IELTS Essays: Personal Examples

IELTS essay tasks explicitly ask you to provide examples, and define acceptable examples as those “from your own knowledge or experience”. Therefore, it is important to include such examples to illustrate your points and support them with evidence.

Unfortunately, many students are discouraged by people and books that tell them to avoid examples from personal knowledge or experience. However, you must understand that such examples are completely OK with examiners and are used in official examiner essays in Cambridge IELTS books such as Book 8, page 173 (paragraph 4: I went to a mixed school…).

Erfan, who is a student of mine, recently wrote the following point for the essay task given in Cambridge IELTS 8, general training test A, which asks you to describe the benefits of traveling for the travelers:

Furthermore, important financial benefits could be achieved through traveling to other countries. Travelers could familiarize themselves with new products and ideas in different fields, and possibly exploit them in their own countries. One of my friends, for example, recently travelled to Germany where he saw for the first time, a new type of ice cream called Ice Packs. When he returned, he imported the basic ingredients and started producing them locally, which brought him much fame and fortune as he was the first to do so in Iran.

As you can see, Erfan has begun his point by presenting an idea and explaining it. Then, he has presented a personal example, a story of one of his friends that illustrates how travelling can benefit an individual financially.

See if you can write about another advantage of travelling for travelers, and illustrate it with an example from your own general knowledge or personal experience.