Writing Task 2: Books vs Experience

DISCLAIMER: 

1) I AM NOT AN IELTS EXAMINER; 2) PLEASE VISIT THE WEBSITES OF BRITISH COUNCIL AND IDP FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE IELTS; 3) THIS ESSAY WAS WRITTEN WHEN I WAS STILL A STUDENT

PLEASE DO NOT COPY MY WORK.

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SAMPLE QUESTION: It is said that “Not everything that is learned is contained in books”.

Compare and contrast knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why?

SAMPLE ANSWER:

Books are great sources of knowledge and information since the dawn of time. Learning begins in reading books, and there is a popular notion that smart people are those who have great skill in reading. However, some individuals believe that practical experience is superior over reading materials in teaching valuable lessons about life. While both arguments have merit, it would be unwise to favor one over the other without fully exploring the pros and cons of reading books and practical experience as sources of knowledge.

Knowledge can be gained from different sources, and most of the time books are preferred over other sources. Books present true and validated facts that are necessary for people to understand the world. These reading materials provide people information about their surroundings, therefore equipping them with knowledge that could help them adapt. For example, a book about the wilderness gives information on what to expect from such environment and how to cope with that setting. A person who reads this information will now be able to function and survive in case that person ventures in that specific locale. Aside form that, books are also avenues to enrich and expand a reader’s imagination, and imagination is the gateway to new ideas. this is illustrated bu the proliferation  of inventors who, after reading theories, are inspired to create new technology. A prime example is Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone after reading about electronics and the physics of sound.

On the other hand, it can be argued that while books do provide knowledge, there are lessons that cannot be taught from printed materials and are better learned through experience. This is because most of the time, books present theoretical knowledge while experience provides a practical application of that knowledge. For instance, if a nurse wishes to learn about CPR, that person may read a book but in order to truly be able to execute the skill, the nurse will have to perform it on an actual patient. Therefore, a practical application is needed before the nurse can claim that proficiency in CPR. Also, a study in a renowned university supports the claim that experience is the best teacher because it has been proven that information obtained through experience is stored in a person’s long-term memory while data from reading materials are stored in the short-term memory of the brain, therefore becoming easily forgotten.

In conclusion, while both sources have obvious merits, I believe that both books and experience are important because one cannot exist without the other. There is no skill without knowledge and experience is useless without theoretical background.

WORD COUNT: 273 words

SCORE: 8

REMARKS: Ideas are fully developed. Minor issues in mechanics and grammar. Define acronyms.

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