IELTS Essay Ideas for Feb 2017: Open Plan Offices

Here are some IELTS essay ideas for a writing task 2 question which appeared in February, this year (2017)

IELTS Essay Question February

Reported by a number of IELTS students this month in IELTS writing task 2 (academic writing).

Nowadays, some buildings such as offices and schools have open-space design instead of separate rooms. Why is it so? Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

IELTS Essay Ideas (Feb 2017)

This essay question requires you to answer two questions.  The first one asks you to explain why are there so many more open plan offices these days. The second question requires you to decide if this change is positive or negative – it requires your opinion. Below are some ideas for this essay question:

Main reason why open plan is adopted as a common office floor design:

The main reason is, of course, cost. The cost of floor space in most major cities is increasing. Having an open plan design is cheaper. Without the walls and doors, more staff can work in the office space available. Desks are either joined together or separated by just a small amount of room.

Positive Change

  • better interaction between staff
  • less distinction between different levels of staff
  • improves communication between staff and departments
  • more natural light
  • flexible work space for high staff turn over
    • this means that if staff come and go, it’s easy to find a new desk for new staff

Negative Change

  • it is hard for staff to concentrate
  • lack of privacy
  • problems with constant noise which lowers staff performance
  • easy spread of illness
  • increased stress due to feeling of exposure and being watched

These ideas were found on fortune.com 

IELTS Links for a Better IELTS Essay

Click the red links below to open the useful pages:

Keep up-to-date with IELTS essay topics. See my list of Essay Questions for 2017. Also see a Model IELTS Essay Feb 2017 for writing task 2.

See an IELTS Model Essay for Positive Negative Question and also an Opinion Essay Model

See all pages on IELTSliz.com which contain Ideas for IELTS Writing Task 2

Find out about the structure of an IELTS essay, learn How Many Paragraphs you need to have.

Get information about how your IELTS writing score is calculated as a total and also a page of useful Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2

Tips for All Section of IELTS, see below:

Main IELTS Pages

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Model Essay February 2017 IELTS Writing Task 2 & Tips

The model essay from February 2017 was reported by IELTS students appearing in their IELTS writing task 2 test this month. It is an opinion essay, otherwise known as an agree/disagree essay or an argumentative essay. Following current topics used in 2017 is essential for success in IELTS.

Also please see that I’ve put some useful links for you at the bottom of the page to help you with your IELTS writing task 2 essay.

IELTS Essay Question February 11th, 2017 (Academic)

It is better for the students to live away from the home during their university studies rather than staying with their parents. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

IELTS Model Essay Feb 2017

While some people think that students ought to live alone whilst studying at university, it is believed by others that it is better for them to remain living at home. In my opinion, I think students benefit from living alone unless their finances prevent it.

Firstly, one of the main reasons why it is advantageous for students to live alone is that they become totally independent of their parents and able to think for themselves. University is a time for students to spread their wings and try new ideas or ways of thinking and learn to cope with making life changing decisions. By living alone, without the influence of their parents, they develop rounder, decisive characters able to function well in the world.

Another advantage to students fleeing the parental nest is that they learn to manage money. Most students see university as a stepping stone to adulthood and so by learning to live on a budget, they develop the skills needed once they are earning a salary and balancing their finances. Renting property also comes with responsibilities to both landlords and housemates, and this is a further lesson to learn in useful life skills.

Finally, however, regardless of how beneficial living alone might be for university students, it might be financially impractical for some. For a small proportion of university students, their finances might require them to stay at home for as long as possible until they are finally able to support themselves through paid work.

In conclusion, while it might not be feasible for all students, living away from parents helps university students develop strength of character and useful life skills needed for when they enter working life.

How to Write Your IELTS Essay:

  1. Spend time anaylising the essay question and brainstorming. Choose your position (your point of view) and select the best ideas. See this page about how to plan your essay properly: IELTS Essay Planning Tips
  2. aim to have either 4 or 5 paragraphs in total. See this page: How many paragraphs in an IELTS essay. Your essay MUST be over 250 words. There is no upper word count. See this page: How long should your IELTS essay be?
  3. Use a range of linking words in your essay. The examiner will mark them and it will affect your score if you spelling them wrong or if you don’t know a good range. See this page: IELTS Linking Words
  4. Before your test, prepare ideas for trending topics in IELTS this year. See this page: IELTS Essay Questions 2017. This page gives a list of essay questions used so far in 2017.
  5. The essay above is an Opinion Essay which means you need to give your opinion. See this page about how you express your opinion correctly: How to Give your Opinion in Writing Task 2
  6. If you are taking the GT test, see this page about writing differences: GT Writing Test Differences
  7. If you can’t hit the score you want in IELTS writing, GET TRAINING from an expert. Purchase my advanced lessons below to help you

Advanced IELTS Writing Task 2 Lessons

Click the following link to get my Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons for a high score target: IELTS Liz Writing Task 2 Lessons

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2017 Questions Available for Download

Hi guys,

You can now download the 2017 questions for writing task 2 as a pdf file. Please don’t forget that these essays questions have been reported by students and are written as accurate as they can remember. Make sure you prepare ideas for all topics. Questions might change but topics can be repeated.

