Positive or Negative Development: IELTS Model Essay

An IELTS model essay for positive or negative development questions. It is common in IELTS writing task 2 to be asked to choose either something is a positive or negative development/trend. Your task is to answer the question in the introduction and explain your answer in the body paragraphs.

These instructions are asking for your opinion so it is important that you give it clearly. If you fail to present a position of your own (a view point), you will have failed to complete the task and that will affect your score.

IELTS Positive Negative Essay Question

Nowadays, more people are choosing to socialise online rather than face to face. Is this a positive or negative development?

IELTS Model Essay: Positive or Negative Development?

An increasing number of people meet and talk to their friends online instead of in person. In my opinion, this is a negative development which can lead to isolation, potentially harmful situations and also problems later on in life.

One serious problem that can arise from people socialising online is that it can lead to isolation. Before the internet, people would frequently go out to meet friends, for example in cafes, bars or restaurants, whereas now people prefer to stay at home alone, chatting online. As a result, people are starting to spend the majority of their time alone at home in their room without meeting others. Isolation of this kind is not healthy and can sometimes lead to depression and other issues.

Another issue is that meeting people online can be risky. In other words, people can assume fake identities online as well as hide their true characteristics. This is particularly concerning for teenagers who are impressionable and can easily be led into dangerous situations. Furthermore, as this interaction is online, parents have no way of monitoring it and protecting their children.

Finally, socialising online can end in difficulties years later as conversations and shared photos that had been forgotten reappear. This situation is currently critical for many people, again especially for teenagers who do not think carefully before posting online. That is to say, information which is put online can remain there forever and while people may share intimate communications with close friends, these words can then resurface later on leading to much embarrassment.

In conclusion, although it has become more popular for people to socialise through the internet, it has brought about too many problems for this to be considered a positive trend.

Examiner’s Comments: This essay provides a clear answer to the essay question. The position is clearly presented in the introduction and also explained and supported throughout the essay. Linking devices are well used and ideas are organised logically. Language is flexible and accurate. This would reach band 9. (Word count = 286)

More IELTS Model Essays:

IELTS Agree Disagree Essay (Opinion Essay)

IELTS Discussion Essay

IELTS Direct Question Essay 

IELTS Solution Essay

All IELTS Model Essays, Tips & Free Videos for Task 2


  1. Muneeb Uddin Karim says

    Dear Liz,
    Thank you for your outstanding Tips and Tricks.
    I have taken CD-IELTS today. I feel that it went good.
    In writing Task-II, the Question was:
    In some societies, fashion is more and more changing many people’s choice.
    Why is this?
    Do you think it is a negative or positive development?

    I planned it in the following way.

    Intro=Background statement+ reason+my opinion
    BP1= Reasons (Why?)
    BP2= ideas supporting my points-(negative opinion)
    Conclusion= restatement of background and reasons along with my opinion.
    (272 words)

    Now I just want to know, what do you think? Was my approach right?
    Thanks in Advance
    Best Regards

    • All sounds fine. However, Task Response is more than just a brief outline of ideas. It’s about how you write topic sentences, how you explain yourself, how you connect ideas to the many task to make them 100% relevant. Good luck with your results 🙂

  2. Dear Liz,

    Your samples are really helpful and thanks to your work, I find it more easier from now.

    Thank you.

  3. Hmm, is it really correct sample? I mean there is no opinion or view written. What do you think? If I am wrong, please let me know why. And also I should mention that I am not professional like you 🙂

    • I’m a bit confused by your comment. The opinion is presented in the introduction: In my opinion, this is a negative development which can lead to isolation, potentially harmful situations and also problems later on in life. It is then explained in the body paragraphs. The thesis statement of the introduction always presents the opinion if the instructions ask for it.

  4. We should try to use “phrasal verb” in writing or not?

    • You should use appropriate language and that might include phrasal verbs.

      • Dear Liz,
        I am a big fan of you and I appreciate your lessons and blog. Unfortunately, when I read your model essay about positive and negative developments I saw in the conclusion paragraph there is a big mistake because at the beginning you supported it is a negative development but later at the end, you said that is a positive trend. So, please read the essay again and correct it otherwise it could be confusing for us.

        All the best for your future…

        • There is no error. The introduction and conclusion match You’ll need to review your understanding of this phrase in the conclusion “it has brought about too many problems for this to be considered a positive trend.”. It means – this cannot be positive because there are too many problems.

          • I am really sorry, that was my mistake because I couldn’t understand the inner meaning of this phrase. I am extremely sorry, I shouldn’t say that way before a clear review. Anyway, I wish you good luck and want more lessons from you…

            All the best

  5. Rupesh Rajali says

    Dear mam,
    “Discuss it’s positive or negative sides”. In this types of question, is it mandatory to write our opinion? e.g. In my opinion………………..

