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November 16, 2016


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Hi, Simon,
Here is my essay structure I would like to share.

1.Introduction: Topic = traditional or religious festivals. Answer = agree
2.First paragraph: The reason why people have forgotten the meaning behind. Companies recognise the potential business-related venture during some of the traditional festivals. Product image – create by companies and mass media- people forget the real meaning behind. Example: Bonfire night in England – Guy Fawkes, people enjoy watching firework but do not even understand that valuable background history.
3.Second paragraph: People want to have a good time during the holiday. Busy life - family do not have many opportunities to gather together for celebrating. An enjoyable festival is much more important than the meaning behind.
4.Conclusion: repeat / summarise the opinion

I found difficult to write a good logical essay. But I am still working on it.

Many Thanks.

My ideas for that topic
1. introduce the topic, and i disagree with this statement.
2. Reason 1: People keep the traditional festivals and they all maintain them as the culture identity. The example to be proved for that is Christmas Eve, in this time, family members are united, enjoy meals together, exchange gifts.
3. Reason 2: The festivals are the cultural identities to attract tourists to many areas worldwide. This is reason why many people who live in some regions with the festivals take place still keep the meaning of festivals to show for tourists. For instance, lantern festivals are more popular in some Asia countries such as China and Vietnam.
4. In conclusion.

Intro : i agree that most of us have forgotten the value behind it and usually wants to enjoy ourselves but i think that if their meaning is acknowledged then it would double the charm of occasion as well as promote on the preservation of them

Para one :how we ve forgotten and why we enjoy ourselves
Busy modern life styles , time consuming and boring as nee generation seek excitement and adventures , want to have a relaxing time and a good family time is far better than its meaning behind

Second para : importance of its value and its preservation
Other some ways to preserve them

Conclusion : repeat

1- Christmas: Most families tried to arrange activities during this period like travelling (tourism) in this period of the year (to enjoy hot weather in other countries for example) and as a result, the new generations do not learn about it and about it is meaning. They just enjoy themselves nowadays.

2- Bonfire: most of the people enjoy the fireworks without knowing the real meaning behind it.

3- religious festivals become nowaday a time just to get out of work and enjoy that time, that could be because families did not believe anymore in meaning of it.

1- Lunar holiday
2- Moon festival

Just some ideas...
Agree: People focus on buying fancy goods and making money
They enjoy the holiday by travelling, not going home
Less people are taking part in ceremonies.
Some festivals have diminished
Disagree: This only reflects social and cultural changes.
People do not depend on weather or nature too much, so there's no reason to celebrate festivals in the old ways.
Enjoyment and family relation should be encouraged.
People still attend festivals and respect traditional customs.

In this millennial age, many cultural, traditional, and religious festivals have been perfectly preserved. However, it has been said that some individuals would attend these special events just to have fun without knowing the deeper reasons why they celebrate these mentioned special gatherings. In my personal point of view, I would strongly disagree that these festivals should not be taken for granted because of some reasons which I will further discuss in details and possibly give some examples.

Paragraph 1:
Celebrating - gatherings - entail people - awareness of their native beliefs ( minority group / local cultural sectors) -
e.g. Ifugao tribe (Philippines) - marriage (1week celebration) - invites all the tribe + other local tribe - butcher more than 5 native pigs and even possibly 2 cows
Every family member enjoy and gather as one (reunion) this celebration at the same time - presenting to younger generation - importance of this gathering - preservation

Paragraph 2:
An insignia - uniqueness of beliefs and practices - happens annually.
e.g. some tribe (Africa) gather adolescent male - go for hunting - survive for a number of days alone in wilderness - come back with food for all his tribe = considered warrior and a great man = all tribe celebrate for the success return.

Conclusion: every belief/practices - be enjoyed - at the same time + give RESPECT for their cultural traditions.

1. urbanisation > busier society > change of life style > less people involved in traditional events

2. event organiser use special way, eg celebrity, to attract participants to stop this trend > audience just enjoy concert, not traditional event itself.


I try to write an essay with the following question as you did several years ago.

Nowadays the way many people interact with each other has changed because of technology. In what ways has tech affected relationships that people make? Has this been positive or negative development?

Firstly, I tried to do brainstorming without looking at your essay but I got confused to plan the second paragraph especially because of the phrase 'in what ways'. Then I made it like this.

