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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of copying from the real IELTS general training exam.

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IELTS Essay: Copying

The tendency of human beings to copy one another is shown in the popularity of areas such as fashion and consumer goods.

To what extent do you agree?

Some have suggested that the popularity of specific consumer trends evidences a natural human inclination to copy one another. In my opinion, this is largely true though there are other potential practical explanations.

Those who oppose this belief argue that imitation is rooted in reason. There are legitimate practical justifications to follow others. If a product such as a new smartphone is popular, then that is evidence it is a quality item. In this way, people are copying on a rational basis, not out of an inborn human desire. Moreover, popular items are likely cheaper and more widely available. A trendy pair of jeans made by Levy’s, for instance, is produced in the millions and stocked in department stores around the world. Individuals will encounter these jeans frequently and their purchase is simply a matter of convenience.

However, I believe that copying others satisfies a deeper human drive to feel part of a larger group. The natural tendency of humans to congregate also compels them to adopt similar customs and habits. Imitation shows that there is commonality and eases the fear of otherness. For example, Apple has built their brand based on the power of an inclusive community of like-minded users. By joining such an ecosystem, people are no longer isolated and feel part of a larger whole that elevates their individual self-esteem and protects them from other groups. Humans do not now face significant physical threats from nature but the desire to copy one another in order to join a modern-day tribe persists in contemporary consumer culture.

In conclusion, the popularity of similar consumer items illustrates an underlying need in humans to imitate one another in order to feel safe and accepted. This is not necessarily a negative insight though it should be managed carefully by individuals.

Analysis

1. Some have suggested that the popularity of specific consumer trends evidences a natural human inclination to copy one another. 2. In my opinion, this is largely true though there are other potential practical explanations.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Those who oppose this belief argue that imitation is rooted in reason. 2. There are legitimate practical justifications to follow others. 3. If a product such as a new smartphone is popular, then that is evidence it is a quality item. 4. In this way, people are copying on a rational basis, not out of an inborn human desire. 5. Moreover, popular items are likely cheaper and more widely available. 6. A trendy pair of jeans made by Levy’s, for instance, is produced in the millions and stocked in department stores around the world. 7. Individuals will encounter these jeans frequently and their purchase is simply a matter of convenience.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Add more deatil.
  6. Make sure you use really specific examples.
  7. Finish the paragraph strong.

1. However, I believe that copying others satisfies a deeper human drive to feel part of a larger group. 2. The natural tendency of humans to congregate also compels them to adopt similar customs and habits. 3. Imitation shows that there is commonality and eases the fear of otherness. 4. For example, Apple has built their brand based on the power of an inclusive community of like-minded users. 5. By joining such an ecosystem, people are no longer isolated and feel part of a larger whole that elevates their individual self-esteem and protects them from other groups. 6. Humans do not now face significant physical threats from nature but the desire to copy one another in order to join a modern-day tribe persists in contemporary consumer culture.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.
  6. Make sure this paragraph is stronger.

1. In conclusion, the popularity of similar consumer items illustrates an underlying need in humans to imitate one another in order to feel safe and accepted. 2. This is not necessarily a negative insight though it should be managed carefully by individuals.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Some have suggested that the popularity of specific consumer trends evidences a natural human inclination to copy one another. In my opinion, this is largely true though there are other potential practical explanations.

Those who oppose this belief argue that imitation is rooted in reason. There are legitimate practical justifications to follow others. If a product such as a new smartphone is popular, then that is evidence it is a quality item. In this way, people are copying on a rational basis, not out of an inborn human desire. Moreover, popular items are likely cheaper and more widely available. A trendy pair of jeans made by Levy’s, for instance, is produced in the millions and stocked in department stores around the world. Individuals will encounter these jeans frequently and their purchase is simply a matter of convenience.

However, I believe that copying others satisfies a deeper human drive to feel part of a larger group. The natural tendency of humans to congregate also compels them to adopt similar customs and habits. Imitation shows that there is commonality and eases the fear of otherness. For example, Apple has built their brand based on the power of an inclusive community of like-minded users. By joining such an ecosystem, people are no longer isolated and feel part of a larger whole that elevates their individual self-esteem and protects them from other groups. Humans do not now face significant physical threats from nature but the desire to copy one another in order to join a modern-day tribe persists in contemporary consumer culture.

In conclusion, the popularity of similar consumer items illustrates an underlying need in humans to imitate one another in order to feel safe and accepted. This is not necessarily a negative insight though it should be managed carefully by individuals.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

