essay samples ielts pdf

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Essay samples ielts pdf format of cv resume for freshers

Essay samples ielts pdf


Exclusively your essay questions climate change are

Some people say that this is a positive development. The candidate writes a contradicting opinion In summary, although it is necessary for children to learn to use these devices at a young age I somewhat disagree that the widespread use of computers among children is a positive development.

I have three main reasons for this. This is because when the examiner thinks about the extent you have convinced them of your opinion it is more powerful when you have just argued about one side. The second reason is because it is much easier to structure an essay this way and it is easier to write it. In this case you are more likely to have fewer issues with cohesion and coherence and it will take less time to write the essay. The third reason is because it is less likely you will end up arguing against yourself.

In this case, your score for task response will be limited to 6 because your opinion does not match the main points of your essay. As well as this your score for cohesion and coherence may be lowered because confusion may be created in the mind of the reader. Finally, concessions where you argue against your main position can lead to total confusion when the candidate makes errors with grammar and vocabulary.

In other words it is risky to write a concession because if you make errors with vocabulary and grammar the meaning can be totally unclear and then your score will go spiralling down for all four criteria. Both sides and opinion essay. Typical question words Discuss the advantages and disadvantages Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and give your own opinion Discuss both sides of this argument and then give your own opinion Sample task Some people think that the education system should only focus on preparing students for employment, while others believe it has other important functions.

Discuss both sides and then give your own opinion. Task analysis It is important to realise that every task contains a topic and a question. An analysis of the topic and question is provided below: Topic: Some people think that the education system should only focus on preparing students for employment, while others believe it has other important functions.

This type of topic always expresses two points of view. It is important to always see what the two points of view are. In this case the topic of the essay is about whether schools should only prepare students for their future careers or not. In other words it is careers purposes vs. Question: Discuss both sides and then give your own opinion. The question has three requirements. You must discuss each side of the argument from a neutral point of view and then give your opinion, which is your view on the argument.

In order to score a six and above you need to make sure you meet all three requirements of the question. To get to 7 you must answer all three requirements fully. In order to make your opinion clear I believe it is best to keep you opinion out of the introduction and body of the essay.

If you put it into the introduction you risk making it sound like the essay is just about your opinion, which is misleading to the reader. If you put your opinion in the body of the essay, then you risk it becoming unclear to the examiner whether you have completed all three requirements. Essentially it becomes difficult to see both sides and your opinion. I believe it is best to hold your opinion for the conclusion of the essay.

A typical error students make is to not say sufficient about their opinion. One sentence is clearly not enough to get to 7. Planning your essay Some people think that the education system should only focus on preparing students schools concentrate on getting pupils ready for employment, while others believe it has other important functions. Both sides of the argument are merits 2. Having a good plan will speed up this process and ensure that you meet all three requirements of this type of question [both sides and your opinion].

It will also ensure that you have a good balance for the essay. What I mean here is that you should cover both sides of the argument roughly equally. So, if you plan two points for each side of the argument this will help you to achieve it. When you write this sentence, in addition to rephrasing words also try to rearrange the order of words in the sentence.

Some people think that the education system should only focus on preparing students schools concentrate on getting pupils ready for employment, while others believe it has other important functions. Say what the essay is about This sentence can always be written the same for every question of this type, as follows:. Nothing more is required in the introduction.

You should try to memorise a sentence like this for this type of essay because you will be able to write it very quickly and without any errors with vocabulary and grammar. The introduction for this type of essay is the easiest of the three types of essays. If you want to use a slightly different sentence:.

After you have written the introduction, you will need exactly two body paragraphs. You want a paragraph for each side of the argument. I suggest putting exactly two main points in each paragraph. The main idea of each paragraph is the side of the argument that it is focused on. After this you have two main points to support each side.

You can then support each of these main points by explaining it or giving an example to illustrate it. In order to keep the size of your essay manageable, you might choose to have a major and minor point in each paragraph. The major point may use three sentences and the minor point 2 sentences. For instance, you might use this structure: S1 topic sentence: make it clear which side of the argument you are discussing s2: make the first main point s3: explain the main point s4: give an example to illustrate the main point s5: make a second main point s6: explain or give an example to illustrate the second main point 1.

The topic sentence should make it clear to the reader which side of the argument the paragraph is about. There are merits of schools only focusing on preparing young people for their working lives. It introduces which side of the argument the paragraph is focusing on, which forms the key point for the paragraph.

There are three ways to develop your key point: Explanation, example, adding details Explanation: If young people are better prepared for their careers they will be more successful in their working lives. Adding details: As well as this, they will also make more money and be able to support themselves better.

Example: To illustrate, some recent stories in the media highlighted that students who finish high school are less likely to be unemployed, and more likely to earn higher salaries. You should always signal the start of your concluding paragraph to the reader by using the words "In conclusion".

Do not write "to summarise" or similar to begin this paragraph as you are not doing this; you are giving your own opinion. For this type of essay you should follow this with a phrase to make it clear that this final paragraph is about your opinion …. I believe. Generally your opinion can consist of three parts. The first part states that there are merits of both sides of the argument, which makes sense given that you have discussed these in the body of your essay.

Second, you should give your opinion on the argument. The best way to do this is to say which side you support more strongly. Third, you should give a justification for your opinion. In other words you should state the reason why you more strongly support this side of the argument. Essentially the structure is as follows: 1.

Signal the start of your final paragraph. State that both sides of the argument have merits. Say which side you support more strongly. Give a justification for supporting this side more strongly. Model essay 1: Some people think that the education system should only focus on preparing students for employment, while others believe it has other important functions. Many people feel that getting pupils ready for their careers should be the main focus of schools, where as others believe that schools should have additional purposes.

This essay discusses both sides of this argument and then I will give my own perspective. If young people are better prepared for their careers they will be more successful in their working lives. As well as this, they will also make more money and be able to support themselves better. To illustrate, some recent stories in the media highlighted that students who finish high school are less likely to be unemployed, and more likely to earn higher salaries.

In addition, by schools preparing young people for jobs there will be a better prepared workforce. This benefits society by raising productivity and ensuring that employers have the necessary labour they need. However, there are also advantages of schools having other functions. First of all, they should teach students skills to make them well-rounded.

By teaching communication skills and how to use technology the students will be better rounded individuals. Clearly, these are important skills in today's society and so they should be learnt at school. As well as this schools should teach morals and ethics because this will make the society better.

Many people feel that this aspect of schooling has become neglected, and has led to a deterioration of society. In conclusion, I believe both sides of the argument have their merits. On balance, however, it seems that schools should have other functions. This is because if the students are well-rounded they will be more successful in their lives and contribute more to society.

Template for a both sides and opinion essay The template below contains about words. The advantage of this template is that it can be used for any type of both sides and opinion essay. Memorising and using this template can help you to speed up the writing of your essay [you have less language to think of], and also help you to increase your score as you have a lower proportion of errors [this is error-free language], and also increase your score for vocabulary and grammar because the template has high-level vocabulary and grammar embedded in it..

In this essay, I am going to examine this question from both points of view and then give my own opinion on the matter. The main reason for believing this is that …………………. It is also possible to say that ……. One good illustration of this is …………. It is often argued that in fact ……….. People often have this opinion because …………… A second point is that ………..

A particularly good example here is………….. On balance, however, I feel that… This is because…. Model essay 2: [using the template] [This essay is based on the template that follows] One of the most controversial issues today relates to capital punishment.

On one side of the argument there are people who argue that the benefits of killing violent criminals considerably outweigh its disadvantages. The main reason for believing this is that the fear of execution acts as a deterrent to commit serious crimes such as rape and murder.

It is also possible to say that the execution of a criminal may bring relief to the suffering victims. One good illustration of this is when Saddam Hussein was executed. Many of the victims who were persecuted under his rule expressed joy and relief when he was finally captured and killed. On the other hand, it is also possible to make the opposing case. It is often argued that in fact sentencing criminals to death is just committing another murder. A second point is that many religions are opposed to any form of murder.

