Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

“Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?” is a common IELTS essay question in writing task 2 which many students struggle with. Below is an sample essay question to practice this type of essay and also some tips to help you.

Essay Question Sample

In recent years, more and more people are choosing to read e-books rather than paper books.

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Tips for Outweigh Essay Questions

To answer this type of IELTS essay question you must:

  1. brainstorm ideas supporting both sides first
  2. this question is asking for your opinion
  3. answer the question – do you think the advantages or the disadvantages are most important? Which one?
  4. put your answer to the question in the thesis statement in your introduction
    • you can use the word “outweigh” in your introduction if you want
    • or you can simply explain if there are more advantages or disadvantages in your opinion
    • avoid formulaic statements for your thesis statement – this means don’t use a memorised phrase
  5. have one body paragraph which gives details about the opposite side to your opinion
  6. have either one or two body paragraphs which give details of the side you chose to support
  7. re-state your opinion in the conclusion using different language

Be Careful

  • The “outweigh” essay question is not exactly the same as the Advantages and Disadvantages essay question.
  • This type of question is very different from the “positive or negative” essay question.

Post your essay in the comments box below for other students to comment on and so you can compare with others.

Recommended for Writing Task 2


  1. Harry Nguyen says

    A government’s role is only to provide defense capability and urban infrastructures, such as roads, water, and power. All other services, such as education, health, and social security, should be provided by private groups or individuals in the community. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

    It is true that protecting national security and maintaining the inviolate territory from other countries as well as furnishing the essential facilities including water and energy are an authority’s responsibility. I, however, completely agree with those who believe that the government should also supply the fields, namely curriculum, the healthcare, and the community welfare system, instead of organizations, individuals in the society.

    To begin with, obviously, a state’s role is the macroscopic management, including enacting feasible policies and investing the national budget in the areas that initially serve benefits of the public. The education system that plays an important role in paving the way for the development of a country, would reap certain benefits of such policies, especially the government assists to build new schools and pays the wage for teachers, and forecast the manpower demand of the community. Some studies showed that associations tend to allocate their capital for the services such as vocational schools and language centers rather than for the science-related occupations because of the shorter payback on their investment and the lower the risks. Therefore, letting these companies provide the curriculum, is likely to create more disadvantages than the advantages.

    In addition, perhaps, it seems to me that the idea, allowing individuals and personal organizations supply the health and social security area may be impossible for this service requires the great fund with a long-term period and the huge human resources.

    Besides, the unequal competitive and exclusiveness also might stem from companies owning the health care and welfare field. In recent researches indicated that the expense of basic medical examination, the expenditure for insurance packages, and the price of medicine in some developed countries in which there are a variety of hospitals operated by private associations are higher than those in developing nations. Consequently, a number of poor cannot afford to pay the medical consultation and treatment expenses, which means the distance among strata in the society could be widened, the community, thus, would fail to thrive.

    In conclusion, the concept that organizations and individuals furnishing the social services, education area, and the health-related and welfare filed in particular, is taken into consideration. However, I concur that the government should shoulder this mission.

    • Try to aim for 300 words or under rather than over 360 words. You won’t get a higher score because your essay is longer. In fact, you open yourself up to more errors and more possibility of a less focused essay. Also ensure that body paragraphs are equally developed.

  2. is the ” do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages” the same as ” discuss the advantages and the disadvantages” ? and thankyou in advance

    • The discuss instructions ask you to present both. The “outweigh” instructions are asking you to evaluate – too choose. The latter requires an opinion, the former does not.

  3. In last few years, many people have started preferring e-books over paper books. In my opinion, I think there are more advantages of choosing e-books compared to any drawbacks it may cause.
    Admittedly, there are some minor disadvantages of using e-books. Firstly, reading books on electronic devices for long hours may affect eyes and as a result, it may cause fatigue or lead to weak eye sights. Normally, people like to complete their books as soon as they start reading them, and focusing on a screen for an extended period of time can put a strain on their eyes. For example, one recent research has found that two in ten people who regularly read on mobile devices wear eyeglasses. Secondly, since mobile phones and tablets have limited battery capacity, they can only be used for a certain number of hours, and as soon as the battery runs out, they need to be recharged in order to be used again. This can be frustrating for those who read books on portable devices while travelling if there is no charging facility nearby.
    Nevertheless, despite the disadvantages above, I think people can benefit more from choosing e-books to read. One of the major advantages of using electronic books is the instant access to an online library that contains millions of books, which can be downloaded to electronic devices such as mobile phones in a matter of few minutes. As many people in today’s societies lead a busy life, they hardly get time for themselves, and going to a store to buy books can be time consuming and inefficient, given their busy schedules. Therefore, the majority of them find downloading e-books from the internet convenient. Another benefit of choosing e-books over paper ones is that they do not cover extra space or add additional weight especially when travelling. Generally, a plethora of adults like to read three to four books during travelling long distances and carrying several books around can be tiring and difficult to manage. In contrast, having multiple books in a single portable device will not only save space but it will considerably be easy to manage.
    In conclusion, time savings in buying e-books online and convenience while travelling far outweighs any of the drawbacks that may result from using digital books.

    • Zebiniso says

      Really great essay. I like it. Great.
      I found new ideas for my essays. It is really useful. Thanks.

  4. Learning a second language is becoming increasingly prevalent among schoolchildren. Some argue that this process should take place at primary school rather than secondary school. In my opinion, the benefits of introducing language lessons at primary education institutions far outweigh the drawbacks.

    It is admittedly true that schoolchildren already have many subjects that need to study when starting their education at school. This is because there are some more important classes, which broaden children’s horizon and help with their development. For example, learning mathematics at an early age may help students with their intellectual growth and improve their problem-solving skills. If a language class was incorporated into the curriculum, pupils might not be able to spend enough time learning essential subjects. As this example shows, adding extra lessons at primary school might be undesirable for a child’s development and growth.

