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In many countries nowadays, young single people no longer stay with their parents until they are

married, but leave to study or work somewhere else.


Do you think this trend has more advantages or disadvantages?
Here are some tips to help with this kind of question:
1. Notice that the question includes the words "do you think". This tells you that you need to give
your own opinion, as well as discussing both the advantages and disadvantages. Put your
opinion in the introduction and conclusion, and don't be afraid to use the word "I" (e.g. I believe)
to make it clear what you think.
2. You won't be able to write a good essay if you don't plan your ideas first. Spend 2-3 minutes
noting down ideas for the advantages of leaving home before marriage, then 2-3 minutes writing
notes for the disadvantages. Then decide what your opinion is, according to whether you have
more advantages or disadvantages.
3. If you can't think of any ideas, start by thinking of some examples e.g. Did you or any of your
friends leave home before getting married? Do you know anyone who lived with their parents until
they got married? What were the reasons and benefits or drawbacks of each decision?
Paragraph coherence: linking words
This lesson looks at one simple way to write a good paragraph for IELTS. And the key is simplicity: its as
easy as 1 2 3. When you have a list of points to make, Id suggest the best way to do it is to count the
points. Firstly, I give you some useful language. Secondly, I explain why it is useful. Finally, I show you
how to use it in two sample paragraphs from recent IELTS papers.
Useful linking language
Here is some suggested language:
one point/argument/reason/idea is
an additional point/argument/reason/idea is
another point/argument/reason/idea is
again,
firstly/secondly/thirdly
finally
Isnt this too simple? Shouldnt I use moreover and furthermore
The short answer to that is no. Perhaps the best reason to give is that this is the language I use myself
and I like to teach the language I use. I dont use moreover and furthermore The second reason is that

in the IELTS exam you want to keep your structure language simple. Its a sad truth that too many
candidates make mistakes in using moreover and furthermore.
I want to emphasise that one real benefit to using this method is that it makes writing easier. Once you
have written: One reason, you know that you are going to begin your next sentence Another reason.
Your writing automatically becomes more coherent.
How should I use it?
You need to be slightly careful here as it wont always be appropriate. It works best when you have to
write a paragraph and you have several ideas which you cant develop over a sentence. What it does is
make your writing more coherent and thats 25% of your marks.
Three examples
This technique works particularly well in questions such as this recent IELTS writing topic where you are
asked to discuss a plural topic: responsibilities.
Some people think that paying taxes is enough to contribute to society. Others argue that being a citizen
involves more responsibilities. What is your opinion?
If you are a strong candidate, you might choose to write a 4 paragraph essay with one paragraph
discussing paying tax and the other content paragraph discussing other responsibilities. Here is my
version:
There are, however, various other responsibilities we owe our society. One is that young people should
either do military service or some community work before starting their careers. A second is that in some
countries citizens do not just have the right to vote but they are in fact obliged to vote by law. Again, it is
arguable that the better off within a society ought to provide for the underprivileged through charity work.
This technique is also of use in essays where you are asked to discuss the advantages and
disadvantages of an issue. Here is another recent IELTS topic:
Some people working abroad bring their family to live with them for a period of time. Do you think it has
more advantages or disadvantages?
Here is my sample paragraph discussing the disadvantages:
Perhaps the most significant disadvantage is cost. Typically, it will be more expensive for people working
abroad to support their families in the host country where the cost of living is higher. Another
disadvantage is that the childrens education may be disrupted if they need to go to school in another
country. Thirdly, it may be extremely difficult for the family to integrate if they are unable to speak the
language.
The third example comes from my sample essay on compulsory education.
There are, however, equally strong arguments against making school compulsory until the age of 18. One
such argument is that not everyone is academic and that some people benefit more from vocational

training. For instance, someone who wants to become a car mechanic may find better training and more
satisfaction in an apprentice scheme. Another related argument is that, in todays world, young people
are maturing ever more quickly and are able to make their own life decisions by the age of 16.
Notes
1.

Each of my paragraphs starts with a short simple sentence: this is an extremely good habit to get
into.

2.

