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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer related to looking after children from the real past IELTS test.

This is an interesting question but there are some tricky areas as well.

The question is:

These days more fathers stay at home and take care of their children while mothers go out to work.

What could be the reasons for this? Is it a positive or negative development?

In some ways, the question is too easy – the answer is too obvious.

That can make it harder to write about.

Keep scrolling to read how I handled this both easy and hard question!

Dave

(Check out my other task 2 sample answers here, task 1 here, and you can avoid the mistakes that most students make by learning from my online courses here and my Patreon here).

IELTS Essay: Looking after Children

These days more fathers stay at home and take care of their children while mothers go out to work.

What could be the reasons for this? Is it a positive or negative development?

It is becoming increasingly common for fathers to be primary caretakers while wives develop their careers. I believe this is because of a societal shift in gender relations and it is a positive development.

The most obvious cause of more women in the workplace is modern gender relations. As recently as the 1950s in the United States, it was the unquestioned role of women to cook, clean, and look after the children. Many progressive women began to feel that they were more than their biological prerogative and feminism movements sprouted up in the 1960s. There have been years of struggle and the wage gap is still a hotly debated issue but now most reasonable adults accept that both men and women should have equal opportunity to pursue a career.

On the whole, I believe this is a positive development because women can contribute greatly to society. Since women have come into the workforce en masse there are countless examples of high performing professionals including CEOs like Shery Sandberg, athletes like Serena Williams, and authors like Margaret Atwood. That belies the impact of millions of women performing well in the average job. A company meeting a few decades ago might have been more one-sided in its male dominated viewpoints, but now it is likely to showcase more female viewpoints. This added perspective is one key to creative thinking and greatly enhances decision-making and the resultant products and services of many companies.

In conclusion, the advent of women in the workforce has brought great benefits to the world. The pertinent question is now how quickly will all parts of the world adopt these progressive improvements.

Analysis

1. It is becoming increasingly common for fathers to be primary caretakers while wives develop their careers. 2. I believe this is because of a societal shift in gender relations and it is a positive development.

  1. I paraphrase the overall essay topic to begin.
  2. Then write clear answers to both questions. Read more about introductions here.

1. The most obvious cause of more women in the workplace is modern gender relations. 2. As recently as the 1950s in the United States, it was the unquestioned role of women to cook, clean, and look after the children. 3. Many progressive women began to feel that they were more than their biological prerogative and feminism movements sprouted up in the 1960s. 4. There have been years of struggle and the wage gap is still a hotly debated issue but now most reasonable adults accept that both men and women should have equal opportunity to pursue a career.

  1. I write a clear topic sentence with my main idea at the end.
  2. Then I start a especific example.
  3. And develop the example.
  4. I state the full results so that my idea is fully developed.

1. On the whole, I believe this is a positive development because women can contribute greatly to society. 2. Since women have come into the workforce en masse there are countless examples of high performing professionals including CEOs like Shery Sandberg, athletes like Serena Williams, and authors like Margaret Atwood. 3. That belies the impact of millions of women performing well in the average job. 4. A company meeting a few decades ago might have been more one-sided in its male dominated viewpoints, but now it is likely to showcase more female viewpoints. 5. This added perspective is one key to creative thinking and greatly enhances decision-making and the resultant products and services of many companies.

  1. Here is another topic sentence with a new main idea.
  2. Then I explain and begin developing the idea.
  3. I vary my use of long and short sentences.
  4. I include a hypothetical example.
  5. Finally, I state the full results.

1. In conclusion, the advent of women in the workforce has brought great benefits to the world. 2. The pertinent question is now how quickly will all parts of the world adopt these progressive improvements.

  1. I repeat my opinion.
  2. Then I add a final thought/detail. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

It is becoming increasingly common for fathers to be primary caretakers while wives develop their careers. I believe this is because of a societal shift in gender relations and it is a positive development.

The most obvious cause of more women in the workplace is modern gender relations. As recently as the 1950s in the United States, it was the unquestioned role of women to cook, clean, and look after the children. Many progressive women began to feel that they were more than their biological prerogative and feminism movements sprouted up in the 1960s. There have been years of struggle and the wage gap is still a hotly debated issue but now most reasonable adults accept that both men and women should have equal opportunity to pursue a career.

On the whole, I believe this is a positive development because women can contribute greatly to society. Since women have come into the workforce en masse there are countless examples of high performing professionals including CEOs like Shery Sandberg, athletes like Serena Williams, and authors like Margaret Atwood. That belies the impact of millions of women performing well in the average job. A company meeting a few decades ago might have been more one-sided in its male dominated viewpoints, but now it is likely to showcase more female viewpoints. This added perspective is one key to creative thinking and greatly enhances decision-making and the resultant products and services of many companies.

In conclusion, the advent of women in the workforce has brought great benefits to the world. The pertinent question is now how quickly will all parts of the world adopt these progressive improvements.