A particularly good example here is from the bible, which lists killing another person as one of the Ten Commandments that should not be broken. In conclusion, I believe both arguments have their merits. On balance, however, I feel that capital punishment is justified.

This is because in cases of extreme crime and that deterring crime is more important than taking the moral high ground. More Sample Questions There are two main types of questions here. The first kind requires you to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of one thing and the second kind asks you to discuss the advantages of two different things.

Situation one: discuss the advantages and disadvantages of one thing. Computers are being used more and more in education. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of computers and then give your opinion. The structure is: Introduction advantages of computers disadvantages of computers your opinion Situation two: discuss the advantages of two different things Some people say that learning online is the best way to learn, whereas some claim that it is still better to attend a class with a teacher.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this and then give your own opinion. Technology allows food to be produced in greater quantities and at lower prices. Some people believe this is a positive development, while others feel that the change is harmful. Discuss both views and give your own opinion. It is more important to spend public money on promoting a healthy lifestyle, in order to prevent illness rather than to spend it on the treatment of people who are already ill.

Some people think that development in technology causes environmental problems. Other people believe that technology can solve environmental problems. Discuss both sides of the argument and then give your opinion. Some people believe that to improve public health more public sports facilities should be provided by the government; others believe that this will have little effect and other measures are needed to improve people's health.

Discuss both sides of this argument and give your own opinion. Common mistakes Putting your opinion in the introduction of the essay For this type of essay it is best to keep your opinion for the final paragraph. Writing this here makes it seem like this essay is just about your opinion. Instead you should write: "This essay discusses both sides of this argument and then I will give my own perspective.

Others, however, think that these are necessary for individuals and the society. Discuss both views and give your opinion. The candidate writes a misleading introduction below: Today, holding parties or other activities is a common practice for individuals and organisations to celebrate some special events.

Some people, however, claim that these celebrations are wasteful, while others argue that they have favourable effects on individuals and the society. Personally, I believe that holding these celebrations does more good than harm.

Putting your opinion in the body of the essay The question asks for both views and your opinion. Try to have three clear responses. Hold your opinion until the final paragraph. It is extremely dangerous to mix your opinion with one of the sides because some examiners will then feel you have not satisfactorily completed the task of both sides and your opinion.

They might think you have only discussed one side and your opinion. It's very risky to mix your opinion with the discussion of one side of the argument. Taking this risk may mean you will not get to 7 for task response; it will depend on the examiner's interpretation.

To get rid of this risk I suggest you structure the essay the way I have outlined, with your opinion given in the final paragraph only. You can see the previous model essay in this section for examples of this. Not writing enough for your opinion With a both sides and opinion essay, your opinion is one of the three requirements of the task. You must give more than a sentence for your opinion. In addition, you should not only say what your opinion is but also give the reason.

I suggest you say the following: 1. Start with a signal "In conclusion, I believe…" 2. Say why. Justify your selection. This is the key to reaching 7 and above for task response. Remember that YOUR opinion is one of the three parts of the question and although this paragraph may be briefer than the body paragraphs it is a very important one. Two question essay This type of question sometimes also known as a problem and solution essay. I do not call it this because it is not always about problems and solutions.

This type of question tests your ability to discuss two aspects of an issue. To score well you must answer BOTH questions well. Therefore you should respond to each of the questions equally. Sample question words What problem does this cause? What are some potential solutions? What are the causes of this problem? What are some solutions? Sample task Some people think that in the future lots of changes will occur that will improve our society.

What kind of changes will occur? An analysis of the topic and question is provided below: Topic: Some people think that in the future lots of changes will occur that will improve our society. Question 1: Do you agree or disagree? Question 2: What kind of changes will occur? Planning the essay Some people think that in the future lots of changes will occur that will improve our society.

Better entertainment New technologies to enhance our entertainment. For instance 3-D television will soon become commonplace in our living rooms. What I mean here is that the introduction will fit the body of the essay, and the conclusion will summarise the points from the body of the essay. Given that you have already rephrased the keywords of the topic this step should be relatively easy. Some people think that in the future lots of changes will occur that will improve our society.

It is important to make it clear what the essay is about because it makes it clear to the examiner you understand that there are two questions. Also, when the examiner reads the body of your essay they already have an overall idea of what your essay is about, and in the likely event that you have errors with vocabulary and grammar they may be less serious because the examiner will have more of a context in order to guess the meaning of what you are trying to express.

You can simply state what the essay is about using a phrase like: …and then add on a rephrase of the two questions:. You should have a paragraph for each of the questions. The main idea for each paragraph is the question you are responding to. You should then have exactly two main points to support each question. This ensures that you get the right balance for the essay.

What I mean here is that you should say about the same amount for each of the questions. You should not focus on one of the questions more than the other. For this type of essay the topic sentence should clearly identify which of the questions is being responded to.

It introduces the question you are responding to, which forms the key point for the paragraph. There are three ways to develop your key point: Explanation, example, adding details Explanation:. Adding details:. You only need to do two things in the final paragraph of this type of essay and they are always the same.

First you need to signal that this is the concluding paragraph and second you should summarise your main points for each question. Model essay one: Some people think that in the future lots of changes will occur that will improve our society. As a result of developments that are taking place, many people believe that life will become better. This essay discusses the reasons why the changes that are coming are positive, and also suggests what kind of changes will occur.

The changes that are coming are positive for two main reasons. The main reason is that they will make our lives more convenient. We are likely to have more free time as a result of technology taking over many of our everyday tasks.

For example, we may have robots capable of doing many household chores, and this will enable us to have more free time for enjoyment and relaxation. Another factor is that our recreational time will be enhanced by new technologies that make our entertainment and even more fun. If we enjoy ourselves more we will be happier and more relaxed. There are two main types of developments that are likely to occur. The first of these is time-saving technologies.

Future enhancements of robotics are likely to lead to even more household tasks being performed by machines. As well as this, the entertainment industry looks likely to soon make enhancements to our recreational experiences by making new technologies available.

A good example of this is 3-D television, which will make watching movies even more fun. In conclusion, the future looks promising because we will have technology takeover many of life's mundane tasks and we'll have better forms of entertainment. The most likely changes appear to be technologies to save us time and also enhance our leisure time. Template for a two question essay It is difficult to build a standardised template for our two question essay because a wide variety of questions can be asked.

First a general template will be given and then a more specific template will be given for a typical problem and solution essay. The question type is quite commonplace and you can use the template below for any essay of this type. Although ……………. This essay looks at some of the problems caused by …………….

The ……………. For example, ……………. In some cases, such as ……………. The second effect is ……………. People who ……………. However, the menace of ……………. Education is the main way to tackle this issue. People need to be aware of the effects so that they can avoid this problem. In addition, the government could also …………….. This is a good approach because …………….

In conclusion, ……………. The best approaches to deal with it are to educate people about its damaging effects, and also for the government to …………….. Although the problem is unlikely to be entirely eliminated in the short term there are concrete steps to reduce the effects it is having on the current society. Model essay two: [problem and solution] Change the underlined parts according to your topic Drug abuse is becoming increasingly serious in many nations.

Although drugs threaten many societies, their effects can also be combated successfully. This essay looks at some of the problems caused by drug use on society, and suggests some solutions to the problems. Drug abuse causes multiple problems for countries and communities. The medical effects are very obvious. For example, addicts abuse their bodies and neglect their health, and so eventually require expensive treatment or hospitalization.

In some cases, such as Marilyn Monroe, a drug overdose even leads to death. The second effect is crime. People who take drugs become crazy and irrational and often cause harm and danger to themselves and others. However, the menace of drugs can be fought. In addition, the government could also use infomercials to educate their citizens. This is a good approach because they can alert all citizens about the negative aspects of using drugs.

The best approaches to deal with it are to educate people about its damaging effects, and also for the government to ensure all people are aware of the consequences through public service advertising. Although the problem is unlikely to be entirely eliminated in the short term these are concrete steps to reduce the effects it is having on the current society.

