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Wednesday, April 20, 2011


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Hi Simon!
I've had a look at your essay. It's completely perfect! and it is very easy to follow. I wasn't wondering about this essay deserving a band 9!

In contrast, city life has several drawbacks. = city life has not all been without its drawbacks.

Do you think the second phrase is a good way to say?

hi simon,
its a wonderful essay !can u please advice how can i improve my writing skills on everyday basis? before taking the exam,approximately how many essays should i practice to reach the goal of band 7....i am writing new words every day in a note book and try to use them .
thanks a tons for this wonderful site from which i am getting inspiration to pursue my dreams...

Hello Simon,

When they finish school,teenagers face the dilemma of either to get a job or continue their education.Weather or not to go to university or collage straight after finishing school in order to have a better career is a matter of debate.The pros and cons of both arguments will be discussed below.

Can I write my first para this way or does it affect the band score? In most of the argument/giving opinion,I've used 'pros and cons style'. I've never used I,for giving a direct opinion like you did 'I would argue'

I usually give my opinion at conclusion.I wonder,maybe that's one of the big reason why I get less band. Please let me know does it really affect my marks or suggest me how should I IMPROVE on this matter.

I would really appreciate the support from you.

Dear Simon,

I don't know what is formal writing and what is not-

eg. Every individual has to do recycling but then the government should encourage them.

is this sentence formal enough to write in the academic writing test?

is "but then" too informal? and how does those spoken language affect the mark??

I posted this question here because I couldn't figure out where to post. :)

thank you so much Simon-

This is a fantastic essay!
I did follow your way of writing and I got a band 7 for my writing recently!
I am very happy, thank you for your help that is great!

Hi Simon.can you give me advice for this topic:

Some people think that international sports events create problems for the hosting country and they are a waste of time and money. Do you agree or disagree with this view?

my introduce:
it is true that the hosting country has several problem when organizing international sports events. However, i definitely disagree with the idea that the hosting country is waste of time and money.

and then i will write 2 paragraphs about the benefits of hosting international sports events.

do you think that 2 paragraphs i want to write is suitable with my introduction.

thank you!

Where can I find the format for such a good essay?( band 9)
aside from vocabulary and grammar?

Hello Simon,

Can we say
"heiratage and tradition will be destroyed"
and also what can we say instead of "people suffer"?

Thank you. Alice

Thanks Pete,

You're sentence is nearly correct. You could write "City life is not without its drawbacks."


Hi Ana,

It might be a good idea to write an essay every day (spending a few hours to make it perfect), then test yourself at the end of the week (spending 40 minutes only).

It's also a good idea to find a teacher who can check your work.

Good luck, and keep using your notebook!


Hi Maya,

Your introduction is ok, but you might get a higher score if you use my technique. Examiners give a higher score when "the position (opinion/response) is clear THROUGHOUT the essay".


Hi Munie,

Words like "but", "then", "and" are neutral (used all the time - formal and informal). Don't worry too much about formal/informal - if you haven't lived with native English speakers, you probably don't use much informal language. The language you learn in most English lessons is formal enough for IELTS. Just avoid contracted forms (e.g. don't, haven't) in your writing test.


Great news Sunny! Well done.


Hi Cao,

Your 2 paragraphs would definitely be suitable with the introduction you have written.


Hi Rey,

I send some 'essay templates' as extra materials when people buy the ebook. They might be what you are looking for.

Hi Alice,

Yes, but be careful with the spelling of heritage.

It depends how you are using "people suffer" - it can be used in different ways.

Thank you so much Simon,

I want to use "people suffer" in a sentence like "people will suffer from pollution of the environment"
Can we say like that?

Hi Alice,

Your sentence seems a bit strange. It would be more normal to use 'suffer' like this:

"People suffer from respiratory problems due to air pollution."

'Suffer' is usually used when someone has an illness of some kind.

Thank you, Simon.
I now understand what you mean.

Thank you so much Simon.

Thanks Simon-

you are a legend.

Hi, Simon, could you give me some ideas on the following topic?
Some people think museums should be enjoyable places to attract and entertain people. But others think the purpose of museums is to educate, not to entertain. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Some people believe that studying at university or college is the best route to a successful career, while others believe that it is better to get a job straight after school.
Discuss both views and give your opinion.
In our modern world, there are controversial debates between people. The argument is what is more advantageous to acquire a job with or without a scientific degree.

