The following question appeared recently in the IELTS Writing Task 2:

Nowadays celebrities are more famous for their glamour and wealth than for their achievements, and this sets a bad example to young people.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

How can we answer a question like this? We need to carefully analyse the question, then brainstorm and organize our ideas, before finally writing a structured essay.

Sample Answer

Not that long ago, the most famous people were venerated for their talents. In ancient times, people celebrated mighty warriors and great leaders; in more recent centuries they championed writers, scientists, and artists. However, it seems that in the twenty-first century the criteria for fame has been vastly reduced. This essay will demonstrate why this is a bad thing for today’s young people.

In every country, young people need role models to admire. Sometimes those role models are family members, friends, or teachers, but often it is famous person. While in the past this may have been a person with tremendous achievements under their belt, nowadays it is more likely to be a comparatively talentless celebrity. People are famous for all sorts of reasons now, and not all of these set a positive example for children and young adults. It seems detrimental to worship someone who got famous for little more than taking selfies. Young people learn that they don’t need to study or work hard in order to achieve their dreams of success. Instead, they learn that the most important thing in life is having lots of followers on social media.

Some people, however, argue that it is not a bad thing that the barrier to fame has been lowered. They seem to think that this makes success attainable for more people. However, making money is not the most important goal in life. It is more important to do great things and earn respect. Today’s celebrity culture teaches the youth that being a successful person is about little more than fast cars, expensive jewelry, and designer clothes. It teaches them to cut corners in order to achieve fame, and to tactlessly boast about it once they have succeeded.

To conclude, I agree entirely with the notion that young people are negatively impacted by vacuous celebrities whose fame is predicated upon very little achievement. Our youngsters need positive role models, and today’s celebrities offer them a bad example of how to live their life.

You can learn about structuring an answer here and find out about the requirements for Coherence and Cohesion here.