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Should young people follow tradition or make their own choices?
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May 7, 2012
10:15 pm
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Some people think young people should follow the tradition of the society. Others think young people should be free to behave as individual. Discuss both view points and give you own opinion

 

The youth are full of imagination and creativity. By acting in their own ways, young people are likely to develop their potential which helps to succeed. 

There is a concern that young people behaving as individual would show no or little respect to social tradition. It is not over-care. In particular, consider some Chinese youngsters, who have great passion for western holidays, know less and less about our own traditional festivals. If this phenomenon continues, it would threaten the communities as a same group. The youngsters have to learn to value their cultural heritage. Also, they should respect the other social members who lead an old lifestyle.

On the other hand, young people should have chance of expressing themselves freely. Clearly, the youth are in the age of being energetic. They always feel like to try something which is seen as adventurous by the old generations. Parents tend to see their children have stabilized salaries, while the youth are more likely to do what they want. Sometimes, perhaps it is this insistence and faith that bring great fruits. Take Bill Gate and Steve Jobs for example, contrary to their peers who cherished the opportunity of studying in university, they chose to drop out and created their enterprise. However, they both gained enormous success in their career. What I trying to explain here is that allowing young people to be themselves or develop their interests might active their talents.

In my opinion, behaving as individual is not necessarily to be opposed to traditional principle. To be distinct is totally different from to be disrespectful for traditions. Our communities should encourage the young generation to have personality. Learning to think independently benefits our whole lives.

May 10, 2012
11:00 pm
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The modern world has changed drastically.Young people get plenty of new ideas due to globalization and development in technology. They are the most confused ones , torn between tradition and modernization. Some people who are very conservative feel that the young ones should not turn their faces to tradition while other modern ones feel that they should act freely according to their will.

 

Television, internet and smart phone are the latest tools used by the youngsters. When they use them regularly, they get new ideas and they get influenced by what they find on the latest gadgets. Obviously, they become iconoclasts . For example, they no longer have much eagerness to celebrate the traditional festivals with their grandparents and older relatives. Instead, they prefer to send E-greeting from their computers.

 

On the other hand, there are still some young men and women who are attached to their culture and are proud to keep the candles burning what their forefathers had lit with great expectation. No wonder some people pat these young ones for their reverence for their culture. To illustrate, some young ones take leave and celebrate festivals and rituals paying a lot of attention to the tradition.

 

In conclusion, I feel that freedom of thought and action should be welcomed by every one. However, young people should not disrespect the tradition of their society and also try to follow the footsteps of their forefathers.

May 11, 2012
10:15 pm
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Hi Yokama

Thanks for this essay!  Your essay is 284 words long, which is fine, and has about 14.2 words per sentence, which is OK. 

Introduction

Your introduction doesn't have any errors, but it’s difficult for the reader to make sense of.

You wrote:

The youth are full of imagination and creativity. By acting in their own ways, young people are likely to develop their potential which helps to succeed. 

Why are we reading? What is the situation? What are the two sides, or the background to the problem? What catches our interest? Where is your thesis sentence?

A lot of questions, sorry! But I think it’s essential to give the reader a reason to read the essay. Giving some background into the problem or debate helps the reader to make his or her opinion. You have given your opinion, but you haven’t identified the problem for us.

It’s not very exciting, and it follows a boring old formula, but you can’t go wrong if you give some background and a thesis ( a sentence that tells the reader what you are going to discuss, or gives your opinion). Here's a possible rewrite:

Some parents prefer their children to conform and to do exactly what they are told. Others allow their children to make up their own minds and to find their own place and values. Which approach is better? In this essay I will say why I think young people are most likely to develop their potential and succeed by acting in their own way.  

