An IELTS Task 2 Essay Most Students Got Wrong

IELTS task 2 frustrated-student

I recently gave this question for homework to a very high level class and unfortunately lots of them failed to answer the question correctly. This led to lots of frustration in the group, but they soon figured out what they did wrong.

I thought it was worth looking at this question in more detail so you can prevent the same thing happening on exam day.

Question- Women and men are commonly seen as having different strengths and weaknesses. Is it right to exclude males or females from certain professions because of their gender?

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

Question Analysis

This is quite a difficult question to answer because of the way it is phrased. In order to answer this question correctly we should analyse it carefully.

Keywords– Women and men/strengths and weaknesses

Micro-Key words– right to exclude/certain professions/because of gender

Instruction words– give reasons/relevant examples/own knowledge or experience

The first common mistake many students made was answering the question using the keywords and ignoring the micro-keywords. These students wrote an answer about the difference between men and women in the workplace and how certain jobs are better suited to men or women. This is not what the question asks.

The second thing most students did wrong was either not supporting their ideas with reasons or not, including examples from their own knowledge or experience. These students just listed lots of ideas about the difference between men and women in the workplace without fully explaining what they mean and how this is linked to the question.

A good answer would specifically address the micro-keywords i.e. is it right to exclude men or women from certain professions? The most important words here are right, exclude and certain.

Idea Generation

Reasons why it is right to exclude men or women from certain professions:

  • Most men do not have the skills to work in certain professions, such as a nanny.
  • Society does not accept men who work in certain professions, such as a beautician.
  • Some women do not have the physical attributes to work in certain professions, such as a soldier.
  • Society does not accept women who work in certain professions, such as a construction worker.

 Reasons why it is not right to exclude men or women from certain professions:

  • It is unfair.
  • People should not be discriminated against because of their gender.
  • That view has no place in a modern, free society.
  • Excluding women from certain professions harms the economy.

We now need to think about which ideas to choose. I personally believe that women should not be excluded from any profession, but my personal feelings do not matter in an IELTS writing test. I should choose the ideas I feel confident explaining and supporting with examples.

I will therefore write about why I think it is right to exclude men or women from certain professions.

Structure

The task is to answer a direct question and it is therefore an opinion (agree/disagree) essay and I will follow this structure:

Paragraph 1- Introduction

Sentence 1- Paraphrase Question

Sentence 2- Thesis Statement

Sentence 3- Outline Statement

Paragraph 2- Supporting Paragraph 1

Sentence 1- Topic Sentence

Sentence 2- Explain Topic Sentence

Sentence 3- Example

Sentence 4- Concession Sentence

Paragraph 3- Supporting Paragraph 2

Sentence 1- Topic Sentence

Sentence 2- Explain Topic Sentence

Sentence 3- Example

Paragraph 4- Conclusion

Sentence 1- Summary

Essay

Women and men are commonly seen as having different strengths and weaknesses. Is it right to exclude males or females from certain professions because of their gender?

Males and females are often viewed as having differing skill sets. It is agreed that it is correct to exclude people from certain jobs on the basis of their gender, but only in very limited circumstances. This essay will first discuss how physical attributes prevent women from excelling in particular roles; secondly discuss how society at large rejects men from undertaking certain careers, followed by a reasoned conclusion.

For many years the general consensus in the armed forces is that women should not be allowed to participate in combat missions. This is because most women lack the brute strength required for this particular occupation and it is therefore right to prevent them from joining the ranks. For example, the American Army recently allowed some women to fight on the front line and the Department of Defence deemed the experiment a failure, due to lack of fighting effectiveness. Despite this, many women have fought in many wars, famously on the Eastern Front for Russia and the Viet Cong in Vietnam, so maybe it is men’s’ attitudes that prevent them performing rather than their stature.

Society has yet to accept men in many traditionally female positions, such as nanny or beautician. Businesses feel that it is fine to not hire men for these posts because most of their customers would not be willing to have a man perform that service. I personally know of one example when a friend failed at the interview stage when applying to become kindergarten teacher because he was the wrong sex.

To summarise, in limited circumstances it is just to prohibit people from certain occupations, but only if they cannot physically perform or if the general consensus is that it is a single sex post.

(288 words)

I hope this has been of help to you and please let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

To keep up to date with more great posts like this, please visit our Facebook page.

Click here to return to the homepage, or click one of the links below to check out more great IELTS stuff.

Writing Task 1

Writing Task 2

Speaking

Vocabulary 

Reading

Listening

Tips 

You might also like More from author

Comments:

11 Comments

  1. Deeb says

    Hi Chris,
    In fact you inspired me how to spend my night practicing on such essays.
    Well, thank you very much for your tremendous efforts. Wish me the good luck in my IELTS exam on 25 of this month.

Page 2 of 2 Previous

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Loading Facebook Comments ...