IELTS Model Essay: Tidiness At Home And In The Workplace

untidy-home

Here is another of my IELTS model essays for IELTS Writing Task 2. It’s an opinion essay from the IELTS General Training Test:

Some people say it is important to keep your home and your workplace tidy, with everything organised and in the correct place.

What is your opinion about this?

Cambridge IELTS General Training Test 3

This is quite a nice task, as this may be something you’ve thought about or seen personally. I am quite a tidy person normally, so I am always horrified whenever I visit a really untidy household!

Just to be safe, it’s a good idea to separately discuss the home and the workplace – if you discuss tidiness in general, there is a risk that an IELTS Examiner might think you have not discussed all parts of the task.

First, I’ll quickly go through the 4 steps in my 4 Step Planning Process.

My Plan

Step 1: Understand The Task

What Is The Topic About? The topic is about keeping the home AND workplace tidy and organised.

What Is The Topic NOT About? The topic is not about keeping these places clean.

How Should I Respond To The Topic? I need to give my own opinion about this.

Note: this task starts with the words “some people say”. These are the words that you usually see at the start of a ‘discuss both views’ essay, so if you read the task quickly, you might think this is a ‘discuss both views’ essay by mistake. If you do this, your band score for Task Response will be Band 5 at best.

Step 2: Decide My Position

I agree with the statement.

Step 3: Extend My Ideas

Home

  • Important to be tidy for safety reasons
    • you can trip over things left out, esp. with children
      • e.g. trip over toys, children can hurt themselves
  • Also nice to make a good impression with visitors – if home is really untidy then embarrassing
    • e.g. when parents come over, I wouldn’t like it if my apartment is a mess

Work
Same things apply to work but other considerations too

  • Can start work more quickly if everything at hand on desk
    • e.g. if you are doing testing on samples in a lab, it’s best to have everything at hand – not waste time looking for things
  • If you are off sick, someone may need to do your work – so should be easy for them to find.
    • e.g. teaching

Step 4: Structure My Essay

The simplest way is to discuss tidiness in the home in BP1 (Body Paragraph 1) and tidiness in the workplace in BP2 (Body Paragraph 2). However, when I started writing my essay, I realised my body paragraphs were going to be quite long. So, to help my reader, I decided to write a separate paragraph for each of my 4 main ideas in the plan:

  • BP1: home – important to be tidy for safety reasons
  • BP2: home – nice to make a good impression with visitors
  • BP3: workplace – can start work more quickly
  • BP4: workplace –  sickness

This is quite a good idea if you write a long essay, but only if the paragraphing is logical. The paragraphs above are logical because each paragraph has a clear main idea.

So now I just need to turn my plan into complete sentences, and join it together with some cohesive devices!

My Essay

Many people argue that keeping your home and workplace tidy is important and I generally agree.

It’s very easy for homes to get untidy, especially if there is a young family in the household, but this can cause genuine safety problems. It’s very easy for someone to trip over a toy left out, causing injury, and in addition it might be difficult to find items needed urgently, such as phones or important papers.

Furthermore, it’s always nice to make a good impression with any potential visitors, but if your home is a mess, it can be quite embarrassing. Whenever my parents or relatives come round, I make sure I quickly tidy up, put things away and throw dirty clothes in the wash, and it would therefore make sense to maintain this level of tidiness all the time in case of unexpected visits.

Similar factors apply to the workplace, particularly safety. But there are other concerns too. If your desk or workspace is disorganised, you will probably waste a lot of time at the start of each day trying to find papers or materials that are essential in carrying out your responsibilities. For example, if you are working on an ongoing project such as chemical testing, it’s best to have everything at hand at all times.

Absences from work also need to be taken into consideration. If someone misses work because of a sudden illness or emergency, someone may have to take over their job for a day or two. Therefore it’s important that whoever covers for them is able to find anything they need to do their job while they are away. This is particularly important in teaching, where classes will still need to be taught despite the absence of the usual class teacher.

This is not to say that your home and workplace should have everything hidden from view. There is a balance to be struck between tidiness and functionality, and it’s probably impractical for busy households and workplaces to be completely tidy. Nevertheless, a degree of tidiness and organisation makes life much safer, less stressful and more productive.

(350 words)

Posted in IELTS Model Essays.

Charles Cornelius is a PGCE and CELTA-qualified teacher and former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. He has worked for some of the major English language schools including International House, IDP and The British Council. He holds a MA in Education from the University of Bath. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 70,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.

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