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Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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Hi Simon

I have exam 10 days later. I think your this essay is really excellent, GREATly organised and written as well. And I must admit that I've never heard such a GREAT essay and it lifted my spirits with its GREAT vocabulary and after reading that I became more confident because there are lots of good vocabulary I can copy from and hopefully use them in the exam. As usual your essays continue to amaze me.

The essay is simply GREAT!!!

Hi Simon.

I want to ask a question. For band 6 and 6.5, the description in test report form on the website is, that candidate address all points but they address some points more fully than others. Please explain this term. I have taken IELTS many times and improved in all modules except writing,which I’m stuck on 6.5. Please help me. Thanks in advance

Hi Simon
from introduction thesis statement your position is not clear, is it ?

FROM SIMON:

I've just corrected a typo:

"carry out surgical procedures" (not "carry about")

@GS
"apprehensive" seems to foreshadow Simon's position.

Shakhzod:
-> I am taking the exam in ten days.
-> well-organized, well-written
-> there is much good vocabulary (vocabulary is almost always singular in English)
And good luck in the exam!

@ Iqra

"they address some points more fully than others.": perhaps not answering both parts of the question equally, for example, if the question asks "discuss both views", failing to deal discuss one view properly.

Or alternatively, making three points, but only providing examples and explanation for the first two.

Hi Simon,

Can we quote famous sayings and verses to support our ideas in writing tast2.?

Iqra

I wouldn't quote other people in an IELTS essay. An essay is too short to include words that aren't your own, and it doesn't benefit you in any way.

Also, if you get 6.5, here are the main reasons:

1. If you are doing Task 1 Academic, your overview isn't good enough
2. You are listing numbers and not comparing them
3. You miss a key number or detail
4. You are making too many common grammar errors, in either Task 1 or 2 or both
5. You actually don't answer the essay question because you don't do what the task asks you to do (eg: give your opinion, identify solutions etc)
6. Too much 'unnatural' English

Hi Manuel

Thanks very much for your attention. I will take into account your corrections. I hope I won't make such mistakes in the exam!

Hi Simon,
I see a semi colon in the essay.. Is that ok to use in a formal essay? Also some seem to have qualms tegarding use of pronouns such as we or our.would you know the reason? Also, the opinion given is it really a clear position or is it kind of sitting on the fence?
Thank you for clarifying!

@ Nisha therasa

1) The semi-colon is not regarded as informal, so is perfectly acceptable in a formal essay, provided, of course, it is used appropriately between closely related independent clauses not conjoined with a coordinating conjunction, when the two clauses are balanced, opposed or contradictory. For example:
My wife would like tea; I would prefer coffee.
I went to the basketball court; I was told it was closed for cleaning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semicolon#English

Six years ago Simon wrote:
My advice is to avoid trying to use colons and semicolons.

2) "You" in the sense of "people in general" is generally to be avoided in academic papers, and in IELTS Academic too, as it is a formal essay.
https://www.semo.edu/pdf/Writing_handout_Avoiding_Second_Person.pdf

3) "We" occurs in the British Council's model answer for Task 2 here:

https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/2018-01/Writing_practice_test_1_IELTS_Academic_Model_Answers.pdf

4) Simon's conclusion is clear to me; it is just that it comes with a strong rider, reservation, proviso, or caveat.

Hi Simon,

I have a little doubt about the conclusion, Can you please clarify it for me?

I have read more than 50 essays of yours and in many essays (like this one), you are not summarizing the main ideas from body paragraphs into your conclusion and rather you mention general statement like 'it would have more benefits and we should not overlook the drawbacks'. Why?

Also, if we are using firstly, secondly and finally structure for a body paragraph, then we are not developing our main idea of a topic sentence and rather just listing 3 different ideas. Would it be a good structure?

Kindly consider these as my (learner's) doubts and requesting for the detailed clarification. Thanks!

The growth in crime among teenagers can be attributed to an increase in the use of violent video games.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

It has often been argued that the rise in the usage of aggressive audio-visual games is responsible for the proliferation of criminal offenses amongst juveniles. This essay completely agrees with this argument because of the fact that such games may negatively influence the behavior of teens and make them less sensitive toward others’ importance.