    However, I believe that there are many advantages of learning a foreign language at an early age. The reason is that children often possess incredible linguistic and learning skills. In addition, children are proven to have better memory than adults by numerous studies. To illustrate this, unlike many educational institutions, a Danish primary school introduced English lessons for its students. Because they possessed the ability to speak English and have a higher proficiency of the language, pupils that graduated from this school were more likely to secure a job offer in the future than those from other educational institutions. Thus, learning a second language should not be postponed until secondary education because the knowledge of a foreign language can improve a child’s future career prospects significantly.

    In conclusion, it is certainly true that adding extra lessons, such as language classes, can take away time that could be spend on other essential subjects. However, in my opinion, the advantages of learning a foreign language far outweigh the disadvantages. This is because studying a second language as early as possible can increase the chance of employment in the future.

  5. Over the past few years, more people prefer to read e-books over paper books. In my opinion, this scenario has more demerits than advantages. Excessive indulgence in reading e-books can have detrimental effect on health, and it also reduces Social interaction.

    Spending multiple hours reading e-books over electronic devices such as Computers, Mobile phone or Tablets can cause adverse effect on health. The radiation emitted from these devices puts our eyes at immense stress, and it could damage or weaken our vision. Futhermore, incorrect reading posture may create tension at shoulder muscles causing headaches and neck pains. For instance, many individuals spend most of their time over computers either for their work reading emails or e-documents, online materials suffer from above mentioned issues at very early age. Secondly, excessive reading of e-books causes individuals to develop addiction to electronic gadgets and in-turn they tend to aloof themselves from others. Since they spend considerable amount of time over their devices, they develop a feeling of insecurity. Finally, ebooks are difficult to read and comprehend compared to hardcopy. With e-books, we cannot highlight or make notes of any important sections.

    Of course, people who choose to read e-book save time in purchasing the book. E-books are cheap and easily available compared to paper books. Most of the e-books can be readily purchased from publisher’s website or any online bookstores. We can have access to e-copy within few minutes of our online purchase. To add, e-books are also cheap since there are no printing and distribution cost. To illustrate, my uncle gifted me a hard copy of famous book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” that costed $24.99. The online version of same book costs $8.99. However, cost and time to acquire the book is not the deciding factors. People who chose paper books have more ease to read them without affecting their health and social relations.

    To conclude, there are many negative impacts on people’s health and life, who prefer to read more e-books. We should include more paper books in our reading habits to help mitigate the side-effects.


    A growing number of humans have been preferring to read e-books instead of paper books for the past few years. While reading books online have many advantages, it will have some drawbacks as well.

    One evident benefit that online books offer is that it saves a lot of time and effort. This means that going into a bookshop and search for the books is always time consuming and doesn’t guarantee the book’s availability. For example, a close relative of mine is a university research student and has completed his past assignments with the help of online books, blogs, and forums. Besides, another plus point is that a substantial amount of space can be saved by storing the books electronically in laptops and in mobile devices Of course, the shelves occupies a lot of space and maintaining the book shelf is also difficult. It is also flexible to carry a mobile to a remote location rather than carrying a paper book.

    On the other hand, reading online books can cause health issues. By continuously reading a lengthy book online, the rays emitting from the mobile or laptop can cause harm to human eye. In addition, laptops and mobiles requires continuous charging. Reading rhythm is broken if a mobile device is discharged. Online books has caused a profound impact on the libraries. Aptitude towards libraries has almost come to an end and a majority of people prefer to search their required material on the internet. However, we cannot rule out this fact that we may still find some older people around us who loves to sit in the libraries and read newspapers.

    In conclusion, as the Social Media has emerged as a strong alternative to Paper Media within the past decade and it is making its root stronger every day, it is most likely that future will become paper less and Online Culture will predominate.

    • Suhaib Khalid says

      Brother its a well written essay with a good combination of vocabulary and grammar. I got very useful ideas from it but problem is in conclusion you have not mentioned yours point of view regarding advantages or disadvantages. You have just enclosed it by telling future of the world . I thing it would be better if you add your suggestion also with it.

    • ‘A growing number of humans’ well, it doesn’t seem right to start that in the essay.(in my opinion) However,your essay is great.

  7. Hilal Uzun says

    Hi Liz! I am confused about the grammer rule of this sentence. Could you please correct me if I am wrong? For instance: ‘’A wide range of people say that…’’ if I use ‘a wide range of ‘ structure, do I need to use verb+s or the just the verb is okay?
    I mean which one is correct?
    -A wide range of people say that..
    -A wide range of people sayS that..
    thank you so much!

    • When you use such a quantifier after a plural noun, the verb will be third person plural – a large number of people say … – a great number of people say …. – a wide range of people say …

  8. Hi liz,
    when we face this type of advantage/disadvantage task (do the advantages outweigh the dis advantages?) could we bring two reasons for opposite stance in main paragraph 1 and two reasons for our stance in main paragraph 2 and mention that the advantages/disadvantages behind our stance are more important or vital so they outweigh the opposite side?
    In other words, is it wrong to mention same number of advantages/disadvantages for our stance and the opposite stance in this type of question?

    Thanks in advance,

  9. Hy Liz
    Please write a model essay on this type too
    It will be helpful
    Thanks in Advance❤

  10. Hi liz, this is Smruthi from kochi, India. Am giving test on 26th this month.

    These days, increasingly people prefer to use electronic books instead of printed books, for reading. In my opinion, this tendency has more advantages when compared to the disadvantages.

    Decline of the print media, is a serious disadvantage related to the reduced usage of paper books. Hence, this would result in the closure of libraries, which has been one the most significant part of human life during many phases. Libraries, contain precious and valuable records of numerous domains such as, historical, cultural, religious, scientific, literary, mathematical and so on, which would be lost if not used and managed properly.

    However, there are several advantages for the growing trend of reading and studying through e-books rather than the paper books. Firstly, it is the most convenient method of reading as electronic books are easy to carry while travelling and do not have much weight which are some of the highlights of this advanced technology.
    Secondly, easy access to any topics under the earth at any time with the help of internet and the inexpensive purchase of any books online, are some other advantages of great paramount. Any books to be read can be downloaded within seconds and also be shared among friends, which is a great positivity about the new trend among people. Apart from that, it is not required to carry heavy books like the earlier days, specially which is an inconvenience while travelling, and whole content of a book may be viewed in a small device such as, the mobile or the tablet.

