Article Writing Format | Sample | O Level English (1123) | Best Notes
If you want to know how to write an amazing article , you will love these notes I am about to share with you.
So if you want to ace your O Level English exam , keep reading.
But first of all, let me tell you that article writing is a piece of content that is published for a large audience. We can divide this topic into two sub-topics.
- Magazine article
- Newspaper article
But the basic format of writing for each of them is the same.
You should remember that this question is a part of directed writing (paper 1) for GCE O Level English (1123). However, the format and sample I am about to share with you will satisfy the needs (generally for this topic).
So let’s dive into the topic without further introduction.
We'll take a look at:
Format of Article Writing:
Once you know the topic on which you have to write, you can use the format below to start and write an amazing article.
- Title (heading)
- By-line (the name of the writer)
Note : You can also write “written by”, but “by-line” is preferred.
- First paragraph (introduction)
- Second paragraph (first argument + evaluation)
- Third paragraph (second argument + evaluation)
- Fourth paragraph (third argument + evaluation)
- Fifth paragraph (conclusion)
If you are confused about what exactly is evaluation, you will understand it later (check out the video below).
But for now, note that evaluation is how you describe your point.
Now, let’s take a look at each of the above points in detail.
This is the most important part of your article. Why?
This is because if you write a catchy heading that grabs the attention of your reader, you are on the right path. But how can you write a good heading ?
Let me tell you how to write a wonderful heading, step-by-step.
- Understand the topic .
This is the first thing you have to do. Read the question [carefully] and find out what the examiner wants from you.
When you know what to write about, move on to the next step (which is to understand your audience).
- Understand your audience .
The question will clearly tell you what your audience is (the people you are writing to).
Your target audience will help you write a good title because your headline can perfectly target the emotions of your readers.
And let me tell you that targeting emotions can be a really good technique to write great headings (but not always). With this, it is time to move on to the next tip, which is to use “power words”.
- Use “ power words “.
Power words (as the name suggests) are those words that persuade someone to read your content (article in this case).
Some of the power words that you can use in your titles are:
Profound (for happiness), Unforgettable (for memorability), Basic (for simplicity), Thrilling (for excitement) etc.
Introduction and Body:
The first paragraph (introduction) of your writing matters a lot. And let me tell you, writing an introduction is not difficult at all!
In the introduction , you have to do the following:
- Thank your audience for their response to your previous article.
- Mention the purpose of your writing (why are you writing?).
Moving on, the body of your article comprises of three paragraphs .
But how? Let me tell you.
You will make one paragraph for each content point (the point to be covered that is given the question). Since you have three content points, you will make three paragraphs (one for each).
Remember that this is the most important part of your writing. Therefore, try to provide relevant information . This is because articles are meant to be relevant and concise.
This is the final part of your article. Here you have to do the following:
Ask your audience (the people reading) to give feedback and thank them for reading your work.
You can also reinstate the purpose of your writing, but if you have mentioned that in the introduction, I recommend preventing that.
This is because you have to prevent repetition in your work (and as I mentioned earlier, keep your article brief and to the point). Note that in conclusion, it is very important to provide a sense of closure .
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But how can you do that?
Simply, you have to “put it all together”. This means that you have to summarize the points you made (above) because the conclusion is not the place to introduce new ideas.
Now when you know something about the format, let me provide you with a sample . You should read it carefully to identify the areas of improvement along with the strong aspects.
Write an article for your school magazine on the upcoming Cambridge exams preparation tips. You should include the following points as well:
- How a revision schedule helps students?
- Feeling hopeful is better than feeling dishearted.
- The impact of studying habits on preparation.
Cover all three points in detail . You should make your article informative. Start your article with a suitable title.
Acing the Exams
by: Adam Ryan
I truly appreciate your overwhelming feedback on my previous article. Therefore, I have decided to provide some exam preparation tips to you. This is because of the upcoming Cambridge exams this June.
First of all, it is essential to make a study schedule because it ensures the (proper) coverage of the syllabus on time. As a result, the lengthy topics (in your syllabus) become manageable, and the schedule keeps you aware of the future plans. A schedule keeps you organized, and you do not have to panic about missing anything. This is because it will help you use your time wisely and learn as much information as you can (in the shortest possible time).
