Important things are free: Essay Thesis statements

Below you can find various introductions for this essay:

Some people think that the most important things in life are free and cannot be bought. To what extent do you agree?

Sample Introductions

Not everyone agrees whether the best things in life are available for free and that money cannot buy them. I believe that most basic human necessities in life require money to obtain them and only a few things are completely free.

While some people believe that the best things in life do not require money to be obtained, others disagree. In my opinion, happiness, family and health, which are the most important aspects of life, are completely free for all people.

Although there are people who consider that most good things in life are free for both rich and poor, other people believe this is not the case. I think that the things central to a good life need to be bought and only happiness can be attained without money.

People have different views about whether the best things in life can be obtained without money. In my opinion, the things that are crucial to human survival must be paid for, except happiness and health.

Comments

You can see the various options for background statements and different ways of expressing your views in the thesis statement.

Important Things are Free Essay Tips

A number of students reported this essay question in IELTS writing task 2. Many of you have asked me for ideas and tips about this essay. You can find step by step tips below. The essay below is called an Opinion Essay (however some teachers called it an “argumentative essay” or “agree/disagree essay”).

IELTS Essay Question 2017

Some people think that the most important things in life are free and cannot be bought. To what extent do you agree?

Tips for this IELTS Essay

  1. Please note that the wording of the essay is “important things” not “important services”. You need to pay close attention to the words used in the essay so that you don’t change the meaning.
  2. You need to make a list of things that are important in life and are free:
    1. family
    2. health
    3. appreciation of nature
    4. love
    5. Each of the above cannot be bought using money – they are available to rich and poor alike.
  3. This essay is not about WHY they are free. You need to be very clear what the aim of the question is. The question is “do you think the most important things are free or do you think the most important things are not free and must be bought.
  4. You need to think of things that are not free and must be bought:
    1. food
    2. housing
    3. education
    4. health care
    5. clothes
    6. cars
    7. electricity
    8. these items must be bought using money. Rich people get better quality food, housing, education etc than poor people who sometimes can’t afford even the most basic human necessities.
  5. Now you have brainstormed your ideas. What is your opinion? Do you think the best things in life are free? Or do you think the best things in life are not free?
  6. Your opinion must be written clearly in the introduction and explained in the body paragraphs.
  7. Your thesis statement:
    1. The thesis statement should be one sentence that presents your position (your opinion).
    2. You can start this sentence with : In my opinion or I think or I believe or something similar that shows YOUR own personal opinion. Don’t start it with “this essay”.
  8. Model Introduction
    1. See a range of different introductions for this essay question: Model Introductions

IELTS Writing Task 2 Model Essays

You can find more tips, free videos and model essays on this page: IELTS Writing Task 2.

I also offer advanced writing task 2 lessons. Each lesson is a 1 hour lecture which explains everything there is to know about the right techniques for each type of essay. Click here: Liz’s Advanced Writing Lessons

 

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IELTS Writing Task 2: Addressing the Task

You will get a lower score in IELTS writing task 2 if you don’t fully address the task in the essay question. This means you need to check your essay plan before you start writing your essay.

Your plan must address all issues in the question.

I hope you find this lesson useful ūüôā

IELTS Essay Question

  • The main topic is: how children spend their leisure time
  • The IELTS essay question below has two issues that need addressing: homework and sport

Essay Question:

Some people think that children should spend their free time doing homework, while others believe it would be better for children to participate in sports activities instead. What is your opinion?

One Sided Opinion

If you agree with one side, for example that sport is more important, then you must still address both issues.

Plan 1:

BP1 – I believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time because it promotes health.

BP2 – I also think sport is good because students can avoid stress and enjoy their free time.

Comments: This plan is WRONG!!!!! If you agree with one side ( that sport is important), you can’t ignore the issue of homework. Your opinion must address both sport and homework – in the body paragraphs as well as the introduction. This essay would get a low score for Task Response, which is 25% of your marks.

Plan 2:

BP1 – I believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time.

