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Wednesday, October 02, 2013


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Hi Simon,
So for the argument essay, can I clearly state that if I agree or not in the last paragraph (the concluding paragraph) instead of the first paragraph ( the introduction paragraph)???


Hi Ben,

No, you'll get a lower score if you 'save' your opinion for the conclusion. The IELTS scoring system gives you more credit if your "position is clear throughout the essay". This means that they want you to present a view in the introduction and defend/explain it in the rest of the essay. Of course, you should repeat/summarise your view in the conclusion too.

Hi Simon,

Based on your advice in your blog, I want to ask are there supposed to have four paragraphs in the essay, no matter whether it asks you to discuss or agree?
1. Introduction
2. Point 1
3. Point 2
4. Conclusion
Am I right?


Dear all, I have just received my results from IELTS enquiry..it seems that my results remain unchanged...I paid a lot of money for a remark and I needed only .50 for speaking...
I am so frustrated and disappointed...
I have started to believe that this IELTS exam is only a big business for some people...

Hi Simon,
I have a question regarding a sentence that I wrote in a task 1 essay.
This is the phrase: visits to and from the UK increased, but the latter rose the most. Is it correct or does it sound weird for a native? Will be more appropriate to say "visits to and from the UK increased, but the latter saw(experienced) a higher rise"?

Thank you

Dear Andreea,

The same happened with me. When I first wrote IELTS I had band 7 (speaking 6.5) and the second time I wrote the exam for improving Speaking section score, I had over all band of 6.5
This is disgusting. Even here, it seems like they want people to write the exam many times.
A big Business indeed. Better go for TOEFL.


Hi Simon,

Thank you very much for this awesome blog... I love your teaching style and I am a big fan of yours. I have been reading all your blog posts since last two months. My target is 7 or 7.5 in each section, i.e Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.

I would share my essays here. Please, anyone suggest me whether it is good enough for 7 bands or higher and as Simon says please find some mistakes? I also believe in "learning from mistakes".

Thanks in advance...

In recent years, some countries have experienced very rapid economic development. This has resulted in much higher standard of living in urban areas, but not in the countryside. This situation may bring some problems for the country as a whole. What are these problems? How might they be resolved?

My response:
Recently, there have been many radical changes in the economies of developing countries and enormous growth has been accompanied with it, especially in the city areas. Very few positive modifications are implemented in rural areas. This irrational distribution of funds have aggravated many issues which need proper attention.

First of all, as the standard of living has increased in most urban areas, people are more willing to migrate to those areas. The growth of industrialisation has also engulfed this trend in which many village living people are moving towards cities for employment opportunities. This mass migration has resulted in many serious issues in developed regions. For example, as more and more people migrate to cosmopolitan areas, this areas become congested and scarce of basic resources. This, additionally, burdens the whole system to provide basic facilities like good food, shelter, transportation and medical facilities. Moreover, pollution can also be indirectly attributed to such conditions.

Rural areas, on the other hand, are left behind and they cannot take active participation in the country's development as a whole. Agriculture is the backbone of some under-developed countries and they play an indispensable role in boosting economy of a country. If these parts of the country are ignored, then it will hamper the expected growth. To illustrate, dairy products are mostly the outcomes of livestock rearings in these areas. If subsidies and encouragement are not provided, these areas will under-perform.

However, the central authority can take certain steps to tackle such uneven distribution. First, local government along with central government should form special policies for encouraging agrarian activities. Further, better facilities, like education and infrastructure should be developed. Transportation of raw materials play a major role. Therefore, construction of roads and bridges are elementary under such circumstances.

Overall, growth of a country does not mean the growth of metro cities only. It means the progress of each and every corner of the nation.

This counts to 318. Is it over limit? or is it ok?

Hi Simon and others

Question W2 regarding to the use of examples?

Could you briefly explain the use of examples in writing task 2. In other words, which examples are good or better, and is there anything we should avoid?

