IELTS General Writing Task 2 : Positive or Negative Development Question & Band 8.5 Model Essays

IELTS Writing Task 2: Positive or Negative Question
IELTS Writing Task 2: Positive or Negative Question

IELTS Writing Task 2 Topic

TOPIC: In recent years, the family structure and the role of its members are gradually changing. What kinds of changes can occur? Do you think these changes are positive and negative?

Band 8.5 Model Essay 1 :

It is true that these days the family structure has considerably shifted, and the changing roles of men and women in the family has become increasingly similar. There are several new forms of family composition, and in my opinion, these developments are not always desirable.


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In the past, nuclear families where parents and their offspring living together under one roof used to be prevalent. However, there is now a huge trend towards single-parent families due to more marriages ending in divorce, while the increase in cohabiting couple families and stepfamilies is probably a result of cohabitation and remarriage becoming much more acceptable. In addition, the number of single-mother families has increased as many mothers want to have children without getting married. In terms of changing parental roles in a family, there has been a rise in the number of stay-at-home dads in recent years when it has become normal for women to gain qualifications and pursue their own career path. This is in sharp contrast to about half a decade ago when men were breadwinners and women were in charge of household chores in their families.

In my view, the changes described above could have both positive and negative consequences. On the one hand, due to the lack of emotional attachment and legal binding, non-traditional households such as stepfamilies and cohabiting parents are more prone to breaking down. Consequently, children of these families are more likely to be involved in antisocial behaviors while their parent may experience feelings of loneliness and worry. On the other hand, the changes in the roles of members in the family could be seen as progress because women are not put under pressure to sacrifice their own careers to assume childcare and domestic responsibilities.

In conclusion, I believe that the changes in the roles of family members and the family structure are both positive and negative.

308 words, Band 8.5

IELTS Examiner’s Comment :

This is one of the best essays I have seen. It’s amazing! I don’t know what to suggest to improve this apart from minor improvements to the introduction and the conclusion, which is very short & unclear (positive & negative). All IELTS band scores would be 9 apart from Task Response, which would be 8.0. Overall – 8.5. Did you write this in 40 mins with no help/guidance?
                                                                                                                John Marks

IELTS Writing Ebook CTA

Band 8.5 Model Answer 2 :

The changes of family structure and family roles have become a major topic of concern in modem society. Some of the main changes will be identified, before an evaluation on whether this is a positive or negative trend is made.

A few drastic changes could be observed in families today. The most obvious one is the decreased size of an average family in society. In Vietnam, for example, a majority of extended families of three generations or more living under the same roof have been transformed into nuclear families with only parents and children. In addition, there is also a significant change in terms of the roles of the father and the mother in a family. The responsibility of males as the sole breadwinner of the family has now been shared with their partners, and now women have equal working opportunities compared with their male counterparts. Accordingly, household duties are also shared equally between the two sexes.

I contend that this new family structure is without doubt beneficial for all families. As regards the smaller family size, each family member could benefit from an increased sense of freedom. For instance, parents have more time for themselves now, compared with the situation in the past when they had to bear the responsibility of taking care of both grandparents and children. With respect to the change in family roles, women may reap the benefit of having their own career and thus financial freedom. Men also gain from this change since they have been freed from the financial pressure of being the only source of income in the family.

To conclude, the most apparent changes in today’s families include a decreased family size and a shared financial and household responsibility of men and women. All the existing data has provided a concrete foundation that these changes are beneficial for all members of the family.

                                                                                                        Prepared by Mr Tu Pham (8.5 IELTS) – Head Teacher at IPP IELTS

Model Essay 3

It is true that there have been significant changes in not only the family structure but also family roles. In my opinion, these changes should be regarded as a positive tendency.

To begin with, the structure of a family is relatively different from that of some decades ago. In the past, it was likely that extended families became prevalent among societies when many generations including children, parents and grandparents lived in the same roof. In contrast, these days are witnessing the domination of nuclear families which have only parents and their offspring. Regarding parental roles, in earlier periods, men and women were supposed to be breadwinners and homemakers respectively as fathers tended to earn a living while mothers were supposed to stay at home to fulfill household duties as well as looking after children. However, both men and women currently go to work to support the whole family, whereas household tasks are often divided.

I am of the opinion that these changes would have beneficial effects on family life. First of all, if fewer generations reside together, people seem to have more freedom and privacy to do anything they have interest in without disturbing other members. For instance, in extended families juveniles adoring pop music might have to stop listening to it because their grandparents could find it annoying and noisy. Furthermore, pursuing their own careers can allow women to become financially independent from men and this also provides families with another income to have a higher standard of living. Another benefit when husbands assist their wives with household chores is that women would ease the burden of housework and have more time for themselves which can be spent on recreational activities.

In conclusion, I hold the view that several changes in family pattern and the role of member such as the fact that extended families are gradually replaced by nuclear ones and the fair division of household duties is a positive development.

IELTS Examiner’s Comment :

Criteria Grade Assessment
Task Achievement 7.5 –  323 words

–  addresses all parts of the task

–  presents a clear position throughout the response

–  presents, extends and supports main ideas

Coherent & Cohesion 8 –  logically organises information and ideas; there is clear progression throughout

–  uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately

–  presents a clear central topic within each paragraph

Lexical Resources 7.5 –  uses an adequate range of vocabulary for the task

–  attempts to use less common vocabulary

–  makes some errors in spelling and/or word formation, but they do not impede communication

Grammar Range & Accuracy 8 –  uses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms

–  produces frequent error-free sentences

Overall 7.5

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Syed Monif is a professional content marketer and IELTS Trainer by day, and a bookworm by night, and sometimes during the day too! He currently works on creating extremely user-friendly and engaging content for the online portal His work involves creating and editing content while making sure they're super interesting and easy to read! And also as a master procrastinator, right now he's probably googling something so arbitrary like 'How rich is Scrooge McDuck?' without realizing that his lunch break is almost over.

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