Apart, it is important to be stress-free before your exams. This is because exam fear does not allow students to perform with their complete capabilities. Thus, their performance is negatively affected. This is the reason I advise you to adopt an optimistic and positive approach. It will ensure that you are comfortable and ready to face all challenges in your exams.
The study techniques such as taking breaks, consulting your teachers and preventing distractions (such as mobile phones) make a student more focused. Similarly, these habits ensure healthy and quality learning, which is essential to ace Cambridge exams. However, the practices such as only studying overnight can produce unpleasant results in the examination.
To conclude , let me know what you think about these suggestions through your feedback. Thank you for reading and article, and do follow these proven tips to get your desired results. I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming exams.
(The strong aspects):
This article is a perfect sample to discuss some key points.
- Talking about the positive points of the response, it is started by a proper heading (title) and a by-line . This shows that the student followed the instruction given in the question.
The answer has 5 paragraphs ( one for each content point along with an introduction and conclusion) which are good.
- The article is relevant and follows the word limit (200 to 300 words).
Note that the article needs to be brief and to the point (as I mentioned earlier). One thing I want to discuss over here is the introduction and conclusion.
Many students write a very lengthy introduction and conclusion. You should know that an introduction should not be more than 4 to 5 lines . Similarly, keep your conclusion brief as well.
[ Important Note ]:
Here’s a thing. If you want to ace O Level English, you HAVE to read examiner reports (document containing details about the exams).
But what if I tell you, you DO NOT have to read examiner reports anymore.
Recently, we conducted a HUGE case study where we analysed 200 exams and 30 examiner reports! Then, the results (findings) were compiled in the form of an ebook.
This incredible ebook contains:
- Most common student mistakes
- How to solve them?
- Tips straight from the examiners’ desk to ace your English exam
So what are you waiting for? If you do not want to get into the hassle of reading the examiner reports, you can get this ebook now.
It is a must-read if you want to ace GCE O Level English.
Now back to the article.
- The response is coherent (logical).
You would have noticed that the candidate has used transition words in the response (for example, “Apart, it is important to be stress-free … etc). But why is this important?
This technique ensures that there is unity in the work (and this unity makes the work coherent as well).
Note : The “language” and “task fulfilment” are of 15 marks (each) in directed writing. So you have to work on both of them to secure good marks.
A tip-over here for you is that sentences that logically follow each other (ideas) are considered to be coherent. This is the reason you should try to connect your ideas (using connectives – conjunctions and connecting adverbs etc).
- The spellings and grammar are generally good.
When reading the above sample, you would have hardly seen any spelling mistakes (which is great).
Remember that spelling mistakes can really hurt your marks (especially, if it is a silly one). The candidates choice of words is understandable.
And the basic rules of sentence construction and punctuation are followed as well. This is what good grammar is!
(The areas of improvement):
After reading the sample, what things do you think could have been improved? Is it the sentence structure or the variety in ideas?
But before that, here are some things that could have been improved.
- The candidate should have used complex and compound-complex sentences ( varying sentence structure ).
In the response, you would have noticed that there are simple and compound sentences (used frequently). However, there are few complex and compound-complex sentences.
If you do not know about these sentence structures, you can read the description below (for a better understanding).
Simple Sentences: It is an independent clause with no dependent clause and conjunction.
Example: Adam went to school.
Compound Sentences: A sentence in which two independent clauses (that can form complete sentences standing alone) are joined by a conjunction (such as but, so, nor, yet etc).
Example: I like Tea, and John likes Coffee.
Complex Sentences: A sentence that contains an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.
Example: Although he was rich, he was still unhappy.
Compound-Complex Sentences: It contains multiple independent clauses and (at least) one dependent clause.
Example: Rose doesn’t like movies because they are boring, so she doesn’t watch them.
Now when you know about sentence structures, do go back to the sample. Then, try to find out how many types of sentence structures are used by the student?
Done? So, let’s move on now.
- The heading could have been improved.
Is the heading, “Acing the Exams”, good? What do you think?
