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IELTS Writing Task 2: should information be freely accessible?

haugiangguny 2 / 2 1  
Aug 20, 2017   #1
Below is my essay for the IELTS Cambridge Book 12. I would really appreciate it if someone is so kind to give some feedbacks on my essay and a possible score band. Thank you very much!

Prompt: Some people believe that it is good to share as much information as possible in scientific research, business and the academic world. others believe that some information is too important or too valuable to be shared freely.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

free access to any information?

About half a century ago, the classified Pentagon's military documents were leaked by a New York Times investigative journalist. These papers exposed an unprecedented level of dishonesty and governmental corruption in withholding information about the ongoing Vietnam War to the public. Their release naturally became a celebrated event among those who advocate for the "people's power". In recent years, a similar trend emerges, manifested in the appearance of Wikileak - a page that has leaked several top-secret U.S. diplomatic cables. Now, the self-proclaimed "people's advocates" are taking a step further and demanding free access to not only political documents but all kind of information, ranging from scientific to business. Others yet disagree, as they believe that certain information is too sensitive to be left in the light. While the former stance has its own merits, I personally tend to the latter.

The "people's advocates" can draw examples from history to support their cause. Historically, the obstruction of free information has in turn impeded scientific progress. Take England for example, in the late 18th century, tension with other European countries had led the Kingdom to shut down its door on the Continent. Nationalism prevented important scientific breakthroughs from both sides of the Chanel to travel. This had cost England years of progress, as the country lost its prominence as a center for academic research to Paris and Berlin. This example serves to show the detrimental effects of withholding information in research. Similarly, a lack of transparency in business can lead to negative ramification sand even corruption. In fact, a type of containing information in the stock market known as insider trading is criminal. Participants in an insider-trading deal have important information relating companies on the stock market that is not available to others, giving them an unfair advantage in trading. In order to prevent other kinds of corruption, certain corporate information should be made transparent. For example, if corporates can conceal their financial records, the public will not be aware of possible numerical inconsistencies that might be hints of corruptive practices, such as fund embezzlement or bribery.

On the other hand, some scientific research can give rise to technical breakthroughs that are too valuable to be made public. This type of technical information is closely connected to corporate information. In a market economy, corporates thrive on their technical advantages and superior strategies. If such technology and strategies are made public, the market loses its competition and diversity which benefits consumers. In fact, governments like the U.S., Russia, and China have been known to raise an army of hackers whose sole job is to gain access to critical information internal to foreign big companies. This is to give their own domestic companies an edge over the foreign competitors.

In the light of the arguments from both sides, it is hard to be swayed to the extreme. I, therefore, favor a more moderate stance that supports the availability of certain types of information and not other.

sarahna 4 / 10 2  
Aug 21, 2017   #2
Hi Long,

In my opinion, you tried to add too much information in an IELTS essay. It is not realistic because you have only 40 minutes in the real examination.

For the introduction, you just need to restate the topic in general. 141 words are too long for an introduction. I suggest that you rewrite your last 3 sentences in this part and that's all.

You should also edit your 1st side paragraph which is currently 205 words. 110-130 in length is ideal for this paragraph

My two cents,


Another thing is that I would write about 2 different opinions why people should or should not public their own information at their will. Discussing about leaked information may not fulfill the TR criteria...
Holt - / 7,528 2001  
Aug 21, 2017   #3
Long, this essay will get an automatic failing score. It will not pass any of the criteria for consideration because you wrote a research paper instead of a 30 minute essay discussion as instructed by the prompt. I feel that you did not really understand what was being required of you in the essay. This paper shows an in-depth academic research instead of a personal point of view discussion of two different opinions. Due to the mistaken discussion procedure, the essay did not even make it past the TA scoring stage. There is nothing in the essay discussion that relates to the instructions you were provided. Since you are still reviewing for the IELTS test, it would be in your best interest if you ask fellow students or your instructor / tutor to explain the topic for discussion and the method of discussion before you write your next practice test. Before you write an essay, you first need to make sure that you understand the English requirements. This essay proves that even though you can write in English, you have a problem understanding instructions in English. So, before you proceed with your practice essays, improve your English comprehension skills first. If you make a mistake such as you did in this essay, you are sure to score between a 0-3 in the actual test.

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