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IELTS Band 8 Essay Samples

These are IELTS band 8 essay samples that have been given grades (of 8 or 8.5) and basic comments on the score for each criteria by an experienced IELTS instructor. 

Topic: Health & Diet (Band 8)

Some people believe that it is the responsibility of individuals to take care of their own health and diet. Others however believe that governments should make sure that their citizens have a healthy diet.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Nowadays an increasing number of people are becoming concerned about their health and the quality of their diet. There are two diametrically opposed opinions on the matter. Some people believe that each and every individual is responsible for their own health while others state that it is the government that must ensure that the citizens have healthy eating habits.

Personally, I believe that people bear full responsibility for their diets for a number of reasons. First, nowadays there is a vast variety of products that everyone can choose from, ensuring a balanced diet consisting of different types of products with sufficient vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Everyone can balance their diets according to these factors and also based on their taste preferences.  For example vegetarians will prefer beans rich in protein while omnivorous eaters might opt for meat instead. Secondly, while governments cannot considerably vary in their healthy eating programs usually adhering to 'one size fits all' approach, individuals know exactly what they need in order to keep fit and healthy both generally speaking and in terms of food. We take tailored approach as we know exactly what we need to succeed in life, be strong and healthy.

However, others argue that the government is fully responsible for the kind of food its population consume because they make decisions regarding the quality of food their country produce and import as well as prices. For instance, in many developing countries people rarely have access to high quality food, thus being forced to choose something cheap like fast food. Moreover, the government can introduce legislation as regards to what kind of food can be promoted, seen for example in many European countries where the advertising of fast food, alcohol and cigarettes is prohibited. These measure, it is argued, can affect the way we eat and control the diets of the whole population. 

In conclusion, while the governments may play a role in the choice of food of its citizens, it is still the responsibility of every individual whether to eat healthy diet or not due to many reasons being that a variety of methods to balance their diets or their finances. After all our life is in our hands!


Task Response: 8

The question is answered and ideas are well-supported. Both parts of the question are fully addressed. Some parts are not given quite enough explanation and the logic appears faulty. For instance, the statement that developing countries depend on fast food.  The essay should also not end with an informal comment such as "After all our life is in our hands!"

Coherence & Cohesion: 8

This IELTS band 8 essay sample is well-organised with a mix of transition signals and some good use of referencing and substitution. However, there are slightly too many transitions in initial position to get a 9 e.g. first, for example, secondly. These need to be more sophisticated. There is a danger with this that it could be awarded a band 7.

Lexical Resource: 8

There is a good mix of relevant topic related vocabulary of a high level, an excellent awareness of collocation, and plenty of evidence of less common vocabulary. However, there are some errors which would prevent a 9 e.g. "...cannot considerably vary in...".

Grammatical Range and Accuracy: 8

The writer has a very good grasp of grammar with a good mix of complex sentence and forms, with a very high level of accuracy. However, a few errors persist that prevent a 9 e.g. a missing article in "We take tailored approach" and "whether to eat healthy diet..." and a missing plural 's' in "These measure...".

Topic: Professionals Working Abroad
(Band 8)

An increasing number of professionals, such as doctors and teachers, are leaving their own poorer countries to work in developed countries. 

What problems does this cause? 

What solutions can you suggest to deal with this situation?

Nowadays more and more professionals that play a key role in the social stability and development, including in the spheres of education and medicine prefer to find a job in more developed countries that provide more opportunities. Evidently, it creates a deficiency and lack of professional help in the above-mentioned spheres. This essay will address the problems such situation causes and conceivable solutions to redress it.

The most serious problem associated with the drain of the experts in vital areas of life is the consequent shortage of specialists and hence, lack of professional help for citizens of poor countries that can lead to deterioration of the conditions of life. It goes without saying that it is the work of these specialists that is absolutely essential for the survival of people. For example, if professional, qualified doctors leave their poorer countries in search of a better life it leads to a deterioration in the medical help available and in some cases even considerable life losses and decrease of life expectancy. Therefore, local communities and the whole society are seriously affected by such changes in the labour market.

To redress the balance in such a situation there must be serious measures taken by the government. Considerable funds are to be invested in these spheres to contribute to the improvement of work conditions and salaries of different professionals. For example, governments might stimulate young professionals by paying them additional bonuses for working in public hospitals and schools or fund their education. This, in turn, will create better chances to retain stuff and boost the morale of experts, who might choose to stay in their countries in order to contribute to its growth and development.

To conclude, it is apparent that a great number of specialists, especially young ones, opt for working in more developed countries and this trend is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. However, governments can try to solve this problem by allocating more funds and invest more in the enhancement of working conditions for specialists.  Were they to  turn a blind eye to the current situation, it would have a pernicious effect on their countries.


Task Response: 8

Both problems and solutions are addressed in the essay, and ideas are extended and supported. The ideas though in each body paragraph could have been explained more succinctly, providing the opportunity to add further supporting ideas, rather than the just one that appear in each body paragraph. Reducing the length of the introduction and conclusion would help to achieve this. 

Coherence & Cohesion: 8

Generally coherence and cohesion is very good in this IELTS band 8 essay sample but there could be more variety and more sophisticated cohesive devices used i.e. 'for example' is used twice. 

Lexical Resource: 8

An excellent range of vocabulary, mostly used correctly and appropriately However, a few minor errors persist, such as  using 'stuff' instead of 'staff'.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy: 8

The IELTS band 8 essay sample overall has very good grammar, but there are still a few grammatical errors or the wrong choices. For example,  "Considerable funds are to be invested" should be "Considerable funds should be invested" and there are also some errors with punctuation, such as missing commas.

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