writing is appropriate to use?

1. Read through the speech extract, and look up the words and phrases that you do not know.

The annotations under the text might help you.

2. Now read the speech extract again to get a more detailed view on it so that you can decide

whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F).

Statements T F

a) Joe Biden values God as the real founder of America.

b) America could have a future without assault weapons.

c) People who don’t truly understand democracy don’t understand America.

d) Biden does not want white supremacists to endanger his country.

e) The President emphasizes the importance of American politicians and commentators.

3. Match the following words from the text with their correct definitions.

a) government (para. 1)

A law that punishes criminal behavior, in this case related to weapons

b) naïve (para. 2)


dominance, authority, superiority driven by power

c) crime bill (para. 2)

d) ideology (para. 3)

C concepts or beliefs (often political) that guide individuals or institutions

D having or showing immaturity or a lack of experience

e) supremacy (para. 4)


organization or system that has the authority to govern or rule a

state or nation

a) b) c) d) e)

6 © 2023 Carl Ed. Schünemann KG · Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Letters, E-mails, Letters to the Editor

Step 2 Writing

Writing a letter or an e-mail to the editor is a good way to express your opinion on various topics.

It is also used in many English class tests as “Aufgabe 3” (re-creation of text) in the tasks “Write a letter to the

editor expressing your opinion/concern ...” or “Comment on ….”

A formal letter has a general format that usually looks like the example below.

The format may vary slightly depending on the purpose of the letter or particular style preferences.

(The parts in the square brackets are optional.)

Your name

Your address

Jonathan Mustermann

Principal of Buffalo Primary School

32 Cliff Road

Buffalo, New York

[Your phone number]

[Your e-mail address]

Date April 1, 2022

Name of the recipient ...

Job title or position of the recipient ...

Company name


Subject: Sample letter ...

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W

Washington, DC 20500

Salutation Dear . . . ,

Introductory sentence Referring . . .

Body of letter ...


Your signature

Your name


Jonathan Mustermann

Jonathan Mustermann

Principal of Buffalo Primary School

© 2023 Carl Ed. Schünemann KG · Alle Rechte vorbehalten.


Letters, E-mails, Letters to the Editor

Step 3 Writing a Formal Letter or E-mail

To write a perfect letter or e-mail, it is very important to have a good structure.

The following steps and useful phrases will help you.

Parts of Your Letter

or E-mail

What you need to do …


Contact Information

— Write your name, contact information, and the date at the top of the page.

See the example format on page 7.

— Write the name and contact information of the person who will receive

the letter.


Salutation and


— Choose the salutation that will best fit the addressee of your letter:

Dear Mr …, / Dear Ms …,

Dear Sir or Madam,

To Whom It May Concern,


Body of Your Letter

— When writing the body of your formal letter, remember to be brief and focus

on the major points.

— Make sure that you avoid contractions.

— Use paragraphs to organize the structure and the different parts of your letter.

— Use passive constructions to make your letter more formal.

— Proofread your letter while focusing on …

• spelling.

• use of tenses.

• use of complex sentences to make your formal letter sound more professional.

• useful phrases to structure your letter.




— End your letter with a complimentary closing.

— Sign your letter. Make sure that you leave enough space for your signature

between the end of your letter and your name.

— Choose a good closing to finish your letter, and remember to put a comma

after your closing:


Best wishes,

Thank you,


8 © 2023 Carl Ed. Schünemann KG · Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Letters, E-mails, Letters to the Editor

Focus on Contact Information and Salutation and Introduction

Checklist for 1

and 2

Make sure that you …


decide on either a formal or informal tone.

find the correct addressee and the necessary contact information.

take notes on the purpose of your letter.


use an appropriate salutation.

address the person who will receive the letter in a formal and correct way.


start your introduction by referring to the topic of your letter.

make your introduction interesting and informative.

try to catch your reader’s attention.

Focus on


avoid colloquial language.

use paragraphs.


contractions, abbreviations, and symbols in your formal letter

(for example, she’s, don’t, e.g., i.e., &).

4. Begin writing the draft of your letter. Write down your salutation and introduction first.

Focus on Body of Your Letter and Complimentary Closing

Checklist for 3

and 4

Make sure that …


the body of your letter is structured in paragraphs.

your first paragraph includes the aim or purpose of your letter.


second (and maybe third) paragraph refers to relevant background

information and explains the major reason that you are writing your letter.



you use an appropriate closing.


reader can read your handwriting and signature and you avoid informal

language and contractions (for example, I’m, you’re, etc.).

Focus on


you avoid colloquial language.

you use paragraphs.


avoid contractions, abbreviations, and symbols in your formal letter

(for example, she’s, don’t, e.g., i.e., &).

5. Now you can write the body and complimentary closing for your letter.

© 2023 Carl Ed. Schünemann KG · Alle Rechte vorbehalten.


Letters, E-mails, Letters to the Editor

Step 4 Post-writing

To check your letter or your partner’s work, you can use the following checklist.

Parts of Your Formal Letter

or E-Mail

You have … / Your partner has …

Contact Information and


written your (or his or her) name on top of the letter.

written the contact information at the top of the page.

chosen an appropriate salutation.


stated the purpose of the letter.

Main Part or Body

structured the letter into various parts (paragraphs).

focused on major points.

written the letter precisely and concisely.

used formal language without contractions.

proofread the letter to avoid mistakes (grammar, spelling).

Ending and Complimentary


briefly restated the purpose of the letter.

ended the letter with a complimentary closing.

signed the letter.

Focus on Language

checked spelling.

avoided contractions, abbreviations, and symbols.

chosen the right tense.

used formal language.

10 © 2023 Carl Ed. Schünemann KG · Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

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