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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of newly built houses and what styles should be allowed in local areas from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Style of New Houses

Some people think the newly built houses should be the same as the old housing styles in local areas. Others argue that local authorities should allow people to build houses in their own style.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Many feel it is crucial that home owners possess the freedom to design their own property, while others feel there should be restrictions. In my opinion, the value of preserving the identity of a neighborhood outweighs the rights of property owners.

Those in favor of unfettered choice argue this can inspire and motivate. When an owner has the ability to express an individual vision, they are naturally more invested in developing their property. Examples of this abound in newer cities such as Shenzhen in mainland China. There is little history to disturb and therefore architects are encouraged to pursue a vision in concert with owners that is aesthetically pleasing and novel. The result is modern homes and offices that push the boundaries of design and in the aggregate contribute an energy and vitality that can enliven, or even revitalize in some cases, an urban area.

However, in the majority of communities it is more important to prioritize cultural preservation. This is because the unique character of many cities and neighborhoods is today under threat from the irreversible effects of globalization. A standout instance of this would be the old quarter in Hanoi in Vietnam. The government has imposed strict regulations in recent years as a growing middle class has attempted to modernize their living conditions. To preserve the historic character of the city, many new homes must meet certain guidelines, including having classic wooden shutters, employing older building materials and not demolishing noteworthy homes. These efforts in Hanoi and similar cities conserve essential and unique aspects of history and culture.

In conclusion, despite endeavors to allow for freedom of expression in design, I believe that it is generally more valuable to preserve historically relevant design principles. Governments must naturally balance this with a desire to modernize.

Analysis

1. Many feel it is crucial that home owners possess the freedom to design their own property, while others feel there should be restrictions. 2. In my opinion, the value of preserving the identity of a neighborhood outweighs the rights of property owners.

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

1. Those in favor of unfettered choice argue this can inspire and motivate. 2. When an owner has the ability to express an individual vision, they are naturally more invested in developing their property. 3. Examples of this abound in newer cities such as Shenzhen in mainland China. 4. There is little history to disturb and therefore architects are encouraged to pursue a vision in concert with owners that is aesthetically pleasing and novel. 5. The result is modern homes and offices that push the boundaries of design and in the aggregate contribute an energy and vitality that can enliven, or even revitalize in some cases, an urban area.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Stay focused on the same main idea.

1. However, in the majority of communities it is more important to prioritize cultural preservation. 2. This is because the unique character of many cities and neighborhoods is today under threat from the irreversible effects of globalization. 3. A standout instance of this would be the old quarter in Hanoi in Vietnam. 4. The government has imposed strict regulations in recent years as a growing middle class has attempted to modernize their living conditions. 5. To preserve the historic character of the city, many new homes must meet certain guidelines, including having classic wooden shutters, employing older building materials and not demolishing noteworthy homes. 6. These efforts in Hanoi and similar cities conserve essential and unique aspects of history and culture.

  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. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. Vary long and short sentences.

1. In conclusion, despite endeavors to allow for freedom of expression in design, I believe that it is generally more valuable to preserve historically relevant design principles. 2. Governments must naturally balance this with a desire to modernize.

  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 it is crucial that home owners possess the freedom to design their own property, while others feel there should be restrictions. In my opinion, the value of preserving the identity of a neighborhood outweighs the rights of property owners.

Those in favor of unfettered choice argue this can inspire and motivate. When an owner has the ability to express an individual vision, they are naturally more invested in developing their property. Examples of this abound in newer cities such as Shenzhen in mainland China. There is little history to disturb and therefore architects are encouraged to pursue a vision in concert with owners that is aesthetically pleasing and novel. The result is modern homes and offices that push the boundaries of design and in the aggregate contribute an energy and vitality that can enliven, or even revitalize in some cases, an urban area.

However, in the majority of communities it is more important to prioritize cultural preservation. This is because the unique character of many cities and neighborhoods is today under threat from the irreversible effects of globalization. A standout instance of this would be the old quarter in Hanoi in Vietnam. The government has imposed strict regulations in recent years as a growing middle class has attempted to modernize their living conditions. To preserve the historic character of the city, many new homes must meet certain guidelines, including having classic wooden shutters, employing older building materials and not demolishing noteworthy homes. These efforts in Hanoi and similar cities conserve essential and unique aspects of history and culture.

In conclusion, despite endeavors to allow for freedom of expression in design, I believe that it is generally more valuable to preserve historically relevant design principles. Governments must naturally balance this with a desire to modernize.

Answers

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

crucial really important

home owners people who have property

possess have

freedom ability to do what you want

design the way something looks

property land, houses, apartments, etc.

restrictions regulations

value importance

preserving keeping the same

identity character

outweighs stronger than

rights freedom to do what you want

property owners people who own houses, etc.

