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

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Value of the Arts

In today’s world of advanced science and technology, many still greatly value artists such as musicians, painters and writers.

What can the arts tell us about life that science cannot?

Many people today continue to value the arts despite a growing emphasis on science and technology. In my opinion, this is because only the arts allow for self-expression and create fundamentally crucial and uplifting truths about humanity.

The first reason the arts continue to be relevant relates to their capacity for self-expression. This is important not only for individuals but also for society at large. For individuals, the ability to express themselves is a crucial element of being fully human and having strong mental health. This explains the popularity of classes for painting, music, and dance as a means of relaxing and expressing one’s thoughts and feelings. In the aggregate, millions of people expressing their viewpoints leads to a plurality of perspectives that can enrich society. For instance, all the most revered periods of human history, such as the Renaissance, were defined by a flourishing of the arts.

Secondly, art has the capacity to create value in a way that science cannot. Although science is capable of making tangible improvements in the lives of individuals, it is unable to impart meaning. In contrast, the arts are interpretations of the world that can uplift and enliven. For example, great filmmakers over the course of the 20th century have explored complex subject matter in classic films such as The Godfather, not only entertaining viewers but also presenting a vision and insightful understanding of American history. If the arts are extended to include the writings and teachings of religious leaders, it is easy to see their impact on values and morality.

In conclusion, the arts still occupy a prominent position in society as they allow for individual self-expression and the creation of ideals. Therefore, it is important that governments continue to fund and support these seemingly less worthwhile pursuits.

Analysis

1. Many people today continue to value the arts despite a growing emphasis on science and technology. 2. In my opinion, this is because only the arts allow for self-expression and create fundamentally crucial and uplifting truths about humanity.

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

1. The first reason the arts continue to be relevant relates to their capacity for self-expression. 2. This is important not only for individuals but also for society at large. 3. For individuals, the ability to express themselves is a crucial element of being fully human and having strong mental health. 4. This explains the popularity of classes for painting, music, and dance as a means of relaxing and expressing one’s thoughts and feelings. 5. In the aggregate, millions of people expressing their viewpoints leads to a plurality of perspectives that can enrich society. 6. For instance, all the most revered periods of human history, such as the Renaissance, were defined by a flourishing of the arts.

  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. Extend with some short sentences as well.
  6. State the furthest possible result.

1. Secondly, art has the capacity to create value in a way that science cannot. 2. Although science is capable of making tangible improvements in the lives of individuals, it is unable to impart meaning. 3. In contrast, the arts are interpretations of the world that can uplift and enliven. 4. For example, great filmmakers over the course of the 20th century have explored complex subject matter in classic films such as The Godfather, not only entertaining viewers but also presenting a vision and insightful understanding of American history. 5. If the arts are extended to include the writings and teachings of religious leaders, it is easy to see their impact on values and morality.

  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!

1. In conclusion, the arts still occupy a prominent position in society as they allow for individual self-expression and the creation of ideals. 2. Therefore, it is important that governments continue to fund and support these seemingly less worthwhile pursuits.

  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 people today continue to value the arts despite a growing emphasis on science and technology. In my opinion, this is because only the arts allow for self-expression and create fundamentally crucial and uplifting truths about humanity.

The first reason the arts continue to be relevant relates to their capacity for self-expression. This is important not only for individuals but also for society at large. For individuals, the ability to express themselves is a crucial element of being fully human and having strong mental health. This explains the popularity of classes for painting, music, and dance as a means of relaxing and expressing one’s thoughts and feelings. In the aggregate, millions of people expressing their viewpoints leads to a plurality of perspectives that can enrich society. For instance, all the most revered periods of human history, such as the Renaissance, were defined by a flourishing of the arts.

Secondly, art has the capacity to create value in a way that science cannot. Although science is capable of making tangible improvements in the lives of individuals, it is unable to impart meaning. In contrast, the arts are interpretations of the world that can uplift and enliven. For example, great filmmakers over the course of the 20th century have explored complex subject matter in classic films such as The Godfather, not only entertaining viewers but also presenting a vision and insightful understanding of American history. If the arts are extended to include the writings and teachings of religious leaders, it is easy to see their impact on values and morality.

In conclusion, the arts still occupy a prominent position in society as they allow for individual self-expression and the creation of ideals. Therefore, it is important that governments continue to fund and support these seemingly less worthwhile pursuits.