Follow this link and you will find the download at the bottom of the page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Qs 2017

Good luck to you all !!

Liz

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2017 IELTS Writing Task 2 Questions

Here are a list of IELTS writing task 2 questions for 2017 so far this year. The questions have been reported in the IELTS writing task 2 test by students. If your test is in February, prepare ideas for these topics as topics can be repeated but the questions will be changed.

You can download a pdf copy of the essay questions at the bottom of this page. Read the essay questions carefully before downloading.

At the bottom of the page, you will find links for:

  • All Recent IELTS Topics for 2017
  • IELTS Speaking Questions for Jan 2017
  • Model Essays & Tips for Writing task 2

IELTS Writing Task 2 Questions 2017

The questions below are divided into different essay types for IELTS writing task 2. All essay questions are from this year unless stated otherwise.

Opinion Essay 2017

Schools are spending more time teaching traditional subjects such as history. Some people think they should rather spend more time in teaching skills that can help students find a job. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

It is necessary for parents to attend parenting training course to bring their children up. Do you agree or disagree?

Some people say International sports events help in world peace. Do you agree or disagree?

Young people spend their free time in shopping malls. This has negative effects on young people and society. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Discussion Essay Questions 2017

Some people say it is OK to use animals for our benefit, others say it is not good to exploit them. Discuss both points of view and give your opinion.

Some people think Governments should take measures regarding the healthy lifestyle of individuals. Others think it must be managed by individuals. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Most countries allow 18 year olds to start driving a car. Some say it is good to allow it at this age, while others think that the age to start driving should be at least 25. Discuss both the views and give your opinion.

Some people think that the best way to reduce crimes is to apply longer prison sentences, other people think that there are better methods of doing so. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Advantages and Disadvantages Essay Questions 2017

Today, more and more students are deciding to move to a different country for higher studies. Do you think that the benefits of this outweigh the problems?

Consumer goods have become the most important part of people’s lives. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Many people go abroad for higher studies.Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

In some countries, a foreign language is taught at primary schools. Do the advantages of learning a new language outweigh the disadvantages?

The advantages provided by English as a ‘global language’ will continue to outweigh the disadvantages. To what extent do you agree with the statement?

Direct Questions 2017

100 years ago people thought that the human race was steadily making progress in all areas of life. Nowadays, there is less certainty that it is so. In what areas do you think the most important progress has been made so far? In what areas are more things needed to be done?

In some schools and universities, girls tend to choose arts subjects (e.g. literature), and boys tend to choose science subjects (e.g. physics). Why do you think this is so? Should this tendency be changed?

Some universities offers online courses for students. Do you think this is a positive or negative development for students?

Children in some parts of the world have less responsibility compared to children in the past. Some people think this as a positive change, however others think of it as as negative change. What do you think? (from Dec 2016)

Cause / Problem / Solution Essays 2017

The gap between rich and poor is growing. What problems does this create? What can be done to tackle them?

More and more people prefer to read ebooks rather than paper books. What are the reasons for this? What problems can this cause for libraries?

IELTS Essay Questions by Topic

See my 100 IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Questions divided into common topics – essential preparation!!!

Download of the above essay questionsIELTS Writing Task 2 Questions 2017

More Useful IELTS Links for 2017

IELTS Speaking Topics 2017

Click on the following link to see Recent Topics in IELTS Speaking 2017

Common Part 1 Topics 

Common Part 2 Topics

Follow All Recent IELTS Topics for LRW & S

Click on the following link to see All Recent IELTS Questions in 2017 reported by IELTS students

Model Essays and Tips for Writing Task 2

Click on the following link to see Model Essays, Tips and Free Video Lessons for IELTS Writing Task 2

 

See below for IELTS tips in all sections of the IELTS test.

Main IELTS Pages

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kids or children/ teens or teenagers? Which is best to use in IELTS?

Should you use formal or informal vocabulary in your IELTS writing and speaking?

For example, in IELTS writing task 2 and speaking, should you use…

  • kids or children
  • teens or teenagers?

IELTS Writing Task 2

You should always use formal vocabulary in your IELTS essay. This means you can’t use “kids” or “teens”, you must use “children” or “teenagers”. If you use informal vocabulary, you will be marked down.

IELTS Speaking

Your IELTS speaking test is informal. All parts are informal. Part 1 is based on short answers questions, part 2 is a talk and part 3 is a discussion. It is all informal, friendly and chatty.

This means you use all kinds of language in your speaking test. You can use children and kids. You can use teens and teenagers.