those in favor of supporters of

unfettered choice complete freedom

argue claim

inspire motivate

motivate encourage

ability capacity

express show

individual vision view of the world

naturally of course

invested in care about

examples of this abound in instances of this are common

mainland China China not including other territories

little history not much background

disturb affect

architects designers of homes

encouraged motivated

pursue try for

vision way of seeing the world

in concert with combined with

aesthetically pleasing beautiful

novel new

result effect

modern homes new houses

push the boundaries expand what is possible

in the aggregate combined

contribute an energy give power

vitality feeling alive

enliven bring alive

revitalize bring back to life

urban area city

majority most of

communities neighborhoods

prioritize cultural preservation value history and culture

unique character distinctive personality

under threat at risk

irreversible effects can’t be changed

globalization making the world all the same

A standout instance of this would be a good example is

old quarter in Hanoi historic neighborhood in Vietnam’s capital

imposed strict regulations enacted strong laws

in recent years recently

growing middle class people getting richer

attempted tried

modernize making newer

living conditions how people live

historic character old personality

meet certain guidelines abide by rules

classic wooden shutters outside windows to block light

employing older building materials use old substances

not demolishing noteworthy homes don’t know down nice homes

efforts attempts

conserve essential keep important

unique aspects what is different

despite endeavors regardless of attempts

allow for give the opportunity to

preserve historically relevant design principles keep alive the cultural quality

naturally balance of course weigh options against each other

desire want

Pronunciation

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

ˈkruːʃəl 
həʊm ˈəʊnəz 
pəˈzɛs 
ˈfriːdəm 
dɪˈzaɪn 
ˈprɒpəti
rɪsˈtrɪkʃənz
ˈvæljuː 
prɪˈzɜːvɪŋ 
aɪˈdɛntɪti 
aʊtˈweɪz 
raɪts 
ˈprɒpəti ˈəʊnəz
ðəʊz ɪn ˈfeɪvər ɒv 
ʌnˈfɛtəd ʧɔɪs 
ˈɑːgjuː 
ɪnˈspaɪə 
ˈməʊtɪveɪt
əˈbɪlɪti 
ɪksˈprɛs 
ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəl ˈvɪʒən
ˈnæʧrəli 
ɪnˈvɛstɪd ɪn 
ɪgˈzɑːmplz ɒv ðɪs əˈbaʊnd ɪn 
ˈmeɪnlənd ˈʧaɪnə
ˈlɪtl ˈhɪstəri 
dɪsˈtɜːb 
ˈɑːkɪtɛkts 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤd 
pəˈsjuː 
ˈvɪʒən 
ɪn ˈkɒnsə(ː)t wɪð 
iːsˈθɛtɪk(ə)li ˈpliːzɪŋ 
ˈnɒvəl
rɪˈzʌlt 
ˈmɒdən həʊmz 
pʊʃ ðə ˈbaʊndəriz 
ɪn ði ˈægrɪgɪt 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)t ən ˈɛnəʤi 
vaɪˈtælɪti 
ɪnˈlaɪvn
ˌriːˈvaɪtəlaɪz 
ˈɜːbən ˈeərɪə
məˈʤɒrɪti 
kəˈmjuːnɪtiz 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz ˈkʌlʧərəl ˌprɛzə(ː)ˈveɪʃən
juːˈniːk ˈkærɪktə 
ˈʌndə θrɛt 
ˌɪrɪˈvɜːsəbl ɪˈfɛkts 
ˌgləʊb(ə)laɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n
ə ˈstændaʊt ˈɪnstəns ɒv ðɪs wʊd biː 
əʊld ˈkwɔːtər ɪn hæˈnɔɪ 
ɪmˈpəʊzd strɪkt ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃənz 
ɪn ˈriːsnt jɪəz 
ˈgrəʊɪŋ ˈmɪdl klɑːs 
əˈtɛmptɪd 
ˈmɒdənaɪz 
ˈlɪvɪŋ kənˈdɪʃənz
hɪsˈtɒrɪk ˈkærɪktə 
miːt ˈsɜːtn ˈgaɪdlaɪnz
ˈklæsɪk ˈwʊdn ˈʃʌtəz
ɪmˈplɔɪɪŋ ˈəʊldə ˈbɪldɪŋ məˈtɪərɪəlz 
nɒt dɪˈmɒlɪʃɪŋ ˈnəʊtˌwɜːði həʊmz
ˈɛfəts 
kənˈsɜːv ɪˈsɛnʃəl 
juːˈniːk ˈæspɛkts
dɪsˈpaɪt ɪnˈdɛvəz 
əˈlaʊ fɔː 
prɪˈzɜːv hɪsˈtɒrɪkəli ˈrɛlɪvənt dɪˈzaɪn ˈprɪnsəplz
ˈnæʧrəli ˈbæləns 
dɪˈzaɪə 

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 it is c_________l that h_______________s p_________s the f_________m to d_______n their own p__________y, while others feel there should be r_____________s. In my opinion, the v_______e of p____________g the i__________y of a neighborhood o__________s the r______s of p_________________s.

T_______________________________________e this can i________e and m________e. When an owner has the a________y to e_________s an i_________________n, they are n__________y more i___________n developing their property. E_____________________n newer cities such as Shenzhen in m_________________a. There is l_______________y to d_________b and therefore a___________s are e___________d to p__________e a v______________________h owners that is a_______________________g and n_______l. The r_______t is m_______________s and offices that p___________________s of design and i______________________e c______________________y and v____________y that can e___________n, or even r_________________e in some cases, an u_____________a.

However, in the m____________y of c________________s it is more important to p_______________________________n. This is because the u_________________r of many cities and neighborhoods is today u_______________t from the i______________________s of g_________________n. A__________________________________e the o_______________________i in Vietnam. The government has i_________________________s i___________________s as a g___________________s has a____________d to m_____________e their l__________________s. To preserve the h____________________r of the city, many new homes must m______________________s, including having c____________________s, e______________________________s and n_________________________________s. These e__________s in Hanoi and similar cities c__________e e___________l and u_______________s of history and culture.

In conclusion, d________________s to a___________r freedom of expression in design, I believe that it is generally more valuable to p______________________________________s. Governments must n______________________e this with a d________e to modernize.

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://asianwaytravel.com/hanoi-old-quarter/

Speaking Practice

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

Where you Live

My sample speaking for these questions is here.

  1. Where do you live at the moment?
  2. What do you like about your neighborhood?
  3. Are there any parks where you live?

Writing Practice

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

In some countries, more and more people are becoming interested in finding out about the history of the house or building they live in.

What are the reasons for this?

How can people research this?


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