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January 27, 2016


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Dear Simon,
Here is my introduction for this topic as your direction

"It is true that people are more likely to use the Internet as a good way to collect information than ever. While it could be argued that newspapers will continue playing the most important role in providing news to people as they used to be, I believe that the Internet could become equally significant"

This was the topic I got in my exam. This is my introduction:

It is true that an increasing number of people prefer to get updated about the news and information through the Internet. However, some still believe that newspapers will keep being the most essential sources of news for the public. In my opinion, I completely agree with this notion.

However, in my essay I still discussed both sides.
In my first body paragraph, I said : "To begin with, I can understand why some prefer to read the news on the Internet.". And then I give 2 reasons.
In my second body paragraph, I said: "Nevertheless, I still strongly believe that newspapers will remain the most critical sources of news for two reasons."

I think I went off-topic for the first body paragraph. Can anyone assess my approach? I'm so devastated with this off-topic thing.

Hi, Simon,
Here is a disagree introduction for the topic.

In recent decades, people have started to discuss the issue regarding importance between news and media platform. Some people think that the newspapers will continue to be a main resource of the news to the society. However, I believe that the Internet will become equally mainstream platform.


i got ielts band socres. but i keep practice every single. here is my own answer for this disagree question.

There has been an idea shows that people nowadays keep relying heavily on newspapers even they daily use and have their own computers for getting news. In my opinion, I completely disagree with such idea that newspapers are being of vitally reasonable sources of the news.
Firstly, people these days are mainly getting engaged in jobs and careers and they therefore cannot have time to go and buy newspapers all the time. Indeed, they themselves mostly take time for breakfast in the morning and focusing on the phone instead of going out buying a newspaper. Workers, who take jobs at firms for instance, usually stay and work at warehouses or workplaces no longer use newspapers because of timing and working conditions. They thus prefer reading news on the internet.
Secondly, with the highly significant technology development these days offer useful and amazingly reasonable apps on Google Store, people hence can either use smart phones or tablets to download and install news’s apps because news’s companies intelligently do provide such apps with advanced and convenient functions for readers. Nytimes, BBC sites for example perhaps have been giving apps that simply update every period of time. It thus gets so many readers sharing news with its own perfectly good information.
In conclusion, I strongly concede that reading news on the internet would definitely become more common and remain vital sources than newspapers because of two simple reasons like people getting busy and developing of technology.

There is no doubt that following the news is very important for people now days .there are many ways to get the news either through old_fashion way as newspapers and TV prodcasts or throught new technological methods such as the internet.

In recent years, an increasing number of people use internet to gather information more than ever before .While some commentators believe that newspaper will continue to play the mist relevant role in providing news to the individuals ,I am convinced that the internet could become equally important .


Dear Mr. Corcoran,

I Sat for IELTS on the 9th of January, and I got an overall band of 7:

Listening: 7
Reading: 8
Speaking: 7
Writing: 5.5

Writing task 2 was about people enjoying films and TV production about crimes and criminals, discuss why they enjoy it, and what are the effects of such films on the society.

My questions is, do you think that the examiner meant thriller and actions movies/series, or did he/she mean documentaries, or neither?

Thank you in advance.

Best regards,

"Reading news via internet is getting more and more common than it was before. Despite this fact, some may think that this increasing usage of internet to be informed about news can not change the fact that newspapers is the main source of news and will stay so in the fıtıre. I completely disagree with that."

Hi Simon,

I have a question here. I remember you said earlier that 'do you agree or disagree' is the same as 'to what extent do you agree or disagree'. But this lesson confuses me as it seems that the two questions are a bit different. Do you point out the absence of 'to what extent' here to address the technique to approach questions with 'strong word'?

Thanks in advance.


Thanks for sharing your introductions!



You could mention any type of programme / film about that topic.



Yes, I remember saying that. I think we need to check whether 'strong words' like "most" are used in other questions when the phrase "to what extent" is missing. I haven't highlighted this properly before.

Dear Simon,
Here is my introduction.

Never before has the debate of where should we read the news been aroused so deeply and widely as it is in today’s societies. While I accept that newspapers are the essential source of news, I believe that reading news on the Internet will become equally important methods for individuals.

Many people start with their day by reading a news.People use different type sources like using internet ,reading newspaper and watching television with subtitles.Technology has changed every thing.More people prefer to read a newspaper by using digital technology.I disagree with that newpapers will not remain most important source of news.because internet has become equally important.

The best way to improve road safety is by introducing stricter punishments for bad drivers.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

‘Teleworking’, or the use of telecommunications to allow people to work from home, should be adopted by all employers in order to improve the quality of life of their staff.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

When choosing a job, the salary is the most important consideration.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Increasing the price of petrol is the best way to solve growing traffic and pollution problems.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
What other measures do you think might be effective?

