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Wednesday, May 02, 2018


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Paraphrased sentence is irrelevant.

Please help :)
Simon, why did you give your opinion in this essay?
I am so confused because this question does not ask for opinion.


The question asks whether governments should make people responsible for what they have done, like imposing a green tax and charging for sewage treatment, in other words, raise public awareness about the protection of the environment.

The introduction seems to express that it should be both people's responsibility and government's role in protecting the environment. This is off-topic.

My introduction:
It is undeniable that human's behaviour has caused a devastating effect on the environment. I agree with the view that government should make it people's responsibility to mitigate the problems.

Sentence one is immaterial. My own sentence instead:

Green environment matters a lot in the eyes of most humans as our planet can no longer protect itself.


Re: Happiness is considered very important in life.
Why is it difficult to define?
What factors are important in achieving happiness?

The question may not specifically mention "your opinion", but as it is not asking for a discussion of other people's views on the topic, it must be implicitly asking for yours.

In one sense, everything is an opinion. We cannot say that "the earth is flat" is an opinion, but "the earth is round" is a fact. They are both opinions stated as fact. The difference lies only in the weight of evidence, that is, not simply the quantity of evidence, but the quality of the evidence.

In the same way, if we assert that "Chairman Mao" was a "great" leader, it is a "fact" masquerading as an opinion, which depends on exactly what criteria we use to define "great", and on the weight of supporting evidence. In terms of his ecological legacy, was Chairman Mao a "great" leader? I have no opinion, because I have no information on this, and "great" is not usually defined in terms of ecological legacy. If "great" only means "changing the course of human history", then the answer would be different.

If an IELTS question specifically asks for a discussion, and nothing more, we can simply look at various viewpoints, the criteria being applied, and the weight of evidence in support, without stating our own position in the conclusion.

However, if the IELTS question asks "whether this is a positive or negative development", this is necessarily asking for an evaluation of the situation, the criteria, and the evidence. So this is really an opinion question, although we might not need to come out with "I believe" if our position is made clear in other ways.

Although I have made several assertions here, and stated them as facts, they are of course simply opinions, and just reflect my current understanding.

-> it is an opinion masquerading as "fact",

According to the question, the word Economy appears redundant.
Undoubtedly, there is no denying that keeping the surroundings of residence clean can result in heightening the quality of life. While....

"What factors are important in achieving happiness?" Answer: achieving Band 7 in IELTS.

This is fact, not opinion.

"governments also have an essential role to play in preserving the environment" is totally irrelevant.

I would like to change it as follows:
Although I agree that people should be made accountable for their local area, the goverment infact have an essential role to play in preserving the enviroment so I disagree to leave all prevering responsibilities to inhabitants.

i'm not sure about the 2nd sentence, but the first sentence is certainly off-topic, especially "In the midst of a booming economy". I think the question is more about the responsibility of ... than about environmental protection.

1. "In the midst of a booming economy"

Irrelevant. This seems to be a memorized phrase and examiners can spot this from a mile as this has nothing to do with the question. This is taught by so-called online IELTS teachers to somehow push the word count.

Better use: "It is true that... or People have different opinion about..."

2. "...environmental protection has always been an issue of public concern."

This sounds forced or even memorized. Although this is somehow related to the question but the words "always been an issue of public concern" can be considered as a generic phrase and can be use in any type of Topic. To maximize LR score, it is better to use topic vocabularies.

"In the midst of a booming economy, environmental protection has always been an issue of public concern." I believe that this is the off-topic or irrelevant idea in the introduction. The question is not talking about economy nor public concern of the environment. It is about if the government has to impose citizens to be responsible on protecting their own local environment. Perhaps we could change it to "Who would protect the environment has always been an issue with the government. it suggests that people in the community have to preserve their local environment by themselves. While I agree that people should be made accountable for their local areas, governments also have an essential role to play in preserving the environment." Am I correct here?

In the midst of a booming economy, environmental protection has always been an issue of public concern. While I agree that people should be made accountable for their local areas, governments also have an essential role to play in preserving the environment.

irrelevant part: in the midst of a booming economy.....
Governments should make people responsible for looking after their own local environment. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

It has been under debate for a long time that who should take the responsibility to maintain local environment. While I agree that inhabitants in the area cannot avoid their obligations, I also believe that government plays an important role in supervising citizens.

I think first sentence of introduction seems awkward.

This is pretty clear, the question doesn't talk about an economic boom, and secondly, the writer is not decided of his/her position.

This is what I would do.

It is argued that Government should enforce its' citizens to be fully accountable for neighborhood environmental protection.This essay completely disagrees with the statement because the government has the resources and collect taxes for such purpose.

I would say that the question is not about any issues. The introduction above might make too much analysis on the question. Thus, it is out of the topic.

