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May 04, 2011


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hi simon ,

can u please explain the difference between role and function?

thanks a millon !

its a very well organised essay...wonderful !can u please highlight some point on how to organise essay?

Simon, you make it easy to get 9 ! thanks.

HI simon

i'm g8 fan of ur's site and thank you so much . Today i got 7 band score in my IELTS test becouse of your . thank you very much

Hi Simon
how many questions are normally asked in part 3 of the speaking test
thank you

Nowadays , some people think museums have a greater influence on people in terms of education than the past . Nevertheless, others believe that museums are more likely to entertain people during their leisure time .

Museums have a wide range of facilities that help people to broaden their horizons in terms of education. Take the imperial war museum in Manchester UK. This museum has a highly trained stuff who set up a daily programme to educate children and public about certain issues during the world war two or one. It is undeniable that such programme have a positive impact on people’s education because most of the demonstrated subjects are real and approachable.

However, people who visit the galleries of the museum are not keen on learning about the artefacts or the tools that used by ancestors. The reason is: it is unlikely to copy the information into our brain and remember it in the long term; the amount of information given about a particular item is very brief. Most of the people visit the museums after they finish theirv shopping because its location close to the main shopping centres, for example, the art gallery in London .

Despite, Perhaps it is understood by some people think that there are no benefits from visiting museums . I disagree strongly against this proposal and believe that the function of museums are very important in the development of our education. tremendous in individual’s education.

To conclude, the influence of museums in improving our education can not be denied . therefore , the role of governments is to motivate the people to attend these museums by investing some money in improving the image of these museums .

Hello Simon,

I feel our essays need to be slightly over 250 words in order to avoid any risk of being marked as under-length. I always prefer writing 275 to 300 words.

Please share you opinion on this.


Hi Simon,
In writing task 2, what is the difference between 2 questions?
" Do you agree or disagree...?"
" To what extent do you agree or disagree...?"

Could you explain more?

thank you so much Simon

Hi Simon

I noticed that you used "On the one hand" Is it wrong to say "On one hand" without the "The"?

Hello Simon,

Thank you for your essay.It's always helpful.

Can I write my introduction like this for this type of question.
Whether museums should be taken as a place to entertain public or educate them remained quite controversial.In my opinion,museums should be both entertaining and educational.

Or shall I follow yours?

Thanks for your informative essay. It's quite helpful!


You have accomplished the task by giving both sides of the coin. You gave a nice introduction & made a clear conclusion of your point of view. Your writing is free of spelling, grammar & punctuation errors. TheIELTSSolution.com

Thank you.

Hi Simon
Just I am confused. Do we have to write or general opinions in introduction or it iis acceptable to mention our opinion in conclusion?
For example, in introduction, only we say while someone prefers,…... other believe…..
In conclusion, for all the above I believe...
Looking forward to hearing from you.

sorry Simon
But I mean our opinion (our idea)

if I will start like this.
Museum is a place or building where historical,artistic or scientific interest are exhibited,preserved or studied.everyone has its own choice of visiting a museum.For some,it is just a source of rejuvination whilst for others it could be a chance to gather some information as well.At the outlet of my writing,I acknowledge that museum can and should be both entertaining and educational as well.

Hi simon
There is a topic that just recently been tested but i don't understand the meaning. "International sporting events are a cause of concern to the hosting nation." do you agree or disagree?
Does it mean that if the hosting nation is able to hold the international sporting events, then it will receive more attention? or the hosting nation wants to draw attention from the rest of the world by holding international sporting events? And how to Use the topic from the ebook to talk about it? thanks

Hi Ana,

Role and function really mean the same thing in the context of my introduction - it's just nice to use 2 words to reinforce the idea!

Have a look through my other writing lessons to see how I organise essays. You can learn a lot by analysing my model essays too.


No problem Joseph!


Hi Monika,

That's fantastic news! Well done, I'm glad the site helped.


Hi Safaa,

Probably between 3 and 6 questions.


Thanks for sharing Sulaiman.


Hi Gopi,

I wrote 253 words because I had the benefit of seeing the word count on my computer. In the exam, I don't recommend counting every word - just count the words on an average line and multiply that by the number of lines. This gives an approximate word count, so it might be best to aim for 260 (it's not necessary to write more than that, but it's fine if you do).


Hi Ngan,

No difference. Just write the essay in the same way.


Hi Arwa,

Both are correct.


Hi Maya,

Your introduction is ok, but I don't really think that this is a "controversial" topic - try to avoid that word unless it really is a controversial topic.


Hi Mahmood,

My advice is: don't save anything new for the conclusion. If the question asks for your opinion, it's best to mention it straight away in the introduction, support it in the main body, and repeat it (in a different way) in the conclusion.


