In this IELTS Age Discrimination at Work Essay you have to argue whether you think that rejecting people from a job they have applied for on the basis of their age is a positive or negative development.
This was a real question in an August 2018 IELTS test. You have to be careful as it is a question that is easy to misunderstand.
Misunderstanding the question in IELTS writing is a real problem as that will reduce your score for Task Response.
Unfortunately this is a question that is easy to misinterpret if you are not familiar with the fact that in many countries it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of age when you decide who to employ.
It varies from country to country, and it can include discrimination of any age, young or old. But most laws arose in relation to discrimination against people who are older.
And by too old that does not necessarily mean somebody in their 60s or 70s. A employer could discriminate against somebody in their late 40s or 50s if they choose somebody in their 20s just because they are younger.
So you could talk about young people, but if you do, the legislation refers to young people who can legally work, usually 16 or over. It is not connected to letting children work (that remains illegal in most countries).
Given that laws vary in different countries, you could focus on what aspect you like - older people, younger, or both. It probable makes sense though to focus on older people, as these are the ones likely to be discriminated against, not younger people, so it may be easier to come up with ideas.
There is also not one fixed way of answering IELTS essay questions. Often candidates think there is only one way it can be answered and the examiner will mark them down if they don't follow it.
This question could be answered in several ways. It is an opinion essay so you must make your opinion very clear at some point:
As you are asked about 'positives' or 'negatives' it is like an 'advantage / disadvantage' essay. However, as you are asked your opinion about whether it is positive or negative, you don't have to discuss both sides, though you can.
There are two main ways you could set out your body paragraphs. Here are some possibilities, assuming that you think the development is positive.
So in this one above, if you have one main reason it's negative and one that it's positive, you could place each in a separate body paragraph. You could then state in the conclusion (and introduction if you want) what your opinion is.
But if you want to, you could focus you body paragraphs more on the opinion you have, as below.
In this third one, reasons have just been found to say it's positive. That's ok as you are not told to discuss both sides, so you can choose to just support your opinion.
Now take a look at the model answer for this IELTS age discrimination at work essay.
Which paragraph pattern does it use?
This essay followed the following pattern of Example Two:
As the writer thinks that overall it's positive, you do not want to have two paragraphs with negative reasons and one with positive. That would not be coherent.
Any comments or questions about this page or about IELTS? Post them here. Your email will not be published or shared.
"I think these eBooks are FANTASTIC!!! I know that's not academic language, but it's the truth!"
Linda, from Italy, Scored Band 7.5