I think you will agree with me over here – the heading is fine, but it could have been improved.
This is because the heading is meant to be eye-catchy . If your heading does not impress your reader, there are good chances that he might not be interested in reading any further.
So this is your only chance (to impress your reader). If you have been following me throughout this article, I have explained (above) how to write an amazing title .
But in case you missed it, you can check that out (above).
- The tone (register) could have been improved.
The question asked to make your tone informative. And honestly, the tone was informative (to some extent). But, there could have been an improvement.
Let me tell you how.
Below are some things that you should consider while dealing with the “tone problem”.
- Word choice : If a word feels incorrect for a particular tone, try replacing it with a new one.
- Read aloud : The best thing you can do is to read your sentence after writing it. It will give you a clue on what your tone is!
- Consistency : Try to be consistent throughout. Even one wrong sentence (in terms of tone) can impact your while work.
These were some areas of improvement. What other areas of improvement do you see in the sample? Do let me know in the comments below.
Now here is a practice question for you to try.
Your team recently won a sports competition. Your English teacher has asked you to write an article about your success. You should include the following points as well.
- Which sports competition did your team win?
- What improvements made your team successful.
- How this victory helped your team.
Cover all the above points in detail. You should make your tone polite and informative. Start your article with a suitable heading.
Now it’s your turn. Which part of article writing do you find the most challenging?
Is it the heading or the body? Do let me know.
And do not forget to try the “practise question” given above. Then, do get it checked by your teacher or your friend. Thank you very much for reading and staying with me till the end. Stay tuned for more.
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IGCSE Writing Skills
This resource has been developed to support your teaching of writing skills, including teaching learners how to create and compose a variety of text types.
The text types focused on in this resource are: article, email, report, letter, speech and essay.
As the resource focuses on the text type rather than the assessment no marks are given for example texts included.
Please note: It is very important to check which of the writing skills and text types are covered in the syllabus you are teaching. Not all text types are assessed for every syllabus.
Programmes & Qualifications
Cambridge o level english language (1123).
- Past papers, examiner reports and specimen papers
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Writing: Exercise 6 (Writing an article)
This is the final exercise of Paper 1 and 2. It can be an article, a report or a review writing. We’ll look at articles here.
You will be given a topic (more like a question to ponder up on) on which you have to write your views and opinions. This can either be a two-sided article (for and against) or a one-sided article (just your opinion). It is up to you to decide.
The topics usually given for this exercise are easy enough that you can come up with points right there in the exam, but it is good if you read upon various issues from around the word (obesity, technological influences, environmental issues, animal welfare, teenager issues etc).
So here’s how to attempt this question:
- Before you start it is a good idea that you come up with a plan . Use the blank space below the question to make your plan, in pencil. In your plan write down the answers to these questions:
- The audience : this will be specified in the question (it is almost always a school magazine). So when you write, keep in mind that you need to write to that audience. Your language, tone and vocabulary should reflect this.
- Is my article going to be two-sided or one-sided? If you know a lot about the topic and can weigh up the pros and cons, then go for two-sided. If you’re not too knowledgeable about it, stick to one-sided.
- How do I introduce the topic? Start off by saying what the topic is and how important the topic is in today’s world. Why it is such a problem? Or is it a problem?
- What’s in the body ? Write down three points . (If it’s two-sided write two pros and two cons) . You will develop your body based on these points. A few points will be given in your question paper, and you can use those!
- How will I conclude the article? You need to sum up your points and give your final opinion (even if it’s two-sided, give your final opinion on the matter).
- Organise . By now, you’ve pretty much come up with the contents of your article. Now organise your points into paragraphs.
