IELTS Writing Task 2: How to Write an Advantage Disadvantage Essay

There are three types of Advantage Disadvantage questions for IELTS Writing task 2 exam. Each type of them needs a different approach to answer. Therefore, you need to know what are those types and how to identify them. Let's take a close look at the questions below and identify their differences

Question Type 1

"Recent advancement in communication technology is connecting people around the world.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being connected."

Question Type 1 simply gives a statement, and this question wants you to discuss the advantages and disadvantages based on that statement. Apart from the introduction and conclusion paragraphs, you can simply write one paragraph for discussing advantages and another paragraph for disadvantages. Remember, your role here is just to discuss the advantages and disadvantages. That means don't try to add your opinion or give emphasis on any logic.

Question Type 2

"Some argue that globalization is harming people more, rather than doing good. 

Do the advantages of globalization outweigh disadvantages?"

Question type 2 states an argument. There are both sides of this argument. You are asked to describe why one side is stronger than the other way around. Though it says "do the advantages of globalization outweigh disadvantages?", it doesn't mean that you have to prove why advantage side is stronger than disadvantage, you can do the opposite as well. Remember, examiners didn't ask for number of advantages or disadvantages. Rather they asked for the intensity. For example, there might have 5 moderate advantages against a very strong disadvantage. In that case the disadvantage might outweigh the advantages. 

Question Type 3

"Technological improvement is making our life more comfortable. Some people argue that this is a positive trend, while others say that it is leading to a negative consequence.

Discuss advantages and disadvantages and then give your opinion."

Question type 3 is just like attaching your opinion with the Question Type 1. Look at the Question Type 1 above at the top of this page, you were not asked to add your opinion, you just needed to explain the advantages and disadvantages. But here in case of Type 3, it wants you to write the advantages and disadvantages, and then also add your opinion.  However, your opinion doesn't have to support any of the stated sides, it could be something in between, or could be a unique point of view. It's all your opinion. 

Let's apply our step by step strategy to answer the question type 1 at first.

Advantage/Disadvantage: Type 1

Look at the Type 1 question below:

"Recent advancement in communication technology is connecting people all around the world.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for the connected people."

 

It simply gives a statement and it wants you to discuss the advantages and disadvantages based on that statement. Apart from the introduction and conclusion paragraphs, you can simply write one paragraph for discussing advantages and another paragraph for disadvantages. Remember, your role here is just to discuss the advantages and disadvantages. That means don't try to add your opinion or give emphasis on any logic.

Let's answer this question applying our Task 2 magic structure:

Pick the Key Points

You might have several points to talk about. But you cannot write all of them.  Examiners didn't ask for a list of features, rather they want you to explain only one or two major points.

Advantage

  • It is pretty easy to set up for worldwide live audio-visual communication.

Disadvantage

  • People are becoming easy prey to cyber-criminals.

We've chosen a couple of major advantages and disadvantages for the people who are connected by advanced communication technology. 

 

Previously, we discussed in detail how important it is to have a plan before starting the essay. If you haven't gone through that article on planning strategy for a band 9 essay, we recommend you check it now. It will give a big boost to the quality of your essay.

We are assuming that you have just gone through the planning process. Therefore, now we've both the discussion points and an organised plan with us. We're all set.

 

Before starting to write the essay, let's take a quick look at our magic structure:

Magic Structure: Advantage Disadvantage Essay Type 1

If you can write just 14 sentences spread over 4 paragraphs, your IELTS Task 2 essay is complete. It is that simple. This is our 4/14 essay technique. It's very easy to remember and execute in exam:

  1. Introduction

  2. Body Paragraph 1

  3. Body Paragraph 2

  4. Conclusion

On this page, we are going to show you step by step how to form this four paragraph essay.

 

However, we've developed a simple paragraphing style that will make your life easiest ever. We call it 3443 Approach. Remember it, practice it, apply it. It will make your IELTS Task 2 essay so easy that you can't even imagine.

