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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of having children later in life from the real IELTS general training exam.

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IELTS Essay: Having Children Later

Many people nowadays tend to marry and have children in their thirties rather than at a younger age.

Is this a positive or negative development?

These days, it is becoming increasingly common for couples to marry and start a family later in life. Although there are risks associated with this trend, it is overwhelmingly positive as it allows individuals to lead fuller lives.

Those who decry these changes can justifiably point out the maturing effects of marriage and children. Just like going to school or getting a job, getting married and having children are milestones in life that both signal and push forward character development. A child is an especially important opportunity for growth as parents must subordinate their own needs to a greater good. If this occurs later, then a person may remain immature well into their 30s. It stands to reason that this lack of character development will permeate throughout one’s life and relationships and possibly become more fixed.

Nonetheless, the statements above cannot be generalised to all people and are greatly outweighed by the freedom gained. When a couple gets married and has children from a young age, they are sacrificing a great deal of freedom and opportunity. Assuming they were not born wealthy, it will be impossible to focus on a successful career and also be an attentive parent. The result is likely that they will either neglect their children, marriage, or career, all of which can instill resentment and foment future problems. On the other hand, those who delay marriage are naturally more experienced and ready for a long-term relationship with parental duties as well as likely more settled in a stable career that can relieve the financial strain most young parents must withstand.

In conclusion, though raising children later can lead to a protracted period of immaturity, the advantages related to lifestyle are undisputed. It is therefore important that companies and governments are receptive to this new reality.

Analysis

1. These days, it is becoming increasingly common for couples to marry and start a family later in life. 2. Although there are risks associated with this trend, it is overwhelmingly positive as it allows individuals to lead fuller lives.

  1. Paraphrase the essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion and include your main ideas if possible. Read more about introductions here.

1. Those who decry these changes can justifiably point out the maturing effects of marriage and children. 2. Just like going to school or getting a job, getting married and having children are milestones in life that both signal and push forward character development. 3. A child is an especially important opportunity for growth as parents must subordinate their own needs to a greater good. 4. If this occurs later, then a person may remain immature well into their 30s. 5. It stands to reason that this lack of character development will permeate throughout one’s life and relationships and possibly become more fixed.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop your idea with specific detail.
  4. Keep developing it and relating it back to the overall essay topic.
  5. Conclude with a strong statement.

1. Nonetheless, the statements above cannot be generalised to all people and are greatly outweighed by the freedom gained. 2. When a couple gets married and has children from a young age, they are sacrificing a great deal of freedom and opportunity. 3. Assuming they were not born wealthy, it will be impossible to focus on a successful career and also be an attentive parent. 4. The result is likely that they will either neglect their children, marriage, or career, all of which can instill resentment and foment future problems. 5. On the other hand, those who delay marriage are naturally more experienced and ready for a long-term relationship with parental duties as well as likely more settled in a stable career that can relieve the financial strain most young parents must withstand.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new idea.
  3. Start an example or a hypothetical example.
  4. Develop it by stating the results.
  5. Continue to develop it fully.

1. In conclusion, though raising children later can lead to a protracted period of immaturity, the advantages related to lifestyle are undisputed. 2. It is therefore important that companies and governments are receptive to this new reality.

  1. Repeat your opinion and summarise your main ideas.
  2. Add a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

These days, it is becoming increasingly common for couples to marry and start a family later in life. Although there are risks associated with this trend, it is overwhelmingly positive as it allows individuals to lead fuller lives.

Those who decry these changes can justifiably point out the maturing effects of marriage and children. Just like going to school or getting a job, getting married and having children are milestones in life that both signal and push forward character development. A child is an especially important opportunity for growth as parents must subordinate their own needs to a greater good. If this occurs later, then a person may remain immature well into their 30s. It stands to reason that this lack of character development will permeate throughout one’s life and relationships and possibly become more fixed.

Nonetheless, the statements above cannot be generalised to all people and are greatly outweighed by the freedom gained. When a couple gets married and has children from a young age, they are sacrificing a great deal of freedom and opportunity. Assuming they were not born wealthy, it will be impossible to focus on a successful career and also be an attentive parent. The result is likely that they will either neglect their children, marriage, or career, all of which can instill resentment and foment future problems. On the other hand, those who delay marriage are naturally more experienced and ready for a long-term relationship with parental duties as well as likely more settled in a stable career that can relieve the financial strain most young parents must withstand.

In conclusion, though raising children later can lead to a protracted period of immaturity, the advantages related to lifestyle are undisputed. It is therefore important that companies and governments are receptive to this new reality.

