Top Tips for IELTS

IELTS poverty essay writing competition

This is a new type of lesson for me – online anyway. This time I am not going to show you my essay just yet. Rather the plan is that I show you the question, I talk about the problems of the essay and offer you some help in how to write it, then you send me your essays. Then this time next week I will post my essay.

Update

I have now written my own essay on this topic. Which you can find here. I really do suggest that you read through the essays in the comments below and think about what I say about them. The essays are full of good language and ideas you can borrow. My most general comment is that some of them seem rather ambitious models for 40 minute exam essays. You can read more about that here.

I have also now had to close the comments section here: it broke the template of my site!!!

Poverty and aid essay (26457)

What’s the idea?

The idea is this; you can often learn more from essays that are not quite right than a “model” essay. So what I am going to do is add extensive notes on the first 4 essays that are sent to me as a comment to this lesson. My comments will not be so much this is band 6.0 or band 8.0, rather they will say what went right and what went wrong in the key essay writing skills. That I think can be a real learning exercise.

I also hope that more than 4 people will send me an essay as a comment – the more the better – and I will try to add shorter comments to as many essays as possible –  but life is only so long! Another part of the idea is to show how there is almost always more than one way to answer an essay question: it is possible to learn from each other.

The essay question

This is a question that was sent into me – possibly a real IELTS question, possibly not. It is certainly a topic you need to be able to write about.

Even though developing countries receive financial aid, poverty is still a problem. Some people believe that in order to eliminate poverty in developing countries other forms of aid are needed .
To what extent do you agree or disagree? And suggest what other form of aid could be offered.

Thinking about the question

Different questions pose different problems. Here are two immediate problems I see with this question. Get either of these wrong and your task response band score will suffer.

  1. You should immediately see that there are two parts to this question: to what extent do you agree and suggesting other forms of aid. Any answer must focus on both parts of the question.
  2. Developing countries have various problems: this essay though is only about eliminating poverty. An easy trap to fall into is to write about other issues. You can of course mention them, but only in the context of poverty and financial aid.

Structuring the essay

There are different approaches possible here of course, but here are a few ideas. This is a complex essay as it involves two parts, it is probably simplest to answer the two questions separately. Simple tends to be good in exam circumstances. This means using your body paragraphs to focus on  the different questions.

Use examples – don’t just argue/explain

This is a complex question and it is quite possible to make your answer too complicated. My best suggestion is to focus on using examples to demonstrate your ideas. I say this because examples are normally easier to write and they are an excellent way of explaining complex ideas clearly.This may mean that you do not include all your ideas but only those that you can explain clearly in a short essay.

Ideas and vocabulary for IELTS poverty essays

This is quite a complex question. Here are some thoughts for you to consider. The idea is to get you thinking and to help you a little with vocab. I have just used questions here, as the idea is to get you to think.

  1. What are the causes of poverty in developing countries? Is it possible that climate and drought for example are significant factors?
  2. What is the difference between prevention and cure?
  3. Is the best solution long-term or short-term?
  4. Is the best solution for countries for developing countries to become less dependent on external financial aid and develop their own programmes?
  5. To what extent is it possible to generalise here? Are the problems in sub-Saharan Africa the same as in Asia?
  6. Would aid that was delivered directly to individuals in the community be more effective than aid given to governments?
  7. What skills do people need to escape the poverty trap
  8. What organisations can help? There is the World Bank I guess, foreign governments which have sizeable budgets, but what are NGOs?
  9. Can education play a part in helping to alleviate poverty? Is health also connected?

Read before you write

The people who write best are almost always those who read most. Here a few links that may give you more language and ideas for IELTS poverty essays:

  • The poverty trap – Wikipedia isn’t always a great source but a good way to use it is to follow the links it has to other places on the internet.
  • Will foreign aid end global poverty? – a report from ABC with some interesting examples
  • VSO – this is a major British charitable organisation that has “Our vision is a world without poverty” as its mission statement. Read about the sort of things it does – great for examples in your essay.

Footnote

If this model of lesson works, I hope to repeat it at regular intervals. To make it work, all I need is a few essays submitted as comments.