BP2 – other people think that homework is more important

Comments: This plan is WRONG!!!!! This is an opinion essay, it is not a discussion. This means the instructions are asking for YOUR opinion, not other people’s opinions. Writing a full body paragraph about other people’s opinions is irrelevant to the instructions and will lower your score.

Plan 3:

BP 1 РI believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time as it promotes health and reduces stress.

BP 2 – I think children should not do homework in their free time because they already spend six hours a day studying and should not do more educational work.

Comments: This is correct. Your opinion has been given on both issues. But personally, I wouldn’t take this approach to this essay question. See below:

Partial Agreement (Balanced View)

For this essay question, I would recommend a balanced view (a partial agreement). This does not mean you agree with both sides equally. It means you present a specific view which is quantified.

Plan

Thesis Statement =  In my opinion, while some homework is useful, the amount should be limited and children should spend more time playing sport instead.

BP 1 = children should spend only a small amount of their free time doing homework and the length of time should limited to avoid pressure and stress.

  • homework is an essential part of educational development
  • homework should be limited to avoid stress which has an adverse effect on school performance
  • parents and schools should help children limit this time

BP 2 = the main focus of children’s leisure time should be on sport because ….

  • children need to enjoy life outside their educational studies for their own welbeing
  • children can benefit through improved health
  • having an interest outside school helps reduce stress and encourages them to meet new people

Comments: There is a clear opinion which has been fully explained and addresses all issue.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips & Models

You can find writing task 2 tips and model essays on this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Main Page. All my writing task 2 lessons are for GT and Academic students.

 

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IELTS Writing Questions September 2017

Here is a list of IELTS writing task 2 questions which students have reported this month, September 2017.

Can the same questions and topics be used? Yes, they can. Sometimes they are new topics and sometimes they are old topics which have been reworded. To prepare fully for IELTS writing task 2, you need to prepare both common and current topics.

September 2017 IELTS Writing Topics

Please remember, these are not predictions. These are IELTS essay questions that students have had so far this month. It is possible for topics and questions to be repeated. Your should prepare both common topics and the topics below. Get common IELTS essays questions here: 100 IELTS Essay Questions

  1.  Nowadays young people lack an understanding of how to manage their finances after they finish high school. Explain why they do not know how to manage money and how this can be changed.
  2. Many forms of advertisement are very powerful and they have a harmful effect on some people. Why is this the case? What solutions can be implemented to solve this problems.
  3. A very high percentage of television advertisements are aimed at children. What is the effect on children? Should there be more control of advertisement?
  4.  Advertising discourages us from being different and individuals eventually look the same. To what extent do you agree or disagree.
  5. English is now considered to be a global language. Do you think the advantages of the spread of English as a global language outweighs its disadvantages?
  6. Some people think that children should be punished when they commit crimes. Others think that their parents should be punished. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  7. In some countries, the amount of garbage has become an increasing problem. What are the causes of these problems? What can be done to solve this problem?
  8. Is it important to have huge public spaces like parks and squares in towns and cities. Do you agree or disagree?
  9. Some people believe that development of business results in a loss of cultural ties between countries. Other people contradict this belief. Give your opinion.
  10. Some people believe that children of different ages should be put together in the same class .What is your opinion?
  11. Some people think that nowadays children have too much freedom. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  12. Some people think all students should do some community service (unpaid). What is your opinion?
  13. Some people say that schools should teach good behaviour to children and introduce them to ‚Äėright‚Äô and ‚Äėwrong‚Äô. Parents should not be the only ones responsible.¬†Do you agree or disagree?
  14. In some schools, sports lesson are included in the curriculum. How important is it for girls and boys to do sports activity at schools ?
  15. Nowadays, people are doing work at home using computers and telephones. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this development?
  16. Some people get involved in sports that are dangerous for them. Why do some people get involved in such sports? What could be done to mitigate the danger involved?
  17. Some people believe job satisfaction is more important than job security. Others feel that one’s job need not be satisfactory and that having a permanent job is more important. Do you agree or disagree?
  18. Mobile phone enables us to take work or personal calls anywhere anytime. Do you think it has positive or negative impact on individuals and society?
  19. Some people think that university education is important to have a successful life , while others think it is not needed nowadays . Discuss both points of view and give your opinion.
  20. Usually directors are paid much higher salaries than ordinary workers. Some people agree with this but others believe it is unfair. Discuss both views and give your own opinion on this topic.

