Category Archives: IELTS Writing General

IELTS Avoid Language Bias

IELTS Avoid Language Bias

Suggestions for avoiding language that reinforces stereotypes or excludes certain
groups of people.

Race Ethnicity, and National Origin
Sexual Orientation
Depersonalization of Persons with Disabilities or Illnesses
Patronizing or Demeaning Expressions
Language That Excludes or Unnecessarily Emphasizes Differences

Sexism is the most difficult bias to avoid, in part because of the convention of using man or
men and he or his to refer to people of either sex. Other, more disrespectful conventions
include giving descriptions of women in terms of age and appearance while describing men
in terms of accomplishment.
Avoid This        Use This Instead
mankind,           human beings, humans,
man                   humankind, humanity, people,
society, men and women
man-made         synthetic, artificial
man in the street    average person, ordinary person

Using gender-neutral terms for occupations, positions, roles, etc.
Terms that specify a particular sex can unnecessarily perpetuate certain stereotypes when
used generically.
Avoid This          Use This Instead
anchorman        anchor
bellman,            bellboy
businessman      businessperson, executive, manager, business owner, retailer, etc.
chairman chair,  chairperson
cleaning lady,     housecleaner, housekeeper, cleaning person, office cleaner
girl, maid
clergyman member of the clergy, rabbi, priest, etc.

clergymen          the clergy
congressman      representative, member of Congress, legislator

Race, Ethnicity, and National Origin
Some words and phrases that refer to racial and ethnic groups are clearly offensive. Other
words (e.g., Oriental, colored) are outdated or inaccurate. Hispanic is generally accepted
as a broad term for Spanish-speaking people of the Western Hemisphere, but more
specific terms (Latino, Mexican American) are also acceptable and in some cases
Avoid This         Use This Instead
colored,               black, African-American (generally preferred to Afro-American)
Oriental,             Asian or more specific designation such as Pacific Islander, Chinese
Asiatic                American, Korean Indian Indian properly refers to people who live in or                                 come from India. American Indian, Native American, and more specific                                 designations (Chinook, Hopi) are usually preferred when referring to the                               native peoples of the Western hemisphere.

Eskimo                Inuit, Alaska Natives

native (n.)          native peoples, early inhabitants, aboriginal peoples (but not aborigines)

The concept of aging is changing as people are living longer and more active lives. Be
aware of word choices that reinforce stereotypes (decrepit, senile) and avoid mentioning
age unless it is relevant.
Avoid This                        Use This Instead

elderly, aged,                     older person, senior citizen(s), older people, seniors
old, geriatric,
the elderly,
the aged

Sexual Orientation
The term homosexual to describe a man or woman is increasingly replaced by the terms
gay for men and lesbian for women. Homosexual as a noun is sometimes used only in
reference to a male. Among homosexuals, certain terms (such as queer and dyke) that are
usually considered offensive have been gaining currency in recent years. However, it is still
prudent to avoid these terms in standard contexts.


Avoiding Depersonalization of Persons with Disabilities or Illnesses

Terminology that emphasizes the person rather than the disability is generally preferred.
Handicap is used to refer to the environmental barrier that affects the person. (Stairs
handicap a person who uses a wheelchair.) While words such as crazy, demented, and
insane are used in facetious or informal contexts, these terms are not used to describe
people with clinical diagnoses of mental illness. The euphemisms challenged, differently
abled, and special are preferred by some people, but are often ridiculed and are best

Avoid This                    Use This Instead

Mongoloid                      person with Down syndrome

wheelchair-bound          person who uses a wheelchair

Avoiding Patronizing or Demeaning Expressions
These are expressions which can offend, regardless of intention. References to age, sex,
religion, race, and the like should only be included if they are relevant.
Avoid This                      Use This Instead
girls (when                        women
referring to adult
women), the fair

IELTS writing task 2 academic and GT Tips

IELTS writing task 2 Academic and GT Tips

In the second part of the IELTS Academic/GT Writing Test, you have to write 250 words. You should spend 40 minutes on this task. Writing Task 2 is worth more than Task 1, so you need to do it well.