You may find yourself repeating certain words such as argument: this is in fact a good thing as it
helps the coherence of your writing. It is not always correct to vary your vocabulary.

3.

There is some flexibility in how you can combine these connecting words

4.

Each of paragraphs contains 2/3 points. Id suggest that that is about right if you are going to try
this technique.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Part 9: Advantages and Disadvantages
bi vit ny, chng ta s cng trao i v dng bi c bn th ba ca Writing IELTS:
Advantages and Disadvanntages. Mnh s a ra dn (essay plan) v nhng tips cn thit vit
dng bi ny nh. Cc on vn trong bi mnh u ly t ngun ting Anh ng tin cy, nn cc
bn yn tm nh.
Mt bi tham kho:
In order to solve traffic problems, governments should tax private car owners heavily and use the
money to improve public transportation.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a solution?
Essay Plan (Structure)
1. Introduction:
- Introducing the topic.
- Giving background information and Narrowing the topic.
- Giving your point of view and mentioning the main areas covered in the essay.
hiu r hn cu trc ca m bi, bn c th xem ti bi vit ny ca mnh
2. Body
- Paragraph 1: Advantages.
- Paragraph 2: Disadvantages.
Cc bn hy dnh cho Advantages mt on ring v Disadvantages cng vy. Vi mi on bn nn
a ra 3 supporting ideas, ngha l s c 3 mt mnh v 3 mt yu. Tuy nhin, 2 supporting ideas cho
mi on cng l nu bn vit di v su.

Lu : Cc bn nn vit 2 on vi dung lng tng i bng nhau, khng nn thin lch (bias) i vi
advantages v disadvantages. Gim kho s khng nh gi cao nu bn ch dnh 50 t cho
advantages v n 150 t cho disadvantages.
chuyn on, bn nn s dng linh hot mt s lin t hoc mu cu mang ngha nhng b/i
lp. Di y l mt s mu cu v d m bn c th p dng cho mi bi.
Despite these attractions, however, some drawbacks do exist
Although has many advantages, there still exist some noteworthy disadvantages.
However, is not completely beneficial; there are some negative aspects that should be taken
into consideration.
3. Conclusion:
Restate in summary the main advantages and disadvantages of the topic being detailed.
Nu bi khng yu cu a ra kin c nhn (vn ny tt hay xu, li hay hi) th bn khng phi
v khng nn a vo kin ca mnh. Sau khi c xong phn thn bi da vo nhng l l, dn chng
m bn a ra, ngi c phi hnh thnh mt quan im ring cho mnh. Bn nn khng nh li vn
c c mt tt v mt xu, v tc ng ca n ph thuc ch yu vo cch chng ta khai thc m thi.
Vi du: To conclude, this solution is worth considering to improve the current situation, but there
are advantages and disadvantages of introducing such a policy.
Language: Phrases to list advantages or disadvantages:
Advantages:
- The first/main/greatest/most important advantage of . is .
- One/another/an additional advantage of . is .
- What makes stand out/important/ is
- One/Another point in favor of . is .
Ch : dng bi Academic Writing, bn nn trnh nhng t informal nh Pros/Cons, plus points/minus
points, pluses/minuses, Tuy nhin nhng t ny c th vn dng linh hot trong phn thi ni Speaking
v Speaking part 1 rt informal, part 2 neutral/semiformal, cn part 3 th tng i formal. Nn nhng t
informal c th vn dng part 1 v part 2.
Advantages and Disadvantages 1
Disadvantages
- The first/main/greatest/ most serious disadvantage of . is .
- One/another/an additional disadvantage of . is .
- Another negative aspect of . is .
Sample:
In order to solve traffic problems, governments should tax private car owners heavily and use the money
to improve public transportation. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a solution?
Advantages and Disadvantages 2