What we mean by 3443:

  • 3 Sentences for Introduction Paragraph

  • 4 Sentences for Body Paragraph 1

  • 4 Sentences for Body Paragraph 2

  • 3 Sentences for Conclusion Paragraph

These are the 3+4+4+3 = 14 sentences. Quite simple. Now let's distribute these sentences among the 4 paragraphs.

However, there will be slight variations among the 3 different types of Advantage/Disadvantage essays. Our following structure applies to Type 1 Advantage/Disadvantage Essay.

 

Introduction 

Sentence 1: Paraphrase the question sentence.

Sentence 2: Write a thesis statement.

Sentence 3: Write an outline sentence.

Body Paragraph 1

Sentence 1: Topic Sentence 1(Advantage)

Sentence 2: Explain the Topic Sentence 1.

Sentence 3: Explain further the Topic Sentence 1.

Sentence 4: Give a supportive example for the discussion above.

Body Paragraph 2

Sentence 1: Topic Sentence 2(Disadvantage)

Sentence 2: Explain the Topic Sentence 2.

Sentence 3: Explain further the Topic Sentence 2.

Sentence 4: Give a supportive example for the discussion above.

Conclusion

Sentence 1: Summarize the body paragraph 1.

Sentence 2: Summarize the body paragraph 2.

Sentence 3: Give a final remark summarizing the both body paragraphs.

 

This is pretty simple to remember. By responding to the Type 1 question stated above, we are going to demonstrate you the beauty of this secret formula. 

Before jumping to the essay, we need to clarify one more thing. Looking at our  structure above, you might be wondering what is the Topic Sentence. Let's clarify it: 

Topic Sentence

Topic Sentence is pretty simple. Just state the major points that you want to discuss about. These points are the topic sentences. In this Type 1 Advantage/Disadvantage essay, the advantage point is the topic sentence for Body Paragraph 1, and the disadvantage point is the topic sentence for Body Paragraph 2. Look at the sentences below: 

  1. Currently, people across the world are at the best of enjoying the benefits of super fast communication.

  2. However, ubiquitous access to global online communication is also making people easy target for cyber criminals.

To put it simply, the sentence 1 will be the Topic Sentence of Body Paragraph 1, and the sentence 2 will be the Topic Sentence of Body Paragraph 2. 

After writing a topic sentence,

  • we need to explain it in the second sentence,

  • explain further in the 3rd sentence, and

  • in the 4th sentence, we must give an example supporting our discussion above.

This is how we will write each of the two body paragraphs for a Type 1 Advantage/Disadvantage Essay.

Let's apply our strategy step by step to answer the Type 1 Question

Introduction

This paragraph bears an overall picture of the essay, and conveys an impression to the examiner. Therefore, we suggest you write this paragraph such a way that examiners can get a clear preview of the essay. Take a look how we construct this paragraph:

Sentence 1: Paraphrase the question sentence.

Sentence 2: Write a thesis statement.

Sentence 3: Write an outline sentence.

(However, we have a complete guide on how to write a great introduction. We also have a full article regarding how to write a thesis statement. We suggest you check them now, if you haven't already.)

The 1st sentence is the paraphrase of the question statement. By reading this sentence, the examiner will get a perception whether you have properly understood the question or not.

 

Thesis statement is the 2nd sentence. This is the most important sentence in the whole essay. This sentence will demonstrate your reaction regarding the question statement, and it will also provide a concise summary of the essay.

 

Outlining sentence is the 3rd sentence of your introduction paragraph. This sentence will give a hint how the discussion is going to proceed, and how the following paragraphs are organized.

 

Responding to the Type 1 question stated above on this page, let's apply our strategy step by step for the introduction paragraph:

Paraphrasing the Question Sentence

"It's argued that with the advent of advanced communication technology, people across the world are getting more and more connected."

Thesis Statement

"Using this technology, they are enjoying real time audio-visual communication regardless the distance in between, though the serious crime like cyber bullying is also rising at an alarming rate." 

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Outline Sentence

"The following paragraphs are going to explain what are the major advantages and disadvantages people are facing due to a technology driven global connectivity."

