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May 23, 2012


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I already took 10 mins for planning, but I still found that it's really hard to dig some ideas or examples for this topics out!

This is my plan for main paragraph.
First view>>
Idea: Food modification and transformation for some people still seem to be unhealthy and dangerous.
-Fresh food is better to eat than instant or frozen food (because some beneficial nutrients are destroyed)
-Genetic engineering should be limited (scientist cannot prove the long-term effect to human) eg.fruit without seeds

Second view>>
Idea: Many consumers accept this change and appreciate more choices of food they can eat.
-Scientists do many research to discover new food materials which have high nutrients
-Technology advances contribute to efficient production, reservation and distribution. For example, we can be confident that food is clean. Also, we have more kinds of food imported from other countries.

I'm not sure if I understood the question correctly.

PS. I'm going to test this weekend. I found your websites very useful.
Thank you for sharing!

Hi Simon,

I usually find it difficult to develope ideas for an "opinion" question. In other words, i do not know how to sort ideas into one paragraph without being crackled. Such example is:

It is expected that there will be a higher proportion of old people than young people in the future in some countries. Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

Is it possible to write one body paragraph instead of two main body ones for this kind of the question? So I easily start writing one body paragraph with a topic sentence like "aging population has several negative effects in some nations".


To continue, I use "Firstly, Secondly, Example, ..., Finally" to show my ideas which support the topic sentence.

Thanks so much Simon.

Hi Simon, in response to this topic, and also some ideas from Sherbet, I tried to compose the essay and would like to share... Would appreciate if you could provide me with some feedback. Thanks!


In the present day and age, technological and scientific advances have changed the way people live. They bring convenience and also enhance the quality of life, especially in the food and beverage industry. However, a heated debated has been sparked o whether they are improving lives or causing harm's way.

Food modification and transformation may seem to be unhealthy and dangerous. An example of food transformation would be genetically enhanced chickens. These chickens are usually injected with steroids so that they will grow at a faster pace. This in turn will increase the over production to cope with the high demand for chickens. This also means that whenever a genetically enhanced chicken is being consumed, the steroid compounds embedded in the chicken will be consumed as well. In my opinion, genetic engineering should be limited because scientists are unable to prove the long-term effect genetic engineering has on humans. Fresh food are better to eat than instant frozen good because some beneficial nutrients may be destroyed in the process of freezing.

Moreover, many consumers accept this change and appreciate the fact that they are given more choices of good to eat. Scientists have also discovered new food materials through research that contains high nutrients. Hence, technology advances can contribute to efficient production, reservation and distribution.

To sum up, technological and scientific advances on food does come with some adverse effect. Nevertheless, their benefits far outweigh their disadvantages. Their disadvantages should be thought of as a certain price that the consumer has to pay in terms of their health due to the characteristics of chemical substances used in the food processing.


- 289 Words

Correction - is 270 words instead.

Correction again...

1st paragraph, "debated has been sparked ON whether..."
2nd paragraph, "This in turn will increase the OVERALL production..."

so sorry..

Simon, can you post a full essay of that question? Another thing, what is the difference between Agree or Disagree and to what extnt do you agree or disagree.here in the Philippines teachers say that they are two different things. They divide this two kinds of question in to 2 different formats. For instance, you decide to agree, you should agree in the wole essay even if there are two views. They don't encourage balance view. I think your method is much more easier because here, they make small paragraphs like 2-4 sentences per each para which is very different from your style. They say that long paragraphs will just confuse the examiner.

Hi Simon, Actually I have taken the IELTS and the question in the task 2 was like this question. I wrote an introduction in brief and talked on the one hand about how technology facilitated or lives in order purchase prepared food with distinct well known brands and then I talked on the other hand about disadvantages of consuming that food on our health as a result of materials found in that food such as genetic modified products etc along with my point of view which was the technology has harmed our food. I hope I can get 7 in writing.

or= our,,,in order to....sorry typing errors

Hi Simon..

I'm from Indonesia. Yesterday, my IELTS teacher suggested us to visit your site. No wonder since I found this site very helpful that I can learn many things especially about writing.. I hope by learning from this I can achieve band 8 in IELTS Exam on next July.

Thanks a lot Simon..

Thanks for sharing Sherbet and Victor.

I'll continue with this tricky question next week.


Hi Tran,

I recommend that you always try to do two main body paragraphs. One is not really enough. Try to find 2 main ideas for your answer - for the example you mentioned, I'd argue that there are both positives and negatives (this gives you 2 ideas for 2 paragraphs).