    In conclusion, it is the advantages that outweigh the disadvantages when the growing trend of reading e-books, instead of printed books, is taken into consideration. In my opinion, eventhough reduced access to libraries might lead to decline of the print media, but the advanced technology is highly advantegous that it has become the current trend among many.

    Words 297

  11. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for supporting us with IELT. I purchased your advanced lessons. they are of great benefit for me. they open my eyes on very critical points. I have one question so far and hope you find the time and patience to answer it.
    Regarding the adv outweigh disadvantages alternative model.
    your sample mentions in the first paragraph ‘despite the drawbacks below I believe the benefits from children doing work experience are extremely useful for their future.
    in the second paragraph, you write about the few drawbacks that might appear.
    However, my question is, when we agree the adv outweigh the disadvantages can we organise our essay as follows, ???
    Introduction with a clear opinion that adv outweigh the disadvantages
    Body paragraph one discuss some drawbacks that might appear, ‘ Admittedly, there are some drawbacks’
    Body paragraph two, with the advantages ‘ despite the drawbacks above I believe the benefits are extremely useful’
    As if we reverse the two paragraphs.
    Thank you very much for your extreme efforts in helping us. I did the test many times in the past my last attempt was L7 R8 S8 W6 still trying to improve my writing and looking forward to hearing your valuable advice.

    • It’s up to you how you organise your essay. Just make sure it’s logical and not confusing. For example, stick to the order you present in your introduction. Think about what the reader is expecting. However, having clear signposts such as those you suggest is a great way to make things really clear – it all helps towards your score for Coherence & Cohesion.

  12. Justine Nicolas Bautista says

    Hi liz, i just took my ielts today. My question is outweigh.
    I have a question, i stated in my intro that the benefits does not outweigh the drawbacks. However, in the conclusion, i wasnt able to restate it, but i explained 1 benefit and 2 disadvantages on my conclusion making it clear that i am more on the disadvantage side but i did not literally restate outweigh. Would that be okay?

  13. Hi ms liz, im cycy from the philippines and i would like to ask a favor if you could check my task 2 essay if it is enough to get a good score. Thank you so much and God bless.

    Books are considered as one of our sources of information. Recently, most individuals prefer to acquire information through the use of e-books rather than paperbound.

    There are broad of array of reasons why the use of internet-based books becomes more trendy than traditional ones. One of them is accessibility. Thanks to the internet, we can easily obtain all the books that we need without having a single sweat. E-books has become much available that it can easily bring forth all the latest editions from news to educational books in an upmost comfort. With this growing trend, people can do more things without the need to visit any libraries. People can now have more available time to do other things and it comes in handy especially to those men and women who have limited time because of work. It also opens great opportunity to writers both professionals and aspiring authors who publish and share their works so that other people would enjoy reading and also to gain avid readers and followers around the globe.

    The drawbacks of using this growing trend is that people become too lazy since searching for wanted books is as easy as preparing a cup of tea. Moreover, there are malicious individuals whos main reason of using e-books is to steal especially to unprotected internet site by means of illegal hacking and frauds. Plagiarism is also one of the major concerns of our recent authors that are quite hard to irradicate due to easy access of these available books in the internet world.

    Despite of the these disadvantages, there are still more people, both readers and writers prefer of using internet based books. Nowadays, work and personal demands has given us time almost nothing to spare and so, using e-books gives more advantages. Furthermore, there are internet sites that protects the rights of authors and purchasers from the dangers of internet frauds ang crackers.

    In conclusion, people become more practical and much wiser of using internet based books. And so, the advantages of using this trend outweighs the disadvatages.

  14. Hi Liz,

    I’m from India. I want to purchase your Advanced Learning Videos but the payment Amount is in Dollars. I need to know, if i can subscribe to your paid lectures?

  15. Hello liz,
    How tougy will i be marked if an essay questions says go you agree with adv being more than dis adv and i answered with an dis adv out weigh dis adv rather than an opinion essay structure?

    • I do not understand your question. This is not an opinion essay. It is an adv outweigh disadv essay which requires you to give your opinion. I teach each essay type separately because they are not completely the same.

  16. Karam Botrous says

    I hope you can comment on this different essay
    Essay Question:
    More People decided to have children in their later age than in the past. Why?
    Do advantages this outweigh disadvantages?

    Nowadays, newly married couples prefer to have children after many years of their marriage which is completely different than people in the past. Moreover, parents in the past prefer to have many children compared to recent ones. So, I will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of having babies in later age and, Do parents aware that disadvantages is more than benefits.

    Recently, People think that having children in later age will give parents high advantages for many reasons. Firstly, people in late thirtieth have more life experience than of younger age. So, they can give this life knowledge to their toddlers. Secondly, It thought that children of of older parents always have higher economical life than of younger ones, as a result these children can start their life with less problems.

    Beside the benefits, there are drawbacks affect the relation between parent and children because of the age difference. Today, life style changes very fast compared to past which lead to difference in mentality. Although, older people can give larger experience to their children, they see life in older fashion not like their children which in turn can’t handle every problem faces his child. As well as, older parents are less energetic than younger ones, children need highly active parent to can play and tech them sports they are like.

    In conclusion, Having children in later age can positively affect the children and increase their life patterns and negatively affect them by different way of thinking. So, having children in earlier age is much more better than older age for both children and parents.

  17. *writing a title for the essay & subtitle for body paragraphs *
    Is it essential?

  18. Anne-Liis says

    Hi Liz!
    Thanks for all the excellent webpage!
    I have a question too. The essay question is the following: Both governments and individuals are spending vast amounts of money on protecting animals and their habitat. This money could be better spent dealing with fundamental issues in society as poverty and health care. To what extent do you agree?

    I prefer to write one-sided essay as it is easier to my mind. But the question is: is it ok to write 2 body paragraphs of reasons why animals and their habitats should be protected and not mention the poverty and health care part at all or is it a mistake and I should add a 3rd paragraph which discusses why additional money should not be diverted to poverty and health care?

