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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the real general training exam on the topic of wearing uniforms.

It’s an interesting question and I really enjoyed writing about it!

Check out my writing corrections here and my online courses here.

Dave

Before reading, listen to the audio to improve your listening skills:

IELTS Writing Task 2 General Training Sample Answer Essay: Uniforms (Real Past IELTS Exam/Test)

A lot of companies and organisations require employees to wear uniforms.

Which kind of jobs are uniforms suitable for?

Are there any disadvantages to wearing a uniform to work?

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

Many jobs today and in the past have required their employees to wear uniforms. This is especially true for jobs that must be recognisable and its greatest drawback relates to resentment.

The jobs that most require uniforms all relate to positions of authority. It is important for the public and other employees to be able to recognise these figures. The original example of this is soldiers who must be recognisable to their own people and each other in order to fight an enemy effectively. Today this same principle applies to authorities ranging from the police to fire fighters. There are also more civilian occupations where authority is self-evidently important such as for doctors, judges, and chefs. Even simple jobs such as working in a fast food restaurant or supermarket require uniforms in order to make it easier for customers to identify them.

The disadvantage to wearing a uniform at work is the effect on morale. In some instances, uniforms can be inspiring if the employee is personally invested in the service or product the company provides. For the majority of employees, however, uniforms repress individuality and comodify. In the same way that cans of soup are wrapped in a label, an employee may come to feel like a company product. The jobs most susceptible to this will not be high-ranking ones such as a doctor, where the uniform instills pride, but lower order work such as a factory worker, cashier, or cleaner. Uniforms will likely only add to pre-existing resentment of their position in life.

In conclusion, uniforms are necessary for operations but can hurt mental health in certain occupations. There is little that can be done to address the necessity of uniforms but their effects can be mitigated with compassionate company policies.

Analysis

1. Many jobs today and in the past have required their employees to wear uniforms. 2. This is especially true for jobs that must be recognisable and its greatest drawback relates to resentment.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic for the essay.
  2. Answer the two questions directly and clearly.

1. The jobs that most require uniforms all relate to positions of authority. 2. It is important for the public and other employees to be able to recognise these figures. 3. The original example of this is soldiers who must be recognisable to their own people and each other in order to fight an enemy effectively. 4. Today this same principle applies to authorities ranging from the police to fire fighters. 5. There are also more civilian occupations where authority is self-evidently important such as for doctors, judges, and chefs. 6. Even simple jobs such as working in a fast food restaurant or supermarket require uniforms in order to make it easier for customers to identify them.

  1. Write a simple topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Give a specific example.
  4. Develop or extend your example.
  5. Here I develop the example but showing how it related to other jobs.
  6. Finally, I include how it applies to the lowest class of workers.

1. The disadvantage to wearing a uniform at work is the effect on morale. 2. In some instances, uniforms can be inspiring if the employee is personally invested in the service or product the company provides. 3. For the majority of employees, however, uniforms repress individuality and comodify. 4. In the same way that cans of soup are wrapped in a label, an employee may come to feel like a company product. 5. The jobs most susceptible to this will not be high-ranking ones such as a doctor, where the uniform instills pride, but lower order work such as a factory worker, cashier, or cleaner. 6. Uniforms will likely only add to pre-existing resentment of their position in life.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Here I qualify my main idea because there are some obvious exceptions.
  3. Now I focus on why uniforms hurt morale.
  4. I argue here by analogy.
  5. I develop it further by listing the specific jobs affected.
  6. Finally, I conclude the paragraph with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, uniforms are necessary for operations but can hurt mental health in certain occupations. 2. There is little that can be done to address the necessity of uniforms but their effects can be mitigated with compassionate company policies.

  1. Repeat your answers to both questions.
  2. Add in a final detail/thought to ge full marks from the examiner for your conclusion.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many jobs today and in the past have required their employees to wear uniforms. This is especially true for jobs that must be recognisable and its greatest drawback relates to resentment.

The jobs that most require uniforms all relate to positions of authority. It is important for the public and other employees to be able to recognise these figures. The original example of this is soldiers who must be recognisable to their own people and each other in order to fight an enemy effectively. Today this same principle applies to authorities ranging from the police to fire fighters. There are also more civilian occupations where authority is self-evidently important such as for doctors, judges, and chefs. Even simple jobs such as working in a fast food restaurant or supermarket require uniforms in order to make it easier for customers to identify them.

