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Sample IELTS essay – teachers and pay

It has been a little while since I published a model essay, so here you are. What you will find below is not just the essay – a good one I believe – but also help with showing you how to try and write a similar essay with detailed notes on each part of the essay and an extremely good exercise. You can of course download the essay too.

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Sample essay - teachers and pay (985)

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See the essay

We live in a world today where the profit principle is an increasingly important factor and some traditional values are being lost. While this general process may be inevitable, my belief is that education is one areathat should be protected. In particular, there are a variety of arguments that can be made against any proposal to implement the commercial idea of performance related pay for teachers.

The first argument for resisting any reform in this area is that teachers are not wholly responsible for their students’ results. Indeed, there are a number of different factors that can affect how students perform in exams, such as native intelligence, family background and even the area in which they live. For example, in my country there are some schools that have a system where they only select the most intelligent pupils andobviously these schools get the best results. It would not be fair if teachers from these schools were paid more than their colleagues from schools with no selection policy.

Another strong reason to argue against this policy is that exam results are not the only measure of a teacher’s success. For instance, a teacher who helps a child improve her study skills and personal discipline may have done just as good a job as a teacher who helps another child to get a grade A in an exam. Again, it would be unjust if the second teacher was rewarded more than the first under a performance related pay scheme.

So, in conclusion, I am firmly of the view that teachers’ salaries should not be calculated by their students’ results. This is one concept from commerce that has no place in education since it would be unjust on teachers who work in different contexts and help students with far more than mere examination results.

 

Analyse the question

First things first let’s take a little time to analyse the question. Your only chance of getting the essay correct is if you understand what the question is asking you to do.

In many fields of commerce, employees’ salaries are calculated by the benefit the employee brings to the company. Some suggest that teachers also should be paid in relation to their students’ results. Do you believe that such performance related pay is appropriate in education?

Here you are being asked a direct question:”Do you believe that such performance related pay is appropriate in education?” There are three possible answers here: yes, no and maybe. Whatever you do you should ensure that your essay gives that answer.

The introduction

Always identify the task in your introduction

There are different ways of writing introductions. I think my only must is that you must identify the task in the introduction. If you fail to do this, you lose the examiner and then proceed to write an essay about the general topic  and not the task itself. This will seriously affect your task response band score. Confused? I have highlighted the words in my introduction that relate to the task. I’m clear about what I’m writing about.

You will also see that I have underlined “my belief“. Two comments here.

  1. it is quite acceptable to use the words “I” and “my” if the question asks you for your opinion as this one does
  2. it is a good idea to identify your position in the introduction: it makes it clearer for the examiner

We live in a world today where the profit principle is an increasingly important factor and some traditional values are being lost. While this general process may be inevitable, my belief is that education is one area that should be protected. In particular, there are a variety of arguments that can be made against any proposal to implement the commercial idea of performance related pay for teachers.

The body paragraphs – thinking coherence

This essay is extremely coherent – an excellent 9. Why? Have a look here – this is something you can learn from:

In particular, there are a variety of arguments that can be made against – INTRO

The first argument for resisting any reform in this area is  – FIRST PARA topic sentence

Another strong reason to argue against this policy is that – SECOND PARA topic sentence

Do you see? There is a clear logical structure here. I show in the intro where I’m going, then I start each paragraph with a signpost saying “Here I am, new argument”. Easy. Simple. Effective.

The body paragraphs – more coherence and cohesion

Start your sentences with signpost language

This is my PEE system – again. You make a point, you explain it and then you give an example. This time round I want you to note how I use the beginnings of sentences. Yes, there are linking words, but really there are linking phrases placed at the beginning of the sentence. I cannot repeat too much or too often how important this skill is. Show the examiner what you are doing – use the beginnings of your sentences with care. The final sentence refers back to the task: it is a form of conclusion if you like.

The first argument for resisting any reform in this area is that teachers are not wholly responsible for their students’ results.Indeed, there are a number of different factors that can affect how students perform in exams, such as native intelligence, family background and even the area in which they live. For example, in my country there are some schools that have a system where they only select the most intelligent pupils and obviously these schools get the best results. It would not be fair if teachers from these schools were paid more than their colleagues from schools with no selection policy.

The conclusion

Conclusions tend to be simple to write. The points to note here are that:

  1. there are no new ideas in the conclusion
  2. I answer the question directly (reflecting the introduction):
  3. I summarise the main points of my topic paragraphs 1 and 2.

So, in conclusion, I am firmly of the view that teachers’ salaries should not be calculated by their students’ results. This is one concept from commerce that has no place in education since it would be unjust on teachers who work in different contexts and help students with far more than mere examination results.

Vocabulary – simple but extremely effective – band score 9

How’s the vocab? I score 9 here too.

Simple language can be good language

That may surprise you. I repeat words quite a lot and I don’t use many long words. Don’t be surprised. In English, simple can be good. The academic word list is only 570 words long, most of the words there are common words and quite simple words: the trick is knowing how to use them well. This is what my word of the day series is all about. Not teaching new words. You probably know them already. Rather, I’m trying to show you how to use them.

An exercise

This is an exercise you really should try – you may be surprised by it. Read the essay and see how many Academic Word List words you can see in it. It’s a good exercise because you do need to be able to identify these words yourself if you want to use them – and you do, trust me.

How many words can you find?