More sample questions Nowadays we communicate less with our family members face to face. What are the causes of this? More people use their own cars rather than public transport; so many people believe it is up to the government to encourage people to use public transport.

Do you agree? How else can people be encouraged to use public transportation? The development of technology has influenced the ways people interact with each other. What are the main changes in the types of interactions people have? Do you think this is positive or negative? Developed countries often give financial aid to developing countries, but it does not solve poverty, so developed countries should give other types of help to the poor countries rather than financial aid.

What other kind of aid could be provided? There are many reasons that can motivate a person to stay working for the same company. Some believe that money is the main reason. What are some other reasons why people may stay? Common mistakes Not responding fully to both questions Level 6 for task response requires that you: Address all parts of the task although some parts may be more fully covered than others. Level 7 requires that you: Fully address all parts of the task.

From this perspective it is vital that you answer both questions fully in order to reach 7 and above. Not introducing BOTH questions in the introduction. As mentioned above it is vital that your essay focuses on both questions in the essay. It is misleading to only introduce one of the questions in the introduction. Improving your score This section will help you to improve your score by outlining some of the common errors that occur with essays written in the exam and also to make suggestion about how to enhance your score for each of the four grading criteria.

Poor time management If you do not right enough words your score for task response is penalised by 1 to 3 points! In addition to that, if you didn't complete the task you are unlikely to score well for task response anyway, as you are unlikely to have completely answered the question. In this case your score for task response would be restricted to 5 and you would still get the penalty on top of this. In other words you probably will fail your exam!

The following are my suggestions for managing your time: Make sure you make a plan before you start writing. A plan will save you time when you start writing because you will not have to keep stopping to think about what point you want to make next.

This is the area that most students do poorly on and in order to do it well it takes practice. The best way to practice is to look at past exam questions and prepare a plan of how you would write them. Make sure you have practiced writing sufficiently before your exam and that you understand how to structure the three types of essays that get asked.

If you are familiar with the types of questions that get asked you won't get a nasty surprise and you will be able to answer the question more quickly. If you really have trouble with finishing on time, learn some stock phrases that you can write quickly in the exam. If you have learnt the sentences well you will be able to write them quickly and without errors.

The best way to learn these is to look at model answers and underline sentences you think you would like to use in your own writing. Then you need to memorize the sentences by writing them, and even better, practice writing them in an essay. Not responding to all parts of the topic.

For the task below, the topic includes two parts that must be both referred to in the body of the essay. If you have failed to answer both, your score would be limited to 5 for task response. Misstating the topic This error occurs when a candidate gives an answer that is not directly related to the topic; or in other words, is tangential to the topic. This commonly occurs in the introduction to the essay but also it can happen in the body of the essay. See the example below, the question talks about space travel but the candidate talks about science and technology in general.

Some people think space travel is important for the development of humanity; while other people believe it is a waste of money. Candidate writes: Many people believe that we should invest more money on science. However, others disagree and think we should not waste money on technology.

This essay discusses both sides of the argument and then I will give my opinion. In the example below the candidate changes the topic by saying that people rely on computers instead of talking about whether they will be able to use computers to view art. Some people claim that public museums and art galleries will not be needed because people can see historical objects and works of art by using a computer.

Do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Candidate writes: Nowadays, people tend to rely on computers too much. Some people even think the need for public museums and art galleries will gradually disappear in the future. I totally disagree because I believe museums and galleries will always be essential.

The task does not say that advertising is deceptive only that it is powerful. Today, the high sales of popular consumer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold. Candidate writes: These days, we can see some consumer goods are in high demand in our society.

There exists a perception that such high demand is the result of deceptive advertising. I somewhat agree with this. The question says more not only Some people said the government should not spend money on building theaters and sports stadiums. It should spend more money on medical care and education. Candidate writes: When it comes to how to allocate the governmental budget, one topic now under debate is whether the money should be spent only on medical services and education instead of on constructing theaters and sports stadiums.

Do you think the advantages of free admission outweigh the disadvantages? Candidate writes: Misstating the question In the example below the candidate makes it seem like the question is only asking for their opinion instead of both sides of the argument and their own opinion. The candidate writes: Nowadays our food supply is more plentiful and cheaper due to scientific advances. I believe this is totally advantageous for individuals and society for the reasons that follow.

Over-generalisation Overgeneralisation occurs when something is exaggerated. Something that only applies to some or the majority is said to apply to all of a population. For example: As we all know, all politicians are corrupt. Improving task response Read the task carefully Do not rush reading the task, even though you are under pressure to finish the writing exam in one hour. Read every word carefully and underline key words. Think carefully what the topic is about and what the question is asking you to say about the topic.

Planning The planning stage should also not be rushed. You should spend at least 5 minutes planning your essay. You need to make sure that you have strong main ideas and a good structure for your essay. This will enable you to focus on the topic and question.

Also, if you make an effective plan, this can actually speed up the writing of your essay. This is because a lot of time can be wasted when writing if you need to think of what you are going to say. The plan can reduce the time spent trying to think of what to say when writing. Essentially, it's more time efficient to do all the thinking at the start, in the planning stage, in order to reduce the time spent thinking during writing.

Developing strong main ideas A lot of my students tell me they struggle to come up with good ideas. My main suggestion is to practice this. Look at lots of sample questions and think how you would answer them. You may get lucky and get one of these questions in your exam! As well as this, brainstorming in English is a skill and if you practice it you will get better at it. Developing your ideas well A grade six requires responding to all parts of the question. A grade seven and above requires that you extend and support your ideas.

This can be done by supporting your main ideas with explanations, details, and examples. For more on this see the section on writing the body of the essay. Use an appropriate structure To get a high score it is essential that you structure your ideas well. This is because the examiner will be able to see the quality of your ideas if they are structured well.

Common errors with cohesion and coherence Avoid basic sequencing words Try to avoid sample sequencing words such as: firstly secondly, as they are very basic sequences. Instead use something like: the main reason…. This is of benefit for those who are not able to attend class at a certain time.

Secondly, As well as this, students can choose where to study, and this is clearly a benefit to students who need to look after other members of their family. Avoid unnecessary sentence elements In the examples below unnecessary phrases are underlined. It is better to leave these out because they don't add anything to the sentence, and they break the flow of the sentence. In other words, they lower coherence, while offering no communicative benefit.

When you use a conjunction it is to join two parts of a sentence and you should only have a single sentence. Words that cannot be used to start sentences and should only be used in the middle of sentences are called conjunctions. And: They bet and they drink. Nor: They do not bet nor do they drink. But: They bet, but they don't drink.

Or: Every day they bet or they drink. Yet: They bet, yet they don't drink. So: He bet well last night, so he drank a beer to celebrate. Not using an appropriate structure for the question type In response to the question below, a student wrote: I discussed both views and end up getting 6 bands. Really disappointed. My reply: that's because you were not asked to discuss both views. You were asked to discuss which one is better! Avoid irrelevant sentences Every supporting sentence in a paragraph must relate to the main idea stated in the topic sentence.

A sentence that does not support the main idea does not belong in the paragraph, thus such a sentence should be omitted. When a sentence does not belong in a paragraph, it is called an irrelevant sentence. The underlined sentence below is an example of this because it is not about where people come from, like the rest of the paragraph: The staff in the company come from many different parts of the world.

Some are from European countries, such as France, Spain, and Italy. Still other students were born in Asian countries, including Japan and Korea. Japanese food is delicious. The company is an interesting mix of people from many different countries. Improving cohesion and coherence Make a plan before you start writing If you have a solid plan before you start writing you will make sure that you are on topic and that you have an appropriate structure for your essay.

It is essential that you respond to the question that is asked. Use sequencing words and connecting phrases Sequencing words and connecting phrases add cohesion to your writing by showing the relationship between ideas and by sending signals to the reader about your writing. Avoid errors with word choices If you make lots of errors with word choices this makes it more difficult for the examiner to read your writing which lowers coherence.

