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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer from the general training exam on the topic of fame and the internet.

It seems to be pretty simple but it is still a real challenge to think of relevant main ideas and support them with specific examples.

Read on to see how I handled it!

Check out my online courses and corrections here as well!

Dave

Before reading, listen to the audio and take some notes to improve your listening skills:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer General Training: Fame (Real Past IELTS Test/Exam)

Due to television and the internet it is easier today for a large number of people to become famous.

Is this a positive or negative development?

Real Past IELTS Exams/Tests

It is easier than ever today for people to become famous because of increased channels for distribution such as television and the internet. This is clearly a positive trend as it opens up the entertainment industry to greater diversity.

Those that decry this trend typically point to talentless celebrities. In the past, a comedian or musician might work for years honing their craft in order to get a slot on one of the few talkshows and then become famous overnight. Nowadays, many celebrities start on reality TV or a YouTube channel and do not have any discernible talents. The socialite Paris Hilton was one of the first to take advantage of her wealth and personality to build a brand without any real product. Kim Kardashian is a more recent example of an individual who through dating celebrities and canny use of social media and television was able to become a celebrity in her own right.

Despite the aforementioned cases, this is on a whole a positive trend because of the more diverse range of famous people today. Fame used to be the prerogative of white men and women, with the occasional exception from an ethnic group. One of the reasons for this is that whites typically come from more privileged backgrounds and have greater opportunity, thereby making up a disproportionate share of success stories. The internet in particular has levelled the playing field to an extent. Anyone with a smartphone today has the ability to broadcast their talents and cultivate a loyal fanbase, regardless of gender or ethnicity and without the barriers that existed in the past such as ingrained reluctance from authority figures to give certain ethnicities an honest chance.

In conclusion, there are clear cultural drawbacks to the ease with which many achieve fame but today it is nonetheless more inclusive. A greater concern should be the age at which people become famous as it can have developmental side effects.

Analysis

1. It is easier than ever today for people to become famous because of increased channels for distribution such as television and the internet. 2. This is clearly a positive trend as it opens up the entertainment industry to greater diversity.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic for the essay.
  2. State your opinion clearly – don’t sit in the middle. You must choose a side.

1. Those that decry this trend typically point to talentless celebrities. 2. In the past, a comedian or musician might work for years honing their craft in order to get a slot on one of the few talkshows and then become famous overnight. 3. Nowadays, many celebrities start on reality TV or a YouTube channel and do not have any discernible talents. 4. The socialite Paris Hilton was one of the first to take advantage of her wealth and personality to build a brand without any real product. 5. Kim Kardashian is a more recent example of an individual who through dating celebrities and canny use of social media and television was able to become a celebrity in her own right.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Begin to develop your main idea. A good way to start is by comparing with the past.
  3. Contrast the past with the present and explain a specific difference.
  4. Give a clear example.
  5. You can develop the same example or add another like I did here.

1. Despite the aforementioned cases, this is on a whole a positive trend because of the more diverse range of famous people today. 2. Fame used to be the prerogative of white men and women, with the occasional exception from an ethnic group. 3. One of the reasons for this is that whites typically come from more privileged backgrounds and have greater opportunity, thereby making up a disproportionate share of success stories. 4. The internet in particular has levelled the playing field to an extent. 5. Anyone with a smartphone today has the ability to broadcast their talents and cultivate a loyal fanbase, regardless of gender or ethnicity and without the barriers that existed in the past such as ingrained reluctance from authority figures to give certain ethnicities an honest chance.

  1. Include another topic sentence with a new main idea.
  2. Begin to develop your new main idea.
  3. You can support your main idea with a logical arguments. Make sure that your ideas connect and flow naturally.
  4. Vary your use of long and short sentences.
  5. Draw out the conclusions/results of your argument to make your paragraph really strong.

1. In conclusion, there are clear cultural drawbacks to the ease with which many achieve fame but today it is nonetheless more inclusive. 2. A greater concern should be the age at which people become famous as it can have developmental side effects.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add in an extra detail or final thought for full points from the examiner.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

It is easier than ever today for people to become famous because of increased channels for distribution such as television and the internet. This is clearly a positive trend as it opens up the entertainment industry to greater diversity.

Those that decry this trend typically point to talentless celebrities. In the past, a comedian or musician might work for years honing their craft in order to get a slot on one of the few talkshows and then become famous overnight. Nowadays, many celebrities start on reality TV or a YouTube channel and do not have any discernible talents. The socialite Paris Hilton was one of the first to take advantage of her wealth and personality to build a brand without any real product. Kim Kardashian is a more recent example of an individual who through dating celebrities and canny use of social media and television was able to become a celebrity in her own right.

Despite the aforementioned cases, this is on a whole a positive trend because of the more diverse range of famous people today. Fame used to be the prerogative of white men and women, with the occasional exception from an ethnic group. One of the reasons for this is that whites typically come from more privileged backgrounds and have greater opportunity, thereby making up a disproportionate share of success stories. The internet in particular has levelled the playing field to an extent. Anyone with a smartphone today has the ability to broadcast their talents and cultivate a loyal fanbase, regardless of gender or ethnicity and without the barriers that existed in the past such as ingrained reluctance from authority figures to give certain ethnicities an honest chance.