 

   

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25 Responses to IELTS poverty essay writing competition

  1. Joseph Choi March 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Even though developing countries receive financial aid, poverty is still a problem. Some people believe that in order to eliminate poverty in developing countries other forms of aid are needed .
    To what extent do you agree or disagree? And suggest what other form of aid could be offered.

    These days, many NGOs and government organisations march under the banner of “Free African Nations” and ask for a small donation as millions of people living in developing countries often suffer from lack of clean water, sanitation and housing. The campaign to save the poverty-stricken public in developing countries, such as Kenya, has echoed in communities around the world, yet the problems still remain in those regions. Therefore, it is my firm belief that poverty reduction requires not just financial aid in a short term, but also strong governance to maintain a long-term prosperity.

    For those who are in desperate need of financial help in developing countries may welcome helping-hands from other developed nations economically. This has proven to be a success story, especially in South Korea where a daily living expense was just under $1 per day in 1960s; however, with economic assistance from the U.S., South Korea is now considered to be a developed nation helping other countries. Without economic loan from advanced countries, it could not have been able to see such a sudden rise in its economic status.

    Although the case of South Korea is a good illustration for a sound policy of financial aid, countries like Kenya are still struggling with their own internal affairs. Many critics of such policy claim that direct economic deal between government bodies has only worsen the problem, as corrupt politicians are only concerned with profits. Furthermore, developing nations may have a good reason to guise their own domestic issues under economic achievement, such as GDP growth, and this often contributes to justifying ill-managed financial support.

    For the aforementioned reasons, I would argue that financial aid is required for a short term, but fundamental aid comes from well-constructed governance. Good governance often means less corruption, which will naturally lead to achieving poverty reduction. Take the example of Nigeria where the rule of law has been well managed and corruption rate has decreased as a result. This has helped a fight against the poverty there. Millions of people in Nigeria can now receive a free health care and housing support.

    As reading the information presented, one can now see that I agree with the view that financial aid can work in cases where strong presence of good governance is there already. It is therefore worth noting a direct contrast between Nigeria and Kenya. If we are to succeed the combat against poverty, we should therefore keep a close eye on how governance is structured or managed, regardless of one’s economic status.

    • Dominic Cole March 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      Wow. A simply fantastic essay. Whoever wrote this should have absolutely no problems with IELTS. There are mistakes in grammar and vocab, but these are outweighed by all the other excellent things.But I do worry slightly.

      My concern is this: is this an IELTS essay? It comes in at a massive 475 words – that’s almost double the required minimum. There’s no penalty that I know of for that, but the examiner is getting something that he/she is not expecting – and there’s a strong case for giving the examiner what they are expecting.

      Use of examples

      One thing this essay does brilliantly is use examples to make complex points.I suggest you read how the examples are used in paragraphs 2,3 and 4 to see how you can use examples to argue about difficult ideas. This is model writing.

      Task response

      Again, in some ways this is a model. The question is identified in the introduction as is the writer’s position, and then this is mirrored/repeated in the conclusion. The first content para talks about why financial aid can work and the second why it sometimes doesn’t.

      One problem comes in the third paragraph – does this suggest an alternative form of aid as required by the question? You could argue that it does.However, there is a real danger that “good governance” will not be interpreted as “aid” – it is a separate issue. I personally would have much preferred the writer to address the question more directly here (by using the words from the question) – directly say that another form of aid would be for help to be given in ensuring a system of good governance. That way the reader/examiner can be in no doubt that both parts of the question have been answered. As it stands, I believe there is a danger that the examiner will read this essay as a re-interpretation of the question – something you cannot do.

      Grammar

      This is an interesting essay to read. Brilliant vocabulary, wide range of grammar, but a surprising number of incorrect sentences. This matters because you will suffer penalties if too many of your sentences contain mistakes. Have a look a the first few paras:
      suffer from A(article) lack of clean water
      not just financial aid in THE (article) short term
      to maintain @ (no ARTICLE)long-term prosperity
      where THE (article0 daily living expense (wrong word try cost of living)

      There is a clear message here. All these problems are really just one problem. Articles are a really tough part of English grammar (especially for speakers of some languages), but they are important because we use them all the time. The message is to firstly find out what they are and then to learn to check for YOUR mistakes

      Finally

      I love this essay but i wouldn’t try and write it in a language exam.If it has a problem with content, it is that it tries to be too intelligent. It’s key to remember that IELTS is a test of language, not intelligence. What you need to do is show you can write an answer to the question. If you are an academic person you may go wrong by trying to show off your ideas by answering a slightly different question.

