Improving a Thesis Statement

This lesson will show you how to write a clearer thesis statement for a specific question essay. This is the introduction paragraph and is applicable to both the GT and academic paper.

Many people think that job satisfaction is important in work.

Do you think young people these days should be sure of getting job satisfaction before taking a new job or should they put salary first?

What can we see from this essay question?

  1. The essay question asks for your opinion (“Do you think….?”)
  2. The essay is about what people look for when they take a new job
  3. It is often thought that people should choose a new job for job satisfaction
  4. Others think that people should choose a new job for the salary

Here’s a student’s thesis statement for their introduction. How would you improve the thesis statement? Try to write this thesis statement again before you look at the models.

While work satisfaction should be a motive for a successful employee, I do not think that salary must be a priority.”

Model Thesis Statement

Here are two possible ways that the above thesis statement could be better written to make the answer clearer for the reader.

1. In my opinion, I think that work satisfaction should be the main motive for choosing a job rather than salary.

2. In my opinion, it is better for people to put satisfaction at work as a priority for choosing a job instead of aiming for a competitive salary.

Model Introduction

Below is a model introduction with both a background and thesis statement. This offers yet another way to write the thesis statement:

An increasing number of people are prioritising job satisfaction as one of the most important factors in their work. In my opinion, I think that job satisfaction should be the deciding factor when considering a new job instead of aiming for a competitive salary.


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Improving Sentences for Academic Writing

This practice exercise is about improving sentences for a higher score in IELTS writing task 2. See the essay question below.

There is a significant gap between rich and poor countries. Some people think that richer countries should be responsible for supporting poorer countries while others think it is the responsibility of the poorer countries. What is your opinion?

Below are some sentences from a student’s essay on the above topic. Read through the sentences and try to improve them yourself before you check the model answers. In other words, write the sentences again to make them accurate and also a better score.

1. Firstly, it is obvious that this is their job. Poorer countries should not wait for any organisation abroad or other governments to deal with this.

2. Secondly, depending too much on rich countries may make them weaker. For example, they will lose a part of their power  if they agree to allow developed nations to help them with critical issues.

3. Regarding to responsibility  of wealthy countries. They should support poorer countries because there are millions of people in poorer nations need their help. Many people in Africa, especially women and children die everyday because of lack of food, medical treatments.

4. However, rich countries should not be forces to help poorer ones. It should be a choice not a responsibility.

  1. Firstly, poorer countries need to take immediate responsibility for developing their own country rather than wait for aid from foreign organisations or governments.
  2. Secondly, if poorer nations overly rely on aid from wealthy counties, it can create a dependency which may result in them growing weaker rather than stronger in the long run.
  3. Regarding the responsibility of the wealthier nations in the world, they should support poorer countries which are in need of fundamental help. For example, in Africa many people  die needlessly everyday, especially women and children, because of the lack of food and medical treatment which could be provided by richer countries in the form of aid.
  4. However, aid given by  richer countries should not be an obligation but, instead, a choice to take responsibility to help people in need regardless of the country in which they live.


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Recent IELTS Essay: Handwriting Skills for Children

Below is a recently reported essay question with some useful ideas. Read through the ideas and learn any new vocabulary.

Some people think that it is important to teach children the skill of handwriting.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Reasons in Support of Children Learning Handwriting Skills

  • handwriting is a basic tool in many subjects, for example doing tests, taking notes and writing homework.
    • poor handwriting skills or illegible writing can have negative effects on school performance
  • learning handwriting is linked to learning to spell, basic reading and grammar
    • these are basic and fundamental requirements for any school child
  • good handwriting skills should be taught at an early age to form good habits as it is essential later in life
    • in some situations it is better to write by hand rather than type
  • there is a link between cognition and writing by hand
    • children learn better when they are forced to write something by hand

Other Ideas

  •  teaching children how to touch-type would be more useful
    • being proficient in the use of modern technological devices by touch typing is essential for the future
  • focusing on handwriting which is less relevant today, is a waste of time for children
    • time could be better spent on developing other useful skills and knowledge
  • handwriting is linked to learning to spell but spell check is a function that all computers have
    • therefore less time should be spent focusing on this

Practice with Linking Words

In IELTS writing task 2, you will need to use a range of linking words to connect your sentences and to make your essay coherent. If you are aiming for band score 6 and above, it is important to show the examiner that you can use a good range of linkers. This lesson is aimed at intermediate to upper intermediate levels.