Hi Kani,

That's fine, but it's not necessary to write so much in the introduction. The main body of the essay is much more important in terms of your score, so my advice is to spend more time on that.


Hi Jess,

"a cause of concern" means "a problem / a worry".

I think the question is asking you to decide whether these events are more of a problem/worry for the host country, or whether the opposite is true (these events are a good thing for the host nation).

You could use the "sport and politics" ideas in the ebook to disagree with the question statement and give reasons why these events are good for the host nation.

Hope this helps

hi simon
thanks a ton for your immense help.it is really great to have your guidance.

No problem Kani.

Hello Simon

I read and printed out this topic and let my ielts intructor read this. She gave a band of 7.5 because she thinks its impossible to get a band 9 unless you are a gifted writer. Is this true?

hi simon
thanks for your suggestion.i will keep that in mind.

Hi, jox
Is your instructor a native speaker?

I don't know why can't post a comment if its too long.

Some people think that holding international sports events can be a problem to the hosting nation while others think the opposite. In my opinion, I think there is much more benefits for the hosting country other than the drawback.
The main reason why I think it is good for the hosting country to hold international sports events such as Olympics is an advertisement for the host nation. It attracts visitors and sports fans all over the world. Due to the event, there would be more people from different countries get to know the hosting country better in different fields from its environment to its culture, from its history to its development. However, at the meantime, People in the hosting country could be influenced by visitors from all over the world. For example, in China, after the Olympics 2008, more people especially young ones are affected by the western culture.

On the other hand, it attracts investments and creates jobs. Besides, it also enhances the development of the hosting country from different aspects such as economy, technology and cooperation with other countries. For example in year 2008 Olympics in China, the construction of Water Cube shows China produced an amazing new building for the world to enjoy. ( The material is a plastic called ETFE, which is used to protect the spaceships from cosmic radiation. One of the advantages of the material is that it traps solar energy in the winter and reflects it in the summer, which helps the water cube to control the temperature in an economic way.) During the construction, it employed thousands of hundreds workers and the whole construction period lasted about two years. However, it might be a big pressure for the government to deal with the workers who come from all parts of China. After the construction, many of them might be thinking of earn a living in big cities like Beijing and are not willing to go back to their hometown.
In conclusion, there are much more advantages than the drawbacks for the hosting country to hold international sports events especially to those developing countries.>

Hi, Simon:
Thanks for the advice, I completed my essay followed by your ideas.
I worte the one side of the balanced argument for both of the paragraphs, could you please check it and give some suggestions? does it sounds logical to you? forget about the words in the (...),i posted by mistake.

Hi Jox,

I'm afraid your teacher has the wrong idea. IELTS is a test for learners of English, not native speaker writers. A gifted native speaker's writing would be much higher than band 9.

You definitely don't need to be Shakespeare to get band 9!


Hi Jess,

You seem to have the right idea. I'm afraid I can't give more detailed feedback - if I help one person, everyone will ask me to check their essays.

Keep up the good work!

Hi Simon,

I have a big question for preparing IELTS writing. I have found that many dictionaries presents 2 useful categories of words: Most common words (such as Oxford3000+) and Academic words.

Which group should be in the first priority for IELTS writing test (formal + natural) and what is the criteria of selecting the words for use?

Thanks in advanced.

Hi Piyapong,

I think you probably already know most of the common words - they are very important because they are words like "the, a, because" etc. that we use in all contexts (formal and informal).

Many of the academic words are useful for IELTS.

Personally, I don't use these word lists with my students. I focus instead on common IELTS topics and real questions. You will find that you cover many of the words in both lists if you do this, and it's more useful to see words in the context of a sentence than in a list.

Hope this helps

hi adverb

yes she is a native speaker but i dont trust her .. i doubt if she give scores higher than a band 7 in writing

hello simon

thanks for that, now I gain confidence in my writing..
and by the way do you give ratings? I really want some expert to rate my work in writing. My teacher always give me 6.5, I also want others to rate my work. thanks

Hi Jox,

I've seen this problem before - some teachers forget that IELTS is an exam for English learners, and they decide never to give higher than band 7.

The good news is that you might get a higher score in the real exam than you do in your homeworks for your teacher!

I'm afraid I don't have time to correct essays, but it would be a good idea to look for someone who can give you a second opinion about your level.

Best of luck!

hello simon,

I just knew that there are teachers decide on that way but what I am concern is that our teacher has been an ielts examiner. If I will encounter such examiner like that in my exam, I am afraid if I cant get the score that I want. Anyways, thank you so much for that.

