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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  1. Hi Liz…this here is my exact weakness with respect to writing Task 2, inability to develop sentences.. Pls do you have more of these practice lessons on Sentence development, I think my ability to master this skill can launch me into the band 9 category….Pls I would appreciate any suggestions you can offer as my exam is scheduled for the 30th of this month. Thank you in advance

  2. Sakina Raza says:

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you for introducing us with such a valuable resource. I have already appeared thrice for Academic but scored no higher than a 6.5 every time in writing. I have booked my test for 12th August,2017. Hope I make it this time.


  3. Hi Liz !
    Thanks for the advanced writing lessons , really beneficial .
    However , Sorry ,I am a bit confuse ! Is this a discussion essay+ opinion ( as it talk about two different view ) or its agree and dis agree question ?
    I do not know why I am so obsessed with the understanding some types of essay ?
    Please help us

    • In the “discuss both sides and give your opinion” you discuss both sides and you also give your opinion. You choose what your opinion is. You might decide to agree or you might decide to disagree. Your opinion is your own.

  4. Hi Liz …what would be the corrct thesis statement for this essay?can I say…

    In my opinion,it is the responsibility of the developing countries to initiate progress and implement actions to be fully successful economically,however, assistance should also be given freely by richer countries.

  5. Hi Liz
    thank you very much for your valuable lessons especially writing task 1 and2. I already appeared for the academic IELTS exam quite a few times. But I failed to achieve 7 for writing. Hope I can get through it next time.

  6. I want just to thank you for all lessons . I read most your lessons that it was sent to me by e-mail . it’s really useful for me .

    Thanks again

  7. Hi Liz,

    Just wanted to say thank you for making these lessons, its a really big help for all of us. I failed thrice in academic writing test and I am hoping and praying to get a band 7 on my upcoming exam.

    Many thanks and more power!


    • Hi Wendy,

      If you put up one of your essays, I can take a look and suggest any reasons that it might fall below band 7. I don’t do corrections but I can make comments and suggestions.

  8. Hi, Liz!
    I have no words to express how important it is.
    Actually, I would like to request you to provide the accurate assessment pattern of writing task one and two. Generally, it is learned that TA, CC, LR and Grm are criterion.
    My question is that how over all band 9 is assessed of both the tasks and I would like to get my writing appraised.

    Thank you and hoping for the positive response!

  9. Aung Tun Oo says:

    Hello Liz , Firstly i would like like you with a big thaks for your essay. it’s really meaningful to me.
    By the way, i have a question. The question is why Rich countries should not force(s). I am not understand in this grammer stracture.
    Thank you Miss . liz

    • Hi,

      These sentences were from a student and you task was to make them accurate – to spot and change the errors. “Rich countries should not be forces to ….” is the student error for you to change. You could either write: “Rich countries should not be forced to ….” or as I have written “aid should not be an obligation…”.

      I quite often put up students’ writing to help others see common mistakes and learn to correct them.
      I hope that helps

  10. hello dear liz you are just shooting on target , however i am a bit confused here ,i thought we have to paraphrase the introduction in this essay .please could you elaborate a bit which part of the question need to be paraphrased .

    and here is what i have tried as a paraphrase for the introduction of this essay ;

    there is a huge difference among developed and developing countries .some individuals believe that economically capable countries should help the developing countries to stand on their feet .however others think it is down to the poorer countries to overcome their weakness and find their way to prosperity and sustainable development …

    make your valuable comment no matter how long it takes

  11. Thank you Liz, your all lessons are really helpful.

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