Writing Task 2 | Essay Structure Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

This lesson will guide you through an essay from the British Council Website (A Person’s Worth…) and explain the ideas, structure and vocabulary used in a model answer.

This is one of our full screen interactive learner experiences. For mobile and tablet users, use your phone in the horizontal position.

For all users, we recommend you view the interactive presentation in full screen mode (see the bottom right corner of the presentation).

The essays used in this lesson can also be found beneath the presentation.

Here is the essay task from the lesson. It is the same task that can be found on the British Council website.

A person’s worth nowadays seems to be judged according to social status and material possessions. Old-fashioned values, such as honour, kindness and trust, no longer seem important.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Here is our essay, modified from the British Council model answer to make it more suitable for our students.

Status and money are highly valued in today’s society and have changed our values to some extent. However, in everyday life I don’t believe a person’s worth is judged that differently to in the past.

It is apparent that most celebrities today are admired or envied solely for their material wealth or position in various social hierarchies. Many of these people are known to turn their backs on friends, cheat on their spouses or spend their evenings over-indulging in alcohol and/or drugs. Things like owning a mansion, driving an expensive car and getting into A-list parties are exalted above old-fashioned values. Ultimately, though, it is the many readers of gossip magazines and celebrity blogs who reinforce these ideas.

 Nevertheless, I do believe that in their day-to-day lives most people still believe in values such as honour, kindness and trust.  In some way most of us want to form loving families, raise our children to be good citizens, stand up for the downtrodden and protect our communities from harm. We still form friendships, romances and business partnerships based on old-fashioned criteria. When our trust is abused or we are unfairly treated, we see that as a major violation of our relationship and we judge the wrongdoer accordingly.

In conclusion, while status and possessions as a measure of a person’s worth have become more popular, the behavior of most ordinary people shows that the old values are still strong. It is unlikely that honour, kindness, and trust will ever be replaced while parents continue to teach their children to respect them.

Here is the original British Council Essay.

Given the power and influence of the super-rich, it might seem as if social status and material possessions are the new symbols of personal worth, but in everyday life I do not think this is true.

It is apparent that most celebrities today are admired or envied solely for their material wealth or position in various social hierarchies. Many of these people are known to turn their backs on friends, cheat on their spouses or spend their evenings over-indulging in alcohol and/or drugs. Things like owning a mansion, driving an expensive car and getting into A-list parties are exalted above old-fashioned values. Ultimately, though, it is the many readers of gossip magazines and celebrity blogs who reinforce these ideas.

Nevertheless, I do believe that in their day-to-day lives most people still believe in values such as honour, kindness and trust. In some way most of us want to form loving families, raise our children to be good citizens, stand up for the downtrodden and protect our communities from harm. We still form friendships, romances and business partnerships based on old-fashioned criteria. When our trust is abused or we are unfairly treated, we see that as a major violation of our relationship and we judge the wrongdoer accordingly.

In conclusion, I believe there is some truth to the notion that status and possessions have superseded old-fashioned values as a measure of a person’s worth. Looking beyond the tabloids, however, it is apparent that most ordinary people have still preserved an old-fashioned conscience.

 

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