March 16th, 2011

Help with essays written in English (ESL poster!)

Hello :-)

I am not a native English speaker, and as my IELTS (http://ielts.org) approaches, I become more and more scared of not getting the grade I need... so I thought I'd ask for an objective review of my writing skills!

The writing portion of the IELTS exam requires two essays. The first essay is basically a description of data you're given in a graph/table/chart, and the second essay is an argumentative one on various topics - education, health, crime, etc etc. I am fairly sure I'm going to write a decent essay n.2, but I'm not as sure about the first one - mostly because I can't decide what information I can leave out/how I'm supposed to word certain phrases. 

I would be endlessly thankful for any and all suggestions you can make. I need to know what I can do better and what is fine. The essays' grade is based on:
1. task achievement/task response
2. coherence and cohesion
3. lexical resource
4. grammatical range and accuracy

Thanks again! :-)

I am going to copy four of my essays under the cut(s). :-) I'd appreciate feedback on any of them - I chose to post the most recent ones.

Oh, and also - paragraphing is a bit difficult for me, so I'd be grateful for any suggestion you can give me regarding paragraphing a formal text.

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