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February 21, 2018


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People who study or work hard seems to be affected by three main reasons. The first reason is because of the pressure caused by their parents who want them to be studious or diligent. Some medical students, for example, did not choose the career as they want but to follow the tradition of family or to satisfy the wish of other family members. Another reason for people to be highly study- or work-oriented are who want to escape from the current poverty condition and to reach a new life with higher living standards. Finally, people seems to study or work hard when they find something that they truly enjoy doing it and the process of completing the study or the task is then like a pleasing and enjoying exploration and is being completed by passionate doers.

@Simon: Please advise whether I have to make clear in my writing that this is ME EXPERIENCE, or IT SEEMS TO ME THAT?
I like the ideas in the last sentence but it is quite long. Please tell me how to change!
Thank you!


My comments are disappearing. "Your comment has been posted" shows up, but when I check back it has gone. This happens on both Firefox and Chromium browsers. They mark the site as "Not secure". Although I do use "No script" but your site is allowed and trusted and has worked before with the same configuration on my browser, so perhaps there is some security or maintenance issue your end.


So it worked that time.... ?? Is it a security issue around http links ?


Another reason .. are who is that they want to

"want": "wish" often sounds better in formal writing.

" Finally, people seems": "people" is followed by a plural verb.

A typical instruction for Task 2 reads:"Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience." As there is no opportunity to do any empirical research during the exam, everything written for Task 2 is technically an opinion. Sometimes it may be appropriate to mask this, stating it as fact, or to begin "it seems that". If the question explicitly asks for your opinion, it is wise to explicitly write "I believe that" or something to that effect. The overriding requirement is to make your position clear throughout as per the marking scheme.


turning off italics

a collocation exercise:

1. parental
2. main
3. graduate
4. escape
5. follow
6. effortless
7. goal-oriented

A. factors
B. poverty
C. work
D. tradition
E. successfully
F. people
G. pressure

Hello Simon, I truly like your writing; I always find you can clearly convey your message. my IELTS exam is coming soon (two-weeks ahead) and I have been practicing my writing skill because this is my weakness. I've realised that I have two main problems. Firstly, the lack of structure ideas make my writing a bit messy, and secondly, I tend to use fancy words which do not make me play safe. Although I diagnosticate myself, I would like to hear from you some advice related to my problem. My background might help; I am Spanish speaker, I have lived in Australia since 2014, and I tend to quickly through ideas out without putting so much thought.

I look forward to hearing from you.

From my point of view, there are three key reasons which are responsible for study hard and becomes workaholic. Firstly, families remain pressure on them to study hard for a better career. For instant, medical students are very careful about their goals to reach and study hard for that. As a result they become good or famous doctor. Secondly, people work hard to eradicate poverty which consequently leads them to have successful and happy life. Finally, we see both students and workers are very obedient to hard work because they have found their perfect place which they really like to apply efforts and patience.

Meos, Raju

i don't see a point in rewriting a perfect paragraph using different words (unless you are practicing your paraphrasing skills by doing so)

i mean you stand to benefit more from Simon's writing if you just copy it,learn it, analyse it, exactly the way it is.

(just my opinion)


i just realized you probably wrote your own paragraph using the plan above. ( it just seemed to me that you were trying to rewrite Simon's paragraph in a different way using different words)

I'm on the side of your opinion. I loved it.


Exactly, I tried to write it using different words but meaning remained uniform.


"From my point of view" is used when you are personally involved in a situation, and contrasts with the standpoint of other parties involved. "In my view" is the phrase to indicated your opinion where you are not personally involved.

"reasons which are responsible for": it is simpler, commoner, and more concise to write "reasons for".

->reasons for studying and working hard: use the -ing form of the verb after a prepostion. "Workaholic" suggests someone feels compelled to work excessively; that is not the same as working hard.

Use ngrams with *_VERB to find the right verb: apply/exert pressure would fit.

"For instant" -> For instance (instant=coffee)

"careful about their goals to reach" -> committed/dedicated to reaching their goals

"As a result they become good or famous doctor": not necessarily, this is an over-generalization -> they often become....

"eradicate poverty": this suggests something that the government, UN, or charities do. ->climb out of poverty

"are obedient to hard work": ->are dedicated to hard work/ believe in the value of hard work/ have a strong work ethic.

"place which " -> place where/place in which

Thanks @Fruzi

You pointed out my major mistakes. I'm going to correct those mistakes.



English writing style for IELTS should be concise and to the point. There really is no time to digress, so planning your answer to have a logical progression and sticking to it is crucial to a good score in Task response and cohesion.

Task 2 usually contains a number of generalizations such as:

Los gatos son inteligentes.
Cats are intelligent.