No problem Jox. I hope you don't have an examiner like that.

hi Simon,
can I start the introduction like this?
Generally people have different opinions about the purpose of visiting the museum.Some visit them for recreational purpose and others to expand and enhance their knowledge.In my perspective, this institution is not only the place for education but also deals with culture and entertainment.

Hi Anna,

Yes, you've got the right idea.

Hi Simon, does this introduction sound good to you ?

Although a number of people suggest museums to be a place for entertaining, others hold that it only serves educational purposes. To me, despite having a lot of complications about this, both opinions are rational .

Could you especially check the last sentence for me because I doutb its accuracy. Thanks a lot.

Hi Kevin,

I don't really like this part: "To me, despite having a lot of complications about this". Try writing a sentence that begins with "Although".

While a number of people suggest museums to be a place for entertaining, others hold that it only serves educational purposes. To me, although there are still a lot of complications about this, both opinions are rational .

Although a number of people suggest museums to be a place for entertaining, others hold that it only serves educational purposes . In my point of view, I think both ideas equally make sense .

Thanks for pointing out, I just wrote 2 new introductions, which one is better to you ? ( I like the 2nd one )

Yes, the second one looks better.

Hi Simon
which of essay doest neet to mention "our opinion" and "I"
May you please tell me by an example?

thanks Simon

Hi Mh,

The only type that doesn't ask for your opinion is when it says "Discuss the advantages and disadvantages". I'll do a lesson to explain more later this week.

Hi Simon,

1)Have 'view' and 'attitude' the same meaning and replaceable, for instance, can I write in this essay:
'people have different attitude towards the role of museums ...'

2)would you possibly tell me that my following sentence is correct or not? In fact, my problem is using about or not?

'people have different views about whether parents should choose the future of their offspring or it should be done by themselves.'


sorry, I meant 'the future field of study for their offspring'

'put more of an emphasis on' does not make sense for me can I ask you clarify this pattern with more examples.

Hi Mona,

I wouldn't use 'attitude' in that way - it's ok, but it's a bit different from 'view' (an attitude is more like a feeling than a view).

Just delete the end of your sentence:
"People have different views about whether (or not) parents should choose the future of their offspring."

'put more of an emphasis on' means 'give more importance to' or 'focus more on'.

Thanks Simon for your reply,

I will sit IELTS this Saturday and your great hints in this site were exactly what I needed. Thanks one million times. I feel pity I found it a little late(just more than 2 weeks)

Sorry I was not clear, I meant 'more of + noun' pattern, 'Put more emphasis on' make more sense for me but I saw this pattern in other academic readings too, so I think it may maximise our score, if we use this pattern.

No problem Mona. Good luck on Saturday!

"more of an emphasis on" is just the same as "more emphasis on"

First,thanks for your excellent work(the lesson about the'security measures').I looked through it and now I know how to deal with it.

In this 'museum'essay,you just simply stated your opinion in the introduction and conclusion.But is ok not mentioning the reason why it should be enjoyable and educational AT THE SAME TIME in order to support YOUR own view?

Hi Aegean,

Both of the main paragraphs in this essay support my view because it is clear from the introduction that I think museums have BOTH roles. All of the reasons in the 2 main paragraphs are relevant to the 'balanced opinion' that I expressed in the introduction.

If it's clear from the introduction that you have a 'balanced opinion', you don't need to repeat "I believe" or "In my opinion" in the main paragraphs. You can just use something like "On the one hand / On the other hand" - it's clear to the reader that the main paragraphs are explaining your balanced opinion.

Hope this helps

It's really a big help.I thought it through.You made me have a deeper insight of essay structure,although it may seem really easy for others.
Again thanks,Simon.

No problem Aegean.

I have a question about this sentence.
''On the one hand, it can be argued that the main role of a museum is to entertain. ''
Could be in this sentence: ''of the museum'' instead of - a?
If not, tell me why. I thought that when we say about a countable or singular noun, we can use: the to make generalisations. It's really confusing for me.

Hi Beatrix,

Yes, you can use "the" or "a".

Using "a" is like saying "any museum", and using "the" is like referring to the museum as a concept.

Thank you very much, you are just truly amazing person:)

Hi Simon,

Do you think the following essay is off topic? It is really not easy for me to write to 250 words. Thank you.

People have different point of views about the role and function of museums. Some think that the purpose of museums should be entertaining, while others take it for educational places. In my opinion, museums can and should be places for both entertainment and education.

On the one hand, museums can be enjoyable places for people to have fun. Family members or friends can visit museums together, happily sharing their feeling and opinions. It is more attractive and healthier than watching TV or playing video games. For example, there were thousands of people visiting the Forbidden City in China everyday and most of them went there for fun. More and more museums provide fantastic displays and even bring in interesting games, attracting large numbers of tourists.

