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Follow up video to last post’s exercise – 16 students’ work analyzed

Posted on March 29, 2013 by - 1 Comment

Here is the question and essay response with correctly ordered sentences:

More people are traveling today than ever before.  Why do you think this is?

Today, the number of people engaging in international travel is swelling rapidly.  This is a trend that does not appear to be slowing at all.  Although many factors have contributed to this growth, trade opportunities and tourism are thought to be the main triggers.  Both will be examined in this essay.

On the one hand, the increasing international awareness of growth markets is spurring development in the travel sector.  For example, knowledge of raw resources available in African countries has piqued the interest of manufacturing and consuming nations the world over.  To capitalize on this interest, many are making expeditions to establish cross border connections with businesspeople in the African region.  Thus, it is clear that trade is one of the core reasons international travel is growing.

In addition to this, growing affluence the world over has made it possible for increasing amounts of people to engage in recreational travel.  For instance, Chinese tourist numbers are growing so quickly that major holiday destinations, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, are choosing to display their public signs in French, English and Mandarin.  Thus, the unshrinking need for tourist hotspots to accommodate travelers from various countries is clear evidence that a true link between tourism numbers and international travel exists.  It can therefore be concluded that growing worldwide affluence is fueling a surge in international travel numbers. 

Following this look, it is clear that global trade opportunities and tourism are altering humanity’s need for international travel.  It is thus expected that rates of travel will only continue to climb into the foreseeable future.

You have 48 hours to put this essay’s sentences in order! Your responses will appear in my upcoming YouTube video!

Posted on March 24, 2013 by - 16 Comments

This essay was written in response to the following essay question (seen in January in an unknown location):

More people are traveling today than ever before.  Why do you think this is?

Look at the following sentences.  As a comment to this blog post, please copy and paste these sentences into the right order.  I will be making a video about this exercise and will include images of your responses:

  1. Following this look, it is clear that global trade opportunities and tourism are altering humanity’s need for international travel.
  2. For example, knowledge of raw resources available in African countries has piqued the interest of manufacturing and consuming nations the world over.
  3. Both will be examined in this essay.
  4. For instance, Chinese tourist numbers are growing so quickly that major holiday destinations, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, are choosing to display their public signs in French, English and Mandarin.
  5. In addition to this, growing affluence the world over has made it possible for increasing amounts of people to engage in recreational travel.
  6. Today, the number of people engaging in international travel is swelling rapidly.
  7. Thus, the unshrinking need for tourist hotspots to accommodate travelers from various countries is clear evidence that a true link between tourism numbers and international travel exists.
  8. Thus, it is clear that trade is one of the core reasons international travel is growing.
  9. To capitalize on this interest, many are making expeditions to establish cross border connections with businesspeople in the African region.
  10. It is thus expected that rates of travel will only continue to climb into the foreseeable future.
  11. This is a trend that does not appear to be slowing at all.
  12. On the one hand, the increasing international awareness of growth markets is spurring development in the travel sector.
  13. It can therefore be concluded that growing worldwide affluence is fueling a surge in international travel numbers.
  14. Although many factors have contributed to this growth, trade opportunities and tourism are thought to be the main triggers.

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The essay in this video was written by IELTS Examiner C. This question was seen recently in Sydney:

These days many people prefer to rent rather than buy their own house. Why is this this so? Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of renting or buying, and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and examples from your personal experience where appropriate.

Here is the essay as it appears in the video:

In most major cities in the west, people are opting to rent a home instead of buy. This is mostly because house prices have increased dramatically while personal income has not, a trend that means mortgage repayments now account for a much larger share of income than in the past. Renters have more disposable income every week than buyers and this is a big attraction. However, in my opinion, this is a false economy and in the long run I believe that the advantages of buying a property greatly outweigh the short-term savings to be made by renting.