Hi Dave,

My advice is to treat both questions as being exactly the same. I prefer my method - longer main paragraphs that go into more detail are better from an examiner's point of view.


Hi Ahmed,

I hope you get your 7. Good luck!


I'm glad you like the site Indri.

I hope Mr Simon give me some feedbacks about my essay.
In recent years, human more and more use scientific and technological achievements on food industry. Some people praise these results, by contrast, others protest and indicate negative consequences of using technological products. My essay will analyze both sides of the issue.
First, with the effect of science and technology, there is more and more sources of food and many people appreciate this advantage. Science and technology not only conserve the biodiversity in animal and plant genebanks but also produce many kinds of plant and animal varieties. It is no more interesting when we see a new plant or a new pet with strange abilities. Besides, we also feel very happy when meals with more diverse components. Furthermore, the diversity of species and quantity of food, as a product of science and technology, ensure the food needs for all people in the world where the population increases significantly every year. It is undenied that some plan and animal transporation can affect our genetic when we eat them and that can make our bodies change uncontrolly and getting more disorders and unknown diseases. Furthermore GM foods can also cause environmental pollution, such as water and soil resource, where we plant or bury them. As soon as these expressions happen some people who even can live so far away where we are living, we still feel worried and think that we can face the awful symptoms. To put it simply, not only the diversity of food sources give us so much advantages, but they also bring us fear for their effects on health.

Second, many scientific and technological achievements have provided high-quality foods on the ability to survive and nutrition, this can impact positively on our lives. The abilities are about resist pests and diseases, cold tolerance, drought tolerance, nutrient-rich and potentially curative. There is no denying that this leads to the reduction of hunger and malnutrition in many nations in the world and also limit the harmful effects of pesticides, weight-gain drugs to human health and the environment. For example, in Daklac, Vietnam, a corn transpropotion which have yield 2 times greater than normal corn promises to meet the additional needs of the animal feed industry in Vietnam. On the other hand, many genetically modified foods are not carefully controlled for quality before putting them on the market distribution. That is not just harmful to our health but also negatively afect to the lives of many other species and the environment. To limit the harmful effects, many governments have put rules on food safety for genetically modified foods. For example, in Vietnam, since June.2012, products which contain genetically modified foods more than 5% will be clearly stated on the packaging. Finally, similar to the variety food resources, the quality food also have benefits and harmful effects.
In conclusion, to gain credibility of genetic modified foods, we need to consider and check carefully when producing and saling them in the market.

HI Simon

i have taken IELTS in Egypt on 19th MAY.The task 2 was exactly this topic.Thank you for your precious updates

Hello, Simon,
for this kind of "discuss both views and give your opinion", instead of siding with either of these points, can we just state that both are true?

"in conclusion, technological advances in food production can be regarded as an important development because of the possibility of alleviating food shortage, but some changes should be embraced with caution, in view of the potential impact on consumers."
This conclusion does not fully support either of these views but simply states that it has positives and negatives. Is that acceptable?

For “to what extent do you agree or disagree”, can we just state that I agree that one thing is right in some cases but not right in others?

Thanks a lot for your guidance.

My points are
*agree that the range of food items available widened
The reasons are cultural exchange as result of usage of the Internet and invention of new methods to preserve food.
Argue that it reduce the quality
Packed food contains high calories that cause life style disease like DM AND HTN.preservatives used can have negative impact on health of people.ex:obesity.

My points are
*agree that the range of food items available widened
The reasons are cultural exchange as result of usage of the Internet and invention of new methods to preserve food.
Argue that it reduce the quality
Packed food contains high calories that cause life style disease like DM AND HTN.preservatives used can have negative impact on health of people.ex:obesity.

Hello Simon,

I got 5.5 from the general training exam and it is really a bad score for me :( I need to get 6.5 and what is your advice to me ? ( all parts came as 5.5 btw )

Hi Jessica,

Your way of answering looks fine.


Hi Ayse,

It's difficult for me to help you because I don't know what your individual problems are. It would be a good idea to take a few lessons with a private teacher who can analyse what you are doing wrong.

Keep practising and working hard!

thanks a lot for your reply, Simon,
because my tutor used to sugest htat wheneve the topic is "to what extent do you agree or disagree" especially "do you agree or disagree", you should support one side rather than taking a neutral position. I want to know whether taking a neutral position is acceptable in IELTS?

meanwhile, the ielts marketing criteria state that a student who intends to get 7 should show the ability to use a combination of complex structures and simple structure. I want to know what constitute complex structures. reading your essays, I found that you prefer to use "and" "or" these coorindating conjunctions to introduce two independent sentences or use restrictive clause and adverb clause, but hardly use a compound structure (using two clauses in a sentence).

could you pls give us some advice as to this issue?

