See how sample essays can help you
Read this original essay written by me. Then look at the answer submitted as a comment. It’s a great example of how the system can work.
See how the learner essay
follows the basic 5 paragraph pattern of the model essay
uses the same sentence structures
borrows words and phrases
Read my model IELTS essay
It is certainly true that the more people nowadays do not have a close relationship with their neighbours and that this has weakened communities in our cities. This is probably due to a combination of our more mobile society and the nature of new building developments and is a problem that will require better planning policies.
One main cause of this change is the trend for people to move home to find work. This mobility means that there is less chance for people to put down roots in a community and establish relationships with their neighbours. If, for example, a person moves city once every five years then it is most unlikely that they will form lasting relationships where they live.
Another important factor is that when people move into a new area they often live in apartment blocks and not houses. This matters because these blocks do not have common social areas where people can meet each other in the same way as is possible in more traditional housing estates. It is possible for people who live in these new high rise buildings never to see each other, still less get to know each other well enough to form a bond.
Any solution to this problem will probably involve local government adopting planning policies that are focused on the community. While it is unlikely that anything can be done about social mobility, it is possible for local authorities to encourage a greater sense of community by ensuring new building developments have social spaces where people can meet each other regularly. These could include green spaces where children can play together, local markets and community halls.
My conclusion is that there may be nothing to be done about social mobility but it is possible for local government to foster a greater sense of community by ensuring new developments are more community friendly.
Now see learner version – it borrows and adapts
It is certainly true that the more people nowadays do not have a close relationship with their neighbours and that this has weakened communities in our cities. This is probably due to the change in work patterns and entertaniment culture and is a problem that will require better planning policies.
One main cause of this change is city dwellers’ daily working patterns. This means that the more citizens in the metropolitan areas are inclined to work longer and often commute for over one or two hours. This matters because the more city people spend most time at the workplace, the less they absolutely interact with their neighbours.
Another important factor is that there is a change in how city people spend their leisure time. As the advance in technology seems to be apparent, watching TV, playing video games and surfing the Internet have replaced our traditional entertainment culture, such as going camping and playing conventional games with their neighbours. It ispossible for young people who are addicted to new industrial entertainment devices never to talk to their next doors.
Any solution to this problem will probably generate the effort of local governments to adopt new policies that are focused on the communities.It is possible for governments to encourage cooperations to create new regulation which do not allow employees to work longer, and for local authorities to establish a lot of clubs where residents can socialize each other. These could, for instance, be social sports match, local markets and community halls.
My conclusion is that due to the change of working patterns and individuals’ leisure habit, a sense of bonding with neighbours have weakened. However, it is feasible for firms and local officials to foster a greater sense of community by ensuring new development are more community friendly.
How to use the sample essays for vocabulary
One way to use these samples is to find vocabulary you can use for yourself. This vocabulary can be divided into:
- topic vocabulary – specific vocabulary relating to the topic of the question
- structural/organising vocabulary (eg “One point to note is..”)
- academic vocabulary
Here is my link to useful vocabulary to structure an essay. You can practise the academic vocabulary on my Academic Word Listpage where you will find an interactive quiz on each essay.
How to use the sample essays for essay structure
Another way to use these essays is to see how an IELTS essay is structured:
- note how the introduction addresses the question and leads into the main body of the essay
- identify the main point of each topic paragraph
- note how the topic paragraphs link to each other (do they present similar or contrasting attitudes?)
- note the functions of the conclusion: to summarise and/or present the answer to the question
How to use the sample essays for paragraph structure
Note how each paragraph focuses on one main idea and how that idea is expanded by the use of examples and reasons. You will find more about this under coherence.
I could have called this video lesson “What is a paragraph?”. A paragraph is one idea that is developed and this means that you need 2 ideas for an essay that has 2 main paragraphs and 3 ideas for an essay that contains 3 main paragraphs.
If this surprises you then you may be confusing main ideas with reasons and examples and this lesson is definitely for you.
Essay map and IELTS
In the video I use the Essay Map app from ReadWriteThink. It’s a great tool for showing you how the different bits of an essay work together. It works like this.
Start with the question – establish your point of view
You start by looking at an IELTS essay question and deciding what you think about it. It helps to try and state this in a short sentence. This will be part of your introduction and will be developed by the main paragraphs
Think of 2/3 ideas to explain your point of view
These are the ideas that will be developed to be your main paragraphs. Again it helps to try and state these ideas in a short/clear sentence. If you can’t do that they may be too complex or just supporting detail.
Now think of reasons/examples that support your main ideas
These are not main ideas. These are details. You can get these by looking at real-life examples.
Summarise your position
This is your conclusion. Note that you don’t have to say anything new here – all you are doing is summarising what you have said before.
Before you listen
I use one of my sample IELTS essays in this video. It is an essay on Libraries and digital technology. Read this question
Maintaining public libraries is a waste of time since digital technology is now replacing their function. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
decide what your position is
think of 2/3 ideas to explain that position
think of 2/3 reasons and examples to support your ideas
You can’t of course take Essay Map into the test with you. There is though a very simple and highly effective way you can help yourself in the test.
How to structure an IELTS essay: in this lesson I show you how you can use a blank piece of paper to help structure your essay.
If you are still confused about ideas then I suggest you have a look at this lesson on topic sentences. These topic sentences are where you should be stating your main ideas and are normally found right at the start of paragraphs.
An exercise for you to try
Take one of your IELTS essays and try and use Essay Map. Can you identify your position? What about the main ideas? Reasons and examples?