Therefore these errors with word choices lower your score for vocabulary as well as for cohesion and coherence. The negative effect is double! Avoid unnecessarily complicated structures and grammar The more difficult it is for the examiner to follow your writing the lower your score for cohesion and coherence. Just use simple straightforward main points and explain them as clearly and logically as possible.

In terms of sentence structure avoid sentences with lots of clauses. I would say a maximum of three clauses. This is because sentences with lots of clauses are hard to read and also if you make any errors with vocabulary or grammar the reader will become totally confused. Learn how to develop your ideas in paragraphs When assessing your score for cohesion and coherence the examiner is looking at your ability to structure the whole essay and also your ability to structure individual paragraphs.

Paragraphs should focus on one main idea and then that idea should be logically developed in the paragraph through explanation, adding details, and using examples that illustrate the main point. For a more detailed explanation of this refer to section 4. Common errors with vocabulary "S" endings of words Almost every essay I read has this mistake. The writer puts an "S" where it's not needed or else forgets to put one where it is needed.

Examples below: Student are always studying hard. A couple of examples: Last year my uncle work in America. In addition to this, try to avoid repeating the same word in the body of your essay. You can achieve this by using different words or by using different forms of the same word. This error occurs when two or more nouns are together, it would be more natural to write "application of pesticides" than" pesticides application" you can Google both of these [using speech marks] and see that "application of pesticides" is much more common and the results fit your context better.

If you are ever unsure whether one phrase is better than another, whether two words go together, or about the word order of a sentence you can use this method of googling the phrases. One of the most controversial issues relates to whether students should live at home or on campus.

My response: Really! I wasn't aware. I thought was things like abortion and euthanasia and wars! Better to say "A highly debated issue" Whether children should start learning a foreign language at primary school instead of high school has sparked off an intensive debate.

I have heard nothing about this. Better to say "… is an important issue in the field of education" Colloquial expressions Some phrases are used when speaking, but not when writing. These can be considered as "ugly" English. Improving vocabulary This is such a huge area that it is beyond the scope of this book.

However, some general guidelines follow. You can also see some words and phrases for common topics in Section 9: Vocabulary for Common Topics. This is to help you clearly understand the question and also to help you generate some alternative words to replace the given words. This shows the examiner your ability to rephrase and also that you have a broad vocabulary. Use high-level words where possible Where possible try to avoid basic words and use high-level words to show the examiner your talent with language.

Do not forget that it is a language test! Common errors with grammar Articles Almost every essay I read has errors with articles. The articles are: a, an, the To reduce these errors you should read about the rules, do some quizzes, and also practice your writing and get feedback on these. More is explained about this in the next section on improving grammar. Avoid writing short simple sentences In order to score six and above you need to show the examiner you have the ability to write complex sentences.

These are sentences that have a dependent and independent clause. If you just write short simple sentences like the one below your score is limited to 5. The advantages of this policy are obvious. It is beneficial for communities and societies in general. Improving grammar Grammar is a huge area with tons of books dedicated to it. If you are taking an IELTS exam in the near future you may not have a lot of time to work on grammar.

The best ways to improve your grammar score are to reduce the number of errors you make and also to write a variety of sentence types. Looking below at the grading criteria for a level 7 for grammar makes this clear. Spending time on learning different tenses and how to use them does not usually pay off well in terms of the time investment. As well is this, they are difficult to master and apply in your writing.

For this reason I think that it's better to focus on reducing errors and learning to write different sentence structures, especially complex sentences. This section focuses on some ways to write complex sentence structures and then on explaining a few of the types of grammatical errors that commonly occur in essays. Develop ways of writing complex sentences Complex sentences are sentences that include an independent and dependent clause. Two excellent ways to form these are to use conditionals [phrases] and relative clauses [who, which, that, where].

The condition may be something real or imagined, and the result could be a definite result, or just a possible result. Conditionals are a useful way of forming complex sentences, which can boost your grammar score. Another reason why I teach candidates to use them is because they can be easily noticed by an examiner, due to the word if.

A key decision is to divide the data in to two or three logical parts. In this response the decision has been made to divide the data into three paragraphs based on presenting qualifications in the order that they are presented in the graph lowest to highest.

The first covers the male dominated trade certificates, the second describes female dominated diplomas and degrees while the third covers male dominated higher qualifications. An equally valid approach to this question is to use two paragraphs and divide based on gender. A key difficulty with this question is that there is very little data, which means that either the data must be described in precise detail or the reasons for patterns in the data must be discussed.

In this case each of the body paragraphs has two sentences. The first describes the data and the second describes probable reasons for the results. Essay Notes The introduction describes the form of the two graphs and allows the reader to understand the title, axis and form of the data for both of the graphs. The body of the essay can be readily split into two body paragraphs, one describing each of the two graphs in the order that they appear in the question.

The first body paragraph describes the two reasons for undertaking education career development and interest. The data for career development is described first because at the first age under 25 it is the higher value. Each set of data is described in a single sentence and in both cases the starting value, end value and trend is described allowing the reader to readily reproduce the graph from the description. The second body paragraph describes the amount of time-off that employees are given to study.

In this case the amount of time off given decreases slowly initially and then decreases more rapidly and shows two trends. For this reason the start and end point and the general trend are described for both parts of the graphs. Overall the data is clearly described by the essay and a reader should be able to reproduce the graphs even if they have not seen the original question. The plot shows the annual number of restaurant visits for the same types of food between and This suggests that Indian food is preferred because it is the least expensive option.

In the total number of restaurant visits per year was approximately 5 visits per person, which was made up of 3 and 2 visits per person to Chinese and Italian restaurants, respectively. The total remained low until , but after that time increased steadily to around 50 visits per year by After , the number of visits to Chinese restaurants increased in a continuous upward trend reaching 22 visits per person per year by , while visits to Italian and Indian restaurants initially followed a similar trend but the number of visits began to level out after the year reaching 15 and 12 visits per person per year by , respectively.

People having higher disposable incomes and less free time are probably the causes of the dramatic change in eating habits. Essay Notes The aim of a strong Task 1 response is to allow a reader who has not seen the charts to reproduce the graphs from the text. In this question there are two distinct graphs that allow the question to be neatly divided into two paragraphs. The two separate graphs mean that there is a significant amount of information to cover in the essay and reaching the word limit should not present a problem.

The introduction is a single long sentence, but could be written as two shorter sentences that describe the title of the graphs. After reading the first paragraph the reader should be able to suggest a title for both graphs.

The first graph is challenging and could be described in many ways. In this case the body paragraph is very unusual as it contains no direct reference to individual values for Indian food and this means that the reader would find it difficult to be able to reproduce the scale on the left hand side of the graph accurately. This was a deliberate choice to keep the word limit down and complete the essay within an acceptable time limit.

The second paragraph is also challenging as the graph has an unusual shape. In the second half of the paragraph the number of visits to individual styles of restaurants is described. Chinese restaurants have the highest number of visits and are described first. Italian and Indian restaurants are grouped together as both show a flattening trend after It should be noted that the data is presented in order of importance — total visits, followed by visits to Chinese restaurants and finally visits to Italian and Indian restaurants.

It is worth noting that for all three foods, the first and last values are provided as well as the shape of the graph. This allows the reader to draw the graph accurately and is a good strategy to adopt. Providing both the shape and start and end values should allow the reader to reproduce this graph very accurately. The paragraph concludes by offering a suggestion for the reasons for the changes. The number of people aged above 60 in Canada and Finland follows a remarkably similar trend.

The lower initial aged population of Korea can be attributed to the lower development of Korea in the early part of the 20th century, but rapid development and healthy diets in the second half of the 20th century are probably the cause of the increased longevity in Korea. In this question tense presents a challenge because students are expected to describe both historical data and forecast future data.

When describing trends that start in the past and extend into the future, the correct tense for the initial value and the trend is simple past because the initial value occurred in the past and the trend began in the past. It should be noted that the expectation occurred in the past, but the expectation is for future values. The introduction should be a single sentence that describes the type of graph, the axes of the graph and the three countries that are mentioned.