Model Essays: You can find model essays for questions #1, #4 and #9 on this page: IELTS Model Essays Sept 2017

IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips

You can find IELTS writing task 2 tips, model essays and free lessons on my main IELTS writing task 2 page.

You can get advanced IELTS writing task 2 lessons to purchase on this page:¬†Liz’s Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons.¬†These lessons are a¬†must buy¬†for serious IELTS students.

All of my writing task 2 lessons are for both GT and Academic IELTS students. My lessons are aimed at learning the right techniques to achieve a high score.

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Answer to yesterday’s paraphrasing exercise 3

Yesterday, I gave you the essay question below to paraphrase:

Artists need a certain amount of freedom to develop their creativity. Some people think that artists should have total freedom to express any thoughts and ideas. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

On this page you will find

  1. model background statements for the above essay question
  2. good background statements posted by students
  3. a list of common mistakes
  4. a full model introduction
  5. useful link for writing task 2

Please let me know if you find this lesson useful

Model Background Statements

  1. As artists need freedom for their creativity, it is thought that there should be no limits to their freedom of expression.
  2. Some people believe that artists require freedom to be creative and therefore should have complete freedom to express any idea they have.
  3. Artists having complete freedom to convey any belief is thought by some to be paramount to an artist’s creative development.
  4. It is thought that without complete freedom of expression, an artist will not be able to be develop their creativity.

Interesting Background Statements from Students

  1. While it is generally understood that in order to be creative an artist must have some liberty to develop impulses and ideas creatively , some would argue that they should have full, and unrestricted, creative licence.
    1. Comment: This is a good background statement but too long. It’s a waste of time to write a long background statement and it won’t boost your score. But otherwise, this is well written with great vocabulary.
  2. It is considered by some that artists, in order to amplify their creativity, should be totally free to express their ideas and thoughts.
    1. Comment: This is the right length and well written. Just one mistake – the word “amplify” is incorrect. Avoid over paraphrasing – just use the word “develop”.
  3. Since art requires a level of freedom to be creative, some believe that artists ought to be granted all the freedom of expression they need.
    1. Comment: This is a great background statement. It’s written very well. The only thin I would change is the last word. I would change it from “need” to “want”.
  4. It is true that a level of liberty is required by artist to enhance their imaginative skills, but some people believe that artists should have unrestricted freedom in giving voice to their opinion and believe.
    1. Comment: I like this background statement. Nicely written. However, there are grammar mistakes: required by artists (plural needed) / to voice their opinions and beliefs (plurals needed).
  5. It is widely believed that artists ought to be given absolute freedom of expression, because freedom is essential in the development of their creative process.
    1. Comment: Well done ūüôā

Common Mistakes in Paraphrasing

  • Artists = creators
    • this is wrong. The word artist means artist. You don’t try to paraphrase this.
  • Artists = people from art sphere
    • A mistake. It is obvious that paraphrasing the word “artist” is difficult. In fact, you shouldn’t try. Not all words in English can be paraphrased.
  • Some people = few people
    • this is wrong. You could write “a few people” but not “few people”. The term “few people” means “not enough people. It has a different meaning entirely.
  • It is always a topic of debate that
    • this shows the examiner you can’t write your own sentences and need to memorise phrases from a book. It will not help your score.
  • creativity = ingeniousness
    • completely wrong. Never paraphrase unless you are 100% sure. Mistakes will lower your score.

Full Model Introduction

Here is my model introduction. My thesis statement presents a partial agreement.

Some people believe that artists require freedom to be creative and therefore should have complete freedom to express any idea they have. In my opinion, while freedom of expression is important, art must be censored for violent or dangerous content.

Please let me know if you find this lesson useful.

Useful Link for IELTS writing task 2

Get all my IELTS writing task 2 tips & model essays

My writing task 2 lessons are for both GT and Academic students.

