How to paraphrase your introductions in IELTS essays

IELTS9PRO how to paraphrase introductions effectively



Hi, as you might have noticed, it’s been a while since I posted anything. I have been busy with my new businesses, both online and off, and haven’t had any time. So, here is my latest video produced for my new company, based in Iran. I have been working on new techniques for making videos, as you will see, this is my best so far. I hope you like it…


How to get started in IELTS: introduction to study…

how to get started in IELTS


Hi, in this new video I have tried some new techniques, with an animated introduction, new mic, different cameras, etc, I hope you like it. But the point of the video is to introduce you to the IELTS. Now, lots of people have no idea how to get started on their IELTS journey. They ask me all the time, what do I need to do exactly? Well, in this video, I will tell you. This is basically the first chapter of my study guide, which you can download for free on this site, and it tells you exactly what to do. Step by step. So, check it out, and any questions, mail me at the usual address


Avoiding confusion in writing a task 2 essay…

avoiding confusion in writing a task 2 essay


In this video I want to take a look at how to avoid confusing the reader with contradictory paragraphs and structure. You will note how the last three videos have all had some element of this inappropriate use of structure for the question type, in fact it is one of the most common mistakes for the uninitiated in the IELTS way of writing. What this student essay does also is to express contradictory opinions, and write a discuss both views style answer for a “To what extent” question. As you will see from the video, this leads the examiner/reader somewhat confused.

So check it out, read the student essay and the sample answer below and if you have any questions, you can write to me at

We are becoming more and more dependent on machines to function in the modern world. Some people think that is a very negative development.

To what extend do you agree or disagree?

Student Essay

A majority number of people stated that machines played incredible roles in our lives, and we are taking advantage of them to work more productively. Therefore, I absolutely disagree with people who consider machine development as a negative development.

One of the biggest drawbacks of machine development is that people tend to become lazier to brainstorm original ideas. Apparently, instead of creating new products, people would like to make use of available items. Take doing homework for instance, students have a tendency to surf on the internet to find out the answers rather than doing by themselves. Another drawback of machine development is that people seriously lack basic survived skills. It is likely that people are able to do navigate anywhere without directions from the smartphone applications like GoogleMap.

Despite these drawbacks, we can not deny that update machine has considerable benefits for our lives. When it comes to medical treatment, doctors apparently make use of modern computers to not only keep track of patient’s medical history but also cope with complicated surgeries. There is also some truth in the view that modern machine allows us to explore extraordinary things like figuring out the presence of water on the moon. It is likely that we could not investigate those severe environments without satellite, since human specific health conditions.

On balance, it is obvious that machines appear in all aspects of our lives. However, whether modern machines have benefits or not that depends on our way we use them.

248 words

Sample essay

It has been argued that we are depending increasingly upon machines to function in today’s world. Some believe that this is a negative development. I agree with the statement and will argue that, relying on computer controlled devices is putting lives at risk, and that by doing so we are losing touch with our natural mental abilities.

Firstly, many machines and devices are controlled by computer chips these days. Virtually every machine from a car to a washing machine, to a hospital ventilator has a microchip which controls its function. However, as we have seen in recent events, it is possible for hackers to take control of such devices and threaten to harm people unless a ransom is paid. For example, in the UK this year the NHS (National Health Service) computers were hacked by criminals who demanded a large ransom for not turning off hospital ventilators and killing sick patients.

Also, by relying too much on machines for even the simplest of functions we are in danger of intellectual retardation. That is to say, by not using our brains for the simplest of tasks, such as calculating, reading a map, using Google instead of our memory, we are turning back the evolutionary process and becoming stupider as a species. For example, recent research by the University of London showed that 85% of drivers admitted to using their sat nav device for driving around in their home town to places they have been to before.

In conclusion, this dependence on mechanical devices for our every task is certainly a retrograde step in human history. I believe that this over-reliance on computers is putting lives at risk and is in serious danger of making us mentally irrelevant as a species.

288 words

The importance of using an appropriate structure in IELTS essay writing

the importance of structure in essay writing (1)


In this video I talk about the importance of using the appropriate structure when answering a task 2 essay question. Time and time again, everyday in fact, I get student essays whose grammar and vocab are good, and their cohesion and coherence also, but they have used the wrong structure for the question and as a consequence their task response score will be low.