Housing shortage in big cities can cause severe social consequences. Some people think only government action can solve this problem.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

As computers are being used more and more in education, there will soon be no role for the teacher in the classroom.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

We cannot help everyone in the world that needs help, so we should only be concerned with our own communities and countries.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

I have just done a quick research into almost all the questions with strong words on your blog and I am pretty astonished to find that none of them are written in the way like 'do you agree or disagree'.

Do you think the IELTS people/examiners really treat these two types of question differently?

I remember having the same question in the last IELTS exam held last Saturday. I surely answered by writing 'disagree'.

It is true that newspapers have played an vital role in our daily lives so far. However, I completely disagree with the idea that it will continue to be a primary source of information in the future even though some people will keep on reading.

Dear Simon,

Thank you very much for excellent essays you wrote in this blog. I have been learning here for 10 months or so. I learnt carefully all your essays, and it is really a pleasure to read them. You have taught us a variety type of essay so far, but I noticed that you wrote only two problem-solution essays.

I was wondering if you could write and teach us more essays about this in the future so that we can learn more problem-solution languages.

Thank you very much

Dear Mr. Corcoran,

Thank you for your prompt answer.

I guess I will request a remark for the writing test, since I believe my essay was better than just 5.5, or would you advise not to as I've read your post about this specific topic.

Best regards,

Here's my example:
Most people consider newspapers as the most popular and essential among all sources of news. Hence,despise the fact that this trend is being interfered by usage of Internet, confidence to significance of newspapers in the future has not changed. However, I disagree and believe that Internet will be as important as newspaper for a number of reasons.

There are various ways for people to have a better understanding of what's going on around the world through newspaper, internet, radio and so on. However, I don't admit the dominant status of newspaper, because I believe that in the future internet will become equally important.

Hi Everyone

1. No examiner cares about the difference between 'to what extent do you agree' and 'do you agree or disagree' because there isn't any. We are focussing on the really important things - error free sentences and natural, relevant vocabulary, and logical communication.

2. I wouldn't normally comment on individual writing but I STRONGLY advise everyone not to begin essays with long memorised phrases such as in Mia's example above (and others as well!). These phrases are unnatural, and usually completely wrong (there is no deep and wide debate about where we read the news). Believe me, examiners react badly to this, and that's one reason why Simon's opening sentences are the opposite of this.

3. This was the academic question in the Sydney test last Saturday and we did a full sample where we disagreed, but it is of course also possible to do a more balanced view where you say on one hand you disagree, but on the other hand you feel that newspapers will still remain relatively important and relevant.

t is certainly true that people prefer reading news online rather than purchasing news paper these days.In spite of the fact that newspaper are the most authentic tool of information, I tend to agree that internet is also an important channel of accessing news in the current era of technology.

Hi everyone, I just need some practice and below is my essay.

It is true that newspapers still play an important role in people’s lives in terms of reading news. While more and more people have access to the Internet and thus read news on various platforms, I believe that newspapers are no longer the most important source of news.

Newspapers are not suitable to the modern society anymore as people’s lives have changed significantly. Nowadays, people are leading a much faster live than before. Their time is almost occupied around the clock, forcing them to economize their time. While reading news on newspapers entails the time to buy the newspapers and searching for the information they need, people can easily learn what is going on around the world on their smartphones with one click either on the way to their work or school. From an environmental perspective, people also tend to get rid of newspapers, given the volume of forest that production of newspapers consumes every year.

The change in the newspaper industry also reveals the inevitable demise of newspapers. It is becoming more and more common that one can receive a free newspaper at the entrance to underground in every metropolitan city around the world. The sales of newspapers are in such a decline that newspaper owners have no other option but to resort to the Internet. Lots of the most prestigious newspapers, such as New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and etc., have launched their websites on the Internet so as to attract more and more readers. As such, newspapers in paper form will have to be further marginized.

In conclusion, with the information technology ever evolving and hence the change of people’s reading habits, newspaper will be gradually replaced by the Internet and it will only work as a supplement to the Internet as a source of news to people.

It is true that a lot of people access information on the internet to update the news, however, I don’t think newspaper only keeping some of significant matter. because gain the informations on online will exactly equal and relevant now and then.

i reckon that in ielts exam. there would be NO right or WRONG answers. that is all about how test-takers convince the examiners.

Some people argued that newspapers still take the largest share of news sources, while I do not agree with it, I think that people from modern ways like phone or internet to get information are equally important as newspapers.

Some people argue that newspaper will endure their place as a primary source of news, in despite the trend of reading news on the internet is increasing.It is agreed that most people want to read news every day,but I disagree with the statement that newspaper will kept their place in the future.