Environment preservation is inevitable for human being to make their lives easy to survive on earth. I am agree with this view that, not only people are responsible for doing this imprtant task but government shoul stretch its exertions as much as possible.

people responsibility may have different,as the above question, there is no reference of economy, why in paraphrasing economic matter.

Thank you Fruzsi :)
WOW!!! your response is amazing and very precise :)
Now I understand the real difference between actual facts and opinions masquerading as facts.

Clearly, the question is asking about “Local” environment.
But, the intro is saying “Public” Concern.
I guess the first sentence is out of topic.


Many of you have already explained this well, but here are the problems that I see:

1. "In the midst of a booming economy"

This is irrelevant. Why begin an essay about the environment with a phrase about the economy? This phrase was obviously written because it looks good (showing off!), but the examiner will not be impressed. It's completely off-topic. Just delete this phrase completely!

2. "environmental protection has always been an issue of public concern"

This phrase is ok, because at least it's on-topic. However, as several people have commented above, it does look like a memorised phrase (more showing off!): "has always been an issue of public concern" is a bit like the phrase "is a controversial issue nowadays" - people learn these phrases because they look good, but I would rather avoid them. Besides, has environmental protection ALWAYS been of public concern, really??

Look at the phrases you use, and ask yourself this: Am I writing this phrase because it REALLY expresses my ideas in response to the question, OR am I just writing this phrase because I memorised it and because I want to "show it off"?

In fact the phrase 'is a controversial issue nowadays' does not come up on ngrams at all; "nowadays" seems to be the bogey word.


The phrase "an issue of public concern" seems fine, but the full phrase (with "has always been" in front) only comes up five times on google books. Two instances are apparently by non-native speakers, and only one instance clearly a legitimate use of the full phrase in relation to crime.


Legitimate uses of "nowadays":


The first sentence is the irrelevant information because it is far close to the topic.
The changes about this introduction I made are as followed:
Since environmental protection has always been an issue of public concern, it it believed by some people that authorities should have residents shoulder the responsibility of their local environments. From my perspective, I partially agree with this point of view.

Hi, I wrote an essay on this topic. This is the first essay that I write here. I know that I am not good at organizing my thoughts in order to a good way although It took 2 hours to write this essay.

Can someone make a correction for me and give me tips in order to the mistakes that I made, please?

Governments should make people responsible for looking after their own local environment. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

It is true that we have to take care our environment as much as we can do because of the number of goods we have consumed dramatically increased, we pollute our environment more. I strongly believe that we should tackle our own responsibilities and each inhabitant should be responsible for their own areas.

While some people already have an awareness to maintain their own environment regularly, other ones have insisted to treat badly where they live in. If people have a common labor to preserve their environment, it would raise the sense of community significantly after that those people who don't care about their own environment would feel under pressure and start to change themselves in a good way. If people should be made accountable for their local areas, it makes the world to a better place to live in. This enforcement would be advantageous for both people and government. Firstly it would reduce the taxes that people pay for cleanliness and tidiness of their environments. Moreover, If individuals embrace this method equally, every hood would nice to live in and every corner of the streets is cleaner than before.

On the other hand, this task would be difficult for some people to cope with. For example, people who haven't extra time from their work or the considerable number of elderly people who can not able to handle this would not want to do it. But if government find a way to a compromise with them would be beneficial for everyone.

In conclusion, I believe that local environment should be made responsible for looking after by their residents can be a suitable substitute for governments services can offer.

1) "as much as we can do": normal ellipsis

2) -> the quantity/amount of goods we consume has dramatically increased : "number" of goods might suggest the range of products; note tense changes

3) -> increased, and we are polluting : run-on sentence; now as opposed to in the past.

4) tackle our own responsibilities: ? you have not mentioned what these are so far.

5) -> for their own area: "each" is singular

6) -> While some people already have the awareness to look after their environment/local area/surroundings properly, others persist in treating it carelessly. OR ... have no respect for the environment.

7) -> If people worked together to preserve their environment, it would raise the sense of community spirit significantly , putting pressure on those people who do not care to change for the better. "in a good way" is a common phrase in some languages (German?) but is rare in English, and more used as a corrective comment. See:

8) -> If people were made accountable for their local areas, it would make the world to a better place to live in. Standard "second conditional".


9) Moreover, if individuals embraced this method equally, every neighborhood would be nice to live in and every corner of the streets is cleaner than before.

10) haven't -> do not have (no short forms in writing) OR have no spare time after work

11) -> who could not handle

12) to do it. -> to help/participate/comply

13) -> if government find found a way to a compromise with them it would be

14) -> that local residents should be made responsible for looking after their local environment, and this would be a suitable substitute for central government services.


I do not see any significant issues with task response or cohesion, just issues with phraseology and grammar (getting those second conditionals right), which would undermine what otherwise might have been a respectable score.


Thank you for correction. I am at the stage where I almost give up, but you encourage me a lot. How can I overcome my phraseology problem do you have any suggestion for it? I will check second conditionals do you want to suggest me another grammar topic?

