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How do I brainstorm?
To brainstorm ideas I often ask myself these questions:

What? Why? or How?

You can apply these questions to most IELTS essays. The aim of brainstorming is to write down as many ideas as you can that are related to the topic question. You should have more ideas than you need for your essay. This is because when you plan your essay you will find some of your ideas are inappropriate or lack detail, and so you will delete them. In the IELTS exam this process should take you about 5 minutes.

So let's start with an essay question. (Ive highlighted the key words in red these are the words you should circle in the IELTS exam.) Some parents think that having children watch television programs is good for their mental development, whereas others believe that this is not true. What is your opinion?
This essay topic was provided by one of my students who took the IELTS exam in 2010.

Please note that the ideas for this essay are my own ideas based on my own opinions. There is no perfect answer as everyone has different opinions. Some of these ideas will be deleted at the next stage of essay planning.

Copyright 2010 - 2012. My IELTS Teacher. All rights reserved.

www.myieltsteacher.com

What?

1. What TV programs are good for mental development? Good Education specific for children and schools eg. foreign language, science, history etc. News national, international, local and for children Pre-school developing words and numbers etc. eg. Sesame Street Documentary science, history, natural life eg. Discovery Channel Hobbies ideas shows that encourage activities and reading eg. Jackanory Childrens films/series adventure stories etc. Bad Adult films with violence, sex, bad language Soap operas for adults TV series for adults eg. Police programs Cable TV with 24 hour cartoons

Why? How?

2. Why or How are these programs good for mental development? Good Education part of course at school so additional element to teaching, more interesting as alternative to teacher and books so more captivating, children see TV as an educational tool as well as fun, develops visual and auditory learning and study Pre-school stimulating and fun way to learn basics before traditional school starts makes learning fun Hobbies helps children think of activities away from TV encourages creativity and problem solving Documentary learn about alternative subjects away from school child makes choices about what to learn about interest in the world around Childrens films and series develops a sense of adventure and imagination News using TV as a source of daily information
Copyright 2010 - 2012. My IELTS Teacher. All rights reserved.

www.myieltsteacher.com

Bad

Adult films sex, violence etc. seen as acceptable for adults so consider these areas as normal unable to separate reality and fiction Soap operas as above TV series crime, violence develop intense fear before they are ready for it again reality and fiction are the same for children Cable TV develops a state where children require entertaining and cannot think for themselves

So to summarise my ideas for you: Whats my opinion? Overall agree however should be limitations on which programs and length of time

Copyright 2010 - 2012. My IELTS Teacher. All rights reserved.