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Wednesday, November 13, 2013


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:( I did this mistake on my exam

thank you

Dear Simon,
Should we give balanced answer only to this type of questions or it's possible for all types of writing task2 questions?
Thanks in advance for your advice


Dear Simon,
From this introduction , i am getting the idea that we do not necessarily need to QUANTIFY to "WHAT EXTENT " we agree or disagree.We just simply need to mention or explain our Balanced Opinion. If I am wrong, please correct me !

Dear Simon
In ielts exam, is it possible that a question asked students to express their opinions whether one phenomenon is "positive" or "negative" and "Good" or "bad"?
Eg. It is easier and more affordable for people to visit other countries. Is it a negative or positive development???

What is the best structure of the essay...?
Do we need to discuss both sides or do we write two body paragraphs with two positive facts to back up the idea.
Thank you

I did same mistake

I really like this introduction, balance opinion without say "I partially agree"

Hi Simon
Is this rule true about argument essays which introduce two opposite sides and ask us to give our opinion,and should i have more main ideas for one side which i am supporting?

Hi Simon,

Please, can you answer to Chia Chia's question? I need to learn how to write such essays too...

Thank you in advance!

Hello everyone. Dear Shahid Hamid and Rita Noory please remember that you cannot do a mistake, you MAKE a mistake.

Hi everyone. In an essay that asks for an opinion (and this can come in several forms: 'do you agree' 'discuss and give your own view' 'do you think this is positive' etc) IELTS looks for two main things.
1. Is there a clearly expressed opinion?
2. Is the opinion logically supported by the essay?
Therefore the ONLY best structure for an essay is one that expresses an opinion and supports it. If your view is very strong, then you can only look at one side. If your view is more balanced then it makes sense to look at both sides.
The only exception to this is when the question FORCES you to look at both sides ('discuss both sides and give your own view').
It all begins with your opinion. Look at your opinion and test how strong it is. A general guide could be that if you agree or disagree 80% or more (and you clearly express this) then it would be logical to support that side strongly. If your view is more central (less than 70 or 80%) then maybe look at both sides. Again there is no 'best' way, only 'unclear' or 'unsupported' views.

Hello everyone! Me and my girlfriend are going to take the exam in November 21 here in the Philippines. Does anyone have an idea on what the writing task 2 topic would be all about? thanks in advance!

so i would like to kindly make a request to be sending for a complete answers with a full question in relation to this. i really and truly appreciate for this hints. i am so thankful to you for your guidance and appropriate way to learn and practice for a better score.


Please read the comment by sjm (two comments above this one) - I completely agree with sjm's advice!

Thank you sjm ,and thank you Simon.

Hi Simon,

I trust your week has been great so far.

My question is regarding to the word ' oriented'. I've done a bit of research,and it seems this word can have two different meanings, it would depend where this word would be spoken, America or England.

Can I say, ' the client has been oriented regarding to his claim' ? Or should I say ' the client has been orientated' ?

Another thing, I would like to point out in this topic. Guys, let's try to bring the essay under Simon's previous lessons.

Basically, we have 3 types of essays, so we must ANSWER the question. That's why the introduction is so important. By looking at Simon's model introduction, we can clearly see how simple and perfect he answers the question.

In my opinion, I prefer to agree or disagree, even though I could partially agree with the issue. By doing this, I can develop my paragraph in a logical way, therefore I will not get lost in my ideas, and my time wouldnt run out.

In this modern world, there are hot debates regarding people who value possessions and money by large. I do absolutely agree that people have put the wealth as precedence over other values.

In this modern world, there are hot debates regarding people who value possessions and money by large. I do absolutely agree that people have put the wealth as a precedence over other values.

Hey Khoory,I would not use the word 'hot' and 'wealth' in the context. But, your introduction follows Simon's teachings. What do you think Simon?

Dear Simon, I'm Henry who is aiming to get Academic 7.0.
I wonder whether my introduction style is appropriate for my aim.

The topic is regarding immigration from poor nations to rich countries, agree/disagree Question.

Generally, skilled workers are migrating to developed countries to work in vacant professional positions in this globalised era. For this reason, this immigration trend to affluent nations as an inevitable natural movement has been debated, despite that is also has been regarded as stealing qualified employees from poor countries. However, I disagree with the critics, I believe that migrating to rich countries will be very enriching for both workers and the countries, possessing realistic benefits.

I look forward your professional opinion.
Much appreciate you in advance.

Best wishes


Hey Henry,I trust you are well. Did you have a look at previous Simon's lessons? He has a lesson about writing introduction. If I were you I would try to make as simple as possible, but also being concise and answering the question.

In my opinion, the sentence " Generally to countries" could be the body of your paragraph, though you state what side you will be supporting your arguments for.

Best of luck,

Hello Simon
I am a student from Australia. Among all Chinese students around me , they firmly say 340 words or more is a must for band 6.5 above . This idea originated from famous writing books written by an IELTs educator whose name is Patrick . But my own tutor ( Native professional English teacher ) says 275-80 is the most I should write . His reason is : as an academic essay , 10 % is always the margin . As IELTs penalize under writing , 275-80 is what I should be aiming for and excessive words show that student cannot comprise ideas. So Simon , what is the appropriate word count ? Should I be writing as long as I can ?

From Nora

Hi, Braulio
Thanks for your comment.
I'm new to this website.
U mean, Simon has posted the writing lesson on this site before??
Can u point it out where I could have a look?

Best wishes


hey Sim0n!
I am facing t0o much pr0blem in speaking! I get t0o much nerv0us and d0esnt able t0 answer!! what I will d0! :(

Hi Braulio,
Thanx for ur comment.