Hi Jessica,

You can partially agree for question types like "to what extent do you agree or disagree" but you need to explain clearly in the introduction and then you can give your opinions in following paragraphs.

To getting band 7, you need to express your ideas very clearly and there should be no spelling and very minimal grammar mistakes. I don't think we need to use complex structures to get required band. it's all about content and how you organize your paragraphs along with ideas.

Go through the templates and ideas which is available in this site. Also, you need to practice more to get more score.


In recent days, the technology and scientific research create a great impact on the food industry. Which made lots of changes in the society. an army of people think that it is a positive development. how ever, others oppose it. hence, it needs to be discussed in detail before stating a sagacious conclusion.

Firstly, many contest that the ready made foods are making their life more convenient and comfort. the advancement of science and technology facilitate them to purchase variety of those kind of foods. People who conduct a hectic life schedule totally depend on those kind of eating habits. They consider those distinct well known food brands as a great boom for the world.

on the other hand, people strongly agree that those kind of junk foods change our body to unhealthy. for instance, one of my friends who were totally consume that food results many health problems like diabetes,hormonal changes, and also the heart problems. so, the doctor recommended her to avoid the ready made foods and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The doctor claim that, the scientists add different materials and flavours which is very harmful to the human beings, because it needs to be preserved for a long period of time. Hence, it is better to avoid this and have home made food.

Having analysed both the aspect I have an opinion that, since the ready made food is very dangerous to the people, it is better to keep a distance from them for their well-being. Apart from this, they must aware about the disadvantages of that food.

To conclude, we can hope that the health education and the awareness programs will help the people to avoid the parcel food and keep their body away from the diseases in the future also.


hi Simon! i have a few problems with my writing.please help me.if i write an essay will you check it?

my friend is studying in a language school in Australia. his teacher, who is an examiner as well, said that 'a host of" and "a large number of" are not formal or academic, and should not be used in essays. do you think so?

thanks a lot !

Hello Simon,
Would you please read for me to see if this essay is a bit off topic or misunderstands the question. Thank you very much.

In present stage, more variety of food is provided due to the advanced technology and science. some people believe that provision of various food improves the convenience while others consider that it is harmful to consumers. In my opinion, I disagree in general that providing diversified food has negative effect to people.

The main reason is that these food may be unhealthy. Artificial food is believed to be safe for people's health because scientists did a plenty of experiments before this food is introduced to consumers. However, they might ignore some poisonous materials which are uncommonly left in food. For example, one year ago much food such as, jam and juice, is found contain unhealthy ingredients in Taiwan because these ingredients are not examined regularly when being sold in market.

It could be argued that the diversity of food enable people to consume what they want conveniently. Consequently, consumers can save time to cook and travel to buy particular food. They then have sufficient time spending on work or house chores. For example, with faster transportation people who live in northern Taiwan can enjoy the raw fish from the south of Taiwan without spending time on travelling.

However, because of convenient transportation of food, the demand for these speciality increase significantly. This may lead to the large killing of some particular animals used to produced speciality. As a result of this, these animals are at the risk of extinction because the balance in nature is broken. People may then no longer consume this delicious food.

In conclusion, possible harm to health and nature mean that the negative effects of providing diversified food outweighs the positive one. Although it enable people to enjoy special food conveniently, it also causes serious impact to environment.

Hi Jessica,

Read Vivek's advice below your first comment. I agree with that.

'A large number of' is fine for IELTS writing task 1, but I wouldn't use 'a host of'.


Hi Priya, John and Ohya,

I'm afraid I don't offer essay checking or correction. One of my colleagues provides a correction service. Click below for details:


Thanks, Simon,
but what alternatives to "a large number of" then in writing task 2? numerous? enormous? a wealth of? a considerable number of?

because it seems to me that numerous and a wealth of normally mean a much larger number of than "a large number of"

thanks again for your reply.

Nowadays, technological and scientific advances have changed the range and quality of food, but they also induce unsafe for our health.

It is clear that, the range of food has expanded according to technological and scientific innovations. Many kinds of food have been introduced over time. It is easy and available for us to buy processed food, so we have not to spend much time for preparing meal everyday. It is comfortable and convenient for every one, special for busy people. Technological and Scientific innovations help firms to produce mass products, so a large amount of food is produced in short time to meet consumers’ demand.

