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This is my IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of patriotism from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay: Patriotism

Some people say patriotism causes problems and is negative overall. Others feel that it is beneficial for society at large.

Do the advantages of patriotism outweigh its disadvantages?

Many feel that patriotism has a beneficial impact overall. In my opinion, although there are legitimate reasons to be proud of one’s country, patriotic feelings do generally produce more negatives than positives.

Proponents of patriotism argue it is a natural impulse with tangible benefits. Firstly, a strong sense of patriotism can be motivating. Individuals who have pride in their country are more likely to work hard for the common good. This applies to a variety of positions in society and may include soldiers serving in the military, healthcare workers during times of national emergencies, and even common workers contributing to a flourishing national economy. Secondly, individuals can use investment in their country’s successes to support their own self-esteem. Most people support their country similar to how sports fans root for a team. Success elevates their mood and connects them to a wider community.

However, patriotism is often taken to extremes. This occurs most frequently with vulnerable segments of society. For instance, it is common for military recruiters to target less affluent individuals. If they serve in a war abroad, then there is a strong likelihood they will later suffer from a mental or physical handicap. More generally, most people employ patriotism as a proxy for their own personal achievements. This can be evidenced during the furor surrounding the Olympics every four years. This quintessentially patriotic event costs taxpayers tremendously, inflames tensions between rival countries, and distracts from investing time in personal development. At best, patriotism is a marginal net negative and at worst it can foster an unhealthy dependency.

In conclusion, though patriotism is beneficial economically and in terms of one’s self-esteem at times, the drawbacks related to disassociation are more significant. Mental health should not be dependent on the fortunes of one’s compatriots.

Analysis

1. Many feel that patriotism has a beneficial impact overall. 2. In my opinion, although there are legitimate reasons to be proud of one’s country, patriotic feelings do generally produce more negatives than positives.

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

1. Proponents of patriotism argue it is a natural impulse with tangible benefits. 2. Firstly, a strong sense of patriotism can be motivating. 3. Individuals who have pride in their country are more likely to work hard for the common good. 4. This applies to a variety of positions in society and may include soldiers serving in the military, healthcare workers during times of national emergencies, and even common workers contributing to a flourishing national economy. 5. Secondly, individuals can use investment in their country’s successes to support their own self-esteem. 6. Most people support their country similar to how sports fans root for a team. Success elevates their mood and connects them to a wider community.

  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. Use short and long sentences.
  6. Finish the paragraph strong.

1. However, patriotism is often taken to extremes. 2. This occurs most frequently with vulnerable segments of society. For instance, it is common for military recruiters to target less affluent individuals. 3. If they serve in a war abroad, then there is a strong likelihood they will later suffer from a mental or physical handicap. 4. More generally, most people employ patriotism as a proxy for their own personal achievements. 5. This can be evidenced during the furor surrounding the Olympics every four years. 6. This quintessentially patriotic event costs taxpayers tremendously, inflames tensions between rival countries, and distracts from investing time in personal development. 7. At best, patriotism is a marginal net negative and at worst it can foster an unhealthy dependency.

  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 you have something really specific.
  7. Conclude the paragraph.

1. In conclusion, though patriotism is beneficial economically and in terms of one’s self-esteem at times, the drawbacks related to disassociation are more significant. 2. Mental health should not be dependent on the fortunes of one’s compatriots.

  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 patriotism has a beneficial impact overall. In my opinion, although there are legitimate reasons to be proud of one’s country, patriotic feelings do generally produce more negatives than positives.

Proponents of patriotism argue it is a natural impulse with tangible benefits. Firstly, a strong sense of patriotism can be motivating. Individuals who have pride in their country are more likely to work hard for the common good. This applies to a variety of positions in society and may include soldiers serving in the military, healthcare workers during times of national emergencies, and even common workers contributing to a flourishing national economy. Secondly, individuals can use investment in their country’s successes to support their own self-esteem. Most people support their country similar to how sports fans root for a team. Success elevates their mood and connects them to a wider community.

However, patriotism is often taken to extremes. This occurs most frequently with vulnerable segments of society. For instance, it is common for military recruiters to target less affluent individuals. If they serve in a war abroad, then there is a strong likelihood they will later suffer from a mental or physical handicap. More generally, most people employ patriotism as a proxy for their own personal achievements. This can be evidenced during the furor surrounding the Olympics every four years. This quintessentially patriotic event costs taxpayers tremendously, inflames tensions between rival countries, and distracts from investing time in personal development. At best, patriotism is a marginal net negative and at worst it can foster an unhealthy dependency.

In conclusion, though patriotism is beneficial economically and in terms of one’s self-esteem at times, the drawbacks related to disassociation are more significant. Mental health should not be dependent on the fortunes of one’s compatriots.