Hi Simon

Todays writing task 2 topic

Competitiveness is seen as a positive quality in today's society. What aspect does it bring ?
Is this Negative or Positive

Hi Simon,
Plz let me know if my essay is up to the mark.
Topic: Competitiveness is seen as a positive quality in today's society. What aspect does it bring ? Is this Negative or Positive.

In today's modernized world, every individual is striving hard for the best position, resulting in competition to be mandatory.There is no such task that can be easily achieved without facing a competition. I strongly believe that competitiveness is a positive quality in today's society.
One of the positive aspect of competitiveness is that it follows the policy of "May the best talent win".This provides the country with service of best talents, leading to the delivery of quality services to the country. It boosts up the individual to develop their talents and mould themselves according to the need of the society.

competition makes a person responsible and goal oriented. for instance,if a person wants to become a best singer of the country, he knows very well that his singing should be best. This motivates him to work even harder and also provides room for improvement, where he can work on his drawbacks and furnish himself to achieve his goal.
Hence I conclude that quality output can be achieved through best talents, and competition is the best way to search those talents. It surely brings lots of positivity in today's society.

Hi Any,

I am afraid to say Simon does not give individual marks on this website. Could you imagine if all of us started doing this?



Hi Braulio,
Thanx fr your comment.
I wonder if my essay is appropriate for writing task. plz give me some advice.
Thanx in advance.

By Any

It is said that in today's materialistic world, people place too much importance on money and possessions.

In my opinion, I think that there are some other more important "assets" that people will appreciate more than material dominance in today's society.

Dear all,
I would like to share with u a topic that I took the exam in Vietnam on 9th nov, 2013. I think it is better for all of u to prepare: young people now commit many serious crimes such as robery,...they should be punished the same as adults. What extents do u agree or disagree?
And my speaking topic is: describe a website in part 2, part 1 the examiner asked me 'bout: sing and related to the important content of a song?
Finally, thanks SIMON too much as thanking to your ielts topic book, so I had an idea to write in the real exam. Thanks a thoundsand time.

Thanks everyone for your sharing! Special thanks to Simon and Sjm.
This is my answer for giving a balanced answer of this task

Whether money and possessions being the most important in the modern world is controversial. Some people think that they can not live without property whereas others claim that health and moral are more crucial than material. I partly agree with the former view for some following reasons.

Hi Simon
2 years ago I sat in Exam and scored overall 6 with 5 in writing and again I sat last month I scored overall 5.5 with 4.5 in writing. I need the IElTS score 6.5 with each band not less than 6 each band. Can you please suggest me the idea in the way I study?

The world is really changing from the time man depicted a herd of mammoths on the walls of the caves up to this time where more and more people are materialistic. This means that some people buy products and services unnecessarily. In my opinion, although some people are materialistic, others are otherwise.

First of all, it is without a doubt that material possessions such as clothes, foods, homes and so on are very important nowadays in order to survive. Furthermore, the breakneck pace of modern technology dictates that transport services and electronic devices like cars, airplanes,computers, phones and others are indispensable tool so that someone can travel and communicate at any time and place all around the world. For this reason, material possessions are essential beyond a shadow of doubt.

On the other hand, some people give importance to other valuable possessions. For instance, some people attend church services for spiritual nourishment. At the same time, give aid to some people who are in dire need of help. On the side note, it is worthy to mention that many countries have worsening economies. Because of this, more and more people practice belt-tightening in spending their money while others live in frugality. This is evidently true to some people who prefer to walk when going in just a short distance instead of using their own cars because this not only save their gasoline but also give an opportunity to exercise. Also, some people do not buy products and services unnecessarily.

To put this whole matter into a nutshell, I understand that some people are materialistic nowadays. However, I am nonchalant to accept this idea because more and more people give importance to other values rather than material possessions.


It is sometimes said that we live in a materialistic world and are money oriented. Some people may have their own opinions regarding this. But, I disagree with this thinking and can state some examples below to prove that people give more importance to human values rather than money.

It is argued that people are becoming more materialistic in this contemporary world . In my opinion, people struggling hard to achieve contentment in raising standard of their living but many will find satisfaction by taking other aspects of life as precedants .

Hi simon i need your help in writing task 2. i have tried many times but no use im really worried about writing module please help me.

Thank you Simon, that's a big HELP!

hi simon
how are you? I took the ıelts exam the 14th December.It was awful.The hearıng sectıon because of echo ı could not hear anything and in writing ı could not edit my essay due to not using time efficiently.Also I could not write I do not know why.
How can I improve my skill of hearıng and writing please could you give me some advices? I will take ıelts exam in 9th January,as well.THANK YOU İN ADVANCE

Hi Simon, I am just curious what will be the grade of the candidate if he/she commits the error of using some people believe or other people believe when making a balanced discussion? Thanks

I thin this would be the correct introduction for a balanced answer.
Today, we are living in consumer culture with vital importance on finance and the asset we have. Although I accept that we are floodd with choices in the era of consumerism, but I believe that apart from money other choices should also be of same value.

Hi Simon,
I am confused in general IELTS writing task 2. In your book it has been mentioned that there will be three types of essay - Argument, Hidden Argument and Situation. But I am confused which one to classify argument and which one as Situation. I think most of the situation can also be put as an argument. Could you please help me understand this. Thanks in advance

Hi ron,

I think you have confused me with someone else. I have never classified essays in that way. I call them 'discussion', 'opinion' and 'problem/solution'.

The book you have must be from another website.

Hi Simon,

I really want to write an IELTS Writing task 2 without using personal pronouns like "I" and "We". Although I know that it asks specifically for my opinion, I do believe that writing without personal pronouns makes it sound more academic - I mean, I hardly find these expressions in research papers or textbooks. Should I continue with such approach, or is mentioning "I" a must in my essay?

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