The Complete Introduction

"It's argued that with the advent of advanced communication technology, people across the world are getting more and more connected. Using this technology, they are enjoying real time audio-visual communication regardless the distance in between, though the serious crime like cyber bullying is also rising at an alarming rate.The following paragraphs are going to explain what are the major advantages and disadvantages people are facing due to a technology driven global connectivity."

Body Paragraph 1(Advantage)

Remember, you are asked to write the essay with at least 250 words. Yes you can  

write a few more like 270 - 300, but you should never exceed 300. 

 

However, you might have a number of points to focus on. This is why you need to make a choice what to discuss, and what not to. Considering the word limit, we suggest you choose only one major advantage and one major disadvantage point. 

 

We recommend using Body Paragraph 1 for discussing the advantage and Body Paragraph 2 for the disadvantage point.

(We have a full article on our special strategy for IELTS Writing Task 2 body paragraphs. We suggest you check it now, if you haven't already.)

Addressing the Type 1 Advantage/Disadvantage Question, we're going to show you our special strategy to form the two body paragraphs.

Sentence 1: Topic Sentence 1(Advantage)

Sentence 2: Explain the Topic Sentence 1.

Sentence 3: Explain further the Topic Sentence 1.

Sentence 4: Give a supportive example for the discussion above.

Sentence 1 (Topic Sentence 1(Advantage))

"Currently, people across the world are at the best of enjoying the benefits of super fast communication."

Sentence 2 (Explain the Topic Sentence 1)

"Revolutionary innovation in communication technology has made it pretty handy for people to experience real-time audio-visual contact, regardless the distance in between."

Sentence 3 (Explain further the Topic Sentence 1)

"Now people can maintain efficient communication without enough physical movement, which eventually leads to more productivity and earning."

Sentence 4 (Give a supportive example for the discussion above)

"For instance, a study on 2000 British adults shows that they save around 7 hours each week using online communication technology like Internet Banking, voice messaging etc. which means the UK population as a whole can save 24 billion hours a year."

The Complete Body Paragraph 1

"Currently, people across the world are at the best of enjoying the benefits of super fast communication. Revolutionary innovation in communication technology has made it pretty handy for people to experience real-time audio-visual contact, regardless the distance in between. Now people can maintain efficient communication without enough physical involvement, which eventually leads to more productivity and income. For instance, a study on 2000 British adults shows that they save around 7 hours each week using online communication technology like Internet Banking, voice messaging etc. which means the UK population as a whole can save 24 billion hours a year."

Body Paragraph 2(Disadvantage)

We use this paragraph for discussing the disadvantage point. Let's apply our magic structure to form this paragraph:

Sentence 1: Topic Sentence 2 (Disadvantage)

Sentence 2: Explain the Topic Sentence 2.

Sentence 3: Explain further the Topic Sentence 2.

Sentence 4: Give a supportive example for the discussion above.

 

Sentence 1(Topic Sentence 2(Disadvantage))

"However, the ubiquitous advanced access to global communication is also making people an easy prey to dreadful online crimes."

Sentence 2(Explain the Topic Sentence 2)

"Cyber-bullying is one of them which are committed by using digital connection like internet, mobile phone and other electronic media."

Sentence 3(Explain further the Topic Sentence 2)

"Teenage children are the primary victims of this heinous cyber offence which can be in many forms, such as hurtful text messages, third party use of photos or videos without permission, and rumors using social media etc."

Sentence 4(Give a supportive example for the discussion above)

"Recently, Australian News Agency has reported that more than 750 Australian teens commit suicide each year because of cyber-bullying."

The Complete Body Paragraph 2

"However, the ubiquitous advanced access to global communication is also making people an easy prey to dreadful online crimes. Cyber-bullying is one of them which are committed by using digital connection like internet, mobile phone and other electronic media. Teenage children are the primary victims of this heinous cyber offence which can be in many forms, such as hurtful text messages, third party use of photos or videos without permission, and rumors using social media etc. Recently, Australian News Agency has reported that more than 750 Australian teens commit suicide each year because of cyber-bullying." 

