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Who are more valued, the old or the youth?
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July 13, 2012
2:24 pm
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Topic:In some cultures elderly people are highly valued, while in some other cultures youth are more valued. Discuss both and give your opinion.


People from dissimilar backgrounds may have divergent attitudes toward the same issue with respect to the value of the old and the youth respectively. In my opinion, both of them have their own merits.

The old, generally, have a large amount of experience in terms of work and life so they play an important role in contributing to society. Firstly, elderly people are able to deal with tough interpersonal problems. This is mainly because that they have encountered various kinds of people and different situation. Consequently, aged people have the ability to tackle the problem based on certain kind of person and circumstance. In addition,elderly people, on average, are more patient and careful so they can accomplish tasks without making mistakes. A case in point is that people prefer to trust old surgeons rather than young ones. Finally, aged people are wiser. This kind of wisdom that is acquired from daily life helps people make reasonable decision.

The youth also constitutes an indispensable role in promoting the development of society. Initially, it is easy for them to adapt to keep pace with the constantly changing world. Learning to use computer is a case in point. Most young people can acquire computer skills easily while elderly ones may find it difficult to use computer even just sending an email. Furthermore, the youth are dynamic and energetic. In order to fulfil their professional potential and get promotion, they tend to work hard, which benefits companies and society as well. Thirdly, young people are imaginative and innovative. Therefore, they are suitable for professions like advertising and design.

To conclude, both the youth and the old are essential for society. People will benefit so much if young people and elderly people work together to make a contribute to society.

July 13, 2012
5:01 pm
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writefix
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Hi Allen and welcome to Writefix!

I hope you can help some of the other people in this forum. Your writing seems to be clear and organized. But there's a problem with this essay....

Shorten/Simplify

You wrote:

People from dissimilar backgrounds may have divergent attitudes toward the same issue with respect to the value of the old and the youth respectively

What dissimilar backgrounds? Do you mean old and young, or rich and poor, or working and unemployed, or Korean and Brazilian?

And what does ‘respectively’ mean?

And what does ‘the same issue’ mean or refer to?

Don’t use ‘respectively’: it forces the reader to stop and go back to see what is being referred to.

Don’t use any tired standardized generic phrases or phrases that could be used in a million essays. (You can see examples here and here. Avoid these phrases!). Here’s one:

In my opinion, both of them have their own merits.

What does ‘them’ refer to? The people from dissimilar backgrounds (that’s the subject in the first sentence, so grammatically that’s what it refers to). Or do you mean ‘Both old and young people have their merits’?

Let’s simplify right down:

You wrote:

People from dissimilar backgrounds may have divergent attitudes toward the same issue with respect to the value of the old and the youth respectively

Here’s one possible rewrite. The last sentence (the thesis sentence) tells the reader something about what is coming in the essay. You can read more about Thesis sentences here.

Old and young people have a lot to contribute to society. In this essay, I will look at how the wisdom and experience of age and the dynamism and adaptability of youth can complement each other.

Layout

Once we get past the introduction, the layout of your other paragraphs is fine. The body paragraphs have a topic and two or three ideas and examples. Your conclusion has an opinion, a summary, and a look towards the future.  So, so far, the main problem is with your very generic and empty introduction

But have you noticed the big problem yet?

Big Problem: Question Not Answered!

You have not answered the question. Here it is again.

In some cultures elderly people are highly valued, while in some other cultures youth are more valued.

Here are some questions this essay could answer or deal with.

  • Where are these cultures in which elderly people are valued? In the city? In Japan? In Yemen? In the huge first-tier cities in China? Among sheep farmers in Scotland?
  • Where is the culture of young people valued? In Moscow? In Iran? On the west coast of the US? Among Justin Bieber fans?
  • Is it even true that old people are valued anymore worldwide/in your home/in the city/by your friends?
  • Is it too simple to say that in Asia older people are valued more than in say America or Spain?
  • What would show that younger people are valued? A good school system, as in Finland? Or the use of child labor?
  • Do farming societies value young people more than older people?
  • How have social changes and the move to the city affected or changed this?
  • Do old people have power?
  • Do young people have money?
  • What does valued mean? It’s a passive, so who is doing the valuing?
  • What does it mean for a group to be valued in a society?

Your essay does a good job of comparing old and young people and what they can contribute to society, but that is not what the question asks.

