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What are the causes of stress?
Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 (1 votes) 
June 11, 2012
4:29 pm
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Ha Noi, Vietnam
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What are the causes of stress?


Stress has become a common situation in our modern society. Nowadays, with the constant development of many social aspects, one day with only 24 hours seems to be not sufficient with an active person. As a result, people always have to confront stress, which is adversely uncomfortable. To be more specific, the three main causes of stress refer to career, relationship and health-related problems.

First of all, work and study play an important part in our life, but they are also the main reasons for stress. The high development of the industrial era coinciding with the more competitiveness among companies lead to a significant increase in the employers' workload. They have to choose between being unemployed or standing high pressure. Unfortunately, both result in negative feelomg, which we often call "stress". Moreover, not many people have a good time-management skill, so they must deal with the difficulty of balancing work, study and relaxation. In brief, someone who pays too much attention on career may be the victim of stress.

Secondly, while it might be argued that having a ralationship benefits human being, the truth is that failure in relationships is also a cause of stress. There relationships could be among family members, friends or colleagues. For instance, parents do not have enough time to spend with their children, colleagues feel jealous with each other because of the career prospect, etc. As a consequence, many people have pressure at work but even outside the working environment, they cannot feel more relaxing and comfortable due to the complicate relationships.

Last but not least, people may experience stress because of bad health. While physical exercises are really beneficial for reducing tiredness, people often neglect them and continue to confront stress consequently. On the other hand, a minority suffers some kinds of perplexing disease; taking sleep deprivation as an example, they always feel sleepy even in daytime. According to the scientific research, these people cannot evade from stress which is the symptom unless they recover from these unique diseases. 

In summary, there has been more and more causes of stress beside career, social relations and health. However, they are unavoidable parts of our life, so the only think we can do is to accept that existing situation and find efficient ways to reduce stress as much as possible. In stead of feeling nervous, we should enjoy our life and always think positively.

June 12, 2012
11:39 pm
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writefix
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Hello Ngo Duy Quang

Thanks for this essay! Lots of good things about it. Let me just look at a few ways it could be improved!

Word Count and Sentence Length

It’s a little long, at 400 words. If you are aiming at IELTS Task 2! It’s better if you can keep your essays to about 350 words maximum. There’s no penalty, but writers who write more often make more grammar and structure mistakes.

Think of Task 2 as a challenge – not to write as much as you can within 40 minutes, but to write 250-325 or maybe 350 words in 40 minutes.

Your average sentence length is also long at 19 words. You can check average sentence length, word count, and many other useful statistics by using one of the two readability links at the top of this page-  this one at read-able.com, or this one at online-utility.org.  

I recommend having an average sentence length of between 12 and 15 words per sentence. Longer sentences tend to have more mistakes in punctuation, agreement and structure, as well as being more complicated for the reader.  Aim for a mix of sentences - long and short, with different structures (simple, complex and compound) one or two questions.

Shorten/Simplify

You wrote:

Nowadays, with the constant development of many social aspects, one day with only 24 hours seems to be not sufficient with an active person. (24 words)

The middle phrase doesn’t really say anything. Here’s one possible rewrite:

Nowadays, 24 hours in a day does not seem to be enough. (12 words)   OR

Nowadays, 24 hours in a day is not enough.  (9 words)

Cohesion

As a result, people always have to confront stress, which is adversely uncomfortable. To be more specific, the three main causes of stress refer to career, relationship and health-related problems.

Do these two highlighted phrases really link smoothly to the previous sentences? Here are some possible changes. I’ve made the thesis sentence tell the reader more explicitly what you are going to do

Nowadays, 24 hours does not seem to be enough hours in a day for our busy lives.  As a result of this increase in stimulation and activity, many people are suffering physically and psychologically from stress. In this essay, I will describe three sources of stress in our careers, relationships, and health.

Shorten/Simplify:  Use Fewer Nouns

You wrote:

The high development of the industrial era coinciding with the more competitiveness among companies lead to a significant increase in the employers' workload. (23 words)

There are a lot of nouns in this sentence. Nouns or nominalizations slow down your sentences. Try to have fewer nouns in your sentences, or to replace them with adjectives or verbs.  The solitary verb above also has an agreement problem.

