Ielts Sample Essay Band 9

The IELTS writing task 2 sample answer below has examiner comments and is band score 9. The topic of social media is common and this IELTS essay question was reported in the IELTS test. Check the model essay and then read the comments.

Many people believe that social networking sites (such as Facebook) have had a huge negative impact on both individuals and society.

To what extent do you agree?

Social networking sites, for instance Facebook, are thought by some to have had a detrimental effect on individual people as well as society and local communities. However, in my opinion, while I believe that such sites are mainly beneficial to the individual, I agree that they have had a damaging effect on local communities.

With regards to individuals, the impact that online social media has had on each individual person has clear advantages. Firstly, people from different countries are brought together through such sites as Facebook whereas before the development of technology and social networking sites, people rarely had the chance to meet or communicate with anyone outside of their immediate circle or community. Secondly, Facebook also has social groups which offer individuals a chance to meet and participate in discussions with people who share common interests.

On the other hand, the effect that Facebook and other social networking sites have had on societies and local communities can only be seen as negative. Rather than individual people taking part in their local community, they are instead choosing to take more interest in people online. Consequently, the people within local communities are no longer forming close or supportive relationships. Furthermore, society as a whole is becoming increasingly disjointed and fragmented as people spend more time online with people they have never met face to face and who they are unlikely to ever meet in the future.

To conclude, although social networking sites have brought individuals closer together, they have not had the same effect on society or local communities. Local communities should do more to try and involve local people in local activities  in order to promote the future of community life.

Comments: This essay shows you the organisation of ideas into paragraphs and also how a clear answer is given in the thesis statement in the introduction and then supported and explained in full throughout the essay. You will also see paraphrasing for advantage / disadvantage language which can be useful for you in other essays. Furthermore, the word length of this essay is typical for anyone aiming for band score 6, 7 or above. Words 280

Useful IELTS Pages for Writing and Other Sections

Scoring well in the Lexical Resource dimension is all about (correctly) showing off your vocabulary.  The description for a Band 9 here is:
  • Uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features, rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’

Collocations, topic specific vocabulary and phrasal verbs are the name of the game here.  To score well, an examinee needs to show that they have a wide-ranging vocabulary and they know how to use it.  

Our sample essay does a solid job of showing off a range ofvocabulary – you’ll notice that while the essay frequently refers to children, the writer employs different vocabulary (infants, youngsters, offspring, counterparts) to do so.  Note: it is highly likely that you will need to refer to people/children in your IELTS Writing task, so make sure that you have lots of different words to use to refer to them.  IELTS examiners do not like to see the words “people,” “children” over and over again!  The same goes for the word “important” – make sure you have plenty of alternative phrases (essential and vital are both used in our sample essay).  

Other examples of a wide-ranging vocabulary in our essay include using rapidly in place of quickly, mature instead of develop, repercussions to indicate a negative result, and acquire in place of learn.

Our sample essay also does a good job of using collocations – some examples include “fundamental reason,” “reluctant readers” “social and cognitive skills,” “learn vocabulary through context,” and “strongly recommend.”

The correct use of phrasal verbs also demonstrates one’s grasp of English – because of the semantics involved, they are sometimes one of the most difficult things for English language learners to master.  Our essay writer correctly uses a few of these including “turned them off” and “falling behind.”

One note here: students preparing for the IELT S often ask if they should use idioms (like “you’re barking up the wrong tree”) in their essays to further demonstrate their grasp of the language.  In my opinion, no, you shouldn’t.  Idioms are informal by nature and not appropriate for a written essay of this type. Stick with demonstrating your range of vocabulary and your ability to use phrasal verbs correctly!

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