Welcome to my blog….

Hi, welcome to my IELTS blog. This is where I will be posting hints, tips, and strategies to help you get the score you want in the IELTS, for writing in particular. I was going to post lessons about all four sections but there are lots of websites that do that and there is no need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. What I have found is that most of my students want help with writing, especially their task 2 essays, so with that in mind I am going to focus purely on writing help from now on. If you look at the posts, you will see that some of my past posts are for speaking and for general strategies, I might write more on different subjects in the future but for the moment it will just be for writing.

As you will see, several of the posts have a video embedded in them, you can find these on my YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTblrPMw6rjdBEHeVrcrn1w

I hope you will subscribe to it…

Currently, I am aiming to directly address my students questions and write/make videos/podcasts about them. I am hoping that this site will develop over time into something more useful with lots of materials for you to use, for free.

So, if you have any queries at all, any questions about writing for the IELTS,  write to me at kevinadean@prepareielts.com and I will see what I can do. Your questions will be used as material for this blog, so make them good ones!

 

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How to write an Academic Task 1 table…

How to write a task 1 table

 

Hello, it’s been a while since I made anything new and I have been a bit lax recently with task 1 writings, so to begin to remedy this here is my latest video, how to write a table task. So, first of all if you read further, you will see the structure file, sentence by sentence, then the two files for the examples, and finally the video. The video explains it all, nothing more to add here except, if you have any qs or want some advice or tuition, you can contact me at kevin@prepareielts.com, anytime. Ok, see you next time..

Structure

Task 1 writing structure

Paragraph 1(introduction)

Sentence 1: paraphrase question

Paragraph 2 (overview)

Sentence 1: overview of first main feature

Sentence 2: overview of second main feature

Sentence 3: overview of third main feature (if necessary/make comparison if appropriate)

Paragraph 3 (data/details of main feature 1)

Sentence 1: supporting details

Sentence 2: supporting details

Sentence 3: support/comparison with other features (if appropriate)

Paragraph 4 (data/details of main feature 2)

Sentence 1: supporting details

Sentence 2: supporting details

Sentence 3: support/comparison with other features (if appropriate)


Example 1

The table illustrates a range of indicators both economic and social for Canada, Japan, Peru, and Angola in 1984, according to statistics provided by the United Nations. These indicators include, annual income, life expectancy, daily calories, and the adult literacy rate.

From an overall view, it can be seen that the two most developed countries, Canada and Japan, outrank Peru and Angola in all categories, with the most significant differences coming in income and daily calorie intake. Also, Peru and Angola are very similar in all categories, with the exception being the adult literacy rate where there is a disparity of two to one.

Taking annual income as the first category, Canada and Japan top the table with incomes of 11100 and 15760 US dollars respectively, whereas, Peru and Angola manage only 160 and 130 USD each. Life expectancy for the top two nations is virtually identical, at 76 and 78 years each, however, Peru and Angola are also very similar in rank, at 51 and 47 years.

Considering daily calories, Canada and Japan are again ranked highest at 3326 calories, and 2846 calories consumed per day, and again, Peru and Angola fall below at only 1927 and 1749 respectively. The final category, that of adult literacy shows some interesting variations, as Canada and Japan have almost universal literacy at 99 per cent each, however, the discrepancy between the bottom two nations, Peru and Angola shows a disparity of double with Peru at 68 per cent and Angola half that, at only 34 per cent.

256 words


Example 2

The table illustrates the results of several surveys from 2000 to 2010 in a single university, the figures in percentages come from the students showing how they rate the various services on offer. These cover five services ranging from Teaching quality to quality of the buildings/facilities.

From an overall perspective, the most obvious thing to note is how little the percentages vary across the period for all categories, save one, that of Electronic resources which almost doubled from the three surveys.

Taking the categories one by one, we can see that Teaching quality showed very minor fluctuations from 65, to 63, before ending on 69 percent in 2010. Similarly, Print resources varied from 87, 88, to 89 points, almost unchanging, whereas Range of modules showed a little more variation on 32, 30, and 27 percent respectively. The last category, the Buildings remained unchanged in all years surveyed at 77 points.

The only category that showed any significant variations was that of Electronic resources, which almost doubled in size from 45 in 2000, to 72 in 2005, and finally ending the period on 88 points in 2010.

186 words


Webinar recording: How to write a body paragraph, part 2 of 4

IELTS9PRO seminar 2

Hi, welcome back…this is the second of the IELTS9PRO webinar series on how to write an essay. As you may have seen, part 1 looked at how to write an introduction, and gave some examples of all the different q types…well, this does the same, except for the body paragraphs…hope you like it. If you have qs, or want personal coaching, you can write to me anytime at kevin@prepareielts.com.

 

Webinar recording, how to write introductions, part 1 of 4.

IELTS9PROWelcome, my latest post is another video I made for IELTS9PRO about writing introductions, this is a recording of a live webinar I held last week, the first of a series. It has some new slides and more examples than previous videos, so I hope you like it. In this series of live broadcasts, every Friday, I will cover various aspects of IELTS writing skills, the next video will be this weeks broadcast looking at how to write body paragraphs. But for now….watch this, any qs, feel free to write. Join me on Telegram…https://t.me/wwwielts9pro

The four methods to paraphrase your essay introductions..”

four methods to paraphrase

In this video, you will learn the four techniques for paraphrasing your essay introduction, with examples. Sorry it’s been so long between posts but I have been busy with new projects and with face to face lessons at my friend’s school so I have had no time. However, I will post some new lecture videos I have made at a recent online webinar series for my sister company IELTS9PRO.Ltd. Expect them shortly, as for now, I have a new office and this video was made there, with new techniques, animation, and other stuff. I hope you find it useful.

Also, I have several channels on Telegram, if you use that, and you can join me there for free lessons and videos, etc. The join link is https://t.me/wwwielts9pro

See you there

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 www.ielts9.pro, 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 kevin@prepareielts.com.

 

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 kevin@prepareielts.com.


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 kevin@prepareielts.com. 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 kevin@prepareielts.com, 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