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August 25, 2010


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Hi, Simon.
I think the ebook is extremely useful and I begin to use your ideas to write my essay.
The following is a paragraph I wrote according to the e-book. Can you give me some suggestions?

benefits of advertising
Advertising has several benefits. Firstly, advertising is a key part of modern business and help to contribute to the economy of a country. For example, it provides opportunities for employment and there are many other industries, such as movie and tourism, which are closely associated with the development of advertising. Secondly, companies need to tell customers about their products and advertisements inform us about the choices we have. Without advertising we would have less choice and therefore can not make a comparison between products of different qualities to reach a decision. Finally, some advertisements are considered as a form of modern art and many people enjoy adverts.

Dear Simon,
Thanks for sending the full essay through email.I would appreciate if you explain the following sentence for me. I know the overall meaning but want to make sure.

It is the urban paradox that amid the wealth and prosperity generated by towns and cities a high incidence of urban poverty persists.

Kind regards,

Dear Simon,

Can I have your suggestion for the introduction of the the following topic?

"What problems for the young people living in major city are caused by the city development"

It seems logical to claim that city extensions originally have aimed the wealth and prosperity for urban (s?) population. However, evidence have reported several complications due to increasing level(s?) of pollution, traffic congestion and cost of living.

Or should I say : the problems can be categoried as pollution, traffic congestion and higher cost of living.


Hi Lafuer,

Excellent. You are using the ebook in exactly the right way - to practise writing clear, logical paragraphs. Keep practising in this way!


Hi Felora,

The idea of a paradox is that something contradicts itself and doesn't seem logical. In this case, you are highlighting the contradiction that cities create so much wealth, but there is so much poverty at the same time.

I'm afraid I find both of your introduction ideas a bit confusing. You need to focus on problems for young people, so you should mention young people. Pollution and traffic are general city problems, but if you want a high score, you need to think more carefully about young people's particular problems - maybe things like the cost of living, house prices, unemployment etc. Think about it in your own language first - what are the real problems for young people in cities in your country?

Hope this helps


hi simon!
can i ask you a question about the plural
when you put noun in the plural so is it needed to add " the" ?

Hi Tuanviet,

The use of "the" does not depend on whether the noun is singular or plural. It can be used with singulars (e.g. the lesson) and plurals (the lessons).

Hi, Simon
I am often confused about how to use the following synonyms. Can you help me?

the human race
homo sapiens

When I refer to people on the planet as a whole, which one is more appropriate?

Hi Adverb,

This is tricky, but to make things simple:

For IELTS, just use "humans" or "human beings" to refer to everyone on the planet. The others are probably not going to be appropriate in most IELTS contexts.

Hi Simon,
How can I become a part of your e-mail list and recieve the e-mails you send ?

Hi Raya

I'm afraid I've stopped the email list because I don't have time to do any more extra lessons.

However, anyone who buys the ebook will receive the 10 extra email lessons that I sent to people who were on the list.

Ok,I understand. Thank you again for this blog. :)

Ok Raya, no problem.

Dear MR. Simon

Thank you very much for your advices

Could you please send to me the Vocabulary list by email??

Thank you
Best regards

Hi Nora,

I'm afraid there isn't a specific list of 'band 7 vocabulary' - there is so much vocabulary that could be band 7 or higher. I'll try to highlight more 'band 7 vocabulary' in future lessons.

I'm glad you like the site.

Hi Simon,

How much idiomatic language should we use? Can I use the following idioms in my writing, 'out of hand', 'recharge your batteries', 'beauty is only skin deep'?

Thanks a lot.

Hi Quynh,

There is no rule about this. You can use those idioms if they are relevant to the question, but don't focus all of your thoughts on using idioms. The main focus should be to answer the question as well as you can (and in a natural way).

I really want to obtain a high score in IELTS. I hope you can help me in achieving that.please.......

On the other hand, living away from home can be challenging. Firstly, language barrier can cause difficulties when socializing with other students. As a result, they will start to suffer from homesickness and to miss their families. Secondly, they can face difficulties when communicating with teachers during particular lessons that require appropriate language. Without proper speaking abilities students are unlikely to pass exams or get high marks. What is more, many students have to confront with problems with paper work such as visa applications. They will have to find accommodation and pay bills. Thus, some students experience culture shock.

hi Simon
could u pls suggest how to improve the above paragraph. I am not sure if the paragraph would get a good mark. Thanks

hi simon
Would you mind sending the extra paragraphs to me?

Hi Cherry,

The extra paragraphs were a gift for the people who bought the ebook. If you are one of those people, the paragraphs are in the document called "using the ebook".

hello Simon,

at the end of your first sentence why are you use"country" instead of "countries" isn't that you mean several "foreign countries"?

Hi Emre,

I was writing about the choice of any one particular country, so it's correct to use the singular. Of course, you could also write "opportunities in foreign countries".

Hi, can you please provide me the vocabulary for general writing task 2. On the other hand, what are the vocabulary words which we can use in both task 1 & 2 for general IELTS.

Dear Simon
Please can you send me full essay?
Thanks in advance.

Hi Simon,
Could you give me full essay?
Thanks in advance.

Dear Simon,

I just bought ur ebook, hopefully u could send me the copy as soon as possible.


Hi Ting Ting,

I sent the ebook earlier today. I hope you received it ok.

Good luck!

Hi Simon,

It is so kind if you could send me this full essay.


Dear simon
is it appropriate to quote the disadvantages in the second paragraph and finally say that advantages outweigh the drawbacks and give a conclusion,or is it a must that only advantages must be written,as the question is 'ADVANTAGES OF STUDYING ABROAD'

Hi Simon

Could you please provide me some essay writing tips for general topics


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