Take this essay as an example, the question asks “To what extent do you agree or disagree?”, however, the author has written it as a discussion essay which is not what is required. As I say over and over again, give the examiner what they want, and nothing more. If it says “do you agree or disagree?”, then choose a side and give two reasons for your choice, no need to look at both sides or write a balanced essay for this particular task.

So, have a look at the video and if you have any questions, you can write to me at I will copy the texts below for your information.

The responsibility of bringing up children should be shared equally between mother and father.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Student Essay

This question generates a lot of debate because looking after children is not an easy task. It requires a lot of effort and patience. Changing diapers, feeding and cleaning up after them, dealing with their emotional needs, and putting them to sleep are all examples of challenging and demanding tasks; continue doing them every day might be overwhelming if no help was offered. Based on my humble experience and knowledge, I believe raising children should be divided in a way that suits the schedule and ability of each parent.

Some parents lack understanding of the full picture of what parenting means. As a result, they decide their role without discussing it with each other. For example, the father decides that he will take care of the financial needs and the other chooses to take care of the children physically. Although this way of thinking is common, yet it shows little awareness of what happens in real life. There will be times where the mother feels overwhelmed of taking care of the children and feels that she needs a break. When this happens, the father should take the role of helping his wife and do his part of looking after their offspring. Instead, these types of parents will not help each other and often have the manner of “I have done my part” which creates an unbalanced scale of accountability.

On the other hand, there are parents who have a clear picture and full awareness of the responsibility toward rearing children. From the beginning, they set an agreement to work with each other regarding what is best for the children. They set a clear picture of what each can offer to their children and fulfill their responsibility in a positive manner. They will cover each other’s back; if one of the partners could not fulfill a duty for whatever reason, the other will fulfill it without being asked to do so. To be more specific, if the father comes back from work and noticed that his wife is tired and needs rest, he immediately takes her role and does what is needed. They know it is a duty that comes along with the journey; as a result, parenting becomes less challenging and more pleasant.

In conclusion, parenting should be a shared responsibility between both parents with the consideration of the schedule and needs of each partner.

395 words

Sample Essay

It has been said that both parents should have an equal share in the raising of their children. I totally agree with this view, and will argue that it is unreasonable in this day and age to expect the mother to raise the children alone, and also that with the rise in house-husbandry and paternal leave it is easier than before for men to take their share of this responsibility.

Firstly, the idea that only women should raise children is out of date. That is to say, although in the past this was the norm, in today’s modern world with more women in the workplace and taking on more roles previously occupied by men, it is unreasonable to expect them to remain in the home child-raising. For example, a recent survey by the UK Dept of Employment showed that over 50% of new mothers intended to return to work after having a baby. This research suggests that, like it or not, the attitude of women themselves is changing about traditional familial roles.

Also, in many countries it is becoming easier for men to take on their share of childcare. That is, many governments have added paternal leave to the legal requirements of a company, and this has made it more socially acceptable for men to take time from the workplace to stay at home with the children. For example, in the UK recently, a new law was passed making it obligatory for a company with over fifty employees to offer up to 3 months paternity leave to its employees. As a consequence of this new legal and societal attitude, more and more men are supporting their wives and sharing equally in the joys of parenthood.

In conclusion, I firmly believe that the duties of raising children need and ought to be shared jointly between both parents. The increasing number of women in the workplace and the changing in societal norms, along with the change in men’s working practices means that both sexes now have an equal chance to share child raising responsibility.

342 words


How to structure a Task 2 essay…for Band 9.0

How to structure a Task 2 essay.png


Hello, in this video I analyse a real student essay and show how to restructure it according to the official criteria to get a high band score. This video was made in conjunction with my new partner IELTS9 with whom I will be making more videos and offering my video correction service, so check out their website if you need this service.

Anyway, the essay itself, in terms of grammar and vocabulary, is quite good. The author has spent some years living in English speaking countries, so is proficient. The problem with this essay is that the author has no real idea how to address the question, writes about the topic too generally, and has no clear overall structure. This is what I address in the video.

So have a look, see what you think. Any comments, or questions, you can write to me at, and I will copy the text of the essays below. See you next time.

There are many people who go to live in different countries. To what extent should people be allowed to move freely between countries and live where they choose? What are the benefits and drawbacks of this?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Student essay

Nowadays, traveling is becoming a trend. With the ease of booking cheap and affordable flights, people feel motivated to move around and try living in different countries. I personally traveled to 7 countries and lived in 5 different countries, Jordan, the US, Canada, Egypt, and Malaysia.