Answers

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

value importance

arts painting, film, poetry, music, literature, fashion, etc.

despite regardless of

growing emphasis more and more importance

allow for self-expression let you show your views and feelings

create fundamentally crucial make very important

uplifting truths interpretations that raise people up

humanity people, mankind

relevant still important

relates to have to do with

capacity ability

self-expression ability to show your thoughts and feelings

society at large everyone

ability capacity

crucial element key part

fully human 100% a person

strong mental health healthy attitude and outlook

explains is the reason for

popularity people like it

as a means of in order to

in the aggregate all combined

viewpoints opinions

leads to creates

a plurality of perspectives many different viewpoints

enrich make better

revered periods of human history best times in the past

the Renaissance period in Italy when the arts flourished

defined characterized by

flourishing doing well

although despite

tangible improvements real developments

unable can’t

impart meaning give purpose

in contrast however

interpretations views

uplift bring up

enliven bring to life

over the course of the 20th century from 1900 – 2000

explored complex subject matter dealt with interesting issues

classic films famous movies

The Godfather an American movie about gangsters

entertaining fun

presenting showing

vision opinion

insightful understanding deep view

extended allowed to include

include to also have

religious leaders Jesus, Buddha, etc.

impact effect

morality ethics

occupy take a place

prominent position important spot

ideals morals

fund give money

support aid

seemingly less worthwhile pursuits ostensibly less important areas

Pronunciation

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

ˈvæljuː 
ɑːts 
dɪsˈpaɪt 
ˈgrəʊɪŋ ˈɛmfəsɪs 
əˈlaʊ fɔː sɛlf-ɪksˈprɛʃən 
kri(ː)ˈeɪt ˌfʌndəˈmɛntli ˈkruːʃəl 
ʌpˈlɪftɪŋ truːðz 
hju(ː)ˈmænɪti
ˈrɛlɪvənt 
rɪˈleɪts tuː 
kəˈpæsɪti 
sɛlf-ɪksˈprɛʃən
səˈsaɪəti æt lɑːʤ
əˈbɪlɪti 
ˈkruːʃəl ˈɛlɪmənt 
ˈfʊli ˈhjuːmən 
strɒŋ ˈmɛntl hɛlθ
ɪksˈpleɪnz 
ˌpɒpjʊˈlærɪti 
æz ə miːnz ɒv 
ɪn ði ˈægrɪgɪt
ˈvjuːpɔɪnts 
liːdz tuː 
ə plʊəˈrælɪti ɒv pəˈspɛktɪvz 
ɪnˈrɪʧ 
rɪˈvɪəd ˈpɪərɪədz ɒv ˈhjuːmən ˈhɪstəri
ðə rəˈneɪsəns
dɪˈfaɪnd 
ˈflʌrɪʃɪŋ 
ɔːlˈðəʊ 
ˈtænʤəbl ɪmˈpruːvmənts 
ʌnˈeɪbl 
ɪmˈpɑːt ˈmiːnɪŋ
ɪn ˈkɒntrɑːst
ɪnˌtɜːprɪˈteɪʃənz 
ˈʌplɪft 
ɪnˈlaɪvn
ˈəʊvə ðə kɔːs ɒv ðə ˈtwɛntɪəθ ˈsɛnʧʊri 
ɪksˈplɔːd ˈkɒmplɛks ˈsʌbʤɪkt ˈmætə 
ˈklæsɪk fɪlmz 
ðə ˈgɒdˌfɑːðə
ˌɛntəˈteɪnɪŋ 
prɪˈzɛntɪŋ 
ˈvɪʒən 
ˈɪnsaɪtf(ə)l ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ 
ɪksˈtɛndɪd 
ɪnˈkluːd 
rɪˈlɪʤəs ˈliːdəz
ˈɪmpækt 
məˈrælɪti
ˈɒkjʊpaɪ 
ˈprɒmɪnənt pəˈzɪʃən 
aɪˈdɪəlz
fʌnd 
səˈpɔːt 
ˈsiːmɪŋli lɛs ˈwɜːθˈwaɪl pəˈsjuːts

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 people today continue to v_____e the a____s d_______e a g__________________s on science and technology. In my opinion, this is because only the arts a__________r s_________________n and c___________________________l and u_________________s about h__________y.

The first reason the arts continue to be r_________t r_________o their c__________y for s_____________n. This is important not only for individuals but also for s_________________e. For individuals, the a________y to express themselves is a c____________________t of being f_______________n and having s_____________________h. This e___________s the p___________y of classes for painting, music, and dance a_______________f relaxing and expressing one’s thoughts and feelings. I__________________e, millions of people expressing their v______________s l______________________________s that can e________s society. For instance, all the most r_______________________________y, such as t__________________e, were d_________d by a f____________g of the arts.

Secondly, art has the capacity to create value in a way that science cannot. A_________h science is capable of making t____________________s in the lives of individuals, it is u_________e to i_________________g. I_______________t, the arts are i_________________________s of the world that can u________t and e________n. For example, great filmmakers over the course of the 20th century have e____________________________r in c______________s such as T______________r, not only e______________g viewers but also p_____________g a v_______n and i_____________________g of American history. If the arts are e____________d to i__________e the writings and teachings of r___________________s, it is easy to see their i_________t on values and m__________y.

In conclusion, the arts still o________y a p__________________n in society as they allow for individual self-expression and the creation of i_________s. Therefore, it is important that governments continue to f_____d and s__________t these s_______________________________s.

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:

Speaking Practice

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

Art

  1. Have you ever been to an art gallery?
  2. Would you like to learn more about art?
  3. Do you hang any art in your home?
  4. Do people in your country enjoy making art?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Some think that quality art can be made by anyone while others think that it requires special talent and ability.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.


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