IELTS Writing: a hackneyed phrase


The phrase “With the development of science and technology, …” that many candidates like to use in IELTS Writing Task 2, and it becomes overused and misused. This phrase is not wrong or bad English and there are topics where it is suitable to use. Here is an example that an ex-examiner encountered – he said: I used to see situations where the topic was something such as, ‘Do you think students have too much homework?’ and the first sentence the essay was, "With the development of science and technology, …". Boring.

My general advice for avoiding hackneyed expressions and for writing better essays overall is to read as many materials that were written by native English speakers as you can. These materials are articles that are similar in some ways to the essays you are asked to write (especially Task 2), that is, articles expression your opinion, or discussing two opposing points of view. Many students in China don't do this. The only thing they do is study some model essays in textbooks written by Chinese English teachers. Some of these model answers are quite good but there are others that you should run away from as if they were SARS patients.

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