For IELTS Writing Task 2, you have to write an essay discussing a topic. You will be given an opinion/ argument, different points of view or a problem to discuss.

Most students prepare phrases for introducing and linking ideas. However, not many students prepare good ideas and opinions for IELTS topics.

We’ll work on these areas:

  • How to structure a good Task 2 essay.
  • Preparation of ideas, opinions and good vocabulary for each IELTS topic.
  • How to build and link sentences to create coherent paragraphs.
  • Common mistakes in grammar and word usage.

Some hard work on these areas can make a big difference to your writing score.  JJ


Today I want to show you what happens in my brain when I see any IELTS Writing Task 2 question.

Here are my thinking steps:

  1. I read the question very carefully, maybe five times. I ask myself “What’s the topic? What is the question asking me to write about?”
  2. I underline the key things that must be included in the essay. I always answer every part of the question.
  3. Now I think about my 4-paragraph structure. I can write any type of essay in 4 paragraphs; I just need to decide what to put in each paragraph.
  4. If I need to give my opinion, I think, “What is the easiest opinion to explain? What good vocabulary could I use?”
  5. Then I write down some vocabulary ideas that are related to the topic.
  6. I try to write 2 sentences for the introduction: I introduce the topic; then give a simple answer (including my opinion if the question asks for it).
  7. I write short ‘topic sentences’ to start each paragraph; then develop my ideas by explaining and supporting with examples.
  8. I look at the question from time to time in order to check that I’m answering every part of it.
  9. I know that I write about 7-8 words per line; therefore, I can quickly check the approximate number of words that I have written.
  10. If I need more words (to reach 250), I expand one of my examples in the main body paragraphs. If necessary, I draw an arrow to show where I want to add the extra words.


 How to write an introduction!!

For IELTS Writing Task 2, keep your introduction short and simple. Don’t waste time writing a long introduction; the main body paragraphs are more important.

A good IELTS Writing introduction needs only 2 things:

  1. A sentence that introduces the topic
  2. A sentence that gives a short, general answer to the question



IELTS writing task 2 Academic and GT Tips, IELTS writing task 2, Academic and GT Tips, IELTS writing,  IELTS task 2 Academic and GT Tips

17 IELTS Writing Sample essays

17 IELTS Writing Sample essays


  1. Sample essay:

Every week millions of people buy lottery tickets, hoping their small investment will make them rich. They often believe that if they won a million dollars, their troubles would be over. If they actually got the money, would their dreams come true?

Whether people live “happily ever after” when they win the lottery probably depends on what their dreams are. Money can buy some things but not others.

Cash buys houses, cars, and college educations; it pays for medical treatment and clears up overdue bills. Money also purchases travel and new experiences. A million dollars could allow someone to quit a tough, boring job and try for something better. It could provide a feeling of security.

On the other hand, winning so much money could actually cause some problems. A person who quit working might eventually become bored or lose some self-respect. Family members might squabble over what should be purchased. Long-lost friends, relatives, and even complete strangers are likely to want a handout. The winner must then decide whom to help and whom to offend.

Despite all these drawbacks, I would rather win the money than not. The difficulties of having to manage a million dollars are troubles I would like to have.


  1. Sample essay:

“After the baby is born, things will never be the same.” People say that to expectant parents-and they are right!

It will be a long time before those parents can again sleep late in the morning. A baby wakes early, screaming for food. The toddler thinks 6 a.m. is the right time to start the day. After that come early school mornings.

It will be years before the parents can go anywhere together on the spur of the moment. Every outing must be planned ahead so that a baby-sitter can be found. The budget will be stretched, the work load will get heavier, and by the time parents can be alone, they may be too tired to talk.

Still, people want children. Why?

One reason is that children are a link to the future. They will probably be here after the parents are gone. In addition, their children will live after them.

A deeper reason for wanting children, perhaps, is that the more people we have to love, the more fulfilled our lives can be. By giving to a child, people enrich their own lives. In the end, we live not only for ourselves, but for others.