(Topic) Traffic problems in many cities around the world are becoming more and more serious.
(Background Information) One possible solution to this problem is to impose heavy taxes on car drivers
and use this money to make public transport better. (Mentioning the areas covered in the body) Such a
measure has its own advantages and disadvantages.
(Topic sentence 1) It is clear that imposing heavy taxes on car drivers has some noteworthy positive
effects. (Supporting idea 1) One of the first benefits of such a measure is that the heavy taxes would
discourage car owners from using their cars because it would become very expensive to drive. This would
mean that they would begin to make use of public transport instead, thus reducing traffic problems and
pollution as well. (Supporting idea 2) Another benefit would be that much more use would be made of
public transport if it were improved. It is often the case that public transport in cities is very poor. For
example, we often see old buses and trains that people would rather not use. High taxes could generate
enough money to make the necessary changes.
(Topic sentence 2) Nevertheless, there are drawbacks to such a solution. (Supporting idea 1) First and
foremost, this might be a heavy burden on the car drivers. At present, taxes are already high for a lot of
people, and so further taxes would only mean less money at the end of the month for most people who
may have no choice but to drive every day. (Supporting idea 2) In addition, this type of tax would likely to
be set at a fixed amount. This would mean that it would hit those with less money harder, whilst the rich
could likely afford it. It is therefore not a fair tax.
To conclude, this solution is worth considering to improve the current situation, but there are advantages
and disadvantages of introducing such a policy.
(277 words)
Mt s im mnh cn lu ca bi vit:
- Cu trc ca bi vit rt r rng. Cc bn theo di phn mnh ch thch trong bi vit.
- Cch dng Cautious Language: Ngn ng c s dng rt thn trng. Cautious language l nhng
t, cu trc a ra kin rt thn trng. y, bi yu cu bn a ra nhng Advantages v
Disadvantages ca mt Solution, m Solution dng gi nh, ngha l iu cha xy ra (theo
bi). V vy, bn khng th dng ngn ng mt cch qu chc chn nh: must, have to, its someones
responsiblity, someone has to be responsible for something,
Thay vo , Cautious language dng cch chia ca cu iu kin loi 2. y, bn s dng cu trc
nh: should/could/may/might + verb. Trong bi vit, mnh gch chn di Cautious Language.
- Synonyms: T ng ngha cng c s dng rt linh hot. V d: measure/solution,
disadvantages/drawbacks,

Both Sides Essay

In an IELTS both sides and opinion essay you need to discuss each side of an argument using the third
person (people believe). You should save your opinion and use the first person (I think) in the final
paragraph.A typical question is shown below:
Technology allows food to be produced in greater quantities and at lower prices. Some people
believe this is a positive development, while others feel that the change is harmful.
Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
Key question words

1.

Discuss the advantages and


disadvantages

2.

Discuss the advantages and


disadvantages and give your
own opinion

3.

Discuss both sides of the


argument

4.

Discuss both sides of the


argument and then give your
own opinion

Example question

Computers are being used more


and more in education. Some
people say that learning online is
the best way to learn, whereas
some claim that it is still better to
attend a class with a teacher.
Discuss both sides of this
argument and then give your own
opinion.

Introduction

Rephrase question

One of the highly controversial issues today relates


to whether to study online or in a classroom. This
essay examines this question from both points of

This essay discusses [both sides


+ opinion]

Body

Side 1 advantages

view and then I will give my own perspective on the


matter.

Numerous merits can be attributed to the use of


computers in learning.

Side 2 advantages

Note: keep your own self I think The value of teachers in education shouldnt be
and opinion out of the body. It is overlooked.
only about what people in
general may think.
Final paragraph

Opinion

In my opinion, it can be effective to learn both over


the internet and in a classroom with a teacher. I
believe that diligent students will do both to gain

State that both are


important/have merits

the merits that each mode of teaching provides.


However, if I had to pick one, I would choose to

State which one is more

study with a teacher, because computers are no

important/better

substitute for a teachers ability to explain things


deeply and give feedback to stimulate learning.

Questions:
1. Where does your opinion (I think or I believe.) go?
2. What words would you use to start the final paragraph of the both sides essay
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic .

Some people believe that there should be the death penalty for extremely serious crimes. Others
believe that it is not morally correct to kill criminals
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

You should write at least 250 words. You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and
support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence .

Steps in Planning your Essay


1.

Underline key vocabulary in the question and write words with the same or related meaning.

2.

Decide what kind of response is needed.

3.

Brainstorm key points for the answer.

4.

Decide on the structure of the essay.