Job satisfaction and good working conditions could not be achieved if the candidate does not hold a scientific degree. The reason is that well paid salaries and flexible working hours are essential in job contentment. For example, .An architecture engineer ,who has a degree in architecture engineering, could estimate the amount of bricks and cement needed to build a compartment in a building according to the building measures. therefore , this engineer would be praised and awarded by these companies because his skills help the company in saving money and time.

Every student has his own pace in understanding maths , literacy and science in schools; some of these teenagers could not continue to study in university . If the teenagers find a vocational job after they finished schools , parents should encourage them to continue with this job especially if these teenagers want to. The reason is that there is no guarantee jobs even if you have an academical degree so far.

It is illogical to ask the students to go for vocational or low paid jobs if they do not want to do so, but if there are exceptional circumstances , which prevent the child to proceed according to low budget families and his level in high school us irrelevant to go further, it is advisable to work.

To conclude, parents should give the opportunity to highly motivated teenagers to go either to further education or to work after finishing school.

Thanks Alice, Maya and Munie.


Hi Adverb,

I'll try to cover that topic in a lesson soon.


Thanks for sharing Sulaiman.

I'm sorry I can't give feedback on your essay, but I'm sure other students will appreciate it.

Hi Simon, i can write like this:

Young people will have the chance to go through a series of working environment, condition,and constrained pressure hoop.

This is true or false?

Thank you very much.

Hi Nguyen,

I'm afraid your sentence is a bit confusing - it seems like you have translated wrongly because "constrained pressure hoop" seems strange to me.


The essay shown above was absolutely great. I guess no revisions are needed for this. Keep up the good wok.

Thank you.

No problem.

Hi Simon,
I bought your ebook few days ago. I know how to use it but I am afraid that if I write exactly your ideas and just add some linking words to complete my essay, is it plagiarism? Do I need to paraphrase your ideas?

could you give me some help?

Hi Ngan,

Don't worry, my ideas are not "original" - they are just normal things that any native speaker might say. You will not be punished for using the ideas in the ebook.

Hi Simon

I use structure: Go through a hoop

For ex: the heavily indepted poor country have to go through a series of economic and administrative hoops designed by international creditors to establish their fitness for debt write-offs.

Maybe i have wrongly applied this above structure , right?
Thank teacher Simon so much.

Hi Nguyen,

We talk about "jumping through hoops" to mean "perform a series of difficult tasks" (so you've got the right idea), but I don't think you'll be able to use it in most IELTS essay contexts.

Thanks my teacher so much

hi simon,
is it ok if i start like this:
"Getting a job or pursuing higher education after school is many people’s concerns. I believe that it depends on what job they want to do in the future."
in this type of question, do we have to support for one site only or we can have a different idea about the option? which is easier to write?
thank you very much for your useful blog. I have learned a lot from it.

Hi IpThao,

It's ok to say that "it depends..." - you don't have to choose one side to agree with. However, I find it easier and clearer to choose one side.

Also, "is many people’s concerns" is not correct. Try to find a different way to say that.

I'm glad you like the blog!

Hi simon,your essay was really brilliant

hi simon,i found your essay easy enough it should be more high level.

Hi Roohidanish,

Students often have the wrong idea about what "high level" means. You might find my essay easy to read (because it is well written), but that doesn't mean that it was easy to write!

hi simon,
can you help me to give some ideas about "Outline the skills required for an international student (who is not a native speaker of English) to be successful on a degree level programme.what strategies can he uses to ensure that he has the skills required and are fully prepared for the challenge?
thanks Sha

Hi Sha,

I guess you need: to have a sufficient level of English to understand lectures and articles, to be hard-working, to know how to find resources like articles and books (online and in a library) etc.

To prepare, students should look at the degree programme to know what to expect and what the course modules are, and maybe buy and read some of the key textbooks before the degree starts.

hi , i saw that u have used personal language such as "I" , so is that ok to use personal language in academic essay?

Hi, Sir!
I plan to take up my IELTS academic exam this June 9 but i have difficulties in writing, both task 1 and task 2..Would you please help me how to start my writing and how can I identify the overall trend using words that will attract the examiner? Please give me tips on how to write my essays within the allotted time frame. I badly need it. i couldn't enroll in the testing center, I am financially short. Please, please help me...
Thanks in advance.
God speed!
I want to know more.

hi simon,good day! I amtaking my IELTS academic exam this coming may 26,2012 at cebu city....but i still have some difficulties in my writing,both task 1 and task 2 and my speaking test.can i ask for more sample answers please? thanks thanks!

i'm trying to write an essay on a topic that is needed to be explained..does explain the same with discussion essay

Wow great content in this article just what i am searching for thanks for sharing it to the public.

hi simon,

it is very beautiful and easy un derstanding essay.iam trying to follow this style.so piz give tips for good writng.

