Essay Correction, IELTS Writing, Task 2, Uncategorized

Analysis of a Task 2 Academic IELTS Essay – Part 1

To achieve a level 7 or above grade, it is important to be able to edit your own work, and this involves not only being able to spot errors but also to recognize where you can improve the coherence and range of language used. The descriptors for bands 7 and 8 are given below to give you an idea of what you need to be looking for when you assess your work.


Band
Task response
Coherence & cohesion
Lexical resource
Grammatical response & accuracy
8
sufficiently addresses all parts of the task

presents a well-developed response to the question with
relevant, extended and supported ideas
sequences information and ideas logically

manages all aspects of cohesion well

uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately
 
 uses a wide range of vocabulary fluently and flexibly to
convey precise meanings
 
 skilfully uses uncommon lexical items but there may be occasional inaccuracies in word choice and collocation

produces rare errors in spelling and/or word formation
uses a wide range of structures

 the majority of sentences are error-free

makes only very occasional errors or inappropriacies
 
7
addresses all parts of the task

presents a clear position throughout the response

presents, extends and supports main ideas, but there may
be a tendency to over-generalise and/or supporting ideas may lack focus

logically organises information and ideas; there is clear
progression throughout

uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately although there may be some under-/over-use

presents a clear central topic within each paragraph
 
uses a sufficient range of vocabulary to allow some
flexibility and precision

uses less common lexical items with some awareness of
style and collocation

may produce occasional errors in word choice, spelling
and/or word formation
uses a variety of complex structures

 produces frequent error-free sentences

has good control of grammar and punctuation but may
make a few errors

Below is the first half of a task 2 essay (the second half will be covered next week) asking you to give your opinion on whether you think the current age is the best age to live in. Read the first half of the essay and then decide what changes would you make to the underlined parts, and what you would add for the …. parts.  
Topic: Advances in science and technology and other areas of society in the last 100 years have transformed the way we live as well as postponing the day we die. There is no better time to be alive than now.


To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?


It is true that development in science and technology has brought a lot of benefits to our life styles as well as increasing the life expectancy (1)………. In my opinion, we now live in (2)…..much better environment than ever before.
First of all, (3) we get enormous advantages of highly improved information technology nowadays. One of the best examples is the Internet, which allows people in the world to communicate each other (4) without barriers. (5) In other words, we now can talk to others who live in other countries through the Internet by simply using programs on it. (6) In addition, one of the outstanding changes in our life is the e-mail, (7) which means that we no longer need to post a documentation or letter and wait for a few days. Instead we can use e-mail system to send a letter, document, photo and video and it is sent to a receiver within a second. Compared to the past, (8)  advances in technology provide a number of effects on our life and we are now free from the limitations of time and location(9)
in aspects of communication.

Analysis
Paragraph 1

(1) as increasing the life expectancy …….
 Suggested alternative: ‘as well as increasing the life expectancy of many people.’
Explanation –  Using ‘the ‘ before ‘life expectancy’ means it is necessary to specify life expectancy. Alternatively, you could omit the definite article and simply write ‘As well as increasing life expectancy’.
 
(2) In my opinion, we now live in …..much better environment than ever before.
Suggested alternative: In my opinion, we now live in a.much better environment than ever before.
Explanation – straightforward error of omission of the indefinite article before a singular noun

 

Paragraph 2

 (3) …we get enormous advantages of highly improved information technology nowadays
Suggested alternative: …, improved information technology has brought enormous advantages.
Explanation –i) Using impersonal subjects is a good way of varying your sentences.
  1. ii) ‘highly’ isn’t a common collocation with ‘improved’.
 
(4)’ …… which allows people in the world to communicate each other without barriers’.
Suggested alternative: which allows people in the world to communicate each other regardless of distance.
Explanation – The barrier in question is distance, so why not state this directly?
 
(5) ‘In other words, we now can talk to others who live in other countries through the Internet by simply using programs on it.’
Suggested alternative: For example, it enables those living overseas to easily keep in touch with their families and also allows subsidiaries of global companies to have teleconferences with head offices.
Explanation – The original was not really explaining but just repeating. Providing specific examples is more informative.
 
(6) ‘In addition, one of the outstanding changes in our life is the e-mail,’
Suggested alternative: ‘Another technological advance which has significantly changed our way of communicating is e-mail.’
Explanation – i) ‘One of ‘needs to be replaced by ‘another’, and this in turns makes ‘in addition’ redundant. ii) ‘Outstanding change’ is acceptable but because I have used the verb ‘changed’, I wanted to avoid using the noun and verb form of the same word in one sentence  ( ‘change which has changed’).
 
(7) ‘…which means that we no longer need to post a documentation or letter and wait for a few days. Instead, we can use e-mail system to send a letter, document, photo, and video and it is sent to a receiver within a second’
Suggested alternative: Instead of having to post letters, which can take a few days to arrive, thanks to email we can send instantly not only letters but also photos and videos.
Explanation – The original was acceptable but the alternative is more concise. Note the use of ‘instead of + ing’ and ‘thanks to’ as linking expressions.
(8) ‘Compared to the past advances in technology provide a number of effects on our life’
Suggested alternative: Compared to the past, technology now is much more advanced and…’
Explanation – ‘provide a number of effects’ is unnatural in this context, and also the expression is neutral, not making clear that the effects are actually benefits.
 
(9) and we are now free from the limitations of time and location in aspects of communication.
Suggested alternative: and we are now free from the limitations of time and location when communicating.
Explanation – ‘in aspects of communication’ is unnecessarily abstract. ‘When + ‘ing’ is more concise and clearer.


Amended version


It is true that development in science and technology has brought a lot of benefits to our lifestyles as well as increasing the life expectancy of many people. In my opinion, we now live in a much better environment than ever before.
First of all, we get enormous advantages from the advanced state of information technology nowadays. One of the best examples is the Internet, which allows people in the world to communicate each other without barriers. In other words, we now can talk to people who live in other countries through the Internet by simply using programs on it. In addition, one of the outstanding changes in our life is e-mail, which means that we no longer need to post a document or letter and wait for a few days. Instead, we can use the e-mail system to send a letter, document, photo or video and expect it to be received in a matter of seconds within a second. Compared to the past, technology now is much more advanced and we are now free from the limitations of time and location when communicating.


We will analyze the second half of this essay next week.

If you are serious about taking your IELTS writing to the next level, sign up for your FREE 3 part IELTS writing video course that takes you through both task 1 and task 2. The video lessons are led by our highly experienced UK native IELTS teacher, Katherine. We also provide you with exercises to test your understanding!
Sign up your FREE IELTS writing video course by clicking here.