Traveling abroad helps us to expand our horizons, make new friends, and learn different cultures. My first trip was to the US to visit my father whom I have not seen for 5 years. My father traveled to the US to make a surgery for his eye. After doing the successful surgery, my father decided to stay as a away to seek better life style. After I lived in the states for 7 years, I moved to Canada with my husband. Living in Canada taught me the importance of being green and motivated me to be more keen toward protecting our environment, the earth. Although we loved Canada as a country and its people, yet it has an expensive life style. Therefore, we decided to move to a country with cheap life style, good health care system and well developed. After doing a research that lasted over 6 months, we decided to fly to Malaysia.

Living in Malaysia opened my eye to a whole new culture and life style. I enjoyed living there and appreciate the easy access to travel around Asia with low-cost. As I traveled around, I saw how some individuals might cause harm to a country and affects its peacefulness. Illegal immigrants and criminals are major concern to each country. Therefore, there should be strict laws and policies to deal with each case as its needed. For those who don’t have jobs, creating job opportunities would help in minimizing thieving and robbery. To avoid criminals from entering a country, each individual should be asked to do a background check up as a way to protect the safety of the country.

In conclusion, individuals should have the right to move freely from one country to another with the consideration of having strict laws and firm policies toward those who might cause danger to others and harm the country and its people. Traveling freely would help the new generation to acknowledge new cultures and different life styles, make new friends, respect differences, and to be more open and understanding toward each other.

389 words

Band 9.0 example

There are a number of people who choose to move around the world and live in different countries. I believe that freedom of movement between countries should not be allowed unless based on certain criteria. I also believe that the advantages of limited migration can seen in allowing skilled workers to come to a country, whereas the disadvantages are the changing in demographics in a given nation.

International freedom of movement seems to intuitively be a good thing. However, if this were allowed then millions of people from less well off parts of the world would seek to migrate to the “West”. This would obviously pose many problems for infrastructure, and integration, etc. For example, it would seem sensible then to have some criteria before allowing such freedom, such as a points system for language, skills, family members in the country, as in Australia and Canada.

The advantages of managed immigration then, are that migrants with certain skills such as Drs, IT, and other professionals can fill the “skills gap” in whichever country they move to. This is of significant benefit to the receiving nation and is the reason countries such as Canada and Australia have such a system. However, the downsides of uncontrolled immigration as mentioned above are the very real issues of infrastructural pressure, as in housing and schools. For example, in the UK, it is estimated that a city the size of Liverpool would need to be built every year to accommodate the estimated 300, 000 migrants who move there year on year.

In conclusion, although many people migrate every year, I believe that unmanaged migration without certain safeguards will be detrimental to the host country, however, if properly controlled the movement of skilled people can only benefit the new countries they call home.

297 words









What are “Complex Sentences” in IELTS, and how to write them?…

complex sentences in ielts


Hello and welcome, in this video I am responding to a student inquiry about how to use “Complex” sentences in his task 2 essays. He thought he wasn’t using them correctly, and he was right, but not in the way he meant. If you watch the video you will see how and why his sentences needed to change.

For your information, I will post the essays below (with the student’s kind permission) and if you have any questions, feel free to write to the usual address:

Discussion essay with opinion

Some people think women should be given equal chances to work and excel in their careers. Others believe that a woman’s role should be limited to taking care of the house and children. Which opinion do you agree with and why? Include specific details and examples to support your choice.

Over the last few decades, many conservatives have advocated that women’s participation in societies should be restricted to look after both the house and children as these two activities require a lot of time and dedication. However, in my opinion, females should be provided with the same opportunities that men have in the business world due to their innate skills to multitask. This essay will discuss both views and examine a number of studies before coming to a reasonable conclusion.

On the one hand, an overwhelming number of sociological experts , whose main field of expertise is analyzing how children are affected by the introduction of women to the workforce, acknowledge how essential is the role that women play in taking care of the children and the house. This is largely because women not only watch over their children and clean the house, but they also help young ones with their academic difficulties by helping them with homework; what is more, by keeping a clean house they protect their families from getting health issues. For example, a recent quantitative study carried out by the National Child Measurement Programme revealed statistics showing that if mothers dedicate completely to the house and children, their descendants have better academic results in high school and they are less prone to get sick.

On the other hand, a vast number of business specialist s, who mainly work in recruitment processes, concur that women are valuable assets in different industries due to their ability for multitasking. This is because, although both male and female workers have similar attitudes, skills and knowledge, women certainly excel at multitasking; as they are better at swtiching rapidly between tasks and juggling priorities. For instance, a new BioMed Central psychology study showed that women had had better results in computer test, which involved switching between tasks involving counting and shape-recognition.