Today’s highly-developed industries and competitive business environments mean more pressure at work. (12 words) 

Word Choice/Word Form/Usage

  • someone who pays too much attention on career → someone who pays too much attention to his or her career  OR   people who pay too much attention to their careers
  • the only think we can do is → the only thing we can do is
  • They have to choose between being unemployed or standing high pressure. → They have to choose between being unemployed or working under pressure.
  • people always have to confront stress → (you’ve used ‘confront’ twice -   it’s an unusual choice. I’d prefer ‘deal with’ or cope with’ for at least the second time.)
  • In stead of feeling nervous → Instead of feeling stressed   (‘Nervous’ means jumpy, not relaxed, not calm  - it doesn’t mean angry.)
  • colleagues feel jealous with each other → colleagues feel jealous of each other
  • they cannot feel more relaxing → they cannot feel more relaxed  OR  they cannot relax
  • these people cannot evade from stress → these people cannot avoid stress

Articles/Plurals

  • having a ralationship benefits human being → having a relationship benefits humans   OR    having relationships benefits human beings 

Examples: Three is a Magic Number

You wrote:

For instance, parents do not have enough time to spend with their children, colleagues feel jealous with each other because of the career prospect, etc.

This is fine, but three is better. Don’t use ‘etc’ with two examples – use ‘or.’ 

Agreement/Tense

  • In summary, there has been more and more causes of stress → In summary, there have been more and more causes of stress

But this sentence would probably be better in the present tense

In summary, there are many causes of stress.

Overall, I like the ideas in your conclusion, and your layout is clear. The essay is easy to read. But I’d still recommend a shorter essay, and I’d definitely recommend adding some very short sentences (5-10 words). You have some great skills, though!

Thanks for your comments!

Thanks for taking the time to write comments on some of the other essays here -  people love to get feedback!  I really appreciate it!

Remember, everyone, it doesn't have to be a long comment - just a few lines about one or two aspects of an essay.  There are a lot of new essays so you have plenty to choose from!

Thanks again!

June 13, 2012
10:35 am
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Ha Noi, Vietnam
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Hi writefix,

I want to give my sincere thank for your comment. I realize that one of my weaknesses is that the way I use vocabulary is often unsuitable. So can you suggest me a website or software to help me choose the right words for my sentence?

June 13, 2012
2:53 pm
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June 13, 2012
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Nice essay and insightful comment. I started to be aware of the similar mistakes on cohesion and simplicity in my own essays.

I have one question. It is said phrases like first and foremost  and last but not the least  are cliches, and therefore should be avoided in IELTS Writing. is this true?

June 13, 2012
3:06 pm
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writefix
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Hi Crystalhuang

Welcome to Writefix!

Yes, watch out for those tired old phrases and cliches. Cliches should be 'avoided like the plague!' However, what sounds fresh and fun to one person may seem very hackneyed or old or dated to another, so it's a bit frustrating when you have learned a phrase in a language only to be told that it's not used anymore!

You can see more examples of tired old phrases and generic sentences here and here. Try to avoid using these phrases in your writing.

It's important to note that in speaking these phrases are more useful - we use a lot of redundancy in speaking (unnecessary phrases and words), so if you say "First and foremost" or "Last but not least" or "Personally, in my opinion" that's fine -  just don't do it in writing!

June 15, 2012
12:33 pm
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writefix
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Hi Ngo Duy Quang

You asked if I could suggest a website or software to help you choose the right words for your sentence?

Not really! The best one I can think of is a good dictionary that has example sentences for each word, like any of the Collins Cobuild dictionaries or the advanced learners dictionaries. You need a good dictionary, not one of those cheap 'one-word-in-my-languageand one-word-in-the-new-language' dictionaries. There are good ones online too, like

Keep reading and listening, and the way people will use words will sink into your mind!

I know that's not much good if you have an exam next week or next month, but it's really a long-term activity!

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