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Saturday, March 04, 2017


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Dear Simon

Thank you for your great assistance and practical method to write.
It made me clear my trouble completely.

I also would like you to take with 'Discuss both views' and ' to what extent do you agree' question in future lesson.

I would like to discuss about both of them deeply.

I do not have confidence about way of discussing for former one. I am also not too sure about difference between ' to what extent...' and 'Do you agree...'. I want to know what exerminer want to have canditates do.

No problem Teru.

I've done lots of lessons about "discuss both views" and "to what extent do you agree...". Just look through as many of my writing lessons as you can, and I'm sure everything will become clear.

Dear Teacher Simon,
I do not think that we should write 3 ideas or more in one paragraph, which we will do if we use "firstly, secondly, finally" paragraph structure because in this way I cannot explain each idea in depth, which you used to say in one Writing Task 2 Analysis lesson that we should do so to achieve Task response. 3 reasons/ 3 advantages... and one topic sentence will take up 4 sentences, so there is only sentence ( I love to use your"5-sentence paragraph" method) This means that I must be able to give each reason/ advantage and its explanation in one sentence. In this way each of my idea may not be explained in depth and well supported, so I may not be able to achieve Task Response. I think using 2 ideas is fine, and I prefer to use your other method "idea, explain, example" to build my paragraph. I love the way it allows us to explain the idea deeply. It will be like this:
Sen 1: reason 1
Sen 2: explain
Sen 3: example
Sen 4: reason 2
Sen 5: explain/ example
Oh I am just so confused which is the better. I have 2 questions:

Ques 1:Could you tell me the reason why method 2 " firstly, secondly, finally" is more perfect besides its being able to give more than one reasons. Can we still explain each idea in depth when using this method?

Ques 2: Can I still use your method " idea, explain, example" to address these types of question? Because I usually use this method and I dont want to change it, it would make me so confused.

I am not sure I have expressed my ideas clearly enough for you to understand, but I have really tried my best to use every word in my head to get my ideas across in English ^^
Thank you!

I have a question, Is IELTS Cambrige 1 harder than 10?I have taken test from 10 and in compare with 1 I get higher scores, It seems 1 is much harder than 10.Is this true or I am just making mistakes/?


The other point that I should have mentioned is this:

When you use "firstly, secondly, finally", you are actually developing the main idea that you stated in your topic sentence (the first sentence of a main body paragraph). So, instead of thinking of the "firstly, secondly, finally" points as separate ideas that are underdeveloped, you should think of them as being part of the development of a main idea.

It's also completely fine to give just two advantages, reasons, problems etc., so your suggestion would work just as well. Neither method is better or worse.

I can assure you that "firstly, secondly, finally" paragraphs are very normal, and they are not seen by examiners as lacking in depth.



Don't worry about that. Some tests are harder than others, but the scores are adjusted according to the level of difficulty. So, for a difficult test, you might not need as many correct answers to get the score you need (compared to an easier test). The IELTS people are very careful about making the scoring fair for every test.

Thank you, Teacher Simon!

I am totally now. Thank you for spending time explaining it to me in such detail! I very much appreciate you help <3

No problem Anh. It was a good question!

Thank you very much! I'm a Christian, so I just want to say God bless you! to express all my best wishes for you! It's Sunday today, too^^

Thanks Anh!

Dear Simon,
It says to avoid generalizations in writing. Can you please explain this with an example.Do we lose marks if we don't follow this rule in IELTS exam?

Respected Simon,
As you have written that we should use "Firstly, Secondly, Finally" if the question ask for reasons, solutions etc, I just want to know if question is about problems and solutions, do we need to list problems in 1st paragraph one by one and then give solutions on the 2nd paragraph respectively in the same manner?

For example, if question is about reasons behind climate change and their solutions, if we list the reasons in format "Firstly, Secondly, Finally", do we need to give the solution for each reason in the same "Firstly, Secondly, Finally" manner?

Although it looks repetition but in order to connect it with 1st paragraph, we definitely need to keep the order of solutions in 2nd paragraph with respect to that of reasons in 1st paragraph.

Dear Simon,

An IELTS ex-examiner told me that it is not good to use passive voice in an essay ( should only be used if it is really necessary) and sometimes vague and can make sentences a little bit informal. He suggested that I should use active voice since it's stronger.

Is this advice right?

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