    Thanks for you answer

    • You can’t ignore part of the essay question. This is a two issue question. Your opinion must relate to both issues. If you believe that money should be spent on animals and their habitat, you also do not believe this money should be re-directed to health care and poverty. That is your full opinion and it is one sided.

      • vikram chakor says

        hi liz ,
        Mam, I do have the same doubt, as you say that we need to accept a view and reject another view, so let’s take the above example. so mb1 will be the reason why it should be spent on protecting animals, so will our mb2 be about that I do not believe this money should be redirected to health care [won’t it be a discussion essay ] .
        can you please kindly elaborate with the above example.

        • A discussion essay would ask you to discuss both sides without bias: why people agree with protecting animals and why people agree with funding health care. Two sides, both explained why people support them. You are not supporting both sides. You are saying I agree with A and I don’t agree with B. It is your opinion. One you have a positive opinion for and the other you hold a negative opinion. If you are unable to see the difference, there is nothing more I can do to help you.

  19. prabhu subhash says

    if i was not able to understand the question correctly,what they are expecting then at that time what could i do ???
    how can i write that task??
    i am not that much good in english so according to my english how can i get good band in writing ???any tips???

    • IELTS is an English language test. You get a good score if your English is a good level. Addressing the task in writing task 2 is only 25% of your marks. The rest is about paragraphing, linking, vocab and grammar.

  20. Hi Liz
    I have a confusion in giving solutions to cause solution essays.. shall i write “these steps should be taken” or “we should take these steps” im actually confused in using “we” “us” “our” or shall i give solution generally?
    Please help i have exam tomorrow

    • Some teachers say not to use “we” or “us”, others say it’s ok. I choose the middle ground – use other phrases:
      One possible step towards solving this is ….
      The best solution is …
      One effective answer is to …

  21. Jaspreet says

    Hii Liz! I have a doubt. May I use “a good garden may have some weeds” when starting paragraph related to disadvantages.

  22. Sandeep Kumar says

    Few experts believe that it is better for to learn a foreign language at primary schooling rather than high school
    Do advantages outweigh disadvantages
    My answer to to this question has

    2 advantages and 1 strong disadvantages
    Which side should be my opinion?
    Advantages are
    1. Easy for child to learn a language at early age and makes him easier to learn communication skills
    2. As learning non native language makes individual to use more brain leading to improving his problem solving skills

    Demerits are
    Foreign language often harm mother tongue of individual when he learn this nonnative language at early age
    As child tend to mix and add loan words of other language into his native language when he speaks his mother tongue

    • The aim of this essay is to present your opinion. You MUST decide if the advantages are more important than the disadvantages or vice versa.

      • marwa elrayes says

        I am disappointed that you didn’t give me a feedback, although you already gave feedback for others who submitted after me.

        But thanks God, I have passed the exam with the score I want

        Thanks anyway!

        • Unfortunately, I can’t answer everyone due to the hundreds and thousands of students who contact me. Well done with your results 🙂

  23. Hi,
    I am Belinda from Ghana. I have my ielts exams next month(7th April). I’d appreciate it if i can get feedback on my essay below on the above topic.

    These days, a lot more people are are often using e-books rather than the traditional textbooks. This essay will outline why the use of internet based books is more beneficial compared to paper books.

    Over the years, paper books such as textbooks, journals, etc have been the source of information. Long hours are spent in libraries searching for books to complete assignments or to get term papers done. This can be very tedious and tiring. There are instances when there are limited numbers of a particular book. Hence, usage depends largely on its availability. This can cause delays and sometimes frustrations if deadlines are to to met. Another aspect of paper books is that, some of them tend to be big and very heavy. Thus, there is no ease of carrying them around.

    On the other hand,the internet has made e-books easily accessible. Internet based books can be safely downloaded anytime, anywhere by so many people at the same time without having to worry about library closing times or when the last user is returning the book. This can either be free or at a fee. Portable technological devices like laptops, tablets or mobile phones can be used to accommodate e-books conveniently. E-book users have the additional benefit of easily carrying it around. Again, e-books can be kept for as long as the user wants and sharing of information from internet based books is easily done. For instance, if there is a group assignment to be done, an e-book version of a textbook can be downloaded and circulated among members without physically meeting each other.

    In conclusion, i would like to say the benefits of e-books outweighs that of paper books. This is because e-books are readily available, easily accessible and convenient to carry about.

  24. Nowadays, larger number of people are preferring e-books instead of paper books. In my opinion, I agree because our preferences change with time, and technology is everywhere now.

    Due to the cheap prices of e-books, they might be absolutely the best choice for readers. Additionally, it is simply few clicks in no time and you can find the book you want from internet. Furthermore, keeping environment safe and clean require us to eliminate our usage of plastic covers, packaging, and non-recycled materials. Navigation, zooming, adding bookmarks, and highlighting favorite words, are so easy in electronic books.

    On the other hand, no one can deny how physical books are comfortable for eyes. for some people searching for books in libraries and bookstores, are fun. some books are treasure and worth thousands of dollars if founded. many readers love the touch, smell of old paper books, they even remember some events in their lives when reading their private books.

    Moreover, e-books may cause eye illness, especially when reading from tablets or mobiles with high brightness and with lights off. the darkness outside the screen causes eye to make extra efforts in order to see words. Additionally, non-licensed e-books are illegal and waste authors copyrights

    To sum up, reading paper books will never be obsolete but e-books readers will continue growing. As we are technology addicts, we will always look for less efforts and free ways to get the books we need.

  25. Hi Liz, may i ask, if my answer is the advantages outweigh the disadvantage, which side should i write first on the body paragraph? The side that i didn’t choose (disadvantages) or the side that i chose (advantages)?

    Kindly reply. Thanks and have a great day!

    • Follow the same order you presented in your introduction. The examiner is checking your logical order of information. Keep topics sentences written clearly so the reader knows which paragraph is which.

  26. Hi Liz,
    Please solve my confusion, the topic asked “are there more advantages than disadvantages of living in a house compared with living in an apartment?”
    What should be my strategy?
    adv of living in a house – BP1
    disadv of living in a house – BP2
    Please suggest .

    • This is not asking you to discuss. It is asking for your opinion. Are there more advs and less disadv or are there more disadv and less advs.

