IELTS Advantage-Disadvantage Essay Type 2: A Proven Band 9 Strategy

Question

The personal information of many individuals is held by large internet companies and organisations.

Do you think the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Look at the question above, it says Do you think the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Sometimes, you might encounter different types of advantage-disadvantage essay questions. For instance, it could be like What are the advantages and disadvantages of internet? Or, it could also be like Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of internet and give your opinion. 

 

You can expect any of these above-stated question types. So, it is important to have a clear understanding about the standard essay structures for the different question types.

On this page, we are going to answer the most common question type Do you think the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Look at the question again carefully, it is asking for your opinion if you think the advantage side of it (The personal information of many individuals is held by large internet companies and organisations) is stronger than that of the disadvantage side, or the other way round. 

So, your probable positions could be any of these below:

  • The advantages of this trend (The personal information of many individuals is held by large internet companies and organisations) are stronger than the associated disadvantages.

  • The disadvantages of this trend (The personal information of many individuals is held by large internet companies and organisations) are stronger than the associated advantages.

  • It (The personal information of many individuals is held by large internet companies and organisations) has equally both advantages and disadvantages.

In case of this question (The personal information of many individuals is held by large internet companies and organisations. Do you think the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?), we have taken the position that this scenario has more disadvantages than the associated advantages. That means, the disadvantage side is stronger, it outweighs the advantage side.

Well, now let's write the essay.

 

You know we always recommend for writing four paragraphs for any IELTS Task 2 essays: 

  1. Introduction

  2. First body paragraph

  3. Second body paragraph

  4. Conclusion

However, regarding the resources in the paragraphs, we have demonstrated two different approaches. One we have termed 4/14, and the other one is being implemented step by step in this page. You can apply any of these answering strategies, both are proven effective approaches. However, you can use some of your other writing structures and strategies if you are comfortable with them. That means, any writing styles and strategies are absolutely fine as long as they are answering the question properly.

Now, let's jump on the writing part, following our strategy.

In the introduction paragraph, cover these three areas in order:

  • Paraphrase the question (it will let the examiner know that you have understood the question properly)

  • Answer the question in one sentence (it will give your clear and straight-forward answer to the question statement, so the examiner will not need to wait till the end of the essay to understand your position.)

  • Mention the key discussion points, the ones that you are going to use to develop your answer (it will tell the examiner the points that you are going to explain in the body paragraphs.)

If you cover all these areas in the introduction paragraph, it will give a good picture of the essay and make the examiner's task easier to following along the essay.

In the First body paragraph:

  • In the first sentence, state the key idea of the paragraph 

  • Explain the first sentence

  • Give details about the idea that you have stated in the previous two sentences

  • Provide an example supporting the discussion given in this paragraph, or write a paragraph-concluding sentence.

Follow the same strategy also for the second body paragraph

Afterwards, in the conclusion paragraph, you need to summarise the essay. Remember, do not bring any new idea in this part, simply restate the key points using the concluding tone and language. Just one long sentence is enough for this paragraph, however, you can write two sentence if you need, but try not to write more than that.

This is it, one of our suggested standard IELTS Task 2 writing structure. 

However, when you are answering the question like this: Do you think the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages? We suggest you write the stronger side in the second body paragraph, because when you will be concluding the essay, it will be well-aligned with your opinion. That means, if you think the disadvantage side is stronger (in other words, the disadvantage side outweighs the advantage side), use the first body paragraph for the advantage side and the second body paragraph for the disadvantage side. It will make your presentation more organised, because when you will be briefly restating your opinion in the conclusion along with the summary, it will be a good flow of the discussion. See the sample response below, notice how we have applied our above-discussed strategy in the essay.

Well, you know there are different structures to answer different types of questions. For instance, if you respond to an opinion essay question, definitely it needs to be written in a different way than that of a problem-solution essay question. Likewise, response to a single pie chart question will be surely different from the answer of a multiple graph question. Also, a map description will be obviously different from a data table discussion. When it comes to a letter writing, you must apply the appropriate formats for different types of informal, semi formal and formal letters. 

In addition to the proper writing structures, your choice of words is also very important, because if you cannot use right vocabulary and expressions, you will fail to convey your intended message to the examiner, and eventually will lose marks for Task Achievement, one of the four marking criteria.

Meanwhile, just answering the specific question and using contextual words are not enough, your response needs to be presented in such an organised way that it can give a coherent message to the examiner. To do this, you have to use cohesive devices very carefully, otherwise it will be like, you have constructed a strong building with the finest ingredients (bricks, cement, ceramics etc.), but the building is not liveable, as the doors, windows etc. are not placed properly.

Moreover, just giving an organised clear response is not enough, your sentences have to be free from grammatical errors, otherwise all the hard work will be of no avail. Therefore, if you want to secure a 7+ band score in IELTS Writing, you must confirm that at least 70% of your sentences are free from grammatical errors.

However, do not panic. You can do everything very beautifully. Our IELTS Essay Correction platform is tailored to take you through all the steps required to confirm your desired band score. Once you join our IELTS Writing Assessment Service, an assigned IELTS examiner will look into every word of your essay. He / she will give you a detailed feedback, based on each marking criterion individually. Please remember, our IELTS Essay Feedback Service is not just to finish the quota of your number of essays, rather it is prepared to take you step by step towards your dream score. However, if you have any queries, you can always type in the live chat box below. We are 24/7 available online for your support.

Question

The personal information of many individuals is held by large internet companies and organisations.

Do you think the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

A Band 9 Sample Essay Response

Nowadays, private information of many people is stored by different organizations, and big internet companies. There are both benefits and drawbacks of this new aspect of our daily life because, even though it is possible to find useful information easily in case of serious crimes, this comes at the cost of privacy. In my opinion, due to this latter aspect, the continuous acquisition of personal information by web-based companies and other organizations can be more disadvantageous than advantageous in the long run.

 

The tendency that today personal information is acquired by internet companies and some organizations can be useful in case of important investigations to find individuals who are guilty of serious crimes. Unfortunately, though many crimes are yet to be checked, law enforcement agencies and governments are putting a lot of effort into curbing them, and this causes social alarm by endangering life of many people. As a consequence, the possibility to acquire personal information by internet companies and other organizations especially in case of worrisome crimes, such as felonies related to terrorism or organized crime, can be very useful to end an investigation successfully. In addition, because this information can also be used to prevent these crimes, which can be of great advantage for society as a whole. 

 

On the contrary, the acquisition of private information by these web companies and organizations can seriously damage our life because in this manner we will not have privacy anymore. We will be influenced by them in deciding what kind of product to purchase, and many people will have access to this information to commit frauds against us. Furthermore, considering freedom as a consequence of respect of our rights and of our privacy, we can affirm that when there is a widespread knowledge of our personal information, we are not free anymore because some people can put in place coercive actions towards us for any reason. For example, the government of the German Democratic Republic, also called East Germany, knew the habits of about half of the population, and used this information to persecute individuals who had different political views.

 

In conclusion, although private information acquired by Internet companies and other organizations can be useful in case of criminal investigations, this comes at the cost of the loss of privacy. Weighing these two options, I believe that accessibility to personal information by these companies can damage our life in the long run.