In this information era, most people try to get the up-to-date information from print media as well as digital for their daily lives. It is uncertain that the newspapers will still be the most reliable source of news in the future despite providing accurate and trustworthy information to us. I believe that the internet is also a reliable source for updated news,so that we can consider it as equally important as the newspapers.

I am so worried about my IELTS result on 23/1/2016. I wrote a balanced answer with "partly agree" opinion, whether I will lose the mark of task response or not. How will this mistake effect on my writing score?
Thank you so much for your lessons.

Mr Tran

As I mentioned above, if your opinion was consistent and understandable, and you supported your ideas, then don't worry, it won't really affect your TR score. Grammar and vocabulary errors are much more important.


sjm is right - we shouldn't 'overthink' this. Examiners don't see any difference between "do you agree or disagree?" and "to what extent do you agree or disagree?"

The only important thing to notice about the question in the lesson above is the fact that we need to disagree if we want to write a balanced answer.

Thanks Simon and sjm.

It is no doubt true that the majority of people show more inclination toward reading news on the Internet than ever. While people still tend to attach great importance to reading newspapers, I do not agree that people will persist in reading papers as a trustworthy source of media for a long time.

On the one hand, reading news on the Internet is increasingly becoming popular among people because of several different factors. The most important reason for people who are interested in following the latest news on the global computer network is that they indicate more interest in types of media in which information is easily accessible and could be found conveniently. Social networking sites, for example, allow people to understand what is taking place in today’s world and anticipate the future of people’s lives with regards to economy, society and education. Another point to consider is that some renowned websites, which are tremendously prevalent in societies nowadays, like Facebook, Instagram and Google+ not only inform people in terms of politics and financial matters, but they also raise the awareness of those issues related to people’s daily lives like analyzing the roots of drug use or marital problems.

On the other hand, I imagine that the widespread use of such media, dependent on writing the words on paper, will be disappeared in near future. It means that the passage of time leads people to admit that newspapers are less likely to be beneficial, making media press editors and writers of articles not interact with the readers sufficiently and not take responsibility for ideas and opinions which have been propagated by them, so people don’t trust newspapers and magazines anymore. Secondly, reading newspapers might be considered as a traditional routine in near future, and this form of reading habit is certainly in contrast with young generation’s needs. Therefore, I assert that people may find newspapers incompatible and less applicable to the modern world.

In conclusion, many media experts think that the news being published in newspapers is highly credible and valid. However, I strongly believe that by making progress in the field of information technology, people surely rely more on the news shared on the Internet

Dear Mr. Corcoran,
Here is my disagree introduction for this topic.

"While the number of people who read news online has been increasing, many people believe that newspapers will keep the position of the most important news source. However, I don't believe this idea because I advocate that the Internet will become as equally important as newspapers in the near future."

Yours sincerely,
Calvin Cho

It is certainly true that more people prefer to read news online than ever before.However I personaly feel that importance of news paper will never be tarnished.

It is true that an increasing number of people read news from the Internet. Even though newspapers is still an important source of new for some people, the Internet is at least as important as newspaper for most people as a source of information. So I completely disagree with this idea.


I appeared for Ielts test. On 23rd Jan. My topic was. I'll
Supermarkets are growing nowadays in world compare to small shops. It has more advantages or more disadvantages. Explain with the relevant example

Dear simon,

News papers have been the major source of news around the globe since time immemorial.However these days more people than ever before prefer online news reading and I personally ,disagree with the statement that news papers will continue to remain as the most important source of news in future.

dear simon
please comment on my introduction .i have been following your lessons since last two months to improve my writing skills as i found your lessons simlple and easy to follow.your work is great and it has comletelt changed my concept about writing.

It is true that many people, especially young, tend to look for the latest news through the Internet not by reading newspapers. While some people insist on the importance of newspapers as the information resources strongly, I do not agree with this statement.

I totally disagree this statement about newspaper will remain vast news only due to increasing numbers of civic via the app or online news reading ,however, people shall consider the online source extremely as important as news on the published paper

I completely agree that newspaper is more important in delivering news more than internet. All of the datas written in the newspaper are also in the internet and in a complete and detailed manner.

please assess my writing below thanks

Some people believe that visitors to other countries should follow local customs and behavior. Others disagree and think that the host country should welcome cultural differences.