Paragraph 2 (idea for each sentence):
1. Stating that there are many ways
2. People prefer modern ways of communication (a shift from letter/telegram to sms/call)
3. The existence of internet affects more the way people interact
4. Example (the use of social networking)
5. Finally, business, teaching, and meeting can be run more easily

Then I see your plan that you classify your ideas into three (education, business, and social networking) which is of course better than me. However, it seems that our basic ideas are same, just the way we organized is different. My question is 'could still my 2nd paragraph organization answer the first question?' I am afraid of facing this case in real exam. I mean that I have the idea but I couldn't organize well.

I owe my thanks to you, Simon.

PS: could you please explain to me what the phrase 'in what ways' mean? Is it like 'on what aspects has technology influenced communication'?

- Lunar new year> expatriates come home> family gathers> enjoy meal together
- Reunification day> tv shows documentary film
- At school, also stuty historic events> know reasons, meanings of festivals
- Jobs on specail days> wellpaid> coach tickets are expensive on these days> expatriates tend to work rather than coming their hometown.
- Busy lifestyle
=> partly agree
B1: today, people always remember and review about the meanings of festivals.
B2: reasons people tend to enjoy themselves.

Hello to everyone

My suggestion

1. introduce the topic (by paraphrasing) and adding some supportive ideas. I personally, think that, while people should try to learn about the history behind the festivals, nowadays there is reasonable excuses for majority of people

2. Reason 1: In majority of cases stories that are related to festivals lost their actuality, Having saying that, they preserved meaning and value to the nation which celebrates it.
3. Reason 2: Nowadays, people are to busy and after hard working days tend to just enjoy. Fairly, there are no time just to search for meaning of strories which linked to the festivals.
4. In conclusion part repeat the idea above

I have got my 2nd attempt result today (Test Date: 05-11-2016)

L:7 R:7 W:6 S:7

again frustrating, I need 7 in each part. But no improvement in my writing! I will sit for another test.

1st Attempt: L:6.5 R:7.5 W:6 S:6.5

Some examples I could think of are Christmas, Easter, and New Year. They are the most popular festivals.

There are two examples immediately coming to my mind are Lunar New Year and Christmas. These are the biggest festivals in my country which is Vietnam, and I could see that not only are the local keen to celebrate but also overseas people come to join.

P/s L:8 R:7 W:6 S:6 at the fifth attempt

Some people say that living in a hotel while u r on a holiday, is not the best way to know about country and its people.
What is your opinion?

This is the latest IELTS GT task 2 question today in Pakistan.

I had my test today and I got this question in task 2 of the writing component:
Today the world has many urgent problems and solving them is possible by nations’ cooperation.
To What extent do you agree or disagree?

I was sick and I couldn't think of any ideas , so I wrote one body paragraph about global warming due to accumulation of carbon dioxide and other gases and how to decrease it globally. The other body paragraph was about the increase in the rate of health problems due to the widespread of un healthy food and again how to tackle this issue internationally.

Am I off point?

Thank you

yes you were off the point. you had to mention about benefits of international cooperation in some occasions and give an example like those countries which faced with nature disasters like flood, earthquake and gave help from other countries.

Festivals, whether religious or cultural, are celebrated in different ways in different communities all over the world. Some people prefer to make the special occasion with all, while others choose to enjoy with their own. However, I personally think it is a matter of personal choice or a cultural preference .

It is commonly reported that some participants conduct antisocial behaviour like fights or vandalism without any thoughtful consideration on the meaning behind festivals. There also tends to be more incidents such as drunk driving and injury cases than usual.

Throughout the generations, young people have been educated about how to perform traditional rituals and the meaning behind festivals at school and home, which is seen as a reflection of the importance of the festivals in a certain society.

Hi Simon

My Example) memorable service

In Buddhism, relatives gather together 49 days after a person's death. It is because it was believed that the person's spirit would wonder between this world and the next world for 7 weeks before completely gone to the next world. The memorable service is held to send the spirit safely to the next world. However nowadays, few people remember the reason, and the service has simply become the opportunity for gathering of relatives and enjoying food and alcohol together.

I am poor at thinking about two reasons to support my opinion in discussion essay. I often find it easy to write the second and the third paragraph as opinion essay, such as "I can understand why people agree with this view becasue..." "However, I disgree with this view because..."
Can this way be allowed as an essay, and if not, could you give me any advice to find two reasons to support the opinion?