Steps in writing your Essay


INTRODUCTION
1.Paraphrase the question
2. This essay discusses [SIDE A], and [SIDE B], and then I will give my own opinion.
BODY
3. Write topic sentences for each body paragraph
[SIDE A] On one side of the argument there are people who argue that..
[SIDE B] On the other hand,..
CONCLUSION
4. SIGNAL OPINION: In my opinion.
5. Usually you can say that both sides have merits
6. State which side is stronger and the reason

Structuring an IELTS essay using key vocabulary


How many words do you need to write in an IELTS essay?
The template below contains about 130!
One of the highly controversial issues today relates to whether A or B [A + B =both sides of the
argument]. . In this essay, I am going to examine this question from both points of view and
then give my own opinion on the matter.
On one side of the argument there are people who argue that the benefits of . considerably
outweigh its disadvantages. The main reason for believing this is that . It is also possible
to say that .One good illustration of this is .
On the other hand, it is also possible to make the opposing case. It is often argued that in fact ..
People often have this opinion because A second point is that ..A particularly good
example here is..
In my opinion, both arguments have their merits. On balance, however, I tend to believe that
..
The language from this template is used in the essay on the next page.

Some people believe that there should be the death penalty for extremely serious crimes. Others
believe that it is not morally correct to kill criminals
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

One of the most controversial issues today relates to whether to use capital punishment or not.In this
essay, I am going to examine this question from both points of view and then give my own perspective on
the matter.
On one side of the argument there are people who argue that the benefits of killing violent
criminalsconsiderably outweigh its disadvantages. The main reason for believing this is that the fear
of execution acts as a deterrent to commit serious crimes such as rape and murder . It is also
possible to say that the execution of a criminal may bring relief to the suffering victims. One good
illustration of this is when Sadam Hussein was executed. Many of the victims who were persecuted
under his rule expressed joy and relief when he was finally captured and killed.
On the other hand, it is also possible to make the opposing case. It is often argued that in
fact sentencing criminals to death is just committing another murder. People often have this opinion
because they think that it is immoral to take another persons life, no matter what the reason is. A
second point is that many religions are opposed to any form of murder. A particularly good example
here is from the bible, which lists killing another person as one of the Ten Commandments that
should not be broken.
In my opinion, both arguments have their merits. On balance, however, I tend to believe that capital
punishment is justified in cases of extreme crime and that deterring violent crime is more
important than taking the moral high ground espoused in the bible.

IELTS WRITING TASK 2: ADVANTAGES / DISADVANTAGES


When asked to discuss advantages and disadvantages (or benefits and drawbacks) in IELTS Writing Task
2, follow the following structure to organize your essays:
You can use this four-paragraph framework with most Task 2 essays. From this list of possible question
wordings, can you choose which other questions you can use this structure with?

There are several different types of Task 2 questions that can all be answered using the 4-paragraph
structure.
Here are the different kinds of questions:
1. Agree or Disagree
Ex. Some people think that scientists experimenting with animals in a laboratory is the only way we can
guarantee new products will be safe for human use. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this
opinion?
(See example); (See another example)
2. Advantages/Benefits outweigh Disadvantages/Drawbacks
Ex. In some countries, governments are encouraging industries and businesses to move to regional
areas outside the big cities. Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?
3. Discuss two views plus your opinion
Ex. Some people say children no longer need to develop handwriting skills. Others believe that
handwriting is still important. Discuss both these views and give your opinion.
(See an example); (See another example)

4. Discuss two views only (no opinion)


Ex. Many people believe that an effective public transport system is a key component of a modern city.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of public transport.
(See related post)
5. Causes/Problem and Solution
Ex. Crime rates tend to be higher in cities than in smaller towns. Explain some possible reasons for this
problem and suggest some solutions.
(See related post)
6. Two questions/ two-part questions
Ex. To some people studying the past has little value in the modern world. Why do you think it is
important to do so? What will be the effect if children are not taught history?
7. Opinion
Ex. Research indicates that the characteristics we are born with have much more influence on our
personality and development than other experiences we may have in life. Which do you consider to be
the major influence?
Regardless of what they are asking you to write about, they can all be answered with two main body
paragraphs (plus introduction and conclusion paragraphs). Go through each question and brainstorm you
ideas and see how you would divide and organize your answer.
Ill write more about each type of question and more on the sample questions later.

