一般说来，雅思的开头段由三个要素构成：话题引入，重述题目观点，提出自己的观点。当然，根据不同题目要求或烤鸭的全文结构安排，在首段也可以不直接提出自己的观点，而是留到结论段。据此，很多老师为备考雅思的同学准备了模板套餐，包括引入话题的模板，比如“with the development of...”“nowadays there is a heated topic about...”等；重述题目观点的模板，比如“when it comes to...，many people believe...”“when asked about...，different people have different views...”，等等。这些模板有一个优势，那就是能让考生快速进入写作流程，不至于纠缠在开头耽误过多时间。但其问题也是明显的：陈词滥调，千篇一律，给“见多识广”考官的第一印象通常比较差。因此，老雅的观点是：对于写作目标在6分的烤鸭来说，正确使用这些开头段模板是有帮助的，但对于写作目标在7分或以上的烤鸭来说，则需要在这些模板基础上更进一步，体现出自己的写作个性来。
Some people believe there are intelligent life forms existing on other planets and it is better to send messages to them, but others think it is a bad idea because it is very dangerous to do this. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Nowadays, there is a heated topic about whether we should send messages to intelligent life on other plants. Some people believe that we should do that, but others suspect it is a bad idea.
Our imagination about beings on other planets has never stopped and reached its climax in such movie series like “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” in 1960s and 1970s. If other life forms do exist, an idea I strongly support, should we, as human beings on the Earth, try to reach out and communicate with them?
本题需要描写外星生命这个现象。学生开头段直截了当，首句提出问题，次句重述题目观点。这个开头段中规中矩，有模板痕迹，对原题的改造也显不够，缺乏个性，属于6分作文的开头段。与此相对照，老雅范文首句通过描述我们对外星人的想象而引出话题，并引用《星球大战》这样具体个性化的系列电影，然后提出是否应该与外星人联系这个问题，并把原文的send messages to them改造成为reach out and communicate with them。这个开头段就是高分节奏了。
Some people think they have right to use as much fresh water as they want, but others believe government should control the use of fresh water as it is limited resource. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
When it comes to the issue about the use of fresh water, some people argue that they are entitled to consume fresh water without limitation, but others believe that the use of fresh water should be controlled by governments strictly.
We all, humans and non-humans alike, need fresh water for our survival. The issue is that a lot of people always try to make a case for their wasteful use of fresh water, arguing that they have money, and more importantly right to buy and use as much fresh water as they want. Their constant rhetoric is something like, “So what? Don’t worry, for we have enough fresh water!”
本题需要描写人们对淡水使用的态度。学生习作使用了when it comes to the issue about/that...这个万能句型引入话题，随后对题目表达进行了适当改造（比如原文的they have right to use...被改为了they are entitled to consume...），因此，也可算比较成功的开头。但老雅范文无疑更具个性，而且不露痕迹地提出了人们浪费淡水的理由，即淡水足够多，用不尽。很自然地，接下去作文就该从不同方面论证淡水资源并非永不枯竭。以叙述的方式提出错误观点，然后进行批驳，比生硬地提出这些观点，更显生动性。当然，在这个地方，烤鸭需要具备较强的语言控制力，要尽量在一两句之间叙述出问题的核心所在，而不能用过长的篇幅，因为这毕竟只是作文的开头段。
More and more people buy and use their own car. Do you think the advantages of this trend for individuals outweigh its disadvantages for environment?
Just 50 years ago, to own a car was quite a luxury, but today, cars have found their way into many households. Statistics show in China alone, there are over 140 million cars running on road every day. While cars have brought about conveniences to their users, they have imposed great pressure on the environment.
本题需要描写的现象是越来越多的人拥有汽车。如果仅仅提出话题，势必就是Nowadays, an increasingly large number of people own their cars这样的句子。老雅范文则另辟蹊径，通过比较和引用数据来描写“越来越多的人拥有汽车”这个现象，随后提出这个现象既给使用者带来方便，但同时也给环境造成了巨大压力。引用具体数据来描写现象，比枯燥的模板更具个性。
City dwellers seldom socialize with their neighbors today and the sense of community has been lost. Why has this happened and how to solve this problem?
In the current era, there is a phenomenon that urban residents are not eager to communicate with their neighbors and they do not have a sense of community. This essay may examine the possible reasons and potential solutions to reversing this tendency.
Now we have numerous newspaper reports about a child being robbed without anybody offering to help him or a ninety-year-old poor woman dead at home for days without anybody knowing it. All these reports point to one key problem that face dwellers in cities, especially big cities: they seldom interact with their neighbors, much less to say they care about their neighbors and they feel lonely because they do not feel they belong to any community.
People believe that using mobile phones and computers to communicate makes us lose the ability to communicate with each other face to face. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
When it comes to the issue about the influence brought by the pervasive use of technologies, some people argue that devices like mobile phones and computers do not damage the ability to communicate face to face, but I cannot agree with this solution.
We live in a world where communication through modern technology such as smart phone and computer is so prevalent that it’s hard to go anywhere without seeing someone texting, emailing, writing blogs or tweeting. Of course the use of technology can be good. It provides us with faster, more efficient ways to communicate with others, but it can also harm our ability to communicate with people face to face.
本题需要描写人们越来越多地使用手机和电脑来交流这一现象。学生习作用“when it comes to the issue...”这个句型提出话题，随后重述题目观点，虽然直截了当，但也使作文失去个性。老雅范文则用texting、emailing、blogging、tweeting 等电子交流的具体方式来引出话题，使文章显得更加具体丰富，具有个性化，而不是那么干巴巴的了。