Violent video games seem to develop furious nature in adolescents. The actions they enjoy and the rewards they get by harming or killing their opponents in such games might provoke them to repeat the same activities in their real life. As a result, they tend to acquire a criminal outlook and never hesitate in hurting anybody if they get annoyed for even a smaller reason. For example, a recent survey conducted by Cambridge University has revealed that about 75% teenagers in the United States are regularly playing fighting or killing related video games and among them, nearly 45% have been found to be involved in various criminal conducts.

Not only this, such video games, promoting merciless characters, oftentimes make some juveniles less sensitive toward others. That is to say, they may adopt a stubborn attitude and feel comfortable in disrespecting or damaging people to fulfill their unnecessary demands or greed. A 15-year old boy, for instance, in my city has recently found guilty for committing a brutal attack on his schoolmate and his teachers agreed that he was wholly under the influence of violent video games and movies.

In conclusion, it is agreed that video games that are major in violence are primarily responsible for the rise in violation of laws due to its negative effects on the behaviors and the attitudes of adolescents who spend most of their time in playing such games.

Vishaal

"make them less sensitive toward others’ importance". -> (something like) undermine the development of true empathy toward others.

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=lack+of+empathy%2Cdevelop+empathy%2C*+of+empathy%2C+*+and+empathy&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Clack%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cdevelop%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B.t2%3B%2C%2A%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Black%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bdegree%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bsense%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bdevelopment%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Btheory%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bconcept%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Blevels%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bkind%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Blevel%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bprocess%20of%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B.t2%3B%2C%2A%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bunderstanding%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bsympathy%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bcompassion%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bwarmth%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bsensitivity%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bidentification%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Binsight%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3B_START_%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Blove%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Brespect%20and%20empathy%3B%2Cc0

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=*_VERB+their+empathy%2C+undermine+their+empathy&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2C%2A_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bincrease_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bexpress_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bincreased_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bincreasing_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bis_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Buse_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bshow_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bdevelop_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bdemonstrate_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Blose_VERB%20their%20empathy%3B%2Cc0

Violent video games seem to develop a furious nature in adolescents.[overgeneralizing-> It seems that watching violent video games may be an important factor in sparking rage and violent outbursts in adolescents.] ... As a result, they tend to acquire a criminal outlook [illogical:not all crime is violent] and never hesitate in hurting anybody if they get annoyed for even a smaller reason [->even the smallest reason]. For example, a recent survey conducted by Cambridge University has revealed that about 75% of teenagers in the United States are regularly playing fighting- or killing-related video games [with violent content] and among them, nearly 45% have been found to be involved in various criminal conducts behaviors. [Comment: correlation does not necessarily prove cause and effect.]

Not only this, such video games, promoting merciless characters [starring ruthless characters], oftentimes [informal] make some juveniles less sensitive toward others. [This seems to be repeating the point made in the previous paragraph. It would be better to find some other point or aspect or viewpoint to broaden your argument in the third paragraph; otherwise the examiner might feel that the topic has not been properly explored or the argument lacks development. Surely it is not solely video games? Was there no teenage violence at all before they came along? The argument does not stack up.] ....

In conclusion, it is agreed [by whom? The task requires your opinion.] that video games that are major [major is a verb here] in violence ...

Vishaal, I believe your introductions and conclusions are unduly ponderous and could be rewritten more along the lines of the model answer provided by Brit Council in the link below.

https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/2018-01/Writing_practice_test_1_IELTS_Academic_Model_Answers.pdf

Vishaal,
Actually, the conclusion seems to summarize the two sides very well. It's not necessary to recap the supporting sentences, just the main ideas. No need to recap the details of improved performance and safety on the one side and redundancies and losing purpose on the other.
AI improving the quality of life and also being dangerous summarizes both arguments nicely.
If you're under word cou
statement like 'it would have more benefits and we should not overlook the drawbacks'. Why?

Whoops. Dangling pastes in my my last comment

Thanks a lot Mona! I need to figure out these issues ASAP as my I am taking the exam on Jan 5th of 2019.

Hello Mona!

I just rewrite the whole essay again and hope this essay finds you well!

These days, the usage of aggressive audio-visual games among teenagers is on the rise and this is often considered responsible for the proliferation of criminal activities involving them. While this may be true in rare cases, I seriously doubt that violent video games could be the cause for this scenario.

In some instances, it has been seen that the constant exposure to video games showing unkind characters and actions are influencing adolescents’ mindset. The excitements they are getting from playing such games might provoke them to do the same ruthless actions with their peers or siblings. But this does not mean that they all would develop the criminal mindset and would involve in criminal offenses in the future. For example, a survey conducted by Famous University has revealed that nearly 85% teens in India are playing violent video games regularly; however, the crime rate among them is only 10%, so this clearly proves my point.

Besides this, there are always discussions on news channels that the majority of crimes among juvenile are being motivated because of their poor family conditions. Most of such disadvantaged teens are not even capable to afford to purchase or play video games as their families barely get enough money to meet their daily basic needs. A recent news article, for instance, in Times of India has shown that in 2017, about 65% criminal cases involving teens were encouraged due to poor financial situations in individuals’ families.

To conclude, I do not buy the idea that violent video games are responsible for the rise in teenage crimes and I believe that there are other convincing factors for this development.

Vishaal

Very few things in real life are so simple that 1+1=2. Often there is not one sole cause; instead there are several factors at play. The question itself is slightly odd insofar as the premise deals with violent games, but the proposition is that these a responsible for crime in general, not just violent crime.

These days, [This phrase is somewhat informal.] the usage of aggressive [How can a game be aggressive? Will it attack you? People, animals, or behavior can be aggressive. ] audio-visual games among teenagers is on the rise and this is often [Often? or just sometimes?] considered responsible for the proliferation of criminal activities involving them. [Which, the games or the teenagers?] While this may be true in rare cases, I seriously doubt that violent video games could be the sole cause for this scenario. [Scenario is used to refer to a hypothetical situation in the future, not a real situation in the present. ]

In some instances, it has been seen that the constant exposure to video games showing [depicting] unkind [malevolent? ] characters and [mindless brutality? excessive gratuitous violence and torture?] actions are influencing adolescents’ mindset. [Sometimes using the possessive does not work well -> the adolescent mindset] The excitements [usually uncountable] they are getting from playing such games might provoke them to do the same ruthless actions with their peers or siblings.[to replicate the same type of violent behavior.] But this does not mean that they all would develop the criminal mindset and would become involved in criminal offenses in the future. For example, a survey conducted by Famous University [Why not just say 'a university study' instead of adducing plainly fictitious material?] has revealed that nearly 85% of teens [informal: teenagers] in India are playing violent video games regularly; however, the crime rate among them is only 10%, so this clearly proves my point. [Actually, this might demonstrate a significant correlation.]

Besides this, [I believe there are other factors at play.] there are always [from time to time?] discussions on news channels that the majority of crimes among juvenile[s] are being motivated because of their poor family [socio-economic] conditions. Most of such disadvantaged teens are not even capable to [NB capable of] cannot afford to purchase or play video games as their families barely get enough money to meet their basic daily necessaries. A recent news article, for instance, in Times of India has shown that in 2017, about 65% of criminal cases involving teenagers were encouraged borne out of desperate financial circumstances in the family due to poor financial situations in individuals’ families.

To conclude, I do not buy the idea [informal -> accept the view] that violent video games are solely responsible for the rise in teenage crimes [-> crime (uncountable)] and as I believe that there are other convincing major factors for this development involved.

Thanks a lot for in-depth evaluation Mojo! But, I am little confused whether or not I produced 7 band essay! Can you please give me the true score for my essay? Thanks in advance!

Hi Vishaal
Try to stop worrying/twittering about your exact true Band score. You will find out soon enough. One day, one step at a time; today now is for making small improvements. You will never regret any of the work you are putting in now.