Thank you again lolita.


The people who get band 7 are the ones thar never gave up. It is, as Simon says, a matter of making cumulative small improvements, and cleaning up the persistent errors, till one day ....

Try googling "comma splices" and "run-on sentences", as there were two in your submission.

Phraseology: there are several approaches.
a) read quality news articles on IELTS topics every day:

b) check your writing with



c) Get to grips with gerunds


d) Download audio books onto your iPod and listen in the car/bus/train over and over again. I also sit in a cafe reading, well, at the moment a story set in a hospital; it gives me a lot of medical vocab.


Hi Lolita,
I googled run-on sentences yesterday, and I laughed at myself. All these years, I assume that I know English well, I didn't know this easy rule. In addition, I covered the subject of conditional too. I worked on gerunds today morning as you told me to do it. This issue is hard and very complicated, but this was my first day. Here I tried to use them in my essay. Hope you have some time to check it.

Many people agree with what some air travel companies are doing making the flights cheaper. Others disagree and say the flights should be expensive to protect the environment. Discuss and give u opinion.

It is true that air travel has a harmful impact on the environment. While some people think that preserving the environment is more important than finance, I am happy about decreasing of flight coasts.

On the one hand, airplanes consume high amounts of fuel and provide gases excessively. These gases play a role in global warming, but there are many simple things we can do to take care our world instead of making plane tickets remain at a high price to reduce pollution.
I believe that by the invention of electrics cars, next big thing would be applying this technology to air plans.

Many air travel company have seen the widespread use of air travel, so they have taken it as an advantage for themselves and have discounted their ticket coast every so often. Cheap flight tickets can be seen as a great deal for any traveler, and I see this is a positive trend. Moreover, nobody can deny that airplanes are the most effective way to travel considering time and distance. We live our life as a worldwide, reducing coast enables anyone with a bit of cash to see how people lived in other corners of the world even allow to migrate. This trend has made travel accessible to the masses.

In conclusion, air travel offers efficient benefits for modern human society, and it is perfect to see that even people who cant afford too much money for would take advantages of this circumstance.


"provide gases excessively" -> emit large quantities of greenhouse gases.

"by the invention of " -> with the invention of

"plans" or planes ?

"Many air travel companyies"

"coast" or cost ?

" I see this is as a positive trend. "

"We live our life as a worldwide" -> we have a global lifestyle

"see how people live d"

"even allow to migrate": run-on

"cant" -> cannot (no short forms in formal essay)

" afford too much money": either "afford it " (which would be the wrong meaning), or "spend too much money".

"for would take ": can take..

"We live our life as a worldwide, reducing coast enables anyone with a bit of cash..": run-on.

"next big thing" -> the next big step (avoid "thing" - it smacks of lack of proper vocabulary).

"about decreasing of flight coasts" -> about decreasing flight costs (here "decreasing" becomes an adjective) OR about reductions in flight costs.

BTW the phrase "today morning" mirrors the German, but in English we say "this morning".

This is my introduce of this topic:

It is true that human’s activities have caused the devastated impact on the Earth we live. Some people might think that the government should regulate people to protect their own living environment, and I completely agree with this point of view.

Eric YU


"Human activity" better suggests the impact of our species on the environment. "Human activities" might be understood as referring to sport, dancing, theater, cooking, playing and so on, whereas what you mean is mining, deforestation, irrigation, soil erosion, chemical farming, pesticides, pollution, and plastics. Frankly, in my view, it would be clearer to include the list, and some more specific vocabulary.


The natural verb collocation with "impact" is "have" : use it. -> human activity has had a devastating impact on the planet we live on.

As an adjective the past participle (ending in -ed) is passive in meaning, as in "a boring teacher", "bored students", and so on. There are few exceptions, notably, "a vanished species", "the drowned man".

Some people argue that governments should focus on ensuring their citizens to be responsible for their surrounding environment. White it may be true to some extend, i believe that governments should pay more attention on other broad-scale environment protection measures.

In some cases, people are directly the main cause of deteriorating their living places. It is quite common in developing countries that local people, even in big cities, usually throw away daily garbages into streets. In some rural areas, households often discharge toxic wastes into nearby rivers. Another example is that people in remote locations might cut down and burn some parts of jungles in order to plant their crops. All of this has devastated the local environment of those people and government must stop this by enact suitable laws.

However, in many other cases, people are suffering from worsening environment conditions which are not attributed to their faults. For example, plastic bags are usually less expensive than other types of packaging, individual consumers then may not have alternative options if authorities do not impose higher taxes on companies that producing plastic bags. Carbon dioxide emissions from old factories are among the main factors contributing to air pollution and should be banned to operate anywhere nearby residential areas. This can only be done with city officials issuing stricter environmental protection laws.

In conclusion, I think that government should not only take measures to protect the environment from individual perspective, but also promote other methods on a national level.

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