Welcome!

In the forum on this page you can see IELTS essays by people just like you. Hundreds of people added essays and comments and helped each other to get a great IELTS essay score! Have a look at their amazing writing!

Please note: This forum is closed!

closed

Sorry! However, please enjoy the hundreds of essays and thousands of comments still available here. A HUGE thanks to all the writers who commented and to all the visitors. We hope we've made IELTS writing less scary.

Popular Tags

Click the links below to see essays on that topic.

art business communication children crime culture economy education environment families food freedom globalization
health heritage  leisure media politics science society sports television travel technology transport university violence work

Avatar

Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_Related Related Topics sp_TopicIcon
Should we focus on the present or plan for the future? (New IELTS topic!)
Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 (2 votes) 
April 28, 2012
2:29 pm
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 23
Member Since:
April 15, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Some people think that planning for future is a waste of time. They believe it is more important to focus on the present. Do you agree or disagree?


I disagree with the opinion expressed that it is pointless to plan for tomorrow. To plan for future is indispensable. It, as well as doing well at present, in my view, are both essential. I shall illustrate my reasons briefly in this essay.

Concededly, focusing on present is a necessity for individuals. Someone who is always busy figuring out what would happen in the future yet ignores current business could only accomplish nothing, no matter when. To try the best to live a meaningful life, strive to fulfill our potential and achieve success in current, in my opinion, bring the maximum guarantee for the good life in the future.

Even so, it does not mean that planning for future is necessarily to be less important. Consider saving money, no one would deny its importance. It is so common and daily basic a behavior that people almost forget they are planning for the coming days. Another example is insurance. In order to be secured financially and minimize the loss, many people buy various insurances.

Despite of the needs on finance, making plan enables people to deal with future events effectively. For instance, students who preview the lesson in advance can grasp the key points more easily. A boss, who always has countless meetings and negotiations, need to arrange the time orderly so that he or her can make everything under control. The ambitious youngsters require goals for which drive them to fight. And the process of constant endeavor, from a philosophical angle, is a process of plans making.

People need to look ahead, think ahead-not wait until they are under difficult positions. To summary, planning for future is definitely not a waste of time. It can be at least equally important as focusing on today, if not more important than.

April 29, 2012
12:44 pm
Avatar
writefix
Guest
Guests

Hello Yokama

Thanks for this essay. It’s exactly 300 words long, with 20 sentences and therefore exactly 15 words per sentence!

Introduction

Your first two sentences are fine. I would combine the last two sentences:

It, as well as doing well at present, in my view, are both essential. I shall illustrate my reasons briefly in this essay.

…into one sentence

In this essay, I shall explain briefly why I think planning for tomorrow and enjoying the present are both essential.

Specify

This sentence could be used in a million essays:

I shall illustrate my reasons briefly in this essay.

Joining it to the previous sentence solves this problem.

Word Choice/Usage

  • Concededly → Clearly, Without doubt, It’s clear that
  • Concededly, focusing on present is a necessity for individuals. →
    Clearly, we need to focus on the present.
  • To summary, → To summarize,  OR   In summary,

Someone who is always busy figuring out what would happen in the future yet ignores current business could only accomplish nothing, no matter when.

  • If you are always thinking about the future, you miss out on the present
  • Worrying about the future means missing out on the present.
  • People who only worry about the future accomplish nothing, now or in their future.

Shorten/Simplify

You wrote:

To try the best to live a meaningful life, strive to fulfill our potential and achieve success in current, in my opinion, bring the maximum guarantee for the good life in the future.

Here are two slightly versions with the 'my opinion' up front:

In my opinion, the best way to lead a meaningful life is to strive to fulfill our potential and succeed at what we are currently doing.

In my opinion, a meaningful life involves striving to fulfill our potential but also trying to succeed at what we are doing now.

Word Choice/Usage

A boss, who always has countless meetings and negotiations, need to arrange the time orderly so that he or her can make everything under control. 

To be effective, bosses need to arrange their time, despite their countless meetings, phone calls, and negotiations.

Managers need to organize their meetings and negotiations so that they can use their time efficiently. 

  • Insurances → insurance

It can be at least equally important as focusing on today, if not more important than. → It can be at least equally important as focusing on today, if not more important.

Despite of the needs on finance, making plan enables people to deal with future events effectively.

Here I think you mean something like these sentences:

Planning does not have to be just about money...

Planning is not just about money

As well as financial planning, ...