To conclude, it should be clear that there are reasons for and against the aforementioned views. Nevertheless, from my perspective, women should not be excluded to work and excel in their careers if they decide to be part of the workforce.

Opinion essay

Many people believe that social networking sites (such as Facebook) have had a huge negative impact on both individuals and society.

To what extent do you agree?

Empirical research has shown that some individuals think that social media websites like Facebook and Instagram can have detrimental effects on people and societies. I strongly agree with this notion, and I will also argue that stress-related problems can be triggered due to comparing oneself to others and face-to face interactions have been diminished since the advent of social networking.

To begin with, an overwhelming number of psychological specialists, who have been studying the impact of technology in people’s lives, acknowledge how Facebook and Instagram can easily provoke depression. This is largely because, although the main purpose of these websites is to share pictures and ideas, many teenagers experience anxiety, loneliness, and tension when they compare themselves to others in terms of being more popular or having more money. For example, a recent quantitative Cambridge study revealed statistics showing that 5 million youngsters had been diagnosed with depression in 2014 due to spending too much time in social media. Since the use of these technological novelties can have serious affects in teenagers’ state of mind, it is therefore clear that their usage should be limited among young people.

Secondly, a vas number of sociological specialists, whose main field of research involved analizing social interactions in modern’day societies, concur that the advent of social networking sites have been shrinking face-to-face social interactions. This is because mose poeple not only use these websites to complement their social lives, but they are also relying completely in them to find their sentimental partners; consequently, they stop going out to restaurants and bars, where tradicional personal interactions are made. For instance, a new study carried out by Baltimore University showed that if people spend more than ten hours per week in social networking sites, they reduce their likelihood to go out in 50%.

To conclude, there is undeniable evidence that shows the negative effects of social networking sites in people’s lives. Given the strength of this proof, the general usage of these sites should be carefully monitored by experts.

Direct question essay

Some people think that money is one of the most essential factors in promoting happiness.

Do you think people can be happy without much money?

What other factors contribute towards happiness?

Empirical research has shown that many individuals consider financial success the main factor in achieving an enjoyable life. In my opinion, having money is not always a synonym of happiness as many people find enjoyment through helping the less fortunate and other aspects such as the culture, beliefs , and traditions play an imperative role to define happiness as well.

To begin with, an overwhelming number of psychological experts, whose main field of expertise is studying the human behavior in modern society, acknowledge how having money is not always the norm to be happy as priests and missioners find happiness through spirituality. This is largely because, although amassing big fortunes can make people’s lives easier and more enjoyable at the beginning, after covering their basic needs for awhile, the sensation of being happy is reduced considerably. For example, a recent quantitative study carried out by BioMed Central psychology revealed statistics showing that both priest and missioners had scored high levels of contentment during a happiness test in 2014. Since money does not determine being happy, it is therefore important to dissociate it from feelings of enjoyment.

Secondly, a vast number of sociological specialists, who principally work in remote rural communities, concur that aspects such as the culture , beliefs and traditions determine what can be considered as living an enjoyable life. This is because, in many cultures around the world, having a large extended family not only is considered a blessing, but it also makes its members very happy; as children can have more friends to play with and adults can have more mental and economic support from their relatives. For instance, a new Cambridge study showed that if extended families are composed of more than fifty members in Asian countries, their relatives have more enjoyable lives.

To conclude, from my view, money is not imperative to achieve happiness, which can be found through spirituality as well as having large extended families like in some Asian nations. If more people strived in live towards true happiness rather than money, the world would be a better place.





IELTS task 2 assessment: five (sorry, 6) examples…:p

IELTS Essay Assessment


Hello again, in this post/video I have something new for you. I recently started teaching an online group of students from the same country who I met on Facebook. They were asking for a teacher to help them out with IELTS so I decided to give them a hand, with work being a bit scarce in summer as always. So, I decided to start with writing, and I set them a question and got five essays back. Interestingly, they were all roughly the same band 5.0 more or less, and what’s more they all made (grammar and vocab aside) the same mistakes or omissions.

That is to say, the introduction had a very general statement for the first sentence, there was not a clear opinion expressed, and no outline sentence. Also, in the body paragraphs, there were often no real examples, not a clear main idea, and often the conclusions included new information or didn’t summarise the rest of the essay.

