Here are the three questions that I answer in the podcast above. If you’re a paying subscriber, feel free to comment or ask questions below.

  1. Could you refer us to reliable resources regarding how to use commas in writing?
    (Many websites explain comma usage. Click here to see one)

  2. Is a ‘general’ sentence compulsory in writing task 2?

  3. One of my friends wrote the essay below, and he claims that it gets a band 9. What is your view on the style of this essay?

Here’s the student’s essay, but please don’t try to copy this style of writing!

We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers. They are used in business, hospitals, crime detection and even to fly planes. What things will they be used for in the future? Is this dependence on computers a good thing or should we be suspicious of their benefits?

When Charles Babbage, the eminent English mechanical engineer and polymath, originated the concept of a programmable machine all the way back in the early 19th century, he did not even conceive the idea that in less than 2 centuries, his invention would have been ruling the world for almost 4 decades. In retrospect, one may confidently dare say “computer” is even an unfortunate choice of terms, seeing that contemporary computers do not just compute; they hammer out the entire structure of our industries, businesses, transportation and other consistent systems. Just as they have proliferated since the early 1980s, these feat-contriving machines, I prognosticate, will persevere in roaming, masterminding and superintending our lives; potentially even further, infiltrating our brain cells and art-oriented aesthetics. On this crusade, despite the incredulity of the naïve and the unaware, our trust will be fully invested in them.

The fact that no return to traditional mechanical and human labor would be witnessed in the fields where computers are extensively being employed is captioning the obvious. No day will come on which the world beats a retreat from employing algorithms in marketing action plans, or the police forensic experts put using face recognition software packages to a halt. Even those with poorest taste in cybernetics place an ever-growing digital apparatus within their current areas at their foresight, quality-, quantity-, depth- and dependence-wise. Coupled with that, I speculate that computers will open up room for themselves in the field of neurobiology, foisting their programmed objectives on them, and configuring them based on the instructions delineated by programmers. Through this yet-to-be-perfected technology, human brain will resemble a CPU with a USB hub from which any output could be extracted and into which any input could be inserted. Health-related data, thoughts and ideologies and bodily function details can be culled and monitored by doctors and psychologists; and pedagogical material can be planted by educators. Art is another ground where computers are speculated to commence walking on in the coming decade. Artificial intelligence specialists have initiated working on cyber-creativity, endeavoring to teach computers how to develop their own processing of beauty, resonance, composition and combination, attaining the capacity of brushing and composing paintings and music of their own. If computers are perfect calculators and estimators using logic, why can they not be perfect art generators given the principles of aesthetical frameworks? They envision.  

As computers continue their course to thrive, they encounter the genesis of doubts in their adequacy by their nemesis. Cybercrime – namely phishing, hacking and identity theft – is one such target. Such violations, which are prone to elevate in the upcoming years, are too minuscule to make us question computers’ loyalty in offering service. Infringement has always been an inseparable part of mankind, and so it will be. Yet in the cyber world, such illegal actions would not involve physical injuries, predations can be traced and resolved, and preventive measures could be enhanced more accessibly and effortlessly. This all means that suspecting computers productivity for human communities for their flaws in this facet is short-sighted. Failure happens to be one more term that is often seen alongside cybercrime as a doubt-caster on computing machines. These props are claimed to be vulnerable to manufacture, design and operation defects, which might result in life-threatening or life-claiming cataclysms.