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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of whether or not companies should focus on making sure employees follow a dress code from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Employee Dress Code

Some people think employers should not care about the way their employees dress, but the quality at work.

To what extent you agree or disagree?

Many are of the belief that corporations should prioritize quality work over appropriate workplace attire. In my opinion, there are limits to this sentiment; however, it is largely justified as other areas are more crucial to success.

Those in favor of a strict dress code argue that it fosters professionalism. Appearance is important not only for clients and customers but also workers themselves. An employee who dresses well for work is similar to an actor preparing for a performance. The appearance of professionalism is likely engender the same level of diligence to their work. This becomes part of a cycle as customers notice the attention to detail and workers become aware they are essentially performing. The best illustration of this is professions that require uniforms, such as doctors and police officers, and thus fully embody their public role.

However, the quality of the work itself is paramount. In recent years, corporations have relaxed dress codes in recognition of this fact. For example, many technology companies in Silicon Valley including Facebook and Google are famous for a more casual approach to attire. This policy begins with the CEOs and executives who eschew traditional suits for jeans, normal shirts, and comfortable shoes. This signals that the success of a company depends more on the output of their work. An employee at such a company who dresses well but cannot code or contribute meaningfully to a high-achieving team is in fact a hindrance to success. The focus on inner qualities and capabilities is reflective of an broader social shift that places less value on factors extrinsic to true achievement.

In conclusion, the minor benefits of dress codes for professionalism are outweighed by the recognition of the importance of real work. Companies should therefore strive to uphold values with tangible impact.

Analysis

1. Many are of the belief that corporations should prioritize quality work over appropriate workplace attire. 2. In my opinion, there are limits to this sentiment; however, it is largely justified as other areas are more crucial to success.

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

1. Those in favor of a strict dress code argue that it fosters professionalism. 2. Appearance is important not only for clients and customers but also workers themselves. 3. An employee who dresses well for work is similar to an actor preparing for a performance. 4. The appearance of professionalism is likely engender the same level of diligence to their work. 5. This becomes part of a cycle as customers notice the attention to detail and workers become aware they are essentially performing. 6. The best illustration of this is professions that require uniforms, such as doctors and police officers, and thus fully embody their public role.

  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. Extend with some long sentences as well.
  6. Finish this main idea.

1. However, the quality of the work itself is paramount. 2. In recent years, corporations have relaxed dress codes in recognition of this fact. 3. For example, many technology companies in Silicon Valley including Facebook and Google are famous for a more casual approach to attire. 4. This policy begins with the CEOs and executives who eschew traditional suits for jeans, normal shirts, and comfortable shoes. 5. This signals that the success of a company depends more on the output of their work. 6. An employee at such a company who dresses well but cannot code or contribute meaningfully to a high-achieving team is in fact a hindrance to success. 7. The focus on inner qualities and capabilities is reflective of an broader social shift that places less value on factors extrinsic to true achievement.

  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. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. Continue the hypothetical example.
  7. Focus back on the topic.

1. In conclusion, the minor benefits of dress codes for professionalism are outweighed by the recognition of the importance of real work. 2. Companies should therefore strive to uphold values with tangible impact.

  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.

Many are of the belief that corporations should prioritize quality work over appropriate workplace attire. In my opinion, there are limits to this sentiment; however, it is largely justified as other areas are more crucial to success.

Those in favor of a strict dress code argue that it fosters professionalism. Appearance is important not only for clients and customers but also workers themselves. An employee who dresses well for work is similar to an actor preparing for a performance. The appearance of professionalism is likely engender the same level of diligence to their work. This becomes part of a cycle as customers notice the attention to detail and workers become aware they are essentially performing. The best illustration of this is professions that require uniforms, such as doctors and police officers, and thus fully embody their public role.

However, the quality of the work itself is paramount. In recent years, corporations have relaxed dress codes in recognition of this fact. For example, many technology companies in Silicon Valley including Facebook and Google are famous for a more casual approach to attire. This policy begins with the CEOs and executives who eschew traditional suits for jeans, normal shirts, and comfortable shoes. This signals that the success of a company depends more on the output of their work. An employee at such a company who dresses well but cannot code or contribute meaningfully to a high-achieving team is in fact a hindrance to success. The focus on inner qualities and capabilities is reflective of an broader social shift that places less value on factors extrinsic to true achievement.

In conclusion, the minor benefits of dress codes for professionalism are outweighed by the recognition of the importance of real work. Companies should therefore strive to uphold values with tangible impact.

