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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 sample answer based on a question from the IELTS Cambridge 12 book of previous practice tests.

That means this a real question from IELTS and I am a real former examiner – what more could you want?

Well you might want some more sample answers that I wrote.

Here is another question from IELTS Cambridge 12 as well.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer from Cambridge 12: Children & Choice (by Dave)

Some people believe that allowing children to make their own choices on everyday matters (such as food, clothes and entertainment) is likely to result in a society of individuals who only think about their own wishes. Other people believe that it is important for children to make decisions about matters that affect them.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Cambridge IELTS 12

One common area of debate among parents is the extent to which children should be trusted to make their own decisions and the potential impact this will have on their sense of responsibility. Although decision-making skills will help in some ways, I believe parents should dictate choices for children in order to make them more aware of others.

On the one hand, children who have been allowed to make their own choices will eventually develop a keen sense of responsibilty. This can be best seen in the contrasting example of helicopter parents and more liberal parents. Helicopter parents smother their children with attention and make the majority of their decisions for them. Over time, these kids will likely become dependent on their parents. If your parents always pick out your clothes then you never have to check weather forecasts, make choices about what colours match or concern yourself with trends in fashion. Later in life, these kids will not have developed any of these skills because of their parents. Contrast this with children who pick out their own clothes; they will have to consider these factors carefully and it will make them more responsible when it comes to shopping and taking care of their wardrobe.

On the other hand, I still believe that parents should make the majority of choices so that children will be more responsible towards others. For example, some parents have made the logical and ethical choice to be vegetarians and they force their children to do the same. This can have a positive effect not only on their individual health but also on the environment. Moreover, it is a learning opportunity for parents to teach their offspring about ethics. Parents can make the argument that industrial farming is inhumane and animals should be treated with more respect. This may have a carry-over effect resulting in their children growing up to be more thoughtful towards others.

In conclusion, parents should make most decisions for children to guide them to be more empathetic. They should work with teachers in their efforts to raise conscientous future citizens.

Word count: 347 (aim for under 350 words – around 300 is better!)

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. One common area of debate among parents is the extent to which children should be trusted to make their own decisions and the potential impact this will have on their sense of responsibility. 2. Although decision-making skills will help in some ways, I believe parents should dictate choices for children in order to make them more aware of others.

1. My first sentence simply rephrases the question and topic. Write this sentence quickly as it is not that important.

2. The second sentence is my opinion. You do not need to include your main ideas but you do need to make your opinion 100% clear!

1. On the one hand, children who have been allowed to make their own choices will eventually develop a keen sense of responsibilty. 2. This can be best seen in the contrasting example of helicopter parents and more liberal parents. Helicopter parents smother their children with attention and make the majority of their decisions for them. 3. Over time, these kids will likely become dependent on their parents. 4. If your parents always pick out your clothes then you never have to check weather forecasts, make choices about what colours match or concern yourself with trends in fashion. 5. Later in life, these kids will not have developed any of these skills because of their parents. 6. Contrast this with children who pick out their own clothes; they will have to consider these factors carefully and it will make them more responsible when it comes to shopping and taking care of their wardrobe.

1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that explains the main idea for the paragraph (instills responsibility).

2. The second sentence begins with an example that I will develop in more detail for the rest of the paragraph. This is the best way to get a high score for task achievement on IELTS!

3. My third sentence expands on the example.

4. The fourth sentence continues the examples.

5. My fifth sentence also further develops the example. Be as specific as possible.

6. The sixth sentence concludes my example and the paragraph.

1. On the other hand, I still believe that parents should make the majority of choices so that children will be more responsible towards others. 2. For example, some parents have made the logical and ethical choice to be vegetarians and they force their children to do the same. 3. This can have a positive effect not only on their individual health but also on the environment. 4. Moreover, it is a learning opportunity for parents to teach their offspring about ethics. 5. Parents can make the argument that industrial farming is inhumane and animals should be treated with more respect. 6. This may have a carry-over effect resulting in their children growing up to be more thoughtful towards others.

1. My first sentence is a topic sentence saying that parents making choices will make their kids more responsible for others.

2. The second sentence again begins my example right away – don’t waste time getting to your example.

3. My third sentence explains why this has a positive effect on others.

4. My fourth sentence also continues the same example.

5. The fifth sentence gives more detail for this example.

6. The last sentence makes the example slightly more general and concludes the paragraph.

1. In conclusion, parents should make most decisions for children to guide them to be more empathetic. 2. They should work with teachers in their efforts to raise conscientous future citizens.

1. My first sentence repeats my opinion. Do this or get IELTS band 5 for task achievement!

2. The second sentence adds an extra detail because some IELTS examiners require this for band 7+.

Sample Answer Vocabulary

What do the phrases highlighted below mean in your own words? Is there a direct translation in your language?

One common area of debate among parents is the extent to which children should be trusted to make their own decisions and the potential impact this will have on their sense of responsibility. Although decision-making skills will help in some ways, I believe parents should dictate choices for children in order to make them more aware of others.