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Paraphrasing Practice No. 3

The lesson today is about paraphrasing in IELTS writing task 2. It is about paraphrase the essay question in order to make a background statement for the introduction.

The introduction for an IELTS essay in writing task 2 consists of two sentences: a background statement and a thesis statement. The background statement paraphrases the essay question. The thesis statement gives your answer.

Yesterday, a student wrote this to me about paraphrasing:

Hi Liz,

You said that it’s ok to keep some words the same when you paraphrase. My question is: “Do you have a maximum number of words that can stay the same?

For example: Artists need a certain amount of freedom to develop their creativity. Some people think that artists should have total freedom to express any thoughts and ideas. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

I think I can keep the word “artist” and “creativity”. But I doubt using “freedom” Should I paraphrase the word “people”? What words can I keep?

Get Model Answer

You can find a model introduction with paraphrasing tips on this page. The link below will explain how you can paraphrase your background statement.

Paraphrasing: Model Introduction & Tips

 

 

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IELTS Opinion Essay: Choosing one side or partially agreeing?

In an IELTS opinion essay, you can either agree, disagree or take a balanced approach which means to partially agree. However, you need to learn more so that you fulfil the requirements of the higher band scores.

See the answers to the 4 questions below. Also see useful links for writing task 2 below. All tips are for GT and Academic students.

1. Is it better to choose one side?

It won’t alter your score if you choose to support one side or partially agree. As long as you give a clear opinion, the examiner will be happy.

If you don’t understand a partial agreement essay, then choose one side. It’s easier to choose one side for most students and you can still get band score 9 by choosing one side.

Sometimes it might be hard to find enough ideas to support one side. In this case, go for a partial agreement. BUT if you need training to learn how to do this correctly.

2. Will you get a higher score if you partially agree?

No. It’s doesn’t matter what your opinion is – one side or partial. The only thing the examiner wants is a relevant opinion which is fully explained.

3. Can you write a discussion essay instead?

NO. Let me repeat that – NO !!! An opinion essay is only about your opinion. It is not about what other people think. You can’t change the type of essay you have been given. Look at the instructions below:

  • Discussion both sides and give your opinion
    • You must explain both sides of what other people think and also give your opinion
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree?
    • You must present your opinion and nothing else. Your opinion must cover all aspects of the essay question.

 

4. Can you use “I” or “my” in an opinion essay?

Yes. Of course. You MUST use “i” or “my” – it’s the only way to give your own personal opinion. Look at the language below:

  • it is believed / it is considered / it seems – This language does not express your own individual opinion. It is perfect for discussion essays but it can’t be used for your own views.
  • I think / I agree / I disagree / In my opinion – This is how you clearly express your view. The examiner wants to see this language when you give your opinion.

Useful Links for IELTS Writing Task 2

Click below to open useful links for IELTS writing task 2:

When to give your opinion

How to write an introduction

Using “I” or “my”: Free Video

Using quotes and idioms

All Writing Task 2 Tips & Model Essays

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IELTS Essay Writing: Choosing your opinion

An IELTS opinion essay requires you to give your opinion. Is it better to choose one side or have a balanced view? Many students are not sure which opinion will give them a higher score.

The instructions can vary for an opinion essay (agree/disagree essay):

  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • What is your view?
  • To what extent do you agree?
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  • Do you agree?

All these instructions are for the same essay. You can answer them in the same way. IELTS sometimes likes to paraphrase instructions but the aim of the essay is the same. There is no difference between them.

IELTS Opinion Essay Question

This question was given in the IELTS test 2 weeks ago.

It is more important for children to learn about local history than world history.

Do you agree or disagree?

Questions for You:

  1. Do you think it is better to choose one side?
  2. Will you get a higher score if you partially agree?
  3. Can you write a discussion essay instead giving both sided without an opinion?
  4. Can you use “I” or “my” in an opinion essay?

Answers

You can see the answers and tips for choosing sides in an opinion essay on this page: IELTS Opinion Essay: Choosing Sides