- One-sided Article: Paragraph 1: Introduction
- Paragraph 2: First point with justification (or counter-argument)
- Paragraph 3: Second point with justification (or counter-argument)
- Paragraph 4: Opposing point which you contradict (here, you state a point said by people who have a different opinion from yours and explain why they are wrong. This is called argument and counter-argument )
- Paragraph 5: Conclusion- summary, (solution?), repeat your opinion
- Two-sided Article: Paragraph 1: Introduction
- Paragraph 2: Advantages/’For’
- Paragraph 3: Disadvantages/’Against’
- Paragraph 4: Conclusion- Summary and final opinion
- Write . Use a variety of connecting words and argumentative phrases . Examples:
- Expressing opinions: I agree/ disagree with the above statement that
- In my opinion
- I believe that
- I am in favour of
- I am against the idea of
- It seems to me that
- I sympathize with
- Presenting and contrasting opinions: The main argument in favour/ against is
- It is often said that
- First of all I should like to consider
- Apart from that
- Even though
- In addition
- Despite the fact that/ In spite of
- On the other hand
- On the contrary
- What is more
- What matters most in this case is
- It is a fact that
- There is no doubt that
- Reasoning: Because of
- As a result of
- On account of
- Concluding: To sum up
- To conclude
- It can be concluded that
- Thus, I am of the opinion that
- Argumentative verbs (use these instead of say/tell ):
Here’s an example of a one-sided article . This is one-sided because, even though it weighs up both ‘for’ and ‘against’ points, in each paragraph it contradicts the ‘for’ points and alludes to the same conclusion that zoos should be abolished. This is called the argument/counter-argument format.
- Use your own points , words and phrases as far as possible. The more original your content is, the better.
- Give a suitable title
- Keep to the word limit 150-200 words. Exceeding a little over 200 is not a problem.
- Always have an introduction and conclusion
- Always organise your points into paragraphs . One para for each point (one-sided) or all advantages in one para and disadvantages in another para (two-sided) is the ideal format.
- A final opinion has to be given.
- Punctuation, spelling and grammar is very important. Check your writing once you’re done.
For the core paper 1 take 20 minutes for this exercise
For the extended paper 2, 30 minutes should suffice to answer this question. Spend 10 minutes to come up with a plan, 15 minutes to organise and write your article. Use the 5 minutes left to read over your article, make changes and correct spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
Notes submitted by Lintha
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46 thoughts on “ Writing: Exercise 6 (Writing an article) ”
wonderful! hope you keep updating with the new Syllabus
OMGGGG this information in awesome, thanks a lottt. Tomorrow im having a test on this!!!!!!!!
Like Liked by 1 person
Hi, this post was really helpful, but I have a question. Is it ok to take a stand (for or against) in magazine article writing? It is not a persuasive writing.
It’s preferable to remain neutral when it comes to magazine articles unless the specific topic you are addressing in the article expects you to take a stand for something, then go for it.
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Situational Writing Formats
Even though situational writing formats have become increasingly less important for ‘O’ level English, it is still relevant as a totally wrong format may be penalised. To help students, the formats for situational writing is attached below.
Situational Writing Format: Informal Letter
Situational writing format: informal email, situational writing format: formal letter, situational writing format: formal email, situational writing format: report / proposal, situational writing format: article, situational writing format: speech.
Ultimately, to score well for situational writing, you have to do more than just know the situational writing formats. Understanding the purpose, the audience and the context of the situational writing are more important. To find out more about the English syllabus, you can read more about the 1128 syllabus here . For more about the O level examination, you may click here .
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Complete Sample Social Studies Issue 1 SRQ
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O Level English Tuition: Situational Writing Tips and Model Essay
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“O” Level English, Paper 1, Section B: Situational Writing
For this section, candidates are required to write 250–350 words on a given situation which will involve viewing a visual text. Candidates can expect a variety of situations and they must respond accordingly.
Based on the, “O” level syllabus, assessment objectives, candidates must note the following:
- write in internationally acceptable English
- write to suit purpose, audience and context
- write clearly, effectively, relevantly and coherently
- show understanding of a variety of written and visual texts at the literal, inferential and evaluative levels
- show understanding of how use of language achieves purpose and impact
Below is an example of a Situational Essay to illustrate the appropriate response.
Section B [30 marks]
You are advised to write between 250 and 350 words for this section.
You should look at the poster on page 3, (note: not shown for website versions of notes) study the information carefully and plan your answer before beginning to write. Your local town council is planning to set up a new committee in your area to benefit the residents. The Editor of the constituency newsletter has invited residents to give their views on the matter, in a letter to be published in the monthly newsletter.
