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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of violent entertainment (games and movies) from the real general training IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Violent Entertainment (Games and Movies)

Movies and computer games containing violence are popular. Some people say they have a negative effect on society and should be censored. Others say they are just harmless relaxation.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Some feel that violence in entertainment is a root cause of problems in society and should thus be censored. In my opinion, while there is legitimate cause to establish reasonable boundaries, such content has little actual negative impact.

On the one hand, there is a general level of acceptance that gratuitous violence should be restricted. This is particularly the case if films are being broadcast on public channels or it is possible to gain easy access to violent games. In most nations, programming during the daytime has higher thresholds for acceptable content due to fears of influencing impressionable children. The worry is that very young children and teenagers will become desensitized to violence and potentially establish either a confrontational way of interacting or, in extreme cases, a pattern of behavior. Studies have not shown much evidence for these claims however they possess a commonsensical logic.

On the other hand, the majority of individuals have no difficulty distinguishing between fiction and reality. Consumers of violent entertainment are simply passing the time or experiencing a vicarious thrill. There is even the slight chance that by watching violent entertainment, audiences will be dissuaded from such behavior or feel their need for violence has been sufficiently expressed. For instance, an individual who plays violent computer games or is obsessed with horror films, according to research, is no more likely to commit a violent crime or display abnormal behavior. The actual causes of problems in society relate to employment, economics, discrimination, income inequality, and various systemic barriers.

In conclusion, though there are certain levels of violence that should be censored depending on the context, most explicit content ought to be permitted in games and movies. Efforts to heavily censor would be short-sighted and misguided.

Analysis

1. Some feel that violence in entertainment is a root cause of problems in society and should thus be censored. 2. In my opinion, while there is legitimate cause to establish reasonable boundaries, such content has little actual negative impact.

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

1. On the one hand, there is a general level of acceptance that gratuitous violence should be restricted. 2. This is particularly the case if films are being broadcast on public channels or it is possible to gain easy access to violent games. 3. In most nations, programming during the daytime has higher thresholds for acceptable content due to fears of influencing impressionable children. 4. The worry is that very young children and teenagers will become desensitized to violence and potentially establish either a confrontational way of interacting or, in extreme cases, a pattern of behavior. 5. Studies have not shown much evidence for these claims however they possess a commonsensical logic.

  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. The more support, the higher your task achievement mark!

1. On the other hand, the majority of individuals have no difficulty distinguishing between fiction and reality. 2. Consumers of violent entertainment are simply passing the time or experiencing a vicarious thrill. 3. There is even the slight chance that by watching violent entertainment, audiences will be dissuaded from such behavior or feel their need for violence has been sufficiently expressed. 4. For instance, an individual who plays violent computer games or is obsessed with horror films, according to research, is no more likely to commit a violent crime or display abnormal behavior. 5. The actual causes of problems in society relate to employment, economics, discrimination, income inequality, and various systemic barriers.

  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, though there are certain levels of violence that should be censored depending on the context, most explicit content ought to be permitted in games and movies. 2. Efforts to heavily censor would be short-sighted and misguided.

  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.

Some feel that violence in entertainment is a root cause of problems in society and should thus be censored. In my opinion, while there is legitimate cause to establish reasonable boundaries, such content has little actual negative impact.

On the one hand, there is a general level of acceptance that gratuitous violence should be restricted. This is particularly the case if films are being broadcast on public channels or it is possible to gain easy access to violent games. In most nations, programming during the daytime has higher thresholds for acceptable content due to fears of influencing impressionable children. The worry is that very young children and teenagers will become desensitized to violence and potentially establish either a confrontational way of interacting or, in extreme cases, a pattern of behavior. Studies have not shown much evidence for these claims however they possess a commonsensical logic.

On the other hand, the majority of individuals have no difficulty distinguishing between fiction and reality. Consumers of violent entertainment are simply passing the time or experiencing a vicarious thrill. There is even the slight chance that by watching violent entertainment, audiences will be dissuaded from such behavior or feel their need for violence has been sufficiently expressed. For instance, an individual who plays violent computer games or is obsessed with horror films, according to research, is no more likely to commit a violent crime or display abnormal behavior. The actual causes of problems in society relate to employment, economics, discrimination, income inequality, and various systemic barriers.

In conclusion, though there are certain levels of violence that should be censored depending on the context, most explicit content ought to be permitted in games and movies. Efforts to heavily censor would be short-sighted and misguided.

Answers

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

violence hitting, killing, hurting, etc.

root cause base reason

censored limited, some areas cut out

while although

legitimate cause real reason

establish reasonable boundaries set clear limits

content what is in shows, games, movies, etc.

little actual negative impact doesn’t actually hurt

on the one hand on one side

general level overall amount

acceptance believed in

gratuitous not for any real purpose

restricted contained

particularly the case especially true

broadcast show

public channels TV stations open to all

possible can happen

gain easy access not hard to get

in most nations in many countries

programming what’s on TV

higher thresholds more difficult to meet the standards

acceptable content appopriate stuff

fears worries

influencing impressionable children having an effect on kids

worry fear

desensitized stop being deeply affected by

potentially establish possibly create

confrontational way of interacting aggressive

in extreme cases in rare exceptions

pattern trend

behavior way of acting

claims arguments

possess have

commonsensical logic make sense

on the other hand however

majority most of

no difficulty distinguishing between fiction and reality cant tell apart the real and not real world

consumers people who buy things

passing the time occupying yourself

experiencing going through

vicarious thrill experiencing through others

slight chance small probability

dissuaded not encouraged to do it

sufficiently expressed fully done

obsessed care a lot about

according to research studies have shown

commit do

violent crime murder, etc.

