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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 sample answer essay from the real IELTS test/exam related to businesses and whether or not they have social responsibilities.

Topics about business and society are both very common so studying this answer will help you if you get a similar question on the exam.

Check out my online courses here for more materials, videos, and feedback: Dave’s Online Courses

Dave

Before you read the answer, listen to my audio and take some notes on the ideas and vocabulary to improve your listening:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Businesses Social Responsibility (Real Past IELTS Tests/Exams)

As well as making money, businesses also have a responsibilty towards society.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Real Past IELTS Test/Exam

Many socially conscious public figures have called on businesses to show greater responsibility to the societies they depend on. In my opinion, the reponsibility of a business towards society extends to ethical management of their own operations but not to areas largely outside their purview.

Large and small businesses are no different from individuals and have the same obligation to be ethical. Every business, conducting themselves in a just manner, will contribute greatly to the betterment of society. A local grocery shop that pays its workers a living wage, charges fair prices, keeps accurate books, and sells quality food taken in the aggregate with stores around the country, produces innumerable benefits for both staff and patrons. Large companies are no exception. If Apple pays employees well and builds quality products while adhering to environmental and economic regulations, they make the world a better place. In contrast, companies without moral compass like Enron, Purdue and Facebook exact a heavy toll on society in exchange for their services.

However, companies should not to be forced to take responsibility for greater societal ills unless they are in some way culpable. A good example of this relates to education. The education of children and adolescents is the foundation of a stable, content society. Responsibility for education lies squarely with governments and parents, notwithstanding some private enterprise schools. If a company comes in direct contact with a school, for example by selling them textbooks, then the company is responsible for the quality of their products. If they pollute nearby land and students get sick, the company should bear full responsibility as well. In all other matters not under their direct influence, parents and governments take on the sole burden of care.

In conclusion, businesses are only in contact with certain aspects of society and they should not be asked to assume a full burden of responsibility. As free market companies become larger and supplant national governments this may require re-examination.

Word Count: 320

Analysis

1. Many socially conscious public figures have called on businesses to show greater responsibility to the societies they depend on. 2. In my opinion, the reponsibility of a business towards society extends to ethical management of their own operations but not to areas largely outside their purview.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic for the essay. You can change it a lot like I did or just alter it slightly.
  2. Write your opinion. Mine seems like it is sitting in the middle but I have made it very nuanced and complicated – only do this if you are very confident with your English.

1. Large and small businesses are no different from individuals and have the same obligation to be ethical. 2. Every business, conducting themselves in a just manner, will contribute greatly to the betterment of society. 3. A local grocery shop that pays its workers a living wage, charges fair prices, keeps accurate books, and sells quality food taken in the aggregate with stores around the country, produces innumerable benefits for both staff and patrons. 4. Large companies are no exception. 5. If Apple pays employees well and builds quality products while adhering to environmental and economic regulations, they make the world a better place. 6. In contrast, companies without moral compass like Enron, Purdue and Facebook exact a heavy toll on society in exchange for their services.

  1. Write a simple topic sentence with a single, clear main idea.
  2. Explain your main idea if necessary.
  3. Begin a real or hypothetical example with specific evidence.
  4. Vary short and long sentences.
  5. Here I focus on a second example to further develop my opinion.
  6. Finally I use a counter-example to show the ways in which companies have to be ethical and socially responsible.

1. However, companies should not to be forced to take responsibility for greater societal ills unless they are in some way culpable. 2. A good example of this relates to education. 3. The education of children and adolescents is the foundation of a stable, content society. 4. Responsibility for education lies squarely with governments and parents, notwithstanding some private enterprise schools. 5. If a company comes in direct contact with a school, for example by selling them textbooks, then the company is responsible for the quality of their products. 6. If they pollute nearby land and students get sick, the company should bear full responsibility as well. 7. In all other matters not under their direct influence, parents and governments take on the sole burden of care.

  1. Write another main idea with a new main idea to develop.
  2. Start your example right away, if possible.
  3. Begin to develop it with more specifics or more argument. Don’t be repetitive.
  4. Keep developing it. Keep your claims weak – notice how I mention the exception that weakens my argument (private schools).
  5. Be specific with your hypothetical examples.
  6. I include a seond situation to further strengthen my point.
  7. Conclude your paragraph by relating it back to your main idea.

1. In conclusion, businesses are only in contact with certain aspects of society and they should not be asked to assume a full burden of responsibility. 2. As free market companies become larger and supplant national governments this may require re-examination.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add in a final detail/thought to get full marks from the IELTS examiner for task achievement.

Vocabulary

Many socially conscious public figures have called on businesses to show greater responsibility to the societies they depend on. In my opinion, the reponsibility of a business towards society extends to ethical management of their own operations but not to areas largely outside their purview.

Large and small businesses are no different from individuals and have the same obligation to be ethical. Every business, conducting themselves in a just manner, will contribute greatly to the betterment of society. A local grocery shop that pays its workers a living wage, charges fair prices, keeps accurate books, and sells quality food taken in the aggregate with stores around the country, produces innumerable benefits for both staff and patrons. Large companies are no exception. If Apple pays employees well and builds quality products while adhering to environmental and economic regulations, they make the world a better place. In contrast, companies without moral compass like Enron, Purdue and Facebook exact a heavy toll on society in exchange for their services.

However, companies should not to be forced to take responsibility for greater societal ills unless they are in some way culpable. A good example of this relates to education. The education of children and adolescents is the foundation of a stable, content society. Responsibility for education lies squarely with governments and parents, notwithstanding some private enterprise schools. If a company comes in direct contact with a school, for example by selling them textbooks, then the company is responsible for the quality of their products. If they pollute nearby land and students get sick, the company should bear full responsibility as well. In all other matters not under their direct influence, parents and governments take on the sole burden of care.

