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May 01, 2011


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Hi Simon,

Is there any different between discussion questions and opinion questions, such as "Advertising is ..., some people argue that it is useless while others suggest that it is helpful. Discuse the both opinions and give your opinion" with "Advertising is ..., some people argue that it is useless. Do you agree or disagree"?

Depending on the subject, I have written an articale, could anyone give me some suggestion about this?

Advertising is becoming popular thanks to the development of economic. There are many arguments both for and against the function of advertising, and I believe that its advantages is overweight its disadvantages.

Due to several reasons, some people argue that advertising is useless, even harmful. Firstly, they suggest that advertising aims to persuade people that buying a product will make them happier. But after purchasing it, customers find that most of goods will never be used in their life and they simply waste a lot of money. Secondly, some advertisers focus on selling a brand image. So they will pay attention on making advertising rather than on quality of products. Customers may attract by the visual or sound appeal of the advertising. But when they use the products, they find the quality is poor. So they feel cheated by advertising.

Despite the above arguments, I believe that the advertising is helpful for both producers and clients. Companies need to tell customers about their products and advertising is one of the most useful tools for them. For example, in order to promote a computer, the corporate may make advertising on TV. During it, they may, firstly, display the detail list of their hardware, such as CPU, memory, hard disk. Also, they could play some popular 3D PC games or HD movies to show the performance of the computer. Furthermore, clients also need advertising, as insufficient information of goods may make them confuse. Through watching advertising, they may learn some basic relevant information. Then it is easier for them to find what they need.

In conclusion, it seems to me that the benefits of advertising are more than its drawbacks.

1. the development of economy, not economic
2. the purpose of advertising, not function

hey, due to my limited English, I just found these two errors and hope it's helpful.

Hi Shenhao,

Yes, there is a difference: for the first question you MUST discuss both views, but for the second question you need to give your own view and support it. If you 'partly agree', you might discuss both sides, but if you 'completely agree', you should just support that opinion.

I'm afraid I can't help with corrections or feedback on essays, but at least one student has tried to help!


Thanks for your help Abigail.

Hello Simon,

For the first question above,after discussing both views,can we write' it is better to have a balance approach' ?

theoretical subjects like maths,economics should no longer be taught in university because more students are taking practical subjects like account,computer technology etc.To what extent do you agree or disagree.

In this question can we have a balance conclusion?(because both of them are important)

Can you please give us your expert ideas on the main body.



instead of Thanks..u could write As a result of.
2. its advantages outweigh
3.branded image
4.customers may be attracted
5.in their lives
6. detailed list
7. make them confused
Pay a lot of attention to ur punctuation a nd work a bit on active and passive form of the verb.
Hope it helps u. Thanks

Can anyone help me to tell,how can we improve our sentence formation?

Can anybody share resource for practice??

Warm Reagrds,

Dear Simon,

I would like to have your opinion on this,
I am confused with

slang orslangs
Friday's or Friday
platform or platforms
children education or children's education
full time or full-time
is that alright if i wrote low risk instead of low-risk?

My opinion regarding the topic of this discussion:

*Firstly, read EVERY post on this website, even the comments(sometimes the comments are full of good ideas)

*Secondly, buy Simon's book; if you cannot afford it, you still can find some ideas posted here

*Finally, try to "expand" ideas to make paragraphs and even your own essay

These are my suggestions, please don't take me wrong. I personally find this website as the single one that fits me, with full of explanations regarding not only the full exam but also in regards to writing and speaking which are my concern. From tons of books borrowed from library I was not able to figure out how to write an introduction/paragraph or conclusion. I did not study in English and I did not use essay writing during my University; I am a math person so I need "rules" to "solve problems".

Once again, THANK YOU Simon for your website! And thank you all for sharing ideas.

Hi Maya,

Yes, that's fine (just put the 'd' on 'balanced'). It's fine to do a balanced conclusion too.


Thanks Sanam.


Hi Nik,

You can see correct sentence formation in all of my lessons. If you want to learn basic sentence rules, an intermediate grammar book would be the place to start.


Hi Teng,

1. slang (not usually plural)
2. Friday (name of the day) Friday's lesson (the lesson on Friday)
3. both - singular or plural
4. children's education
5. both are fine
6. both are fine


Thanks Cami, I'm really happy to see how well you are using the site. You are doing exactly what I hoped students would do!

I am appreaciate with all your help about the grammar problem.
But I got another question about my essay. Is the structure about the essay is ok?
I just want to ask that in the first paragraph, I write "There are many arguments both for and against the function of advertising, and I believe that its advantages is overweight its disadvantages." The second paragraph, I list all the drawbacks about advertising, The third one, I list the advantages. Is it ok?
Do I need to write why benefits over drawbacks?
Or may I said that if the essay is about the agree or disagree and I try to write it in two sides, in the first paragraph, should I write like "partly agree...." or "advantages overweight disadvantages"?
Another question, if the question is discussion question and give your opinion, could I give out my opinion at the first paragraph, or I need to give out it at the buttom after discussion?

Hi Shenhao,

1. Your essay structure/plan is fine.

2. For "agree/disagree" essays, you can write about both sides if you partly agree, or you can just support one side if you completely agree/disagree. You don't need to talk about advantages/disadvantages for this type of essay.

3. Put your opinion in the introduction if the question asks for it. Don't save any 'surprises' for the conclusion.

Hope this helps

can you give me few examples of outdoor activities? can i talk about playing badmington or travelling if they asked about an outdoor activity

Hi Kasun,

I don't usually think of badminton as an outdoor activity (although you could say that you play it outdoors e.g. in a park or in your garden).

Travelling might be too general. Think about outdoor sports such as football or jogging, or activities like riding a bicycle or walking in the countryside.

Could anyone rate my task1 practice writing... i will be taking my exam on june 11. Word Count=150.

The line graph illustrates the ratio between the demand and supply of organ in the US from 2001 to 2009. It is clearly shown that there is a constantly rising demand of organ donors over the period of 9 years.

The number of patients waiting and the number of transplanted patients remain relatively constant over the period shown. However, the number of organ transplantation remains higher than number of patients waiting. 25000 patients were transplanted annually since 2001 to 2009, whereas, the number of patients waiting for organ donation is approximately 15000 yearly. The need for organ donors increased from 60000 in 2001 up to 100000 in 2009, with approximately 10000 increase of demand each year.

In conclusion, organ transplantation has evidently increased in popularity and has become the most sought surgical intervention to many diseases nowadays. However, the organ resources remain inadequate to supplement the need for organ transplantation.

Hi Regine,

Most of the people who use this site are studying for IELTS, so I'm not sure if you'll be able to get the essay checked. I'm afraid I can't help; try to find a teacher or native speaker who can help you face-to-face.

Good luck on the 11th!

Aren't you a teacher and a native speaker as well? Then I guess you can help me...

Hi Regine,

When I said I couldn't help, I didn't mean I'm not qualified to help. The reason I can't help is because if I do, everyone will expect the same help. It wouldn't be fair if I helped one person and not the others. I just don't have time to offer essay correction or feedback to everyone who visits the site.

I'm afraid the only thing I can offer on this site are the daily lessons and some quick answers to questions.

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