Answers

increasingly common more and more popular

primary caretakers main persona responsible for looking after the kids

societal shift change in how society thinks

gender relations how men/women interact

most obvious cause clearest source

modern gender relations recent developments in males and females in society

as recently as starting as soon as

unquestioned role undoubted place

look after take care of

progressive women forward thinking women

biological prerogative what our bodies are meant to do naturally

feminism movements the rights of women

sprouted up started to appear

struggle conflict with

wage gap differences in pay

hotly debated issue fiercely argued topic

most reasonable adults accept the majority of normal people recognise

equal opportunity the same access, ability

pursue a career have a job

contribute greatly add a lot

come into the workforce start working

en masse in total

countless examples many instances

high performing professionals top level workers

belies undermines

performing well doing a good job

average job normal work

a few decades ago 20 – 30 years ago

one-sided not showing both perspectives

male dominated viewpoints the opinions of men

showcase display

female viewpoints women’s opinions

added perspective different viewpoint

one key one important part

greatly enhances decision-making makes a big difference in making decisions

resultant products products produced as a result

advent of women start of women

brought great benefits to the world added a lot of positives for everyone

pertinent question pressing concern

adopt enact

progressive improvements modern changes

Pronunciation

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈkɒmən 
ˈpraɪməri ˈkeəˌteɪkəz 
səˈsaɪətl ʃɪft 
ˈʤɛndə rɪˈleɪʃənz 
məʊst ˈɒbvɪəs kɔːz 
ˈmɒdən ˈʤɛndə rɪˈleɪʃənz
æz ˈriːsntli æz 
ʌnˈkwɛsʧənd rəʊl 
lʊk ˈɑːftə 
prəʊˈgrɛsɪv ˈwɪmɪn 
ˌbaɪəʊˈlɒʤɪkəl prɪˈrɒgətɪv 
ˈfiːmɪz(ə)m ˈmuːvmənts 
ˈspraʊtɪd ʌp 
ˈstrʌgl 
weɪʤ gæp 
ˈhɒtli dɪˈbeɪtɪd ˈɪʃuː 
məʊst ˌriːˈsʌnəbl ˈædʌlts əkˈsɛpt 
ˈiːkwəl ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti 
pəˈsjuː ə kəˈrɪə
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)t ˈgreɪtli 
kʌm ˈɪntuː ðə ˈwɜːkˌfɔːs 
ɛn mæs
ˈkaʊntlɪs ɪgˈzɑːmplz 
haɪ pəˈfɔːmɪŋ prəˈfɛʃənlz 
bɪˈlaɪz 
pəˈfɔːmɪŋ wɛl 
ˈævərɪʤ ʤɒb
ə fjuː ˈdɛkeɪdz əˈgəʊ 
wʌn-ˈsaɪdɪd 
meɪl ˈdɒmɪneɪtɪd ˈvjuːpɔɪnts
ˈʃəʊkeɪs 
ˈfiːmeɪl ˈvjuːpɔɪnts
ˈædɪd pəˈspɛktɪv 
wʌn kiː 
ˈgreɪtli ɪnˈhɑːnsɪz dɪˈsɪʒən-ˈmeɪkɪŋ 
rɪˈzʌltənt ˈprɒdʌkts 
ˈædvənt ɒv ˈwɪmɪn 
brɔːt greɪt ˈbɛnɪfɪts tuː ðə wɜːld
ˈpɜːtɪnənt ˈkwɛsʧən 
əˈdɒpt 
prəʊˈgrɛsɪv ɪmˈpruːvmənts

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

It is becoming i______________________n for fathers to be p___________________s while wives develop their careers. I believe this is because of a s___________________t in g_________________s and it is a positive development.

The m__________________e of more women in the workplace is m_____________________s. A_________________s the 1950s in the United States, it was the u____________________e of women to cook, clean, and l______________r the children. Many p_____________________n began to feel that they were more than their b___________________e and f______________________s s_________________p in the 1960s. There have been years of s___________e and the w____________p is still a h__________________e but now m_________________________t that both men and women should have e________________________y to p________________r.

On the whole, I believe this is a positive development because women can c____________________y to society. Since women have c_____________________e e___________e there are c______________________s of h____________________________s including CEOs like Shery Sandberg, athletes like Serena Williams, and authors like Margaret Atwood. That b__________s the impact of millions of women p___________________l in the a______________b. A company meeting a______________________o might have been more o____________d in its m_____________________________s, but now it is likely to s______________e more f______________________s. This a______________________e is o_________y to creative thinking and g__________________________________g and the r______________________s and services of many companies.

In conclusion, the a____________________n in the workforce has b_______________________________________d. The p____________________n is now how quickly will all parts of the world a_________t these p___________________________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn about the history of women in the workplace here:

Reading Practice

Read an interesting, related article from The Atlantic below:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/the-queen-bee-in-the-corner-office/534213/

Student Sample Corrections


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