Cch lm IELTS Writing task 2: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages and Disadvantages l 1 trong 4 dng bi c bn trong IELTS Writing task 2, nu c


nhng u im v nhc im ca 1 xu hng, hay 1 vn no . Bi vit ny s hng dn bn
cch lm dng bi ny sao cho hiu qu ch trong 40 pht.
I. Cu trc: Tng t nh Argument Essay, dng bi ny bn cng phi hon thnh y 3 phn
1. M bi:
- a ch m bi yu cu
- Cc ch lin quan n ch chnh
- a ra 1 cch khi qut v nhng u im v nhc im ca vn .

2. Thn bi: c 2 on vn vi di tng i ng u. Vi mi on nn ly v d bi lun tr


nn thuyt phc hn.
u im (Advantages)
Nhc im (Disadvantages)
3. Kt bi:
Nu bi khng yu cu a ra kin c nhn (vn ny tt hay xu, li hay hi) th bn khng phi
v khng nn a vo kin ca mnh. Bn hy nh rng, sau khi c xong phn thn bi da vo
nhng l l, dn chng m bn a ra, ngi c phi hnh thnh 1 quan im ring cho mnh. Bn
nn khng nh li vn c c mt tt v mt xu, v tc ng ca n ph thuc ch yu vo cch
chng ta khai thc.
II. Cc t vng/ cu trc din t ng ngha t Advantages and Disadvantages
1. Advantages:
- The first/main/greatest/most important advantage of . is .
- One/another/an additional advantage of . is .
- What makes stand out/important/ is
- One/Another point in favor of . is .
- Another benefit of
2. Disadvantages:
- The first/main/greatest/ most serious disadvantage of . is .
- One/another/an additional disadvantage of . is .
- Another negative aspect of . is .
- Another drawback of

As an example, here is the IELTS essay topic that you are required to write about:
Many young people today leave their own countries to work abroad. Discuss the advantages and
disadvantages of working abroad and give your own opinion.
The first thing to do when considering your response is to underline the keywords in the sentence. What
areas should you focus on?

Many young people today leave their own countries to work abroad. Discuss
the advantages and disadvantages of working abroadand give your own opinion.
Incorporate your own experience. Think about why you are taking the IELTS exam; do you want to go
abroad (to leave your own country) to work or study? What are the advantages for you in going abroad,
and are there any disadvantages? What might happen while you are in a foreign country? Make some
notes under the headings Advantages and Disadvantages. These will help when you come to write your
essay.
Which style is appropriate, formal or informal? The IELTS exam tests students abilities to deal with
advanced level material and academictexts. A formal writing style is, therefore, essential.
The essay will have at least four paragraphs and you need to understand how to move smoothly from one
paragraph to the next. Basically, each time you begin a new topic you start a new paragraph. If you are
writing about different times, you begin a new paragraph when the timeyou are writing about changes.
The outline or plan for this essay could look like this:
Paragraph 1: Introduction
Paragraph 2: Advantages for young people working abroad
Paragraph 3: Disadvantages for young people working abroad
Paragraph 4: Conclusion in which you sum up and give your own opinion
Introduction: Paragraph 1
In the Introduction you use the same key words that are in the rubric (the question). You can paraphrase
them, or simply change a few words and the word order. For example, you might begin like this:
It is now fairly common for young people to leave their own countries in order to find work abroad.
This is stating the topic of the essay and it is the topic sentence for this paragraph. You should continue
to point out that there are advantages and disadvantages in this situation:
As with most important decisions, there are both advantages and disadvantages in the choice that is
made.
So, these two sentences introduce the topic of the essay and are all you have to write. The introduction
doesnt have to be long.
It is now fairly common for young people to leave their own countries in order to find work abroad. As with
most important decisions, there are both advantages and disadvantages in the choice that is made.
Paragraph 2: Advantages
What advantages did you think of? You may have thought about money. There is a strong chance that a
young person who migrates is hoping to secure better paid employment. Furthermore, many migrants to