  2. tsogyal March 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    In recent years, post World Wars, most of the developed nations take keen interest and responsibility in providing aids to under-developed and developing nations. In spite of it, many countries are still trapped in this vicious circle of poverty for reasons being vast. Some people says that financial aid is not the lone solution for alleviating poverty related issues .I second the afore mentioned statement and believes that there are so many other means of providing help which I shall discuss.
    Firstly, many of the financial aids provided are not delivered properly to make the right use of it due to the government being corrupted and the lay people being uneducated .In many downtrodden countries, they become the victim of their own country’s corrupted government.
    Secondly, provision of money directly will not motivate or help people to live a better life out of poverty. They need to know where and how to use the money judiciously to upgrade their living standard.
    Therefore, in my opinion, if the main motivation behind helping the poorer nations is to help them out of poverty, the developed nations should adopt other methods of help. Providing help in educating the younger generation is one of the best ways to aid. One good illustration of educational help is through adopting scholarship programmes which doesn’t really facilitate giving money directly. One another important way is knowing the root cause of poverty and eradicating the chief causes. Last but not the least, fund providers should not give help to poorer nations through their government, instead should appoint United Nation agencies such as UNICEF or UNESCO in delivering help in means of man power or medical facilities.
    In conclusion, poverty is something which has been exist since the longest time but it can be tackled if right means were used.Finacial help is undeniably very crucial but there are certain other ways to help poverty in this world.

    • Dominic Cole March 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      This is a very good answer to the question – not an easy question to write about at all. For me, the best part of this essay is its clear and logical structure – using each body paragraph to address one half of the question.

      Vocab

      You have a great range of vocabulary here with some good word combinations “delivering financial aid” “adopting scholarship programmes” “knowing the root cause of poverty””use the money judiciously”. Just occasionally though, you do make little mistakes here “corrupt” not “corrupted”, “aid” is not a verb so you need to say this is one of the best ways to provide aid”, and I’m not quite sure what you mean by “facilitate giving money directly” – thats seems like a long word for the sake of a long word. I also dislike “I second the afore-mentioned statement” – all you mean is “I agree” – don’t be afraid to use simple language for simple concepts.

      Grammar

      There are more problems here and this, I suggest, is the area you need to work on most. Here are some of the problems you have:

      “most of the developed nations take A (article) keen interest”
      “much (not many) (uncountable) of the financial aid”
      “In many countries… they have become” – it is possible to use “become” here but I suggest the present perfect is more accurate.
      “poverty is something which has existed (not has been exist) (passive and present perfect)
      “instead THEY should appoint” (missing subject)

      The question you need to ask yourself is whether you “knew” this grammar already. If so, you need to spend more time checking your writing and possibly building a checklist of your mistakes.

      Coherence and cohesion

      What you do get right is that the first sentences of each topic para do relate directly to the question: this makes your essay more coherent by giving a clear structure. You also have a nice range of connecting phrases too:

      “one other important way’ “one good illustration” “therefore” etc

      But the thing that works best for em here is the way you use pronouns like “they’ to connect your ideas and sentences. simple but effective.

      Task response

      Good work.

      • tsogyal March 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

        Dear Dominic,
        Thank you so much for the feedback on my work.Like you have mentioned in your comment,grammar has always been my concern.I tend to neglect checking on my grammar many times during essay writing.
        I’ll work on my grammar better.Your advices are well noted and have been immense help.

  3. Alexandra March 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    The issue of poverty in developing countries (or third-word countries, as they were once referred to) has been the subject of many debates.

    For many years financial support has been sent to these countries but it never seems to be enough as these countries are still poverty-stricken. This triggered some strong reactions in the popular opinion; some think that the money sent by richer countries is not enough and the solution is just to send more money while others think that by sending more money the problem will not be solved and other solutions must be put into place.

