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 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
​What positions can you argue in your essay? Select them below.

Can you argue these positions?


​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. Use the full-screen button (top corner) and use your device horizontally if the screen is small.

Are these ideas relevant?



Vocabulary

​Let's look at some high level vocabulary for this task. Complete the exercise below. Use the full-screen function in the bottom corner of the exercise if you are on a mobile device (best viewed horizontally).



Essay Plan




Exercise 3

​A student has written an essay to answer the question we read in exercise 1. Organise the essay by selecting the sentences in order.
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 ​10 questions.

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/her 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.


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.

Use the structure and language you learned today in your essay. This will help you remember what you have studied in this lesson. If you want us to look at your writing and give you some feedback, post your essay in the community forums (make a new topic).

 This lesson is taken from our writing task 2 course (coming soon!). Check out our courses if you want to speed up your learning.