After reading the first sentence of the essay the reader should be able to draw and label the axes and put a title to the graph. A key decision is to divide the data into two or three logical parts. In this response the decision has been made to divide the data into two paragraphs. The first body paragraph covers Canada and Finland because the shape of these graphs is similar. Grouping these two countries allows the graphs to be described in detail using efficient and simple language.

This paragraph is also presented to the reader first because the initial values are higher than that of Korea. The shape of the Korean graph is quite different and in the second body paragraph there is also the opportunity to contrast this set of data with the data for the other two countries. For each of these sections the start and end points are provided along with a description of the trend in each section of the graph. Only the key features of the graphs are described, however the reader should be able to draw the graph from the text without assistance.

The final paragraph in the essay does not describe the graph but the reasons that the graph could be the shape it is. This is not required by the examiners but gives the passage a more authentic feel as data is usually analysed not just described. In this case it helps lengthen the essay and ensure that it is longer than the minimum word length. The remaining budget was spent on consumables, equipment and insurance. Essay Notes This question presents the challenge of how to logically divide the data because there are three pie charts.

The simplest way to manage this question is to separate the different types of costs and treat them individually. Many students will choose to write three body paragraphs for this question and break the essay down by time. In general, at the highest paragraph level it is usually a poor choice to separate data by time because this causes the writer to describe a particular feature costs in this case in three different places and makes the description of changes less clear to the reader.

In the three charts, two of the largest costs are academic staff costs and technical and administrative staff costs. As both represent a large percentage of the overall cost and are both related to staffing, they were logically grouped together in the first body paragraph while all other costs were described in the second body paragraph. The introduction describes the form of the data pie chart , a title for the data, the specific years for which the data is presented and that the data is represented as percentages.

In the first body paragraph staff salaries are grouped together. Since the cost of academic staff represent the largest cost, they are described first and in most detail, followed by technical and administrative salaries. The second body paragraph covers the remaining three costs. In this paragraph consumables and equipment are described first as they represent the largest of the remaining costs to be described.

They are also grouped together because they are of similar size. It should be noted that all items in the pie charts are described allowing the reader to reproduce the data reasonably accurately from the text even though not all numbers are described. In Iran in the number of people in the age group was just under half In contrast, the number of Iranian people aged over 55 represented only 3.

By , it is expected that the population will have aged significantly, with the number of people aged years expected to decrease to In Spain in the percentage of young people was much lower Essay Notes This question is quite challenging as there are 2 bar charts, and data is both for the past and the future and there are relatively few data points 12 in total. The introduction is particularly difficult because of the number of different elements that need to be included.

From a structural point of view the data can be readily divided logically in two ways. The first is by country and the second by year. It is best to divide the data by country as this leads to a more simple and clearer description of the data. In general, it is best not to logically divide the data into paragraphs by time. Data should be divided by time within a paragraph. The first body paragraph focuses on Iranian data because it is the first bar chart presented in the question. The data is also described in chronological time order.

The earliest to latest year and youngest to oldest age group is the order that is adopted throughout giving the essay a clear consistent structure. There are so few data points provided in the question that each individual point should be described. However, it should be noted that trends are also described — notably that the population is expected to age and there are expected to be a higher proportion of older people in the future.

The second body paragraph describes the data for Spain. The data is presented in the same order as for the Iranian data and the only difference is that the situation in Iran is contrasted with that in Spain. Again the small amount of data means that each individual data point can be described which means that a reader who has not seen the original question should be able to reproduce the data exactly.

The table shows how these causes affected the three regions in the Americas. Summarise the information reporting the important features and make comparisons where relevant. Central America has by far the highest level of land degradation at North America has by far the lowest level of land degradation at 5. Deforestation made up only 0. Essay notes This question includes both a pie chart and a bar chart that allows the question to be logically divided into two parts.

The introduction describes the high level content of the two data sets including the forms of the data pie chart and a bar chart , a suitable title, the breakdown of the types of degradation and is presented in percentage form rather than as absolute values.

It should be noted that because the pie chart is presented first in the question it should always be described first in the response. The first body paragraph describes the pie chart and because there are only four data points, all can be listed and they are described in order from highest to lowest value.

The second body paragraph describes the bar chart. The bar chart describes the overall percentage of land degradation in each region as well as the breakdown of that degradation. Since the total land degradation totals are highest, they are described first in each case followed by the breakdown of the data by degradation type.

Similarly, Central America is described first because it has the highest level of land degradation, and is followed by the other regions in order of the percentage of land degraded. There is very little data provided in the question so every data point is described. Initially, the last sentence was not included in the essay because the percentage of deforestation was so small it was considered unimportant and also because it can be calculated from the other data that was presented.

However, adding this sentence increases the essay length from to words ensuring that it more comfortably exceeds the minimum essay length. Most students find the letter much easier to write than the Task 2 essay. Nevertheless, there are a number of strategies that students can use to ensure they write an effective letter. The first is that writers should have a clear idea of the aim of the letter. The goal of the letter should be to create a believable scenario and describe it to a reader.

In many questions the writer must request for a specific action to be taken. It should also be noted that the tone of the letters should always be polite and understanding as many of the scenarios involve a request for an action to be performed that the recipient could easily refuse.

Failure to have an understanding tone is likely to lead to the request being rejected by the recipient. Step 1 — Organising the information — thinking time A key part of drafting a Task 1 response is to create a believable scenario that is sufficiently detailed to allow the student to write a minimum of words because a failure to reach the word limit will result in a significant penalty.

The scenario must be believable otherwise the letter will not feel authentic. It is critical that the form of the greeting reflects the nature of the relationship between the writer and the recipient of the letter. An introduction in a Task 1 letter is usually one sentence, or very rarely two short sentences. It should contain a brief description of the problem and may include a request.

After reading the introduction the reader should be able to describe the reason for the letter. This will be the longest part of the letter and it is important to ensure that the scenario being described is sufficiently complex to allow the letter to be long enough to meet the minimum word length. Typically the first body paragraph should include a detailed description of a problem that needs addressing.

This paragraph usually forms the majority of the essay and often is around words in length. It is critical that the letter is believable and must include believable names and dates in order to ensure that the letter feels natural to the reader. Step 4 — Writing the Request The second part of the body includes a description of precisely what the reader is requesting.

For example the request could be to pay an overdue bill, to cut back dangerous overhanging branches from a neighbours house or to ask for the return of a long ago borrowed book. It is normal to also provide a reason for the request. The request paragraph is usually short and may be as little as one or two short sentences.

For this reason well developed scenarios are critical for achieving the word limit. For each essay a set of notes is included that describes the key choices made by the author. It is most important to remember that a successful response allows the reader to feel as though the letter is genuine. A serious common problem in the General Task 1 response occurs when students create a scenario that is unnatural and not believable to the reader.

Students also often avoid putting in names and dates and this also causes letters to feel not authentic. Well-chosen names of people and places make a significant difference to the authenticity of a letter. General Task 1 Useful Language Letters have a particular form and students can take advantage of this is their writing because many standard phrases can be used throughout the letter that can improve the authenticity of the letter.

Below is a list of some of the useful standard phrases that can be used in letters. Letter — Hot Water You are a student at a university in Brighton and are living in private accommodation and have not had hot water or heating for some time.

As you are aware the hot water service has not been working since the 17th of December when I called to notify you of the problem. I appreciate that within a day you arranged for tradesmen to come to the flat to resolve the problem. However, after the workmen arrived without the appropriate tools for the job and after spending 10 minutes looking at the job advised that they were aware of the cause of the problem and would return later in the day to fix it.

They did not return until the 22nd of December when they advised that the problem was different to what they first expected and would need to order in new parts. On their return just after Christmas they replaced the thermostat and declared that the problem was fixed, but we still have no hot water. I would appreciate it if you could either arrange different workmen to come and either fix or replace the hot water service before the 31st of December as we have guests coming to stay over New Year and would not wish them to fall ill.

I look forward to your rapid response, Kind regards, Simon Smith Notes This is a standard question where students are asked to explain a problem and request for the problem to be resolved. The key challenge is to create a scenario that is believable. The opening sentence introduces the problem and provides the reason that they are writing.

