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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the general training exam focus on the topic of keeping your work and private life separate.

It is an interesting question and I had fun writing about it.

Remember to check out my online courses and corrections as well!

Dave

Before reading, listen to the audio and take notes:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay General Training: Private & Work Life

Some people like to spend their leisure time after work with co-workers while others prefer to keep their private life separate from their work life.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

After finishing work, many people strive to carve out an independent private life and therefore eschew meeting colleagues socially. In my opinion, strong bonds with co-workers are justifiably common but it is more important to have a stable network of friends outside work.

The main advantage of fraternising with other employees after work is convenience. Employees get off work at the same time and it is easy to make plans. Most workers chat with each about their plans for the evening and then invite each other to get a drink, go to dinner, play sport or catch a movie. Since colleagues work together all day, they have a good idea of each other’s personality and will naturally congregate with the characters and groups they are predisposed towards. This organic process of meeting up with their close friends at work can quickly become an entrenched habit to look forward to at the end of the workday.

Nonetheless, a varied social life is crucial in order to maintain better mental health. Conversations with co-workers inevitably turn to office related gossip and gripes about work. These self-serving and repetitive dialogues do little more than weakly reinforce one’s self-esteem. When talking with an old school friend or former co-worker one is more likely to forget about work and delve into other subjects. The result is relief of work-related stress and freedom from reinforcement of your inner drives to compare, belittle, gossip, and complain. Over time, the mental toll of being immersed in work the entire day can lead to feelings of depression and frustration, while the opposite is true of those who compartmentalise work and social life.

In conclusion, spending one’s leisure time with a wider sphere of friends is key to good mental health. As people today become increasingly isolated, it is especially important to have a secure group of friends beyond the workplace.

Anaylsis

1. After finishing work, many people strive to carve out an independent private life and therefore eschew meeting colleagues socially. 2. In my opinion, strong bonds with co-workers are justifiably common but it is more important to have a stable network of friends outside work.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion by choosing one side overall.

1. The main advantage of fraternising with other employees after work is convenience. 2. Employees get off work at the same time and it is easy to make plans. 3. Most workers chat with each about their plans for the evening and then invite each other to get a drink, go to dinner, play sport or catch a movie. 4. Since colleagues work together all day, they have a good idea of each other’s personality and will naturally congregate with the characters and groups they are predisposed towards. 5. This organic process of meeting up with their close friends at work can quickly become an entrenched habit to look forward to at the end of the workday.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with a main idea at the end.
  2. Explain or begin developing your main idea.
  3. Use specific details – notice how specific and not general my ideas are.
  4. Continue developing your main idea with a logical argument or an example.
  5. Draw conclusions or state the final result to finish the paragraph.

1. Nonetheless, a varied social life is crucial in order to maintain better mental health. 2. Conversations with co-workers inevitably turn to office related gossip and gripes about work. 3. These self-serving and repetitive dialogues do little more than weakly reinforce one’s self-esteem. 4. When talking with an old school friend or former co-worker one is more likely to forget about work and delve into other subjects. 5. The result is relief of work-related stress and freedom from reinforcement of your inner drives to compare, belittle, gossip, and complain. 6. Over time, the mental toll of being immersed in work the entire day can lead to feelings of depression and frustration, while the opposite is true of those who compartmentalise work and social life.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a main idea at the end.
  2. Begin to develop your main idea.
  3. Continue developing the same main idea – don’t switch to a new one.
  4. State the results of your arguments/points.
  5. Continue drawing out the results and be very specific.
  6. Here I draw the reults out as far as I can.

1. In conclusion, spending one’s leisure time with a wider sphere of friends is key to good mental health. 2. As people today become increasingly isolated, it is especially important to have a secure group of friends beyond the workplace.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final detail/thought for full marks from the IELTS examiner.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

After finishing work, many people strive to carve out an independent private life and therefore eschew meeting colleagues socially. In my opinion, strong bonds with co-workers are justifiably common but it is more important to have a stable network of friends outside work.

The main advantage of fraternising with other employees after work is convenience. Employees get off work at the same time and it is easy to make plans. Most workers chat with each about their plans for the evening and then invite each other to get a drink, go to dinner, play sport or catch a movie. Since colleagues work together all day, they have a good idea of each other’s personality and will naturally congregate with the characters and groups they are predisposed towards. This organix process of meeting up with their close friends at work can quickly become an entrenched habit to look forward to at the end of the workday.

Nonetheless, a varied social life is crucial in order to maintain better mental health. Conversations with co-workers inevitably turn to office related gossip and gripes about work. These self-serving and repetitive dialogues do little more than weakly reinforce one’s self-esteem. When talking with an old school friend or former co-worker one is more likely to forget about work and delve into other subjects. The result is relief of work-related stress and freedom from reinforcement of your inner drives to compare, belittle, gossip, and complain. Over time, the mental toll of being immersed in work the entire day can lead to feelings of depression and frustration, while the opposite is true of those who compartmentalise work and social life.

In conclusion, spending one’s leisure time with a wider sphere of friends is key to good mental health. As people today become increasingly isolated, it is especially important to have a secure group of friends beyond the workplace.