  27. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for all your tips and advices . I’d like to ask you if it’s alright to list just ONE disadvantage, eventhough the question clearly states disadvantageS (ie plural form).

    To illutrate :
    (in this case I’d like to say that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, therefore I’m implying that by putting TWO Advantages and only ONE Disadvantage):

    BP 1- Advantage 1 + Explanation
    BP 2- Advantage 2 + Explanation
    BP 3- Disadvantage + Explanation

    Would it be okay? Thank you in advance Liz 🙂

  28. I am struggling with this question and tmr is the due date pls help me

  29. Can someone please comment on my essay. I be really greatful as I’m aiming for band 7.

    Recently, majority of individuals are preferring to read books online rather than custom hand books. In my opinion, there are several advantage to reading books online as they are easily available as well as one can always look for the latest versions easily.

    There are few disadvantages to reading e-books instead of paper books. Firstly, many readers find it difficult to read for a long time on screen whereas, reading a book is more pleasurable experience as it is tangible and involves fligging through the pages which many readers find amusing. Moreover, they are portable and a person can easily carry them along anywhere.

    On the other hand, more and more people are opting to read books online due the many advantagess that out weight the disadvantages. To begin with, e-books are easily available anytime no matter how long ago they were published. As a result of advancement in the modern technologies, a mere touch can open up thousands of varieties to choose from and therefore lessened human efforts in search for the particular book.
    Furthermore, latest version of books can be viewed online easily anywhere in the world, unlike the paper books that require multiple months in publication and even more to get distributed. E- books don’t loose quality of the script over the period of time hence their material is everlasting.
    In conclusion, majority of pepole are opting to read e-books instead of paper books due to several advantages that outweigh the disadvantages of reading online including easy accessibility of books online along with the availability of latest modified versions at doorstep.

    • Martin Garcisto says

      Hi, I cannot find any major errors in your essay. However, you could improve on paraphrasing the statement “advantages that outweigh the disadvantages”. I think you could use, “there are more benefits than its drawbacks” or ‘there are more good things to consider than the negative ones it brings”. 🙂 Good luck on your exam

      • I really appreciate your correction and indeed I find it difficult to paraphrase…hope I would improve. Many thanks for your time:)

  30. Hi Liz,

    Would it be alright to add questions in your essay to prove your point? For example, with regards to nuclear technology maintaning world peace.

    I would really like to argue “How long could it maintain world peace before it destroys the world?”

    Thank you!

    • Your task is not to present questions but to present supporting arguments “It certainly would not be able to maintain world peace for long before it destroyed the world…”

  31. Hey Liz,
    What’s the difference between an outweigh type of essay and a disadvan/advan type of essay ?

    Thanks in advance .

  32. Hey LIZ I made a big mistake today. I forgot to put the disadvantages in the “do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?” Essay . I just kept discussing the advantages in the body paragraphs. How bad did I goof ?

    • It will affect your score for one of the four marking criteria which is called Task Response. TR counts for 25% of your writing task 2 marks. you’ll score lower in that area but you can hopefully pull your score up in the other criteria and in task 1. Fingers crossed 🙂

    • Hi Kaine. How was your score in this particular writing test? Did you manage to get above 7? pls reply

      • Hey! Yes I passed. I got 7 on the dot. Was really lucky. Maybe my paper 1 made up. Thanks. Goodluck with yours

    • I did that today as well.. I wrote three paragraphs on advantages ☹️☹️ Did you manage to get a 7?

      • Hey Natasha. Yes I got a 7 on the dot. I’m sure you’lo be fine *fingers crossed* . Please let me know how it goes. Goodluck

  33. I am very thankful to you. Your website is very helpful to me. Thank you so much.

  34. Manomano says

    Hi Liz,

    Just a quick question, if I completely agree that the disadvantages outweighs the advantages, do I still need to write the advantages or I could stay on one idea, which all about disadvantages?

    Thank you in advance!

  35. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for all your help. You have be amazing. I have my test tomorrow but i just came across this “outweigh” question.
    Kindly clarify how i should go about it. After my Introduction, do i give advantages of e-copy, which i think is more advantageous, then proceed to give disadvantages of paper copies?

    Help! I have a feeling it might just come up tomorrow.

    Thanks in advance.

    • You express your opinion – which are more important? If you think the ads are more important than the disadvs, then you explain this in your essay.

  36. Good Day!

    Regarding the question: “Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages”
    If, for example, my answer is that there are more advantages to this. Do I write the advantages in the body paragraph as an opinion format? Or do i just write my opinion statement on both the introduction and conclusion instead?

    • Your entire essay will show and explain why you think that the advantages are more important than the disadvantages.

  37. Muhammad Ali Farooq says

    Hi Liz,
    First of all,thankyou for your feedback.I took IELTS today and I didn’t much practice of writing.I just went through your tips about writing.Thankyou for that.
    My essay was “Some people believe that young students should be taught to put more effort and do better than others while some argue that everyone should work together for each other’s benefit”.
    Do the disadvantages of competition among students outweigh the advantages of working together?.
    I had no idea abot this type of question but I took it as opinon asking essay.
    I wrote in my introduction” I completely concur that pros of working in group are more than cons of it” (A thesis statement).Not exactly but it was something like that.
    Is it fine ?
    Then in 1st body paragraph I wrote the advantages of working together and gave two reasons with an example.After this,I wrote second paragraph with disadvantages of competition and working alone to excel than others and in the end I gave conclusion.Is it okay?
    I didn’t put the adv/disadv of both arguments but adv. of one and disadv. of other just to support my point of view in two separate paragraphs.
    Please reply briefly this is my first comment here and I am bit worried regarding this.

    • I think you’ve done very well if you hadn’t prepared for this question. Yes, it is asking for your opinion. It sounds like you’ve handled it just fine. Now try to relax and wait for your results. Let me know what happens – I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you 🙂

      • Muhammad Ali Farooq says

        For sure!
        There is another thing with respect to reading and listening.I wrote some answers like: “The pronghorns”,”attitude” and in other “The Royal Antelope”.
        Different answers with different capital letters.
        Is it fine? Thankyou Mam,once again.