  1. Sample essay:

It hurts to look at a paycheck and see how much of it was taken out for income tax. That money could have paid some important bills. It is easy to dream of doing away with the income tax and keeping all that money for ourselves.

If there were no income tax, however, the government would have a lot less to spend. The money we send to Washington seems to fall into a black hole and disappear. Actually, though, many people depend on it. The money pays the salaries of government employees, who provide services from drug control to highway building. It supports our military defense. Also, much of the money is returned to people in the form of student loans, veterans’ benefits, and payments to farmers, for example. The government has been working to cut its budget lately. With every cut, someone complains loudly.

So if the income tax were eliminated, other taxes would have to make up for it. Paying those other taxes would also hurt. Sales taxes fall most heavily on poor people. Taxes on manufacturers only result in higher prices to consumers.

Income taxes are not fun to pay. But doing without them would be worse. In my opinion, income taxes should be made as fair as possible. Then we each must “bite the bullet” and do our share.


  1. Sample essay:

Television has changed both the way we spend our time and what we know about the world. Some of the changes brought by television have improved our way of life, but others have made it worse.



People today on the average spend several hours a day watching television. In times past, they would sit on their front steps and visit on nice evenings. This neighborly visiting built close friendships, but it seldom takes place any longer. Even though families may all watch TV together, they may not communicate much. Some women have called themselves “sports widows” because their husbands spend every spare minute watching televised football, baseball, and other sports.

On the other hand, people have learned more about the world because of television. People in small towns know more about the city, and people in cities have learned about the country. Politicians, celebrities, wars, and disasters appear in the living room. Programs take viewers to the bottom of the sea, the tops of mountains, and even outer space.

Some people think television leads to violence, immorality, and greed for possessions. I am not sure whether this is true. However, good or bad, TV is here to stay. It is up to each of us to make the most of its opportunities and avoid its problems.


  1. Sample essay:

When lack of money prevents us from having something we want very much, it is tempting to dream of being rich. It is hard to keep in mind that Americans are already wealthy compared with people in many other parts of the world. Our modern conveniences would have been the envy of kings in times past. Just the same, most people would like a larger. Whether most people are capable of making a lot of money is another question.

People in average circumstances can often get ahead through education, hard work, and careful money management. But getting ahead is not the same as actually becoming rich.

Only a small percentage of Americans could be called truly wealthy. Some people joined this group from ordinary beginnings. Usually they have done it by carefully riding some major development in the economy on its way up. In the past, great fortunes have been made in oil, steel, and railroads. Recently, some people have made millions in computers and real estate.

Usually, though, it takes money to make money. Big investors often start rich and then get richer.

Most of us cannot strike oil or start the next new technical breakthrough. Most people are not born into wealthy families, either. In America it certainly is possible to become more prosperous. But unless someone wins the lottery, real wealth is not very likely to come along.

Read more »

Complaining letter about the bad service, IELTS General Task 1 Sample

Write a letter to the manager complaining about the bad service

(IELTS General Task 1 Sample)

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

You ordered a new cheque book from your bank two weeks ago but you have received nothing.

Write a letter to the manager complaining about the bad service. Say when and how you ordered the cheque book. Ask how much longer you will have to wait and ask the manager what action he will take over this matter.

You should write at least 150 words.

You do NOT need to write your own address. Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Sir/Madam,

model answer:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to complain about the service that I have received at your bank. Two weeks ago I ordered a cheque book by filling out the appropriate form when I visited the bank but since then I have not received the cheque book and I have received no other correspondence from the bank. It is quite urgent for me as I have quite a few bills that I need to pay that can only be paid by cheque.

Please write to me as soon as possible and let me know how much longer I will have to wait for my cheque book and please explain why I have had to wait so long. I would also like to know what action you are going to take regarding this bad service.

I have been a customer of your bank now for fifteen years and this is the first time I have had to complain. It is very disappointing.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Swann

(172 words)


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