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April 11, 2012
1:36 pm
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Tehran
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April 3, 2012
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Dear Writefix, First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for your deep analysis on my essays. Secondly, IELTS teachers in Iran are obsessed with complex sentences, relative clauses, collocations, noun phrases, academic words, ... Do you recommend to use simple sentences instead of complex sentences? Do you believe that it is better to use "find out" instead of "to ascertain" or "ability" instead of "capacity"? One again I would like to appreciate your invaluable help. Thank you very much, I wish you peace and happiness. Yours sincerely, A. Ahmadi.

April 11, 2012
9:01 pm
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writefix
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Hi Ali

First of all, thanks for your kind words!

Many people would expect that an English teacher's job to push his or her students to increase their vocabulary, practice new grammatical structures, and express every more complex ideas in English. So they are right to reward students who use new vocabulary and who take risks in class.

However, I don't think doing the IELTS writing test is the same as writing in classroom. It's not the time to take risks.

It's time to show that you are competent and solid, not the time to take flights of imagination or to dazzle the examiner with a brilliant display of linguistic virtuosity. 

If you are writing a piece for a college newspaper or magazine, that's different. Let yourself go. Knock yourself out. Dazzle and amaze all you want. Set no limits on the flow of your argument and the range of your eloquence.

But not in IELTS.

I'd say the best thing to do in the IELTS exam is to keep things simple, write 250-350 words in the 40 minutes, and not get too stressed.

Try and have either three very good, fully developed ideas on one side of a topic, or about six shorter ideas if you are giving both sides. Have a short clear intro with an opinion and a thesis sentence which says what you are going to do. Have a short conclusion which summarizes nicely and looks to the future.  In between, have simple ideas and a mix of short and long sentences. Try to keep your average sentence length below 15 words.

It's a game with particular rules, a style that's different from writing a poem or an editorial in a newspaper or the wording for an advertisement. Keep it simple, stick with what you know works, and you'll be fine. 

April 11, 2012
9:39 pm
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Tehran
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Dear Sir,

Your words were quite illuminating, thank you very much. I will follow.Honestly, I took IELTS twice, I got 6.5 the in the first attempt and 5.5! in the second. I was utterly confused. I think that complicated style was the main reason. If you dont mind I would like to start from scratch based on your instructions. I wrote just an introduction, I know it may be irrelevant but I put it here, please forget me. also I would like to ask that do you recommend both side analysis for following question or just one side coverage:

Many people decide on a career path early in their lives and keep to it. This, they argue, leads to a more satisfying working life.
To what extent do you agree with this view?
What other things can people do in order to have a satisfying working life?

Fulfilling working life can be achieved in different approaches. The main prerequiste is irrefutably perseverance.
In addition appropriately choosing carrier can significantly contribute. I deeply believe that this
vital decision cannot be mad correctly early in the life. Largly because of insufficient knowledge as well as changing prefrences.

 

As the introduction suggest I will flatly contradict .it Is it still disappointing?

thank you very much

April 11, 2012
11:28 pm
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writefix
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Hello Ali

Your question and paragraph is so interesting that I've transferred it to here in the the main Argument and Opinion forum, where more people visit. I hope that's OK.

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