However, technological and scientific innovations can induce harmfulness for food consumers. Many chemical substances that producers use for processing food and breed animal may cause diseases such as cancer, diabetes,… Unfortunately, we can not recognize dangerous chemical substance in food until Health Protection Organizations investigate and give their alarm.

In conclusion, while technology and science improve the range and quality of food, they may be dangerous for our life and health, so we should be careful for choosing food to use.

Hi Simon,
This is the first time i do writing task 2. Please point out my mistakes and misunderatanding.
Thank you very much.

Hi Simon,

I took this IELTS exam several times.I need each section 7 and all over 7.last time I got each section 7 except in speaking 6.5.this exam is so frastrating.I lost my confidence.I dont know what should I do...Shall I Continue or not.PLEASE give me a positive advice.

thank you

Hi Simon,

First of all, I just came across this website and found a lot of useful information. I would like to thank you so much for your effort.

I've got one question that I'm curious about.

The article says"....In the United states, PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO PAY MORE for bottled water than petrol, and bottled water is about to take over coffee, tea and soft drinks in terms of popularity."

Question: (T F NG)

In some parts of the world, bottled water costs more than petrol.

I wonder if the answer is "T" or "NG"?
I hope you would not mind helping me with this question.
Your help will be highly appreciated.

Best regards,


Thanks, Simon,

I just wonder if "The range and quality of food that we can buy has changed" can be replaced by "more variety of food" ??

Thanks you.

Hi Jessica,

I tend to stick to things like: a large/considerable/significant number of, many, numerous. This is enough variety for one essay.

Note: "a wealth of" is not normally used when describing numbers. We use it in phrases like "a wealth of experience".


Hi Shila,

You should definitely keep trying. Don't give up - you're very close!


Hi Peter,

I suppose that strictly speaking, the answer would be NG because "people are willing..." doesn't necessarily mean that water costs more than petrol. This is one of those ambiguous questions that I would hope you don't get in your real exam!


Hi Ohya,

Don't write "the more variety of food that we can by..." You just need to delete "more".

Thank you for the answer, Simon.
I thought so too.

I'm wondering about the phrase "Types of ..."

For example:
1. Types of activity
2. Types of activities

Which one is the correct way of writing?

ur website is really helpful.i live in insia and wrote IELTS acedemic exam on 20th of this month.reading was bit hard i left few question.and in writing i was not able to complete the conclusion as time was over ,my paper was taken away but i hv mentioned my view about the topic on the introduction part....will tht be enough to fetch a 7 band.????? do reply pls.

Thanks for your answer, Simon.

Hi Peter,

You'll hear people say both, but "types of activity" is better (or "different activities").


Hi Eliza,

It's still possible to get a good score without the conclusion, so don't worry too much. Good luck!

Thanks a lot for your reply, Simon

yesterday, I read a book, which is the best-selling book in china. it suggests that "granted" is a substitute for "admittedly", when it is used in the paragraph that offers a balanced view. however, I think "granted" is awkward when used in IELTS, but it is more like a word for laws?

Wow~ I've noticed that many of the students' questions posted here can easily be answered by doing a bit of hard work, such as checking in a good English-English dictionary (http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/) or googling the words/phrases and see how they are used in different contexts.

I know it is always nice to get some straight answers from Simon or other tutors, but I think a student should also take some time to do a bit of research before asking.

Oh, and how come there are more and more people posting full essays and asking Simon for comments and/or correction?!?! I find this quite unbelievable since Simon has repeatedly said that he does NOT offer essay correction. On the other hand, I think students' full essays can be useful to others to a certain degree.

Hi Jessica,

I've never used either of those words in an IELTS essay - we probably use them more in certain situations when speaking, or in journalistic-style writing.

'Granted' has different meanings - have a look in a dictionary to see what they are.


Hi Martin,

Thanks for your support. I wish more students would follow your advice!


Thanks for your advice.I have started my study again.please can you explain me about what is the difference between agree or disagree and what extent do you agree or disagree question?

Thank you

Hi Shila,

Your questions were covered in this post by Simon.

Thanks Jean-Luc.

Scientific and technological advancement have revolutionized the food industry at present. Consumers have greater variety and attractive food, similarly, the farming industry need to devote less time for food production. Although few percent of the population is worried about the harmful effect of this advancement, i believe that this development is essential to keep up with the demand.

thanks simon
this is my intro for this topic.

Thanx for he information.. Good Luck...

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