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

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Hard Work

Some people work harder than other.

Why is this?

Is this a positive or negative habit?

Some people work harder than others. In my opinion, this is due to natural differences in temperament and it is largely a positive characteristic, though there are exceptions.

The main motivating factor behind disparities in work ethic is character. The extent to which this is genetic or imbued by parents and other influences during childhood is in debate. There can be little doubt, however, that some are born with a natural proclivity to focus and the willpower to push themselves to accomplish their work. Well known examples of this abound in the biographies of great men. Naturally, in each of these cases, there tends to be situational factors underpinning such ambitious drives and these include a supportive family, access to quality education, and lack of neglect or abuse.

On the whole, working hard is a positive trait. This does not hold true in exceptional instances where individuals are surrounded by psychological problems and work to the detriment of their own well-being. Most employees and entrepreneurs can balance home and work life and therefore minimise the tradeoffs. The advantages, on the other hand, are substantial. A diligent worker can expect to earn more money, which can then be used to support their family or invested back into a passion project. Elon Musk is a quintessential example of a hard-working businessman who has profited individually and now contributes greatly to the advancement of mankind through a variety of forward-looking initiatives.

In conclusion, hard work has its source in the make-up of an individual and results in mostly positive benefits. Nonetheless, those who are driven must be wary of losing sight of their true goals as they achieve higher levels of success.

Analysis

1. Some people work harder than others. 2. In my opinion, this is due to natural differences in temperament and it is largely a positive characteristic, though there are exceptions.

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

1. The main motivating factor behind disparities in work ethic is character. 2. The extent to which this is genetic or imbued by parents and other influences during childhood is in debate. 3. There can be little doubt, however, that some are born with a natural proclivity to focus and the willpower to push themselves to accomplish their work. 4. Well known examples of this abound in the biographies of great men. 5. Naturally, in each of these cases, there tends to be situational factors underpinning such ambitious drives and these include a supportive family, access to quality education, and lack of neglect or abuse.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific detail.
  4. Continue to develop it.
  5. Develop it as fully as possible.

1. On the whole, working hard is a positive trait. 2. This does not hold true in exceptional instances where individuals are surrounded by psychological problems and work to the detriment of their own well-being. 3. Most employees and entrepreneurs can balance home and work life and therefore minimise the tradeoffs. 4. The advantages, on the other hand, are substantial. 5. A diligent worker can expect to earn more money, which can then be used to support their family or invested back into a passion project. 6. Elon Musk is a quintessential example of a hard-working businessman who has profited individually and now contributes greatly to the advancement of mankind through a variety of forward-looking initiatives.

  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. The more specific, the better.
  5. Add on any extra detail that you can that is related for a better task achievement score.
  6. This paragraph can be slightly longer but not too much!

1. In conclusion, hard work has its source in the make-up of an individual and results in mostly positive benefits. 2. Nonetheless, those who are driven must be wary of losing sight of their true goals as they achieve higher levels of success.

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

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Take notes on a piece of paper so that you remember them better:

Some people work harder than others. In my opinion, this is due to natural differences in temperament and it is largely a positive characteristic, though there are exceptions.

The main motivating factor behind disparities in work ethic is character. The extent to which this is genetic or imbued by parents and other influences during childhood is in debate. There can be little doubt, however, that some are born with a natural proclivity to focus and the willpower to push themselves to accomplish their work. Well known examples of this abound in the biographies of great men. Naturally, in each of these cases, there tends to be situational factors underpinning such ambitious drives and these include a supportive family, access to quality education, and lack of neglect or abuse.

On the whole, working hard is a positive trait. This does not hold true in exceptional instances where individuals are surrounded by psychological problems and work to the detriment of their own well-being. Most employees and entrepreneurs can balance home and work life and therefore minimise the tradeoffs. The advantages, on the other hand, are substantial. A diligent worker can expect to earn more money, which can then be used to support their family or invested back into a passion project. Elon Musk is a quintessential example of a hard-working businessman who has profited individually and now contributes greatly to the advancement of mankind through a variety of forward-looking initiatives.

In conclusion, hard work has its source in the make-up of an individual and results in mostly positive benefits. Nonetheless, those who are driven must be wary of losing sight of their true goals as they achieve higher levels of success.