In recent decades, tourism has been escalated globally. This has an obvious effect on both tourists and local citizens regarding both customs and traditions. Some argue that visitors should respect the visiting nation rules and culture while others believe that the opposite is more practical. The essay will discuss both views and a reasonable opinion will be illustrated.
On one hand, tourists ought to consider the local culture attitudes, clothes and behavior for many sound reasons. Firstly, they go there to enjoy the culture, historical areas and entertain in a new place. Thus, following the host country customs and rules will make their journey peace and calm without any struggling with local authorities. For instance, females in some Islamic countries must cover their body such as, in Saudi Arabia and Iran. Breaking down this rule will initiate hard times for visitors with local governors. Secondly, following the local culture in behavior and traditions will remove the walls between visitors and citizens. This will help the foreigners to know more about the culture and interesting areas to visit by friendly advices from the local people.
On the other hand, others oppose this way of thinking on a business basis. They claim that host government who are the one allows for the visitors to travel to its land and, definitely, it will profit from this. Take Egypt as an example, tourism has been proved to contribute for around 25% of the local income. As a result, citizens would accept tourism to come with their strange behavior and style of life.
Finally, I believe that visitors should be advised to know well about the country they are travelling to. That will make them friendlier to the local and guarantee a safe trip. In addition, locals can gain much knowledge about the other cultures if they welcome them to visit their nation and behave naturally.

Nowadays,increasing number of people can access to the latest news through the internet very easily.Despite this trend, some believes the importance of the newspapers will still be maintained as the most vital source of news.In my opinion,as newspapers are gradually declining its popularity even now, is unlikely for it to have same significance as in the past.

Hi, is this alright? Thank you very much
With the rise of modern technologies in recent years, more and more people are starting to look for information on the Internet. Some suggests that this trend is not enough to upset the current position of the traditional newspapers as the most important source of news. But I think in the long run, the Internet will become just as important as the print media

Hlo Simon can you plz clear my confusion with the word 'most '. Here is an question which unable me to give a answer . Children these days are suffering from those diseases which were once considered to be meant for adults only.obesity is the most common disease prevalent Among children.what are the causes and remedies ? In this question we will just discuss the reasons of obesity or other disease also ?

News agency plays an important role in informing the public, which, in democratic society, is commonly perceived as a watchdog for the interest groups. With an advent of internet, the printed press, newspaper, seems to be out-fashioned, quite often heard as a fading industry. However, the advantage of online news cannot be over interpreted and undermine the importance of newspaper as a source of information.

In the Internet age, online news is getting popular, mainly because it is more effective in spreading information. With an access to internet, a mobile phone user can read local news and international affairs on the handy devices. Freer publishing on the internet also means not only coverage of broader issues, which may be trivial as celebrity rumors or significant as government policies, but also diverse voices, which are valued in the society today.

However, it is these features that make newspaper still a valuable alternative for information if the nature of news is concerned. First, online sources are not always easy to be identified, leaving readers nowhere but likely in confusion with too many author-less messages. Second, online news, unlike traditional printed press, can hardly be traced. For example, it can be read today but deleted tomorrow.

After all, if we are minded that news is to impart factual information for readers, newspaper is still, if not most, important in that it is more organized and accountable, although perhaps not as accessible as a piece of online news.


Prison is one of the most common ways to solve poblems in crime. However, it is believed by some that education is more effective. Agree or disagree?

(more or likely the exact words used)

hello, Simon
The question "agree or dissagree" can never be partly agreed?

The question"Do you think this is a positive of negative development? can be partly agreed or completely agreed or disagreed?

News reading is the daily habit of a large propotion of people around the globe.Nowadays some people prefer to read news in their gadgets rather than news papers.I believe both news paper and the electronic gadgets have equal importance in news reading.

With the rapid development of the Internet, people increasingly prefer to read news online. However, some individuals still believe newspapers remain the prior source of news. I cherish the value of newspapers, but reading news through the Internet could be an unavoidable trend in the future.

There are various reasons why read news online will dominant available ways people access news. First and foremost, the Internet provides readers a fast and up-to-date news platform. Nowadays, journalists usually post news to their social media account or news websites the first time they discover them. The Internet users can read real-time news through their smartphones or tablets as soon as the reporters posted news. Secondly, news on the Internet has vivid format compared with traditional news media. Most online news has photos which taken from the place that news happened. In addition, some videos with the written news help readers understand news easily. Lastly, read news online is much cheaper than read newspapers. Most news media companies offer free news for the public and even electronic versions of newspaper have a lower fee than physical ones.

The benefits of read news on the Internet are enormous, but some people still like to read newspapers, especially elderly people. Reading newspapers has become a part of everyday life and aged people enjoy the moment when they read newspapers and talk about the news with friends. Therefore, reading newspapers is becoming an old fashion rather a way to gain information.

To conclude, even though newspapers still have news-reading function and will be well exist in next century. I personally believe news on the Internet will become the main source of news for the public in the future.

it is not to significant

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