While it is certainly cheaper week-by-week to rent than pay a mortgage, the renter misses out on the large capital gains to be made when buying a home. When I took out my own mortgage on my two-bedroom apartment, my repayments on a $400,000 loan were about $600 a week, compared with $500 for rental value on a similar property. However, over the past three years my apartment has appreciated by more than $250,000, greatly outweighing the $15,000 I would have saved by renting. In addition to this, my mortgage payments secured an acquisition of property that will remain valuable for my family into the future. Financial growth of this sort is not possible through renting.

Renters do not only lose out on capital gains, they also lose in terms of security and peace of mind. The roof over their heads once their lease is over is always at the mercy of the landlord, who might at any time decide to sell the property. The landlord can also put up the rent when they feel the market warrants it. Further, unless the renter invests their savings judiciously, the money they save will be frittered on day-to-day life, leaving them very much poorer than the buyer once retirement looms.

In conclusion, while a first mortgage will cost more each week than renting, the advantages of buying, including capital appreciation and housing security, greatly outweigh the short-term savings to be made by renting.

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Band 9 writing under an X-ray!

Thanks to ‘Examiner C’ for this model. Here is the essay as it appears in the video:

Many people think that public celebrations (like national holidays, festivals, etc.) are a waste of money and that the government should spend these funds in a better way.

Do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and examples from personal experience where appropriate.

National holidays cost countries and their governments a lot of money. Wages need to be paid to employees despite their absence from work, and a national loss in productivity is experienced. For these reasons, some people suggest governments do away with holidays and instead spend the money on worthy projects. While this might seem at first to be a practical suggestion, I disagree strongly for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it is axiomatic that a country’s production of goods declines when workers are not working; however, this is a tiny part of a much larger economic picture. Productivity is a function not only of hours worked but also of energy, drive, and morale. Thus, national holidays, which give workers a chance to relax and to celebrate aspects of their country and their lives, make for a happier and more productive workforce. In Australia, for example, the long weekend is a tradition that helps to unify society by making all feel rewarded and valued in a common enterprise and identity. It is for these reasons that labelling public celebrations ‘a waste of money’ cannot be supported.

Further, having the financial means to start new national projects is a good thing, but the question of apportioning funds in a manner that an entire society agrees is ‘a better way’ is simply unrealistic. A further consideration is the ramifications of pressure put on workers to work 52 straight weeks a year, a policy that could lead to stress-related illnesses and serious social problems. As this shows, the cancelling of public holidays and redirection of funds is an implausible suggestion.

In conclusion, I must affirm that while it is tempting to realise the short-term increase in productivity and savings that would result from abolishing public holidays, the overall cost greatly outweighs the gains.

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A former examiner wrote this band 9 essay…

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Here is the essay as it appears in the video:

Many people believe that a large proportion of a country’s health budget should be diverted from treatment to spending on health education and preventative measures. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give examples from personal experience where appropriate.

Modern medicine has evolved along two lines: prevention and cure. Many believe that too much emphasis is placed on the latter and that the balance of national health spending should shift to prevention. I am inclined to agree; however, my support is with the stipulation that an imbalance in the other direction should be avoided.

Many modern diseases that require pharmaceutical or surgical intervention, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, are induced by poor lifestyle choices. There is an abundance of evidence that these conditions are brought on by such factors as smoking, excessive dietary fat and sugar, and a lack of physical exercise. I have myself lost several family members to cancers and heart disease caused by smoking. Because the cost of treating these diseases is very high, and the prognosis uncertain, the need for preventative intervention is clear.

Fulfilling this need could be exercised in a number of ways. For one, the government could provide more health and fitness centres, and mount a public awareness campaign to encourage people to use them. In addition to this, taxes could be placed on excessive salt or sugar in processed foods, and special taxes could be added to tobacco products to discourage their use. I believe that measures such as these will in the long term dramatically reduce the incidence of certain deadly diseases.

However, it should be remembered that not all examples of modern disease are preventable or predictable, and it is critical to maintain research into cures for all diseases. Thus, in diverting health spending from treatment to preventative measures, countries should encourage a balanced approach to help extend lifespans and maximise quality of life. Prevention may be better than cure, but it can never wholly replace it.

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