  38. Hi Liz, quick question!
    If the question asks: “adv outweigh the disadv.”. Should I start the first BP with advantages (following the same order as it is in the statement) or should I always start with the opposite side of my opinion (regardless of the statement order)?

  39. Hi Liz! I’ll be taking my academic next week and this was a practice I did timing 40min for task2. I’d love to hear your opinion on weather I explored the disadvantages enough and how I did overall! [* I kept the typos for a real assessment ]

    “Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary school rather than secondary school. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?”
    Essay: It is expected in these days that by the end of secondary education years, students are familiar, wife not fluent, in another language. It is believed by many specialists in education that having an early start in learning can have a more positive outcome. By my own experience, I believe that being exposed to a second language from early childhood is essential.
    By starting e second language at first grade, children will get used, since day one, to having the subject and will know that it is as important as all the other subjects. Also, many agree that the earlier a person is exposed to new languages the easier it is to comprehend and speak. A clear example of that is children with parentes that come from different countries, they grow up in a bilingual environment, so they learn effortlessly.
    Nevertheless, these kids might not be interested in this language, which can be a challenge for teachers, who must create a inovative* and fun lessons. Another problem may be that parents also don’t have the knowledge to help with homework assingments*.
    On the other hand, if we think about students only getting in touch with this language later in life, this may result in slower process of learning and the scenario of less time throughout the years in school to get at least aqquainted* with the basics of the language.
    In conclusion, living in the 21st Century means having global connections. And the likelyhood* of using another language that is not your primary one is huge, especially for work and/or terciary* studies. Therefore, learning this skill as early as possible in school certainly has more benefits and facilitates ones possibilities.

    Thanks in advance!

    • I generally don’t give free feedback on essays. However, I’ll make a couple of points:
      1. “By my own experience” is not appropriate for an IELTS essay. It is informal. If you want to express your opinion, do it clearly – In my opinion.
      2. “kids” is informal vocabulary and not appropriate for IELTS. See this page:
      3. Your conclusion is about 50 words – much too long.
      You’ve got the potential to do well if you learn the right techniques and understand more about what is required and what is acceptable for an IELTS essay.

  40. Heyy lizz i want to ask u , you said previously that we shoud write in the body paragrapgh (1 para) explaining the oppsite side : actually am a little bit confused because it’s really like the advantages and disadvantages essay , can u tell me the diffrence between them so i can be aware while am writing.

    • The advantages and disadvantages does not require an opinion – you present both sides equally. The outweigh essay requires an opinion – which one is more important – you explain your view why A if more important than B

  41. Hello Liz,
    It seems that ”do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages” essay is exactly similar to the Advantage-Disadvantage essay seeking an opinion. Plz, guide me if I am wrong.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  42. Thank you for this free wonderful opportunity Liz.

  43. Hi Liz; here’s my essay to the above question about e-books

    There is an increasing number of people who prefer reading e-books over traditional paper copies. In my opinion, although there are some drawbacks to e-books, I believe that the advantages are far more significant than these disadvantages.

    Some people consider e-books to lack the traditional essence of an actual paper book. Owning a book is different to having a digital copy as some say that it gives the book more value. For instance, a book can be kept for life and borrowed to friends whereas an e-book could be accidentally deleted in seconds. Others argue against e-books as it is thought that reading on a bright screen for long periods of time can have damaging effects on the eyes, however paper books do not cause problems in the same way.

    In contrast e-books are believed to be far better than paper books according to some. They are easily accessible on many devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones which the majority of people own nowadays. In addition to this reference points within a particular book are found much more easily compared to flicking through pages of a paper copy which can be time-consuming and difficult. Furthermore, e-books saves people’s time by the lack of need to go to a library or book shop and can be accessed from home.

    It is a lot cheaper to buy an e-book than a traditional book, especially compared to the hardback versions which can be very expensive. Money is saved once more as there are no travel costs to gain access to an e-book, but there is a paper book as mentioned before. As well as this, most e-books offer the first chapter for free to give the buyer a chance to see if the book is worth their money. On the other hand when buying traditional copies this option is not available and the reader must judge the book by it’s cover. Admittedly, there is a blurb on the back of paper books but this is not enough to see whether a book is worth the buy. Not to mention that the blurb is also available on all e-books too.

    In conclusion, I think that in regards to e-books there are more significant and numerous advantages compared to the fewer disadvantages. E-books are more efficient for today’s busy lifestlyle and moreover encourages reading in this modern setting, which I believe to be very important.

  44. People now have the freedom to work and live anywhere in the world due to the development of communication technology and transportation.
    Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

    The advancements in communication and modes of transport have resulted to more job opportunites abroad,which claimed by many to have more positive effects.However, others say that residing and working in other locations have only resulted in more negative effects.I believe that there are more benefits than drawbacks, if people start to accept work and live abroad.
    On the one hand, one major drawback of having a job in another country, is being away from the family members. To illustrate this, in the Philippines, the father of the family is sometimes forced to work overseas in order to provide better for his growing family.Eventhough, there are modernized applications like Skype, which let him see his relatives in the Philippines more often, still there is no physical contact between them. As a result, once the father goes home to his family, his children are sometimes less affectionate and behave awkwardly when he is around.
    On the other hand, one advantage why it is better to apply for an occupation abroad is for the reason that companies in other countries offer higher salaries. Let us take the nurses’ job as an example, in the Philippines, nurses working in non-government hospitals have a mere 200 USD wage per month, as compared to a 1200 USD monthly salary in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, more nurses take this opportunity to be employed in another country, to supply better for their family’s everyday needs.
    Another compelling reason why people move to abroad for work is because it gives them the opportunity to experience another culture. For instance, when people from Asia go to the West or Middle East for work, then this enriches their lives as they get to learn another languages, customs, and traditions. Thus, raising their cultural awareness and becoming less judgemental.
    In conclusion, although living and working abroad have some drawbacks, I believe that its advantages outweigh its disadvantages for the reasons that jobs overseas pay higher and enrich people’s lives.