I won’t say more about that here, as you can see it in the video above. what I will do is to post the essay below and the example I wrote for you to see/use/copy whatever. I hope you find it useful.

As always, any questions, you can write to me at

The essays…

“Some people think that mothers should spend most of their time raising their children, and therefore the government should support them financially. Do you agree or disagree?”

The issue of goverment’s financial support for mothers to take care their childrend all time has generated a debate among the general public for some time already. Although I think that some mothers need to fund, I personally lean towards the viewpoint that most of mother want to work and raise their children with their husbands.

To begin with, educated women are aware of responsibility for upbringing their children belonging to both genders. They step out for working and earning money as well as their husbands. There is ample convincing evidence that children could more confident and sucessful when they are raised by both mothers and fathers. Therefore, it is better for women to share the child raising rather than spend most of their time for them. In modern life, there are numeruos women who have highly educated could achieve susccess in their careers such as politicians, sientists, businesswomen, etc. They could be completely financial independence, not depend on goverment.

Despite the possitives mentioned above, there are, however, equally strong arguement that some women should recieve finacial support by goverment. Alternatives have difficult situations such as single moms, widows, divorced or disabled people who may not have well educated and have a slim chance for finding a job, especially in the rural regions. They could not earn enough money for cover their life and bringup their children, so that goverment should help them finacially.

In conclution, it is understandable that goverment should support some special mothers to raise their children, but in my opinion, most of women do not expect this.

261 words

“Some people think that mothers should spend most of their time raising their children, and therefore the government should support them financially. Do you agree or disagree?”

There is the fact that child raising is a particular important work of every woman, especialy the mothers who have new born baby (less than 6 months for example). Therefore, I think these mothers should be supported by their companies or the government.

As my own expearences when I have become the two babies’ mother, new born babies have some problems that might be dangerous for them if they are not taken care carefully by their mothers. Besides, the WTO always advice all woman to raise their children by herself milk as soon and long as possible. However, It is quite uncomfortable for women to have to go for work and take care their baby at the same time, unless all her work can be done online. Moreover, some mothers also become despressed after having baby, in this case, she needs more relaxing and longer time to become better . Although, both of babies and mothers need money to by the crusial goods for their growing proced and life. That are the reasons why I think government should support them.

In contract, few women who have good educated and strong health tend to comback their offices earlier so they don’t need helping any more. Those mothers also think that, their children might be more indipendent and grow up quickly with out mother facing all day.

To conclution, I agree that the government should use a part of National budget to support mothers in the period but don’t need more than 12 months after she has baby.

256 words

“Some people think that mothers should spend most of their time raising their children, and therefore the government should support them financially. Do you agree or disagree?”

I believe that not only mothers plays a vital role in child development but also fathers. Because the mindsets & the characteristics were created in the childhood time. Beside that the goverment should Provide financial support for some difficult situation. I disagree with this opinion for two reason.

First, nowaday people spend most of day time in their workplace. In the night time they still have work to do and they dont have time with their children.  I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without my parents. since the parents is the one set a foudantion. children must to be loved and intrusted by their parents in the development of their aware, physical and emotional well-being.

On the other hand, the people can have a job and they can look afrer their children. If in the difficult situation, the children should be taken care of the relatives or family members. The government no need to focus on basic needs like food, accommodation. instead of provide finance for the parent, the govorment should spend money to develop the country. That is the way to increase independence for citizen.

In conclution, the goverment should support some special family to take care of their children.

208 words

“Some people think that mothers should spend most of their time raising their children, and therefore the government should support them financially. Do you agree or disagree?”

From past to present, the role of women in the family is undeniable. They take care of all the members, from the youngest to the oldest, especially their children. Accordingly, some people think that Goverments should support them financially. I extremely agree with this notion that subsidize mothers by providing some funds monthly.

To the best of my knowledge, the future of the world rests largely in the hands of the generation we are rearing. Once a child is born, it becomes national property. Mothers are the front line child care providers and therefore, if they are supported by the government they can do their job better. For example, In most Indian homes, the mother’s salary is necessary to support the family. So, if the mother does not get a paid from Goverment, she has to go back to job earlier and this affects the childcare.

Secondly, gone are those days, the proportion of widowed or divorced mother has increased. Therefore, they particularly need financial help. The situation would be worse in some rural areas which are not developed, women still take up only the role of mothers. They may not be well educated and so that cannot support their children, even themselves. They cannot go for a full time work because they have to spend more time to grow up their children. So If the Government give them a hand financially, their burden will decrese.

