« IELTS Listening: find the comparisons | Main | IELTS Writing Task 1: 'process' introduction and overview »

February 29, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I'm gonna take ielts test next week and your website is really help me practice the test. Thanks for everything. Love you Simon!

Hi, Simon, I think we should use MIX instead of MIXING in this sentence: many young people choose to make friends online rather than mixing with their peers in the real world

I know you no longer reply our questions, hopefully you can answer in another way

Which is correct?

-It is true that new technologies have had an influence on communication between people.
-It is true that new technologies have had an influence on communication among people.

I have read somewhere: Use "between" for two items. Use "among" for more than two.

Hi Tony,

Both are fine (and it won't change the score), but I agree that it might be 'neater' to use "mix" because I used "make". Well noticed.


Adel, both are correct.

HI Simon can we used (vehicle travel) as a synonyms for word (car usage).


Thank you Mr. Simon for answering my question.
Your Web site is fantastic.

Hi Simon,

Why did you write twice "On the other hand"?
and why you didn't write on the one hand and then "on the other hand"

Best regards,

Mr.Simon wrote "on the one hand" first and then "on the other hand")look thoroughly...
and be more attentive!!!)

Hi Simon,
Thank you for ur tips and advice, they are really helpful for study.
By the way I just wonder about spelling mistakes in writing IELTS test. If I use American spellings instead of British spellings like : "labor" for "labour", "center" for "centre", etc.. would this affect my score, I mean whether my essay will be marked down or not??
best regards,

Hi Nosirkhan,

Sorry.Yes I made a mistake .Thanks

Hi dear Simon,
I do not understand why we used "on the other hand, in the beginning of the third paragraph? then again " on the other hand" in the following paragraph while both paragraphs talk about the same things (advantagesof technology no different ideas).
Therefore,I would be grateful if you could explain this please,because it seems to me very complicated and i could not understand.

Sorry,I mean why "( on the other hand)"? in the beginning of the third paragraph? while the ragraph before ( second paragraph)is also taking the same things(advantages).Thanks

Hi dear Simon,
I have looked at it again and I appologise for my mistake,it is "(on the one hand not on the other hand twice)" .Sorry about that.

Hi Simon,

According your sample essay, I recognize that the structure of the essay organized in 2 parts; the first part is answer the question "new technology achievements affect in what ways", the second part is answer the question "they make positive or negative". Your organization is match to the the arrange of the question.

My question is
"Is it wrong if I organize the essay in 2 parts, one for positive effects, one for negative effects and explain more detail in which way they impact on each part"

I hope that I can get your idea. Thanks

Dear Simon,
I have read your essay and I realize a very clear organization. Sometimes, I find difficulties in finding and arranging the ideas in the essay. Could you give me some advice or suggests?

Hi Simon plz tell me can i write body 2 like first second finally as in body 1..will it be considered as right plan?

Hi Simon,

It's a great essay. I just wonder a bit when I read your first sentence of the opening part: "It is true that new technologies have had an influence on communication between people". As far as I know, 'between' is used when we talk about 2 people or objects whereas, from my understanding, you are mentioning about more than 2, meaning that 'among' should be used instead.

Please correct me if I am wrong somewhere.


Hi Tim,

It's common to use 'between' when talking about more than 2 people. Your rule is only for physical positions (e.g. she is sitting between her mother and her father). "Communication between people" is a very normal phrase in English.

Hi Simon,

I think it is really easy for me to structure a paragraph using the connectors such as 'firstly, secondly, thirdly (finally)' which you suggested in your ebook. However, sometimes, in first main paragraph, I already used these connectors, but in second main paragraph, I still want to express my ideas, solutions, or negatives(positives) in such a style, is that OK to reuse these connectors ("firstly, secondly, thirdly")? or can you please suggest some alternatives?

Thanks in advance!

Hi Richard,

Have a look at question 2 here:


Also, there are some alternatives in my "essay templates" attachment (that I sent with the ebook).

Hi Simon,

My writing teacher tell me that in the first paragraph I should post a classic background relating to the topic.
For example, if the exam topic involves education we should emphasize its importance with a very long and complex sentence.
Do you think it is advisable?

Hi Simon,

I know that you don't offer essay correction on this website. From a general point of view, could you tell me what you think about it?
Also, I would be really grateful to people who could give me their opinion on this essay:

Nowadays the way many people interact with each other has changed because of technology.
In what ways has technology affected the types of relationships that people make? Has this been a positive or negative development?

It cannot be denied that today technology exerts a strong influence on human relationships. While I accept that it has revolutionised the way people communicate with each other, I do not believe that the effects it has on communication are beneficial.

On the one hand, the use of some recent electronic devices allows people to interact with each other more often than they could in the past. For example, the possibility of connecting to the Internet from any laptop or mobile phone enables users to maintain close relations with their friends and enlarge their circle of acquaintances. In addition to that, Internet can cover long distances and thus persuade them that friends are closer than they really are. In my experience, even though I live miles away from my family and some of my best friends, I can speak to them as often as I did when I lived in their same city.

On the other hand, the impact that technological progress has on people’s relationships is not positive. Firstly, if it is true that social networks can remove geographic barriers, it is equally true that they may give rise to a sense of isolation and loneliness in those who use them. The impression to live close to a person who is physically distant may persuade us that chatting on Facebook or Messenger may be the best alternative to a pleasant meeting or a tasty dinner in a restaurant. Secondly, relationships have become more superficial. People tend to create virtual friendships and reveal their secrets to “friends” they have never met. Finally, making use of symbols to express feelings may lead to a lack of spontaneity in human relationships and a gradual impoverishment of language.

In conclusion, technology has certainly marked a turning point in the way people communicate, but the effects it has on the relationships they establish are detrimental.

So lucky I found this website! Please pray for me and wish me luck. I'll be sitting the exam on 31st March. Thank you loads Simon

I got a 7.5 overall band with 6.5 in writing. Comparing my writing to this one, all I have to say keep it simple and structurally organized. No need to use high end words.

Well done Faisal!

why hv u written" on the other hand"in 3rd paragraph?

Hi Hussain,

Because I started the paragraph with "On the one hand". The same paragraph contains both positives and negatives.

Hey Simon,

Cooperation between people in different countries was much more difficult when communication was limited to written letters or telegrams.

In the sentence, the word should be "write" rather than "written", right?


Hi Lily,

"written letters" means "letters that are written by hand". It's correct.

Hi Simon!
I think that you should use "limited to write" instead of "limited to written" in the sentene below:
Cooperation between people in different countries was much more difficult when communication was limited to written letters or telegrams

Hi Bac,

"written" is correct because I'm using it as an adjective: "written letters" = letters that are written (by hand).

Try best man.

sir,is it possible that we can write both sides in essay in exam? by doing this i don't lose the band?

answer written by domenico is far better than simon's writing,as i have got band 8 in writing,i can say,examiners these days like complex words,rich in vocabulary with clear arguments.In block method one can use both sides of arguments,does not hamper ur band, provided u have clear orientation in writing.

While I was writing this task...my mind went blank...I didn't have get ideas...bt when i saw your essay i got lots of things...Thank you Simon..

Hi Simon,
I'm lucky to know your website with a lot of useful lessons. Thank you so much!
I just wonder why you mentioned both sides in the second question of this task" How this been a positive or negative development?". As I remmember, the lesson you gave on Wednesday, October 05, 2011, you advised us not to need to mention the other side of the argument to the question " Is this a positive or negative development?". Your support is of great importance to me. Thanks.

hi simon
i want to know how did you achieve this success? i mean 9 point from the ielts?

thanks about this eassey

This Question was asked in Nigeria,March exams 2013.Sport is a big business and has made sport professionals rich.Companies has invested financially and in other ways.What positive and negative developments does it have in sports.What is your opinion.How can one go about this question.Thanks

To understand the difference between 'between' and 'among' watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnJJqfu6i8U

Hi simon
My question is about the adverb nowadays, what is the tense comes after it: is it a present perfect or simple present?eg Nowadays there are or nowadys there has been!

It is true that newly-invented technologies have been changing the way we communicate. In my view, technology has affected people’s relationship in various ways and the effects can be either positive or negative.

New technologies, especially in the fields of network and telecommunication, have considerable impacts on education industry, the way we collaborate and individual’s social contact. Firstly, tele-education distance education provides accessibility of information no matter where we are. For example, online courses, such as TED and coursera, are capable to offer a cornucopia of lectures to satisfy one’s curiosity about knowledge and information. Secondly, Skype and other office oriented software can deliver the feasibility for experts from different locations, or even countries, to brainstorm together and solve over-complicated problems. Finally, people tend to rely more on social network services than ever before to maintain personal relationships and make new friends.

On the one hand, the effects can be positive. Teleworking enables employees to communicate more efficiently to improve productivity. Moreover, online studying systems can provide the accessibility to well-organized courses for students from rural area and the quality of education can be guaranteed. On the other hand, I believe social network services, such has Facebook and twitter can also have negative consequences. For example, people tend to stay inside in their own rooms rather than talking to each other face to face. Social network is one of the main reasons for the reduction of outdoor activities. Also, online information is not always authentic. For example, some people may deliberately distribute fault information online in order to gain illegal profit.

