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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of whether or not executives in companies should receive a high salary.

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IELTS Essay: Salary

Some feel executives in large companies should receive high salaries while others think they are paid too much compared to ordinary workers.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Many believe that high-ranking executive positions deserve their exorbitant salaries, while others feel they earn disproportionately compared to normal workers. In my opinion, outsized compensation is unreasonable in a vacuum but makes sense given market dictates.

Detractors often argue the ratios defy justification. Recent publications have quoted figures showing executive positions, and CEOs in particular, makes hundreds of times what the average worker does. This includes their various remuneration packages and bonuses. It is hard to claim this money is deserved. Many CEOs work longer hours and graduated from top schools but their tangible impact can be marginal relative to the key driving forces behind product development and the many hard-working employees required for a business to thrive. Even the most ardent supporters of these practices would not claim their output is hundreds of times higher than a normal employee.

Nonetheless, this practice follows basic principles of supply and demand. The simple fact is that there is a nearly endless supply of average individuals to staff entry-level positions but capable executives are rarer. These high-ranking jobs require an extraordinary commitment in terms of hours that most are unwilling to invest and exceptional character qualities ranging from leadership skills to raw intelligence. Since the top positions in a company are hard to fill and the company has the finances to pay premium wages, it is logical that executive salaries outrage many workers and their bonuses that appear unjust. In fact, these payments have little relationship with justice and more to do with the economic realities of capitalism.

In conclusion, though their salaries seem outlandish, executives are more difficult to replace and deserve higher pay. This is an uncomfortable, but crucial, truth for the average person to accept.

Analysis

1. Many believe that high-ranking executive positions deserve their exorbitant salaries, while others feel they earn disproportionately compared to normal workers. 2. In my opinion, outsized compensation is unreasonable in a vacuum but makes sense given market dictates.

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

1. Detractors often argue the ratios defy justification. 2. Recent publications have quoted figures showing executive positions, and CEOs in particular, makes hundreds of times what the average worker does. 3. This includes their various remuneration packages and bonuses. 4. It is hard to claim this money is deserved. 5. Many CEOs work longer hours and graduated from top schools but their tangible impact can be marginal relative to the key driving forces behind product development and the many hard-working employees required for a business to thrive. 6. Even the most ardent supporters of these practices would not claim their output is hundreds of times higher than a normal employee.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Begin to develop it.
  4. Vary long and short sentences.
  5. Use more specific details for support.
  6. Conclude with a strong statement.

1. Nonetheless, this practice follows basic principles of supply and demand. 2. The simple fact is that there is a nearly endless supply of average individuals to staff entry-level positions but capable executives are rarer. 3. These high-ranking jobs require an extraordinary commitment in terms of hours that most are unwilling to invest and exceptional character qualities ranging from leadership skills to raw intelligence. 4. Since the top positions in a company are hard to fill and the company has the finances to pay premium wages, it is logical that executive salaries outrage many workers and their bonuses that appear unjust. 5. In fact, these payments have little relationship with justice and more to do with the economic realities of capitalism.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain the new main idea.
  3. Develop it clearly.
  4. Keep developing it. You can use a specific example or just argue logically.
  5. Summarise your argument.

1. In conclusion, though their salaries seem outlandish, executives are more difficult to replace and deserve higher pay. 2. This is an uncomfortable, but crucial, truth for the average person to accept.

  1. Summarise your main ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final thought. Learn more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many believe that high-ranking executive positions deserve their exorbitant salaries, while others feel they earn disproportionately compared to normal workers. In my opinion, outsized compensation is unreasonable in a vacuum but makes sense given market dictates.

Detractors often argue the ratios defy justification. Recent publications have quoted figures showing executive positions, and CEOs in particular, makes hundreds of times what the average worker does. This includes their various remuneration packages and bonuses. It is hard to claim this money is deserved. Many CEOs work longer hours and graduated from top schools but their tangible impact can be marginal relative to the key driving forces behind product development and the many hard-working employees required for a business to thrive. Even the most ardent supporters of these practices would not claim their output is hundreds of times higher than a normal employee.

Nonetheless, this practice follows basic principles of supply and demand. The simple fact is that there is a nearly endless supply of average individuals to staff entry-level positions but capable executives are rarer. These high-ranking jobs require an extraordinary commitment in terms of hours that most are unwilling to invest and exceptional character qualities ranging from leadership skills to raw intelligence. Since the top positions in a company are hard to fill and the company has the finances to pay premium wages, it is logical that executive salaries outrage many workers and their bonuses that appear unjust. In fact, these payments have little relationship with justice and more to do with the economic realities of capitalism.

In conclusion, though their salaries seem outlandish, executives are more difficult to replace and deserve higher pay. This is an uncomfortable, but crucial, truth for the average person to accept.