Conclusion

You must let the examiner know your final say. Though we don't recommend writing a conclusion paragraph for an IELTS Task 1 essay, we strongly suggest you add a conclusion paragraph for a Task 2 essay. Remember, even if you fear running out of time, still you need to write at least one sentence as a conclusion paragraph. A conclusion paragraph is that much important for an IELTS Task 2 essay.

Write the conclusion paragraph in such a way that it answers the question clearly. And remember, the answer has to be completely based on the discussion above. That means never bring any new idea in a conclusion paragraph. Moreover, you should also try to avoid the vocabulary that you have already used in the essay. These are the basic requirements for your conclusion paragraph. 

 

Remember, you will lose marks if you fail to write a conclusion in an IELTS Task 2 essay. To put it simply, it resembles you worked all day together as a team, but at the end of the day, you just left workplace without saying 'bye' to anyone.

(We have a detailed guide on how to write a smart conclusion. We suggest you check this article now, if you haven't already.)

Addressing the Type 1 question stated above, let's apply our strategy for constructing a conclusion paragraph:

Sentence 1: Summarize the body paragraph 1.

Sentence 2: Summarize the body paragraph 2.

Sentence 3: Give a final remark summarizing the both body paragraphs.

Sentence 1 (Summarize the body paragraph 1)

"Over the time, the massive advancement of communication technology has brought an unprecedented efficiency in people's connectivity around the world."

Sentence 2 (Summarize the body paragraph 2)

"However, this revolutionary innovation bears some serious criticisms, specially when it causes horrible crimes like awful cyber-bullying which can lead up to demise of thousands of teenage children each year."

Sentence 3 (Give a final remark summarizing the both body paragraphs)

"Therefore, this groundbreaking improvement in communication has both pros and cons, and people are inevitably attached to this this in one way or another."

The Complete Conclusion

"Over the time, the massive advancement of communication technology has brought an unprecedented efficiency in people's connectivity around the world. However, this revolutionary innovation bears some serious criticisms, specially when it causes horrible crimes like awful cyber-bullying which can lead up to demise of thousands of teenage children each year. Therefore, this groundbreaking improvement in communication has both pros and cons, and people are inevitably attached to this in one way or another."

A Complete Response to the IELTS Task 2 Advantage/Disadvantage Question Type 1

It's argued that with the advent of advanced communication technology, people across the world are getting more and more connected. Using this technology, they are enjoying real time audio-visual communication regardless the distance in between, though the serious crime like cyber bullying is also rising at an alarming rate.The following paragraphs are going to explain what are the major advantages and disadvantages people are facing due to a technology driven global connectivity.

Currently, people across the world are at the best of enjoying the benefits of super fast communication. Revolutionary innovation in communication technology has made it pretty handy for people to experience real-time audio-visual contact, regardless the distance in between. Now people can maintain efficient communication without enough physical involvement, which eventually leads to more productivity and earning. For instance, a study on 2000 British adults shows that they save around 7 hours each week using online communication technology like Internet Banking, voice messaging etc. which means the UK population as a whole can save 24 billion hours a year.

However, the ubiquitous advanced access to global communication is also making people an easy prey to dreadful online crimes. Cyber-bullying is one of them which are committed by using digital connection like internet, mobile phone and other electronic media.  Teenage children are the primary victims of this heinous cyber offence which can be in many forms, such as hurtful text messages, third party use of photos or videos without permission, and rumors using social media etc. Recently, Australian News Agency has reported that more than 750 Australian teens commit suicide each year because of cyber-bullying.

Over the time, the massive advancement of communication technology has brought an unprecedented efficiency in people's connectivity around the world. However, this revolutionary innovation bears some serious criticisms, specially when it causes horrible crimes like awful cyber-bullying which can lead up to demise of thousands of teenage  children each year. Therefore, this groundbreaking improvement in communication has both pros and cons, and people are inevitably attached to this in one way or another."

Up next,

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Review the detailed discussion on all the types of IELTS Task 2 essays:

Don't forget to check the following resources as well: