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March 22, 2012


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I love ur web. I have band 7
Thanks simon

Hi Simon,

What is the difference between "By contrast" and "In contrast"?

Hi Simon,

Thanks for putting this essay.Now I have one question regarding writing part 2.For the question like below, how do we tackle?

The big cities are constantly growing. Why is this happening, and what problems does it bring? What can be done to improve people’s lives?

my intro; It is true that cities are getting bigger and bigger.There are several reasons for this and various challenges we face as well as things that can be done to improve quality of people's lives will be discussed below.
1)Is there a better version for the introduction part?
2)How can I be clear in my opinions
Please help me.

Hi Simon,

I want some help with the following sentences please could you tell me which one is correct if not then can you correct it.

1)The next problem is that big cities are potential of slums.

2)The next problem is that some part of big cities have the potential of turning into slums. Thanks in advance

Hi Simon,

I took the examination on the week before, I have some wonders.

1. If in the task one I did out of the question, Will I lost all of the mark for task 1?

2. How many percent of task 1 contribute to the writing module mark?

I think that there are many others also face the same problem with me. I understand you are very busy but I really appreciate it if you can provide some idea about it.

Thank for your great works

hi simon! can i ask pls..i thought they changed the format of task 1 and we should follow it..is it true? this is the format..1. Paraphrase problem ..eg the line graph demonstrates..2. Overall it can be seen that...3. The most significant feature is...4. Another important thing to point out is....5. It is interesting to note that....

do we have to follow these patterns to the letter? thanks so much in advance..will be taking the exam this april..hope you can reply back soonest! :)

hi simon,
Im taking the test on 2nd week of April. i hope u can confirm if its really true we should follow this pattern ( above comment) for task 1. I find your style easier, I don't know why they are saying we should write this way for task1. Hope you can reply soonest. Thanks!

Hi fengfeng,

There hasn't been a change, and there is no strict rule, so it's fine to follow my method.

your structure is amazing. Even if I spend more than one hour in this exercise, i won't come up with structure like this, well done boss :)

thanks so much for replying simon! you are a gem!

Can you give me some pointers on how to improved my English construction and how to do more good in reading . I'm new at your site but fined it very informative and I hoped it could help me before doing IELTS exam.

Hi Chok,

Just follow the lessons. All of my best advice is here.

hi simon i have problem last ielts test with my writing i don't know why 2 months ago i got 6.5 in writing but the last one which was fortnight ago i got 5 in my writing

Hi Hakeem,

I'm afraid it's impossible for me to explain this without seeing your work. It might help to take a few lessons withe a teacher who can check your writing.

Hi Simon,
Can you tell me why you used a present tense in the second paragraph here.'It is clear that the proportion of elderly people INCREASES in each country between.......'.
Is it because it includes past and present and future, and it's considered as a general trend?
Thank you.

Hi Simon,

Great site!

noticed that u divided the period into two 50 years, 1940 - 1990 as past and 1990 - 2040 as future. A question like this involves projection, how should we decide which year in the graph is "present". this is critical to the use of different tenses.

thanks heaps.

Hi Simon!!

I have question, I was told that I would be penalized for writing more than 155 words in Writing Task 1 and more than 260 words in Writing Task 2.

Could you give us pieces of advice regarding word limits?

Thanks in advance!

That's right Emi.


Hi MW,

Don't worry about that too much. Just use 'now' as the present. I only used the future for 2030 to 2040


Hi Blixa,

That's wrong. There is no maximum.

Dear Simon,

Could i ask a question that we can use present tense for all general trend like you did "'It is clear that the proportion of elderly people INCREASES in each country between.......'?

Can we use "It is clear that the proportion of elderly people INCREASED in each country between.......'?

Or in overview paragraph, it is OK to use present tense for all verb?

It is clear that the proportion of elderly people increases in each country between 1940 and 2040.

The figures for Japan remained below 5% until the early 2000s.

my tutor correct a part of my essay from "The line chart illustrates the percentage of people aged 65 and over in three countries" to " The line chart illustates the(PERCENTAGES) of people aged 65 and over in three countries"
Is it right?

I'd say both are equally acceptable Kaisei. The singular gives the idea that we are thinking of 'the % in each country' and the plural gives the idea of '3 percentages'.

Hi Simon,
I've started learning IELTS for a month, but I have many problems and difficulties in Writing. Today I have a question and need your help. In writtng task 1, particular in charts including more than three lines, pies or bars, my teacher told me it would be better and easy if I group these items according to criteria (i.e The lines can be divided into three main groups. the first one including..... witnessed an upward trend). My question is whether this technique should be applied or not, because I hardly found it in samples I've read.
Thank you!

hi Simon, I have a question. In Writing task1, should I use the definite article "the" for all nouns (including countable and uncountable nouns) we can see in maps or processes despite they are not mentioned before?
For example, we can see many desks in a map but they are mentioned before. So should I use "the desks" or "desks"? As well as we can see "water" in a process but it is not mentioned before. should I use "water" or "the water"

I've also heard that I 90% shouldn't use "the" for uncountable nouns although they are mentioned before or are actually identified. Is it right?
thank you so much

thank u so much

The graph demonstrates the proportion of ageing population in three different countries, over a period of a decade. Time on the horizontal axis is plotted against ageing percent on the vertical axis.

In 1940, the proportion of people aged 65 or more stood at only 5% in Japan, approximately 7% in Sweden and 9% in the US. The proportions of elderly people in the USA and Sweden went up over a next 60 years while, the proportion of japan has a dramatic fall and reached a starting level at early 20s.
This ratio of population is supposed to increase suddenly till 2020 in japan and reach a peak at 28%.while, despite some fluctuations, the ageing population in Sweden and USA is analyzed to continue reaching 25% and 23% respectively in the same period.
Overall, the percentages of aged population in all the three countries is distinctly is increased over the mentioned period.

Hii Simon,
I am a beginner in IELTS and I need your review to improve my ability. Here is my first essay for IELTS Writing Task 1. Hope you want to help me.

The line graph compares the percentage of people aged 65 and more in three developed countries during a particular period of time over ranging 1940 to 2040.
It is clear that the number of elderly people in USA, Sweden, and Japan are increase over a century. The most noticeable trend is Japan that had experienced dramatic changes, whereas USA and Sweden rise steadily.
In 1940, around 9 percent of Americans were aged 65 or over while about 7 percent and 5 percent were Swedish and Japanese respectively. The proportion of elderly people in USA and Sweden grew gradually over the next 50 years by reaching under 15 percent in 1990. On the contrary, Japan were slightly declined its population under 5 percent in the same period as compared.
Looking into the future, it is predicted Japan will rapidly increase the percentage of its elderly people over 15 percent in a decade from 2030 to 2040. In 2040, it is expected that around 27 percent of Japanese will be aged 65 and more, followed by Swedish and Americans at about 25 percent and 23 percent for each respectively.

please check my introduction

The given line graph compares the various changes in the population of the elderly people (age 65 and above)in the UK, Sweden and Japan, in the past from 1940 to 2017 and its probable projection up to 2040.

The graph compares the proportion of people aged 65 and over in Japan, Sweden and the U.S.A. between 1940 and 2040.

It is noticeable that the overall trends for all three countries aging people were upward and will continue to increase. In addition, elderly people ratio is higher in Sweden and the U.S. than in Japan for most of time.

In 1940, the proportion of people more than 65 was only 5% in Japan. By contrast, the figures for Sweden and U.S. were roughly 7% and 9% respectively. Before 1980s, the aging people ratio dropped and remained stable in Japan, while the number of Sweden and U.S. kept rising. The gap between them widen.

Around 2030s, Japan’s aging ratio will be 10%, while the figures for Sweden and U.S. will be nearly 20%. However, a sharp increase is expected to happen in Japan by 15% after 2030. The aging rate in Japan will exceed and be higher than those of the other two countries’.

Hi Simon,

I'm new here and I find that your writing samples are very helpful to me. If it's okay, can you also please check on my writing just so I would know if it's okay. I actually based it on your sample. I 'm about to take the exam in a month so I hope I could really learn to write better.


Here's my writing:

The line graph provides data in the percentage of people, aged 65 and above, in USA, Sweden and Japan over a century period from 1940 to 2040.

It is clear that the proportion of elderly people is expected to increase considerably in all three nations, between 1940 and 2040. Japan is predicted to have the most significant changes in this age group.

In 1940, around 9% of Americans were aged 65 years and over, compared to about 7% of Swedish and 5% of Japanese. Both USA and Sweden had a steady trend over the next 50 years, reaching just about 15% in 1990. In contrast, the elderly population in Japan remained below 5% until the early 2000s.

Based on future projections, Japan is expected to have the highest proportion of elderly people with a significant increase in figures reaching to about 27% in 2040. On the other hand, the elderly group for USA and Sweden will be slightly lower, at about 25% and 23% respectively.

Hi, Simon.
I am an upper-intermediate IELTS candidate and I have an exam in the upcoming August. Although results in the listening and reading sections are quite satisfactory, my writing stuck at 6.5. Please, read my essay below, and I would be very grateful if you give some feedback also.
here my essay:
People in modern societies use drugs, but today’s youth are experimenting with both legal and illegal drugs, and at an early age. Some sociologists claim that parents and other members of society often set a bad example. Discuss the cause and effects of widespread drug abuse by young people. Make any recommendations you feel are necessary to help fight youth drug abuse.
It is a natural phenomenon that people consume drugs either because of doctors’ prescriptions or just longing. However, substance abuse has also obtained recognition amid the minor, they are utilizing both allowed and illicit means of drugs in early childhood age. Some held parents and community culpable for becoming inappropriate role-models for the young. Blaming weak willpower for drug addiction, promotion of public education, as well as addiction rehabilitation programs, could address the issue, deterring its severe outcomes of mental disorders and respiratory ailments.
As far as the impact of drug abuse is concerned, adolescents’ several cognitive skills are threatened by long-term use of psychoactive drugs since their brain is still on the way of developing. As recreational drug usage entails certain deleterious components, it might lead to anxiety and loss of memory and concentration, which directly disrupts brain functions. Furthermore, substance abuse can engender such dire health issues as lung cancer and respiratory diseases. In that, the majority of drugs are mainly targeted to be injected by arteries or smoked, including marijuana and cocaine.
One of the primary roots of drug addiction is the lack of self-discipline. Since an addict has personality deficiencies in his or her behavior, they can easily be compulsive to consume drugs regularly despite comprehending its side effects. Strong willpower can provide us the capability of resisting temptation and not to be influenced by external factors. For instance, if a schoolboy is depressed of family issues, he is likely to ask for help from his peers, hence, his friend may teach him how to relieve stress by drug abuse or he just on his own takes up his friend’s negative habit by once watching him relieving his stress by illegal substances, which is freely accessible,therefore, administrators are supposed to take action against drug trafficking by applying punishment-oriented approaches and tightening the laws on drug possession.
In conclusion, holding breakable self-restraint responsible for substance abuse, rigid law enforcement, and heavy penalties can tackle the issue, as well as relying on its grave psychological effects.

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