Answers

strive try for

carve out separate

independent private life separate personal life/time

eschew avoid

socially not work-related

strong bonds good relationships with

justifiably common a good reason for people doing it

stable network secure group

fraternising be friendly with

convenience easy

get off work when your work ends

make plans arrange to meet

chat talk to

invite each other ask

get a drink go to a bar

catch a movie watch a movie

colleagues co-workers

personality temperament/character

naturally congregate group with the people you like

characters temperaments

predisposed towards likely to like

organic process happens naturally

meeting up with hanging out with

close friends people you like a lot, best friends

entrenched habit habit you can’t stop

look forward to are hopeful for

workday your time at work

varied social life lots of different friends, activities

crucial essential

maintain better mental health stay sane

inevitably turn always go to

office related gossip rumours at work

gripes complaints

self-serving for your own pleasure/advantage

repetitive dialogues saying the same thing over and over

weakly reinforce barely help with

self-esteem how you feel about yourself

old school friend friends from when you were in school

former co-worker someone you used to work with

delve into talk about

relief of work-related stress de-stress, not feel so much pressure

reinforcement supports

inner drives desires

compare contrast or look at to see what is the same/different

belittle make feel small, condescend

gossip talk rumours about

complain whine

mental toll more stress

immersed fully part of

depression feeling sad

frustration feeling angry

opposite is true of the contrary case holds for

compartmentalise work and social life keep work and private life separate

leisure time free time

wider sphere greater variety

key essential part

increasingly isolated more and more alone

especially important particularly key

secure group stable bunch

beyond the workplace outside work

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

straɪv 
kɑːv aʊt 
ˌɪndɪˈpɛndənt ˈpraɪvɪt laɪf 
ɪsˈʧuː 
ˈsəʊʃəli
strɒŋ bɒndz 
ˈʤʌstɪfaɪəbli ˈkɒmən 
ˈsteɪbl ˈnɛtwɜːk 
ˈfrætənaɪzɪŋ 
kənˈviːniəns
gɛt ɒf wɜːk 
meɪk plænz
ʧæt 
ɪnˈvaɪt iːʧ ˈʌðə 
gɛt ə drɪŋk
kæʧ ə ˈmuːvi
ˈkɒliːgz
ˌpɜːsəˈnælɪti
ˈnæʧrəli ˈkɒŋgrɪgeɪt 
ˈkærɪktəz 
ˌpriːdɪsˈpəʊzd təˈwɔːdz
ɔːˈgænɪk ˈprəʊsɛs
ˈmiːtɪŋ ʌp wɪð 
kləʊs frɛndz 
ɪnˈtrɛnʧt ˈhæbɪt 
lʊk ˈfɔːwəd tuː 
ˈwɜːkdeɪ
ˈveərɪd ˈsəʊʃəl laɪf 
ˈkruːʃəl 
meɪnˈteɪn ˈbɛtə ˈmɛntl hɛlθ
ɪnˈɛvɪtəbli tɜːn 
ˈɒfɪs rɪˈleɪtɪd ˈgɒsɪp 
graɪps 
sɛlf-ˈsɜːvɪŋ 
rɪˈpɛtɪtɪv ˈdaɪəlɒgz 
ˈwiːkli ˌriːɪnˈfɔːs 
sɛlf-ɪsˈtiːm
əʊld skuːl frɛnd 
ˈfɔːmə kəʊ-ˈwɜːkə 
dɛlv ˈɪntuː 
rɪˈliːf ɒv wɜːk-rɪˈleɪtɪd strɛs 
ˌriːɪnˈfɔːsmənt 
ˈɪnə draɪvz 
kəmˈpeə
bɪˈlɪtl
ˈgɒsɪp
kəmˈpleɪn
ˈmɛntl təʊl 
ɪˈmɜːst 
dɪˈprɛʃən 
frʌsˈtreɪʃən
ˈɒpəzɪt ɪz truː ɒv 
kəmˈpɑːtməntəlaɪz wɜːk ænd ˈsəʊʃəl laɪf
ˈlɛʒə taɪm
ˈwaɪdə sfɪə 
kiː 
ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈaɪsəleɪtɪd
ɪsˈpɛʃəli ɪmˈpɔːtənt 
sɪˈkjʊə gruːp 
bɪˈjɒnd ðə ˈwɜːkˌpleɪs

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

After finishing work, many people s_______e to c_________t an i_____________________e and therefore e_________w meeting colleagues s___________y. In my opinion, s______________s with co-workers are j_______________________n but it is more important to have a s________________k of friends outside work.

The main advantage of f_________________g with other employees after work is c_______________e. Employees g__________________k at the same time and it is easy to m_______________s. Most workers c______t with each about their plans for the evening and then i____________________r to g_____________k, go to dinner, play sport or c_______________e. Since c______________s work together all day, they have a good idea of each other’s p_______________y and will n_______________________e with the c_______________s and groups they are p________________________s. This o_________________s of m___________________h their c_________________s at work can quickly become an e____________________t to l__________________o at the end of the w____________y.

Nonetheless, a v____________________e is c____________l in order to m_______________________________h. Conversations with co-workers i___________________n to o__________________________p and g_____________s about work. These s__________________g and r______________________s do little more than w_______________________e one’s s___________________m. When talking with an o____________________d or f_________________r one is more likely to forget about work and d_______________o other subjects. The result is r______________________s and freedom from r__________________t of your i___________________s to c________________e, b____________e, g__________p, and c________________n. Over time, the m___________________l of being i_________________d in work the entire day can lead to feelings of d________________n and f________________n, while the o________________________f those who c_______________________________________e.

In conclusion, spending one’s l__________________e with a w________________e of friends is k___y to good mental health. As people today become i______________________d, it is e___________________t to have a s__________________p of friends b_______________________e.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Watch a scene about friends from work from the movie Thor:

Reading Practice

Read about whether or not your co-workers are killing you below:

https://www.wired.com/2011/08/are-your-co-workers-killing-you/

Speaking Practice

Answer the questions below from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Work

Why did you choose your job?

How much work do you do in a week?

Do you have to work on weekends as well?

Real Past IELTS Exam

Writing Practice

Write about the following topic and then check with my sample answer:

In many countries, teenagers are encouraged to find part-time jobs. Some think this is a good development while others disagree.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

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