Answers

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

are of the belief think

corporations companies

prioritize quality work value more how good the work is

appropriate workplace attire professional clothes for work

limits boundaries

sentiment feeling

however but

largely justified mostly give reason for

more crucial to success more important to achievement

in favor of preferring

strict dress code very limited options to wear to work

argue point out

fosters professionalism creates better work

appearance look on the outside

clients customers

customers clients

dresses well wears professional clothes

similar the same

actor preparing person in a show getting ready

performance starring in a show

engender create

same level of diligence similar amount of professionalism

part piece

cycle back and forth circle

notice realize

attention to detail diligence

aware know about

essentially performing basically showing off

best illustration clearest example

require uniforms need clothes

fully embody completely in the role of

public role job in front of others

quality of the work itself how good it is

paramount more important

in recent years the last several years

relaxed calm

recognition knowing about

Silicon Valley place where technology companies are in California

famous for well-known for

casual approach relaxed way

CEOs chief executive officers

executives highly ranking bosses

eschew avoid instead of

traditional suits fancy clothes for work

comfortable shoes sneakers

signals shows

depends more has more to do with

output what is produced

code what must be followed

contribute meaningfully give significance

high-achieving team group that does well normally

in fact actually

hindrance holds back

focus pay attention to

inner qualities characteristics

reflective of mirrors

broader social shift changes within the public

places less value care less about

factors extrinsic to true achievement parts not related to success

minor benefits marginal advantages

outweighed stronger than

strive try hard for

uphold values maintain good principles

tangible impact real effect

Pronunciation

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

ɑːr ɒv ðə bɪˈliːf 
ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz ˈkwɒlɪti wɜːk 
əˈprəʊprɪɪt ˈwɜːkˌpleɪs əˈtaɪə
ˈlɪmɪts 
ˈsɛntɪmənt
haʊˈɛvə
ˈlɑːʤli ˈʤʌstɪfaɪd 
mɔː ˈkruːʃəl tuː səkˈsɛs
ɪn ˈfeɪvər ɒv 
strɪkt drɛs kəʊd 
ˈɑːgjuː 
ˈfɒstəz prəˈfɛʃnəlɪzm
əˈpɪərəns 
ˈklaɪənts 
ˈkʌstəməz 
ˈdrɛsɪz wɛl 
ˈsɪmɪlə 
ˈæktə prɪˈpeərɪŋ 
pəˈfɔːməns
ɪnˈʤɛndə 
seɪm ˈlɛvl ɒv ˈdɪlɪʤəns 
pɑːt 
ˈsaɪkl 
ˈnəʊtɪs 
əˈtɛnʃ(ə)n tuː ˈdiːteɪl 
əˈweə 
ɪˈsɛnʃəli pəˈfɔːmɪŋ
bɛst ˌɪləsˈtreɪʃən 
rɪˈkwaɪə ˈjuːnɪfɔːmz
ˈfʊli ɪmˈbɒdi 
ˈpʌblɪk rəʊl
ˈkwɒlɪti ɒv ðə wɜːk ɪtˈsɛlf 
ˈpærəmaʊnt
ɪn ˈriːsnt jɪəz
rɪˈlækst 
ˌrɛkəgˈnɪʃən 
ˈsɪlɪkən ˈvæli 
ˈfeɪməs fɔː 
ˈkæʒjʊəl əˈprəʊʧ 
siː-iː-əʊz 
ɪgˈzɛkjʊtɪvz 
ɪsˈʧuː 
trəˈdɪʃənl sjuːts 
ˈkʌmf(ə)təbl ʃuːz
ˈsɪgnlz 
dɪˈpɛndz mɔː 
ˈaʊtpʊt 
kəʊd 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)t ˈmiːnɪŋfʊli 
haɪ-əˈʧiːvɪŋ tiːm 
ɪn fækt 
ˈhɪndrəns 
ˈfəʊkəs 
ˈɪnə ˈkwɒlɪtiz 
rɪˈflɛktɪv ɒv 
ˈbrɔːdə ˈsəʊʃəl ʃɪft 
ˈpleɪsɪz lɛs ˈvæljuː 
ˈfæktəz ɛksˈtrɪnsɪk tuː truː əˈʧiːvmənt
ˈmaɪnə ˈbɛnɪfɪts 
aʊtˈweɪd 
straɪv 
ʌpˈhəʊld ˈvæljuːz 
ˈtænʤəbl ˈɪmpækt

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:

Many a___________________f that c______________s should p_______________________k over a____________________________e. In my opinion, there are l______s to this s_____________t; h___________r, it is l________________d as other areas are m________________________s.

Those i_____________f a s_________________e a________e that it f_______________________m. A______________e is important not only for c________s and c____________s but also workers themselves. An employee who d____________l for work is s___________r to an a______________g for a p__________________e. The appearance of professionalism is likely e__________r the s__________________________e to their work. This becomes p_____t of a c_______e as customers n________e the a____________________l and workers become a_____e they are e_________________________g. The b___________________n of this is professions that r__________________s, such as doctors and police officers, and thus f_________________y their p_______________e.

However, the q____________________________f is p______________t. I_________________s, corporations have r_________d dress codes in r_____________n of this fact. For example, many technology companies in S_________________y including Facebook and Google are f______________r a more c________________h to attire. This policy begins with the C_____s and e_______________s who e__________w t________________s for jeans, normal shirts, and c_______________________s. This s________s that the success of a company d____________e on the o_______t of their work. An employee at such a company who dresses well but cannot c____e or c________________________y to a h____________________m is i________t a h____________e to success. The f________s on i____________________s and capabilities is r__________________f an b____________r s______________________t that p_____________________________e on f______________________________________t.

In conclusion, the m________________s of dress codes for professionalism are o____________d by the recognition of the importance of real work. Companies should therefore s_________e to u________________s with t__________________t.

Listening Practice

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0zjRGRYEhk

Reading Practice

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

https://www.wired.com/1998/04/wearables/

Speaking Practice

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

Jeans

  1. Do you like to wear jeans?
  2. How often do you wear jeans?
  3. Did you used to wear jeans when you were younger?
  4. What did you like about jeans?

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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