In conclusion, new technologies certainly have had huge impacts on how we build connections and how we work together. However, the outcomes are not always good.

can we write " in conclusion i would like to say that......???

Hi simon, my question is about the adj "revolutionised" is it correct spelling cause I look up on dictionary I found only " revolutionized " like that could u help me plz

Hi Mohamed,

Both ways of spelling it are fine. Here's an explanation:


well, its quite simple and nice, easy to understand and can be taken for benchmark as well
keep it up dude
your essay is nice and awesome

well am very good in writing task 1or 2 but my main problem is that i do not complete my both the task with in one hour .plz suggest me some tips .How can i manage the time properly


Dear Simon,

I am quite confused when planning for this type of question, because the answers to the first and the second question can sometimes be mixed together, i.e., you unconsciously judge the change in paragraph two.

How do you think we can avoid repeating ideas in two main paragraphs?

Looking forward to your suggestion.


Hi Simon, may you help me? can you distinguish two words between toghether and each other?

Dear Simon, or any other student,

Could you kindly help me to review my writing? Thanks!

Since the invention of telephone a hundred years ago, our communication tools have been developed drastically to aid our day to day communication. Many have been benefited to interact with each other easily, thanks to the help of advanced technology, but still there are problems caused due to misuse of technology.
On one hand, people are now no longer suffering from the disconnection of their friends and families due to long distance separation. People from Europe can call their friends in China anytime they prefer, instead of taking an airplane to China in order to tell them face to face. Because of invention of a lot of communication applications, for example, whatsapp, viber, facebook, etc., they are now able to share every moment of their life easily to friends from far away.
On the other hand, however, it has caused some communication problems these days people tend to focus more on their communication devices rather than connect with people face to face. What’s worse, more and more traffic accidents have been reported that the driver’s concentration on their phones instead of the road should be blamed.
In my opinion, the advancement of technologies are designed to help people communicate more effective. It’s up to everyone how to use the technology wisely to improve our life, instead of depend on it. We should also educate our young generation on the importance of face to face communication, as they are the future of human being. They will develop new technologies to move mankind forward.
Word count: 252.

Technology has really changed the way children learn. Kenyan schools are slowly embracing E-learning technology and computer assisted learning

Dear Simon,
I have read your essay and I realize a very clear organization. Sometimes, I find difficulties in finding and arranging the ideas in the essay. Could you give me some advice or suggests?

thank you Simon
very useful for me

Thank you Simon

thank u for great page. my writing is awful

Thanku simon for your help and guidance

Hi Dear Simon
I've heard that it would be better to answer such opinion-led questions with one strong side! I mean that we should describe this question that wether it is a positive development or negative one...

Hi dear,
These idea are too much strong so i like most

Hi Dear , Simon
These are helpful for me in study time

thank you for this.


thank you for this.

Hi Simon,
Can you explain to me the meaning of "a poor substitute"? I do not really understand it.

It means "not a good alternative".

Hi Simon,
In my opinion, it is easy for readers to misuderstand the term"on the other hand". This term means"However", but it also means "Additionally". Should we use "On the one hand" first and then "On the other hand" ?

previously I had a huge problem in gathering the ideas ...but now I can easily prepare any essay..
THANKS SIMON.. I am very highly obliged ...

The second questions asks technology and is it positive OR negative.

I think we should only answer if it is POSITIVE or NEGATIVE, not both.

If we answer both, it is considered irrelevant and we won't earn any mark from it.

Please tell me pros and cons effect of technology and science

very nice topic and paragraphing

wrong essay pattern

hi simon!
Can i write this essay like technology has affected various kinds of relations in both positive and negative way then explain its effects on various relations in body paras and in conclusion i write that it is a double edge sword and to make it complete positive developmentlimitations on its usage should be implemnted.

Hj Simon and all friends,
I'm very confused about the differences between 2 questions:
- the effect of technology
- and the valuation of the positive or negative of something.
They look like the same, how to present my clear opinion.
Thanks a lot.

Mam there only told one point of view is positive or negative

Nowadays technology is very important, a new technology even before we knew how to use it, a new one comes, thank you for sharing

Hi.would you help me? . Meaning of in what way is in what field?

Hi Mr. Simon,

Sorry,in this essay as a double question topic, you wrote the answer to the first question in one paragraph and the answer to the second one in another. Is it possible to write the ways that technology affects communication positively in one paragraph and its negative effects on communication in another paragraph? Does this layout also grantee band 9?

Hi Ava,

I wouldn't do that. The question asks you to give your view about whether the development is positive OR negative. It isn't asking you to discuss.

By the way, no layout can guarantee a particular score. The most important aspect of your essay is your use of the English language.

Hi Simon, Thanks a lot. This eassy is very useful for me.

The comments to this entry are closed.