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  1. #1
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    Default IELTS writing task 2 practice (Welcome your comments)

    Some people say television contributes more than other modern inventions to the quality of life of ordinary people. Do you agree or disagree?

    The quality of life of us normal people is affected by a variety of new technologies while some people believe that television has made the most contribution to improve the quality of our lives. I admit that television is a great invention but I cannot agree that other inventions are of less value than television in terms of the contribution of improving the quality of people’s lives.

    First of all, one of the other modern inventions, the internet, is more useful than television in terms of spreading information. People can actively search and learn new information from the internet, whereas by using television, people can only get the information passively. For instance, if one needs to buy a second hand car he/she can not expect to get the information from television because television does not display advertisement all day long. Therefore, compared with the internet, using television to find information is too limited to satisfy our needs.

    Secondly, other modern inventions such as telephone and mobile phone help people keep in touch with others while television just isolates people. The communication among people is a necessity of people’s daily lives so people consider this as a measure of the quality of life. Television, in some way, keep people staying in front of it and away from their friends. Thus television does not contribute to the quality of life but damages it. Mobile phone, for example, on the contrary, links people together and let them share their happiness or sadness.

    In conclusion, television is not the key invention that contributes to the quality of life of normal people but others such as the internet and telephone. In my opinion, although television is good for leisure time and relaxing, there are other modern technologies that contribute more to the quality of our lives, and more new technologies which will change our lives completely are yet to come.

  2. #2
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: IELTS writing task 2 practice (Welcome your comments)

    There are minor mistakes in grammar and punctuation. Since you are writing for practice, however, may I propose a second draft. I would like to suggest:

    Style:
    • Everything you write is your opinion implicitly. Do not say "I believe", "I think", "in my opinion". On the other hand, if you have a story about yourself that illustrates a point you are making, don't hesitate to put it in: "I watched XXX once...".
    • Each sentence should have a single point. Do not be afraid to use short, simple sentences, especially at the beginning and at the end of your paragraphs. Your first paragraph in particular suffers from overlong thoughts not clearly connected to each other.
    • If you must combine your thoughts into compound or complex sentences, punctuate carefully between the clauses. Keep in mind the differences among a colon, semi-colon, and comma.
    • Try not to write your paragraphs as a longer version of point-form outlines. In particular, the openings "First, Seccondly, In conclusion" are poor.
    • Avoid the word "while". It is not precise. If you mean "although", say although. If you mean "but", say "but". Because "while" is so imprecise, it hides poor logical connections between thoughts. At least one of your "whiles" has this problem.
    • Do not "use", ever. Everything you do makes "use" of something. Find more precise words for all of your "uses", "usings", and so on.
    • Don't say "one"; nor "he/she". Either of these means you are not writing precisely. "One who needs to buy" is a "prospective buyer", for example. The word "people" is similarly dangerous. Be precise.
    • Despite all this, you write very simply and directly. All of these points are things that native speakers struggle with. That is excellent.
    Content
    • Your thesis is that technologies other than television have improved our lives more. Yet you mention only the internet and the mobile phone. Remember that three is the magic number, psychologically. Can you think of another technology?
    • If television does not particularly help, does it positively harm? If it does, your argument becomes stronger.
    • Could television improve daily life at all, even if superficially? Explicitly arguing against any putative benefits of television would strengthen your essay.
    • Since this is a personal answer, can you remember any things that happened to you, to your family or friends, that support every point you make?
    • In the end, can you speculate a little how future technologies may evolve? Will they become more like television, or less?
    If you write a second draft keeping these points in mind, you will have a very good piece.
    Last edited by abaka; 08-Feb-2009 at 00:40.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: IELTS writing task 2 practice (Welcome your comments)

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    There are minor mistakes in grammar and punctuation. Since you are writing for practice, however, may I propose a second draft. I would like to suggest:

    Style:
    • Everything you write is your opinion implicitly. Do not say "I believe", "I think", "in my opinion". On the other hand, if you have a story about yourself that illustrates a point you are making, don't hesitate to put it in: "I watched XXX once...".
    • Each sentence should have a single point. Do not be afraid to use short, simple sentences, especially at the beginning and at the end of your paragraphs. Your first paragraph in particular suffers from overlong thoughts not clearly connected to each other.
    • If you must combine your thoughts into compound or complex sentences, punctuate carefully between the clauses. Keep in mind the differences among a colon, semi-colon, and comma.
    • Try not to write your paragraphs as a longer version of point-form outlines. In particular, the openings "First, Seccondly, In conclusion" are poor.
    • Avoid the word "while". It is not precise. If you mean "although", say although. If you mean "but", say "but". Because "while" is so imprecise, it hides poor logical connections between thoughts. At least one of your "whiles" has this problem.
    • Do not "use", ever. Everything you do makes "use" of something. Find more precise words for all of your "uses", "usings", and so on.
    • Don't say "one"; nor "he/she". Either of these means you are not writing precisely. "One who needs to buy" is a "prospective buyer", for example. The word "people" is similarly dangerous. Be precise.
    • Despite all this, you write very simply and directly. All of these points are things that native speakers struggle with. That is excellent.