    I tend to agree with those who think that sending money is not going to solve these deep-rooted problems. It would be much more important in my opinion to teach these countries how to build a healthy economy, how to grow successful crops, how to raise livestock, how to build infrastructures. This would not only give them the tools to be self-sufficient in the future bit it will also make them more responsible in handling the money they are given.

    I would therefore suggest a two-pronged approach to this problem: to keep the money flow going as it is necessary to buy the raw materials to build infrastructure, the seeds to sow, the cattle and so on while on the other hand send to these countries some professionals (engineers, agronomists, doctors, economists) to show and teach them how to be independent from outside help.

    In conclusion, I realise there is no easy solution to this matter but I think that showering these countries with money will never solve their poverty problem unless it is paired with some help on becoming more independent.

    • Dominic Cole March 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      Bravo. This is a truly excellent essay.

      Vocab

      You have some truly excellent words/phrases in here: “two-pronged approach”, “raw materials” solutions must be put into place” “countries are still poverty-stricken” “the tools to be self-sufficient” “a healthy eco
      nomy”. The best thing is that you use these words well in context and have an obvious understanding of collocation (word combinations) eg “No easy solution” – do this and you don’t long/complex words.

      Grammar

      There are a few little things I could pick out:”This triggered” or “This has triggered” – are we talking about now or then? “Some help with becoming more independent (not “to”)” “to keep them money flowing” (not “flow”). These problems are few are far between though and are unlikely to cause you any problems in the exam. I would also say that you show a good range of grammar too and that’s just as important – I particularly like the modal “would” in “I would suggest”. One thing to watch out for is commas. There is one type of comma you don’t seem to use at all – the one that separates two clauses:
      This would not only give them the tools to be self-sufficient in the future bUt, COMMA it will also make them more responsible in handling the money they are given.

      Coherence and cohesion
      I commend you for your consistent use of “This” to link your ideas. Simple but very effective

      Task response
      You address both halves of the task clearly and make your own position evident. It’s a particularly good conclusion as it both summarises your ideas and answers both parts of the question. A model really.

      • Alexandra March 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

        Hi Dominic! Last night I saw your comment on Natalia’s work without realising you had commented on mine as well !
        First of all thanks for giving me your opinion on my work, I do realise now that my grammar was a bit sloppy. It is true that I tend not to use the comma to separate teo sentences … Duly noted!
        In the sentence ‘ to keep the money flow going ‘ I used ‘flow’ as a noun … Was it wrong?
        Thanks again for your feedback. If i may say so this kind of feedback is really invaluable and 100% more effective than theory alone.

  4. Suresh March 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    Even though developing countries receive financial aid, poverty is still a problem. Some people believe that in order to eliminate poverty in developing countries other forms of aid are needed .
    To what extent do you agree or disagree? And suggest what other form of aid could be offered.

    Nowadays all developing nations around the world are getting financial help from more Industrialised nations. Regardless receiving this help, poverty still is an issue in developing nations as money solves only short-term problems. I completely agree with the view that inorder to kill poverty, in less industrialised nations they have to receive other sort of help like education and jobs.

    Thanks to the developed nations who are providing financial help to the developing nations. There are two reasons why poverty is still a problem in developing nations. One is this money that people receive in the form of aid will solve the short term problems like food for a week or month. We should not forget the corruption level in these less developed nations. Most of the money will go to bank accounts of politicians of that country. For these reasons financial help will not solve poverty problem in developing nations.

    Education is the most important thing that eradicate poverty.Firstly, If poor people gets higher education in the form of aid will have positive impact on their lives, as they will get a good jobs after their graduation. Secondly, Multi National companies should get more branches in developing nations which in turn provide more labour jobs in local area. As a result, on long term we can eliminate poverty by providing good education and proper jobs to the poor people.

    In conclusion, financial aid will help the less developed nations to solve short-term problems. To eliminate the poverty from these countries they have have receive educational and career aid from industrialised nations in addition to the financial aid

    • Dominic Cole March 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      Hi Suresh

      Good job. The best thing about this essay is how you address the question and structure your essay. The problems you have are mostly “language” related.