Thank you very much!

hi Simon,
I can write:
-"train witnessed a significant fluctuation" or -"the percentage of commuters who used car and bus vehicles augmented"
-" the rate was a half of that of train" ;
-" only in car vehicle, did the rate of commuters experienced the most dramatic increase"
which are true?, please
thank you

Dear Piyu,
Your essay is very well structured.each main idea has been explained,developed logically.your range of vocab is extremely excellent to the extent I see it is somehow complex. However I can see it is a bit long essay to be written in a real exam situation but is good for practice stage unless you are capable of writing such a very good essay under pressure. If any one has any suggestion to reduce it bec I see there is no space for reducing the words , all of us we will benefit from it

Hi Eli,
Examples are needed to support your main ideas in each paragraph in other words you should think of an example which can add value and help you explain your idea in more details. Not all examples work so examples should be RELATED to the point you are trying to convey and organising your paragraph around 1 main idea will help you state related examples.

Go to Dominic cole website. He has explained using example in a good and clear way and he has good tips about writing as a whole . In the Writing essays section you can get more idea about using examples and other strategies about writing task 2

Good luck

Hi Simon,

Please feel free to answer my question. I've stucked this topic:
After leaving school or university, young people should choose a job or career that they love, rather than one that pays the best salary. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

In this topic, I'm going to plan 4 paragraph:
1/Introduction: I agree with this opinion above (carrer is more imporant)
2/Give my opinions about why we should make a job that we love.
3/Give other opinions about high salary will not bring to advantages.
4/ Conclusion: Repeat my ideas from introduction.
I wonder whether this structure is appropriate with the requirement of topic.
Please help me!!!! Thankz so much

Hi Simon and all.
I have a question about ( to what extent do you agree or disagree) how can I state my opinion in the introduction.. Is it not enough to say that I agree or disagree ? Is it essential to say ( I totally agree- one sided position ) ( I agree to certain extent - balanced position ) .

This type of questions is a bit confusing for me.
Thanks all

Hi Soha,

Thank you very much for trying to answer the question I gave!

with regard to your concern, dont worry about that kinds of question. They are the same.

[to what extent do you agree or disagree = do you agree or disagree]

And, it is enough to say I agree or disagree

hope you find it useful.

Hi Eli,
Thanks for the advice but I read another advice about the same type of questions and it said it is not enough to say to what level you agree.otherwise they would not state this word. I mean if you fully agree / disagree so you will be discussing a one sided argument but if you agree to certain extent so you should discuss both sides .. Am I right ..what do you think ?

Thanks a lot Soha for your useful comments.
I appreciate it...


Dear Mr Simon,
I have a question regarding the discussion essay.
Should I include my opinion in the introduction or in the conclusion?
As the question says :discuss both views and give your opinion.
I know I'm suppose to take one side not sitting on the fence and so I should write a format of
But after looking through some of your comments about discussion essay it seems that I'm supposed to give the opinion in the introduction before I discuss both views. I'm quite confused because my way of writing is taught by an ex ielts examiner too. (But I think yours are more reliable. She doesn'tr really teach the technique well...)

Please reply as I'm really confused and my exams are next week!tq!:)

Hi Soha,

You are right!
My point is that both types of question are the same. You can approach the same way in both questions. All in all, you statement should be clear throughout the writing.

For balanced opinion, you can say I to a certain extent agree with p1, but also I accept that p2. Then you can discus both points.

Hi Simon

Please help me. Whenever i write essay about any topic i have very limited bot strong points which comes in my mind to write
could you tell or suggest me the way to expand and open the same points and thoughts in order to complete the essay in 250 words.

Hi simon!

Sometime back u said u' ll do a full essay for this type of question soon.

Competitiveness is considered to be a positive quality among people.
How does competitiveness affect individuals?
Is competitiveness a positive or negative quality?

I am still waiting for Complete Essay of this type of question..


Many thanks Eli

thanks for the tips. I needed it!

thanks for the tips.... I needed it!

Hi simon ..
Can u please tell me ?? How to write body paregraph..i mean main argument and than how to support it? ..is it necessary to give an example after argument???<<>>can i make 3 body paragraph for all type of essay??

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