Hi Simon

I have red your sample essay and i got little bit confidence to write essay but here i just want to tell one thing like i am appearing for IELTS general training after one month .
However i am IT professional and every day i use to write mails but still i did not have that much confidence to clear the IELTS exam because my school back ground was Hindi medium and i struggled alot on English. Specially i am facing problem with reading and writing . Actually i can write but i am unable to frame my sentences in required topic format also unable to use effective vocabulary . So please help me by seeing this text how good i am in Writing.

Hy Simon
Its a wonderful essay i have ever read. So how can I improve my essay writings. Plz give me some tips to write am essay for band 8.

Hi Simon
i need to now which kind of essay are appearing in the task 2 ielts also how to write them ? what i mean is the order and were can i set my opinion, please rewrite to me as soon as possible.

Hi Simon,

Is it necessary for you to refute the arguments in your second paragraph - the opposite argument you don't agree with? Is it OK to just leave it there or do we need to show why it's wrong and why you dsiagree with - i.e. refute it?

Or would it be good enough to just list your own opinion and arguments in the third paragraph and that's it? Thanks.

I can't understand why it use "to getting" rather than "to get".Is there anyone who can explain it for me.Thanks


I have developed an Android app for IELTS preparation.https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ieltstipsAs a candidate preparing for the exam, I would like your inputs on how to improve this application.What other sections if added to a IELTS preparation mobile app would you like to see.


Hi simon, i would like yo asked if you offer a tutorial lesson for writing task via online. I am bit confused on how to make a start or rather what is the best structure of writing for me to get band score 7. Hope you can help me.. Thnx and more power..

I am taking IELTS exam on 3 August at UK. Can any one provide me the template for Academic writing part.

Thank You !

hello Simon!
I'm studying English for Academic Purpose's and would really like you to forward me a "Discussion Essay" in the block method worth of (600-800) words of length. I would like to get myself familiarize with essay writing.

Hi Simon,

I appeared in my ielts test this weekend. Unfortunately I fall little short in time of essay writing and missed to conclude it properly due to time constraint. However I wrote one line in conclusion.

Would I be loosing marks fir this specific thing?


Really helpful essay for non native speakers.

In today’s society,youngsters occupy the majority proportion of population in the country. According to the population statistic report,no matter how serious ageing of the population is ,the proportion of young people still make up more than 60%. Thereby,the youngers contribute to society are more crucial than the elders. Once a large number of youngers are unsatisfied with the current situation,which may influence the prosperity of society. At present, from my own perspective,government should solve the three following problems,after that synchronous between the young peoples and society will be better and phenomenon of crime rate will cut down.

First of all, the lack of job opportunities makes more youths have no chance to be employed. Without the help of government, the young peoples always are difficult to find an ideal job that appear the hot phenomenon what numerous youngers choose to stay at home using their parents’ pensions.It has arouse people’s attention from every part of society. Government should take a firm action deal with the work opportunity when they feel this project is worth doing ,because it contributes to the society or the economy as a whole. Therefore,more concessional loan will be invested by the government.

In the next place, houses may be the second big problem for the young peoples. In recent years,the price of houses become higher and hingher,youngers have no enough money to buy a house to live. Even worse,if they don’t work in their hometown,they had to rent a small second-house which only accommodate one person lived in. Sometimes people have no energy on working because of they are busy seeking for a accommodation,this is seriousely impact the work efficiency. To solve this problem, corporations and government play an vital role. When many companies are lack of money to offer workers’ dormitories,government should give a hand, giving workers more preferntial policy of buying a house or renting a dormitory.

Last but not the least, youngers’ living conception should be changed. Everyday,we can see a lot of youth spend much money on holding various parties,for instant, grand birthday parties,homecoming parties and other different gatherings. It may waste their money and even social resources. Furthermore,excepting money,many youths also think highly of fame,on the other hand,fortune and fame have resulted in more and more youngers selfish,as a result, less the young people are willing to contribute themselves. So government should increase ideological education especially individual sense of worth education. Letting more youngers realise fulfillng yourselves is more important than the wealth and fortune.

In general speaking,the young peole need government’s support,many aspects have certified that youngers dominate social development speed,if all the youngers’ problems have been resolved, society will become more harmonious.