  45. Dear Liz, i have got serious misunderstanding about structure of opinion essays. For example topic : More and more students choose to go to another country for their higher education . do you think the benefits outweigh the problems associated with it.
    So, at first i have to write introduction, then positive side and of cource negative one. After it comes to opinion right? what i have to write in opinion if i agree that advantages outnumber it’s disadvantages. So, please can you explain me the structure fully and more clearly about oinion part of this essay. Thanks in advance

  46. Previous was wrong
    Cutting-edge technologies have altered human’s activities entirely including reading book habit.Hence, it is common nowadays to see people reading books by means of electronical devices accordingly reading less by using tangible books. Nevertheless, I believe that popularising of e-books will have relatively more benefits than traditional paper books for several broad reasons.
    I’m not quite certain about thesis. What do you think Liz?

    • Amir Ansari says

      Dear NICK,
      You have put your idea/argument in the Intro para. Your opinion should go to the Body paras. Here, in intro para, you should not add or omit what is given by the IELTS test. You are required to paraphrase the statement first and then answer the question by reflecting on your opinions.

  47. Hi Liz,
    Just finished my official IELTS writing in the Philippines hours ago with a task 2 question:

    People now buy more consumer goods because of cheaper price tags.

    Do you think the advantages outweigh the Disadvantages?

    My point of attack was I wrote the introduction with my opinion that it does outweigh the drawbacks

    For body 1, I stated it enabled families to provide the needs of its members in terms of food and medicine + placed 1 disadvantage which was Quality which i pointed out as negligible.

    For body 2 I wrote diversity of products to choose from. Brings in good competition for the manufacturers, further decreasing the prices, resulting to more work opportunities. + stated a negative which was biases by the masses for products leading to downfall of smaller companies.

    Then i concluded with a brief summary of advantageous points as well as the negatives then reaffirmed that indeed the advantages are more important than the drawbacks

    Was my attack acceptable? i just read from this article that i shouldve written both sides in two separate body paragraphs.

    • *people now live more and more in societies with plenty of cheap consumer goods

      Do you think the advantage overweigh the disadvantages

    • ze bad guy says

      whats your score for u approach?

      • Unfortunately i got a 6.5 for it. After reflecting i found out I need to have 2 body for adv and 1 for disad for it to answer the question more

        • exactly. Having your advantages in 1 paragraph and disadvantages in another paragraph make your the essay more orderly, thus, you will have a better score in your cohesion and coherence. 🙂


    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I would like to request you please could you post one more video for how to write body paragraph for writing task 2 ? is it not possible please tell me how i got your more video?

    thank you. salim

  49. Hi liz.Am from KSA and I want to purchase your advanced writing lessons but I dont have a paypal account ,is it possible to purchase them using visa card?!


    People now use more and more internet to do tasks (eg. Shopping, paying bills, buy movie tickets) rather then in person.
    Do the advantages outweigh disadvantages?

    = i have written all the advantages y people prefer internet and includes 4 examples and some disadvantages in 2nd body paragraph.. Let me know the correct answer please. M very upset…. (correct if any mistake is in the topic line)

  51. Lislei Douroucas says

    Hi, Liz. I’ll be waiting for your response when you come back. My doubt concerns eletronic media language. The word ‘app’ is very common in everyday conversation about technology. Should I use the word ‘application’ or ‘computer software’ if I ever need to use the word ‘app’, or can I use the abbreviated form (app) in my essay?
    For example, in the sentence “Nowadays people are resorting to apps on their smart phones as a means of increasing access to daily services (…)” do you think the abbreviation rather than the word ‘applications’ would be inappropriate?
    Thanks in advance. 🙂

  52. Hi Liz mam you are doing very good job.
    Actually I have a problem in reading module please could you help me

  53. Hi Liz. What are the advantages and disadvantages? and Do the advantages outweigh disadvantages? these 2 questions are same right? responses to these 2 questions are almost same paragraphical order?

    • The first one (Advantages and Disadvantages asking to say about both) body paragraph 1 Advantage and body paragraph 2 Disadvantage . But the second one you need to say your opinion, that is the difference.

    • In the first question (what are the advantages and disadvantages)? you should discuss the advantage in the first body paragraph and the disadvantage in the second body paragraph. possibly in equilibrium. However, in the second question (do the advantage outweigh)? you must have a positional statement in your introduction for which you will devote two body paragraphs discussing it and utilize only one body paragraph for the opposite idea. This means your response is not in equilibrium, (say 80% and 20% or 70% and 30%). the position you choose in your introduction carries the higher percentage.

  54. gurpreet singh says

    Dear Liz, you are great teacher

  55. Rising a number of electronic book causes the decrease in paper books. However, some people think it is positive to go ahead, where as others contradict it. This essay will discuss its both sides.
    On one hand ,there are several benefits of electronic books. First, the group of people using this book can access to wide range of information, which means they can read unlimited informations that are available in e- books. Second, people do not have to carry bundles of paper book everytime beacause e-books are portable and less heavy that can be carried in pocket or in a small bag. Therefore, people can use them in public places, for example, while travelling in trains, buses , or even in aeroplanes and also in parks, supermarkets as well as at work and universities. Third, as e-books are small so, it do not require spacial space at home, where as paper books need more area and it creates more waste.

    On the other hand, this has some drawbacks too. One problem is it make people more lazy. This is because of the minimal hand movement required in e-book , where only a button click is needed to get all information. Another issue is the uncertanity of electronic machine, which means it can stop working any time. Inaddition, long period of using e -book may create some health problems such as vision problem and headache. And finally, every consumer can not afford to buy it because these books are expensive in market.

    In conclusion, although e-books can cause some problems and are expensive, overall it is positive because it do not create pollution and does not require special space and also it is necessary to step forward in this technololical era.

  56. Hi Liz,
    we are so grateful that you help so many students around the world especially those who can’t afford to pay for school fees like me.
    would you please explain a bit more about the tip you gave us above, “” have one body paragraph which gives details about the opposite side to your opinion”
    -Do i still need to follow that even if i chose one sided opinion?
    -Please correct if i am wrong : One sided opinion = introduction + 1st Body P which supports one side A + 2nd body P which supports the same side A (+ 3rd body P which supports the same side A) + conclusion? So i don’t talk or support the other side B.
    Please help, I am confused.