Money is not the only reason to plan.

April 29, 2012
11:12 pm
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 23
Member Since:
April 15, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

HI, Writffix 

Thanks for your comment. What do you think of this essay, such as the organisation, examples, structures, etc. I am ready for criticism. Thank you!

 

regards

Yokama

April 29, 2012
11:47 pm
Avatar
writefix
Guest
Guests

Hi Yokama

You are right. I commented on particular things, rather than giving an overall picture.

What I would say is that you have a very large vocabulary and you are ready to experiment with a wide range of sentence structures. The difficulty is that sometimes when you try to use these structures or vocabulary items, they are not completely successful. They are almost correct, but not quite.

One solution might be to simplify. Go back one or two years in your English, and write a sentence that you know to be absolutely correct. Don't try to fit all the vast range of English phrases and words, don't try to translate from your own language, and don't try to experiment too much in an IELTS-exam situation. Instead, try to express the simplest ideas possible.

That's going to be frustrating for you, because you understand the topic, and you want to do it justice. You want to be able to discuss it as fluently as you would in your own first language.

But unfortunately, that's probably being too ambitious.

Instead, rein in your ideas. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Dumb down. Go for the safe option. Imagine that you are writing to your 15-year-old niece or nephew or younger brother or sister.  Imagine how little English they know, and imagine also how little they know about anything. 

How simply could you express your ideas to them?

A few years ago, the IELTS question used to say something like "write a report for a university lecturer blah blah blah..."

That's history. Now it usually says "give your opinion and examples from your experience."

Don't.

Well, do, but don't try to do it as well as you could do it in your native language. Take a step back. Simplify. Imagine you are talking to someone who is reasonably good at English, but not too intelligent.  Don't try to use the complex ideas you would use if you were with your friends. Instead, throw together six or seven ideas and keep them as simple as possible. Assume nothing. Imagine the examiner is old, and a little slow (you won't be wrong, a lot of the time).

Without joking, I would advise most IELTS Task 2 writers to simplify, simplify, simpliify. It's not the time to try to dazzle. Don't be mechanical and repetitive, because you will end up with a Band 5.  But don't try to be too clever, because it won't work.  Your complicated idea will tie you into knots and you will fall over. You will desperately try to translate complex ideas from your first language, and you will waste time trying to get them right. 

Instead, think of the simplest, most obvious ideas. Throw away the most obvious (the blindingly obvious) but keep the rest. Ask yourself "What is the simplest sentence I can write that will express this idea?" Don't use long words when shorter ones will do. Keep sentences short, on average, but have a mix. Ask (perhaps) one rhetorical question.  Interject. Make a sweeping statement, but then back it up in subsequent sentences. Support every idea you put forward with a logical example.

Don't quote anyone else. It's your opinion essay, not a scientist's or a researcher's or a famous psychologist's. Forget about quotes and references. It's not an academic paper.

Give your opinion early and stick to it. Have a thesis sentence which tells us what you are going to say.

In the introduction, tell us what you are going to tell us you are going to tell us. (This is the thesis sentence). 

In the body, tell us. Give us your opinion. You might have to spend some time on other people's opinion too, but that is unavoidable, and it can make your essay stronger.

In the conclusion, tell us what you told us. Summarize both sides, and look to the future. 

Above all, keep your sentences below 20 or 23 words maximum. Very very few IELTS students can write error-free sentences longer than 20 words.

Aim for an average of 12-15 words per sentence. This means having a mix of long ( 15-20 words ) and short ( 2-10 words ). It's easy to get short sentences right. 

Have a mix of short, medium and long. Avoid heavy sentences with a lot of nouns or nominalizations. Try to have as many interesting verbs as possible. If you are in doubt about a phrasal verb (or whatever the grammar teachers call them: "cope with," "impact on," "take part in," etc.,) leave it out and use a regular verb instead ("handle," "affect", "enjoy," etc).

It's just a few hints -  some relevant to you, some relevant to other writers. I hope they help.

April 30, 2012
9:53 am
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 23
Member Since:
April 15, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

HI, Writefix

 

Wow! It is really a statement with a long length! Thank you! And thanks for the time to type these to explain to me. I very appreciate that! I have few questions.

1. 'think of the simplest, most obvious ideas'. Do you mean that I shall use some common examples and ideas which have been admitted by most people? Then I can avoid being misunderstanded by the examiners, or, say, avoid the situation that he/her doesn't understand what I am talking about? Because of the different cultural background, something my people could understand totally would confuse the examiners?

