Practice Task 1 - Sample Essay 1A


Recent advancements in technology have led to many changes in our daily lives, but some people would argue that we are becoming too dependent on technology and that not all these changes are beneficial. Give your opinion and support your argument.


1) Advances in technology have led to great improvements in computers and home labour saving devices, as well as to completely new products. As a result, we spend less time on household chores and basic office work and have more leisure time to enjoy computer games, mp3 music, digital cameras and the like.


2) However, research has shown that children nowadays spend 30-35% of their free time playing computer games and that families spend much less time together than 20 years ago. The trend is towards individual pursuits at home and away from community activities in a wider context. Some people think that we are becoming too dependent on technology.


3) It seems to me that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, as people would not use technology unless it improved their lives in some way, or interested and challenged them. Millions of people choose to use it, so it is clear to me that technological development is a good thing.


4) Computer games can encourage a child to think for him/herself and gain valuable experience which is relevant to the 'real' world. Much contemporary children's software is highly educational and teaches a child about the world outside the classroom in a way that was impossible before.


5) Family carers who previously spent all their time doing housework can enjoy more leisure time and office workers can work more efficiently and quickly.


6) To conclude, I think that the benefits of technology outweigh the disadvantages and that those who say we are too dependent on it underestimate the convenience and pleasure derived from it.


263 words



Paragraph 1 expands the idea of technology benefiting our daily lives, as postulated in the title and gives some examples.
Paragraph 2 outlines and gives supporting information to the contrasting idea given in the title. Both sides of the argument are now clearly indicated.
Paragraph 3 gives the writer's opinion and the main reason for it.
Paragraphs 4 & 5 add support to this opinion.
Paragraph 6 recalls the original wording of the title and summarises the writer's opinion.


The argument is clear and progresses appropriately. There's a combination of simple and more complex sentence structures and the organization and coherence are good. The vocabulary range is wide and style appropriate. At 263 words, it is long: the extra length would not be penalized but would not gain extra marks.

Practice Task 1 - Sample Essay 1B


Recent advancements in technology have led to many changes in our daily lives, but some people would argue that we are becoming too dependent on technology and that not all these changes are beneficial. Give your opinion and support your argument.


1) Yes, because children're getting very fat. Old people don't understand computers. It's boring when my grandfather comes near while I'm playing computer games and my mother complains I spend too much time on the computer.


2) In offices, people don't speak to each other any more except by email or instant messaging for example WhatsApp. So nobody cares what really happens, it's all like a video game where it isn't real. It's easy to speak to people on the other side of the world by email. So people don't have to travel to business meetings any more, they can stay in their offices.


3) And what about microwave ovens? It means that people don't learn how to cook and if they don't have a microwave oven then they can't eat! But they are useful and I like watching T.V and eating my microwaved dinner.


4) Before, there were many agricultural workers and most people lived in small villages and said 'hallo' to their neighbours every day. Now we all live in big busy cities and the air and water gets polluted and we don't know our neighbours any more. But if people don't know you, you can do what you want, so I like cities and I don't agree.


248 words



Grammatically, this essay is correct and the length is suitable. However, it would lose marks on clarity of argument, cohesion and coherence. The writer does not present a clear and logically developed argument, seeming to start by agreeing and finish by disagreeing. There are some sound points but they are not well explained (for example the connection between childhood obesity and computer use (e.g that children do not get enough exercise due to overuse of computers).


The ideas are not cohesively linked; the writer jumps abruptly from one idea to another without linking so the writing does not 'flow' well. This essay is not well planned or structured: spend a minute or two planning the layout before you begin writing (introduction, main arguments backed up with examples or personal anecdotes, coherent link words or phrases, conclusion).


Finally, the style is a little informal and contractions are used (don't, isn't etc); it is generally best not to contract verbs in written English.