We live in a world today where the profit principle is an increasingly important factor and some traditional values are being lost. While this general process may be inevitable, my belief is that education is one areathat should be protected. In particular, there are a variety of arguments that can be made against any proposal to implement the commercial idea of performance related pay for teachers.

The first argument for resisting any reform in this area is that teachers are not wholly responsible for their students’ results. Indeed, there are a number of different factors that can affect how students perform in exams, such as native intelligence, family background and even the area in which they live. For example, in my country there are some schools that have a system where they only select the most intelligent pupils andobviously these schools get the best results. It would not be fair if teachers from these schools were paid more than their colleagues from schools with no selection policy.

Another strong reason to argue against this policy is that exam results are not the only measure of a teacher’s success. For instance, a teacher who helps a child improve her study skills and personal discipline may have done just as good a job as a teacher who helps another child to get a grade A in an exam. Again, it would be unjust if the second teacher was rewarded more than the first under a performance related pay scheme.

So, in conclusion, I am firmly of the view that teachers’ salaries should not be calculated by their students’ results. This is one concept from commerce that has no place in education since it would be unjust on teachers who work in different contexts and help students with far more than mere examination results.

See the answer

We live in a world today where the profit principle is an increasingly important factor and some traditional values are being lost. While this general process may be inevitable, my belief is that education is one areathat should be protected. In particular, there are a variety of arguments that can be made against any proposal to implement the commercial idea of performance related pay for teachers.

The first argument for resisting any reform in this area is that teachers are not wholly responsible for their students’ results. Indeed, there are a number of different factors that can affect how students perform in exams, such as native intelligence, family background and even the area in which they live. For example, in my country there are some schools that have a system where they only select the most intelligent pupils andobviously these schools get the best results. It would not be fair if teachers from these schools were paid more than their colleagues from schools with no selection policy.

Another strong reason to argue against this policy is that exam results are not the only measure of a teacher’s success. For instance, a teacher who helps a child improve her study skills and personal discipline may have done just as good a job as a teacher who helps another child to get a grade A in an exam. Again, it would be unjust if the second teacher was rewarded more than the first under a performance related pay scheme.

So, in conclusion, I am firmly of the view that teachers’ salaries should not be calculated by their students’ results. This is one concept from commerce that has no place in education since it would be unjust on teachers who work in different contexts and help students with far more than mere examination results.

 

28 words. That means almost 10% of the words are among the 570 most academic words in English. In fact, of course I repeat some words. That is a good thing. If you repeat a word, your essay becomes more coherent as each time you repeat a word it links back to something else. All you need to do is make sure you use enough variety of different words.

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10 Responses to Sample IELTS essay – teachers and pay

  1. Dominic Cole July 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Oh and if you’re a teacher and reading this: I personally believe that good teachers should be paid lots and lots and lots of money. I’d also be pretty generous to less good teachers: they’d just get lots and lots of money.

  2. KC July 14, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    Hi,

    This sample essay gives only one side of an argument (I know it might depends on the question) but I always thought they like it better if you give an advantage and disadvantage of both sides. Please will you give me some advise on this. Thank you.

    • Dominic Cole July 14, 2011 at 6:01 am #

      Hi

      Well noticed. My “normal” essay structure does indeed look at two sides of the argument. You could do that here if you chose the “maybe” option”. But as this is really a yes/no question, it is possible to write about just one side of the argument. Glad you like the intro explanation. Intros matter a lot. Get it wrong and probably the whole essay goes wrong.

  3. KC July 14, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    and Thanks for your explaination on the introduction. It helps a lot.

  4. Shooky July 14, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Thanks Dominic.
    The information is very useful.

    I hope by going through your website I can score band 7 and above in my next writing test.

    • Dominic Cole July 14, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      Hope so too. Let me know how you get on. Do you also have a teacher? It’s not always necessary of course and this site is really for students without teachers. However, I do suggest you think about getting a teacher to look at some of your writing anyway before the test. It’s maybe less important for reading and listening as you can judge your score by yourself.

  5. janice July 14, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    dear teacher,
    are there any writing correction service available in this site ?
    i submitted my work in one of the ielts web sites . Although my grammar mistakes in the essays were figured out , i still dun know what s wrong with my essays other than grammar mistakes .the most common comment received about my essays is ” task response is visible but needs to be improved further ” what does it mean ?I didnt answer all the questions required in the essay ?
    lastly ,, i would to say thank you because u ve done a great job n helped many ielts candidates

    • Dominic Cole July 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

      Not yet no. I am too busy to do that myself yet. What I am trying to do is find teachers who work for themselves to advertise here. I believe that “small” teachers often do a better job than the big teachers. Have you tried contacting the 2 teachers on the “Find a teacher page“? I hope to add a few more in the next 2/3 weeks.

      Yes, it means that you need to answer the question more directly. I would suggest thinking about the introduction and the first sentence of each paragraph. Have a look at the essay on this page to see what I mean.

    • Dominic Cole July 15, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

      Do read my latest IELTS essay, It is written for you really. This is task visibility.

      overpopulation

  6. TheIELTSSolution August 2, 2011 at 3:05 am #

    Hi,

    This is a very informative article since it was clearly stated above on how to fairly deal with the essay. First is to analyze the question, of course you need to understand first prior to writing anything. Also, it was clearly stated above how to do the introduction and the conclusion as well. TheIELTSSolution.com

    Thank you.

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