display abnormal behavior

actual real

relate to employment concern jobs

economics finances

discrimination prejudice

income inequality people not earning equal amounts of money

various systemic barriers areas of society opposing people

levels amount of something

depending on having to do with

context situation

explicit very visual

permitted allowed to

efforts attempts

heavily strongly

short-sighted not looking at the long-term

misguided badly intentioned

Pronunciation

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

ˈvaɪələns 
ruːt kɔːz 
ˈsɛnsəd
waɪl 
lɪˈʤɪtɪmɪt kɔːz 
ɪsˈtæblɪʃ ˈriːznəbl ˈbaʊndəriz
ˈkɒntɛnt 
ˈlɪtl ˈækʧʊəl ˈnɛgətɪv ˈɪmpækt
ɒn ðə wʌn hænd
ˈʤɛnərəl ˈlɛvl 
əkˈsɛptəns 
grəˈtju(ː)ɪtəs 
rɪsˈtrɪktɪd
pəˈtɪkjʊləli ðə keɪs 
ˈbrɔːdkɑːst 
ˈpʌblɪk ˈʧænlz 
ˈpɒsəbl 
geɪn ˈiːzi ˈæksɛs 
ɪn məʊst ˈneɪʃənz
ˈprəʊgræmɪŋ 
ˈhaɪə ˈθrɛʃˌhəʊldz 
əkˈsɛptəbl ˈkɒntɛnt 
fɪəz 
ˈɪnflʊənsɪŋ ɪmˈprɛʃnəbl ˈʧɪldrən
ˈwʌri 
ˌdiːˈsɛnsɪtaɪzd 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəli ɪsˈtæblɪʃ 
ˌkɒnfrʌnˈteɪʃən(ə)l weɪ ɒv ˌɪntərˈæktɪŋ 
ɪn ɪksˈtriːm ˈkeɪsɪz,
ˈpætən 
bɪˈheɪvjə
kleɪmz 
pəˈzɛs 
ˈkɒmənsɛnsikəl ˈlɒʤɪk
ɒn ði ˈʌðə hænd
məˈʤɒrɪti 
nəʊ ˈdɪfɪkəlti dɪsˈtɪŋgwɪʃɪŋ bɪˈtwiːn ˈfɪkʃən ænd ri(ː)ˈælɪti
kənˈsjuːməz 
ˈpɑːsɪŋ ðə taɪm 
ɪksˈpɪərɪənsɪŋ 
vaɪˈkeərɪəs θrɪl
slaɪt ʧɑːns 
dɪˈsweɪdɪd 
səˈfɪʃəntli ɪksˈprɛst 
əbˈsɛst 
əˈkɔːdɪŋ tuː rɪˈsɜːʧ
kəˈmɪt 
ˈvaɪələnt kraɪm 
dɪsˈpleɪ æbˈnɔːməl bɪˈheɪvjə
ˈækʧʊəl 
rɪˈleɪt tuː ɪmˈplɔɪmənt
ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪks
dɪsˌkrɪmɪˈneɪʃən
ˈɪnkʌm ˌɪni(ː)ˈkwɒlɪti 
ˈveərɪəs sɪˈstɛmɪk ˈbærɪəz
ˈlɛvlz 
dɪˈpɛndɪŋ ɒn 
ˈkɒntɛkst 
ɪksˈplɪsɪt 
pəˈmɪtɪd 
ˈɛfəts 
ˈhɛvɪli 
ʃɔːt-ˈsaɪtɪd 
ˌmɪsˈgaɪdɪd

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:

Some feel that v____________e in entertainment is a r_____________e of problems in society and should thus be c______________d. In my opinion, w_____e there is l_________________e to e______________________________s, such c__________t has l__________________________________t.

O_________________d, there is a g_________________l of a____________e that g_____________s violence should be r______________d. This is p____________________e if films are being b______________t on p____________________s or it is p___________e to g________________s to violent games. I__________________s, p_________________g during the daytime has h____________________s for a____________________t due to f_______s of i______________________________n. The w___y is that very young children and teenagers will become d_____________d to violence and p___________________h either a c______________________________g or, i___________________s, a p_________n of b__________r. Studies have not shown much evidence for these claims however they p__________s a c___________________________c.

O__________________d, the m___________y of individuals have n_____________________________________________y. C_______________s of violent entertainment are simply p_____________________e or e__________________g a v________________l. There is even the s___________________e that by watching violent entertainment, audiences will be d_______________d from such behavior or feel their need for violence has been s______________________d. For instance, an individual who plays violent computer games or is o_______________d with horror films, a_____________________________h, is no more likely to c_________t a v_____________e or d_____________________________r. The a____________l causes of problems in society r______________o e_________________t, e____________s, d_______________n, i_____________________________y, and v________________________s.

In conclusion, though there are certain l_______s of violence that should be censored d________________n the c__________t, most e_________t content ought to be p______________d in games and movies. E_________s to h__________y censor would be s_______________d and m__________d.

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:

Film/Movie Star

  1. Who is your favourite film star?
  2. Would you like to be a film star?
  3. Have you ever met a film star in person?
  4. Are film stars popular in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Many adults nowadays prefer spending their free time playing computer games.

Why do they do this?

Is this a positive or negative development?


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