In conclusion, businesses are only in contact with certain aspects of society and they should not be asked to assume a full burden of responsibility. As free market companies become larger and supplant national governments this may require re-examination.

Answers

socially conscious public figures politicians and popular people who care about society

called on asked for

show greater responsibility take on more responsibility

depend on rely on

extends goes to

ethical management moral direction

operations their business

largely outside their purview mostly not what they are involved in

obligation duty

ethical what’s right/wrong

conducting doing/handling

manner way/method

contribute greatly add a lot to

betterment improvement

grocery shop food shop

living wage enough money to live on

charges fair prices not too expensive goods

keeps accurate books do not cheat/conceal money

taken in the aggregate considered altogether

innumerable benefits great gains

patrons customers

no exception includes

adhering following

regulations rules

moral compass ethical/know what is right and wrong

exact a heavy toll take a lot away

in exchange for for

services what a business provides

societal ills hurts society

culpable liable/responsible

stable consistent

content society happy

lies squarely belongs entirely to

notwithstanding regardless of

private enterprise schools schools owned by businesses

direct contact personally

textbooks coursebooks

bear full responsibility take complete responsibility for

direct influence clear source

sole burden of care singly responsible

in contact with interact with

assume a full burden of responsibility take all the responsibility

free market companies capitalist companies

supplant national governments take the place of governments

re-examination consider again

Pronunciation

ˈsəʊʃəli ˈkɒnʃəs ˈpʌblɪk ˈfɪgəz 
kɔːld ɒn 
ʃəʊ ˈgreɪtə rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti 
dɪˈpɛnd ɒn
ɪksˈtɛndz 
ˈɛθɪkəl ˈmænɪʤmənt
ˌɒpəˈreɪʃənz 
ˈlɑːʤli ˌaʊtˈsaɪd ðeə ˈpɜːvjuː
ˌɒblɪˈgeɪʃən
ˈɛθɪkəl
kənˈdʌktɪŋ 
ˈmænə
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)t ˈgreɪtli 
ˈbɛtəmənt 
ˈgrəʊsəri ʃɒp 
ˈlɪvɪŋ weɪʤ
ˈʧɑːʤɪz feə ˈpraɪsɪz
kiːps ˈækjʊrɪt bʊks
ˈteɪkən ɪn ði ˈægrɪgɪt 
ɪˈnjuːmərəbl ˈbɛnɪfɪts
ˈpeɪtrənz
nəʊ ɪkˈsɛpʃən
ədˈhɪərɪŋ 
ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃənz
ˈmɒrəl ˈkʌmpəs 
ɪgˈzækt ə ˈhɛvi təʊl 
ɪn ɪksˈʧeɪnʤ fɔː 
ˈsɜːvɪsɪz
səˈsaɪətl ɪlz 
ˈkʌlpəbl
ˈsteɪbl
ˈkɒntɛnt səˈsaɪəti
laɪz ˈskweəli 
ˌnɒtwɪθˈstændɪŋ 
ˈpraɪvɪt ˈɛntəpraɪz skuːlz
dɪˈrɛkt ˈkɒntækt 
ˈtɛkstbʊks
beə fʊl rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti 
dɪˈrɛkt ˈɪnflʊəns
səʊl ˈbɜːdn ɒv keə
ɪn ˈkɒntækt wɪð 
əˈsjuːm ə fʊl ˈbɜːdn ɒv rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti
friː ˈmɑːkɪt ˈkʌmpəniz 
səˈplɑːnt ˈnæʃənl ˈgʌvnmənts 
riː-ɪgˌzæmɪˈneɪʃən

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

Many _______________ have _______________ businesses to _______________ to the societies they _______________. In my opinion, the reponsibility of a business towards society _______________ to _______________ of their own _______________ but not to areas _______________.

Large and small businesses are no different from individuals and have the same _______________ to be _______________. Every business, _______________ themselves in a just _______________, will _______________ to the _______________ of society. A local _______________ that pays its workers a _______________, _______________, _______________, and sells quality food _______________ with stores around the country, produces _______________ for both staff and _______________. Large companies are _______________. If Apple pays employees well and builds quality products while _______________ to environmental and economic _______________, they make the world a better place. In contrast, companies without _______________ like Enron, Purdue and Facebook _______________ on society _______________ their _______________.

However, companies should not to be forced to take responsibility for greater _______________ unless they are in some way _______________. A good example of this relates to education. The education of children and adolescents is the foundation of a _______________, _______________. Responsibility for education _______________ with governments and parents, _______________ some _______________. If a company comes in _______________ with a school, for example by selling them _______________, then the company is responsible for the quality of their products. If they pollute nearby land and students get sick, the company should _______________ as well. In all other matters not under their _______________, parents and governments take on the _______________.

In conclusion, businesses are only _______________ certain aspects of society and they should not be asked to _______________. As _______________ become larger and _______________ this may require _______________.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Watch the video below and take notes so that you can use it an example if a related topic comes up on your test:

Reading Practice

Here are some other examples of corporate social responsibility:

https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-eu/blog/corporate-16-brands-doing-corporate-social-responsibility-successfully

Speaking Practice

Practice with these speaking questions from the real test below:

Business

  1. Do most people in your country work for small or large businesses?
  2. What kind of businesses need the most help?
  3. Should the government help businesses or leave them alone?
  4. How important is regulation of large businesses?
  5. What rights to large companies have?

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