Finally, if women are supported by the government, they can look after their health. Proper education, enough employment opportunities, food security and affordable medical care are some of the contributory factors that the government can provide to make women healthy. Needless to say, there should be enough provision for all these in a society that expects to be healthy today and tomorrow. It is known that women play the most crucial role in managing the health of the family. And healthy families contribute greatly to social welfare.

In conclution, mothers need funds to raise up their children and devote more time for them. It is the responsibility of the family member or herself to look after financially.

353 words

“Some people think that mothers should spend most of their time raising their children, and therefore the government should support them financially. Do you agree or disagree?”

Lifestyle has undergone dramatic changes over couple of decades. Presently, both genders have to step out for work to earn money to manage their daily living. It is argued that mothers should be at home to look after family and therefore supported financially by government. I completely disagree with this point of view………….

Firstly, role of genders in today’s society has been considered equally. In the past, it was not deniable that mothers, especially in some Asia nations, just stayed at home and took care of their childs and did housechores. In today’s modern world, however, not only are men as breadwinners, but women, our mothers, also can certainly be when those mothers who are highly educated and work sucessfully in many different fields Therefore, it is essential for females to rub shoulder with man in every walk of life to bring equality and boost self esteem especially in male domineering societies.

Furthermore, governments should not take responsibility for funding financially to mothers who look after their own children because it is a personal issue. In every country, the government has to plan the best stratergies to develop their own nation and spend a hefty amount of money to offer all people with optimum education, transportation, health services and boost to develop nation’s economics. In each family unit, hence, both men and women should take equal responsibility, make a balance between work and family, share their time to each other so that they can work well in society and take care of their babies at home as well. As a result, family bond definitely become more and more closed-knit when all members care and love each other.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that the revolutionized and modern world has remarkably changed the role of most women in society. Some other alternatives, however, can be carried out instead of binding them with home responsibilities only.

341 words

“Some people think that mothers should spend most of their time raising their children, and therefore the government should support them financially. Do you agree or disagree?”

Nowadays, women (mother) play important role in many families. However, whether mothers should spend most of their time raising their children and therefore the government should support them financially is a controversial issue. This essay will give an insight into the situation.

On the one hand, when women go on a long leave, they need to be paid without working and spend time to take care their children. The maternity leave is from four to six months. Because children need using mother-milk in 6 months to growth and have good heath. In Vietnamese, all mothers have six months for maternity leave and all that time, the have maternity benefit. It is six- month- salary from society safety. Besides, mothers still need time to take care themselves after their babies were born. So I think the government should support them financially and their families should sharing them to take care children.

On the other hand, some mothers have best knowledge, best skills and experiences, especially good heath, they tend to come back working early, maybe after from two to four months born their babies. So they do not need helpful, supporting by government about financially, I think they need their families, especial their husbands, their mothers or their mothers help them take care their children.

To sum up, from my perspective, I think government should use nation budget to support for women in maternity leave. It can be salary or time for they look after their children (maybe six to nice months – salary and time for maternity leave). And women can do mothers, raising children better. Because if children have good heath, mothers can do work better. Last but not least, their companies should help them when they come back to work.

291 words

Essay example

“Some people think that mothers should spend most of their time raising their children, and therefore the government should support them financially. Do you agree or disagree?”

It is believed by some that governments should give financial support to mothers to help them in child raising. I disagree with this view and will argue that, having children is a choice which one should be prepared to pay for, and that other help is available such as from family members.

Firstly, having a child is a lifestyle choice these days. That is to say, contraception is freely available and in general, no one need have children if they do not really want them. If this is so, then it is up to the parents to pay for their child, if you can’t afford to have kids, then you should not do so. For example, a survey by The Guardian newspaper in 2016 showed that 80% of people objected to taxpayers money being spent on other people’s children.

Also, it is unrealistic and perhaps old fashioned these days to suggest that a mothers role is only in the home looking after children. Many women can and do choose to work and have help from their husband and family, such as grandparents, to help raise their offspring. Research by the W.H.O shows that in many families around the world, grandparents shoulder an equal part of the duties of child care. This shows that, although there are exceptions of course, there is no need for state handouts for every woman who has a baby.

In conclusion, despite some people believing that state support is necessary for stay at home mothers, I would argue that anyone who is mature enough to have children should be able to pay for their upbringing themselves, and that family members such as grandparents can and should help their daughters instead of getting money from the government.

