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Sunday, February 04, 2018

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Hello Simon,

I attended a IELTS-360-Writing Workshop here in Cebu, conducted by British Council.

My essays are corrected to be lacking in discourse markers in Task 1 and Task 2, and I didn't have a conclusion in Task 1, but I have an overview exactly the same as yours.

Are they correct with their correction?

The public version for Band 9 states: "uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention". There is no specific requirement to use discourse markers.

Band 7 states: "uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately although there may be some under-/over-use". From this, it seems here that beginning too many sentences with a linking adverb could limit your score.

See Mojo's and Mr sjm (examiner) comments here:

http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2018/01/ielts-writing-task-2-instead-of-firstly-secondly-finally.html

Simon also commented:

"Explain your ideas in a logical order so that you don't need many linking words. This is probably what you do when writing in your own language."

http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2015/02/ielts-writing-task-2-band-9-linking.html

http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2012/07/ielts-writing-advice-cohesion.html

@M'ambot

Yeah, maybe their difference makes Filipino Nurses fail in Writing. I think they want us to fail so that we will retake the exam, and that costs another amount of money.

@kLwT
It can be very frustrating for nurses who need minimum of seven in writing and keep getting 6.5, at least I know one or two people like this here.

Task 2 band 7 states: "there may be a tendency to overgeneralise". For example, "all teenagers do drugs" would be considered an over-generalization. "Many teenagers do drugs" would be better. "Quite a number of teenagers seem to do drugs in some countries" would be even better. You might need to use "could","might" or other modals to tone down wild global assertions.

Conversely, Task 1 is factual and descriptive, and there should be no need to make your writing tentative in this way.

My understanding (from Simon's and Mr sjm's comments on this site) is that if you are stuck on 6.5 in writing, it is best to make sure your task 1 is sound, your grammar is solid (articles, singular/plural, prepositions), and keep working on vocabulary. That way you should get there.

@kLwT
My understanding is that Band 7 means scoring at least 28 points in Task 2 (which represents two-thirds of the overall result).

If your Grammar Range and Accuracy, falls below seven, you would need Band 8 in one of the other three criteria to make up for it, which is quite a challenge!

To me, the main stumbling-block is the Band 7 requirement "produces frequent error-free sentences". If "frequent" means fifty percent of the time, and there are, say, fifteen sentences, then this means seven or eight of your sentences must be error-free. Otherwise you will not get Band 7 for Task 2, and thus below Band 7 for your writing overall.

My calculation is that if you get 26-27 points in Task 2 (say 7,7,6,6 for TR,CC,LR,GRA), then, to pull your score up to Band 7 for writing overall, you would need Band 8 (32 points) in Task 1, again quite a challenge.

On the other hand, because of the weighting, Band 7 for Task 2 and Band 6.5 for Task 1, should get Band 7 overall.

So getting those error-free sentences in Task 2 essay is paramount. That usually means accuracy with articles, singular/plural, prepositions, and punctuation.

That is my understanding at least.

@kLwT

To me, if there is one grammar exercise that is worth doing, then it is about getting articles correct. You will use about fifty nouns in Task 2, and every one brings with it a choice about a/the/no_article, so you really need to be able to get this right. It is not enough to do an exercise on articles and at the end say to yourself "only a few mistakes": you actually to figure out why you made those mistakes, so that next time is near-perfect.

Here's a paragraph from Simon's model answers, in which the articles have been removed (it's pretty easy on the word-processor). This makes it easy to test yourself.

TEXT WITH ARTICLES REMOVED:

In my view, new recycling law would be just one possible way to tackle waste problem. Governments could make it legal obligation for householders to separate all waste into different bins. There could be punishments for people who fail to adhere to this law, ranging from small fine to community service, or even perhaps prison sentences for repeat offenders. These measures would act as deterrent and encourage people to obey recycling law. As result, improved behaviour of homeowners could lead to clean, waste-free environment for everyone.

Thanks M'ambo. I will do all you suggest.

@M'ambo
In my view, new recycling law would be just one possible way to tackle (the) waste problem. Governments could make it (a) legal obligation for householders to separate all waste into different bins. There could be punishments for people who fail to adhere to this law, ranging from (a) small fine to community service, or even perhaps prison sentences for repeat offenders. These measures would act as (a) deterrent and encourage people to obey recycling law. As result, (the) improved behaviour of homeowners could lead to clean, waste-free environment for everyone.

@kLwT
http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2017/11/ielts-writing-task-2-recycling-essay.html

Like many words "law" has two slightly different meanings, one countable, the other not.

https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/law

"Environment" is usually countable. To make it uncountable, one would need to say something like "Environment plays a bigger role than genes in child development".

https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/environment

Have fun.

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