IELTS Advantage Disadvantage Essays

3 Types of Advantage Disadvantage Essays

Not only are there 5 types of essay questions in academic IELTS but there are 3 types of Advantage Disadvantage essays, here are some examples below and ideas on how to approach them.

Example 1


One of the consequences of improved medical care is that people are
living longer and life expectancy is increasing.

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? 

Make sure you analyse the question well and then paraphrase it in the introduction. This kind of question asks about the advantages and disadvantages and an important word here is “outweigh“. The question asks if advantages are stronger than the disadvantages so you need to give your opinion here.

Some students just write about the advantages only but this is a wrong approach and you could lose marks. The essay needs to have balance. The first body paragraph could be about the upside and the second body paragraph can be about the downsides with your opinion throughout the whole essay.

 A lot of students fail to give their opinion in this type of essay, or maybe they just give their opinion briefly in the conclusion. If you only give an opinion in the conclusion you could lose marks.

Let’s Review

1. Analyse the question well then paraphrase it. Write your opinion in the thesis statement.
2. Make sure you state your opinion in the introduction, main body and also the conclusion.
3. Give specific examples throughout the essay but be careful of giving too much information. Try to keep it simple and do not overly complicate it.
4. Make sure the essay is balanced, not just writing about advantages only.

Here are 2 possible structures for this type of task:

Note: Structures are just guidelines to help you plan out your essay, there is no special magic structure that can get you a Band 7, there are many ways to structure an essay.


Example 2

Some people think that consumption tax on food items is a
good way to raise revenue for the government.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this policy

This type of essay does not ask for your opinion, it is more like a discussion essay so you need to write about pros and cons, you can see that the question does not ask: Do you think…? or Do you agree or disagree…? / What is your opinion ? So this is not asking a direct opinion.

First analyse the question and then paraphrase it. The essay needs to be well balanced just like in example 1 with explanations about how its an advantage or disadvantage. Don’t just talk about advantages, give both sides in the essay. The conclusion is just a summary of the points that you made in the body paragraphs.

Let’s Review

1. Analyse the question well then paraphrase it.
2. Give example of one or two advantages in main body paragraph 1, after that give one example of one or two disadvantages in main body paragraph 2.
3. Do not give your opinion because the question does not ask for it.
4. Give good examples throughout the essay but be careful of giving too much information. Try to keep it simple be careful about giving too many examples too.
5. Make sure the essay is balanced, not just writing about advantages only.

Here is a good structure for this type of task:

 


Example 3

These days with advances in technology more and
more people are working from home.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this and give your own opinion

This essay type is quite similar to example 1, here you must give your opinion and discuss the pros and cons, the main difference compared to example 1 is that it does not mention the word outweigh. The main thing to look out for is the words Discuss and Give your own opinion. Just like in example 1 you need to paraphrase the question, give a balanced approach in the main body paragraphs and give your opinion in the introduction and again in the conclusion.

The examiner needs to see your opinion early on in the essay.

 

Let’s Review

1. Analyse the question well then paraphrase it.
2. Give one example of the advantages in main body paragraph 1, after that give one example of the disadvantages in main body paragraph 2.
3. Make sure you state your opinion in the introduction, main body and the conclusion.
4. Give specific examples throughout the essay but be careful of giving too much information. Try to keep it simple.
5. Make sure the essay is balanced, not just writing about advantages only.


What structure should I use?

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Structures are just guidelines to help you plan out your essay, there is no special magic structure that can get you a high score. I recommend 2 body paragraphs for this kind of essay but you can use 3 main body paragraphs if you wish, no more than that.

In main body paragraph 1 you can write about an advantage and explain it further, always remember to give an example of the advantage. If possible write about the outcome of the advantage. Main body 2 is the same, write about one disadvantage with examples and details.

You must give your opinion in the introduction if the question asks for your opinion. You can also use the main body paragraphs to back up your opinion. You can rephrase your opinion in the first or second paragraph if you want.

The conclusion is also a good place to restate your opinion and summarise the examples you wrote about.

Key point to remember.
Do not give too many examples or you may go off track, stick to one advantage and one disadvantage and write about those. You haven’t got time to go into too much detail or into tangents, don’t try to impress the examiner with too much information.

Plan your essay well, set aside 10 minuts planning time, think of at least one supporting point for your topic sentence in each main body paragraph.

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