290 words






Why the IELTS tests what it does, and how to give the examiners what they want…!


prepare ielts it is what it is



In this video, I address some student questions about why the IELTS wants us to show the examiners certain things, as in functional English, logical structures, and not just grammar and vocab. I show the CEFR tables and point out how the IELTS criteria fits in with the criteria for determining your English level. I also made this lesson into a podcast which you can listen to and download (link below). Also, if you go to the pod site, you can download the relevant files for this lesson.

There is a lot of information here, so if you have any questions, you can always write to me at

Happy viewing…




Three new sample essays: Band 9.0 (agree/disagree + discuss both views)

three sample essays

Firstly, sorry to say, no video for this week as I have been too busy with other projects and to tell the truth I was feeling less than inspired. I have been making a video for my partner school in Bratislava English4you to promote our new courses, one of which will be a classroom based IELTS course taught by yours truly, so if you live in Bratislava keep an eye out for that.

Anyway, even though there is no video for this week I still have something for you, I have three sample essays which I have been using with my students this last week. They were written to illustrate the structures and writing process which I talk about in my lessons, so as I spent a bit of time on them, it seemed a shame to waste them, so here they are for your delectation and delight. Or something like that…

I won’t post the structures here as you can find them of several of my previous posts, so just have a look for those, or you can see them on my YouTube channel. So, we have three essays for you, two agree/disagree and one discuss both views. I won’t comment further, just have look and feel free to copy/steal/study them for your own useage. No worries…any questions, you can write me at

Children today are too dependent on computers and electronic entertainment. It would be better for them to be outside playing sports and taking part in more traditional pastimes than spending all day indoors.

Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

It can be argued that instead of spending all day indoors playing computer games, children these days would benefit more from playing outside. I agree with this statement and will argue that children need to develop social skills by playing with other children outdoors, and also that playing outdoors reduces the risk of obesity.

Firstly, it is vital to develop social skills in childhood. That is to say, as adults people need the skills of communication and empathy if they are to find a job and a partner and these skills are more easily learnt as a child. For example, a recent study by Moscow State University showed that 85% of long term singletons were isolated and introverted as children. This research would suggest that interaction with other children, especially in outdoor games, is an essential part of the journey to adulthood.

Also, nowadays a lot of adults suffer from obesity which is often caused by bad childhood habits. Many children who spend a little or no time outdoors in play have a tendency to be overweight and they often carry this poor lifestyle into adulthood. For example, the Russian Ministry of health showed that based on a ten year monitoring of public health in Moscow, 75% of overweight young men spent less than 1 hour of play or exercise outdoors a week.

In conclusion, it can be said that it is good for children to play outdoors as it is beneficial for the reduction of obesity, and for the development of vital social skills to help them communicate better in their adult life. I totally agree with this idea and would recommend that all children have more time for play and socialising with other children.

286 words

Computers and modems have made it possible for office workers to do much of their work from home instead of working in offices every day. Working from home should be encouraged as it is good for workers and employers.

Do you agree or disagree?

Modern technology has made it possible for many people to work from home rather than having to go to the office This essay believes that this practice ought to be encouraged as it is beneficial for both employees and employers, firstly as it saves commuting time, and secondly as it makes workers happier and therefore more productive for their companies.

One of the major disadvantages for many office workers is the daily commute to and from work. Working in a major city often means that many people have to spend several hours a day in travel time, time which they would no doubt prefer to spend at home. For example, a recent survey by The Moscow Times showed that 80% of Muscovites spend an average of three hours commuting every weekday. If workers could work from home online then they would have have more free time for themselves and their families which would undoubtedly make them significantly happier.

As far as the employers are concerned a major benefit of happy workers is that they are likely to be more productive in their work, thus generating greater profits for their companies. In this case, allowing home working for some employees would seem to be a clever move on the part of bosses as they stand to benefit also. For example, research by the Moscow Business Council suggests that over 60% of employers are considering encouraging home working as a tool to boost productivity.

In conclusion, as technology has changed the way many people can work these days, this essay believes that such a move is advantageous to both employers and employees, as it saves time and encourages productivity.

277 words

Some people believe that capital punishment should never be used. Others however, argue that it should be allowed for the most serious crimes.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

It has been argued that the sentence of death should not be used in any circumstances, whereas, others would argue that it is right to use it for very serious crimes. This essay believes that capital punishment is necessary and will argue that some crimes are too serious for any other punishment, whereas, the state does not have the right to take a human life.

Firstly, for the most serious crimes a serious deterrent is needed, such as the death sentence. That is to say, for some crimes such as murder, or child sex offences, public outrage demand an ultimate punishment, so the offender will not commit those crimes again. For example, in Hubei province recently a womens baby stealing gang were caught and executed to reassure the public that such crimes would not happen again.

For many people, only god has the right to decide who lives or dies, therefore, the state should not practice capital punishment. In this view, sentencing people to death is morally wrong and imprisonment is a more just and suitable punishment. For example, it is a fact that in the UK there were several cases of innocent men being wrongfully executed and later found to be innocent of the crime. If they had been jailed instead, they would have been alive to be set free.

In conclusion, despite some people thinking capital punishment to be wrong and not the business of man, rather of god, this essay believes that it is justified by public outrage for very serious crimes such as murder and child sex offences.

262 words


Four Common Essay Mistakes, part 2: writing off-topic…

Four common essay mistakes- part 2


In today’s video, I want to talk about the second common mistake that I find in many student essays, that is to say, writing off-topic. What this means is when a student either doesn’t understand the question, or has no clear ideas and simply writes everything he/she can think of about the general theme of the question. In the essay below we can see a clear example of this.

One way to avoid this is to be careful when analyzing the question, in the five to ten minutes planning stage before you start to write. You need to identify the topic words, and the micro words, which tell you what the actual questions is. In this essay, the question is

Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities. Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and that other measures are required.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

So, for this essay you would need to write about would health be improved by having more gyms, etc, or would other measures be more effective. You also need to express a clear opinion throughout the essay.

If you watch the video then you will see how the author failed to achieve this, also, you will see a sample essay which shows what the author should have done. You can copy the two essays below. One final thing, if you have any questions or you have an essay you want me to critique, then feel free to write to me at

Essay 1

These days, people’s health condition has become increasingly worse because of overload work pressure and lack of exercises. Many people hold the point of view that sports equipments are required while others believe that there are also some essential

A large number of people cannot do adequate exercises regularly. They have to do extra work and learn advanced technical skills to keep pace with the modern world. For example, an engineer has to deal with a great many issues everyday, such as having a phone meeting, signing a contact or attending a party with their supervisors. Furthermore, young parents need to take care of their children and keep an eye on their children’s academic performance, which takes a large part of their spare time. In terms of this, I suggest that employees should be given enough free time to spend, including exercising.

On the other hand, there are still many people living in rural areas who do not have sports facilities. They lead a flexible lifestyle for they do not have to work overload, but lack of facilities is the main obstacle for them who enjoy sports. So I agree that governments should increase investments to those areas so that local people there may have access to doing sports.

In conclusion, the main problem in urban areas is that people have to work excessively and lack spare time. So the solution for them may be reducing their working hours and stress. For people who live in rural areas, however, establishing some sports systems and buildings can be a better choice.

Essay 2

It has been argued that increasing the number of leisure and sporting facilities is the most effective way of developing and improving the health of the general public, while others would argue that this would have little impact on health and that other steps are needed. This essay will argue that simply building new sports centres is not a viable answer, and that the key to developing a healthy citizenry is education.

Firstly, while going to gyms and sports/leisure centres is undoubtedly a good thing for a healthy life it can be suggested that motivation is the key factor in getting people to exercise. If a person does not have the desire or will to get out of their arm chair and go and exercise then having a gym built at the end of their street will have little or no effect on their well-being. A recent study by the University of Bath showed that 80% of people who buy a gym membership only went regularly for the first two months then either went sporadically or not at all after that time. This study would seem to back up the idea that motivation not availability of sports centres is the main factor in exercising regularly.

What might be more useful is a government funded education campaign to show people the dangers of not exercising, being sedentary, eating unhealthily, etc. Many people seem unaware of the dangers that the modern way of life has for their health and if this was pushed into their faces on tv, radio, etc, then they may take notice and take steps to live in a better way. For example, when the UK government ran an anti-smoking campaign in 2014 across all media, Drs around the country reported an increase of 50% of patients inquiring about how to stop smoking. This clearly demonstrates that, as in all things, education is often the most effective way to change peoples behaviour.

In conclusion then, although having a ready availability of places to exercise may seem intuitively to be a good way to get people healthy, in reality if the motivation to do so is not there then it will have little effect. A far better option would be to inform citizens of the harm that modern life is doing to their bodies while educating them to change their lifestyles for a positive outcome.