IELTS WRITING TASK 2 [Discuss both views]: Effect Of Advertising

May 24, 2023 | IELTS Test

The mock essay below addresses the very common Discuss Both Views task type. As you read through, think about how it fully meets the task requirement by giving a clear opinion; outlining both views, as required, with a reasonably  well-balanced presentation in the body paragraphs, and how it maintains an advanced level of vocabulary with frequent higher-level, less common terms (assailed, acceptable, materialistic, valid, enhancing, forego, avarice, superficial, pervasive etc). 

Over-repetition of key terms is avoided, and there are a number of collocations (free market society, bulk purchase, social status, processed foods etc) which an examiner would note in awarding a high score. 

Note how there are specific examples in the body of the essay (ads for supermarket discount offers, young women not eating properly to save money for luxury products). 

There is also a variety of grammar forms, with frequent longer, complex sentences, but inclusion of some shorter, simple structures too, e.g I tend to favour the latter view; This can save a significant amount for the family budget.  


The essay is structured here in the common four-paragraph format as follows:

Introduction: paraphrasing the topic’s both views and giving a clear opinion 

1st Body Paragraph: conceding some validity in the first view

2nd Body Paragraph: focusing on the other opinion 

Conclusion: reinforcing the author’s opinion as stated in the Introduction 

The 3rd paragraph has a few more words than the 2nd, but this is reasonable where the writer favours the second view and naturally has more to say about it.

IELTS Practice Question

image of advertising boards in London

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Advertising is all around us in today’s world. Some people see this as  positive, because it gives us more choices as consumers. Others, however, say that it makes people selfish and wanting more and more products. 

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Mock IELTS Writing Task 2 Answer

We are constantly assailed by advertising, on television, in newspapers and magazines, on the street, on the Internet, and even in our apartment buildings. Is this acceptable in terms of giving us more options as consumers, or is it making many of us more self-centred and materialistic? I tend to favour the latter view. 

Undoubtedly, advertising does have a valid role. In a free market society, advertisements can provide useful information, and consumers generally want to feel that they are well-informed before they buy.  Advertising can alert us to new products, improvements in existing ones, or opportunities to get extra value for our money.  Ads for large supermarket chains, for example, can inform householders about sales or special discount offers for bulk purchase. This can save a significant amount for the family budget.

On the other hand, it is surely true that a noticeable segment of society tracks adverts principally in order to buy the latest products or services that they see as enhancing their social status. While most of us enjoy indulging ourselves with an occasional “luxury” treat, these optional purchases become a central focus of such people’s lives. There are reports of young women in China working as secretaries and clerks who forego eating sensibly and just subsist on low-nutrition processed foods such as instant noodles for up to six months so that they can save more of their modest salaries to buy the latest Gucci or Prada bag. This avarice usually ignores the effect some products may have on the environment, and there is scant regard for others. Such fashion followers are less likely to donate to charities or volunteer their time to help others.

To conclude, advertising has a valid informative function, but too often has negative effects in encouraging a superficial, thoughtless and grasping lifestyle. It is to some degree a pity that it has become so pervasive. 


(313 words)

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