It should be noted that an address has been made up by the author in order to make the letter feel authentic. In this case the scenario is well developed with the problem not being fixed on several occasions. This makes the paragraph long and ensures that the word limit is comfortably reached.

In order to provide authenticity, dates are included in the paragraph. Essays often include dates and students should pay attention to ensure they use acceptable forms. The second body paragraph describes the action that the writer of the letter wants to be taken. It is normal to explain why the requestor wants action to be taken.

Letter - Restaurant You had a very good experience in a local restaurant with your family. Write a letter to a newspaper to tell them about it, describe what you liked about it, and why you think the restaurant is worth visiting. The staff were friendly and welcoming and the overall quality of service was excellent.

Our orders arrived quickly, were hot, of a good size and inexpensive. In addition the drinks were reasonably priced. We were particularly impressed that when our children became a little impatient towards the end of the meal, the staff provided pencils and drawing material for them and greatly eased the burden of what had been a long and tiring day.

I hope that you will publish this letter so that many other people in the area can enjoy this excellent restaurant and that it will thrive and be a part our community for a long time to come, Yours sincerely, Felicity Maxwell Notes This question should be reasonably straightforward for most students as they have most likely been to many restaurants.

However, the challenge in this question is having an opening that is realistic because normally people will not write to newspapers about restaurants they enjoyed. In this case the author has chosen the letter to be a response to a request from a local newspaper to support local business in order to make the letter feel authentic to the reader.

The opening sentence of the letter explains the reason for the letter. The letter has only one main paragraph that describes the positive experience the writer had at the restaurant. Different writers will choose very different restaurants, sometimes very high quality restaurants with an excellent atmosphere.

The choice of restaurant is not important but the believability of the response is critical. The final paragraph is to explain what the result the author hopes to achieve by writing the letter. In this case it is to bring awareness of a good restaurant to other people. In order to further increase the authenticity of the letter the name of the person who wrote the letter is female. This is a deliberate choice by the author because in most families such a letter is much more likely to be written by the mother rather than the father of a family.

Letter — Coming for a Holiday A friend wants to spend a four-week holiday in your country and has written asking for advice about the trip. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter: offer to find somewhere to stay, give advice about what to do, give information about what clothes to bring. Dear Chris, I was absolutely delighted to hear that you are able to finally come to Australia and visit Melbourne in September.

Spring is a great time to visit Melbourne because there are many mild, clear days, but the nights are much cooler so make sure that you bring at least one light jumper. I hope that you will spend a couple of days living with us but I also recommend spending a night or two in a hotel in the centre of town so you can experience the nightlife and enjoy the parks and galleries at your leisure. While you are there you should also visit Healesville Sanctuary, which has many native Australian native animals including kangaroos and koalas.

I will be working during the week but on the weekend I hope that you will agree to join us on the Great Ocean Road and can enjoy the beautiful coastline and spectacular views. It is advisable that when answering questions that students write about areas that they are familiar with, if possible. Tone is important in this letter. It is written to a friend so the tone should not be too formal. It is always critical to ensure that all aspects of the question are answered. In this case the elements are what to do, where to stay and what to wear.

However, it is also important that the response is natural and these elements do not have to appear in the same order as the question. Students need to ensure that they fully analyse questions and do not assume that the information provided by examiners is correct and provided in a logical order.

In this case, the most important question for any host is when and this is addressed in the first paragraph of the letter and time of year naturally leads to recommendation about clothing which is the final element mentioned in the question. The second paragraph focuses on where to stay and is extended in this case by recommending staying at a hotel and coming to stay with their friend.

The final paragraph focuses on places to visit and is an opportunity to provide longer descriptions of desirable places to visit if there are problems reaching the word limit. Letter - Accommodation You will move to a new city because of you work.

Ask some friends who live there for help finding accommodation. Tell them where you would like to live. Tell them the type of accommodation you are looking for. Dear Jin, I am really pleased to let you know that I got the job at Zhongshan International Secondary School and am moving to Zhongshan early next year. I will spend at least a year teaching there and was hoping that you could help me find a suitable place to live.

Since a number of family members and friends are planning to come and visit me I am hoping to rent an apartment that has three bedrooms and a good size living area so that I can entertain. I would really like one in one of the newer estates because most of them have beautiful gardens, a lake that you can sit beside and read and a swimming pool.

I am not too concerned about the location as Zhongshan is not that big but it would be great if the apartment is located in the East District so I am close to work. I am happy to pay up to yuan per month for the apartment. I am arriving in Zhongshan on the 14th of January and it would prefer to move straight in.

I am sorry to trouble you but I would be really grateful if you could arrange something like this. Thank you! Your friend, Tom Notes This question should be fairly straight forward as most students will have little difficulty in creating a reason and a list of requirements for accommodation that will allow them to comfortably reach the minimum work length. It is generally best if students describe a place that they are familiar with.

The style of the letter should be semi-formal as the recipient of the letter is a friend but the request is important to the writer. It is worth noting that place names and the name of the workplace are both mentioned in order to give the letter a more authentic feel. The second paragraph focuses on the requirements for the apartment. To ensure that the word limit is met a number of different requirements including for location, the type of accommodation, the size and some of the facilities are included.

The final paragraph describes the specific request and the date of arrival. As the request could require significant effort on the part of the recipient, expressing sincere thanks is important. Letter — Car Accident You hired a car from a rental company and while you were driving on holiday, you have a small accident. You will have to write a report to the company to explain it. You need to explain the following: 1.

Where you hired it and when? Describe how the accident happened? What you did after the accident? I was driving slowly on West Mains Rd. I was paying attention and braked however the car skidded on line markings and ran into the back of the car in front at low speed causing a small amount of damage to both cars.

As the damage is very minor I have continued to use the car but felt I should let you know of the accident. After the accident I exchanged details with the other driver and have enclosed them on the attached sheet of paper. I have hired the car for two weeks and would like to understand what I need to do to fix the problem. I would be grateful if you could advise me of any other action I need to take.

I am deeply sorry for the inconvenience caused, Kind regards, Paul Richards Notes This letter requires the writer to describe a car accident in a car hired from a hire car company and to ensure that both the car company is informed about the details of the accident and also to request what the writer needs to do in order to meet their obligations.

The subject of the letter is a business transaction and requires a high level of formality. The first paragraph explains the purpose of the letter, including basic details of the circumstances surrounding the incident. The second paragraph describes the accident in detail and the actions taken after the accident and is the explanation contained within the letter.

The details including places, times and dates are provided and the letter informs the company of the details of the driver to ensure authenticity of the letter. The final paragraph includes the request, which is that the company informs the writer of any further action that they need to take in order to fix the problem. This paragraph also includes an apology to the company for the problems caused. Write a letter to the manager complaining about the service.

Say how and when you ordered the chequebook. Tell them when you need the chequebook by and ask the manager to send it to you before this date. I run a small business that uses many different suppliers and need to write many cheques to ensure that I pay them on time and do not damage the good relationships I have with them.

After realising that I would need a new chequebook on the 12th of April I went to the Bayswater branch of the Bank of Southern England to request a new chequebook and was told that it should arrive within five working days. As of the 26th of April it still has not arrived and I have now used up all the remaining cheques in my current book.

I would be most grateful if you could ensure that I receive a new chequebook no later than the 30th of April because that is when many of my bills fall due, Yours sincerely, George Mathieson Notes This question asks students to write a letter in regards to a simple request for a new chequebook that has not yet been received.

The request is short making it difficult for students to reach the word the limit unless they develop a scenario that is detailed. In this case the letter includes the impact of not having the chequebook as well as the urgency of the request in order to reach the word limit. The first sentence in this paragraph is used to describe the importance of the request. The second to describe what action has been taken by the writer and their expectations, while the third paragraph describes the current situation.