Many thanks

Hi simon,

My question is about the use of tense in task 2. I've seen a number of your pieces of writing using possibility (Could, may, might) instead of present tense. Eg. the climate change essay. Is there any concern if the present tense is used? and How is the essay differently marked in this case?

Many thanks

Hey Simon, I disagree that many people have forgotten the meaning of festivals while I do support that people currently prefer to their own pleasure.
Examples of non-forgotten festivals' meaning:
1. we have internet that allows us to have access to broader information for festival background check
2. The customization economy drives festival developers paying the most attention to festival history/ meaning to differentiate themselves than they have never done.

Examples of individualism
1. the significant sales increase during festival seasons are mainly personal goods.
2. the decline of community service during festive period.

would like to have your kind feedback.


1. Introduction: Topic = forgot the festivals' meaning and enjoy themselves. Answer = disagree
2. First reason: Many people remember the meaning behind festivals e 1)moon festival, 2) christmas day
3. Second reason:People want to share happy with others. 1) party 2)volunteer activity
4. Conclusion: repeat / summarise the opinion

Communities, the world over, celebrate festivals for religious, traditional and agricultural reasons. In my view, young people and old alike show willingness to take part in every celebrations because they realize significance and origin of such events while they attend commemorations to relax, learn and appreciate special values.
Today every occasion is shown and followed by media. Journalists reveal every detail such as history, modern social implication and development stages of happening celebrations clearly in TV programmes. Such educative spirit can also be seen at schools where certain syllabuses teach how ancestors celebrated religious commemoration and thanksgiving for good harvests and why we should do today. Even special scenes in advertisements can tell customers much about countries’ customs and celebrations. This awareness schemes have inevitable result in awaking the interest of citizens to festivals. Therefore, todays festivals are more populated and celebrated in more luxurious way than ever before which means people know a lot about and appreciate such happy events.
On the one hand, this is the time people can entertain and forget everyday work and life pressures. In my country, Uzbekistan, many festivals are designated as a day off which signals to citizens have a rest from work. Also, majority parts of festivals are associated with festivity and fun. The main things participants do during festivals are listening to music, having delicious meals, playing games and socializing with the loved ones. On the other hand, some festivals are organized to educate and evaluate values. For instance, so-called “Qovun Sayli”,a melon harvest festival, highlights the output of melon producers from Khorezm region whose aim is to motivate people not to merely consume melons but to learn more about melon sorts, their growing methods, medical properties.
In conclusion, festivals are popular among people throughout the globe for their history, entrainment feature, educative role and as a preservation of traditional values.

Most people have forgotten the meaning behind traditional or religious festivals
during festival periods, people nowadays only want to enjoy themselves. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

In recent years, there have been certain changes taken place in the way people celebrate their festivals. While I personally agree that people wish to celebrate themselves, they still recognize the importance and meaning of each festivals.

People wish to enjoy their festivals just by themselves for various reasons. Firstly, we live in a busy, expensive world, where people have no time to celebrate special days in a traditional manner by cracking heavy fire works, conducting ceremonial functions and participating in them. Today, People are well educated, and therefore unimaginable to accept and follow some old mythological concepts like killing animals in the name of God, offering flowers and expensive things to religious places on special days to satisfy the lord of almighty. Instead of this, people choose these days to rejuvenate and refresh them with joyful moments. For instance during Christmas holidays some people go for long holidays with family and friends others enjoy with their favorite hobbies like shopping, writing, reading, swimming and so on. They utilize their valuable time for enjoyments and entertainments.

However, People still know and do admit the meaning of festivals in several ways. It is easier even for Children to learn this significance from schools, parents and media. Every child in European countries knows why is Halloween festival played, and what to do on Halloween festival, and how to do is a good example to site at this contest. Though the way they celebrate is different, still they enjoy the day in a different way. Moreover, the themes of certain advertisement that telecast during festive seasons are almost related to the significance of the particular festival.

In conclusion, I partly agree that despite knowing the significance of religious and traditional festivals, people wish to enjoy themselves.

New year
Thanks giving
National day
Labor day
Spring festival--Chinese New Year
Mid-autumn day

Can someone please give some ideas how to respond to the question i posted?

Introduction - topic: traditional festival; answer: agree
Para 1 - why people want to enjoy themselves; Busy life - work, study and family. They can finally enjoy themselves with friends or family.
Para 2 - Why the meaning is important;
Conclusion - repeat the topic

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