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Should more people be encouraged to work from home?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
July 18, 2012
2:29 am
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Computers and modems have made it possible for office workers to do much of their work from home instead of working in offices every day. Working from home should be encouraged as it is good for workers and employers.

Do you agree or disagree?

    There is a growing tendency for business owners to use their human resouces from remote to minimize their spendings. However distance working is not a suitable choice in every occasion. This essay examins both advantages and disadvantages of this model and reveals the dark side of distance working in organisations.

    There is no doubt that remote communication has been made easier, faster and more efficient with the advent of computers and modems in recent decades. Having access to high bandwidth Internet, the companies are able to transmit large amount of multimedia data easily. Therefore there is a significant opportunity in a project to define remote tasks which shall be done by remote workers. Also scheduling an urgent meeting between staff across the globe is not a hassle anymore. As a result, leveraging the power of rich data communication using computers, enables the business owners to minimize spendings which are caused by direct presence of staff. But this is not a right choice for all situations.

    Correct operation in many organisaions depends on attendance of their staff at a certain time basis. From the technical point of view, not all projects can be handled sucessfully while their team members reside at home. For example in a hardware design project, it is highly demanded to observe the system’s operation directly and perform serveral tests on occurance of a particular event inside the system.
One can easily imagine the situation in which the staff are not at their desk in such a situation because there was a possiblity to perform from home. In reality, having the option for remote working persuades the staff to decrease their presence in the office which this tendency might leave serious damage for the organisation.

To conclude, while having some benefits for employees and employers, work from distance shall be opted with precise considerations to minimize its side effect.

July 20, 2012
1:34 pm
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Hi Rshdwork

Thanks for this essay.

Overall, I would suggest simpler sentences. Your second paragraph in particular gets very convoluted and dense. Check that the subject is always clear and consistent. Simplify and reduce.

Your average sentence is 20.7 words long. That is far too long: you need to get this down to about 12-15 words on average. Have some long sentences 15-24 words, but have a lot of much shorter ones.

Passives

Remove as many passives as you can

  • it is highly demanded to observe the system’s operation
  • work from distance shall be opted
  • tasks which shall be done by remote workers.

Shorten and Simplify

One can easily imagine the situation in which the staff are not at their desk in such a situation because there was a possiblity to perform from home.

I can’t imagine such as a situation, Rshdwork! Tell your reader -  help them, don’t make them think.  What about the repetition of ‘situation’?  And don't use 'one.' It''s too formal.

Here’s a rewrite and an extra sentence which I think means the same but is more specific

When staff work from home, they can lose vital opportunities for social interaction, support and face-to-face communication. Not all office chit-chat is mere gossip: discussing or complaining about work can often improve efficiency and productivity.  

Here’s another long (30-word) sentence with passives and unnecessary words:

For example in a hardware design project, it is highly demanded to observe the system’s operation directly and perform serveral tests on occurance of a particular event inside the system.

Here's a shorter rewrite:

Procedures such as hardware tests may require workers to be physically present.  

Again it’s a little vague: maybe be better example would help. Hardware can be operated remotely as well!

Here’s a sentence with unnecessary words and with a noun instead of a nice simple verb:

Correct operation in many organisaions depends on attendance of their staff at a certain time basis.

Here’s a possible rewrite:

Staff being on-site is [absolutely] necessary for most organizations.

OR

In order to be productive and efficient, most companies require their workers to be on the premises/physically present /on-site.

Word Choice/Word Form/Usage

  • Reside → work  ('reside' means 'live' -  and it’s too formal here in any case)

Avoid nouns and nominalizations. Replace them with verbs:

  • Minimize spending  → save

Punctuation

The second comma is not needed in this sentence. Never separate the subject from its verb.

As a result, leveraging the power of rich data communication using computers, enables the business owners to minimize spendings which are caused by direct presence of staff.

The sentence is 27 words long. That’s too long. It’s also unclear: what costs do companies incur as a result of ‘direct presence of staff’?

Here’s a shorter rewrite:

By allowing employees to work from home, companies can save money on office space, parking, heating, catering, and lighting.  (20 words)

July 20, 2012
4:11 pm
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Overall, I would suggest simpler sentences. Your second paragraph in particular gets very convoluted and dense. Check that the subject is always clear and consistent. Simplify and reduce.

Thanks a lot writefix for the reply.


I tend to use a handful of good vocabulary to help improve my lexical resources in the text. That's why I intuitively try to

stretch the sentences.

So what is a rule of thumb to keep the sentence short and enrich it with a good range of vocabularies and

grammatical showoffs?

