На этой странице собраны задания по письму, встречавшиеся на олимпиадах 2019/20.

Writing a Comment — 12

Comment on the following extract.

Koalas Aren’t Extinct, but Their Future Is in Danger, Experts Say.

Claims that koalas were “functionally extinct” spread widely online as fires raged in Australia. With large areas of their crucial habitat ravaged, it is unclear what the future holds for a species that was already under threat before this round of bush fires. Some koalas have been rescued, and with blazes still burning, it is hard to know how many have been killed.

The phrase “functionally extinct” has recently made the rounds in news articles and on social media. The term refers to a species that no longer plays a role in an ecosystem or that is on its way to extinction, possibly irremovably.

In fact, koalas are not extinct. And some scientists warned that exaggeration can hurt, rather than help, conservation efforts. “What is particularly frustrating about the term ‘ functional extinction’ is it indicates a population that is basically past the point of no return, so it means that nothing really can be done,” said Jacquelyn Gill, professor of Biology and Ecology.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, says the koala population is declining and vulnerable — but not endangered. Estimates range wildly, and every region is different. In some places, scientists say, koalas’ numbers have declined by up to 80 percent. Koalas evolved to exist alongside wildfires, but the animals are facing new threats from human development, which has dislocated local populations and impaired their ability to survive fires, as well as climate change.

Источник (по ссылке загрузится .zip):

СПбГУ, финал 2019/20, 10–11 классы.

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Writing a Comment — 13

Comment on the following statement:

«Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference»

(Sir Winston Churchill)

Источник (по ссылке загрузится .zip):

Финал олимпиады СПбГУ 2017/18, 10–11 классы, вариант 1.

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Writing a Comment — 14

Comment on the story in pictures.

В задании не указывался предполагаемый формат ответа и его объем.

Источник (по ссылке загрузится .zip):

Финал олимпиады СПбГУ 2019/20, 10–11 классы, вариант 1.

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Writing a Comment — 20

You are going to read an encyclopedic article on a famous artist. Using the information from the text or your background knowledge, explain why the works of art following the text could (or could not) be created by the said artist.

Banksy is an anonymous British graffiti artist known for his antiauthoritarian art, often done in public places.

Though Banksy’s identity was well guarded, he came to notice as a freehand graffiti artist in 1993. Using stencils since 2000 to enhance his speed, he developed a distinctive iconography of highly recognizable images, such as rats and policemen, that communicated his antiauthoritarian message. With wry wit and stealth, Bansky merged graffiti art with installation and performance. In the 2003 exhibition Turf War, Bansky painted on the bodies of live pigs. At his Crude Oils exhibition in London in 2005, which featured altered replicas of the works of Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Edward Hopper, he released 200 live rats in the gallery.

In 2005 Banksy painted a wall on the Palestinian side of the West Bank; on the viewer’s side, children play on a forelom patch of earth, while through an apparent hole in the wall there is a scene of a perfect tropical beach. Banksy described himself as a “quality vandal,” challenging the authority of political and art institutions on both the right and the left. In September 2006 his one-weekend Los Angeles warehouse installation Barely Legal, for which he decorated a live elephant, attracted large crowds despite a lack of publicity. In Bristol, Eng., in 2006 he depicted a naked man clinging to a windowsill on the side of a public family-planning clinic; local residents voted to keep the mural. In 2009 he staged a surprise show at the City Museum and Art Gallery in Bristol. It featured animatronics, oil paintings, and an old ice-cream truck.

Banksy’s books—which include Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall (2001), Existencilism (2002), and Wall and Piece (2005)—document his projects; iconic examples of his work, including a life-size image of two policemen kissing, were featured in the bleak futuristic film Children of Men (2006). Banksy directed the 2010 film Exit Through the Gift Shop, a documentary that ostensibly profiled the lives and work of the world’s most talented graffiti artists. Critics were divided on the film, though, as some chose to accept it at face value while others saw it as a satire, with documentary subject and filmmaker-turned-street artist Thierry Guetta (who some theorized was an actor paid by Banksy or was, perhaps, Banksy himself) serving as a commentator on the commercialization of art.

 Peter Gibson, a spokesman for Keep Britain Tidy, asserts that Banksy’s work is simple vandalism, and Diane Shakespeare, an official for the same organisation, was quoted as saying: ”We are concerned that Banksy’s street art glorifies what is essentially vandalism.”

Banksy has also been long criticised for copying the work of Blek le Rat, who created the life-sized stencil technique in early 1980s Paris and used it to express a similar combination of political commentary and humorous imagery. Blek has praised Banksy for his contribution to urban art, but said in an interview for the documentary Graffiti Wars that some of Banksy’s more derivative work makes him "angry”, saying that "It’s difficult to find a technique and style in art so when you have a style and you see someone else is taking it and reproducing it, you don’t like that."

Some have criticised the "obviousness" of Banksy’s work and accused it of being "anarchy-lite" geared towards a middle class "hipster" audience. Much of this criticism came forward during his series of works in New York in 2013. Many New York street artists, such as TrustoCorp, criticised Banksy, and much of his work was defaced.

There exists a cult-like following for the artist. The ambiguity of his identity has drawn this group of followers. A concept, the "Banksy effect" has developed as a result of Banksy’s artistic innovation. This term is in reference to the artist’s ability to turn outsider art into the cultural mainstream. It was coined to reference the way in which Banksy’s work has led to an increased interest in street art. Street art has been incorporated into being a part of culture and daily life. His work in turn, has questioned the authenticity of art and its creators, furthering the cultural debate that has existed for centuries.

