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Traditional or religious festivals (Corrected essay)

29 Aug 2017

Traditional or religious festivals (Corrected essay)

Most people have forgotten the meaning behind traditional or religious festivals; during festival periods, people nowadays only want to enjoy themselves.

WRITING TASK 2

Write about the following topic. 

Most people have forgotten the meaning behind traditional or religious festivals; during festival periods, people nowadays only want to enjoy themselves. 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.

Link:
http://ieltsonlinetests.com/404/21/108/exam/ielts-recent-actual-test-with-answers-(vol-2)/writing/practice-test-4

SAMPLE WRITING TASK 2

A festival is the celebration of an agricultural or a religious traditional event. While some festivals have lost their original purposes, I disagree that they are merely for entertainment; instead, there is significant effort to revive the tradition of our ancestors.

The origins of festivals are linked with agriculture and religions. In the harvest season, after a year of hard work, rewarded by ample food, people could finally enjoy themselves with music and ritual ceremonies. As a result, tradition and religious festivals were created to provide entertainment and group cohesion. Various festivals started to appear throughout history, each had its own cultural and religious meaning.

The Industrialization Revolution has made agriculture less important, resulted in a decline in cultural awareness. The Halloween was originally a harvest festival of the Gaelic, however, recently it has become an entertainment event, with people wearing costume and drinking in the night. The same thing happened in Vietnam not so long ago, where Hau Dong - the practice of spirit mediums - gradually declined in the twentieth century.

However, there is a rise of traditional awareness around the world. For example, Hau Dong has been revived, with thousands of people attending the festival. Numerous efforts to signify the importance of cultural identity have been made worldwide, such as teaching history lessons to the children, or preservation and translation ancient texts into modern languages. Many young people are growing interest in their tradition, with the celebration of ancient festivals like The Olympics Games is a clear evidence. 

To summarize, I acknowledge that some festivals have lost their original meanings. However, the effort to reinvigorate our culture has made significant impacts, thus the traditional and religious of festivals will be preserved into the future.


Corrected essay:

A festival is the celebration of an agricultural or a religious traditional event. While some festivals have lost their original purposes, I disagree that they are merely for entertainment; instead, there is significant effort to revive the tradition of our ancestors.

  • The author’s opinion is clear. He partly agrees with the topic question: he accepts the fact that the meanings of some festivals have been lost, but he disagree with the notion that people only think of festivals as a place to indulge themselves.

  • The IELTS exam only test your ability, not your opinion. So you can either agree, disagree or partly agree with the question.


The origins of festivals are is linked with to agriculture and religions. In the harvest season, after a year of hard work, rewarded by ample food, people could finally enjoy themselves with music and ritual ceremonies. As a result, tradition and religious festivals were created to provide entertainment and group cohesion. Various festivals started to appear throughout history, each had its own cultural and religious meaning.

  • The author has explained the meanings behind most of the festivals: a celebration of harvest seasons and an event to strengthen social relations.

  • The use of passive voice in the first sentence is on point. If we simply start the first body paragrapth with “Agriculture and religions are the direct origins of festivals”, then it might be confusing, even when the above example is grammatically correct. Since there is no mentioned of agriculture in the topic question, you need to introduce the required topic first (“festivals”), then do the same to the key word “agriculture”.

  • Contrary to popular belief that passive voice makes your writing much weaker and ambiguous, it is in fact frequently used in academic contexts.


The Industrialization Revolution has made agriculture less important, which has resulted in a decline in cultural awareness. The Halloween was originally a harvest festival of the Gaelic, however, recently it has become an entertainment event, with people wearing costumes and drinking in the night. The same thing happened in Vietnam not so long ago, where Hau Dong - the practice of spirit mediums - gradually declined in the twentieth century.

  • The second body paragraph aims to express the notion that the meaning behind traditional festival are lost over time.

  • The second sentence is a typical example on when to use the present perfect. You firstly develop the sentence with a clause in past simple tense, then introduce another in present perfect tense.


However, there is a rise of traditional awareness around the world. For example, Hau Dong has been revived, with thousands of people attending the festival. Numerous efforts to signify the importance of cultural identity have been made worldwide, such as teaching history lessons to the children, or preservation and translation ancient texts into modern languages. Furthermore, many young people are growing interest in their tradition, with the celebration of ancient festivals like The Olympics Games is a clear evidence.

  • The last body paragraph is highly contrast to the previous one. By using the method “bait and switch” (first talk about the oppose idea, then attack it with your own opinion), the author has successfully expresses that he believes in the effort of reviving traditional festivals, without ever using words like “I think”, I believe”, “from my perspective”, or “in my opinion”.

  • Generally, saying “I think” too many times will lower both of your Coherence & Cohesion and Lexical Resource band score, so try to avoid it.

  • Lots of related vocabulary are presented in this paragraph: “traditional awareness”, “cultural identity”, “preservation”, “ancient”, “modern languages”.


To summarize, I acknowledge that some festivals have lost their original meanings. However, the effort to reinvigorate our culture has made significant impacts, thus the traditional and religious of festivals will be preserved into the future.

  • The author’s position about tradition and festivals has stay the same throughout the whole essay. Your conclusion has to match the introduction.

  • Using topic markers such as “to summarize”, or “in conclusion” may make your writing boring, and thus should be avoided in an academic thesis. However, the rule in the IELTS exam are much more relaxed, and a topic marker could be very helpful since it increases your word count and reminds the examiner that you have written the conclusion.


Words: 287



Overall: 8.5

  • Task Response: 8

sufficiently addresses all parts of the task (the author has written more than 250 words, and give an adequate answer to the topic question in both his introduction and conclusion)

presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas (each paragraphs is started with a topic sentence, then followed by evidences and examples)

  • Coherence and Cohesion: 8

sequences information and ideas

logically

manages all aspects of cohesion well (the author has avoided using connectives in a repetitive way by using various relative pronouns and conjunctive adverbs)

✓ uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately

  • Lexical Resource: 9

uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features; rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’ (the author only has one noticable mistake with collocations; he uses various less-frequently used and topic-related words such as “ritual ceremonies”, “group cohesion”, “spirit medium”, etc)

  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: 9

uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy; rare minor orrors occur only as ‘slips’ (The author can express his idea in many different ways, for example when he convey the notion of “reviving”: “to revive the tradition”, “Hau Dong has been revived”, “to reinvigorate our culture”. He also use a variety of sentence structures, with only a few small mistakes.)
 

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This essay is corrected by Anh Tran -  Let's Write Something Group.

If you want to practice more about writing Task 2, you can join this group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/351029818650829/

If you want to correct your Wring Task 2 essay, let's view our free service at this link: http://ieltsonlinetests.com/ielts-tips-and-lessons/free-ielts-writing-correction-service

Every week we will randomly choose 3-4 complete essays from the group members and correct them. So make sure to finish it in time, perhaps you will be the next lucky one!

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