Some People Think That Human History Has Been A Journey From Ignorance To Knowledge | Band 9 IELTS Essay Sample

Some people think that human history has been a journey from ignorance to knowledge. Others argue that this underestimates the achievements of ancient cultures and overvalues our achievements. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Here is a band 9 IELTS essay on this topic. Need help with IELTS writing? Get your IELTS essays, letters and reports corrected by me.

Band 9 IELTS essay sample

Within the span of a few thousand years, humans have gone from using tools made of rocks to living in the skyscrapers. It is often debated whether our accomplishments are more valuable than those of our ancestors. In my opinion, they certainly are. The truth is in the last fifty years alone, humans achieved a lot more than what our ancestors achieved in 5000 years.

The ancient man lived in the caves and had little understanding of the world outside. They used rocks to hunt animals. It took them centuries to learn the practice of farming. However, once they had enough to eat and a safe place to live in humans started making tremendous progress. Even today many things that they achieved remain a mystery to us. For example, we still do not know how the great pyramids of Egypt were built with the minimal tools available during that era. Furthermore, prehistoric humans managed to travel the globe without access to modern navigation systems such as GPS and state-of-the-art ships. To illustrate, early humans relied solely on the stars to guide them in their travel and they shaped tree trunks to produce vessels to carry them across the oceans. Of course, their achievements cannot be undervalued.

Yet, we have ample reasons to believe that the modern man has achieved a lot more. Today, the modern technology enables us to live a life better than what our forefathers lived. With the invention of the internet, we can now communicate with anyone regardless of their geographical location. For example, Skype enables families to have a live video conference call that feels like everyone is in the same room. This was not possible ten or fifteen years ago. Moreover, in the past, humans rarely managed to live past 30 or 40 years but today the average life expectancy in the developing and developed world is 70 years or above. People are now able to live much longer and healthier due to modern medicines and the knowledge of a better lifestyle. Obviously, modern technology enables us to enjoy many things that were not possible in the past.

In conclusion, even though some achievements of our forefathers remain a mystery even today due to our lack of understanding of the early humans and their know-how, I strongly believe that today’s technology and our achievements are more valuable than what our ancestors achieved.

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

4 Responses

  1. HAO says:

    Hi MANJUSHA,
    This is a very difficult question. Here is my answer. Thank you !

    People have different opinions about the significance of history and achievements of past generations. While I agree that the progression of society has experienced a long period of time, I believe our ancients contributed more than we could imagine to the world we are living now.

    Some people argue that human development is a process from knowing nothing to knowing a lot. In the past, people built houses with grass, sticks or rough rocks, or even lived in the caves and they ate unprocessed animal meats and wore plants as clothes to keep warm. By contrast, nowadays, we live in buildings that are made by steel, concrete and glasses, and we eat different kind of foods that can be cooked using gases or microwaves. We keep ourselves warm by wearing well-designed clothes, or enjoying air-conditioners or heater almost everywhere. These cannot be achieved in the past due to the lack of knowledge and skills.

    However, I agree with those who believe that all the experience from the past is extremely valuable and we should not be too proud of what we have, as many of the inventions or developments nowadays are based on the thoughts from the past. For example, the paper making technology from thousands of years ago contribute to the way how we produce papers now. The architectures always learn how to structure their buildings from the historic buildings. From an artistic perspective, the paintings from Van Gogh are still have a profound influence on modern art and many people are still studying his way of painting.

    In conclusion, although I admit that it takes time for people to understand and learn skills or knowledge, I disagree with that thus the achievements from the past should be ignored and the modern successes should be exaggerated.

  2. Farhan Abbas says:

    >>>>>>>>Both the poor and the rich find the accessibility into university difficult. Do you agree or disagree?

    Although the number of universities has been increasing around the globe, it has become very difficult for both the rich and the poor to enroll in these institutions. I agree with this view since the former posses insufficient funds and the latter lacks academic skills.

    Because higher educational schools charge a hefty amount of tuition fees, the students who belong to medium families cannot arrange such study expenses. For example, the cost of pursuing a bachelor degree is around 1,60,000 dollars in the USA that is many times greater than secondary education. As such, the poorer students never fulfill their dream of higher education, even if they have scored good grades in secondary examinations. Even though governments provide several incentives like education loans and scholarships for higher education, these all measures are insufficient to target all the poorer students.

    On the other hand, though the rich can afford such huge amounts of tuition fees, they lack concrete educational skills that are necessary to crack universities entrance exams. Nowadays, every university conduct admission tests which list questions from the secondary syllabus to shortlist candidates from the massive influx of students. While pursuing secondary education, the rich students often spend their valuable time in useless activities such as parties and clubs and give negligible time to their studies. As a result, they always fail to clear such exams and cannot get admission in universities.

    In conclusion, I believe that higher education is accessible neither to the rich nor to the poor due to high fees and entrance exams.

    • ielts practice says:

      This is an okay essay. Seems band 7 to me. How did you arrive at the conclusion that all rich students lack academic skills?

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