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Wednesday, November 06, 2019


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Hi Simon,

Is it OK to use "but" at the beginning of this sentence "But perhaps even more worrying is the possibility that humans could be modified or cloned" in Writing Task 2?

As far as I know, "but" can be used at the beginning of a sentence. However, it should not be used in formal writing.

According to Cambridge Dictionary, we should not use but at the beginning of the sentence in formal writing:

However, I believe that but can be used to express surprise there, while however or other synonyms can't, so that's why you put "but" there.


It's a good point, and one that I considered carefully when writing that sentence.

I see the word 'but' being used more often at the beginning of sentences these days (e.g. in the books I read), and I think it has a certain impact that works well in the context of my paragraph. So I made the decision to go with my instinct about what would "read well".

I hope this makes sense!



Hi Simon,

To get band 7-9. Arguments need to be elaborated, extended or supported by relevant examples. However, in the paragraph 2, your view about GM foods resistance wasn't backed by a supporting points. As in the next sentence you moved to explain the second idea of cloning.

Do you think a sentence there would have solidified the argument and band score?


Well noticed. I must admit that I wrote the main paragraphs without planning them (bad idea!!) and look what happened.

Without a plan, I neglected the 'extending' and 'progression' aspects of paragraph 2. I think we can improve that paragraph in terms of task response, so watch out for another lesson on this next week!

Genetic engineering is certainly a hot topic among researchers and medical professionals, but at the same time, it is a cause of concern among many other people. While some think that such a technology can be beneficial to human beings in terms of providing them foods at an affordable rate, I would argue that the danger it poses, such as physical defects or fatal diseases, to humans and animals is more grievous.

Genetic technology has played a vital role in reducing the prices of many vegetables, fruits, and grains. This has become possible as scientists nowadays can modify the genes of these eatables, which boosts their productivity. It means that foods will become less expensive to people as farmers can produce far more quantity of genetically modified crops than other naturally grown ones in the same time. For instance, in India, most hybrid fruits are two to three times cheaper than those grown naturally. However, I seriously doubt this benefit as such foods usually have inferior nutritional value.

The negative implication of this technology, and the one that I favour, is medical issues in living organisms. In other words, cloned animals often show abnormal growth of certain body parts or even the development of tumors. Moreover, developing human clones has been in research for a long time, and many trials have shown that hybrid species of humans and animals look entirely different than normal ones, and they often found to have life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer or brain-related disorders. In this way, I think genetic engineering is more of a harmful technology than beneficial.

In conclusion, I believe that the benefit of this scientific method is inferior, and the risk it poses to humans or other living species cannot be ignored.

Mr Simon
I just made a long comment on the above essay and it disappeared: perhaps you could rescue it from the junk folder?

Genetic engineering is relevant with people, just like other sciences. That's impact arise from developing human tech. Throughout history, Human have been utilizing through natural resource is made more useful than normal forms. What's still ongoing. The situation sometimes endanger for human lives and natural balance. What's still ongoing as well. But good and bad is existing every time. That's why genetic science and others exploding by bad humans (It doesn't have to purposely, sometimes could make wrongly)
Regardless, Humanity have to make innovation by working hardly because human life and history depend on to develop. If humanity fears which conlusion arise from innovation, people must worry only then

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