Answers

these days nowadays

increasingly common more and more popular

later in life as one gets older

risks associated with dangers inherent in

trend pattern

overwhelmingly positive definitely good

lead fuller lives more complete life

decry are critical of

justifiably point out good reason to claim

milestones important events

signal a sign of

push forward hasten

especially important opportunity in particular key chance

growth development

subordinate make weaker/less important

a greater good something more important

occurs happens

remain immature stay a child

well into deep into

it stands to reason it’s clear that

lack of character development not growing as a person

permeate spread through

fixed unchanged

nonetheless regardless

statements above claims stated before

generalised made general about everyone

greatly outweighed much weaker than

freedom gained opportunity allowed for

sacrificing giving up

assuming if it is true that

impossible can’t happen

focus on prioritise

attentive caring

neglect not pay attention to

instill resentment cause one to be angry about

foment create

on the other hand however

delay keep from happening

naturally obviously

long-term relationship being together a long time

parental duties taking care of a child

likely probably

settled not changed

stable career good job

relieve lessen

financial strain money troubles

withstand deal with

protracted period of immaturity long time remaining young

lifestyle how you live

undisputed no doubt

receptive willing to listen to

new reality new situation

Pronunciation

ðiːz deɪz
ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈkɒmən 
ˈleɪtər ɪn laɪf
rɪsks əˈsəʊʃɪeɪtɪd wɪð 
trɛnd
ˌəʊvəˈwɛlmɪŋli ˈpɒzətɪv 
liːd ˈfʊlə lɪvz
dɪˈkraɪ 
ˈʤʌstɪfaɪəbli pɔɪnt aʊt 
ˈmaɪlstəʊnz 
ˈsɪgnl 
pʊʃ ˈfɔːwəd 
ɪsˈpɛʃəli ɪmˈpɔːtənt ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti 
grəʊθ 
səˈbɔːdnɪt 
ə ˈgreɪtə gʊd
əˈkɜːz 
rɪˈmeɪn ˌɪməˈtjʊə wɛl ˈɪntuː 
ɪt stændz tuː ˈriːzn 
læk ɒv ˈkærɪktə dɪˈvɛləpmənt 
ˈpɜːmɪeɪt 
fɪkst
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs
ˈsteɪtmənts əˈbʌv 
ˈʤɛnərəlaɪzd 
ˈgreɪtli aʊtˈweɪd 
ˈfriːdəm geɪnd
ˈsækrɪfaɪsɪŋ 
əˈsjuːmɪŋ 
ɪmˈpɒsəbl 
ˈfəʊkəs ɒn 
əˈtɛntɪv 
nɪˈglɛkt 
ɪnˈstɪl rɪˈzɛntmənt 
fəʊˈmɛnt 
wʌn ði ˈʌðə hænd
dɪˈleɪ 
ˈnæʧrəli 
ˈlɒŋtɜːm rɪˈleɪʃənʃɪp 
pəˈrɛntl ˈdjuːtiz 
ˈlaɪkli 
ˈsɛtld 
ˈsteɪbl kəˈrɪə 
rɪˈliːv 
faɪˈnænʃəl streɪn 
wɪðˈstænd
prəˈtræktɪd ˈpɪərɪəd ɒv ˌɪməˈtjʊərɪti
ˈlaɪfˌstaɪl 
ˌʌndɪsˈpjuːtɪd
rɪˈsɛptɪv 
njuː ri(ː)ˈælɪti

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

T___________s, it is becoming i___________________n for couples to marry and start a family l______________e. Although there are r________________________h this t________d, it is o___________________________e as it allows individuals to l________________s.

Those who d_______y these changes can j______________________t the maturing effects of marriage and children. Just like going to school or getting a job, getting married and having children are m______________s in life that both s_________l and p_____________________d character development. A child is an e____________________________y for g_____________h as parents must s________________e their own needs to a________________d. If this o_______s later, then a person may r____________________e w___________o their 30s. I_____________________n that this l______________________________t will p____________e throughout one’s life and relationships and possibly become more f_______d.

N_____________s, the s_______________________e cannot be g__________________d to all people and are g______________________d by the f___________________d. When a couple gets married and has children from a young age, they are s_________________g a great deal of freedom and opportunity. A_____________g they were not born wealthy, it will be i________________e to f__________n a successful career and also be an a____________e parent. The result is likely that they will either n____________t their children, marriage, or career, all of which can i______________________t and f__________t future problems. O_________________________d, those who d__________y marriage are n_________________y more experienced and ready for a l_________________________p with p__________________________s as well as l_________y more s_____________d in a s_______________r that can r_________e the f____________________n most young parents must w______________d.

In conclusion, though raising children later can lead to a p________________________________y, the advantages related to l________________e are u_________________d. It is therefore important that companies and governments are r___________________e to this n____________________y.

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.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/singletons/201206/the-ideal-age-have-baby

Speaking Practice

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

Sharing

  1. What kinds of things do you share with friends?
  2. Did your parents encourage you to share?
  3. Is there anything you would not share?
  4. Are people in your country in the habit of sharing a lot?

Writing Practice

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

Parents should take courses in parenting in order to improve the lives of their children.

To what extent do you agree?


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