Your letter to the Editor must include the following content: which one of the three committees will best fit your community, how residents can benefit from the committee, why it is the most useful of the three committees and how residents can contribute to the committee.
Write your letter in clear, accurate English and in a confident, persuasive tone, to convince the Editor and the readers of the newsletter that this new committee will most benefit your community. You should use your own words as much as possible.
Basic Teaching Points
This is a case where candidates are required to study all the three suggested committees, after which they must explain their reasons for choosing one of these committees over the other two.
A good candidate will demonstrate that the selected option is far superior to the other two committees but it also has a likely problem. He/she will then offer suggestion to solve this problem.
In rejecting the other two suggested committees, the candidate must show how these committees are not as suitable although they have their strengths. Candidates must be able to see the links between the 1 st and 3 rd bulleted points and, the 2 nd and 4 th bulleted points so that they do not waste time repeating themselves.
Finally, bearing in mind the assessment objectives expected, a good answer will compare and contrast all the three committees to persuade that the selected committee is the best choice.
Note: Further discussion and notes will be given out at our O level English Tuition classes
Sample Model Essay
4, Jalan Anak Bukit
Western Town Tower,
17 March 2018
Editor, The Constituency Newsletter
Western Town Council
Views on Choice of New Committee
First and foremost, I would like to thank you as a resident of Western Town council for giving us a say in the choice of the new committee. After studying the profile of our constituency, I feel that the Health Committee would be the best choice to benefit the residents compared to the Green Committee and Safety Committee.
The Green Committee and Safety Committee both have valid points to benefit the constituents but they may not fit the community best. The Green committee encourages the residents to adopt a more healthy and environmental-friendly lifestyle while the latter protects the residents from neighbourhood crimes. However, the proposed events suggested by the two committees may only be applicable to a select group of people. The Green Committee suggests the growing of herbs and vegetables which require residents to have enough patience and necessary skills. The ‘ upcycling’ projects also demand creative and innovative residents in order to transform unwanted products for new uses. Similarly, the joint police-resident neighbourhood patrol of the Safety Committee is not suitable for the residents such as students or office workers who do not have spare time to assist. Thus, this may limit the participation rate of the residents which will consequently affect the effectiveness of these two committees.
On the other hand, the Health Committee is more effective as its events cater to all ages. For adults and children, the committee will organise weekly inter-block games such as football, basketball and table tennis which will allow the residents from different backgrounds to befriend one another while improving their level of activeness. In this way, the neighbours who are strangers before can become friends, thus strengthening the bond between them and fostering a sense of community. Since the people have a lot of demand on their time, the committee can modify the frequency of the activities to earn more continued support and participation from the residents. With the increased attention of people on health issues, the residents can share ‘ Healthy Food’ recommendations and recipe with one another with the help of social media. This not only create a healthy and happy neighbourhood but also strengthen the social fabric among residents.
In addition, there is a growing concern over the mental and physical health of our elderly due to the aging population. The Health Committee will work on the review of the sport facilities and fitness station to encourage more elderly residents to keep fit as well as provide a place for them to interact with one another to lead a healthy and active life. For many of whom are indigent, the Health Committee also provides subsidised health checks, right at their doorstep, a welcome service in order to offer a more convenient and low cost healthcare for our elderly residents.
Hence, the Health Committee can best benefit our community in the long run as its high participation rate of residents from all ages and backgrounds make it more sustainable than the other two committees. I hope you will take my suggestions into account, and once again thank you for the chance for us to give our views on this matter.
This is a result of 2 drafts. The first was written after a lesson on situational writing for us to understand if a student can apply what he has learnt. After which, personalised feedback is given to help student see where they can improve and to comment on their individual writing styles. Then the student will be tasked to do a brief re-write to internalise techniques. More of these will be covered during our classes.
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Learning And Teaching English
How To Write A Perfect Summary For O Level English Language
Would you like to ace your O Level English language paper? Do you want to crack the code to write the perfect summary for your O Level English language paper?
In this post, you will learn to write a summary for your O Level English language paper without feeling distressed!
The Summary Writing Question for O Level English
Section 1: Reading for Ideas
Before we begin, let us review the summary writing question. In Paper 2, the Reading Paper, you are required to write a summary of a nonfiction text in 150 – 180 words.