On the other hand, there are lots of learning materials in museums, especially for children and students. They are more interesting and reliable than reference books, and they can be easily understood with the help of professional guides employed by museums. Children will be happier to learn the mechanism of some instruments by operating them in museums instead of learning them from books. Students who study history can benefit from museums in history field. And artists can get new ideas from famous paintings and the art atmosphere of art museums. Museums should provide more convenient ways for education. For example, more educational lectures should be held for students, especially in summer vacation and winter vacation.

In conclusion, museums play important roles in people’s entertainment as well as education.

hi simon.

museum gives knowledge about history and culture. People think that internet also gives knowledge. It will run no longer.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Could you explain more this topic.
This is the topic of the 29 august 2013's exam

Hi simon.. i took ielts exam 4 time but every time i got 5.5 band .. i want to take 6.5 band ..plzzz help me

Hi Simon.
This is my writing, could you help me to mark it.
Thanks you!
People often have different views about the role of museum which are the most for entertainment or education. Although there are interesting arguments in favor of museums are the nice places to entertain people, I personally believe that visiting a museum is good for education.
There are some reasons why it could be argued that visiting museums are considered as entertaining activities. Museums are often built as beautiful places with numerous beautiful pictures and statutes, thus many people like going there for relax and taking pictures with their friends at weekend. In some countries, parents often take their children to museums to attend interesting activities. For example, “Vietnam Museum of Ethnology” is very famous destination for foreign visitors, there often celebrates some Vietnamese traditional games which are attractive for children. Museums are also nice places for consumption. Museums usually store the worth history and culture of each country or region, so visitors often buy some souvenirs for their memories at museums.
However, I believe that museum is a good place for education. Why many visitors choose museums as indispensable places in their trip, because museums often store the specific worth culture of each region, that they desire to understand to improve their knowledge. Pupils usually complain about the boringness of historic subject, so today many schools frequently take place short tours for their pupils to visit museums. There are many practical pictures, documentaries and exhibits that are very interesting and significant to pupils.
In conclusion, while some people think that museums are to entertain them, in my opinions, museums are good for people’s education.

Hi Simon
can we take a stand supporting both the views in a discussion essay?

Dear Teacher,
there is a typo-error here:
Discuss both views and give YOU own opinion.

Thanks for your valuable and hard work. I really appreciate it.

Thanks Sam. Well noticed!

Hi Simon:
In this essay,the main ideas are from the topic, is it appropriate just mention your idea in the introduction and conclution ?

Hi Simon, I read your essay carefully and find a bit confused that in your essay you discuss the reason why people hold different views about museums, and also present current approaches applied recently in society. However, in my essay I do not propose measures because I thought the question did not ask for measures. Does my essay deviate from the topic? Can I get band 7 with this essay? Look forward to your reply and many thanks in advance.

What role museums should play in contemporary society is a topic heatedly debated nowadays. While some people propose a shift to entertainment, others still advocate its historical function of educating people. This essay will elaborate on the rationale of both viewpoints followed by my own opinion.

Proponents of pleasure-seeking museum experience underscore the importance of maintaining visitors’ enthusiasm. As is known to us, museum patronage has been declining over the past few decades mainly due to the stereotype among the public that museums are places where pictures of historical events are hung up on the wall with word explanation underneath, and this one-way communication can hardly keep visitors’ interest who just passively receive information. I can still remember my childhood experience to a local museum, which was so boring that I never wanted to visit it again because it was just like an extension of classroom teaching instead of a relaxing weekend trip.

However, some people refute that it is based on the purpose of education that museums were initially established. Historical documents about the development of museums define museums as places where objects of historical and cultural importance are preserved to educate the future generation about the past. By stimulating serious contemplation in the public of the similarities they share with their ancestors, people’s sense of identity and national cohesion can be enhanced.

In my view, a good museum should integrate educational function with entertainment so as to meet people’s expectation of an enjoyable learning experience outside classroom, fulfil its primary commitment to promoting historical and cultural heritage, and finally strengthen social coherence. (264)

Hi Simon I just started preparation of ielts In starting what can I do I don't understand. ..I feel like I don't have any words for speaking and writing. .Pl give me advice..

Hi Simon,
In this essay you agreed with both views. So, is this a balanced opinion? We are not agreed with single view. And can we agree with both the views like this?

Hi simon ....actually m bit weak in writing nd speaking as well... pls provide me somme useful vocab related to task 2 nd assist me tht how i improve my writting....

Hi teacher, I find the structure of this essay is quite different with the ideas to organize the main paragraphs in your lesson.To be more detailed, I recognize you use 4 sentences in paragraph one and three fourths of it use to develop an idea in the first sentence. Can you explain to me the reason? Thanks a lot.

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