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April 06, 2011


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People hold different views about whether or not students should participate in community service programmes. Though taking part in such activities has been criticized, I still agree that students' involvement in serving their community can be a good idea.

There are several reasons why students' engagement in community services can be seen as a worrying development. A major fear is that it could remove focus from their education and bring them some sort of distraction. Another concern is that it could negatively affect employment opportunities by moving tasks from paid job to voluntary work.

Despite the above critics, I think that encouraging students to do unpaid work to their community could bear several advantages. The main benefit is that it helps the young people to build their sense of personal responsibility toward their communities, and to learn how to play constructive roles in their societies. Doing activities such as cleaning public parks or roadsides, assisting the local fire or police service, and helping the elderly in nursing homes will teach the youth to make efforts in order to serve the common good by improving the life for all citizens. In addition, students can also learn to identify and address issues of public concern

All in all, despite the fears that could be raised about students' inclusion in community programmes, it seems that such kind of acts brings overwhelming advantages both to the individual himself and to his/her community.

Hi Salih,

This is a very good example of the approach that I recommend!

Hello Teacher,
I'd like to ask about writing. Is it possible to write in pencil rather than using pen? And what will happen If I write my essay in pencil and then thicken part of the essay with pen?
Have a nice day,

Hi Simon

All high school students should be encouraged to take part in community service programmes.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

In today’s life, if high school students are given the opportunity to work in public sector ,why should not they? I strongly believe with this proposal because it is likely going to play a significant role in student’s development in terms of independency, finance and punctuality.

Work experience has a positive impact in building individual’s personality because it would give him the opportunity to deal with a wide range of people .For example, if the student is given a voluntary job in charity , he would be trained by the experts how to deal with the different identities of the attendee of this sector. So, is likely going to be able to work in a team environment with his peers in addition to the great support received from the charity members . All of theses factors would increase his self-esteem which might contribute to having an independent character.

It is essential to train students how to deal with financial situations because they might do not know the value and the influence of money into our lives. For example, having a paid job in the community would help him to understand the value of the money and how to keep it safely in a bank or post office. Therefore he would be able to set his budget and begin to use his electronic cards . so , it is crucial to be involved in such a work experience

To conclude , it is extremely important to students to work in community because it helps them learn the basic needs of live which would give them a great support in their post graduate and career in a long term.. Nevertheless, incidents was highlighted during their work in public sectors such as danger of accidents, exploits and theft.

Hi Simon,

Could you please give me some suggestions on how to write an introduction to the question like this:
"Economic development has caused some traditional values to be lost. To what extent do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages?"

I would write my introduction:

I decided to use one key word from the general statement because it's easy to write!

There is no doubt that our traditional values have changed tremendously since the economic development. Although some people believe that this development can bring about a number of positive aspects, other hold the opposite opinion. In spite of this, I strongly agree that there are more the benefits than the drawbacks.

It's all about my introduction.
My technique is to keep your introduction simple, no need to be very specific(But you need to say what is going to appear in your main body paragraphs) because the specific details will appear in your 2 body paragraphs. Keep it short, your body paragraphs are more important.

Hi Jing
Though the two sentences don’t seem cohered, I shall try to write my introduction copying Simon's approach. I will also try to put some ideas that might be of help in writing the body paragraphs.

People hold different views about the effect economic development could have on their traditions. Though it can argued that such development could leave some positive impressions on culture, I think that it also bears its drawbacks which would possibly outweigh those advantages

Examples of positive impacts on our values:
It teaches people to be competitive
People learn to be creative and innovative

Examples of negative impacts on our values:
People could become more materialistic and utilitarian
Altruism could be reduced and gradually replaced by egoism
Appearances and shows would be given too much importance
Girls would seek men who can afford expensive consumer goods, not a husband who is responsible and has a good character
People could lose traditional values and become greedy and selfish

my introduction:
Many people believe that economic development leads to the loss of traditional virtue. though this view can be tenable to some extent, we can not deny the benefits obtained from the progress in economic area.

AOA simon,
here is introduction ur topic.

Encouraging participation of students in community services is necessary to built and polish students skills.I completely agree,with this idea,taking part in these activities furnish number of advantages to students whole future life.

Thanks for all of your ideas.


Some of the other students have written good introductions for your question - have a look through their comments above.


Hi Mohaned,

They give you a pencil, so it's fine - don't worry about that.

Hi, Simon.
I am writing an essay about national defense. Does the following sentence sound awkward to you?
"Some people still believe that national defense plays a fatal position as the shield of social development. "

Thank you!!

Hi Simon,

There are different opinions about all high school students to take part an unpaid work in public sectors. I agree this idea for many reasons.

First of all it is great way for them to know the various community projects that available in their area. The aim for this is they can help the sectors that undergo the lower budget and cover more services such as: prison, the care home for elderly, conservation of the parks, planting trees, caring animals, campaigning for the recycling, clean up the beaches, campaigning against the smoking, drug-addict, NHS services and so on.
On the other side they can benefit a free training, build an array of skills and competences in area such as time managing, developing communication, and scheduling skills and sharing their abilities to the others. Also it provides an orientation to their higher education or career.
The main purpose it is not to involve them the job markets, but to introduce the sectors in needs and show them a cause which they can be devoted or which they have a real interest with. Furthermore, employers appreciate a valid volunteer who has an experience and sense of responsibility.