In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary for Exit Through the Gift Shop. In 2014, he was awarded Person of the Year at the 2014 Webby Awards. In 2014, young adults from abroad named Banksy a British cultural icon in a list that included William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth II, David Beckham, The Beatles, Charlie Chaplin, J. K. Rowling, Elton John, and Adele.

Although he was increasingly famous, Banksy remained anonymous; his rare interviews were conducted via e-mail or with responses delivered by an altered voice on tape. He remained committed to street art, declaring that life in a city in which graffiti was legal would be “like a party where everyone was invited.”

Look at the following works of art. Could they be created by Banksy? Explain why/why not. Pay special attention to the message of the artwork. Write 100-120 words.

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Writing a Report — 41

TASK 5. WRITING (60 points)

(40 minutes, 250-300 words)

Imagine that your school magazine has a weekly column called“Education Today”. As part of their investigation into modern trends, they have asked you to write a news report based on the results of your own survey demonstrated in the table below.

 In your report say:

  1. who participated in the survey;
  2. what changes or trends can be seen comparing the data in the table below;
  3. what are the possible reasons for such trends;
  4. how the situation might develop in the future.

Remember the rules of news report writing. Make sure your report has:

- a headline

- a byline and a placeline

- a lead paragraph  

- body paragraphs

- a conclusion


Олимпиада «Покори Воробьёвы горы!» 2019/20, финал, 10–11 классы, вариант 6.

Report 41 Chart 1

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Writing a Story — 25

Write the appropriate ending to the story given below.

after Somerset Maugham

The Third Wish

(after Joan Aiken)

Once Mr. Peters was driving in his car at dusk. He entered a straight, empty stretch of road and heard a faint crying, and a struggling and thrashing, as if somebody was in trouble far away in the trees. He left his car and climbed the mossy bank beside the road. Then he saw the gleam of water. Coming closer he found that it was a swan that had become entangled in the thorns growing on the bank of the canal.

The bird struggled all the more frantically as he approached, looking at him with hate in its yellow eyes. Nevertheless he managed to release it from the thorns.

Then the swan floated in to the bank once more and in a moment turned into a little man all in green with golden crown and long beard, standing by the water. He had fierce glittering eyes and looked by no means friendly.

"Well, Sir," he said threateningly, "You have rescued-by pure good fortune-the King of the Forest from a difficulty, you should have some fabulous reward."

"I expect three wishes, no more and no less," answered Mr. Peters, looking at him steadily and with composure. He stood for some minutes reflecting on how he should use his reward. Finally he said:

"My first wish is to have a wife as beautiful as the forest."

A tremendous quacking and splashing broke out on the surface of the water, and he saw the most beautiful creature he had ever seen, with eyes as blue-green as the canal, hair as dusky as the bushes, and skin as white as the feathers of swans.

"I am your wife”, she said. "My name is Leita."

Leita made him a good wife. She was gentle and friendly, busied herself about the house garden, polished the bowls, milked the cows and mended his socks. But as time went by Mr. Peters began to feel that she was not happy. She seemed restless, wandered much in the garden, and sometimes when he came back from the fields he would find the house

One evening he was returning home along the river path when he saw Leita in front of him, down by the water. A swan had sailed up to her and she had her arms round its neck. She was weeping, and as he came nearer he saw that tears were rolling, too, from the swan's eyes.

"Leita, what is it?" he asked, very troubled.


Think of the ending to the story and write it in the space below.

Источник (по ссылке загрузится .zip):

Финал олимпиады СПбГУ 2019/20, 10–11 классы, вариант 1.

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Writing a Story — 36

You have decided to enter a contest held by an English-language club at school. Write a short story for this contest.

In your story:

  1. follow the rules of short story writing;
  2. use direct speech at least twice;
  3. describe feelings and emotions;
  4. make the picture part of the narration;
  5. use the following words at least once:

(underline the word from the list when using it for the first time)

  • flabbergasted, adj
  • seize,V
  • look up to, V
  • mutely, adv
  • viral, adj

The verbs may be used in any tense form. Write 220—250 words.

Story 36

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Writing an Article — 26

TIME: 60 minutes. Maximum: 25 points.


Today many people are raving about the virtue of ‘being yourself4. What does that mean? Are we really meant to be ourselves? You were asked to write the article entitled “Be Yourself!” to the school magazine. Your article must include:

  • your explanation and interpretation what it means to ‘be yourself;
  • one of these quotations and its interpretation relevant to the article:

‘To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment' (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

‘Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else' (Judy Garland).

‘To help yourself, you must be yourself. Be the best that you can be. When you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up and move on' (Dave Pelzer);

  • an example from your own experience;
  • the words PRETEND, REVEAL, ATTRIBUTE. The form of the words can be changed.

Write 250–300 words. The title ‘Be Yourself is not counted.

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Writing an Essay — 51

Read the following task and write an essay.

Provide the comparison and contrast of how twobook characters view an important theme/issue. The essay must contain references to particular titles of novels/stories/poems, etc. The chosenclassic authors can belong either to the national (Russian) or international (world) literary movements.

Which two book characters represent opposing views on art?

Paragraph 1, the introduction, must contain brief information on the chosen writers/poets, the literary movement and the epoch they belong to as well as the scope of aspects to be analyzed.

Paragraphs 2 and 3 must contain the analysis of the chosen writers’/poets’ views on the theme/issue under consideration. Each paragraph must start with the topic sentence (the main idea of the paragraph). Each paragraph must contain at least 2 examples/arguments supporting your analysis.

Paragraph 4, the conclusion, must contain your own perspective on the theme/issue.

Write at least 300 words.

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© Екатерина Яковлева, 2016–2022