Two part essay question (with examples)

Another day, another video, again looking at the Two Part question type. This is made in response to a student essay which really needed a bit of work on Task Achievement and Cohesion and Coherence. The essay in question isn’t too bad, it just used a slightly inappropriate structure for the essay type.

Anyway, the files I used are reprinted here for your edification.

This is the question

Happiness is considered very important in life.

Why is it difficult to define?

What factors are important in achieving happiness?

This is the structure I used


Sentence 1: paraphrase/restate question

Sentence 2: answer both questions (in brief)

Main body paragraph 1

Sentence 1: answer first question

Sentence 2: Explain/expand

Sentence 3: Develop/extend explanation

Sentence 4: give example that supports your answer

Main body paragraph 2

Sentence 1: answer second question

Sentence 2: Explain/expand

Sentence 3: Develop/extend explanation

Sentence 4: give example that supports your answer


Sentence 1: give summary of main ideas

This is the example essay

For many people being happy is the most important part of their lives. However, what happiness is exactly is very difficult to define as it means many things to many people. My personal view is that having a certain amount of money to do the things you want to do, and being in good health to enjoy them are equally of importance in being happy.

As happiness is a feeling and/or a concept, it is therefore impossible to offer a workable definition. That is to say, it might be achieved by having something, such as money, or by a lack of something, such as poverty. According to whichever culture or society you belong to, the meaning may be totally at odds with that of another culture. For example, a recent survey by the University of Moscow in 2014 showed that 90% of Muscovites interviewed said that having money was the most important thing in life. However, a similar survey by the University of Beijing said that for 80% of Beijingers having a harmonious family and society were the most significant factors for happiness.

My personal view is that money and good health are the twin factors for being happy. Money is important to buy things you need and want, and can free you from the anxiety that poverty can bring. Whereas, being healthy is equally important as being a billionaire is no good if you cannot physically take advantage of the opportunities that money can buy. For example, when Steve Jobs (the billionaire founder of Apple) was living out his last days, he said in an interview that although money was important he would gladly trade his fortune for having his life and health again.

In conclusion, despite the fact that happiness is claimed by so many to be an important part of life, the concept is notoriously hard to quantify and define. In my opinion, money and a healthy life are intertwined as the two essential components of happiness.

330 words

As I explain in the video, the question is very abstract about the nature of happiness, so it was a little difficult to think of sufficient examples to develop my ideas, however, you will sometimes get this kind of question so it is worth practicing it.

And this is the original student essay

It is commonly believed that happiness plays an important role in our lives. There are a lot of factors, which are included in happiness. In my opinion, this feeling is the same for everyone, and we will see the reasons why this feeling means different for somebody.

On the one hand, it is considered by some that people feel happy when they are comfortable with themselves, in particular in the professional sphere. Scientists and economists can differ from each other not only by occupation but also by life goals. I think that professional happiness is to obtain something in your specialization. That is why the to do lists for making yourself happy are different from sphere to sphere.

On the other hand, some people believe that celebrities are happy because they are rich and famous. I totally disagree with this opinion, because happiness does not correlate with goods. Ordinary people are often happier than rich ones, because they appreciate all they have. For example, the University of Harvard recently conducted research that showed 20% of the most famous people are in depression. They have literally everything, but they do not appreciate it. I believe that being grateful is a very important character trait. Everyone should be grateful for what he has and he will be happy. In addition, a recent survey by the FBI in the UK suggests that trust relationship in the family is one of the most important part of people happiness.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasise that happiness is a feeling inside us. We can have rich comfortable relationships with close relatives and be grateful for all everything we have. I suppose it is the right way to happiness. 

284 words

So, there you are, any questions feel free to write to me at and I will get back to you as soon as I can…

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