      Structure

      Your introduction and conclusion are models of an effective way to address the question and establish your position. I like the way the “mirror” each other.

      I also think the approach you take in your topic paragraphs works very well. You address one part of the question in one paragraph (financial aid works in the short-term only) and suggest other ways to help in the other (education and labour are related issues). This is clear and logical.

      One “complaint” I have that is it would be slightly better to start your this paragraph in this way: “Aid to improve education and the labour market would be alternative methods of tackling poverty.” It reflects the content of the para better.

      Vocab

      You have a nice range of vocab that you use effectively. I like for instance:

      short-term problems
      industrialised nations
      to eliminate poverty

      When you go wrong it is by getting word combinations slightly wrong, e.g.:

      the problem of poverty not “poverty problem”
      in the long term not “on long term”

      Grammar

      While you are mostly accurate, there are times you go wrong. This, for instance, is not a complete sentence:

      Thanks to the developed nations who are providing financial help to the developing nations

      And here there are too many “little” things

      Education is the most important thing (that) to eradicate poverty.Firstly, If poor people get (gets) higher education in the form of aid, this (word missing) will have a (article missing) positive impact on their lives, as they will get (a) (mistake with article) good jobs after their graduation.

      The question is, how many of those mistakes did you know? Only you can answer that.

  5. Jan March 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    There are those who say that financial aid given to the developing countries is not going to eliminate poverty in the long term. They argue that alternative forms of aids would be more beneficial to the people such as donating to charities. In this essay, I am going to examine both sides of the argument.
    The causes for poverty in developing countries are limited access to credit and capital market, environmental degradation, poor education and war among many others. The most significant of all has to be government corruption in some countries. For instance, Africa has been receiving financial assistance for the past 40 years, however the citizen of the countries are still poor and struggle to meet their basic needs. On the other hand, the government officials are getting wealthier. Another crucial reason is the credit and capital market in African countries, where the habitants are not able to trade, borrow and start their own businesses, as a result of corruption.
    An alternative approach to this issue is to donate money through charities, such as VSO, which main aim is to improve people’s financial situation on the long-term. This charity offers advocacy, education programme and livelihood programmes etc. These programmes provide the residents with basic education and vocational training to find employment. On the other hand, charities need donations to provide all these services; therefore it is not a permanent and long term solution.
    To conclude, people in developing countries need financial aid to get out of poverty. However, I feel giving the funds to charities rather than government would be more beneficial to the citizen of the country, as charities keep a close eye on the money and are more focused on helping the poor rather than the local government officials.

    • Dominic Cole March 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Okay, slightly briefer comments here.

      Good essay – well thought out with a nice range of language. A problem I have is with your first content paragraph. It doesn’t fit into the structure of the essay. You say in your (excellent) intro that you are going to look at both sides of the argument and then you start talking about the causes of poverty.

      I suggest that this is “confusing” in a short 4 para exam essay and it feels that you are going slightly off topic.You can include this idea, but it would be much better done in a para beginning “One limitation of giving financial aid is that it does address the root causes of poverty”

      • Jan March 13, 2013 at 2:14 am #

        Thanks a lot for your comment!
        I do agree with your point. I always feel the need to explain the causes for the topic.
        I have my exam next week and I am grateful for your commands.

  6. Natalia March 8, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    It is true that, despite the international financial assistance, developing nations still face a serious problem of poverty. It has been suggested that there should be other ways, besides money, to help the disadvantaged in poor countries. In my opinion, a combination of both: targeted investments and some practical measures would work the best.

    The principal reason why the financial help to developing nations is considerably criticised is the fact that it can provoke corruption in the local governments. In other words, it is not used according to its purpose. Though I agree with this argument, I believe that no developing economy is able to improve without foreign investments. In this case, targeted investments would be one reasonable suggestion. For instance, it would be a good idea to create joint enterprises to build roads, railroads and other transport systems. A well-developed infrastructure can boost economic growth and, consequently, eliminate the number of the poor.

    Another way to control the use of financial help is to carry out projects directly in the country of need. For example, some volunteers from Canada regularly collect donations in their community, purchase necessary equipment and then go to the rural areas of Mali to build water wells.

