Transforming a model IELTS problem-solution essay into a university-level essay (Part 2)

This is the second half of the IELTS problem/solution model essay which I’ve converted into a university level essay. The analysis provided examines language and structure; the latter focusing on incorporating critical thinking into the essay. As before, a heartfelt thankyou to Christopher Pell at IELTS Advantage for allowing me to reuse the original model essay. It can be found here:  https://www.ieltsadvantage.com/2015/05/11/ielts-student-behaviour/

Main Paragraph 2: IELTS model essay

The most practical solution to this problem is a government sponsored awareness campaign. An effective advertising campaign could warn of the dangers of misbehavior and hopefully raise awareness amongst the public. For example, the United Kingdom recently lobbied their citizens to teach their children about the importance of respecting teachers and this resulted in a dramatic improvement.

Main Paragraph 2: University level essay

The most practical solution to this problem is a government sponsored awareness campaign. An effective advertising campaign could warn of the dangers of misbehavior and hopefully raise awareness amongst the public. For example, the United Kingdom recently lobbied their citizens to teach their children about the importance of respecting teachers and this resulted in a dramatic improvement. That said, the most effective government publicity campaigns identify and target their audience carefully, rather than just use television and print media advertising. In fact, schools represent the perfect platform for delivering a focused campaign to pupils and parents, as there is ample research from the health sector (Adamson, 2011; Danski, 2014) which shows that health campaigns targeting patients and visitors to hospitals are highly effective and represent good value for money.

Language

Again, the phrases in red are frequently used academic word combinations. Some of these phrases should be familiar to you from your IELTS course, for example ‘dramatic improvement’ is taught as part of the vocabulary for the part 1 writing task. The phrase ‘highly effective’ is worth memorising as it has many applications, and ‘ample’ in ‘ample research’ is a suitable academic adjective to refer to quantity.

In terms of the academic verbs in blue, ‘identify’ is more suitable than ‘find’ and ‘target’ is used often in business/marketing texts when describing selling and advertising. The verb ‘lobbied’ comes from ‘to lobby’ which means ‘to seek to influence’.

Finally, there are two adverb phrases in green. The first one, ‘That said…’ is a really useful way of introducing a comment on the previous statement which clarifies or modifies it. ‘In fact…’ is another handy phrase which introduces more information to confirm or develop the previous statement.

Structure

The only significant change here (in italics) is the addition of a section which analyses the solution presented in the topic sentence of this paragraph in more detail. In university-level essay writing, ideas need to be explored and refined, or have their strengths and weaknesses discussed, as this shows critical thinking.

As before, in-text references are given to indicate which sources the writer has read whilst researching the essay.

 

Conclusion: IELTS model essay

In summary, widespread negative behaviour in the classroom has been caused by caregivers not instilling the values of deference and civility in their offspring; however, this can be tackled through a public education programme that promotes these values. It is also recommended that people should attend parenting classes before their child starts kindergarten.

Conclusion: University essay

In summary, widespread negative behaviour in the classroom has been caused by caregivers not instilling the values of deference and civility in their offspring; however, this can be tackled through a public education programme that promotes these values. An analysis of relevant research (Hopkins, 2016; Britton, 1990) suggests that pupils react differently to different types of rule, and are more receptive to some regulations than others; equally, another important research finding (Adamson, 2011; Danski, 2014) is that a public education programme delivered within the school is likely to be the most effective. Both these findings indicate a government strategy which is centred on specific school rules and on specific individuals or groups within schools should be adopted by educational establishments. It is also recommended that people should attend parenting classes before their child starts kindergarten.

Language

For the word combination phrases in red, using ‘negative’ as an adjective creates a more formal tone than ‘bad’. Also, the adjective ‘relevant’ is often used in academic texts to indicate the subject is contemporary or appropriate to the times.

For the academic verbs in blue, the verb ‘to tackle’ describes a strategy used to resolve a difficult problem. It implies that the strategy is a process, and that the problem is complex. Also, notice the use of ‘suggests’ and the use of the modal ‘should’ in ‘should be adopted’ – good quality academic writing presents conclusions as possibilities rather than absolute truths which is a way of acknowledging that any statement is open to argument and debate.

The phrase in green, ‘In summary…’ is very useful for introducing the summary section of a conclusion.

Structure

The IELTS model essay includes an effective summary and a future recommendation, both of which are also appropriate to university essay conclusions. The university level conclusions adds (in italics) a section of critical analysis which develops the thinking presented in the research, extending it to make a conclusion. This is an example of one strategy to insert more critical thinking into an essay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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