Paraphrases

  • children = youngsters, minors
    • an infant or a toddler is not a strong paraphrase for child because it refers to only very young children
  • teenager = juvenile, adolescent, youth, minor

General Training Writing Task 1

In the General Training test, there are two main types of essays: formal and informal. In an informal letters, which means a letter to a friend or someone you know well (not a boss), you can use informal vocabulary, such as kids and teens. See this page for more tips about GT writing task 1

IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips & Model Essays

See this page for IELTS Writing Task 2 Main Page

IELTS Speaking Tips & Model Answers

See this page for IELTS Speaking Main Page

IELTS Vocabulary

See this page to learn useful IELTS vocabulary

IELTS Band Scores

Learn about IELTS band scores in listening, reading, writing and speaking

All IELTS Information & Tips

See the main pages below and click on the link you need:

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Using the Passive Voice for Giving Opinion in Writing Task 2

Many students ask me if it’s ok to use the passive voice to give your own opinion in an IELTS essay.

For example:

Is it possible to use “it is believed …” or “it is thought …” instead of “in my opinion” or “I believe”

This lesson will

  • explain when to use passive voice
  • explain about using passive voice for opinions
  • explain what the examiner is looking for in IELTS writing task 2 opinion essay
  • provide Free Video Lessons:
    • Expressing your Opinion for IELTS Writing Task 2
    • Language for Discussion Essays
  • give useful links for IELTS

Examples of passive and active voice:

  • The road was built a long time ago = passive
  • The Romans built the road a long time ago = active

Which should we use and when?

When to Use Passive Voice

We use passive voice in the following situations and ways:

  • when the performer (the person doing the action) is unknown or irrelevant
    • More wind power is used than solar power.” In this sentence, the people using the power is irrelevant to the information so passive voice is used.
    • The information was hacked from the computer.” In this sentence, the person doing the hacking is possibly not known or the person is not important to the person speaking so passive voice was used.
  • when it refers to a group of unspecified people
    • It is thought that the government should improve the infrastructure of all major cities.” In this sentence, we do not know who the people are that think this. We only know that it refers to “some people” but not a specified group.
  • when the person doing the action is less important than the action itself
    • The decision was made by the committee.” In this sentence, “the decision” is more important than “the committee” so the decision becomes the subject and passive voice is used. The person or persons doing the action is add after using “by ….”
  • depending on what is most important to the person or persons speaking
    • Trees produce more oxygen.” is an active sentence and “trees” is the subject. “More oxygen is produced by trees.” is passive voice. This is used because “oxygen” is more important to the speaker than “trees”.

Passive Voice for Giving Opinions

From the above information, we can see that the passive voice “it is thought” does not refer to you. It refers to other people who are not specified, for example “it is thought by some people that ….” This is NOT your opinion.

You use the passive voice in IELTS writing task 2 to write about other people’s opinions. For example, “It is believed by some that children should focus on sciences at school, while it is believed by others that children should spend time focusing on the arts.” Two opposite views belonging to other people – not you.

This means we will use it in a Discussion Essay or in your background statement when you introduce other people’s views before you give your own.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Your Opinion

When the IELTS writing task 2 instructions ask for your opinion, you must state your opinion clearly. This means it will be an active sentence. You will need to state:

I think / I believe / In my opinion

If you use “it is believed”, this is not your opinion. It belongs to other people. The examiner give you a lower score because you didn’t give your opinion. You can’t use “it is believed” to express your own views. It is grammatically incorrect in English and it is a big mistake in IELTS writing task 2.

How to Give your Opinion: Free Video Lesson

Watch this video lessons to help tips about expressing your opinion in IELTS writing task 2.

Discussion Essay Language: Free Video Lesson

More IELTS Tips

Click the following link to see model essays for IELTS writing task 2 and more tips: IELTS Writing Task 2 Main Page

See a Model Opinion Essay (Agree/ Disagree)

See a Model Discussion Essay

For tips and practice in other parts of the IELTS test, follow the links below:

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.

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Can you express your opinion using passive form in IELTS?

I have a lot of students asking me about using the passive voice in IELTS writing, particularly in writing task 2. They want to know if it is possible to use the passive form to express your own opinion.

For example:

Is it possible to use “it is believed that…” or “it is thought that …” instead of “in my opinion”.

Do you think this is possible?

Post your answers in the comments box below.

Answers

The answer is now available on this page: http://ieltsliz.com/using-the-passive-voice-for-giving-opinion-in-writing-task-2/

 

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IELTS Essay Ideas: Is Art a Waste of Time?

Art is a common topic to get in IELTS writing task 2. Below is a sample essay question with ideas.

While some people think that art if an important subject for children to study, others think it is a waste of time.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Ideas

Art is Useful

  • art is a means of expression
    • children need to learn to express their thoughts and feelings
    • it is often easier for young children to draw pictures than to express complex feelings in words
  • art is a creative form
    • creative thinking should be developed
    • creative thinking is beneficial later in life

Art is A Waste of Time

  • there are other more important subjects that would benefit children for their future life
    • the importance of technology, sciences and languages
  • studying art does not lead to a successful career
    • most artists struggle to make a living from selling their art

Opinion

  • art is a valuable subject but should not be a main focus on any curriculum or detract from other more important subjects
    • having a balance of subjects is the best way to help children develop a balanced character in life

Recommended

Essay Ideas: Littering in Cities

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