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Which is better, formal exams or coursework?
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
July 28, 2012
4:58 pm
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There are many problems in my essay but I dont know how to correct it.Please help me with tihis 'cause I need an 8.

Please help me on coherence and cohesion,is it affected by writing style of other culture or lack of sound reasoning

Does it sounds smooth and are sentences linked to each other?  Thank you very much thank you

Only formal examinations,written or practical ,can give a clear picture of students' true knowledge and ability at university level.Continuous assessment like coursework and projects are poor measures of student ability.How far do you agree with the latter statement.


Nowadays, there sparks off heated controversies as to how universities students should be evaluated. Some tend to prefer the methods of formal examinations, contending that those including coursework and projects just poorly reflect their abilities. In my opinion, this may be true to some extent; however when compare the two, the latter form of assessment still reveals some benefits.

Opponents of the second trend often state that this way leads students not to take their tasks seriously, seeing that they do not submit their works by the deadline. Despite these, coursework and projects prove to be beneficiary in view of assessing other practical skills of students. For example, a project in form of teamwork may shows how cooperative and hardworking a group of students is. Besides, member involved in this types of evaluating expose their abilities to lead, to discuss and to organize time before completing their tasks. With regard to the above advantage, the problem mentioned by opponent seems to be minority and can be solved if university themselves enforce the regulation strictly.

Moreover, the pressure from formal examinations exacerbate the results of students. Take a math exam for example, even the most intelligent students may miscalculate or fail to find the solutions when they are puzzled. Nonetheless, as the stress of students is relieved and no stereotype questions or answers placed on them, examiner could see how creative they are and how well they respond to the requirement. Therefore, it is regretful when the results affected by misfortune at a point of time determine the long time effort of students.

In conclusion, the answers to the concern are still on debate meanwhile the method of measurements such as coursework and projects also have some advantages. For this reason, a flexible combination between the two should be implemented to accurately assess the students. 

[Edit - spaces added AFTER all commas and full stops.]

August 3, 2012
10:28 pm
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Hi Ruby and welcome to Writefix.

I'm going to be harsh here. 

If you want a Band 8 you are going to have to completely change the way you write. I'm not going to tell you the correct versions or all your mistakes -  I have a feeling that you know them already but are assuming that they are unimportant.

First of all I’ve reformatted your essay to add one space AFTER all the full stops and one space AFTER all the commas. Perhaps it was only a typing error, but punctuation IS important in IELTS. Have a look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here, under Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and look for the phrase “punctuation may be faulty.” It's in Band 5.  (Band 4 has "punctuation is often faulty."

Next, you need to remove ALL these phrases:

  • there sparks off heated controversies
  • In my opinion, this may be true to some extent
  • however when compare the two, …X… still reveals some benefits
  • Opponents of the second trend often state that this way
  • In conclusion, the answers to the concern are still on debate

These are very very very tired old phrases and they are out of place in any essay above Band 6.  You can see more examples of tired old phrases and generic sentences here and here. In any case, you’ve used many of them incorrectly.  Leave out all clichéd and standardized phrases.

Third, I’m going to highlight all the references in your essay which force the reader to go back, up, down and every direction except forward. Good writing goes forward: Your job is to guide the reader effortlessly to the end of your essay. Do not force the reader to remember, to go back, to decide what reference you mean or to have to work out what ‘respectively’ or ‘latter’ or ‘former’ or ‘above mean. That goes for pronouns as well.   Do not use any of these phrases:

  • the latter form of assessment
  • Opponents of the second trend
  • often state that this way
  • Despite these
  • Besides, member involved in this types of evaluating
  • With regard to the above advantage
  • the problem mentioned by opponent seems to be minority
  • if university themselves enforce the regulation strictly.
  • the answers to the concern

Every single one of these reference stopped me in my tracks. Have a look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here, under Coherence and Cohesion -  Band 6: “may not always use referencing clearly or appropriately”

Again, under Coherence and Cohesion, you need to get out of the irritating habit of starting every sentence with a ‘linking’ word. See Band 5: “overuse of cohesive devices.”

Do it now: check how many of your sentences start with a word followed by a comma (“despite these,” “therefore,” “moreover,” “nonetheless,” “besides,” “with regard to the above advantage”). Use very sparingly.

Articles 

Moving to Grammatical Range and Accuracy, let’s focus on articles (a/an/the)

  • member involved in this types
  • examiner could see how creative they are
  • the problem mentioned by opponent seems to be minority
  • if university themselves enforce the regulation strictly.

 Verb Tense/Agreement

  • the pressure from formal examinations exacerbate
  • a project in form of teamwork may shows
  • member involved in this types of evaluating
  • no stereotype questions or answers placed on them
  • when compare the two

Punctuation

  • the answers to the concern are still on debate meanwhile the method of measurements such as coursework and projects also have some advantages [run-on sentence]
So, you've got to start at the beginning. Write short, crisp sentences. Check for pronoun reference. Do not make the reader go back. Check that every verb agrees with its subject. Avoid cliches like the plague. Check for articles. Most nouns in English need an article. Watch for run-on sentences. 
 
Doing IELTS again and again is expensive and pointless. Take a couple of weeks to change your style completely and resubmit some essays here. Look around the forum and see the strengths and weaknesses of other writers here. There are some really excellent writers and a wide range of styles.  
 
Print the descriptors and see what a Band 8 is all about. Enlarge it, print it and put it on your wall. There is no point in getting Band 8 for Task Response and Band 6 for everything else -  that will get you a band 6.5 overall.  
 
Looking forward to seeing some very different and infinitely better essays here soon! Please feel free to comment on some of the other essays in the forum. You will find that people will be more willing to comment on your future essays.
 
 
 
August 7, 2012
12:10 pm
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thank you ever so much.it is a great pleasure for me today when my computer  reoperate and I receive your correction I will try my best.thank you

August 9, 2012
9:27 pm
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Hi,Mr Writefix,have a good day.I've rewritten my essays according to your instructions.sometimes it makes me desperate.I think this version will be even worse.I can feel that there're problems in my essays but i really cannot find and fix them.U told that I used many old phrases incorrectly,could u talk more about it since I think some of the phrase are still useful.

Here is my new essay

 

     Recent progress in education has enabled various forms of evaluation at university level. However, apart from formal examinations, can other assessments such as coursework and projects efficiently reflect students' abilities is a difficult question to answer. I believe that albeit some existing downsides, those methods still bring about more benefits.

     Continuous assessment is sometimes considered as poor measurement since students tend to take their tasks less seriously. They often delay the deadlines or copy other's works.Despite that, coursework and projects prove to be beneficiary in view of assessing other practical skills of students. A project in form of teamwork, for example, may show how hardworking a group of students is. Each member can also expose his ability to lead, to discuss, and to organize time before completing their tasks with diverse styles and formats of evaluation. If the universities themselves set some strict regulation to make every individual work with responsibility, the problem may be eliminated.

    Contrastingly, the pressure from formal examinations exacerbates the results of students. Take a math exam for example, even the most intelligent may miscalculate or fail to find the solutions when they are puzzled. When the stress of students is relieved and no stereotype questions or answers are placed on them, the examiners could see how creative they are and how well they respond to the requirement. Therefore, it iis regretful when the results affected by misfortune at a point of time determine the long time effort of students.

   In conclusion, the methods of measurements including coursework and projects have undeniable advantages as well as some minor problems. They are inclined to evaluate more precisely on the whole working process of each individual and on the practical skills of them. For this reasons, a flexible combination between formal exams and coursework should be implemented to accurately assess students.

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