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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of national identity from the real exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: National Identity

Some think increasing business and cultural contact between nations is positive. Others think it leads to the disappearance of the national identity.

Discuss both views and state your own opinion.

Many feel that the effects of globalization on economics and culture are a beneficial. In my opinion, although there is an argument for the financial implications, the risks to the uniqueness of a national identity make it a negative overall.

Supporters of such close contact point out the meaningful economic ramifications. This is particularly important for more isolated and undeveloped nations. There are countries where natural resources are extremely lacking or unbalanced and this has slowed their progress historically. For instance, many countries in the Middle East lack the arable land to support large population growth. The discovery of vast reserves of oil in the 20th century allowed them to exploit trade agreements to improve their economic outlook and basic infrastructure. This same fact applies to varying degrees to nearly all nations as trade enriches and a country without necessarily creating any negative byproducts.

Nonetheless, the danger for culture is more lasting and therefore more significant. The national identity of a country is not simply made up of the dominant ethnic group. Every country has minorities and ethnic populations that are most at risk through this process. For instance, in many parts of Asia and Africa there are numerous indigenous groups that struggle to flourish in a modern, global economy. For instance, the Hmong in Vietnam are famed for their craftsmanship and attention to detail in hand-weaving and dyeing sustainable clothing yet many of them must now abandon their traditional roots to live in cities and work anonymous jobs for large corporations. Once such cultures are lost, they will never return and the economic benefits will be little comfort at that point.

In conclusion, despite the economic advantages of globalization, the possibility of a country losing its individual cultural character is too great a risk. Countries must therefore take steps to safeguard their culture.

Analysis

1. Many feel that the effects of globalization on economics and culture are a beneficial. 2. In my opinion, although there is an argument for the financial implications, the risks to the uniqueness of a national identity make it a negative overall.

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

1. Supporters of such close contact point out the meaningful economic ramifications. 2. This is particularly important for more isolated and undeveloped nations. 3. There are countries where natural resources are extremely lacking or unbalanced and this has slowed their progress historically. 4. For instance, many countries in the Middle East lack the arable land to support large population growth. 5. The discovery of vast reserves of oil in the 20th century allowed them to exploit trade agreements to improve their economic outlook and basic infrastructure. 6. This same fact applies to varying degrees to nearly all nations as trade enriches and a country without necessarily creating any negative byproducts.

  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. Vary long and short sentences.
  6. Finish development.

1. Nonetheless, the danger for culture is more lasting and therefore more significant. 2. The national identity of a country is not simply made up of the dominant ethnic group. 3. Every country has minorities and ethnic populations that are most at risk through this process. 4. For instance, in many parts of Asia and Africa there are numerous indigenous groups that struggle to flourish in a modern, global economy. 5. For instance, the Hmong in Vietnam are famed for their craftsmanship and attention to detail in hand-weaving and dyeing sustainable clothing yet many of them must now abandon their traditional roots to live in cities and work anonymous jobs for large corporations. 6. Once such cultures are lost, they will never return and the economic benefits will be little comfort at that point.

  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. State the results as well.

In conclusion, despite the economic advantages of globalization, the possibility of a country losing its individual cultural character is too great a risk. Countries must therefore take steps to safeguard their culture.

  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 feel that the effects of globalization on economics and culture are a beneficial. In my opinion, although there is an argument for the financial implications, the risks to the uniqueness of a national identity make it a negative overall.

Supporters of such close contact point out the meaningful economic ramifications. This is particularly important for more isolated and undeveloped nations. There are countries where natural resources are extremely lacking or unbalanced and this has slowed their progress historically. For instance, many countries in the Middle East lack the arable land to support large population growth. The discovery of vast reserves of oil in the 20th century allowed them to exploit trade agreements to improve their economic outlook and basic infrastructure. This same fact applies to varying degrees to nearly all nations as trade enriches and a country without necessarily creating any negative byproducts.

Nonetheless, the danger for culture is more lasting and therefore more significant. The national identity of a country is not simply made up of the dominant ethnic group. Every country has minorities and ethnic populations that are most at risk through this process. For instance, in many parts of Asia and Africa there are numerous indigenous groups that struggle to flourish in a modern, global economy. For instance, the Hmong in Vietnam are famed for their craftsmanship and attention to detail in hand-weaving and dyeing sustainable clothing yet many of them must now abandon their traditional roots to live in cities and work anonymous jobs for large corporations. Once such cultures are lost, they will never return and the economic benefits will be little comfort at that point.

In conclusion, despite the economic advantages of globalization, the possibility of a country losing its individual cultural character is too great a risk. Countries must therefore take steps to safeguard their culture.