Answers

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

patriotism caring a lot and loving and feeling pride for your country

beneficial impact overall good in general

legitimate reasons real justifications

proud feel good about

patriotic feelings emotions of love for your country

generally produce overall create

negatives harmful

positives benefits

proponents people who support

argue point out

natural impulse normal feeling

tangible benefits real help

strong sense big feeling

motivating encouraging

pride love, thinking highly of

work hard for the common good help everyone

applies relates to

variety different kinds

positions jobs

soldiers serving in the military people who fight in wars, the army

healthcare workers doctors and nurses

times of national emergencies when there are big problems

common workers normal people

contributing to adding to

a flourishing national economy the economy doing well

investment caring about

successes doing well

support their own self-esteem help how about they feel about themselves

similar to like

root for support

elevates lifts up

mood feelings

connects puts together with

wider community society

taken to extremes in some instances

occurs most frequently happens a lot

vulnerable segments of society poorer people

military recruiters people looking for soldiers

target less affluent individuals look for poor people

serve be in

war abroad fights in other countries

strong likelihood good chance of

suffer have difficulty

mental or physical handicap bad mental health or out of shape

more generally applying to others

employ patriotism use feelings of pride

proxy substitute

personal achievements what you do yourself

evidenced shown

furor surrounding noise about

quintessentially patriotic definitively patriotic

costs taxpayers tremendously expensive

inflames tensions makes people angry

between rival countries nations competing

distracts takes focus away from

investing time putting time into

personal development growth

marginal net negative overall bad

at worst in the worst cases

economically related to the economy

in terms of concerning

at times sometimes

drawbacks downsides

related to concerning

disassociation feeling distant

significant important

mental health emotionally

dependent on reliant on

fortunes luck

compatriots people from your country

Pronunciation

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

ˈpætrɪətɪzm 
ˌbɛnɪˈfɪʃəl ˈɪmpækt ˈəʊvərɔːl 
lɪˈʤɪtɪmɪt ˈriːznz 
praʊd 
ˌpætrɪˈɒtɪk ˈfiːlɪŋz 
ˈʤɛnərəli ˈprɒdjuːs 
ˈnɛgətɪvz 
ˈpɒzətɪvz 
prəˈpəʊnənts 
ˈɑːgjuː 
ˈnæʧrəl ˈɪmpʌls 
ˈtænʤəbl ˈbɛnɪfɪts 
strɒŋ sɛns 
ˈməʊtɪveɪtɪŋ
praɪd 
wɜːk hɑːd fɔː ðə ˈkɒmən gʊd
əˈplaɪz 
vəˈraɪəti 
pəˈzɪʃənz 
ˈsəʊlʤəz ˈsɜːvɪŋ ɪn ðə ˈmɪlɪtəri
ˈhɛlθkeə ˈwɜːkəz 
taɪmz ɒv ˈnæʃənl ɪˈmɜːʤənsiz
ˈkɒmən ˈwɜːkəz 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)tɪŋ tuː 
ə ˈflʌrɪʃɪŋ ˈnæʃənl i(ː)ˈkɒnəmi
ɪnˈvɛstmənt 
səkˈsɛsɪz 
səˈpɔːt ðeər əʊn sɛlf-ɪsˈtiːm
ˈsɪmɪlə tuː 
ruːt fɔː 
ˈɛlɪveɪts 
muːd 
kəˈnɛkts 
ˈwaɪdə kəˈmjuːnɪti
ˈteɪkən tuː ɪksˈtriːmz
əˈkɜːz məʊst ˈfriːkwəntli 
ˈvʌlnərəbl ˈsɛgmənts ɒv səˈsaɪəti
ˈmɪlɪtəri rɪˈkruːtəz 
ˈtɑːgɪt lɛs ˈæflʊənt ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəlz
sɜːv 
wɔːr əˈbrɔːd
strɒŋ ˈlaɪklɪhʊd 
ˈsʌfə 
ˈmɛntl ɔː ˈfɪzɪkəl ˈhændɪkæp
mɔː ˈʤɛnərəli
ɪmˈplɔɪ ˈpætrɪətɪzm 
ˈprɒksi 
ˈpɜːsnl əˈʧiːvmənts
ˈɛvɪdənst 
ˈfɜːrə səˈraʊndɪŋ 
ˌkwɪntɪˈsɛnʃəli ˌpætrɪˈɒtɪk 
kɒsts ˈtæksˌpeɪəz trɪˈmɛndəsli
ɪnˈfleɪmz ˈtɛnʃənz 
bɪˈtwiːn ˈraɪvəl ˈkʌntriz
dɪsˈtrækts 
ɪnˈvɛstɪŋ taɪm 
ˈpɜːsnl dɪˈvɛləpmənt
ˈmɑːʤɪnəl nɛt ˈnɛgətɪv 
æt wɜːst ɪt 
ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪkəli 
ɪn tɜːmz ɒv 
æt taɪmz
ˈdrɔːbæks 
rɪˈleɪtɪd tuː 
dɪs əˌsəʊsɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n 
sɪgˈnɪfɪkənt
ˈmɛntl hɛlθ 
dɪˈpɛndənt ɒn 
ˈfɔːʧənz 
kəmˈpætrɪəts

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 p___________m has a b_____________________l. In my opinion, although there are l_________________s to be p______d of one’s country, p_________________s do g__________________e more n_________s than p_____________s.

P_______________s of patriotism a_____e it is a n________________e with t_________________s. Firstly, a s_______________e of patriotism can be m____________g. Individuals who have p_____e in their country are more likely to w_______________________d. This a__________s to a v_________y of p_________s in society and may include s______________________y, h__________________s during t__________________________s, and even c________________s c__________________o a_________________________y. Secondly, individuals can use i____________t in their country’s s____________s to s____________________m. Most people support their country s______________o how sports fans r_________r a team. Success e_________s their m____d and c__________s them to a w________________y.

However, patriotism is often t__________________s. This o____________________y with v_________________________y. For instance, it is common for m__________________s to t_________________________s. If they s_____e in a w____________d, then there is a s__________________d they will later s______r from a m_____________________p. M______________y, most people e____________________m as a p_____y for their own p____________________s. This can be e____________d during the f____________________g the Olympics every four years. This q_______________________c event c___________________________y, i___________________________________s, and d_________s from i_______________e in p___________________t. At best, patriotism is a m__________________________e and a_________t it can foster an unhealthy dependency.

In conclusion, though patriotism is beneficial e______________y and i______________f one’s self-esteem a_______s, the d____________s r______________o d__________________n are more s_____________t. M______________h should not be d____________________n the f_____________s of one’s c______________s.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching from YouTube below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/most-patriotic-countries

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:

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.


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