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Is it pointless to try to keep traditional skills and ways of life alive?
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July 27, 2012
6:58 pm
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Hey, this is my first try to add my essay in this wonderful forum. I'm not very good at organizing my ideas into an essay in an limited time. The following essay took nearly 1 hour to finish. But still, I want to receive some comments to improve my essay. THX!

When a country develops its technology, the traditional skills and ways of life die out. It is pointless to try and keep them alive.  To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.


Since the revolution of industry, the development and advance of technology have been bringing an immense change to the human life style as well as the traditional skills. In this essay, I will argue that to keep our traditions alive is never meaningless.

On the one hand, numerous traditional skills and ways of life are indeed diminishing because of the technological development; for example, the traditional letters are now replaced by e-mails. On the other hand, technology also contributes to the preservation of our traditional skills especially when considering that the Chinese acupuncture can be spread widely by books or internet.

However, the technological development never means that we can abandon the traditional skills and ways of life; by contrast, they have to be preserved since they are an important part that makes up the human civilization. First of all, a great number of traditional skills such as the acupuncture mentioned above, traditional painting and some dying languages can be recorded by papers or even electronic ways such as CDs and multi-media. Another point that should be mentioned is that we must limit the overuse of technology in order to keep the traditional life style from destruction. In some isolated areas of ethnic minorities, it is forbidden to construct railway or overdevelop the tourist industry so that these distinct ways of life can be preserved well.

All in all, I believe that we cannot escape and resist the change that happens in the era of continuous development of technology; meanwhile, we must use the modern technique correctly or reduce the destruction caused by overuse of technology. Only by these can the traditional skills and life style be preserved effectively.

179 words

August 3, 2012
7:05 pm
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writefix
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Hi Chenyulue and welcome to Writefix.

I hope you can add a few comments on other essays to help other writers here -  you certainly should have no problem in writing!

Introduction

Chenyulue, your opening sentence sounds nice but doesn’t really say a lot. What are traditional skills? What are traditional ways of life? It’s sometimes good to define the keyword in the question in your introduction. What is the ‘revolution of industry’?  Do you mean the historical era of the Industrial Revolution?

Another point about the intro is that you haven’t mentioned the problem. Is there a threat to traditional skills? What is it? You mentioned that they are changing.

Your final sentence in the introduction is OK and gives your opinion, but it doesn’t really help the reader. A good thesis sentence can also indicate how your essay will be laid out.

Paragraph Two

You have TWO ideas here (three would be much better):

  • Some traditional skills and ‘ways of life’, such as letter writing, are being replaced by emails
  • However, other skills, such as acupuncture, can be kept alive through technology

You don’t really have a topic sentence for the paragraph: your first sentence only reflects the first idea

Paragraph Three

You have a long opening or topic sentence saying we should hold on to traditional skills.

  • Then you suggest that skills such as acupuncture (again), language and painting can be recorded by technology
  • The second idea in Paragraph Three is that we should using technology in some cases, for example to preserve remote ethnic areas

There are two problems with these two body paragraphs. Firstly, although they are well written, they do not have a ‘clear central topic’ (Have a look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here, under Coherence and Cohesion) so they cannot be Band 7. Secondly, they repeat (see ‘repetitive’ under Task Response).

Again your conclusion sounds very nice but calls for the use of technology  and ‘modern technique’ to save traditional ways of life.

You have very few errors in word choice or grammar. However, content is king. You need more ideas, shorter sentences and a clearer organization of ideas.

Your writing ability is not in doubt (although I would like to see much tighter sentences: phrases such as ‘in the era of continuous development of technology’ are just fluffy). What is needed is more ideas, more examples, more definitions, and less vagueness.

Shorten

Your average sentence length is an astonishing 28.1 words. This needs to go right down to about 15 words on average. The descriptors look for a 'range of structures,' not all long sentences. Break up long sentences, add a handful of short sentences (perhaps for topic sentences), keep punctuation simple (no joining with semicolons), and reduce the overall sentence length. Your total word count is 281 which is fine.

I am looking forward to some meatier essays. Spend less time on accuracy and more on content: don't start to write until you have SIX ideas.  I know you can do it!

August 4, 2012
4:03 pm
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Thanks very much! This really help me a lot to improve my writing since your comments pointed out the drawbacks of my essay. Next I'll follow your instruction and practise writing.

 

After finishing my IELTS test, I'll try to add some comments on other essays. This is also a way to communicate with other writers. I have made up my mind to improve my writing skills in English no matter what result of my IELTS test is. I believe this forum is where I make my dream come true.

 

Thanks again, writefix!

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