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February 03, 2016


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Thanks Simon. I really like your style of writing.

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 Simon:
I have been confused by using of proverbs during the writing and speaking test of IELTS, as I am not sure that I should or I could use as much as sayings in an appropriate occasion or proper position in a sentence, such as when the examiner asks me to say something about my hometown, I ‘d like to use” east, west, home is best” as a start. In addition, when I am preparing writing topic about “nurture or nature, which is more important for a child’s development”, I tend to associate a proverb “birth is much, but breed is more” as the topic sentence for the second paragraph, and” a leopard cannot change its spots” for the third, or maybe I can also cite” great man’s son seldom done well” as the conclusive sentence in the last part.
As a matter of fact, I have remembered up to 300 proverbs, which relate to various occasion, because I always believe that the sayings can express deep thinking by a concise way, especially in Chinese expression or writing. Unfortunately, my score of writing never go over 5.5, so I am not sure if these proverbs create negative influence or is irrelevant to the application of them, the low score just for my other irrational and unreasonable specific expression in the essay or something else. Can you give me some direction or guide about the use of proverb? Thanks a lot!

Your sincere


If you read native speaker writing you will notice that proverbs are almost never used. I can't see any benefit of using proverbs anywhere in IELTS, and if you combine them with grammatical and vocabulary errors, you will only confuse the examiner and lower your score.

Dear Simon,

It's my pleasure to see your essay.
I really like essays you wrote, so I have been practising for essays.
I wrote an essay when it comes to this topic. Could you please give me feedback?

In the progress of modern development, we often find ourselves in a dilemma, and a question about the information transmission ways. When it comes to this issue, while many are in the position that newspapers are not only positive but also will be subscribed in the future, others say that the disadvantages, behind it should not ignored. In approaching this issue, discussing both the positive aspects and the negative aspects of money is needed.

For those advocating the former opinion, the first thing that needs to be said is that more and more people are finding it increasingly possible for them to read news universally by carrying, which seems to confirm the idea that newspapers are the most essential source of news. The next factor that should be thought of is that newspapers are closely involved in people's optic health. Logically, it follows that people who subscribe newspapers can protect thier sights.

On the contrary, there are voices strong opposition, saying that newspapers are only beneficial on one side, and if we look deeper, we will see that the drawbacks that brings. One of the most obvious negative aspects of newspapers is that transinformation rate is slow. On the other hand, people can hear news in real time by Internet. There is an additional, more crucial view we should think about the advent of convenient devices including the Internet service. A prime example is smartphone, in which people can contact with breaking news wherever immediately.

After taking into account all the arguments above,one can say that it is quite difficult to say which aspect overwhelms the other aspect, however, I am inclined to be of same opinion with advocates of the Internet.
Therefore, it is commonly presumed that the Internet will soon be the most source of news.

Thank you for reading it.

Hi kim

try to shorten your essay .. its too long

It can be argued that paper media will remain the most important source of news in the future.Newspapers are written by professional journalists who publish news after finding out the full set of evidences. This is why Most people seen the newspaper as the most authentic source of getting the correct information about the happenings around the globe.another reason could be that people perceive newspaper as the most reliable source of information than that of internet, since amateur journalists or other people are able to post whatever they want on the free websites or blogs where information perhaps likely to false or incorrect. These kind of doubts encourage people to read newspaper than any other news media.

However, with the technological advancement and ever increasing speed of internet, electric media is prevailing as equally famous medium of acquiring news as that of traditional press media. Firstly, People nowadays feed global information with the help of just a one click on their smartphones, tablets or computers. In the UK for instance, well over 70 percent youngsters have been recorded in a survey using electronic-news led mobile APPs which have been uploaded by them from smartphones free of cost. Secondly, Search engine like google allows people to explore the news of their interest instantly without searching ludicrously from a pile of newspapers. As a result, it can be argued that internet will be equally popular among people as a mean of accessing news feed as that of conventional paper media.

Dear Simon,
I had purchased your ebook 1and half years ago.Do I have to bye it
again as I think I have forgot the password hence could not open it. Is there anyway u can help me please.


Dear simon,I still remembered one of consultant from British council ,she said can quoted some of proverb for speaking e.g no pain no gain....etc. how do you think about that ?


'No pain no gain' is not a proverb. It's an idiom or a common saying. While there is nothing wrong with using expressions like this in the speaking test, if they are not used correctly they sound unnatural or confusing. In my experience I have never seen a candidate benefit from using memorised idioms

I think we all should keep in mind that IELTS is a test of our language ability, rather than a test of our memorisation. In this sense, any proverbs or clichés would certainly be regarded as part of memorised phrases which are unlikely to be favoured by most examiners, and sometimes may even be penalised if the examiner notice it. Besides, they are informal for academic writing as Simon had emphasised for a lot of times. I guess none of those responsible teachers would ever encourage the use of them.

Dear Simon,

Thanks so much for your incisive and timely correction. I am afraid that I will never realize my directional wrongdoings without your advice and guide. It is high time following your structured way of IELTS preparing and learning. Unfortunately, I have been studying with Chinese teachers’ approaches and special logics, which are partly ill-matched with native English learning method and real requirement in IELTS test, so my past low scores seems deserved. But I am quite grateful that I am so lucky to know you and ask you advice timely that I can divert my mistaking way to a right direction. Thanks a lot again for your time and sharing.

Best Wishes

tripoli.tajora thanx alot

Thanks a lot SJM ,we all like you


Just email me and I'll find your password (ieltssimon@gmail.com).



We need to thank sjm for his answer. I agree with him by the way!

Hi dear Simon
First of all i want to thank you for your informative blog.I just want to say that your comments and advice change my view about the IELTS completely.I appreciate that somebody think about others.
by the way would you please give us full essay about below topic. I found it challenging and confusing.
I am looking forward to hearing from you

One day worlds oil & gas reserves will ran out.The search for alternative energy sources like wind power,solar power,bursnig waste are causing as much environmental damage as the oil& nuclear sources they intended to replace
-How far do you agree with this latter argument?
-What possible benefits do the alternative sources bring?or what damage do they cause?

Hello Simon,

I have a question about agree/disagree essay that every teacher in the world have different opinion about.

I asked two former IELTS examiners about the use of 'I' or 'my' in essay. Some say it is okay and some say it is not formal.

Is it possible to give your opinion without using 'I' or should I use 'I' to do this?

Thank you in advance!

hi simmon,
I am finding very difficulty in writing. I have ideas,words of 250, but i face great issue with the flow of the essay and connection words. when i read your essay, which very beautiful and enjoy the construction with great ideas . I need 7 in writing. how can reach in that level to do that score?

hi sir
your ielts instructions are very useful and clear.
in this question what do the body paragraph consists of if we disagree like the way you said?
shall we write about why people prefer internet to read news or the advantages?
likewise bodyparagraph 2 how should bodyparagraph 2 it be written?
in many cases i opinion cases i get confused whether to write about advantages or give reasons! i hope you would help me with that.
Best regards!

What if I wanted to write 2 body paragraphs defending the idea that Internet will be as equally important as the newspapers.
What would my 2 ideas for 2nd and 3rd paragraphs be? (Not mentioning that newspapers will remain important)

Thank you

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