The second paragraph is slightly over words and the details of the scenario that have been imagined are critical in ensuring that the word limit is reached. The third paragraph is one sentence and describes the request that is being made and the reason that it is important that the author receives the chequebook on time. Letter - Dogs Write a letter to complain about a dangerous situation when some adolescents let their dogs run wild in public. Often on a Saturday morning there are a group of young people at Springfield Park who allow their dogs to run free throughout the park and threaten other users of the park, particularly the elderly and small children.

On one occasion a large dog ran into a small child. Fortunately, the child although very frightened, was not harmed by the incident. However, there is the risk that one of these dogs could attack a small child or an elderly person leading to very serious consequences. I am requesting that some of your rangers visit the park on the weekend and observe the problem and take appropriate action to ensure the safety of the community, Kind regards, Michelle Harris Notes This question is challenging because the request is a simple complaint and it can be challenging for students to reach the word the limit.

To reach the minimum word limit in this case it is necessary to develop a reasonably complex scenario and describe an incident involving dogs at the park. The opening paragraph describes the problem of allowing dogs to run free in a park.

It should be noted that the author has used names of the park, suburb and council involved in order to give the letter an authentic feel. The third paragraph describes the specific action that is being requested. Overall the letter is just over the word minimum length. Letter — Philosophy or Computer Science You have a friend who is about to go to a university, and he wants you to suggest to him on which course to take — philosophy, in which he is very interested, or computer science, which offers better job prospects.

Dear Mike, Thanks for your letter; it was great to hear from you again. Also, many congratulations for getting a place at Princeton. Princeton is undoubtedly one of the best universities in the world and I am sure your parents are very proud of your achievement. With regards to the question of whether you should study Philosophy that you have been passionate about for many years or Computer Science, which would give you much better career options, I think you have a really difficult decision to make.

My suggestion is to do a double degree. I think it is important to have a backup plan so I would consider focusing on your Philosophy as that is your true passion but have Computer Science in case you are not able to find a job related to Philosophy. I think this choice is a very personal one, but my choice would be to go with your passion and choose Philosophy if you are unable to do a double major. You only live once and it is important that you do things that you love.

Congratulations on getting into Princeton and good luck with your choice. I am confident you will choose wisely, With very best wishes, Harold Kostas Notes This question is interesting from a cultural perspective as the purpose of education is viewed differently in different cultures.

This is one of the few Task 1 questions that have cultural elements to the question. The writer is asked to give advice on whether a student should study subjects that they are passionate about or subjects that lead to a good career.

For many people education is seen as a means to improve their lives through financial gain or the ability to migrate. It is certainly reasonable to advise students to make that choice in the letter because this is the kind of advice that many people would give. As a consequence many students may feel more confident about writing a letter expressing this view.

In this case the author has chosen to write a letter encouraging the recipient to follow their passion. Mostly, students will not choose to make this recommendation in their letter because it is not what most people around them would normally recommend. In Western society many more students choose to follow study paths that they are interested because employers are more likely to employ graduates with a range of backgrounds and will more often choose people who demonstrate excellence rather than specific, marketable skills.

In addition, many people in the West have not experienced significant hardship in their lives and are therefore more likely to choose to study subjects that they are interested in rather than subjects that protect their future. This letter is to a friend and should have an informal style. The opening paragraph of the letter is designed to make the letter feel authentic to the reader and does not address the question. The second paragraph explains the two choices and the advantages and disadvantages of the two paths.

The second sentence acknowledges the difficulty of making a choice. The recommendation is clearly stated in the third sentence of the paragraph. The fourth sentence explains the detailed position of the reader, which is that it is better to do what you love but it is also a good idea to have a backup plan. The first sentence of third paragraph is to make it clear to the reader that they must make the choice for themselves and be happy with that choice.

This sentence also has a strong cultural element because in Western culture people generally believe that it is better to give people the freedom to make their own decisions as this typically leads to fewer regrets. The intention of the writer is to give information and their opinion but at the same time give freedom to choose to go against the advice that is given. It is also culturally normal to write positively, be supportive and focus on advantages of a particular course of action rather than give warnings about choosing an undesirable path.

The last paragraph adopts a supportive and confident tone and is respectful of the choice made by the person receiving the advice. Letter - Accident After being involved in a bad accident, you were cared for by a person that you do not know. Write a kind letter to express your thanks. After the boats collided and I was thrown into the water I was terrified.

I later learned from friends that you were walking your dog and after seeing me in the water jumped in to save me. It was a truly courageous act for which I will forever be grateful. I would also like to thank you on behalf of my parents who were deeply shocked by the accident and who also wish to thank you for your bravery.

It is really comforting to know that when I was in difficulty there were people on hand ready to assist. I hope that you will accept the small gift that I have attached to express my thanks, With very best wishes, Melissa Dawes Notes It is quite difficult to reach the word limit for this question as it only requires a thank-you and it is possible to write a very short letter to do this effectively. To ensure that the minimum word limit is reached for this question it is best if students create an incident and describe how they felt.

It is important that a highly grateful tone is used throughout. In this letter it is unlikely that the writer knows the rescuer. For this reason it is best to use a title for the person and write the letter in a formal style. The opening sentence of the letter simply explains the reason for the letter.

The second paragraph explains the scenario to the reader and explains the experience of the author and expresses their feelings to the person who helped them. The fourth paragraph in which the author indicates to the recipient that they have given them a gift of thanks helps to give the letter a feel of authenticity and also to extend the length of the letter. It should be noted that the in total the text of the letter is only words. This letter exceeds the minimum word length, but only by a small amount and it is important that students ensure that they reach the word limit in all cases to avoid a penalty.

Students should be aware of the likely length of the scenario that they have developed. Letter - Babysitting A friend has asked you to babysit on Saturday night and wants to know how much you charge per hour. Unfortunately, you already have a commitment this Saturday and cannot babysit.

However, you hope they will use your service in future. Write a letter to your friend explaining that you are not able to babysit this Saturday. Explain what your fee for the service is. Dear Michelle, I am writing in regards to your request for me to come and babysit your children on Saturday night. Thank you for contacting me in regards to babysitting. Unfortunately, this Saturday I have already committed to babysit for another family in the local area and am unavailable to sit for your children.

I am free the following weekend if you require my services. I hope that you will consider using my services in future. As part of my service I am able to provide a number of educational games and videos that are appropriate for all ages. I am happy to supervise meal times and homework and also ensure that children are in bed by the time chosen by their parents.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future, Kind regards, Tania Ericson Notes This is a challenging letter to write as the request is very simple and does not require a detailed response making it difficult to reach the word limit. In this case the essay is words long and has achieved the minimum word limit by describing in detail the services provided by the baby sitter.

In this case the recipient of the letter is addressed informally by first name in order to ensure authenticity because typically children are baby sat by people who are known to the family. The second paragraph specifically addresses the request and the reasons why the request cannot be fulfilled.

The third paragraph describes the desire to seek to babysit for the family in future and provides details of the service provided. In this case a number of details are provided to ensure that the letter reaches the minimum word length. It requires careful planning and clear strategy to develop a coherent essay that is ideas focused. The Task 2 essay requires good thinking and good language. Students should remember that in all languages, educated native speakers communicate in a clear, direct and concise fashion.

Step 1 — Analysing the question Examiners are well aware that students copy language from questions and typically avoid the correct language. Students must look at questions critically if they are to provide high quality responses. Consider the following question: Some people believe that there should be fixed punishments for each type of crime. Others think that the circumstances of a crime, and the reason for committing it should be considered when deciding on the punishment. Discuss both views.

The first common strategy used by examiners is to replace the correct word or phrase with a definition. By doing this they can test whether students know the correct language. The second strategy that examiners use to test students is to use non-academic phrasing.

Academic essays are about presenting ideas objectively and drawing conclusions. What an individual believes is unimportant — only the ideas are important. Using this phrasing serves no useful purpose and distances the writer from the ideas being presented. An academic writer must take responsibility for the ideas they are putting forward, rather than distancing themselves from them.