    Finally, help can be offered in the non-fiscal form. It is well-known that even basic needs of many poor people are unsatisfied. Hunger, shortage of water, infectious diseases can be effectively addressed if packages of long-lasting foods, water supplies and vaccines are sent to the needed.

    My conclusion is that there certainly are grounds for concern over offering financial aid to the developing nations, however, measures of control as well as simple practical actions can be taken to make sure this help is used purposefully.

    • Dominic Cole March 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      Another really great essay.

      Organisation.

      The intro is very well-written. You identify both parts of the question and clarify your position. Any examiner reading the intro will immediately think “this person is on task” and a good first impression matters.

      As the essay continues it moves slightly away from the issue of poverty into the question of aid in general. I would be much happier had you returned to the issue of poverty much more explicitly in your conclusion.

      Language

      Superb. Here are just a few phrases that I like and people can learn from:

      My conclusion is that there certainly are grounds for concern over
      would be one reasonable suggestion
      A well-developed infrastructure can boost economic growth

      There are also lots of more complex structures used well eg

      if packages of long-lasting foods, water supplies and vaccines are sent to the needed

      Coherece and cohesion

      You writing is extremely cohesive and the way you link sentences works very well. Just in paragraph 2, I see

      “In other words”
      “this argument”
      “In this case”

      Summary

      All the language is there and more. My only recommendation is to make 100% certain that you are addressing the question at all points in the essay. You have great writing skills.

      • Alexandra March 10, 2013 at 1:57 am #

        Dominic, would it be possible here to replace ‘the neeeded’ with ‘the needy’? Are they synonims ? Thanks
        By the way, I think this essay was really outstanding.

      • Natalia March 10, 2013 at 3:36 am #

        Hi, Dominic. Thank you so much for your detailed answer.
        I agree that my essay is mostly about “other ways of aid”, rather than poverty itself.

        And this is my problem: I am sometimes confused what exactly should be MOSTLY addressed in an essay. Could you comment on that, please?

        I saw the 1st sentence of the task as background information, so I didn’t write too much about poverty itself, but concentrated on the second sentence – suggestion that “other forms are needed”. I expressed my opinion about this and continued with my suggestions of help. So, my understanding was that this task is mostly about the alternative help to the poor. It looks that I am not quite right here…

        Would it be enough to change just the conclusion to sound more explicit? This is my second attempt:

        My conclusion is that there certainly are grounds for concern over the poverty and multiple financial assistance in relation to the developing nations, however, by means of targeted investments as well as small practical actions these issues might be addressed more successfully.

        Thank you, Dominic.

        • Dominic Cole March 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

          Okay. I need to be careful here. It is possible that your essay would be read as an appropriate response to the question. It’s just that it’s also possible that it may not be. That would be a shame because your English is great.

          My suggestion? Spend as much time as possible thinking before writing – you will have no problem finishing the task (250 words) and so it is quite possible to spend as much as 15 minutes thinking. You still have 25 minutes to write.

          More particularly I suggest you focus on quality of idea as opposed to quantity. This means that you select the idea(s) that best fit the question. This means not writing about some ideas. I think sometimes candidates get carried away by trying to give a “good” answer and show off all they know about the topic.

          Again, I suggest you focus on what I call the spine of the essay (introduction, topic sentences and conclusion). I will try and explain this more when I write my own essay. But the general idea is to narrow the focus of your answer to the question itself.

          And, yes, I do prefer your second conclusion.

          • Natalia March 11, 2013 at 7:32 am #

            Thank you, Dominic. I see what you mean.