Answers

high-ranking executive positions top jobs like CEO, CFO, etc.

exorbitant salaries too high wages

earn disproportionately make too much

compared to relative to

outsized compensation making too much money

unreasonable in a vacuum not logical considered without context

makes sense logical

given considering

market dictates capitalism

detractors critics

ratios defy justification relative amounts can’t be defended

recent publications new studies, reports

quoted figures numbers mentioned

hundreds of times x100s

various remuneration packages different ways of receiving compensation

deserved just

tangible impact clear effect

marginal relative not much impact compared to

key driving forces main reason for

product development making better products

hard-working employees dedicated workers

thrive do really well

ardent supporters those in favour a lot

claim have the opinion

output what is produced

practice development

follows basic principles accords with what is normal

supply and demand relationship between what you have and what is wanted

simple fact basic truth

nearly endless supply almost infinite

entry-level positions starting-out jobs

capable executives good bosses

rarer less common

extraordinary commitment a lot put into

in terms of when it relates to

unwilling to invest will not put in

exceptional character qualities amazin characteristics

ranging from including

leadership skills being able to inspire confidence

raw intelligence mental ability

top positions big jobs

hard to fill difficult to find new employees

finances money

pay premium wages get a high salary

logical rational

outrage anger

appear unjust seem unfair

payments salary

little relationship with justice nothing to do with what is fair

economic realities of capitalism truths inherent to the free market system

seem outlandish appears disproportionate

uncomfortable unhappy

crucial very important

accept reconcile

Pronunciation

ˈhaɪˌræŋkɪŋ ɪgˈzɛkjʊtɪv pəˈzɪʃənz 
ɪgˈzɔːbɪtənt ˈsæləriz
ɜːn ˌdɪsprəˈpɔːʃnɪtli 
kəmˈpeəd tuː 
ˈaʊtsaɪzd ˌkɒmpɛnˈseɪʃən 
ʌnˈriːznəbl ɪn ə ˈvækjʊəm 
meɪks sɛns 
ˈgɪvn 
ˈmɑːkɪt ˈdɪkteɪts.
dɪˈtræktəz 
ˈreɪʃɪəʊz dɪˈfaɪ ˌʤʌstɪfɪˈkeɪʃən
ˈriːsnt ˌpʌblɪˈkeɪʃənz 
ˈkwəʊtɪd ˈfɪgəz 
ˈhʌndrədz ɒv taɪmz 
ˈveərɪəs rɪˌmjuːnəˈreɪʃən ˈpækɪʤɪz 
dɪˈzɜːvd
ˈtænʤəbl ˈɪmpækt 
ˈmɑːʤɪnəl ˈrɛlətɪv 
kiː ˈdraɪvɪŋ ˈfɔːsɪz 
ˈprɒdʌkt dɪˈvɛləpmənt 
ˈhɑːdˌwɜːkɪŋ ˌɛmplɔɪˈiːz 
θraɪv
ˈɑːdənt səˈpɔːtəz 
kleɪm 
ˈaʊtpʊt 
ˈpræktɪs 
ˈfɒləʊz ˈbeɪsɪk ˈprɪnsəplz 
səˈplaɪ ænd dɪˈmɑːnd
ˈsɪmpl fækt 
ˈnɪəli ˈɛndlɪs səˈplaɪ 
ˈɛntri-ˈlɛvl pəˈzɪʃənz 
ˈkeɪpəbl ɪgˈzɛkjʊtɪvz 
ˈreərə
ɪksˈtrɔːdnri kəˈmɪtmənt 
ɪn tɜːmz ɒv 
ʌnˈwɪlɪŋ tuː ɪnˈvɛst 
ɪkˈsɛpʃənl ˈkærɪktə ˈkwɒlɪtiz 
ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm 
ˈliːdəʃɪp skɪlz 
rɔː ɪnˈtɛlɪʤəns
tɒp pəˈzɪʃənz 
hɑːd tuː fɪl 
faɪˈnænsɪz 
peɪ ˈpriːmiəm ˈweɪʤɪz
ˈlɒʤɪkəl 
ˈaʊtreɪʤ 
əˈpɪər ʌnˈʤʌst
ˈpeɪmənts 
ˈlɪtl rɪˈleɪʃənʃɪp wɪð ˈʤʌstɪs 
ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ri(ː)ˈælɪtiz ɒv ˈkæpɪtəlɪzm
siːm aʊtˈlændɪʃ
ʌnˈkʌmfətəbl
ˈkruːʃəl
əkˈsɛpt

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many believe that h_____________________________s deserve their e____________________________s, while others feel they e____________________________y c________________o normal workers. In my opinion, o____________________n is u_____________________m but m________________e g______n m______________s.

D_____________s often argue the r________________________n. R________________________s have q_________________s showing executive positions, and CEOs in particular, makes h__________________s what the average worker does. This includes their v____________________________s and bonuses. It is hard to claim this money is d___________d. Many CEOs work longer hours and graduated from top schools but their t__________________t can be m__________________e to the k______________________s behind p________________________t and the many h_______________________s required for a business to t__________e. Even the most a_____________________s of these practices would not c______m their o_______t is hundreds of times higher than a normal employee.

Nonetheless, this p__________e f_________________________s of s_______________________d. The s___________t is that there is a n_______________________y of average individuals to staff e______________________s but c___________________s are r_______r. These high-ranking jobs require an e_____________________________t i_________________f hours that most are u___________________t and e_____________________________s r__________________m l____________________s to r__________________e. Since the t________________s in a company are h_____________l and the company has the f____________s to p___________________s, it is l__________l that executive salaries o_____________e many workers and their bonuses that a_________________t. In fact, these p__________s have l_____________________________e and more to do with the e____________________________m.

In conclusion, though their salaries s__________________h, executives are more difficult to replace and deserve higher pay. This is an u________________e, but c__________l, truth for the average person to a__________t.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic and practice listening with these ideas:

Reading Practice

Read more about it as well and use these activities to practice:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-28/how-did-ceo-pay-get-to-500-times-the-wages-of-ordinary-workers/11556394

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Talk about a family business that you know. Include

What it is

Where it is located

If you go there

Writing Practice

Write about the related question below and check with my sample answer below:

Many believe that the best way to ensure a happier society is to reduce the difference in income earnings between the rich and poor.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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