The third strategy used by examiners is to present two extreme points of view drawing some students into thinking that there are only two alternatives when there is a range of possibilities resulting in incorrect language choices. In this case the choice is between tourists adjusting to the cultural beliefs of locals or locals adjusting to the cultural beliefs of tourists. These are extreme views and a good answer is likely to include the possibility that adjustments on both sides should occur.

This is how this question would be presented to native speakers. A good strategy for analysing a question is to read the question and write down a one or two word topic for the essay. This will often lead to choosing the right language and avoiding extreme views.

An additional strategy used by examiners is to present examples in questions that are not the most important ideas. Students often become focused on the idea presented in the question rather than thinking about the deeper question that is being asked. For example in the question: Some people believe that public health should be improved by increasing the number of sports facilities, while others believe that it has little effect and other measures should be taken to solve this problem.

Discuss both views and give your opinion. In this example the underlying question is: How can public health be improved? This idea is not strong as there are far more effective ways of improving public health, such as encouraging healthy eating, taxing unhealthy foods, limiting working hours and providing a healthier workplace environment stand up desks, healthy snacks, etc.

Students should always focus on the underlying question. Examiners may also write questions that have logical problems and students who fail to carefully analyse questions may find it difficult to write well structured logical essays.

The plan can be simple and should consist of as many ideas as possible. Most Task 2 essays will include three body paragraphs and so a minimum of 3 key ideas is usually needed. If the plan includes more than 3 ideas, related ideas should be grouped together with the aim of constructing 3 key paragraphs. Many students do not realise the importance of quality content - good ideas are key to scoring well. The primary function of any form of communication is to present ideas. Therefore an essay with few or low quality ideas will almost always receive a low score.

In addition, the ideas presented must be logically presented to the reader otherwise they could become confused about the direction of the essay. A plan is the method by which students organise their thoughts so that they can present them to the reader in a logical fashion and thereby communicate effectively. Step 3 — Write the Introduction The importance of introductions is often under rated.

A poor introduction will require the writer to change the examiners mind in later paragraphs to score well. In addition, introductions are the place where the reader outlines the structure of their essay and can prevent examiners from becoming confused about the direction of an essay. In the opening sentence of the essay students should state the topic and suggest a reason why the topic is important.

The reason is not essential but is designed to tell the reader why they should be interested in the topic. The second sentence is the ideas sentence. This sentence is probably the most critical of the essay and has two functions. The first is to present the key ideas to the reader and let them know what will be discussed in the essay. This is important as it prevents the reader from guessing whether the author has thought about a particular idea and helps prevent the reader from becoming distracted.

The second function of the ideas sentence is to allow the reader to understand the direction of the arguments and the overall structure the essay. Each body paragraph should have one main idea and the main idea in each body paragraph should be listed in the order that it appears in the text. In some cases two ideas sentences may be used. This usually occurs when the author is contrasting two sides of an argument or if the topic can be readily broken down into two logical parts.

The final sentence in an introduction is a thesis statement. A thesis statement tells the reader the aim of the essay and has a standard structure. The first and last three words should never change. The language used is formal and uses passive voice as is standard with essays written in an academic style. A thesis statement is not essential, but is formal and shows the reader that the writer understands the conventions of writing in English.

If a student is concerned that their essay may not reach the word limit a thesis statement is a good idea as it adds length to the essay. At the end of the introduction a reader should know what the topic is, why the topic is important, the key ideas as well as the structure and the aim of the essay.

If all of these items are present the reader is unlikely to become confused about the direction or the content of the essay. Step 4 — Write the Body The body of the essay will usually contain three paragraphs. The key idea associated with each paragraph should be listed in the ideas sentence in the introduction.

The order in which they are presented in the introduction should be the same as in the body of the essay to give the essay structure. It is usually best to have the most important idea presented first. The opening sentence of each body paragraph should explain what the key point of the paragraph is and gives the reader a logical link back to the introduction.

In general, the more ideas the better as this will give the essay a more academic feel. The third type of sentence in the body is example sentences. The purpose of an example is to support an idea. Examples are secondary to ideas and as a result examples should be short.

They should rarely be more than one sentence and should never be more than two sentences long. A common mistake made by students is to give an example and expect the reader to draw the principle from the example. The idea must be stated before an example is used, academic essays are about ideas and principles, not individual situations. It is possible to have more than one example sentence in a paragraph, but the structure should be opening sentence, ideas sentence s , example sentence, ideas sentence s , example sentence etc.

Step 5 — Write the Conclusion The conclusion rarely causes difficulties for students; however, there are a few important concepts that students should keep in mind. The first is to have a conclusion marker as this lets the reader know that the essay is concluding. This seems an unimportant point, but sometimes IELTS essays are a little longer than a page and if no conclusion marker is used the reader may find that an essay has unexpectedly ended leaving them with the feeling that the essay is incomplete.

Only one conclusion marker is used in an essay, which means that there is no risk of over use. The conclusion should also refer to the topic and the key ideas that are presented in the essay. If an opinion is to be expressed directly in an essay, the conclusion is the best place for it. The reason for this is that Task 2 essays are academic and therefore should be objective. For this reason it is usually best if the ideas are presented first in the body of the essay and the opinion included as part of the conclusion.

These phrases are slightly non-academic in style and are not needed because the reader should already know your opinion from your ideas and the way in which they are presented. In addition, a sample essay with notes and essay vocabulary is included for each of the ten topics. Topic 1 — Education General Topic Information For many students, particularly those from developing countries, education is a means to an end — usually a good job. Students will often fail to consider that education is more than what is learned at school or a certificate and different people will have different definitions of what educations consists of.

For this reason a definition is sometimes worth including in an essay on education. Education is not just a piece of paper — the piece of paper is the representation of skills and quality of a person. It is the skills that are obtained that are much more important than marks or the actual qualification. People are ultimately judged on what they can do, not their qualifications.

Education improves quality of life. People who are better educated have a better life. This is not because they tend to have more material things, but because they have a greater level of understanding and therefore they have a broader vision and a better ability to appreciate the world.

It should be remembered that happiness is mostly related to achievement, which is closely related to education, not material possessions. Learning is done in many places, not just school. It is also often assumed that pre-school age children do little learning; this is not accurate.

Important steps for the early development of children include learning to smile, bringing their hands together, focusing their eyes, putting objects in their mouth, sitting up, holding a spoon, crawling, understanding basic instructions, making different sounds, walking, speaking, interacting with other children, etc.

Students often think that getting education is the process of gaining knowledge. Knowledge is the lowest form of learning and is not the focus of Western education. Education is the process of learning to solve problems. Many educated people work in fields other than which they are qualified — they know how to solve problems, including the problem of lack of knowledge. Essays should focus on learning, skills development and creativity, not knowledge.

Consider this book — it contains a great deal of knowledge but there is also high focus on thinking. The book explains the reason for choices and good students will take the broad principles from this book and apply them in many different situations. Education is much more about learning to think well than having knowledge.

IELTS questions focus on many different areas of education, including that of very young children. The roles of parents versus teachers in education are common topics. Parents also spend more time with their children and that time is often on a one-to-one basis.

It is families that have the most significant affect on children. Teachers have a limited ability to discipline children and their major role in this area is to ensure that the classroom environment is free from disruption and is safe. Teachers can spend little time with students on a one-to-one basis and therefore are restricted in their ability to teach students how to behave well.

They also do not have the right to discipline children in the same way that parents do. Governments focus of literacy and numeracy in most testing because it is the foundation of all learning. Learning is closely related to experience and having wide experiences are important for becoming highly educated. This means that extra-curricular activities such as participating in sports and joining clubs are important for building skills in non-academic, but equally important areas, such as team work, people management, project management and financial skills.

Occasionally, questions on funding for education arise. In these cases it is worth remembering that both society and the individual benefit from education and therefore it is not unreasonable to expect both students and the government to make a contribution to education costs. Society gains benefits by having more skilled people in important areas doctors, nurses, teachers, etc.

If questions on quotas for access to education arise, equality and fairness should be a key consideration. There are some questions around the best starting age for school.

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IELTS Writing Task 2: Band 9 Model Essay

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