63 words, 4 sentences, 15. 7 words per sentence

Word Choice/Usage

  1. It is not over-care. → This is a real worry OR This is a real concern   OR People are right to worry about this.
  2. In particular, consider some Chinese youngsters, who have great passion for western holidays, know less and less about our own traditional festivals. → Some Chinese youngsters, for example, have a great passion for western holidays but know less and less about their own traditional festivals.
  3. If this phenomenon continues, it would threaten the communities as a same group. → If this phenomenon continued, it could threaten community identity.
  4. Also, they should respect the other social members who lead an old lifestyle → Also, they should respect the other members of society who prefer to lead more traditional lifestyles.
  5. Clearly, the youth are in the age of being energetic. → Clearly, the youth are at an energetic age.
  6. Parents tend to see their children have stabilized salaries, while the youth are more likely to do what they want. → Parents want to see that their children have secure jobs and good salaries, while…
  7. Our communities should encourage the young generation to have personality. → …to have their own personalities.

Comma Splice

Don’t join sentences that should be separate with a comma

Take Bill Gate and Steve Jobs for example, contrary to their peers who cherished the opportunity of studying in university, they chose to drop out and created their enterprise.→
Take Bill Gate and Steve Jobs for example. Unlike their peers who preferred to stay in university, they chose to drop out and created their own enterprises.

Organization of ideas and development

What I trying to explain here is that allowing young people to be themselves or develop their interests might active their talents.

This sentence is fine, but it draws attention to the fact that there are not really many ideas in this paragraph. More ideas would be better than a summary!

In my opinion, behaving as individual is not necessarily to be opposed to traditional principle.

This is another very interesting point. What is it doing in the conclusion?! How could you develop it in a body paragraph?

Great sentence

To be distinct is totally different from to be disrespectful for traditions.

Some great ideas, and you are following all the recommendations for overall length and sentence length. But watch the intro and get the reader’s interest!

May 11, 2012
10:52 pm
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writefix
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Hello Radha!

What do you think of Yokama’s essay? It's great to be able to compare the two essays side by side. Very helpful, thanks!

Using http://www.read-able.com (under “Useful Links” at the top of the page, we find that your essay is too short at 235 words (shame!) and has a long sentence average of 16.79 words. It’s very important to reach the 250 minimum, and we need to have an average sentence length of 12-15 words.

Introduction

Is the first sentence related to the topic? You wrote:

The modern world has changed drastically.

It’s true, but is it about young people? Focus on the topic. Make every single sentence related to the question. There should be a mention of young people or attitudes to young people in your first sentence. We could recycle that sentence in hundreds of essays -  and in this case, recycling’s not good.

There’s no time to waste: get the topic or main idea of the question into the first sentence. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

And…. and…. and….

Where’s your opinion? We’ve read a long intro (63 words) but we don’t know (A) what you think -  remember it’s an opinion essay! And (B) -  we don’t know what we are going to read in the rest of the essay.

A thesis sentence helps you and the reader to be ready for what is coming in the rest of the essay.

Your intro was:

The modern world has changed drastically. Young people get plenty of new ideas due to globalization and development in technology. They are the most confused ones , torn between tradition and modernization. Some people who are very conservative feel that the young ones should not turn their faces to tradition while other modern ones feel that they should act freely according to their will.

Here’s one possible rewrite:

Today young people are exposed to many new ideas. This can be confusing for youngsters, torn between tradition and modernization. Conservatives feel that youth should follow tradition, while others feel that young people should make up their own minds in life. This essay will outline why I believe young people should balance freedom of thought with respect for their elders and traditions.
(62 words -  still a little too long!)

Paragraph Two

This paragraph only has two ideas  - (1) teenagers like phones and (2) teenagers don’t bother with family events. Two ideas is not enough, and they are not developed enough.  Lots of older people like phones or technology too, so how cab you make this related to the topic?

There are only 67 words, which is the same length as your intro. Don’t spend a long time on the intro -  the body is where the ideas are. The body paragraphs should be MUCH longer than the intro or conclusion

Paragraph Three

Your Paragraph Three has 68 words. It says that some young people respect their culture. That’s all. You could say it in 6 words. Where are the examples?

It’s now clear why you have only 235 words -  there aren’t enough ideas. You need ideas.