Not answering the question is about the worst thing you can do in IELTS. Have a look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here, under Task Response

  • Band 5: "addresses the task only partially"
  • Band 4: "responds to the task only in a minimal way"
  • Band 3: "does not adequately address any part of the task"

Instead of spending time fixing up this essay, try it again. Reply here, bury your introduction (with a silver stake through its heart and lots of garlic, so it never rises up again) and let's see how you do with this tough topic!

July 16, 2012
1:56 pm
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Thanks for your really good advise. I 've written another essay following your suggestion. I hope I have answer the question this time.

The Essay

Senior citizens are extremely respected in some cultures because they are wisdom and have already made contribution to the society. ( Here, I only mention the merit wisdom. Is is correct if I write other merits?) However, young people are valued in some other cultures like farming societies since the youth are energetic and dynamic enough to carry more tasks. I personally believe that both older and young people are essential for the society so both of they should be valued. (How can I avoid use "in my opinion" and "I believe"? )

 

The elderly have many merits such as rich experience of age and wisdom so that are highly respected because they have devoted their life to the country and can continue to make markedly contribution to the society. Firstly, the public should respect the old especially those outstanding scientists, great soldier and top surgeons, since they have work whole their life and make the society better. Scientists have developed a great amount of technology which improving the standard of living; surgeons have saved hundreds of lives by their sophisticated skills; soldier have successfully defenced invaders. Therefore, they deserve to be valued. Secondly, they are able to take the responsibility to govern an important institution or even a country, even though some of them are seventy or older. This is mainly because these old people are extremely wise. Thus, they can handle tough and complex problems effectively. What is more, the wisdom can hardly obtain from books or teachers. It can be acquired by hard working and overcoming thousands of problems.

 

However, young people are also valued in some cultures because they can create a future for a country. Initially, most governments give priority to youth in terms of education so that they can move society forward. A case in point is America, a country sponsoring university students by different forms such as scholarship and student loans. By doing this, young people can be well educated and equipped with proper knowledge and useful skills. Consequently, the young will be able to promote the development of the society. In addition, the young are essential for countries so that a number of laws or regulations are made by governments to prevent youth from crimes. For example, offenders who commits a crime involved young people will penalize severely in most cultures.This indicates that most government value youth.(How can I avoid repeating the word "value"?)

 

 

In conclusion, the old and the young are essential for our society so they should be valued. ( You suggest that the phrase "to conclude" is overused, so I replace it with "in conclusion". Is there any other better phrases?) People will benefit so much if young people and elderly people work together to make a contribute to society. ( How can I make the conclusion beautiful?)

July 16, 2012
3:05 pm
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Hi Allen

Overall, this essay is fine. It’s simpler and easier to read. You’ve done a much better job of answering the question of how old or young people are valued in society.  Well done!

Be careful about word count. At 390, it's too long. 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 many candidates who write long essays actually score lower because of mistakes in grammar or layout.

Thanks for taking the time to do the rewrite. I hope you can use your writing skills to help some of the other people here. Even a few words in a comment would be great!

 

Introduction

I think your new intro is fine. Why would you want to remove “in my opinion” or ”I believe”?  It’s an opinion essay.

Paragraph 2

Paragraph Two is fine as well. It could be a little shorter: 156 words is going to be too long for IELTS.

Paragraph 3

Most off paragraph three is fine. I think the last point is a bit labored or too long. You could just say that most societies have very strict laws to protect children and young people, and leave out the final sentence

Conclusion

Your conclusion is fine!  Change the words “a contribute” to “a contribution” and that’s it!

Overall, this essay is fine. It’s simpler and easier to read. You’ve done a much better job of answering the question of how old or young people are valued in society.  Well done!

Word Choice/Word Form/Usage

  • soldier have successfully defenced invaders → soldiers have successfully defended against invaders
  • What is more, the wisdom can hardly obtain from books → What is more, wisdom cannot be obtained from books

To improve coherence, it would be good to change to “What is more, this wisdom cannot be…”  This links it better to the previous point.

  • It can be acquired by hard working → It can only be acquired by hard working
July 16, 2012
3:22 pm
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Really thanks for your good advice.^_^

I wonder how you  can manage your time. I suppose you have to read and revise many essays every day but you can give the very good suggestion when the eaasy is post just a day later.  ^_^

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