suggested give the opinion that

popularity ubiquity

specific consumer trends buying habits

evidences shows

natural human inclination normal desire, human nature

copy one another imitate each other

largely true mostly the case

potential practical explanations possible simple reasons

oppose work against

argue point out

imitation copying

rooted based in

legitimate practical justifications actual reasons related to convenience

smartphone mobile phone

quality item good product

in this way therefore

rational basis reasonable foundation

inborn human desire normal human inclination

cheaper not expensive

widely available common

trendy popular

Levy’s a jeans maker

produced made

stocked put on the shelves

department stores big stores for selling things

encounter come in contact with

frequently often

a matter of convenience easier to do it

satisfies completes

deeper human drive natural instinct

part of a larger group joining a bunch of people

natural tendency normal inclination

congregate group together

compels forces

adopt similar customs act the same way

habits ways of behaving

commonality things in common

eases makes easier

fear worry

otherness people being different

built their brand created their business

based on with the foundation of

inclusive accepting

like-minded users people who think the same way

joining becoming part of

ecosystem environment

no longer isolated not on its own

part of a larger whole in a group

elevates raises up

individual self-esteem

protects keeps safe

significant physical threats real risks of being hurt

modern-day tribe persists contemporary grouping stays the same

contemporary consumer culture modern shopping habits

underlying need basic desire

negative insight bad circumstance

managed carefully watch cautiously

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

səˈʤɛstɪd 
ˌpɒpjʊˈlærɪti 
spɪˈsɪfɪk kənˈsjuːmə trɛndz 
ˈɛvɪdənsɪz 
ˈnæʧrəl ˈhjuːmən ˌɪnklɪˈneɪʃən 
ˈkɒpi wʌn əˈnʌðə 
ˈlɑːʤli truː 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈpræktɪkəl ˌɛkspləˈneɪʃənz
əˈpəʊz 
ˈɑːgjuː 
ˌɪmɪˈteɪʃən 
ˈruːtɪd 
lɪˈʤɪtɪmɪt ˈpræktɪkəl ˌʤʌstɪfɪˈkeɪʃənz 
ˈsmɑːtfəʊn 
ˈkwɒlɪti ˈaɪtəm
ɪn ðɪs weɪ
ˈræʃənl ˈbeɪsɪs
ˌɪnˈbɔːn ˈhjuːmən dɪˈzaɪə
ˈʧiːpə 
ˈwaɪdli əˈveɪləbl.
ˈtrɛndi 
ˈlɛviz
prəˈdjuːst 
stɒkt 
dɪˈpɑːtmənt stɔːz 
ɪnˈkaʊntə 
ˈfriːkwəntli 
ə ˈmætər ɒv kənˈviːniəns
ˈsætɪsfaɪz 
ˈdiːpə ˈhjuːmən draɪv 
pɑːt ɒv ə ˈlɑːʤə gruːp 
ˈnæʧrəl ˈtɛndənsi 
ˈkɒŋgrɪgeɪt 
kəmˈpɛlz 
əˈdɒpt ˈsɪmɪlə ˈkʌstəmz 
ˈhæbɪts
ˈkɒmənˈælɪti
ˈiːzɪz 
fɪə 
ˈʌðənəs
bɪlt ðeə brænd 
beɪst ɒn 
ɪnˈkluːsɪv 
ˈlaɪkˈmaɪndɪd ˈjuːzəz 
ˈʤɔɪnɪŋ 
ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəm
nəʊ ˈlɒŋgər ˈaɪsəleɪtɪd 
pɑːt ɒv ə ˈlɑːʤə həʊl 
ˈɛlɪveɪts 
ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəl sɛlf-ɪsˈtiːm 
prəˈtɛkts 
sɪgˈnɪfɪkənt ˈfɪzɪkəl θrɛts 
ˈmɒdən-deɪ traɪb pəˈsɪsts 
kənˈtɛmpərəri kənˈsjuːmə ˈkʌlʧə
ˌʌndəˈlaɪɪŋ niːd 
ˈnɛgətɪv ˈɪnsaɪt 
ˈmænɪʤd ˈkeəfli 

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Some have s____________d that the p___________y of s_________________________s e_____________s a n____________________________n to c________________________r. In my opinion, this is l________________e though there are other p__________________________________s.

Those who o____________e this belief a_______e that i______________n is r__________d in reason. There are l_____________________________s to follow others. If a product such as a new s___________e is popular, then that is evidence it is a q_____________m. I_______________y, people are copying on a r___________________s, not out of an i_______________________e. Moreover, popular items are likely c___________r and more w_________________e. A t_______y pair of jeans made by L______s, for instance, is p__________d in the millions and s_____________d in d________________________s around the world. Individuals will e____________________r these jeans f___________________y and their purchase is simply a______________________________e.

However, I believe that copying others s____________s a d__________________________e to feel p________________________p. The n_____________________y of humans to c_______________e also c_________s them to a____________________s and h________s. Imitation shows that there is c_________________y and e______s the f_____r of o_____________s. For example, Apple has b_______________________d b__________n the power of an i________e community of l_____________________s. By j__________g such an e_____________m, people are n_____________________d and feel p__________________e that e______________s their i______________________m and p_____________s them from other groups. Humans do not now face s__________________________s from nature but the desire to copy one another in order to join a m______________________e p___________s in c___________________________e.

In conclusion, the popularity of similar consumer items illustrates an u_________________________d in humans to imitate one another in order to feel safe and accepted. This is not necessarily a n__________________t though it should be m______________________y by individuals.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2009/12/on-human-cloning/193009/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Society

Do people in your country often copy each other?

Is copying an important part of society?

How has technology changed society?

Will society continue to change in future? And if so, in what ways?

Do you feel people in your country are in touch with more traditional social customs?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

The number of people who are interested in and wearing fashionable clothes is increasing.

Is this a positive or negative development?


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