On the one hand, children who have been allowed to make their own choices will eventually develop a keen sense of responsibilty. This can be best seen in the contrasting example of helicopter parents and more liberal parents. Helicopter parents smother their children with attention and make the majority of their decisions for them. Over time, these kids will likely become dependent on their parents. If your parents always pick out your clothes then you never have to check weather forecasts, make choices about what colours match or concern yourself with trends in fashion. Later in life, these kids will not have developed any of these skills because of their parents. Contrast this with children who pick out their own clothes; they will have to consider these factors carefully and it will make them more responsible when it comes to shopping and taking care of their wardrobe.

On the other hand, I still believe that parents should make the majority of choices so that children will be more responsible towards others. For example, some parents have made the logical and ethical choice to be vegetarians and they force their children to do the same. This can have a positive effect not only on their individual health but also on the environment. Moreover, it is a learning opportunity for parents to teach their offspring about ethics. Parents can make the argument that industrial farming is inhumane and animals should be treated with more respect. This may have a carry-over effect resulting in their children growing up to be more thoughtful towards others.

In conclusion, parents should make most decisions for children to guide them to be more empathetic. They should work with teachers in their efforts to raise conscientous future citizens.

Answers

debate argument

extent the level at which/the degree to which/how much

potential impact possible effect

sense of responsibility feeling that you are obligated

decision-making skills skills to make good choices

dictate decide/mandate

aware know about

keen sense good sense

contrasting example counterexample

helicopter parents controlling parents

liberal free and open

smother pay too much attention too

dependent need/rely on

pick out choose/decide on

weather forecasts the weather for the day/next day

colours match colours that go well together

concern yourself worry/think about

contrast this compare with with

factors elements

taking care of looking after

majority most of

logical rational

ethical moral

vegetarians not eating meat

learning opportunity good chance to learn something

offspring children

ethics morality

make the argument argue

industrial farming farming on a mass scale

inhumane cruel

treated how they are handled

respect with dignity and care

carry-over effect another result

thoughtful conscientous

empathetic understanding the feelings of others

conscientous thoughtful

Pronunciation

dɪˈbeɪt 
ɪksˈtɛnt 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈɪmpækt 
sɛns ɒv rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti
dɪˈsɪʒən-ˈmeɪkɪŋ skɪlz 
ˈdɪkteɪt 
əˈweə 
kiːn sɛns 
kənˈtrɑːstɪŋ ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
ˈhɛlɪkɒptə ˈpeərənts 
ˈlɪbərəl 
ˈsmʌðə 
dɪˈpɛndənt 
pɪk aʊt 
ˈwɛðə ˈfɔːkɑːsts
ˈkʌləz mæʧ 
kənˈsɜːn jɔːˈsɛlf 
ˈkɒntrɑːst ðɪs 
ˈfæktəz 
ˈteɪkɪŋ keər ɒv 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈlɒʤɪkəl 
ˈɛθɪkəl 
ˌvɛʤɪˈteərɪənz 
ˈlɜːnɪŋ ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti 
ˈɒfsprɪŋ 
ˈɛθɪks
meɪk ði ˈɑːgjʊmənt 
ɪnˈdʌstrɪəl ˈfɑːmɪŋ 
ˌɪnhju(ː)ˈmeɪn 
ˈtriːtɪd 
rɪsˈpɛkt
ˈkærɪˌəʊvər ɪˈfɛkt 
θɔːtfʊl 
ˈɛmpə θɛtɪk
ˈkɒnsi:entʃəs

Vocabulary Practice

One common area of ____________ among parents is the ____________ to which children should be trusted to make their own decisions and the ____________ this will have on their ____________ . Although ____________ will help in some ways, I believe parents should ____________ choices for children in order to make them more ____________ of others.

On the one hand, children who have been allowed to make their own choices will eventually develop a ____________ of responsibilty. This can be best seen in the ____________ of ____________ and more ____________ parents. Helicopter parents ____________ their children with attention and make the majority of their decisions for them. Over time, these kids will likely become ____________ on their parents. If your parents always ____________ your clothes then you never have to check ____________, make choices about what ____________ or ____________ with trends in fashion. Later in life, these kids will not have developed any of these skills because of their parents. ____________ with children who pick out their own clothes; they will have to consider these ____________ carefully and it will make them more responsible when it comes to shopping and ____________ their wardrobe.

On the other hand, I still believe that parents should make the ____________ of choices so that children will be more responsible towards others. For example, some parents have made the ____________ and ____________ choice to be ____________ and they force their children to do the same. This can have a positive effect not only on their individual health but also on the environment. Moreover, it is a ____________ for parents to teach their ____________ about ____________ . Parents can ____________ that ____________ is ____________ and animals should be ____________ with more ____________. This may have a ____________ resulting in their children growing up to be more ____________ towards others.

In conclusion, parents should make most decisions for children to guide them to be more ____________ . They should work with teachers in their efforts to raise ____________ future citizens.

Links

Here are some activities you can use to improve your listening while watching the video: Improve your Listening.

Read the article below to review some of the ideas and vocbulary from my sample answer. Here are the keys to improving your reading!

http://theconversation.com/too-much-love-helicopter-parents-could-be-raising-anxious-narcissistic-children-116182

Comment any questions or your own sample writing below for feedback!


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