 

Passives

Remove as many passives as you can

  • it is highly demanded to observe the system’s operation
  • work from distance shall be opted
  • tasks which shall be done by remote workers.

Somewhere I read we should use passive when there is a general point of view and no particular person

is involved... That's why I write in passive usually. Although what is your reason for not using passives?

and how can I correct it?

 

Here’s another long (30-word) sentence with passives and unnecessary words:

For example in a hardware design project, it is highly demanded to observe the system’s operation directly and perform serveral tests on occurance of a particular event inside the system.

 

In fact I tried inserting some words though not transmitting extra information to the reader.I know there is always a better

way as you suggested.

July 20, 2012
5:50 pm
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hi, rshdwork said

i feel you might leave the topic a little, u did not discuss disadvantages and advantages with a large proportion of ur essay.  u just said technology-applications-some occasions.  in other work there is not a direct discussion focusing on the topic

 

this is just my personal view.

July 22, 2012
6:49 pm
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writefix
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Hi Rshdwork

Thanks for your comments.

The Reading test is the real test of vocabulary in IELTS. You have 1 hour to read 2500 quite difficult words. So is the Speaking test: you are expected to use vocabulary naturally to discuss abstract topics at an advanced level.  

Task 2 in the IELTS Writing test is NOT a vocabulary test.  

Let's look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here, under Lexical Resource. 

First of all, vocabulary, or 'lexical resource' as IELTS calls it, is only 25% of the final band. Developing and organizing your ideas, being grammatically accurate account for 75% of the marks.

Secondly, there is no real expectation that you need to use 'advanced' vocabulary. 

  • Band 9: uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features
  • Band 7: uses a sufficient range of vocabulary to allow some flexibility and precision; uses less common lexical items with some awareness of style and collocation
  • Band 6: ƒ uses an adequate range of vocabulary for the task; attempts to use less common vocabulary but with some inaccuracy
  • Band 5: uses a limited range of vocabulary, but this is minimally adequate for the task 
  • ƒBand 4: uses only basic vocabulary which may be used repetitively or which may be inappropriate 

The phrase that recurs here is 'range of vocabulary.' A range means that a person in Band 9 may use some unusual words but  may also use very very simple and ordinary words. And when the Band 9 writer uses an unusual word, it is used absolutely appropriately: not because it is in a list of 'difficult' words somewhere, but because it is the best word to express the idea of the sentence.

There is no IELTS list of 'words-you-must-know-for-Band-Eight.' Examiners do not have a checklist of words to distinguish between Band 6 and Band 9, or between Band 6 and Band 6.5.

There is no need to use 'sesquipedalian' when 'long' would do: it's about choosing the right word for the right situation, not siimply dropping fancy words into your essay at random. 

I like the phrase in Coherence and Cohesion: "in such a way that it attracts no attention."  This should be our aim in vocabulary as well: not to draw attention, but to use the right word for the right situation. 

Task 2 is not a formal paper or a term report. It's not a scientific paper or an international treaty. Equally, it's not an SMS message or a movie dialog or a record of a conversation. It's somewhere in between in terms of formality and structure. Using too formal or too informal a structure or a vocabulary item in an inappropriate way will lower the band.

So avoid any temptation to show off in writing. Your essay should be a perfectly cooked dish, with no ingredient (think vocab item or grammatical structure) overpowering any of the other ones. 

Don't have complicated words that stand out like sore thumbs. A rose in a cabbage patch is a weed. Instead, think of the most suitable and natural word to express your ideas. 

Avoid passives, avoid not only/but also, avoid over-formal 'To illustrate' or 'Verily' or 'In the following report I shall endeavour to outline the chief contributory factors'.

Just write a nice, simple essay with nice, simple ideas. It's not for nothing that the first criteria on the left in the descriptors is Task Response, followed by Coherence and Cohesion, and then Lexical Resource. Content is king.

Finally...

Here's what Mark Twain, the American writer, journalist, and traveler who gave us Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer had to say about long and complicated words:

...an average English word is four letters and a half. By hard, honest labor I've dug all the large words out of my vocabulary and shaved it down till the average is three letters and a half.

...I never write 'metropolis' for seven cents, because I can get the same money for 'city.' I never write 'policeman,' because I can get the same price for 'cop.' And so on and so on. I never write 'valetudinarian' at all, for not even hunger and wretchedness can humble me to the point where I will do a word like that for seven cents; I wouldn't do it for fifteen.

Mark Twain: Address at the annual dinner of the Associated Press, at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York, September 18, 1906.

 

July 25, 2012
9:39 pm
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You are a great teacher.

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