Writing Task 2 | Essay Types Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

Advantages / Disadvantages essay questions are very common in the IELTS Writing Task 2 test. We are here to get you prepared!

In this free class you will:
  • analyse a question
  • analyse an example essay
  • plan an essay

Let’s get started.
 

Exercise 1

Read the following writing task 2 question.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
​Write about the following topic.

International tourism has brought enormous benefits to many places. At the same time, there is concern about its impact on local inhabitants and the environment.
Do the disadvantages of international tourism outweigh the advantages?

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

Write at least 250 words

​There are three possible positions you can argue in your essay. What are they? Select them below.

Can you argue these positions?

1. The disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
2. I don’t really know anything about this topic.
3. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
4. I used to work in a hotel and it was a good way to make money while I was studying.
5. I’m on the fence – I believe the advantages and disadvantages are equally balanced.
6. I’m on the fence because my teacher told me it’s always a good idea to say that.


​Exercise 2

​Many students include irrelevant ideas in their work. Irrelevant ideas are ideas not directly connected to the topic.

Decide which ideas are relevant (directly connected) to this essay task from the options below.

Are these ideas relevant?

1. Tourism creates a lot of jobs in local communities and that can really benefit the local population in a number of ways.
Relevant
Irrelevant
2. Having more local tourists is good because it means people will know their own country better.
Relevant
Irrelevant
3. If you don’t have insurance and something goes wrong it can cost you a lot of money in a foreign country.
Relevant
Irrelevant
4. Tourists often spend a lot of money on local souvenirs and in local restaurants.
Relevant
Irrelevant
5. Tourism often raises the price of property so that locals often can’t afford to live in the area any longer.
Relevant
Irrelevant
6. Both tourists and locals become more familiar with foreign cultures in tourist areas.
Relevant
Irrelevant
7. Tourists often book online these days.
Relevant
Irrelevant
8. As services and infrastructure are improved for tourists, they are also improved for locals.
Relevant
Irrelevant


Exercise 3

​A student has written an essay to answer the question we read in activity 1. Number the sentences to organise the essay.

Paragraph 1 | 2 Sentences

While questions have been raised regarding the negative impacts that accompany the growth in the travel sector, these definitely do not outweigh the associated benefits.

The travel industry has experienced a major boom over recent decades, which has helped some weaker nations to raise their failing economies.

Paragraph 2 | 6 Sentences

The entire Thai economy revolves around tourism and the country had been able to uplift its socio economic status through its flourishing hospitality sector.

The growth in the number of incoming tourists leads to innumerable prospects in terms of local entrepreneurship and employment.
The economic boost that accompanies a successful travel industry is quite well recognised and Thailand is the best example.
The national authorities, in order to ensure the safety of the international visitors provide better law and order enforcement, improved transportation and healthcare facilities, which in turn benefit the local population.
Egypt is another nation that is heavily dependent on its hospitality sector.
This is also associated with international investments and infrastructure development.

Paragraph 3 | 4 Sentences

In this context, it is worth mentioning that, by enforcing strict law and order and implementing strict legislation, governments can control most of these negative impacts of tourism.

The local population are also affected by the growth in property prices.
On the other hand, the rising influx of holidaymakers is associated with increased incidences of crimes and antisocial activities like drugs, human trafficking and gambling, which affect the values of the indigenous society.
Environmentalists are also concerned regarding environmental remodelling, that is associated with increased tourist activities in natural reserves.

Paragraph 4 | 2 Sentences

In conclusion, it can be said that, even though growth in the travel industry has accompanying negative social and environmental impacts, these do not outweigh the contributions made by this sector towards social development.

However, to be successful, the government must make sure that tourism development is regulated and eco-friendly and only then can it really benefit the local community.

The complete essay is written below.
View the Complete Essay

International tourism has brought enormous benefit to many places. At the same time, there is concern about its impact on local inhabitants and the environment.
Do the disadvantages of international tourism outweigh the advantages?

The travel industry has experienced a major boom over recent decades, which has helped some weaker nations to raise their failing economies. While questions have been raised regarding the negative impacts that accompany the growth in the travel sector, these definitely do not outweigh the associated benefits.

The economic boost that accompanies a successful travel industry is quite well recognised and Thailand is the best example. The entire Thai economy revolves around tourism and the country had been able to uplift its socio economic status through its flourishing hospitality sector.  Egypt is another nation that is heavily dependent on its hospitality sector. The growth in the number of incoming tourists leads to innumerable prospects in terms of local entrepreneurship and employment. This is also associated with international investments and infrastructure development. The national authorities, in order to ensure the safety of the international visitors provide better law and order enforcement, improved transportation and healthcare facilities, which in turn benefit the local population.

On the other hand, the rising influx of holidaymakers is associated with increased incidences of crimes and antisocial activities like drugs, human trafficking and gambling, which affect the values of the indigenous society. The local population are also affected by the growth in property prices. Environmentalists are also concerned regarding environmental remodelling, that is associated with increased tourist activities in natural reserves. In this context, it is worth mentioning that, by enforcing strict law and order and implementing strict legislation, governments can control most of these negative impacts of tourism.

In conclusion, it can be said that, even though growth in the travel industry has accompanying negative social and environmental impacts, these do not outweigh the contributions made by this sector towards social development. However, to be successful, the government must make sure that tourism development is regulated and eco-friendly and only then can it really benefit the local community.


Exercise 4

Analyse the text. Answer the following ​by clicking on an answer and then on a space.
2   ·  yes   ·  on the other hand   ·  2   ·  a suggestion   ·  financial and environmental   ·  Thailand and Egypt   ·  socio-economic   ·  disadvantages   ·  advantages  
Click or touch a word above
Introduction
1. How many sentences are there in the introduction?
2. Does the writer give his position (opinion) in the introduction?
Body Paragraph 1
3. Does this paragraph focus on advantages or disadvantages?
4. What countries does the writer give as examples?
5. What advantages are reported by the writer?
Body Paragraph 2
6. What discourse marker does the writer use to show a contrast with the last paragraph?
7. Does this paragraph focus on advantages or disadvantages?
8. What are the two types of disadvantage which are presented?
Conclusion
9. How many sentences are there in the conclusion?
10. What does the last sentences provide?

You can use this essay as a good model when you are trying to write an advantages/disadvantages essay.


Exercise 5

​The writer uses lots of interesting vocabulary to express his ideas. Find the following phrases in the text and guess the meaning from the context. 

Major boom
Travel sector
Economic boost
Hospitality sector
Heavily dependent
Increased incidences

Match the phrase and the meaning.

1. The tourism industry
2. The restaurant and hotel industry
3. Higher number of certain events
4. An adjective meaning difficult to survive without having
5. A big increase
6. An improvement in the amount of money made


Exercise 6

Write an answer to the following question.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic.

More and more people are travelling internationally for their holidays but it is expensive and bad for the environment.
Do the advantages of international travel for the individual outweigh the disadvantages?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words

​If you would like some free feedback, copy and paste your essay into the comments section and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

For more Writing Task 2 Lessons, visit our Writing Task 2 Lessons page.