Below are some sentences which relate to the topic of work. Fill in the gaps to complete the sentences by choosing the appropriate linking word. Please note that you will need to consider the grammatical structure of each sentence to choose the correct linking word.

1. It is generally agreed that professional people doing shift work, …………………. (like / such as / take for example) nurses, doctors and police, should be given compensation for unsociable hours in the form of better benefits and higher pay.

2. Working overtime has its compensations ……………… ( therefore / but / although) can have a detrimental effect on the family.

3. ……………..(However / Although / But) women have equal employment rights to men, there still exists a glass ceiling, in many countries, which can prevent them from reaching the upper levels of a company.

4. Juvenile delinquency, which is a growing issue in many countries, should be addressed by both schools and parents ……………………( consequently / so as to / so ) get to the root of the problem.

5. Technology has had a great impact on the way people work …………..(but / and / consequently)  will no doubt continue to do so in the future.

  1. such as (‘like’ is not appropriate to use /  ‘take for example’ would require a different sentence structure to be used)
  2. but (‘although’ would require a different sentence structure to be used)
  3. Although
  4. so as to (this means ‘in order to’)
  5. and 


  1. Don’t just learn the meaning of linking words, learn how to use them correctly.
  2. Never use ‘like’ as a linking word in an academic essay.
  3. Don’t forget to use the linker ‘and’ – it is easy to use and still able to give you a high score.
  4. If you make mistakes with your linkers, you will struggle to get over band score 7 in Coherence and Cohesion, which is 25% of your marks.


IELTS Teachers and students can download this lesson for free on pdf file: linking-words-practice


Conclusion Linkers: Video Tutorial

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Reported Essay Question Jan 10

Here is an IELTS writing task 2 essay question which was reported in the test on Saturday. Below are some ideas for your answer.

In some countries, fast food restaurants and companies give money to schools provided that the schools promote their products to school children.

What do you think is the positive and negative of this in the development of children?

Positive Effects

  • children benefit from the additional resources and facilities that schools can afford due to the funding from companies
  • children can learn the value of money in order to buy the products being promoted
    • learning to manage money is a useful life skill
    • children learn to be selective about what they buy

Negative Effects

  • promoting companies such as fast food restaurants encourages a poor diet
    • poor diets, which include high quantities of salt and sugar, can be harmful to a child’s health
    • this sets children up to be unhealthy adults which can be expensive for the state in the long run
  • advertising and promoting to children can be exploitative and unethical
    • they are easily influenced
    • they are not able to criticise or form their own opinion
    • this form of advertising is aimed at the parents through their children
    • children are unable to distinguish what is promotional and what is educational

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IELTS Current Essay Question Jan 2015

Below is a an essay question that came in the exam this week.

Directors and managers of organizations are often older people. Some people say that it is better for younger people to be leaders. To what extend do you agree or disagree?

This is an opinion essay which means you must give a clear opinion in the introduction and then support it and explain it in the body paragraphs. Let me give you some ideas for this topic. If you have more ideas of your own, please post them in the comments box below.

Reasons why young people should be leaders

  • young people are usually more up-to-date and in touch with the modern world
  • they are often more dynamic and forward thinking which means they are more open to new ideas
  • young leaders are stronger and healthier than their old counterparts and therefore more able to cope with the demands of leadership

Reasons why older people should be leaders

  • with age comes experience and this is critical for any leader
  • older people have more authority which is needed to lead and manage others
  • a sense of responsibility is needed to lead effectively which is found in older people and often lacking in the young

If you recently did your exam, please post your full essay question in the comments box below so we can all benefit from it.

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Introduction Paragraph Feedback

The introduction paragraph below was sent to me by a student in response to the following essay question.

Essay Question

With an increasing population communicating via the internet and text messaging, face to face communication will become a thing of the past. To what extent do you agree?

