Thanks for your essay and welcome to Writefix. I hope you enjoy reading and commenting on other essays here. Comments really help people to improve their writing.
To save you time, I’m going to summarize the main problems here (there are quite a few!):
- Your essay is too long.
- Your sentences are much too long
- You have too many ideas in many of your sentences
- You went almost completely off-topic in Paragraph Two
- You have several unsupported generalizations
- You have not supported the main ideas
- You have some padding
- You write like people speak (wouldn't you think, she said, he said, and then I was like, it was totally amazing, and then you would think like duh, and then I said, like, totally awesome, dude.) Don't.
Writing is not the same as speaking. What will get you a high mark in the IELTS speaking exam may result in a lower mark for writing.
I am sure that you can get a very good mark in writing, and I want you to follow these steps to do it.
Here’s the detail:
Your essay is 350 words long, which really is at the absolute maximum for IELTS. Have you tried to write 350 words by hand in just 35 minutes? It’s very hard work. You should aim to write between 250 and 300 or maybe 320 words - any more and you may be penalizing yourself due to rushed writing and increased errors. There is no penalty for writing more than 250, but you will be tired by the time it comes to Task 2 writing, and most candidates who write long essays score lower because of mistakes in grammar or layout.
Your average sentence is 19.5 words long. This is far, far too long. You really need to work hard to reduce this to between 12 and 15 words on average.
- Add short (4-8 word) sentences. Topic sentences can often be very short. Wherever they are, topic sentences add impact.
- Break up long sentences
- Have one or at most two ideas per sentence
- Don’t glue ideas together with commas
Ideas per Sentence 1
Here’s a 42 word monster you wrote:
Whenever you see a movie or a TV show you would think, I would want to be as famous as that actor or actress but you wouldn't know what kinds of things they have to deal with involving paparazzi and the media.
Here are all the ideas going on here:
- Sometimes you watch TV shows or movies
- You think
- I want to be famous like them
- You don’t know their lives and problems
That’s what I mean about having too many ideas in one sentence. There's some problem with a changing subject as well. A conversational style is fne for talking, but in writing sentences are quite exact. Make sure you don’t write the same way as you speak.
Here are two possible rewrites, each with two ideas:
- Stars look glamorous on screen, but in reality they can have many problems. (13 words) OR
- Although it’s easy to envy celebrities, their private lives are often difficult. (12 words)
Ideas per Sentence 2
You wrote a 33-word monster:
Dealing with these situations would be a handful so then you would think, should they be allowed more privacy instead of the media looking for juicy stories to earn money like public humiliation?
Here are some of the ideas competing for attention in your sentence:
- It’s hard to deal with invasions of your privacy.
- You think about something
- Should celebrities get more privacy
- Should the media be allowed to look for juicy stories?
- It’s humiliating for celebrities to have their private lives exposed.
As you might say, this is waaaaaay too much work for one sentence to do. Here’s one possible rewrite:
Should celebrities’ private lives be protected? (6 words)
So that is why famous people should be given privacy as well as time with the media.
What does this sentence add exactly? Nothing! It’s padding.
There’s also a problem with the subject. Who gives them 'time with the media'? The same people who give them protection or privacy from the media? Very confusing.
Paparazzi, the media, they're all the same. They're just people trying to earn a living by taking humiliating pictures of celebrities making them have no privacy whatsoever. They send it to magazines, tabloids, or the paper to be approved and posted on the next issue.
No, they’re not. You cannot equate paparazzi and the Financial Times, the Times of India with Fox News, or the Shopping Channel with Vatican Radio. Have a look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here, under Task Response (“a tendency to overgeneralise”). Your sentence is a fun opinion for television or for conversation, but writing in IELTS needs supported ideas. How are they the same?
Sometimes, I don't even think they approve photos and stories for tabloids and magazines!
Does the ‘they’ in this sentence refer to editors of magazines, journalists, paparazzi, media organizations, owners, or editors? It’s unclear. Try to
You wrote a nice short sentence in Paragraph Two:
More privacy should be given to famous people.
Good. Clear, simple, no mistakes. But where’s the support? This is the main idea of the essay and you have no support for it. Have a look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here, under Task Response. You need to support the main ideas .
- Band 5: presents some main ideas but these are limited and not sufficiently developed; there may be irrelevant detail
- Band 4: responds to the task only in a minimal way or the answer is tangential.
‘Tangential’ means you touch on a related idea once, and then go off in a different direction. You went off on a tangent when you started to write about paparazzi. It was a very entertaining couple of sentences, but it’s off topic and it’s going to lose you marks and time.
So remove all the 'and then he said, and I was like duh and then you think' and anything that's too much like spoken style. Shorten your sentences, shorten your paragraphs, have a topic sentence which tells the reader the central topic of each paragraph, and avoid padding. And you'll get like a totally awesome mark.