In conclusion, there are clear cultural drawbacks to the ease with which many achieve fame but today it is nonetheless more inclusive. A greater concern should be the age at which people become famous as it can have developmental side effects.

Answers

easier than ever today become more possible

channels for distribution ways of getting your content out

opens up allows for

entertainment industry movies, TV, music, etc.

greater diversity more different types of

decry rail against

talentless not good at anything

honing their craft getting better at their job

get a slot have a time

talkshows late night shows

overnight suddenly

discernible talents obvious abilities

socialite dilletant

take advantage exploit

wealth money

build a brand become well known

canny use intelligent use

in her own right on her own

aforementioned cases what was said before

on a whole overall

diverse range lots of possibilities

prerogative right

occasional exception odd situation

ethnic group minority

privileged backgrounds rich

making up consisting of

disproportionate share take up too much

levelled the playing field makes everything equal/even

broadcast send out

cultivate develop

loyal fanbase passionate supporters

barriers roadblocks

ingrained reluctance inherent disinclination

authority figures those in power

ethnicities people from various cultures

honest chance actually possible

clear cultural drawbacks obvious disadvantages for the culture

inclusive including all types of people

developmental side effects hurt their upbringing

Pronunciation

ˈiːzɪə ðæn ˈɛvə təˈdeɪ 
ˈʧænlz fɔː ˌdɪstrɪˈbjuːʃən 
ˈəʊpənz ʌp 
ˌɛntəˈteɪnmənt ˈɪndəstri 
ˈgreɪtə daɪˈvɜːsɪti
dɪˈkraɪ 
ˈtæləntlɪs 
ˈhəʊnɪŋ ðeə krɑːft 
gɛt ə slɒt
tɔːkʃəʊz 
ˌəʊvəˈnaɪt
dɪˈsɜːnəbl ˈtælənts
ˈsəʊʃəlaɪt 
teɪk ədˈvɑːntɪʤ 
wɛlθ 
bɪld ə brænd 
ˈkæni juːz 
ɪn hɜːr əʊn raɪt
əˌfɔːˈmɛnʃənd ˈkeɪsɪz
ɒn ə həʊl 
daɪˈvɜːs reɪnʤ 
prɪˈrɒgətɪv 
əˈkeɪʒənl ɪkˈsɛpʃən 
ˈɛθnɪk gruːp
ˈprɪvɪlɪʤd ˈbækgraʊndz 
ˈmeɪkɪŋ ʌp 
ˌdɪsprəˈpɔːʃnɪt ʃeə 
ˈlɛvld ðə ˈpleɪɪŋ fiːld
ˈbrɔːdkɑːst 
ˈkʌltɪveɪt 
ˈlɔɪəl fænbeɪs
ˈbærɪəz 
ɪnˈgreɪnd rɪˈlʌktəns 
ɔːˈθɒrɪti ˈfɪgəz 
ɛθˈnɪsɪtiz 
ˈɒnɪst ʧɑːns
klɪə ˈkʌlʧərəl ˈdrɔːbæks 
ɪnˈkluːsɪv
dɪˌvɛləpˈmɛntl saɪd ɪˈfɛkts

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

It is e______________ for people to become famous because of increased c______________ such as television and the internet. This is clearly a positive trend as it o______________ the e______________ to g______________.

Those that d______________ this trend typically point to t______________ celebrities. In the past, a comedian or musician might work for years h______________ in order to g______________ on one of the few t______________ and then become famous o______________. Nowadays, many celebrities start on reality TV or a YouTube channel and do not have any d______________. The s______________ Paris Hilton was one of the first to t______________ of her w______________ and personality to b______________ without any real product. Kim Kardashian is a more recent example of an individual who through dating celebrities and c______________ of social media and television was able to become a celebrity i______________.

Despite the a______________, this is o______________ a positive trend because of the more d______________ of famous people today. Fame used to be the p______________ of white men and women, with the o______________ from an e______________. One of the reasons for this is that whites typically come from more p______________ and have greater opportunity, thereby m______________ a d______________ of success stories. The internet in particular has l______________ to an extent. Anyone with a smartphone today has the ability to b______________ their talents and c______________, regardless of gender or ethnicity and without the b______________ that existed in the past such as i______________ from a______________ to give certain e ______________ an h______________.

In conclusion, there are c______________ to the ease with which many achieve fame but today it is nonetheless more i______________. A greater concern should be the age at which people become famous as it can have d______________.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

This video might help you to think of a different main idea from my own:

Reading Practice

Read an interesting (and difficult!) article below about the daughter of a famous psychologist:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1999/11/fame-the-power-and-cost-of-a-fantasy/377856/

Speaking Practice

Looking up to People

  1. Do you think kids today grow up differently than in the past?
  2. Are famous people good exampels for children?
  3. What can children learn from bad examples?
  4. Should companies use celebrities to advertise their products?
  5. Do people really trust celebrity endorsed products?

Writing Practice

Write about this similar topic from the real test below:

Many people imitate famous people that they read about or see on TV.

Why is this done?

Is this a good idea?

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

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