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July 23, 2016


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Thank you for your sharing. I'm really into your way.

Why do the IELTS organizers allow this fundamental misunderstanding to continue? It is so widespread across the internet and presumably among teachers too. To allow such a wrong impression to continue is almost deliberately misleading.

The British Council website states that "academic" IELTS should be written "in a formal style"; it does not say this for the "general". They do not say "academic", although Task one is plainly of an academic nature.
Writing so more than is required may well just expose more errors, which is not good.

ielts.org details about academic writing:
"While test takers will not be penalised for writing more than 250 words, if they write a very long answer they may not have time for checking and correcting at the end and some ideas may not be directly relevant to the question. "

They state:"They should write in an academic or semi-formal/neutral style." The Brit Council state:"in a formal style" for academic writing but not for general.

As to what "formal style" is, reputable sources (like Cambridge Univesity) seem to focus not on format, but on language specifics such as no contactions and pronoun ellipsis , and using Greek/Latin-based vocabulary. Would it be fair to say "semi-formal/neutral" is the sort of language used in an opinion piece in a quality magazine like "Time" ? Or what exactly is it?

I notice that ielts.org state that academic Task 1 is designed to test the academic register

Brit Council state "in a formal style"; IELTS.org state "in an academic or semi-formal/neutral style" for Task 2 academic. Why and what is the difference?

Thanks for sharing the feedbak. so helpful.

ielts.org says that Task 1 (academic) is a test of academic register, and the academic writing as a whole should be written in an academic style or semi-formal/neutral - whatever that means?


As some of you have pointed out in your comments above, it's hard to know exactly what style is required: formal, academic, semi-formal...? Furthermore, there are many different types and levels of formal writing and academic writing. For example, high school writing can be formal and academic, and so can university writing, a newspaper article, a letter, a business proposal etc.

So, to avoid this confusion, just try to match the style of my essays. Use my writing as your model.

Hi Simon! Kindly give me a feedback. How do you rate this essay? Thanks

Today our lifestyle is changing and affects family relationships. Do advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

It is widely believed that recent trends in people’s lifestyles have greatly influenced familial ties. There are benefits brought by this trend as well as drawbacks, however, in my opinion the benefits clearly outweigh the disadvantages ranging from the strengthened familial bond acquired from family tours and the sense of belongingness drawn from watching movies and shows together at home as opposed to the lessened interaction by family members resulting from overexposure to technology.
It is inevitable that the current proliferation in technology have allowed people including the younger generation to have access to them. Children for instance, are acquiring mobile phones and tablets at an early age and becoming preoccupied with it on a daily basis accessing social networking websites, playing online games, as well as taking numerous photos on their phones. However, it is unfortunate that young people are becoming so absorbed with navigating their gadgets during family gatherings and dinner compromising the essence of table etiquette and communication. This behaviour jeopardizes familial ties since children are no longer able to open up more important topics such as school and daily activities to their parents. The need to openly discuss essential matters during dinner and important family occasion is paramount in maintaining family bond.
On the other hand, other lifestyle trends such as family tours and movie dates have been beneficial in sustaining family relationships. For instance, airline companies have been offering discounted rates for tours both internationally and domestically, thus giving family more opportunities to travel and experience different cultures as well as real life adventures thereby strengthening family attachments. Moreover, watching movies together is also an excellent time for bonding promoting guidance and proper values and behaviour as a result creating a sense of belongingness among family members.
In conclusion, recent lifestyle changes such as overexposure to digital technology, family tours, and movie dates have clearly impacted family relationships. In my opinion, the advantages brought by this trend far eclipsed the disadvantages as a strong familial bond and a sense of belongingness are apparent in contrast to the minimal socialization resulting from overexposure to mobile phones and gadgets among children.

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