In fact some high school students are too young and the most important thing for them is to focus for their studies. They are not fully grown up. Therefore, they might undertake to the matter from their educational curriculum and the school should inform them as theory to the project and give them awareness about the volunteering in all its diversity. This programme demands a lot of energy and time so it would be better presented just two hours per month. It is suitable for the teenagers from 15 years old.  

Hi Adverb,

I'm afraid "plays a fatal position" doesn't sound right, and the sentence is a bit confusing - I'm not sure what you want to say.


Thanks for sharing Mahado.

hi simon,
can u please help me with this question ?
I got this questions from recent exam questions from this site only. i am not sure what real problems will arise ?
Thanks a lottttttttttttttttttt

Hi Ana,

Yes, I can see why you are confused - higher standards of living don't seem like a problem. Maybe the student go the question wrong. Try not to worry about this question - my advice is to ignore it and work on a different topic.

Hi, Simon.
I have a question about the grammar usage in the following sentence.
"There are some serious concerns about children who play too much video games. "

Should I write" play too much computer games"or"play too many computer games" or"play computer games too much"?

Thank you...

Hi Adverb,

It should be "play too MANY video/computer games" or "play video games too much/often" or "spend too much time playing video games".

Is this sentence right?
Another possibility is to charge cars to use certain roads at given times.
I don't understand the "to use..."pattern
Is there a clearer way to put it?
Thank you

Hi Adverb,

Your sentence is correct and really clear, although I might write "charge drivers" instead of "cars".


This blog is informative. And I do agree with this. A well written introduction in task two of IELTS is crucial in reaching a high score. The introduction outlines the organization of your essay and makes the, ever so important, first impression on the examiner.

Thank you.


Hi Simon!
If I'm not mistaken, in this essay, you have a strong opinion ('I completely agree') so that we just need write 2 paragraphs that explains why you agree???
Sory for bothering you too much!!!

Hi Dung,

Yes, that's right.

Don't worry, I'm happy to answer your questions.

i want to gain eassy question how write arquement question

Hi Hareeni,

Have a look through my 'writing task 2' lessons. You'll find advice about all types of essays there.

Hi Simon,

Here is my introduction for this essay.

Students in high school concentrate on their study more nowadays while some people think that it is also very important for them to participate in community service programmes. I totally agree that they should move their classroom outside the school.

Hi Wei,

"move their classroom outside the school" is a bit strange, even though I understand what you mean. Apart from that, it's fine.

Hi Simon,

I'm happy to get your reply and thank you for your advice.

I'll modify the last sentence of the introduction.

"I totally agree that they should get themselves more involved in serving their community."

Hi Simon,

Would you please to give us guidances for the General Training in writing?

Thanks a lot.

That's much better Wei.

I'm afraid I don't teach the General Training test. You'll have to find another website or book for GT writing task 1. Sorry about that.

I find it's really hard to write a introduction of the following topic
"There are more effective security measures in large cities to reduce the crime.Does this endeavour bring more benefits than problems?
Could you give me an example?
Thank you in advance.

Hi Aegean,

I'll use that in next week's task 2 lesson (on Wednesday).

Hi Simon,
I have read in many IELTS books that it is a good idea to put an attention grabber or motivator at the beginning of the introduction, something like a quotation or an idiom or a piece of data or even a question, would you recommend it? If not, does including a motivator detract from the overall band score? I can't be grateful more for your unconditional help and support and thank you in advance.

Hi Behrooz,

I answered below your other question:


hi simon

can you please help me writing this essay

Saving money is a good habit for an individual after retirement. Do you agree or disagree?

hi simon
i am very weak in writing task 2 especially in introduction. I have trained from an institute, my teacher said there should be some background while writing the introduction. Is this is necessary? Please upload some more introductions. Please help me.

hi simon
i am very weak i writing , as above i see a question about 'All high school students should be encouraged to take part in community service programme '' you agree with that but if i write disagree view , is there any effect on my band score ??

TO RISE STANDARDS OF LIVING IN A COUNTRY or city means to attract more people i.e movement of people from low life standard place to privileged one create many pollution problem.
You can create problems by population growth.

I am happy I found this site. to start with i am preparing for ielts academic exam to be written in 5 months to come. My problem is that i do not really know where to start. if i am given an essay topic, i find it very difficult to know what to write in the content or even how to start. also i find reading aspect very difficult, sometimes i find it very difficult to understand what topic the reading passage is all about. Please how should i start to improve.

hi Simon

can you please help me writing this essay

Is it true that greatness of an individual can be decided only by those who live after him or her and not by their contemporaries? its reason and examples.

Hi Simon.
Can you help me with this topic, it's quite difficult to brainstorm

There are more and more effective security measures in large cities to reduce the crime and threats of terrorism. Does this endeavour bring more benefits than problems?

people argued that high school students should be encouraged to take part in public community unpaid work.I completely agree that would be benefit to the whole lives of these students.

in some high schools,part of the curriculum requires student to participate in community work such as helping the elderly or disabled. In what way do children benefit from this?

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