Article usage here is sometimes different in English: under exam pressure it is easy to overlook this.

"diagnosticate myself" -> (diagnose myself) Although this is self-diagnosis

Many thanks for your comments @Fruzi


There are some reasons that encourage people to put more effort in their work. Firstly, many people have to be studious and successful because of being under parental pressure as a result of their parents’ strong ambition. For example, many medical students study a large amount of academic knowledge to become a professional in their field, not wanting to disappoint their family mambers. Secondly, some people who pursuit a wealthy life also work harder. It is clear that educated people or those who get well-paid jobs can more likely escape from poverty and then create a new life. Finally, another situation in which people can be motivated to immerse themselves in work is when they find a subject or job that they love. Because they have a real enthusiasm for the work, they will pay a great attention to get jobs finished in an excellent way


"There are some reasons..." -> There are several reasons...

"put more effort into ..."

"study a large amount of academic knowledge"(this phrasing simply does not crop up on Google books) -> need to acquire extensive specialized academic knowledge OR need a long period of demanding and specialized study.


"pursuit" is the noun: "pursue" is the verb.

"It is clear that..": in my view, the cohesion would be better without this introductory phrase: "Educated people...".

"can more likely escape" -> are better able to escape

"pay a great attention": "attention" here is uncountable, so cannot have "a" (which essentially means "one"). https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/attention

It is safer to avoid using "get" in formal writing, wherever possible.

-> will take great care to produce work of the highest quality OR will be more meticulous and painstaking, and produce excellent results.

No worries, cobber

@Fruzi. Thank you. I can see how my writing can be improved.

Could you please complete your task 2 essay? This is for a more solid idea than just a part of a write-up. I am keen on reading your essays(including the previous ones) that's why I am asking if you can. Thx.

Hello Everyone,

I do not feel comfortable in building following structure:

In my experience, there are three main factors

Can smby advice about how to be be better at this kind of relative clause ?

Thank and Best Regards,

Hi Simon and Everyone,

as a means to or as means of have the same meaning ?

Thank you



This shows the commonest ways to continue the sentence:


"means" in these phrases is similar to "method":



Note that "as a means of" is followed by the "-ing" form of the verb.

Here is my answer:
There are several reasons that encourage people to work or study hard. Firstly, some people who see hard work as a means to escape poverty or create a completely new life for themselves, they believe that with the extra income earned from working more shifts, they can buy comforts for their families. Secondly, the factor that drives people and makes them more studios and goal-oriented is the pressure. For example, newly employed people work for long hours to reach the targets set by their supervisors in order to secure their position, they fear that the employer will replace them with more competent people if they are not able to finish their work in time. Finally, it seems to me that some people are more driven and persistent as student or workers because they have found a subject or job that they 're passionate about, people who love work describe it as effortless rather than hard.

"Firstly, some people who see hard ... for themselves, they believe ..." . The comma after "themselves" is not required.

[some people]"believe that, with the extra income earned from working more shifts, they can .... ": either two commas as an interpolation or perhaps better with no commas round "with...shifts".

" buy comforts for their families": improve their families' standard of living or buy extras/luxuries for their families.

"the factor ...is the pressure": what pressure? From whom? "The" implies that we are already supposed to know -> is parental and family pressure. (no article as unspecified)

"... their position, they fear that...": this is a run-on sentence, or comma-splice (google it). -> .. their position, and they fear that....

"people .... as students"

"they 're" -> they are: do NOT use short forms in formal or business writing.

"passionate about, and people ... ": comma splice again.

In some European languages, such as Spanish, a comma splice is okay, but not in English !


Some comments seem to be going to my spam folder - maybe because of links they contain. I check the spam once a week.

@Sandi Thanks for your support and help .

hey simon, I have awarded my master's degree in Medical Physics and I never ever studied hard coz I was under pressure. To be a successful man or not it is a personal issue

I think your writing is beautiful !!!!!

In my opinion, there are two pivotal reasons that make individuals study harder and word harder than others. Firstly, let's consider the happiness index or the goals people have at every state in life that shapes how hard they are. For example, when I were a high _school student,my index of happiness was meassured by how much my achievement is in school, which makes my family happy. It seems that my world is the studying in every time, every where. While my friends don't need to always take a bunch of books like me, they find the happiness in other ways.
Secondly, everyone could work hard, but not everyone could work smart. Lets look back the time I learn English vocabulary in school. It took hours, days, months even years to leans new words in word by word method in the result that I forget almost 80% numbers of vocabs, the remain 20% vocabularies didn't work at all. In the other hand, if I have known the key of learning vocabularies, which is communication methods like that we learn vocabulary for using in life, not put it in the corner of brain and let it flake out in flied time, I would have had English easily.

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