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IELTS arts and sciences essay

This is one of my model IELTS essays lessons where you can

  • read the essay
  • do a vocabulary exercise
  • get a full lesson on how to write the essay

Read the IELTS arts and sciences essay

There is no doubt that the quality of our lives in the 21st century has been greatly improved by various scientific and technological advances. Despite this, the arts and humanities too still have much to teach us about ourselves and life in general.

One area in which we can learn from the arts is that concepts such as beauty matter in and of themselves, whereas in the world of science and technology the only true measure is whether something works or not. This is a limited view of the world and the arts differ in that they offer us an alternative and more spiritual outlook. For example, if we listen to Mozart we can learn about harmony and joy through the medium of music or if even we read an author like PG Wodehouse we learn about the value of humour. These essential aspects of life are absent from the clinical world of science and technology.

The other way in which artists can teach us more about life is that enjoying art encourages the habit of self-reflection. If you walk into an art gallery, attend a concert or even just stay in to read a book, you will almost certainly begin to think about your inner values. For me, this is a invaluable lesson in life because if we begin to reflect about ourselves, we begin not just to become more human, but also consider the lives of others too.

So while science and technology may have made our physical lives more comfortable in the 21st century. It remains true that the arts and humanities are still absolutely necessary for ordinary people as they promote a more spiritual and reflective view of life that is essential to our humanity.

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Analysing the question

Advances in science and technology have made great changes to lives of ordinary people, but artists such as musicians, painters and writers are still highly valued. What can the arts tell us about life that science and technology cannot?

notes

This is a question that asks you a direct question: What can the arts tell us about life that science and technology cannot? Make sure you offer a direct answer to that question.

  1. It is not enough to write about the value of the arts. You have not answered the question. You need to writ about the things that the arts offer that science and technology do not.
  2. Note the wording of “the arts”. This is not the same as “art”.  “The arts” include painting, music and writing etc”
  3. There is no doubt that the quality of our lives in the 21st century has been greatly improved by various scientific and technological advances. Despite this, the arts and humanities too still have much to teach us about ourselves and life in general.

Problem area

This is quite a “philosophical” question. If you try and give a very philosophical answer, you may write very complex English and so make more mistakes. I suggest:

  1. keep your ideas clear and simple
  2. use plenty of examples to explain your ideas: examples are easy to write and you should get to use some varied topic vocabulary. In my sample essay, I get to use phrases such as  “attend a concert”, “art gallery”, “author” and “stay in to read”. This is the clear and simple type of topic vocabulary you should aim to include in all your essays.

Essay structure

I have chosen a simple structure.

Introduction

  • Highlight the task
  • Suggest there are two ways the arts have something different to teach us

Topic 1

  • Point in topic sentence: concepts such as beauty come from the arts
  • Explain: sciences limited to practicality
  • Example: Mozart shows us harmony
  • Re-explain: sciences do not show us this

Topic 2

  • Point in topic sentence: arts make us think about ourselves
  • Explain with art gallery example
  • Re-explain how this makes us think about others too

Conclusion

  • Reflect introduction: science makes us comfortable but the arts teach us about spiritual aspects (topic 1) and reflection (topic 2)

 

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6 Responses to IELTS arts and sciences essay

  1. Alessandra July 17, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    thanks! very useful!

  2. Shooky July 17, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Looking at the question, I found it difficult as I am majoring in science. I ran out of points to write about arts.
    Your essay has given me some ideas if this question came out in the exams.

    Thanks!

    • Dominic Cole July 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

      Hi Shooky

      Running out of ideas is a very common problem. I plan to write about this very soon. In short, my best advice is to think vocabulary first. If you get vocabulary, the ideas should follow. Also, you can think about using extended examples. Hope that helps a little. More to come soon.

  3. Denish March 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Wrong article

    this is a invaluable lesson in life

    It should be: —>>>>This is an invaluable lesson

    Thank you Dominic Cole.
    God bless you.

  4. Xiaomen October 26, 2014 at 1:49 am #

    This essay doesn’t have a question?

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