Hi.. Your essay is excellent.
Can u give me some more writing tips.
My exam is on 16th Aug


HI Simon ,

Is it ok to include examples in discussion essays (Academic).

Question normally asks to discuss both views and include your own opinion.

Hi Simon ^^
I am wondering if my introduction is Ok or not?
Getting a job straightaway after school or going to university is a bone of contention nowadays. It is believed that receiving a tertiary education is the best guarantee of a successful career while many people has an opposite side. Both sides has own merits for some time,I would argue that going to work right is a better choice.
by the way, I love your website very much :)

and I have one question that is it necessary to write what are you going to do in the introduction like 'this essay will discuss both views....'?
Thanks a lot.

good essay

Hi Simon,
I bumped into a question that is it ok to take personal experiences as the example to use in writing task 2?

it's great. When I saw your essay's band, I was astonished. Can you help me how I can get 8 or 9 point. Thank you

Hi, Simon.
In the second paragraph, you said " young people who decide to find work, rather than continue their studies..."
Here continue should be continuing, isn't it?


Both 'continue' and 'continuing' could be used. I used 'continue' because of the words 'decide to' (earlier in the sentence).

"decide to find... rather than (decide to) continue)"

hi sir
Can i start an essay like this
whether the movement of qualified personnels from poor country to affluent country is an issue that demands serious thought.some people believes it is a form of stealing from poor country.in my opinion i firmly believe that moving to rich country for better opportunity is an acceptable idea.

Hello Simon,

Thank you for your great blog, it has helped me a lot!

I was wondering if we could write the disadvantages of getting a job straight after school in body 1 and write the advantages of studying at a university in body 2? Or is it better to discuss both "positive sides" of each idea for discussive essay? I thought it might be difficult to convince readers that my point is stronger than another side if we write both positive sides. Thanks!

There is always an argument over whether a university degree is necessary for a successful career or not. A university degree is of great help to the future career development, but it is not the only way to achieve career success.

It is understandable why people suspect the value of attending university or college. There are lots of real examples that people succeeded without a degree. For example, bill gates who quitted from Harvard but founded most great company of entire human history. Kobe, the most famous basketball player on this planet, joined NBA straight after graduating from high school. People are inspired by their success, and dreaming of being same people as them. Lots of youngsters want to repeat Bill's successful story, drop out of university and build their own company, but most of them end with a failure. However, nobody can tell the secret of their success, but these success stories are really existing and will continue in the future. And speaking of the function of university or college, it is obvious that students gain the knowledge and skills which is required in the future. Also, university or college degree is a sort of personal identity, especially for those universities or colleges with famous reputation, which will benefit you for the whole life. And based on an online survey, employees with degrees earn more money than those without degrees, which demonstrates how the degree help one person with his or her career.

In my opinion, joining the university or college is a better choice for most of people in most of situations. As the benefits mentioned above, university or college degree can provide advantages for the career competition. As there are exclusives, no one can guarantee attending university or college is the only key to career success. Instead, it depends on the specific situation, for example, bolt was born to be a runner, so his success had nothing to do with a degree. However, for ordinary people, a degree can be one of the most important factor which determines the future.

Hi Mr Simon,
I am an Iranian student for Ielts.
I need someone to practice speaking skills.

People hold different views about the role of university or college education toward the success of their career paths. While there are several benefits to start working straight after high school, I would argue that young people should continue studying for higher degrees.
The option to work straight after school is associated with many reasons. People are becoming independent. They could earn money and pay for cost living themselves. Considerably, more young people have been starting up their business, and some of them have been successful. In term of career, working environment provides greater opportunites for people to gain real experiences and learn practical skills, which are essential for their career progress in the future. Moreover, the decision whether to study in university or not depends on academic ability of each individual. People who are less likely to study could save money and time by working after school.
On the other hand, I believe it is more beneficial for people to continue their studies in university or college. Firstly, universities or colleges offer courses which supply fundamental theories about future jobs by lectures who are experts in their fields. Nowadays, many prestigious universities or colleges have adopted state of the art teaching methods, which creates environment for students to maximize their abilities to solve the problems in real case studies. By this way, students would improve soft skills such as negotiation, management or communication…, which help them enhance competitive advantage in job market. Secondly, academic qualifications are strictly required in many professions. Forexample, it is impossible to become a doctor, teacher or lawyer without any relevant degrees.
In conclusion, it seems to me that students are more likely to be successful in their career path if they continue studying for higher qualifications.

292 words. I just steal a few ideas from your sample essay.

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