How to write an “Advantages vs disadvantages” IELTS task 2 essay…

Hello again, in this post and accompanying video I show you how to write an advantages vs disadvantages essay question. You can see the video below, and beneath that, you will find all the files you see in the video. As always, if you have any questions or requests for any tutorials, then write to me at kevin@prepareielts.com.

 

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages IELTS task 2 essay tutorial

In this tutorial we are going to look at the advs vs disadvs question type. However, you should note that there are three slightly different versions of this essay and they require a different approach accordingly.

Some essays might say something like the question below..

Due to technological advances, many people now have the opportunity to work remotely via the internet.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for people who do this.

Or

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Or

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and give your own opinion.

The first question only asks us to discuss the advs/disadvs…not to say which is better, or stronger, or whatever. So the structure for this essay would be relatively simple, more or less like the Discuss both views essay. Advs in paragraph 2, and disadvs in paragraph 3.

Introduction

Sentence 1- Paraphrase question

Sentence 2- Outline sentence
Paragraph 2: advantages

Sentence 3- Topic sentence (Advantage 1)

Sentence 4- Explain/expand on how this is an advantage

Sentence 5- Example
Paragraph 3: disadvantages

Sentence 6- Topic sentence (Disadvantage 1)

Sentence 7- Explain/expand on how this is a disadvantage

Sentence 8- Example
Conclusion

Sentence 9- restatement of main points
The second question asks us which is stronger, so for body paragraph two, you will need to have two reasons and examples (to show it is stronger whereas for paragraph 3 (the weaker one) you only need one reason and example. Depending of course on which side you think is stronger, or which side you think you can write more about. As I have mentioned before, the IELTS is not a truth test, so which ever you choose is the one you can think of reasons and examples for, not whether you believe it or not…

A structure for the second type might look like this
Introduction

Sentence 1: paraphrase question

Sentence 2: thesis: say which outweighs the other

Sentence 3: outline sentence
Paragraph 2: stronger side

Sentence 4: topic Sentence/main idea

Sentence 5: explain/expand on why it is strong

Sentence 6: example

Sentence 7: topic Sentence/main idea

Sentence 8: explain why it is strong

Sentence 9: example
Paragraph 3: weaker side

Sentence 10: topic Sentence

Sentence 11: explain/expand why it is not strong

Sentence 12: example
Conclusion

Sentence 13: summary of main points and restate position
For question three, we need to say more than what the advs/disadvs are, we also need to express a clear opinion. This structure requires an extra (short) paragraph to do this.

Introduction

Sentence 1: paraphrase question

Sentence 2: thesis statement (your opinion)

Sentence 3: outline sentence
Paragraph 2: advantages

Sentence 4: topic Sentence

Sentence 5: explain/expand..

Sentence 6: example
Paragraph 3: disadvantages

Sentence 7: topic sentence

Sentence 8: explain/expand

Sentence 9: example
Paragraph 4: opinion

Sentence 10: explain opinion

Sentence 11: expand/example
Conclusion

Sentence 12: summary of main points
So, let’s see some examples of this in action..

Essay 1

Due to technological advances, many people now have the opportunity to work remotely via the internet.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for people who do this.

Advances in technology such as the internet mean that many people are able to work away from the traditional office whether at home or abroad. This essay will argue that the main advantage is the freedom this way of working brings, while the main disadvantage is the increased need for self motivation.

Working at home or on a beach somewhere and being able to set their own working hours is undoubtedly a dream for many people. There are many workers around the world who would love to be free from having to live the daily grind of the 9-5 typical office life and the restrictions it brings. For example, a recent survey by the Confederation of Office Workers in the UK suggested that 85% of their members would take advantage of remote working if their company were to introduce it.

However, a major disadvantage is that working away from a structured environment, such as an office, a person might tend to waste time and procrastinate. Some people work best under supervision and being free from this might make it hard for them to get sufficiently motivated to perform their work efficiently and effectively. For example, a survey last year by Nomadlist.com showed that a lack of motivation was the number one problem for 90% of so-called “digital nomads” working remotely.

In conclusion, although working remotely may bring freedom to many and could well seem attractive to typical office workers, a possible drawback to this lack of supervision may be a tendency to procrastinate which may lead to inefficiency.

258 words

Ok, next essay….

Due to technological advances, many people now have the opportunity to work remotely via the internet.

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Advances in technology such as the internet mean that many people are able to work away from the traditional office whether at home or abroad. I firmly believe the advantages to this outweigh the disadvantages. This essay will show that having the freedom to choose your own hours and location of working clearly outweighs the main disadvantage which is a tendency to procrastinate.

Freedom is clearly the major plus point of remote working. As long as you get your work done, it doesn’t matter what hours you worked to achieve this. For example, research by the University of York showed that 85% of bosses had no preference as to their remote employees working hours, so long as their projects were completed on time and in budget. Additionally, being able to choose your working location is a significant benefit to remote workers. Given the choice, not many people would choose cold, rainy, England over an exotic beach location to work in. The website nomadlist.com reported that aside from cheapness, 95% of their subscribers said that the reason they became remote workers was so they could leave their home country and live abroad in a warmer climate.

However, the tendency to waste time and work inefficiently could well be a significant disadvantage to the freedoms mentioned above. Despite this, it could be argued that those who take this option must be resourceful and strong willed to leave their country for a new environment. In this case, their personal levels of motivation should be sufficient to ensure they stick to their work ethic.

In conclusion then, the advantages of personal freedom clearly outweigh the potential disadvantage of timewasting and ineffective working practices.

279 words

Last essay….

Due to technological advances, many people now have the opportunity to work remotely via the internet.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and give your own opinion.

Advances in technology such as the internet mean that many people are able to work away from the traditional office whether at home or abroad. This essay will argue that remote working is clearly beneficial in many cases. It will show how the main advantage is personal freedom, and will discuss how a possible downside is isolation and loneliness.

The main benefit of remote working is the ability to choose the times you work and the location you work from. If you can work from home in your pyjamas instead of getting up at dawn to spend an hour commuting to the office, then this is a clear advantage. For example, just in terms of time saving, if you get up at 6 to spend an hour driving to work and the same to come home, then by working at home you will have two extra hours at least a day to spend as you wish.

However, a significant disadvantage for some is the isolation of working at home. For many single people, most of their social contact with other people is at work, taking this away may well cause feelings of loneliness. A recent survey by the British Medical Council said that social isolation is the main cause of over 70 % of patients suffering depression.

Despite this potential drawback of loneliness, I believe that for most people who are well-balanced and aware of the possibilities of social isolation, the opportunities that remote working offers are clearly of major benefit.

In conclusion, as technology advances, traditional ways of working are changing, it is up to the individual to weigh the choice of freedom versus isolation that this brings and decide for themselves.

284 words

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