the UK and US want to help out their families by sending remittances (money sent from abroad), thereby
taking advantage of working in a country with a strong currency.
Financial reasons are perhaps the most significant when deciding to work in a foreign country. But what
other reasons motivate young people to leave their own countries?
It is often said that travelbroadens the mind as you meet people from a culture which is different to your
own. This is a point that can easily be expanded on. Think of your own experiences.
So here are two points for a young person to leave his or her own country and go to work abroad.
You should begin paragraph 2 with a topic sentence (i.e. talk about advantages) and then expand on it
with concrete examples. Using a topic sentence keeps you focused on what should be included in the
paragraph.
Topic sentence: There are several advantages of moving to another country to work.
Give one advantage, followed by a second (and third if you wish). So you could write something like this:
The financial aspect to migrating might well be the most important. A young person who lives in a stilldeveloping country can earn more if he or she works in a country with an advanced economy. Currencies
in such countries tend to be stronger than in the migrants homeland and so money can be sent back to
families in the form of remittances. Theses will enable the family to have a better standard of living.
A second advantage to working abroad is that one gets to meet new people and make new friends from
different cultures. This can be exciting and it will broaden ones horizons and outlook.
You might want to continue this line of argument and say that when you meet people from different
cultures you can become more tolerant and understanding of people from cultures other than your own.
Other lines of thought could also be included. A young person will gain work experience and learn new
skills, which will be useful if they decide to return to their homeland. Moreover, they will (probably) have
learned a new language and become proficient in its use, which will also benefit them later in life.
Paragraph 3: Disadvantages
In this paragraph you should mention the advantages you have listed in paragraph 2 and say why there
could be drawbacks to each of them.
If we first consider the financial aspects of working abroad, the disadvantages are that the cost of living
might be much higher than expected. That would mean that there would be little money to send back
home and this disappointment might lead to feelings of regret and guilt about having left the family. There
will be taxes to pay and social security too, which may not have been taken into consideration.
Accommodation costs could also be much higher than expected.
Moving to a different country can also cause culture shock. After an initial period of excitement, the young
migrant might be left with the impression that everything is strange, alien and unpleasant.

Neither is there any guarantee that the migrant will be accepted by the host country. Sadly, many people
resent migrants, who are accused of taking jobs, pushing up rents and undermining the native culture.
Now you have to write a topic sentence for this third (or fourth) paragraph.
However, there could be disadvantages for a young person who decides to work abroad.
Continue to mention what these disadvantages are:First of all a young person might find that although wages are higher than in their own country, so is the
cost of living. It might, therefore, be difficult to make ends meet. This might mean that no (or very little)
money can be sent home, and this might lead to feelings of regret and guilt at having left.
Secondly, while it may be that at first a young person might be excited about being in a foreign country,
ultimately he or she might suffer from culture shock, which can be extremely unpleasant. The person
might wish to return to their own country but perhaps this is financially impossible. Homesickness is a
very common feeling.
These negative feelings might also occur if the young person meets people, perhaps colleagues, who are
racist and resent foreigners. Although people are generally tolerant, some people are not.
Note: To make ends meet is an idiom and is used to mean that you earn and spend equal amounts of
money, so that you dont get into debt.
Conclusion
Now you have to sum up what you have written and give your opinion. Do you think that the advantages
outweigh the disadvantages?
Do you remember what we did in the first paragraph? We used some of the words from the rubric and we
will do this again in the conclusion in the topic sentence.
There are both advantages and disadvantages for young people who work abroad.
Now you give your opinion:However, I believe that the advantages by far outweigh the disadvantages, as the experience a young
person gains from working abroad and becoming independent will be invaluable.
This is a positive opinion, stating that there are more advantages than disadvantages and it gives a new
reason for believing this experience and becoming independent.
Now here is the opposite opinion which would come after the topic sentence:
I personally believe that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Young people who have never left
their families before might well suffer from homesickness, and if they encounter difficulties while in the
foreign country this could lead to a state of despair. I think young people should try to work in their
homeland and stay close to their families.