Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsWell, if I were planning to write this essay, I would generate ideas in this way. I would write two columns with different headings. One heading saying, nowadays, one heading saying, in the past. And I would write-- in terms of the UK-- nowadays, there are more cars, people want to make money and have busier lives. There are more supermarkets, and there's a wide use of technology-- TVs, mobile phones, internet. And women often work outside the home. In the past, though, there were fewer cars, people had more time to spend with each other, there are more individual shops with personal service, and people's lives were simpler. Women often stayed at home and didn't have paid jobs.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsOne of my students from South Korea had these ideas. Nowadays, there is a strong IT industry and Korea is independent with a strong economy. South Korea also gives help to other countries. In the past, though, the economy was mainly based on agriculture. And South Korea wasn't independent because other countries invaded. Also, South Korea had to have help from richer countries. Of course, your ideas may have been different. You and I and the student from South Korea are from different countries, and we have different background knowledge.

Developing essay ideas

In the last step we considered what ideas we might include in an essay based on the title:

“Discuss the differences between the way of life in your country now and the way of life in the past”

Watch as Anne discusses the differences between life in the UK now and in the past and then looks at how life in Korea has changed.

Think about how you can apply this approach to writing about life in your country.

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This video is from the free online course:

A Beginner's Guide to Writing in English for University Study

University of Reading