Answers

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

globalization countries trading and becoming more similar

economics the finances of a country

culture tradition, art, beliefs, etc.

beneficial advantageous

argument opinion

financial implications effects related to money

risks threats

uniqueness what’s special

national identity the character of a country

supporters people in favor of

close contact communicating closely

point out argue

meaningful economic ramifications important effects for the economy

particularly important especially crucial

isolated all alone

undeveloped nations countries that are not as developed

natural resources oil, timber, water, etc.

extremely lacking not having something

unbalanced not in equal proportions

slowed their progress historically kept them from developing in the past

lack don’t have

arable land land that can be farmed

support large population growth allow for lots of people

discovery finding out about

vast reserves large quantities

exploit trade agreements take advantage of pacts to trade

improve their economic outlook make the economy better

basic infrastructure roads, internet, electricity, schools, etc.

applies to varying degrees true to some extent

enriches makes better

without necessarily doesn’t have to

negative byproducts bad symptoms

nonetheless regardless

danger risk

lasting permanent

therefore thus

made up of constituted

dominant ethnic group main demographic

minorities smaller ethnic groups in a population

ethnic populations groups of people

at risk the threat of

numerous indigenous groups many original peoples

struggle have a tough time

flourish do better

modern contemporary

Hmong an ethnic group from Asia

famed for well-known for

craftsmanship how they make things

attention to detail care

hand-weaving making fabric by hand

dyeing sustainable clothing coloring fabric not using chemicals

yet however

abandon leave

traditional roots customs and history

anonymous lacking identity

large corporations big companies

will be little comfort at that point will no longer feel good

possibility chance

take steps do things

safeguard protect

Pronunciation

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

ˌgləʊb(ə)laɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n 
ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪks 
ˈkʌlʧə 
ˌbɛnɪˈfɪʃəl
ˈɑːgjʊmənt 
faɪˈnænʃəl ˌɪmplɪˈkeɪʃənz
rɪsks 
juːˈniːknəs 
ˈnæʃənl aɪˈdɛntɪti 
səˈpɔːtəz 
kləʊs ˈkɒntækt 
pɔɪnt aʊt 
ˈmiːnɪŋfʊl ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˌræmɪfɪˈkeɪʃənz.
pəˈtɪkjʊləli ɪmˈpɔːtənt 
ˈaɪsəleɪtɪd 
ˌʌndɪˈvɛləpt ˈneɪʃənz
ˈnæʧrəl rɪˈsɔːsɪz 
ɪksˈtriːmli ˈlækɪŋ 
ʌnˈbælənst 
sləʊd ðeə ˈprəʊgrəs hɪsˈtɒrɪkəli
læk 
ˈærəbl lænd 
səˈpɔːt lɑːʤ ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən grəʊθ 
dɪsˈkʌvəri 
vɑːst rɪˈzɜːvz 
ˈɛksplɔɪt treɪd əˈgriːmənts 
ɪmˈpruːv ðeər ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˈaʊtlʊk 
ˈbeɪsɪk ˈɪnfrəˌstrʌkʧə
əˈplaɪz tuː ˈveəriɪŋ dɪˈgriːz 
ɪnˈrɪʧɪz 
wɪˈðaʊt ˈnɛsɪsərɪli 
ˈnɛgətɪv ˈbaɪˌprɒdʌkts
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs 
ˈdeɪnʤə 
ˈlɑːstɪŋ 
ˈðeəfɔː 
meɪd ʌp ɒv 
ˈdɒmɪnənt ˈɛθnɪk gruːp
maɪˈnɒrɪtiz 
ˈɛθnɪk ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃənz 
æt rɪsk 
ˈnjuːmərəs ɪnˈdɪʤɪnəs gruːps 
ˈstrʌgl 
ˈflʌrɪʃ 
ˈmɒdən
həməŋ
feɪmd fɔː 
ˈkrɑːftsmənʃɪp 
əˈtɛnʃ(ə)n tuː ˈdiːteɪl 
hænd-ˈwiːvɪŋ 
ˈdaɪɪŋ səsˈteɪnəbl ˈkləʊðɪŋ 
jɛt 
əˈbændən 
trəˈdɪʃənl ruːts
əˈnɒnɪməs 
lɑːʤ ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz
wɪl biː ˈlɪtl ˈkʌmfət æt ðæt pɔɪnt
ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪti 
teɪk stɛps 
ˈseɪfgɑːd 

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 feel that the effects of g_____________n on e_____________s and c__________e are a b_____________l. In my opinion, although there is an a____________t for the f_______________________s, the r_____s to the u________________s of a n____________________y make it a negative overall.

S______________s of such c__________________t p_________________t the m______________________________s. This is p_______________________t for more i____________d and u______________________s. There are countries where n______________________s are e____________________g or u_______________d and this has s_______________________________y. For instance, many countries in the Middle East l_____k the a_____________d to s_________________________________h. The d___________y of v________________s of oil in the 20th century allowed them to e________________________s to i_____________________________________k and b_________________e. This same fact a_________________________s to nearly all nations as trade e___________s and a country w__________________y creating any n____________________s.

N_________________s, the d_________r for culture is more l__________g and t______________e more significant. The national identity of a country is not simply m_______________f the d_____________________p. Every country has m____________s and e_____________________s that are most a________k through this process. For instance, in many parts of Asia and Africa there are n_______________________s that s__________e to f________h in a m_________n, global economy. For instance, the H________g in Vietnam are f___________r their c________________p and a_____________________l in h_________________g and d_________________________________t many of them must now a_________n their t______________s to live in cities and work a________________s jobs for l______________________s. Once such cultures are lost, they will never return and the economic benefits w_____________________________________t.

In conclusion, despite the economic advantages of globalization, the p____________y of a country losing its individual cultural character is too great a risk. Countries must therefore t___________s to s___________d their culture.

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.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/02/01/when-it-comes-to-national-identity-language-trumps-religion-culture-and-place-of-birth-study-finds/

Speaking Practice

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

Your Home Nation/Country

  1. Where are you from?
  2. What do you like the most about your country?
  3. Where would you like to live in your country?
  4. Are people in your country patriotic?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Globalization is positive for economies but its negative sides should not be ignored.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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