    Thank you.

  57. Hi Liz..
    I am taking coaching for GT Ielts but confused on one matter..My teacher suggested that if you give only one side view with strong and comprehensible ideas then the chances of getting high marks is more..and if you will write partial view means some for agree and disagree both..then there will be less marks..
    Can you please suggest that how it should be??I am targeting for 8 bands in writing section so this clarity is essential to me.
    Thanks a lot.

    • You don’t get more marks because you have chosen a different position. You get marked on your ability to present a position and support your position. It is easier to support a one sided approach and it is more difficult to present a balanced view. For that reason, teachers recommend students to aim for the one sided approach to avoid such mistakes. I also think that students who have not received professional training in the balanced view should not attempt it.
      All the best

      • Thanks for your reply Liz..actually according to my teacher, I am good at writing on both aspects but she opines that I should write with single view approach..
        That’s why I got confused..
        If question is- to what extent do you agree or disagree..then if I am having vivid points on both aspects then is it good to write on both or only one view?

  58. Hello, please take a look at my essay, it is not 250words, i just want to know if i have written correctly. i think i got off-topic and don’t knnow exactly how i can improve my writting. Thank you in advance.

    Recently, increasing number of people prefer reading e-books instead of paper books. In my opinion, drawbacks of this trend overweigh its advantages.

    E-books are convinient, because of their size and memory. people can dawnload many of their favorite books in one technology and carry it with themselves. Another good side of electroic books is their screenlights which make us able to read even at dark. I always use my e-book during exams, because i do not want to put 4-5 books in my bag.

    In contrast, as all electronic devices e-books are bad for eyes. To illustrate 60% of e-book users suffer from eye-related problems and complain that they see everything in blur. However, higher percentage of population tend to buy e=books, thatswhy demand for paper books countiniously decline by directly leading to increased unemployment rate. Book-publishing companies go to bankrupcy or merge with others, because of low sales and high competition. For example, in late twentieth century the number of books published exceeds current figures.

    In coclusion, disadvantages of e-books are more serios and long-lasting than advantages.

  59. Hi Dear Liz,
    If I write
    BP1= advantages of using e-books rather than paper books
    BP2= disadvantages of using e-books instead of paper books

    conclusion= there are more uses in using e books over paper books.

    Please advice me is this the correct way or in BP2 do I have to write,the disadvantages of paper books,i’m confused of that

  60. Hello,
    I have a question …. When I write the inntroduction of any essay I must paraphrase the sentence given at the beginning, but when I write my conclusion I must restate the ideas that I paraphrased it in the itroduction, this means can I restate it using the same words given in the sentence? Because I been in told that words that I used in introduction and in conclusion mustn’t be the same.

    Thx ,,,,

    • Yes your conclusion contains the main ideas paraphrased.

    • Amir Ansari says

      answer the essay Q in the conclusion
      use paraphrasing
      summarize your ideas from the intro and body paras in the conclusion and never share new ideas
      two sentences can be adequate

  61. Hello ms.liz,
    I wonder what type of essay I should practice, because I don’t really know what type they may ask us in ielts writing task 2? Is it discussion text, information text, description…..etc?

    Thx anyway,

  62. Hi Liz
    I need your advice please
    Is it ok to use this sentence as theise statement “This essay will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of such a measure.” Or is it overused

    Thank u in advance for your help 🙂

    • Don’t use learned phrases. That is a whole sentence which you have learned and copied. The examiner has seen it used many, many times. Don’t use it.
      All the best

  63. constantinos says

    Hi Liz!
    Which is the correct order? To develop the opposite site and then the two body paragraphs with my opinion, the reverse or it doesn’t mind?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Put the advantages in one BP and the disadvantages in the other BP. Make sure you clearly show which outweighs which.

      • constantinos says

        Thank you for your response!

      • Liz,

        I’m interested in Constantinos’ question too. In your post you said put one body for the position you don’t support and one or two paragraphs for the position you support. So I have some questions:

        1) It’s better to put the position you don’t support in your first body paragraph right – end with the stronger position in the subsequent body paragraphs?

        2) You suggested in response to constantinos just one paragraph of each. But you can do it one paragraph for weaker position and two for stronger position right – as you recommended is possible in your post.

        3) It’s ok to mention just one point for the weaker position even though the question says “advantages” or “disadvantages” – i.e. “s” plural. Thank you

        • You put adv in the first BP and disadvantages in the 2nd BP. Keep it simple and clear. However, it is possible to have just one adv and two disadv in separate paragraphs if you wish to support disad. If you can’t think of plural advs then that’s fine.

  64. Just few years back, plenty of people are selecting to read e-books instead of than paper books in my opinion, i concur reading papers books rather than reading e books because e-books need to charge a battery and handle with care, but sometimes e-books are most helpful in traveling i could download the number of books in on e-book system i dont have to carry number of books.

    dear mam,
    is this correct in information.

  65. How can i paraphrase “advantages & disadvantages”?
    Can i use this symble & in ielts?

    • Never use language symbols instead of common words. The only accepted symbols are percentage and currency symbols.

  66. Nguyễn Thị Nhật Lệ says

    Dear Liz,
    I’m confused about planning the structure for the advantages disadvantages essay? Can you do me a favour by point out what the possible structure are for advantages and disadvantages?
    Great acknowledgement!

    • This is not an “advantage and disadvantage essay”, this is an “adv outweigh disadv” essay. However, got both, you will usually have two body paragraphs – one for each.

  67. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

    It is a one side essay or two side?
    I mean to say

    Body 1 for merits
    Body 2 for merits
    Body 3 for demerits

    75% pros
    25% cons


    One side essay
    Intro= I think merits are morethan demerits?
    Body 1 adv
    Body 2 adv

    • It is a direct question which you must answer. Do you think the advantages are more important than the disadvantages? You give your answer in the introduction and explain it in the body.

  68. Noha Faisal says

    Hello miss Liz ,
    Could you please give me an example about “memorized phrase” that we should not use it ??

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!