Don’t start to write until you have six ideas. Just put that pen down and think. Alternatively, pick that pen up and start brainstorming like crazy until you have six clearly differentiated ideas.

However nice a sentence sounds or seems – like this one:

On the other hand, there are still some young men and women who are attached to their culture and are proud to keep the candles burning what their forefathers had lit with great expectation.

…it’s not enough to convince an examiner. It’s a nice sentence, but it rambles and it doesn’t really have a meaning, AND it has some grammar and reference errors.

Examiners want to see ideas, fully developed and supported. Have a look at the descriptors for Band 4 -  I know you want more than that!

  • Band 4: presents some main ideas but these are difficult to identify and may be repetitive, irrelevant or not well supported
  • Band 5: presents some main ideas but these are  limited and not sufficiently developed; there may be irrelevant detail
  • Band 6: presents relevant main ideas but some may be inadequately developed/unclear

 Let’s jump to Band 8:

  • Band 8: sufficiently addresses all parts of the task;  presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas

Content is king

Ideas, not lovely-sounding sentences, are king. Content is king. A structured, well laid out essay with the basic components (intro with background, thesis sentence, topic sentences, three ideas for, three ideas against, supporting information for each of these three ideas, conclusion which summarizes both sides, 20 sentences in total). These are basic building blocks. Fine sentences come later once these are present!

Back to Basics: Challenge!

As an exercise, Radha, I suggest rewriting this essay before you upload any more essays! Use the boring old markers ‘First,’ ‘Second,’ ‘Another example’ or similar ones. Have three separate ideas in each of the two body paragraphs. Give a supporting example for each one.

May 13, 2012
5:12 pm
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Thank you Mr Writfix. Oh, there are a lot of errors in my essay! It is a shame. Do you think it is possible for me to get band 6.5 within half a month?

May 13, 2012
8:38 pm
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Hi Yokama!

Of course it's possible for you to get a Band 6.5!

Here's what you need to do. You need to get two 7s and two 6s out of the following (click the picture to enlarge it)

combined descriptorsImage Enlarger

...or even better, get three band 7s. As far as we know, the bands are weighted equally. The numbers (1) and (2) refer to Task 1 and Task 2 - this is a combination of the descriptors. The bold ones are my idea of the important features.

So what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?

  • Vocabulary and grammar are easy to understand. For a Band 7 you need 'frequent error-free sentences.' That means at least 66 or 70% of your sentences (that's my guess!).
  • Cohesion means how you join your sentences and ideas and how clauses and ideas flow inside sentences. For a Band 7 you need to orgnanize your essay ideas clearly and have good paragraphs
  • Task Response means your ideas and whether you have answered the question. For a Band 7 you need to extend and support ideas with examples and to cover all parts of the task
  • Vocab (Lexical Resource) means that you choose vocabulary well. You have to be able to use it precisely. It doesn't say to use complicated vocab - it just says use your vocabulary 'precisely' and 'flexibly.'

So have a look, relax and think of your strengths, and aim for 7 all round!

May 15, 2012
9:27 am
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It is probably a very common issue whether young people should act as the same manner that older people do.  It is of my opinion that we should look into a balanced notion.

Some people think that traditions build the cultural identity of a community. Without customs, all of countries would become same and might face degradation in their own cultures. It is not secret that the culture joins individuals of a society and helps them to express solidarity with the rest of a community. Praising customs and traditions reminds young people that they are members of this society and should try to pass this heritage to next generation.

Others might argue that there should be no restrictions on how young people act as an individual. People are free to adopt what style of living they tend to have. If we put limitations to young adults that are willing to follow new styles and behaviors, we intentionally thwart their creativity. What it is worse is that we probably make them dislike this culture as they feel these heritages came to stick them in a certain thoughts. Therefore, it is very likely to see a tendency towards foreign cultures will appear amongst young people.

My conclusion would be that we should not force youngster to follow traditions. We also should notice them how important to take their culture into account. This could be done through running traditional celebrations and courses given in schools and universities to make them more familiar with their past.

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