In recent years, many small local shops have closed because customers travel to large shopping centers or malls to do their shopping.
Is this a positive or negative development?

In current times, the trend of shopping among buyers has been diverted towards huge shopping complexes and this is believed responsible by many for the closure of traditional local shops. While some critics may consider this as a negative growth for country’s economy, I see this completely advantageous for customers.

Many argue that the development of more and more mega malls has a detrimental effect on a nation’s economic growth. They might think that if higher numbers of people prefer to purchase from luxurious shopping complexes, many local shops will disappear in a less distant future because many shopkeepers would not earn sufficient to even feed their families. At the same time, many people working in shops would lose their jobs and ultimately more people in country would be below the poverty line. In 2017, for example, India’s economy was dropped by 7% due to the significant expansion of the mall culture in this period.

On the flip side, I support those who would prefer to buy from big shopping malls instead of local shops. This is primarily because shoppers would be more benefited as many malls routinely offer lucrative discounts on various purchases. Also, it would be more convenient for buyers to get most of the things they need for daily use under the one roof. Moreover, large shopping complexes not only provide higher job opportunities to workers including those who lost their jobs from shops but also offer better remuneration and in my opinion, this would undoubtedly boost country’s economy in long-term.

In conclusion, I completely disapprove critic’s argument that the mall culture has the negative impact on country’s economy and strongly argue that it would be more beneficial and convenient for people to buy from malls.

Vishaal

In current times, the trend of *[toward: see graph] shopping in huge complexes is believed to be responsible for the closure of traditional local shops. While this is sometimes seen as a downside, from the customer perspective shopping malls have much more to offer in terms of choice, convenience and discounts.

[Or something along those lines...]

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=the+trend+*_ADP%2C+trend+*+shopping&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2Cthe%20trend%20%2A_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bthe%20trend%20of_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bthe%20trend%20toward_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bthe%20trend%20in_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bthe%20trend%20towards_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bthe%20trend%20for_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bthe%20trend%20from_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bthe%20trend%20by_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bthe%20trend%20over_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bthe%20trend%20among_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bthe%20trend%20that_ADP%3B%2Cc0%3B.t2%3B%2Ctrend%20%2A%20shopping%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Btrend%20toward%20shopping%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Btrend%20in%20shopping%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Btrend%20of%20shopping%3B%2Cc0

" India’s economy was dropped by 7%": only use the passive if someone caused the action, for example, in a cricket match, the catch was dropped by the fielder. 'Drop' is an intransitive verb too.

In paragraph 2, I think you need to get to the point quicker: the topic sentence should introduce the point. The loss of many traditional shops has had a knock-on effect in terms of unemployment, and the redistribution of disposable income from middle class families in favor of behemoth corporations and their wealthy elite shareholders. (making the rich richer and the poor poorer: or something like that!)

It seems that the negative points are in paragraph two, and the plus points in para 3. However, this means that the essay reverts to the same mini-topics and gives the impression of being repetitive. It might be better to deal with the unemployment stuff in one paragraph and the shoppers' experiences in another. It is important to have one focus point for each paragraph, not two or more.

"On the flip side": too colloquial.
"shoppers would be more benefited ": grammar error. Why passive?

"provide higher job opportunities": do you mean more jobs or better quality jobs? Large shopping chains are usually better placed to exploit workers and supply chains.

"I completely disagree with the argument that..."

There are two aspects to be covered in this essay:
1) negative impact on small shopkeepers.
2) more choice, better experience for shoppers.

What are the criteria you would use to evaluate these ideas? Is it solely a matter of GDP? Why do we work for GDP? Why does that matter? Why not the people themselves, or the quality of the produce, or the impact on the environment?

Cheers

Many governments think that economic progress is their most important goal. Some people, however, think that other types of progress are equally important for a country.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

It seems that politicians and people have different views about a country’s growth. While many national authorities keep a view that the economical development of their nations is of utmost importance, I would align with those who argue that growth in other areas, like the education system, ought to be considered evenly for overall advancements of states.