This question has two parts: Question 1(a) Notes and Question 1 (b) Summary .
In Question 1 (a) you are supposed to select and write down the relevant main ideas in bullet form which do not need to be in your own words.
Whereas in Question 1(b), you are expected to write a coherent summary in your own words using your ‘already-selected and listed’ content points.
Write The Perfect Summary For O Level English In Six Easy Steps
Just follow these six easy steps and ace your O Level summary writing question.
Read the question first and underline the question requirements.
Next, read the passage carefully and underline or highlight the relevant points as you read, and if you prefer, you can use brackets or number them.
While you underline or highlight each of the main relevant points, try writing synonyms to help you with rephrasing for Question 1 (b), and r epeat this process as you read through the rest of the section.
Now you may ask, “How do I make sure that the points I am selecting are correct and are relevant?
The answer is, “Simply avoid D.I.E.R.Q:
Details : If not asked in the question, avoid writing the details that support the main point.
Irrelevant Points : Ideas and points that are not required in the question must not be included. Refer to the question to ensure that you are selecting the required content points.
Examples: Unless required in the summary question, avoid writing examples or elaborations that support the main points.
Repetitions: Do not repeat any points even if they have been repeated in the original text. A good idea is to combine similar/ ideas and mention them only once.
Quotations: Do not include any quotations when selecting the content points as they usually support the main idea.
In your O Level English reading paper, you should write the summary for two parts of the text which will be mentioned in the question.
To do so, make sure you use the given space to write your content points. For Question 1 (a) Notes, you are not required to write the content points in your own words as yet. Then, select 12 distinct content points/ notes in total (excluding the given content point). You may, however, write up to 15 content points.
Examiner Tip: For ‘Reading for Ideas’ Question 1(a), you may copy ‘directly lift’ the phrases from the text. In this part of the question, marks will not be deducted. However, changing the points into substitute words may help you save time.
Once you finish listing down the content points for Question 1 (a), you need to rearrange the chosen points in paragraph form to write the summary for Question 1 (b) in your own words .
Now, the best way to ensure that you do not ‘directly lift’ text or copy from the given passage, is to use synonyms (without changing the meaning of the text) and combine two words into one word. When writing the summary, remember to:
- Keep the sentences simple and brief.
- Combine similar ideas, using complex sentences. Use subordinating conjunctions (as, while, although, even though, etc.)
- Paraphrase. Using synonyms and easier-to-understand language without changing the essential meaning of the main points.
You must ensure that the summary is in your own words. To this end, use synonyms of keywords/ difficult words, rearrange the sentence/ word order, and make it easy to read.
To make your summary coherent, use Transition Words/ connectives to join your paraphrased content points as you write your summary. Use connectives and join similar or close ideas using complex sentences. Try using ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘however’, and ‘also’.
In this step, use the given summary starter. Remember, the given summary starter will be counted in the word count.
O Level Summary Writing Checklist
Use this FREE Summary Writing Checklist before and after writing the summary when practicing for your reading paper. This will help keep you focused and ensure you fulfill the requirements of the summary writing question.
Top Tips For O Level Summary Writing
- Read the selected part of the passage to be summarized (paragraphs or whole passage).
- Highlight/ underline the key points.
- Check the selected points are relevant (reread the question)
- Omit unnecessary points (examples, elaborations, quotations, and irrelevant points)
- Count your content points (12 – 15points)
Check out ‘How To Write A Summary For O Level English Reading Paper’ Lesson Slides and learn from me as I take you through all the steps involved in writing a summary for O Level English paper.
Books to Get A* in Your O Level English Paper
Here are some books that I personally recommend using when preparing for your O Level English exam.
- Cambridge O Level English Language Coursebook 2nd Edition by Helen Toner and John Reynolds
- Cambridge O Level English by John Reynolds and Patricia Acres
- First in the series: Oxford Progressive English Book 8 by Rachel Redford
- Second in the series: Oxford Progressive English Book 9 by Rachel Redford
- Third in the series: Oxford Progressive English Book 10 by Rachel Redford
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