  7. Azza March 8, 2013 at 4:51 am #

    Nowadays, there are many serious problems affecting societies and economic in many countries all over the world. One of these problems is poverty, which is considered as one of the most terrible ills of societies that needs to be viewed seriously and handled with care. In this essay I will discuss the issue in a greater depth along with the possible forms of aids and solutions.
    Firstly, there is no one size-fits definition of poverty. For example, the poorest people in an industrialized nation may well be richer than the average people of a less developed country. Poverty can be measured by income levels where in a one society some people are of high income while others are of a very low income. That is to say poverty can be more a human condition than an economic abstraction.
    Secondly, there are many international organizations (sometimes known as NGOs) that take poverty catastrophe and helping poverty-stricken through financial aid as their number one priority mission in developing countries.
    Although these organizations usually pay considerable amounts of money in order to eliminate poverty, still some people believe that foreign aid alone will not solve the global poverty problem, as it can be a solution on the short term only. They argue that the problem has to be eliminated from the roots, by finding out the main causes of poverty and deciding on the best ways and practices to overcome this issue. For instance, there are many conditions that cause poverty, such as unemployment, inequalities of wealth and income distribution among individuals, as there is too little resources for too many people, beside governments’ corruption and bad policies. As a result of all mentioned causes, societies suffer from lack of money, homeless, famine, poor health care and education. Consequently these result in very radical and terrifying situations, such as children being abandoned by parents because of inability to feed, clothe, and educate them, or crime rates become very high in the society.
    In conclusion, I agree that foreign aid can be a solution for poverty on the short term, but at the same time, there are other forms of aids that must be taken in consideration in order to eliminate poverty in developing countries. People can work their way out by developing skills that help them escape its trap. Education can be the most important aspect to start with. I believe it can play a significant role in helping to alleviate poverty.

  8. Dominic Cole March 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Hi Azza
    This is an essay full of good language and ideas. You clearly have the potential to get a very good band score in IELTS. But there are definitely things to think about.

    411 words – that’s not long. It’s really, really long. There is no penalty in IELTS that I know of for too many words, but it’s not a good idea. You want to try and select your best ideas and reasons and use them in an organised way. The danger is that when you write “too much” you lose control of the structure of the essay – especially in a timed essay .Here the particular problem is that you fail to maintain a consistent position throughout the essay and a lot of what you write does not directly address the question.
    I don’t get any idea of your position in the introduction. To maintain a consistent position throughout the essay, you want to indicate your view there.

    Your paragraph 2 doesn’t really address the question. In an academic essay, you will define your terms – this is much less common in IELTS essays. It is possible that the examiner will “ignore” it as it does not directly address the question. Wasted words I’m afraid.

    Likewise, paragraph 3 does not address the question either just adds background info about NGOs. You want to be writing about how effective finance is in eradicating poverty and you haven’t done that yet. Also be very careful of one sentence paragraphs – they are almost always signs of undeveloped ideas – as here.

    Your fourth paragraph is where you start to address the question. The problem, for me, is that I have to work quite hard to see a “direct” answer to both parts of the question for two reasons. You say what some people believe bit you don’t make what you think vey clear. I can guess what your opinion about the effectiveness of finance and other solutions – but I shouldn’t have to guess. Your opinion only really becomes clear in your final para.

    Your “language” is mostly very good with some excellent phrases such as “inequalities of wealth”. The mistakes you do make are fairly minor “too few (not little) resources” and “in (not on) the short term and one or two slightly misused words. My recommendation is that in the short term you work on:

  9. fewer words!
    a clearer paragraph structure where you use the “topic sentences” of each para to focus on the question (starts are always important) – a good tip is to try and make your paras roughly equal in length
    addressing the question(s) more directly
  • max March 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    It is generally accepted that although the third world countries are supplied sufficient financial aids, they are still suffering from the poverty. In my view, there might be several causes for this such as the lack of efficient long term plans and issues in politics. However, I believe that it would be ideal and also advantageous if these countries are given the chance to stand on their own.

    The immediate reason for the existence of poverty in the third world countries is that they do not have a proper plan to use the financial aids in a productive manner. A good illustration of this is WWWWW, my motherland. In 2004, after the massive destruction caused by Tsunami, we were given a huge some of money for the welfare of the affected people and to develop the infrastructure in the respective areas. But according to my knowledge, a part of this money went to the pockets of the politicians because the government did not have a long term goal. Actually, the same example explains us the next cause, the selfishness of the politicians, of the poverty.

    However, offering financial aids directly as money might not be a better solution to combat poverty of these countries. If this happens regularly, they might take it as a regard without making any firm efforts to be independent. To avoid this circumstance, other types of aids can be offered. For instance, scholarships can be offered to the outstanding students of these countries. Further, knowledge transfer programs could be arranged so that they will have the domain knowledge and they can try something new which is the first step of being self-reliant.

