This is an IELTS model child development essay.
The essay is about the factors that affect the way that children develop.
This is the question:
Some people think that the main factors influencing a child’s development these days are things such as television, friends, and music. Others believe that the family still remains more important.
Discuss both opinions and give your opinion.
Which do you think has the biggest impact on a child as they grow up?
In this essay you have to discuss two opinions and give your opinion. The best way to do this is to dedicate one body paragraph to each opinion.
You can then give your opinion in the second body paragraph and the conclusion, or just the conclusion if you wish.
But however you organise it, you must make sure you do these three things:
Now take a look at the question and the model answer.
Child development essay model answer:
While parents obviously play a major role in the way that their child develops as they get older, many people believe that social factors outside of the family now influence children much more. This essay will examine both sides of the argument.
There is no doubt that there are factors external to the family that significantly impact on a child’s development. For example, there is television and the internet. Children these days have access to these much more than they used to in the past, and they will pick up language and see things that will teach them about life. Friends also have an important influence as a child will often copy peers that they admire and respect. This could be positive behaviour but it could also be negative, such as smoking or taking drugs.
Ultimately, however, it is family who have the most important impact. Children spend nearly all of their time with their family, especially in their early years. They develop their confidence, socialisation skills, morals, values and views on life through their interaction with them. Proof of the importance of this can be seen in the differences between some children. Those that grow up in a dysfunctional home often eventually have problems themselves, whilst those that are brought up in a warm and close environment end up more confident and secure in adult life.
To conclude, it is the family that can provide a supportive, secure, and nurturing environment, which is crucial to the way in which a child becomes an adult. Although it is clear that social factors play a part, I would argue that it is the former that is the most important.
The child development essay has a good introduction that clearly sets out what the two opposing opinions are (this is done by paraphrasing the question).
The thesis sentence (last sentence of the introduction) then clearly states what will be in the essay - a discussion of the two opinions.
The body paragraphs are coherent - each one clearly discusses one of the opinions. Topic sentences have also been used effectively in each body paragraph to identify the topic and controlling idea:
There is no doubt that there are factors external to the family that significantly impact on a child’s development.
Ultimately, however, it is family who have the most important impact.
Note the use of 'however' to show that a contrasting opinion is to be given. This gives the writing coherence.
The topic sentence of the second body paragraph also makes it clear that this other side of the argument is also the writers opinion.
There is some good topic related vocabulary. For example:
peers; socialisation skills; dysfunctional home; supportive; secure; nurturing
There are a mix of complex sentences in the child development essay. For example:
While parents obviously play a major role...
There is no doubt that...
Friends also have an important influence as...
Ultimately, however, it is family who...
...whilst those that are brought up...
Although it is clear that...
The candidates opinion is made clear in the second body paragraph, but the candidate clearly clarifies it in the conclusion and also summarises the main ideas of the essay again.
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