    And should we discuss only one side or we have to discuss its both side? Plz mam guide me how to write this types of question.Thanks❤️

    • I have never seen such instructions. You either get “discuss both sides” or “Is this a positive or negative development”. It isn’t actually possible in English to have “Discuss its X or Y” – it should be “and” when you have “Discuss it’s …”.

  6. Plz mam tell me that i have discuss both postive and negative in the essay in which or was given if this will be wrong or not as i have attempted it partially

    • It is completely fine to have a partial approach – present both sides with your opinion clearly favouring one side.

  7. Dear liz,
    In your above example task 2 can we write negative in para 2 and positive in para 2 or we have to justify any one of it in a complete essay.
    Thank u

    • I’m not sure why you would put negative first. You should keep a logical order when it comes to paragraphs. The examiner should never feel confused about the order.

  8. Hi Liz,
    firstly, thank you so much for sharing your expertise and knowledge freely.
    my question is: some teachers categorize Task 2 questions into only 4 primary types,
    the so called “Opinion” / “Discussion” / “Opinion-Discussion” / “Situational (Direct Question)”
    and then suggest paragraph and content planning based on those.
    For example, it is recommended to NOT discuss both views in the “Opinion” type, which includes
    what you’d usually call “positive or negative” questions as well as the plain
    “what is your opinion” questions, and so on.

    What is your take on this kind of classification? is it too broad? or just broad enough?
    (this might or might not be relevant, but I’m aiming to improve my band score from 7 to 8, so I tend
    to be extra vigilant when it comes to these types of guides/tips)

    • It makes no difference how a teacher categorises essays. The key aspect is if you feel fully prepared for all essay types. I break it down into five essay types, but within those five there are more variations. But again, there is no right or wrong – there is only full preparation or not enough preparation from a candidates perspective.

  9. Hi Liz,
    Please if you don’t mind, can you summarily help to suggest how to go about this kind of question if we meet it in the exam. It seems to be a bit confusing in the approach expected.

    “People born today can expect to live longer than people in the previous generation. What are some of the positive and negative implication of this phenomenon”

    • This is a simple advantage and disadvantage essay. It is asking for both sides = one body paragraph for each side.

  10. Mam my local teacher has taught me that positive negative and adv outweigh disadv essays can be written with same style.
    Is it a right approach?

    • Yes, it is possible to do that – it would be a partial agreement where you admit one side and favour the other.

      • Sorry, I forgot to mention what my teacher writes in the outline of positive negative essay—
        In this essay advantage outweigh disadvantage

        If it is still right then can a person score a 8 band with partial agreement?

        • You don’t get a particular band score because you chose a particular approach. Your score is based on other marking criteria. Even within Task Response it is about how you present ideas, how you use them, how you support them, much development you give them etc. Scores are not so simple to predict or estimate.

  11. Dear Liz, I want to say a big THANK YOU for all your work. Your website is really helpful .I followed your tips many times and the explanations you give is so easy to be understood by everyone (even for those who have poor english😉).Keep going and don’t listen to those persons who are too frustated to understand the actually meaning of this website.By the way, tomorrow I have the second atempt for the IELTS test.The last one was overall 7 ,but W=6😕.Hopefully this time I will take it with at least 6.5.😁Many thanks again and hope you are feeling better now.😘😘

    • Fingers crossed tomorrow!! Remember that you need to take time to plan your task 1 and task 2. Then writing will be easier. Also keep your eye on the clock so that you manage your time properly. See this page for last minute tips on each section of the test: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-exam-tips-on-the-day/.
      I’m really glad you found my site useful 🙂

  12. Hi Liz,

    Can we consider this kind of essay (Is this a positive or negative development) as an opinion essay when answering? I am asking just because I need to be clear on when planning this type of essay.

  13. Lovepreet singh says

    Hello mam
    Can i apply a balanced opinion approach to a negative or positive development essay
    Like you have done in the advanced video of the opinion essay

    Q- more and more measures to improve security in urban areas have been introduced in many countries because of the increased crime rate
    Is it a positive or negative development?

    Increasing level of crime rate have promoted authorities in many countries to strengthen their security through a variety of measures. While Some of these measures pose potential risk to individual privacy, I feel that their benefits to city residents and cities as a whole make these changes a positive development overall.

    BP1– POSITIVE EFFECTS lowering of crime rate
    Which has increased sense of safety
    Attract more investments

    BP2 NEGATIVE privacy intruded
    Agencies can access call details
    However this concern is undue, authorities have no self vested interest
    So chances of this is extremely low.

    In conclusion, although some of the security measures have been introduced infringe on people’s right to privacy, it is largely a positive development as the improved security makes city dwellers’ lives more secure and cities more desirable place to live, work and invest in.

    Could u please clear my doubt?
    Is this a right approach

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