2. Do I need a thesis sentence in every paragraph?

3. I need to at least score 6.5 in writing. But I want 7 in this section, in order to balance the overall score. If I simplify sentence structures, could I achieve 6.5 or higher? In addition, If I use the ideas that everyone knows, would I become the same as anyone else? I mean, do I need distinction in my essay to gain this score.

Sorry for asking you to explain again.

May 1, 2012
1:02 pm
Avatar
writefix
Guest
Guests

Hi Yokama

Two very good questions, and one impossible one!

Simple Ideas?

It's probably better to stick to the ideas that are easiest to express. Maybe that's not the same as the most obvious idea.

But if there's a complicated idea in your head that you would love to write about but can't really explain, it might be better to go for the simpler idea. Even if it's more boring.

Examiners

Don't worry about examiners' cultural differences. You do need to explain your ideas, but they should know something about your background. But be specific and give examples. 

Thesis sentence

You only need one thesis sentence in an essay -  it's usually at the end of the introduction. But every paragraph should have a topic sentence.

Here's a thesis sentence:

This essay will explain why I feel too much planning for the future is pointless, and suggest that the most important thing we can do in life is live in the moment.

It's clear from this thesis sentence that this essay will have two parts: (1) it's a waste of time to plan (2) we need to live for the moment. 

Your topic sentence above is fine (just needs a few small edits):

Even so, this does not mean that planning for the future is unimportant. 

This topic sentence tells us that this paragraph will be about the need to plan.  You can read more about thesis and topic sentences here

Band 7: Simpler sentences?

The important thing is to have your ideas logically organized, and have them developed and supported with examples.

Great sentences

I forgot to mention some great sentences in the essay above (I've edited some slightly).

  • And the process of constant endeavor, from a philosophical angle, is a process of plan-making.
  • Planning can be at least equally important as focusing on today, if not more so. 
  • For instance, students who preview the lesson in advance can grasp the key points more easily
  • People need to look ahead and think ahead - not wait until they are in a difficult position.
May 6, 2012
8:22 am
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
February 6, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Some people think that planning for future is a waste of time. They believe it is more important to focus on the present. Do you agree or disagree?

People have different views about the importance of planning for their future. While some people spend a lot of time and energy on drafting detailed plans others just life in the present. Although the level of planning we are comfortable with is a personal preference there are major advantages to planning ahead in short, mid and long-term.

In our every day life planning can help us to be more organized and improve our time management. Planning ahead helps anticipating problems and find solutions rather than facing them all of a sudden. Additionally, by planning we get a better idea how much time something will require. As a result, we are less likely to be end up running out of time and feeling stressed about finishing a task.

Without planning it is hard to reach long-term goals. A complex goal, like immigration to another country, can require taking several steps in a certain order. Another example would be buying a house. Most people can not just do this spontaneously but spend several years saving and preparing.

Lastly, planning is a valuable tool in preventing oneself from disaster. If we can foresee a danger such as getting ill or poor at one point in our life, we can plan for this potential situation. Saving for an emergency or retirement as well as insurances are preventive measures. Hence, we can safeguard us for foreseeable or likely events in the future.

All things considered, there can be no doubt about the benefits of planning. If we plan ahead our lives will be less stressful and we are more likey to reach outr long term goals.

May 8, 2012
6:21 pm
Avatar
writefix
Guest
Guests

Hi Katiss

A very nice clear essay yet again. How many languages can you speak this well?

Usage

I would add some punctuation in this sentence

While some people spend a lot of time and energy on drafting detailed plans others just life in the present.

While some people spend a lot of time and energy on drafting detailed plans, others just live life in the present.   OR (others live in the present)

  • we can safeguard us for foreseeable or likely events → we can safeguard ourselves
  • every day life → everyday life
  • Planning ahead helps anticipating problems and find solutions →
    Planning ahead helps us to anticipate problems and find solutions (this makes the sentence more parallel)

 

Typo

  • more likey to reach outr long term goals. → more likely to reach our long term goals.

Great work as usual.  How long did it take you to write this essay?

Forum Timezone: Asia/Dubai

Most Users Ever Online: 299

Currently Online:
10 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 172

Moderators: 1

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 3

Topics: 545

Posts: 2204

Moderators: Newestadmin: 0

Top
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!