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Wednesday, July 11, 2012


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Hi Simon:

I want to express my deepest gratitude to you for all you have done for the ielts learners.

I started to follow your lessons a few weeks ago, and I also spent time looking at the previous lessons you have done. It has been a great help to me, especially the writing part.

I was hopeless with writing, and never knew what to write about. But thanks to your help, I now can easily plan my essay, and organize my ideas into paragraphs. I no longer feel lost when writing the essays.

Thanks again and I will keep following your lessons.


Dear Simon,
Thank you for your useful site.

If the question asks us to discuss both side and give our opinion, then apart from introduction, where should we explain our view? Should we release our opinion in just introduction and conclusion? Can we discuss our opinion in the main bodies? Also, is it important that the main body related to our opinion should be close to conclusion?

Thank you very much

Hi Simon,

Thanks for the great paragraph. I noticed that this paragraph is highly cohesive without any ‘explicit linking words’ such as ‘furthermore/moreover’! I think this is what ‘uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention’ means for the band 9 level according to the Descriptor, right? The way all sentences in the paragraph is linked together is by all the ‘money’ words in each sentence: earn money/the salary/pay/need money/wages/to save for the future/if…needed money. Is my understanding correct?

This is a great way to write paragraphs, and I am following this method now.

Hi Simon,
Thanks for your useful blogs.
Please clear this to me,some ielts teachers recomend to write prediction or recomendation in CONCLUSION but you did not advise this in your blogs.so shall we avoide this?

Hi tariq,

I think it's OK to add some recommendation in Conclusion if you want(it's a way to extend your main idea of the essay',but without it, it is still OK.

Thanks for your kind and positive words Cathy!


Hi Mohammed,

For that kind of question, your opinion should be in the introduction and conclusion. It can also go in one of the main paragraphs (if you want) because you will probably agree with one of the views that you are discussing. When I do this, I put the view that I agree with in the 3rd paragraph so that it flows nicely into the conclusion.


Hi Albert,

You are exactly right! Well noticed - this is a key observation.


Hi Tariq,

It doesn't really matter. I prefer to spend more time on the main paragraphs and do a shorter conclusion, but the prediction idea is fine.

Hi simon,

After those days study, I feel a little confused about the structure of the paragraph.

some essays are written in three layers. For example:

Firstly,......+ supporting evidence
Secondly,.....+ supporting evidence
Finally,....+ supporting evidence

In today's tutorial, I feel the paragraph is perfect and this type of paragraph can be usually seen from Cambridge's model essays.

When I practice writing these days, I tried to write paragraphs like these. But the three layer model which I talked about is recommended by many other writers. My question is, which way is better? or it doesn't matter?


This was myexam task 2 topic on jun 30th exam.i got 6.5 only.i found very few points write about the topic.

Hi Robert,

There is no 'best way'. You just need to write a well-organised paragraph that contains good ideas.

Hi Simon,
Recently I've found some topics which ask me to "discuss both views" and then ask for my own opinion.

Should I write 3 main paragraphs (1 for each view and 1 for my opinion) or only 2 (by including my opinion while discussing the view I agree with)?

Thanks in advance.

Sorry, only now has I noticed a similar question above by Mohammed and your answer.

But how about topic such as this one:
It has been said, “Not everything that is learned is contained in books.”

Compare and contrast knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why?

Due to the "Why?" I should write a separated paragraph, right?

Hi Simon
When the task has 2 questions: "To what extent do you agree or disagree", and "What other measures do you think might be effective", where should I write the answer for the second question? Should I write exactly some measures in the Introduction or in the main paragraph? Thank you.

Hi Quanzi,

You don't need a separate paragraph for the "why" part - just include that when you give your opinion.


Hi Tuan,

That is a "2-part question" - answer it in the same way as I answered the question in the lesson below:


is there any problem in ths sentence ?

Although the number of visitors to France increased to nearly 35,000 in 2005, there was a marked downward trend in numbers in the net two years, making this region the least popular destination for the British people, at just under 20,000 people.

hai simon,I have received your E-book.It is an amazing one.thank you very much.
Regarding your todays lesson,it is amazing and unbelievable how you wrote a very good pargraph from some simple ideas.If I was able to convert my ideas like this ,then i would have passed the exam manths ago.You have used the second pattern for this para ,which,in fact,is really difficult for me.So please give some more adivice about producing a good paragraph with some examples.I think that many people have some idea to write, but unfortunately they are unable to arrange them in a very cohesive manner.It would be great help for us if you could consider me.
Thanks a lot

hai simon ,can you suggest me how can i write as ...as in my task 1 with some good examples

Hi Jobs,

Try this lesson:


Hi Simon!
Should I use the balance opinion for this question ?
Thank you.

Hi simon,
For the question do you agree or disagree, if I say I completely agree and mention few points using firstly,secondly and so on..in the first main paragraph. I am confused about writing second main paragraph.. what should I write in this paragragh?
Please help

Hi Thien,

It's your choice. It depends what your opinion is, and what ideas you have.


Hi Sop,

You would need 2 main reasons why you completely agree. Each main reason could be one paragraph, with "sub-ideas" expressed using firstly, secondly, finally.

Alternatively, your second paragraph could explain why you believe that the opposite view is wrong.

thanks a lot simon

Hi Simon
For a question like "To study abroad has more positive sides than negative. Do you agree and disagree?"

Could I write an essay with two EQUAL paragraph for pros and cons? and then make a conclusion of more benefits than drawbacks.

Yes, that would be fine Antony.

Very impressive website for naive IETLS instructors. Thanks Simon :)

Hi simon
You wrote here that" if we no longer needed money I am in doubt most of us would choose to continue jobs"
Is this okay or it should be like this
If we no longer needed money I believe most of us would choose not to continue jobs

Pls tell what is the difference?

Both ways are fine Farhana.

Dear Simon, I teach IELTS and I have read a lot of IELTS books ,but ,frankly speaking,I have never seen most of the tips being given here in most of the books even famous ones for the IELTS.
Thank you for all the supports you give to the IELTS applicans and teachers here
Good Luck

Thanks Mr. Mohebbi. It's nice to get such positive feedback!

hi simon,
could u please let me know the ideas for 2nd paragraph for first topic if I agree with the topic?

hi simon,
I am confused about writing second main paragraph.. what should I write in this paragragh if I agree with the topic? probably it would be second reason. I m very confused specially for this question. how can I write the opposite idea is wrong for this question?I cannot think anything.
Please help.

Hi Simon,
Thanks for the paragraph. Because of the paragraph my holiday homework has done. Please write more paragraph like that to help people. I shall be thankful to you

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