The primary reason why some politicians want to aim economic growth specifically is to raise their country’s recognition among other advanced nations. They might be thinking that some developed countries would choose to invest in their nations because of financial stability. Thus, to bring various business opportunities in, some governments may be aspiring for state’s economic progress first. In recent years, for example, it has often been a point of discussion that the United States authority has thought of investing largely in the pharmaceutical sector in India believing its economical background.

Considering all arguments true, I personally think that the development in the country’s education system should also be prioritized. This is because of the fact that for making major investments, any developed country would not only see the state economy but they would also consider the skills and educational background the workforce possess in that area. If they found that the individual nation is lacking skilled workers, they would not prefer to give business to such a country. For instance, many developed nations are ready to invest in Japan just because of skills and education level of Japanese.

In conclusion, whereas the economic growth of country is important for its international recognition, I think that the government should not overlook other areas, such as education, for all-round development of the nation.

Thanks Colette for the assessment and valuable suggestions.

Vishaal

One approach to Task 2 essays is to ask the following questions:

A) What are our overall aims, goals and objectives in the situation under discussion?

B) What are the criteria to be used in evaluating ideas, or coming to a view?

C) Who are the different players, stakeholders, and interested parties involved?

Of course, normally there are multiple criteria, and conflicting aims and parties. I believe reviewing these questions in your planning may help to bring focus and logic to your essay, and prevent simply wandering around the topic.

Great point Da Nand! Can you please explain these 3 questions by giving an example for my 100% clarity? You can take the essay question from my recent post! Thanks!

@Vishaal

Re teenage crime and violent video games:
A) We want to raise 'nice' teenagers, but also we do not want to stop them having fun.
B) How much violence does a video game need to have to be "violent" and a bad influence?
C) How would we police it? Via the parents? Via banning violence online? How would that work?
D) What about other influences, peer pressure, school, religion, family, financial circumstances, gangs?

Re: Shopping malls:
A) Is the sole aim for retailers or property developers to make money? Or for shopping to be more convenient? Is 'growth' our sole aim, or does the 'pursuit of happiness' matter too?
B) Money is one criterion, but the social consequences need considering too (unemployment).
C) Property developers, financiers, town planners, small shop owners, elderly shoppers who need help to get to an out-of-town mall,...

Da Nang

Thanks and Sorry! I am more confused now!

Question:
The growth in crime among teenagers can be attributed to an increase in the use of violent video games.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

A) We want to raise 'nice' teenagers, but also we do not want to stop them having fun. - What is the correlation here?

B) How much violence does a video game need to have to be "violent" and a bad influence? - Is it really require to determine 'How much'? Is this for focusing on both sides of discussion?

C) How would we police it? Via the parents? Via banning violence online? How would that work? - Honestly, I am not getting this point. What is necessary to discuss the prevention of this occurrence?

D) What about other influences, peer pressure, school, religion, family, financial circumstances, gangs? - I partly understand this, I think you mean other reasons for the increase in teenage crime? Am I right?

I have never thought of these questions before so I have many queries, please don't mind it!

In addition to the previous post, I just tried to put my understanding on paper.

In recent years, many small local shops have closed because customers travel to large shopping centers or malls to do their shopping.
Is this a positive or negative development?

A) What are our overall aims, goals, and objectives in the situation under discussion?
- Aim: We want buyers would get more benefits, but at the same time this would not harm shopkeepers.
B) What are the criteria to be used in evaluating ideas, or coming to a view?
Negative:
- Unemployment, Increase in poverty rate
- Not possible (busy schedules or a health issue) for everyone to travel to malls
Positives:
- Many shops do adulteration in products / sell inferior products – This can be prevented
- Obvious benefits to shoppers – Discounts, convenience, have leisure time
C) Who are the different players, stakeholders, and interested parties involved?
- Shop owners
- Property developers
- Customers

Hi Vishaal

No one framework is going to work for every type of question: if it provokes some ideas then well and good. This part seems to have worked. Of course not all the ideas are necessarily usable. In the end, we have to make sure we answer the exact question as asked.

Da Nang

Make complete sense! I am just curious to know how to use this framework and that's why seeking more details on this.

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