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November 28, 2011


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Hi Simon,
can you please tell that introduction is relevant to the question or not.

Q:Some people prefer to spend their lives doing the same thing and avoiding change.Others,however,think that change is always a good thing.

Everybody has potential to adapt changes in life.It is natural to expect ups and downs in our life.It is harder for some people to see change and they do the same things for their whole life.On other hand,some believe in change.

Also what should i include in main paragraphs?
advantages and disadvantages?


Hi Mandeep,

That looks fine. Just write one paragraph explaining the negatives of change, and another explaining the positives.

About today,s question:

arguments against:

1.The functions of history are difficult to explain as compared to engineering or medicine.

2.nobody likes to bother to study past.

3.It is less tangible and less immediate than those that stem from other disciplines.


1.It encourages mindless memorization.

2.It provides identity and contribute to moral understanding.
3.It helps us to understand people and societies.

My answers are:

Some arguments against are:

-less audience when teaching
-hard to define
-less tangible

Reasons for:

- It helps to know our identity
- harbors beauty
- to get the past experience

Hi Simon,

Here is my answer:

-the functions of history can seem more difficult to define than those of engineering or medicine.
-the products of historical study are less tangible.
-using knowledge of historical facts can encourage mindless memorization.

-helping us understand people and societies.
-helping us understand change and how the society we live in came to be.
-contributing to moral understanding.

Thanks very much for your exercise.

Hi Simon,i am jane from New Zealand. i am findinding difficult to write essay on following question, can you please guide me.

Economic growth all over the world is increasing and the number of rich people are increasing in both developed and developing countries. while study shows rich people in developing countries are happier than in developed countries. what do you think reason behind this and what lesson can be learnt from this?

Hi Simon,

Just to share with you, as part of my students' homework, they have to read news and articles on different topics in a daily basis and choose 2 to share with me whenever we have speaking classes. This is an exercise that I find it very fun and productive at the same time. I think this is quite challenging for certain students, but their goal is to make short presentations and be able to clearly report the main points using their own words and ways of expression. Actually, my other intention is to "force" them to read more, expand their general konwledge, and hopefully use some of it on either the speaking or writing tasks as supporting ideas.


Against studying history
1.Not many people are bothered to study history.
2.It seems that history is more difficult to define than engineering and medicine.
3.The products of history studying is less immediate and tangible.
For studying history
1.History contibutes to moral understanding 2.History is essentia to social civilization
3.The imporance of history in our daily lives- the more we know the past, the better we prepare for the future.

Hi Simon
Please I have one question.
In writing Task 1, when there are two graphs and a lot of information to write about, what is the best(less important) part to miss in our writing, the overall or some information in the detailed paragraphs.
Thank you

Hi Simon, what can you see about skills reading, skimming and scanning? thank you!

Thanks for sharing your points.

Note to Mandeep: "encourages mindless memorization" is one of the negatives.


Hi Jane,

Where did you get that question from? I haven't seen it in any of the official IELTS books.


Hi Martin,

Great idea. That's exactly the kind of thing that I think students should be doing!


Hi Maryam,

It's best to miss some of the details.


Hi BeBe,

Have a look at this lesson:


HI Simon,

This question came in Ielts xam on the 26th November.

Hi Simon,
i am not sure but here is my answer;
Arguments against;

1-the functions of history can seem more difficult to define than those of engineering or medicine.

2-the products of historical study are less tangible, sometimes less immediate, than those that stem from some other disciplines.

3-In the past history has been justified for reasons we would no longer accept.

why we should study it? :

1-it is essential to individuals and to society.

2-because it harbors beauty.

3-History also helps provide identity, and this is unquestionably one of the reasons all modern nations encourage its teaching in some form

Tayfun Kurt

Hi Jane,

I always try to look for 2 parts in the question so that I can write 2 main body paragraphs.

So, I think I'd write one main paragraph explaining why people in developing countries are happier e.g. less competition to earn money and buy things like big houses or cars, not a consumer culture, family might be more important, families tend to be bigger and people support each other, traditional values, less stressful jobs etc.

The other paragraph would be about what lessons we can learn e.g. money does not make us happy, supportive relationships with friends and family are more important than buying things, competition to earn more money and have more possessions is not healthy, we should lead simpler lives...

I hope this helps.


Hi Tayfun,

Those ideas look right to me.

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