    Content
    • Your thesis is that technologies other than television have improved our lives more. Yet you mention only the internet and the mobile phone. Remember that three is the magic number, psychologically. Can you think of another technology?
    • If television does not particularly help, does it positively harm? If it does, your argument becomes stronger.
    • Could television improve daily life at all, even if superficially? Explicitly arguing against any putative benefits of television would strengthen your essay.
    • Since this is a personal answer, can you remember any things that happened to you, to your family or friends, that support every point you make?
    • In the end, can you speculate a little how future technologies may evolve? Will they become more like television, or less?

    If you write a second draft keeping these points in mind, you will have a very good piece.
    Thank you abaka, most of your advices are very helpful. However, this essay is for the IELTS exam, which requires me to use the style in the essay. Otherwise it is unlikely for me to pass the exam with my current writing skills. But I agree that your advices are definitely good in most university essays.

  4. #4
    thod00 is offline Member
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    Default Re: IELTS writing task 2 practice (Welcome your comments)

    The quality of life of us normal people is affected by a variety of new technologies while some people believe that television has made the most contribution to improve the quality of our lives.
    Why use 'us'? If I dont identify with you that means I am not normal? I know that I am normal, perhaps it is you that is not normal. Perhaps you mean the average person.

    The quality of life of us normal people is affected by a variety of new technologies
    This is a complete sentence.

    while some people believe that television has made the most contribution to improve the quality of our lives.
    You set the conditional for the while, but then dont mention any action. For example "I will cut the grass while the sun is shining" tells you an action, cutting the grass, and the condition, the sun is shining.

    It isn't the 'most contribution' but the 'greatest contribution'.

    Whilst some people believe that television has made the greatest contribution to the quality of life, I contend that it has not

    I wont cover the rest of the text. However I feel you are missing something with your argument that focuses on looking up information.

    Television is not going to go away because of the internet. What television does well is that it tells stories. Humans love hearing stories, our ancestors would sit around the campfire and tell stories to one another about the days hunting, about the Gods, about great heroes. This allowed them to build up models of how the world works. You cannot look up information on the internet until you first know that that information exists. You use that information to build the model, the story, in your own mind.

    To illustrate this point, consider lions. All you know about lions comes from stories, yet perhaps lions are gentle creatures and you have been lied to. You build your mental model of the world and how it works from stories.

  5. #5
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Smile Re: IELTS writing task 2 practice (Welcome your comments)

    Quote Originally Posted by gdzack View Post
    Thank you abaka, most of your advices are very helpful. However, this essay is for the IELTS exam, which requires me to use the style in the essay. Otherwise it is unlikely for me to pass the exam with my current writing skills. But I agree that your advices are definitely good in most university essays.
    I really wouldn't put it so desperately. I've made suggestions for both style and content, but if you're worried about your writing ability, start with the style. Just go through your essay point by point, and you'll see how much it improves. Writing is just like physical exercise; the more you write, the better you become. Everyone struggles. You have already shown you can write simply. That, you know, is the hardest thing of all!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: IELTS writing task 2 practice (Welcome your comments)

    Quote Originally Posted by thod00 View Post
    Why use 'us'? If I dont identify with you that means I am not normal? I know that I am normal, perhaps it is you that is not normal. Perhaps you mean the average person.



    This is a complete sentence.



    You set the conditional for the while, but then dont mention any action. For example "I will cut the grass while the sun is shining" tells you an action, cutting the grass, and the condition, the sun is shining.

    It isn't the 'most contribution' but the 'greatest contribution'.

    Whilst some people believe that television has made the greatest contribution to the quality of life, I contend that it has not

    I wont cover the rest of the text. However I feel you are missing something with your argument that focuses on looking up information.

    Television is not going to go away because of the internet. What television does well is that it tells stories. Humans love hearing stories, our ancestors would sit around the campfire and tell stories to one another about the days hunting, about the Gods, about great heroes. This allowed them to build up models of how the world works. You cannot look up information on the internet until you first know that that information exists. You use that information to build the model, the story, in your own mind.

    To illustrate this point, consider lions. All you know about lions comes from stories, yet perhaps lions are gentle creatures and you have been lied to. You build your mental model of the world and how it works from stories.
    Thank you, thod00. You made a good point. I should consider more when I am writing. I think I will need to practise a lot before I actually sit for the exam because I feel time is too limited for me to think broader and deeper.

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