This IELTS discussion essay sample answer is estimated at band 9. See comments below the essay for advice and tips.
Completing university education is thought by some to be the best way to get a good job. On the other hand, other people think that getting experience and developing soft skills is more important.
Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
It is considered by some that being a university graduate is the key to securing a good job while there are others who think that it is better to have experience and soft skills. In my opinion, I believe that having university education is essential for academic jobs while soft skills and experience are more useful in business.
On the one hand, many think it is easier for most people to find a good job if they are university graduates with a good degree. In other words, having tertiary education puts people one step ahead of others who do not and this can be the deciding factor in getting a good job. The competition to get in to universities and the increasing number of graduates show just how significant this level of education is for people’s future work opportunities.
On the other hand, having work experience and soft skills, such as leadership skills and other interpersonal skills, can also throw the balance in favour of the applicant, according to some. For many positions there are an overwhelming number of applicants and, therefore, it is often thought that having relevant experience in that line of work or having acquired useful soft skills that can be valuable to a company, can put one ahead of the game when applying for a position.
Finally, in my opinion, whether needing high level education or skills and experience, depends on the position being applied for. Take for example law, medicine or teaching, it is impossible to be considered for a position without the required educational background. In contrast, in business, it would be more important for a candidate to have soft skills and experience in that line of business so they can step into a position without further training and be of immediate benefit to the company.
In conclusion, getting a good job requires a relevant background either in experience or education depending on the type of work and field. People should make sure they attain the necessary skills or degrees before applying for a job in order to be sure of success.
Comments: This is a a band score 9 essay. It has over 300 words but all sentences are relevant, focused and well written. Band score 8.5 and 9 students can attempt long essays successfully but students from band 8 to band 6, should aim for around 270 to 290 words. Both sides are clearly discussed and the opinion is also clearly given. Linking devices are well used.
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The quality of an essay introduction often determines whether the essay gets read in the first place. Even if it has to be read, as in the case of essay writing assignments in a university setting, a fine introduction gives the reader a good initial impression, entices the reader to read on, and encourages the reader to give an excellent evaluation at the end.
Hence, an essay introduction serves to attract the reader’s interest, introduce the topic, and explain what the essay will be about. Correspondingly, an essay introduction contains three features that usually appear in the following order: an attention-getter, some background information and the central idea.
Getting the reader’s attention
Some common strategies used to attract the reader’s interest to an essay are:
- Relate a dramatic anecdote.
- Expose a commonly held belief.
- Present surprising facts and statistics.
- Use a fitting quotation.
- Ask a provocative question.
- Tell a vivid personal story.
- Define a key term.
- Present an interesting observation.
- Create a unique scenario.
Providing background information
Providing background information in an essay introduction serves as a bridge to link the reader to the topic of an essay. But exactly how long this bridge should be is largely dependent on how much information the writer thinks the reader will need in order to understand the issue being discussed in the essay and appreciate the importance of the issue. For much university writing (for which the readership may not be restricted to lecturers alone), one good rule of thumb for students to determine whether enough background information has been provided is to read the draft introduction to fellow students from other faculties and see whether they understand what is being talked about.
Stating the central idea
The central idea or thesis statement in an essay introduction is the most important part of the essay and is thus indispensable. The thesis statement is usually one or two sentences long and tells the reader what the whole essay is going to be about.
A thesis statement can be direct or indirect. A direct thesis statement gives a specific outline of the essay. For example, one of my students (in his essay entitled ‘The Qualities of a Successful Technopreneur’) wrote the following thesis statement: “The three core qualities that a technopreneur must possess to be successful are vision, a never-say-quit attitude and an innovative mind.” This sentence tells the reader what the essay is going to be about (i.e. the qualities a technopreneur must possess in order to succeed) and provides a structural outline (i.e. that the essay will comprise three main parts, each portion respectively covering one of the three qualities mentioned).
In an indirect thesis statement, no such outline is provided; however, the reader will still know what aspect of the topic the essay is going to discuss. For example, on the same topic, another of my students wrote this thesis statement: “In today’s rapidly changing technology market, only technopreneurs who possess certain qualities will succeed while those who do not will falter and fall in the battlefield.” From this sentence, the reader can still expect the essay to talk about some qualities of a successful technopreneur; but he/she will neither know exactly which and how many qualities the essay will cover, nor predict how many parts the writer will discuss in the main body paragraphs. The suspense given by an indirect thesis statement sometimes gives the reader a good reason to read on.
Once aware of the three features of an essay introduction and some of the options for the presentation of each feature, students can experiment with different options to see which one(s) creates the best effect for each essay.