Answers

natural differences inherent disparities

temperament personality

largely mostly

characteristic quality

exceptions outside the norm

main motivating factor primary reason

behind underpinning

disparities differences

work ethic working hard

character how a person is

extent to which this is level this relates to

genetic biological

imbued fostered, imparted

influences people who shape someone

in debate open to question

there can be little doubt not much chance

born with inborn

natural proclivity born with it

focus pay attention to

willpower self-control

push themselves force themselves

accomplish achieve

well known examples of this abound famous instances of this are very common

biographies books about a person’s life

naturally obviously

in each of these cases in both instances

tends to be situational factors contextual matters

underpinning serving as a foundation for

ambitious drives desire to achieve a lot

include make part of

supportive family caring parents

access be able to get to

quality education good schools

lack not have

neglect not taking care of

abuse being hurt

on the whole in general

trait quality

not hold true not still the case

exceptional instances outliers, exceptions

surrounded all around

psychological problems mental issues

detriment disadvantage

well-being health

entrepreneurs people who start their own business

balance keep both equal

therefore minimise as a result keep under control

tradeoffs disadvantages

on the other hand however

substantial meaningful

diligent caring

can expect to earn will likely make

support their family take care of a wife and kids

invested back put money back into

passion project something you care greatly about

quintessential example good instance

hard-working businessman good worker

profited gained

contributes greatly adds a lot to

advancement of mankind making the world better

variety lots of different kinds

forward-looking initiatives ideas for the future

source foundation

make-up constitution, character

results in leads to

nonetheless regardless of

driven motivated

wary worried about

losing sight not paying attention to, forgetting about

true goals real aims

achieve higher levels of success become more successful

Pronunciation

ˈnæʧrəl ˈdɪfrənsɪz 
ˈtɛmpərəmənt 
ˈlɑːʤli 
ˌkærɪktəˈrɪstɪk
ɪkˈsɛpʃənz
meɪn ˈməʊtɪveɪtɪŋ ˈfæktə 
bɪˈhaɪnd 
dɪsˈpærɪtiz 
wɜːk ˈɛθɪk 
ˈkærɪktə
ɪksˈtɛnt tuː wɪʧ ðɪs ɪz 
ʤɪˈnɛtɪk 
ɪmˈbjuːd 
ˈɪnflʊənsɪz 
ɪn dɪˈbeɪt
ðeə kæn biː ˈlɪtl daʊt
bɔːn wɪð 
ˈnæʧrəl prəˈklɪvɪti 
ˈfəʊkəs 
ˈwɪlˌpaʊə 
pʊʃ ðəmˈsɛlvz 
əˈkɒmplɪʃ 
wɛl nəʊn ɪgˈzɑːmplz ɒv ðɪs əˈbaʊnd 
baɪˈɒgrəfiz 
ˈnæʧrəli
ɪn iːʧ ɒv ðiːz ˈkeɪsɪz
tɛndz tuː biː ˌsɪtjʊˈeɪʃən(ə)l ˈfæktəz 
ˌʌndəˈpɪnɪŋ 
æmˈbɪʃəs draɪvz 
ɪnˈkluːd 
səˈpɔːtɪv ˈfæmɪli
ˈæksɛs 
ˈkwɒlɪti ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃən
læk 
nɪˈglɛkt 
əˈbjuːs
ɒn ðə həʊl
treɪt
nɒt həʊld truː 
ɪkˈsɛpʃənl ˈɪnstənsɪz 
səˈraʊndɪd 
ˌsaɪkəˈlɒʤɪkəl ˈprɒbləmz 
ˈdɛtrɪmənt 
wɛl-ˈbiːɪŋ
ˌɒntrəprəˈnɜːz 
ˈbæləns 
ˈðeəfɔː ˈmɪnɪmaɪz 
treɪd ɒfs
ɒn ði ˈʌðə hænd
səbˈstænʃəl
ˈdɪlɪʤənt 
kæn ɪksˈpɛkt tuː ɜːn 
səˈpɔːt ðeə ˈfæmɪli 
ɪnˈvɛstɪd bæk 
ˈpæʃən ˈprɒʤɛkt
ˌkwɪntɪˈsɛnʃəl ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
ˈhɑːdˌwɜːkɪŋ ˈbɪznɪsmən 
ˈprɒfɪtɪd 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)ts ˈgreɪtli 
ədˈvɑːnsmənt ɒv mænˈkaɪnd 
vəˈraɪəti 
ˈfɔːwədˈlʊkɪŋ ɪˈnɪʃɪətɪvz
sɔːs 
ˈmeɪkʌp 
rɪˈzʌlts ɪn 
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs
ˈdrɪvn 
ˈweəri 
ˈluːzɪŋ saɪt 
truː gəʊlz 
əˈʧiːv ˈhaɪə ˈlɛvlz ɒv səkˈsɛs

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 people work harder than others. In my opinion, this is due to n_________________________s in t______________t and it is l_________y a positive c__________________c, though there are e____________s.

The m__________________________r b_______d d______________s in w_______________c is c____________r. The e________________________s g__________c or i_________d by parents and other i___________s during childhood is i___________e. T___________________t, however, that some are b___________h a n_____________________y to f_______s and the w___________r to p___________________s to a_____________h their work. W_______________________________d in the b______________s of great men. N___________y, i_______________________s, there t___________e s__________________s u____________g such a______________s and these i_________e a s___________________y, a_________s to q__________________n, and l_____k of n_______t or a_______e.

O____________e, working hard is a positive t______t. This does n______________e in e___________________s where individuals are s______________d by p___________________s and work to the d__________t of their own w____________g. Most employees and e_____________s can b_________e home and work life and t_______________________e the t___________s. The advantages, o__________________d, are s_____________l. A d__________t worker c_________________n more money, which can then be used to s_________________y or i_______________k into a p_________________t. Elon Musk is a q______________________e of a h__________________________n who has p__________d individually and now c_______________________y to the a______________________d through a v__________y of f______________________________s.

In conclusion, hard work has its s________e in the m_________p of an individual and r___________n mostly positive benefits. N______________s, those who are d_______n must be w_____y of l______________t of their t___________s as they a_________________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/you-really-dont-need-to-work-so-much

Speaking Practice

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

Work (Model answer available on my Patreon)

  1. Do you work or are you a student?
  2. Do you like your current job?
  3. In the future, do you want to change jobs?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

In many countries, people are spending more time in their workplace.

Why is this?

Is this a negative or positive development?


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