Student Introduction

Face to face communication is become less important than the past, since increase and populate communication by the internet and text messaging. In my opinion, I agree that face to face communication will suffer as some small, develop new technologies but it is fishy that it is cause the death of traditional communicate.


The ideas and technique in this introduction are fine. However, the grammar and vocaulary make it difficult for the reader. Let’s go through each mistake before seeing the model.

      1.  “Face to face communication is become less important than the past ….” There are two mistakes in this sentence. One mistake is with the grammar tense and one mistake is a missing preposition. Can you correct the errors? Answer
        Face to face communication has become less important than in the past.
      2. since increase and populate communication by the internet and text messaging. There is a problem with both vocabulary and grammar. Can you correct it? Answer
        …since the popular increase in communication by internet and text messaging.
      3. face to face communication will suffer as some small, develop new technologies Can you correct the problems? Answer
        …face to face communication will suffer due to the development of technology.. 
      4. …but it is fishy that it is cause the death of traditional communicateThere are a lot of errors with this part of the sentence due to the choice of vocabulary. How would you write it? Answer
        but it is unlikely that it will result in the disappearance of direct, face to face communication .


  1. “It is fishy that …” this is an idiom which means it is suspicious. Firstly, the meaning is not right for the above sentence. Secondly, it is not academic. Many idioms are not academic and therefore many shouldn’t be used in IELTS writing task 2. Don’t confuse idioms with idiomatic language. The student should use “it is unlikely to …” or “it is doubtful that …”.
  2. “..cause the death of …” this is also an idiom which can be used in academic writing but the meaning is not appropriate for this essay.
  3. “traditional communication” the writer is trying to paraphrase the words “face to face communication”. Unfortunately, it can’t be paraphrased. Not all words can be paraphrased in English.
  4. Many students try to paraphrase all words because they think they will get a high score. Unfortunately, the result is a lot of errors. If you have frequent errors, you will get band score 5  or 5.5 in vocabulary. You must be very sure of your paraphrasing or you will end up with more and more mistakes which will reduce your band score.

Model Introduction

As a growing number of people are choosing to communicate through the use of modern technology, such as the internet and text messaging, some people think that face to face communication will eventually die out. In my opinion, although I agree that face to face communication will become increasingly less popular, it is unlikely to disappear completely and will still be favoured in certain situations.

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IELTS Advantage Disadvantage Model Essay

Below is an IELTS advantage / disadvantage model essay about having one language in the world. The essay is estimated at band score 9.

The development of tourism contributed to English becoming the most prominent language in the world. Some people think this will lead to English becoming the only language to be spoken globally.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to having one language in the world?

IELTS Advantage Disadvantage Model Essay

It is thought by some people that English, which is now the most widely spoken language in the world, may one day predominate over all other languages and result in their eventual disappearance. Having one language would certainly aid understanding and economic growth but there will also be some drawbacks.

One evident benefit to having one global language is that it would enable greater understanding between countries. In other words, if everyone spoke one language, there would be complete understanding between not only countries but all people throughout the world which would promote learning, the flow of information and ideas. Another reason that one language would be advantageous is that it would help economic growth. With all people speaking the same language, there will be less barriers and therefore trade would flourish between countries, resulting in a healthier world economy.

On the other hand, there are obvious disadvantages to having only one global language. Firstly, it would mean that all other languages would eventually disappear and, along with them, their cultures. The diversity of cultures is one of the joys this world has to offer. Each culture is unique with its own way of life and own perspectives of the world which would all be lost if there were only one language.  Secondly, it would result in the collapse of tourism because there would be no reason to travel for pleasure and interest if all countries had the same language and similar cultures. This would devastate many countries economically that rely on tourism as a source of income.

In conclusion, while there are plus points to having one global language, too much would be lost as a result. Maintaining local languages and cultures should be prioritised to ensure a rich world heritage for future generations.

Comments: This sample answer addresses the task fully and provides relevant, well extended ideas. All aspects of cohesion is well managed. Vocabulary is flexible and there is a good range of complex sentence structures.

More IELTS Model Essays

Opinion Essay Model

Discussion Essay Model

Solution Essay Model

Direct Question Essay Model

All Writing Task 2 Models, Tips and Lessons

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