The disadvantage to wearing a uniform at work is the effect on morale. In some instances, uniforms can be inspiring if the employee is personally invested in the service or product the company provides. For the majority of employees, however, uniforms repress individuality and commodify. In the same way that cans of soup are wrapped in a label, an employee may come to feel like a company product. The jobs most susceptible to this will not be high-ranking ones such as a doctor, where the uniform instills pride, but lower order work such as a factory worker, cashier, or cleaner. Uniforms will likely only add to pre-existing resentment of their position in life.

In conclusion, uniforms are necessary for operations but can hurt mental health in certain occupations. There is little that can be done to address the necessity of uniforms but their effects can be mitigated with compassionate company policies.

Answers

especially true particularly the case

recognisable can be identified

greatest drawback biggest takeaway

resentment feeling hate towards

positions of authority people in charge

figures people

original example first instance

effectively efficiently, well

same principle applies this is also true for

ranging from going from

civilian occupations normal jobs

authority power over

self-evidently important clearly key

identify recognise

morale feeling, spirit

inspiring uplifting

personally invested care about

repress individuality no self-expression

commodify make into a product

wrapped in a label put a name/brand on

come to feel like start to feel over time

most susceptible likely to be affected by

high-ranking important

instills pride makes you feel good about yourself

lower order work bad jobs

pre-existing resentment already hated

position in life station in life

hurt mental health made you unhappy

certain occupations particular jobs

address deal with

mitigated lessened

compassionate company policies caring practices

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

ɪsˈpɛʃəli truː 
ˈrɛkəgnaɪzəbl 
ˈgreɪtɪst ˈdrɔːbæk 
rɪˈzɛntmənt
pəˈzɪʃənz ɒv ɔːˈθɒrɪti
ˈfɪgəz
əˈrɪʤənl ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
ɪˈfɛktɪvli
seɪm ˈprɪnsəpl əˈplaɪz 
ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm 
səˈvɪljən ˌɒkjʊˈpeɪʃənz 
ɔːˈθɒrɪti 
sɛlf-ˈɛvɪdəntli ɪmˈpɔːtənt 
aɪˈdɛntɪfaɪ 
mɒˈrɑːl
ɪnˈspaɪərɪŋ 
ˈpɜːsnəli ɪnˈvɛstɪd 
rɪˈprɛs ˌɪndɪˌvɪdjʊˈælɪti 
kəˈmɒdɪfaɪ
ræpt ɪn ə ˈleɪbl
kʌm tuː fiːl laɪk 
məʊst səˈsɛptəbl 
ˈhaɪˌræŋkɪŋ 
ɪnˈstɪlz praɪd
ˈləʊər ˈɔːdə wɜːk 
priː-ɪgˈzɪstɪŋ rɪˈzɛntmənt 
pəˈzɪʃən ɪn laɪf
hɜːt ˈmɛntl hɛlθ 
ˈsɜːtn ˌɒkjʊˈpeɪʃənz
əˈdrɛs 
ˈmɪtɪgeɪtɪd 
kəmˈpæʃənɪt ˈkʌmpəni ˈpɒlɪsiz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many jobs today and in the past have required their employees to wear uniforms. This is e_____________e for jobs that must be r______________e and its g__________________k relates to r_____________t.

The jobs that most require uniforms all relate to p______________________y. It is important for the public and other employees to be able to recognise these f__________s. The o____________________e of this is soldiers who must be recognisable to their own people and each other in order to fight an enemy e_____________y. Today this s______________________s to authorities r________________m the police to fire fighters. There are also more c___________________________s where a_______________y is s_______________________t such as for doctors, judges, and chefs. Even simple jobs such as working in a fast food restaurant or supermarket require uniforms in order to make it easier for customers to i__________y them.

The disadvantage to wearing a uniform at work is the effect on m_________e. In some instances, uniforms can be i____________g if the employee is p______________________d in the service or product the company provides. For the majority of employees, however, uniforms r____________________y and c_____________y. In the same way that cans of soup are w____________________l, an employee may c__________________e a company product. The jobs m__________________e to this will not be h_____________g ones such as a doctor, where the uniform i_______________e, but l_________________k such as a factory worker, cashier, or cleaner. Uniforms will likely only add to p______________________t of their p__________________e.

In conclusion, uniforms are necessary for operations but can h____________________h in c______________________s. There is little that can be done to a___________s the necessity of uniforms but their effects can be m______________d with c________________________________s.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Watch 50 years of flight attendant uniforms below:

Reading Practice

Read about the newest uniforms below, sweatpants:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/05/kill-the-office-dress-code/609070/

Speaking Practice

Answer the following question from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Talk about a time when you wore a uniform. Mention

When it was

Why you wore it

How it looked

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

Writing Practice

Answer the related question about fashion below and then check with my sample answer:

The number of people who are interested in and wearing fashionable clothes is increasing.

Is this a positive or negative development?

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

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