    Personally, I am of the opinion that the many of the developing countries do not make sufficient hard work to be developed and they wait until the help comes from the rich with their mouths opened. Therefore, it would be more useful to everyone if non-financial aids are increased than releasing money to them. Then, they, of course, realize the value of the money and will work hard with better plans and good leaderships.

  • Anonymous March 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    This is my response to the task for competition.
    In this you tube era, third world countries obtain monetary assistance from wealthy nations in order to come out of poverty. Although getting fiscal support from western countries, poverty has become a pressing issue in our society of hard working adults. This will be proven by looking at this problem in depth along with its other forms of aid and solutions.
    On the one hand, many educationally oriented people feel that economic aid from industrialized countries can cure poverty the world over. Recently, an eminent American economist and the author of the book “The End Of poverty” has urged the U.S administration and other western governments to expand their budgets for the poverty stricken Kenyan people in order to uproot this evil from this country. My personal belief is that this will not help for the long term. The principal reason of why it will not be successful is that all the delivery of this aid goes into the hand of corrupt politicians. Later on this money is being spent on politician’s lavish trips, luxury cars and palaces.
    On the other hand, others tend to think that other types of support might help to alleviate the poverty at a greater extant. I am completely agree with the statement that other effective measures should be brought forward to the attention of public or decision makers in order to eradicate this major problem from poorer countries as a whole. For example, a charitable organization VSO in the U.K, is working around the world helping people of many war torn countries in order to improve their health, education, livelihood and career. This organization has a wide network of volunteers working across the globe in extreme conditions for making their life style better with all modern day facilities. The mission of this organization is ‘The World without Poverty” which brings people at the heart of development, and as a result this makes a significant progress in the lives of low income earners.
    There are some possible suggestions to this problem. One is that, developing nations should not rely on the foreign aid, but they should make their skill oriented strategies to tackle this issue. Another form of help is that monetary aid would be certainly more effective, if it gets distributed individually, not at government level.
    In conclusion, it has been shown that direct delivery of financial aid and other types of back up both are needed in order to alleviate poverty from the planet. It is predicted that other types of fiscal support are continued to be followed in the foreseeable future.

    Submitted by:
    ZIAUL HUDA

    • Dominic Cole March 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Another essay that comes in at well over 400 words. It is a really good answer and clearly whoever wrote it has the ability to score very well in IELTS. Just to repeat comments made on previous essays though, I don’t believe that it is efficient to aim to write essays of this length in the exam itself. Give yourself more thinking time.

      I’m not saying that you only ever try and write 300 words essays; but the closer you get to the exam, the more sensible it is to practise writing essays that fit the template of the exam more closely.

  • Anonymous March 11, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    Many of the developing countries face issue of poverty and in spite of financial assistance from other developed and rich countries this problem still exists as one of the major issues in today’s world. Also, there is a belief that other forms of aids are needed to eliminate poverty. I agree and believe that financial aid alone may not be that effective in eradicating the poverty.
    Countries, like Kenya and Africa, receives considerable financial aid from larger industrial nations, like US and UK. However, the problem of poverty is not fully addressed mainly for two reasons. Firstly, due to corruption, the deserving population does not receive the full share of money and the corrupt government officials’ bank huge sum of money or spend a lavish life using that money. Secondly, the aid receiving government does not plan properly to eliminate the poverty in long term.
    In my suggestion, the alternate forms of aids, to poverty-stricken countries, could be donation to NGOs or other organizations, who work in this field actively with the aim of addressing the root cause of poverty. For instance, few good, renowned organizations are Oxfam, VSO, having sole objective of removing poverty by providing proper education, hygienic food and water and health support. Also, these organizations provide occupational training to adults, by which they attain skills for working in various fields and earn for their daily living. This concept can be explained with a famous proverb – “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
    Thus, as we see above, that with financial aids alone, the poverty problem of developing countries cannot be removed and, in my opinion, other aids are required in addressing this issue effectively.

    – Nim