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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer focused on the influence of news media.

It comes from the real test and I’m a real IELTS examiner – read on to see how I handled it!

If you are really serious about improving your IELTS score, you can also check out my online courses here.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: News Media Influence

Some people think that the news media has become much more influential in people’s lives today and it is a negative development. Do you agree or disagree?

Real Past IELTS Test

It is commonly held that the news has become an invasive force in people’s everyday lives. In my opinion, I completely disagree with this viewpoint because the news contributes greatly to the decision making process of discerning citizens.

Modern news media properly consumed improves its readership’s ability to make quality decisions regarding their own interests. One standout example of this is the way that people follow political issues. In democratic countries, it is difficult to argue that there is anything more important than staying informed of political developments. When Americans learned about the harmful effects of global warming on our environment they began to advocate, through the ballot box and general public sentiment, for reforms. This has led to the election and overhaul of policies related to environmental conservation and is the direct result of information gleaned from experts on the news.

Some rightly argue that the news is not always trustworthy. Individuals and organisations are always attempting to twist the news to their advantage. A good example of this would be the recent rise of online news. Online news goes up immediately and is therefore much more likely to contain mistakes than news verified and published in newspapers. Retractions in newspapers are rarely read and they are almost unheard of for online news, despite their increasing frequency. This is a decided consequence of the way people consume news today but readers can avoid this by only trusting reputable sources like The New York Times or the BBC and not naively believing every article they happen across. 

In conclusion, I believe that the merits of staying informed far outweigh any perceived drawbacks. People should take the time to find reliable news sources and vet the articles most pertinent to them.

Word count: 291

Analysis

1. It is commonly held that the news has become an invasive force in people’s everyday lives. 2. In my opinion, I completely disagree with this viewpoint because the news contributes greatly to the decision making process of discerning citizens.

  1. The first sentence is simply a restating of the topic – write it quickl to get on to the next sentence…
  2. Which is your opinion! Be 100% clear which side you are on to get at least band 6 for task achievement.

1. Modern news media properly consumed improves its readership’s ability to make quality decisions regarding their own interests. 2. One standout example of this is the way that people follow political issues. 3. In democratic countries, it is difficult to argue that there is anything more important than staying informed of political developments. 4. When Americans learned about the harmful effects of global warming on our environment they began to advocate, through the ballot box and general public sentiment, for reforms. 5. This has led to the election and overhaul of policies related to environmental conservation and is the direct result of information gleaned from experts on the news.

  1. My first sentence is a topic sentence with the single main idea for the whole paragraph – people can make better decisions by reading the news.
  2. The second sentence begins an example that I will focus on for the whole paragraph. One main idea, one long example!
  3. My third sentence further develops and makes the example a bit more specific.
  4. The fourth sentence makes it much more specific by focusing on climate change.
  5. My fifth sentence further develops that – be as specific as you possibly can be!

1. Some rightly argue that the news is not always trustworthy. 2. Individuals and organisations are always attempting to twist the news to their advantage. 3. A good example of this would be the recent rise of online news. 4. Online news goes up immediately and is therefore much more likely to contain mistakes than news verified and published in newspapers. 5. Retractions in newspapers are rarely read and they are almost unheard of for online news, despite their increasing frequency. 6. This is a decided consequence of the way people consume news today but readers can avoid this by only trusting reputable sources like The New York Times or the BBC and not naively believing every article they happen across.

  1. My first sentence is another topic sentence with another main idea – news can be untrustworthy.
  2. The second sentence explains my main idea. You might not always need this sentence.
  3. My third sentence starts an example – race to your examples as fast as you can!
  4. The fourth sentence develops the same example by focusing more on online news.
  5. My fifth sentence makes it more specific by focusing on retractions.
  6. The last sentence turns to argue against the main idea of the paragraph. I only do this because my overall opinion is that the news is good.

1. In conclusion, I believe that the merits of staying informed far outweigh any perceived drawbacks. 2. People should take the time to find reliable news sources and vet the articles most pertinent to them.

  1. The first sentence of my conclusion summarises my opinion, just to be safe.
  2. My final sentence gives an extra detail that you must include for band 7+ for task achievement.

Vocabulary

Try to think of a synonym or definition for the vocabulary below in bold. If you’re not sure, use the context of the sentence to guess what the words might mean.

It is commonly held that the news has become an invasive force in people’s everyday lives. In my opinion, I completely disagree with this viewpoint because the news contributes greatly to the decision making process of discerning citizens.

Modern news media properly consumed improves its readership’s ability to make quality decisions regarding their own interests. One standout example of this is the way that people follow political issues. In democratic countries, it is difficult to argue that there is anything more important than staying informed of political developments. When Americans learned about the harmful effects of global warming on our environment they began to advocate, through the ballot box and general public sentiment, for reforms. This has led to the election and overhaul of policies related to environmental conservation and is the direct result of information gleaned from experts on the news.

Some rightly argue that the news is not always trustworthy. Individuals and organisations are always attempting to twist the news to their advantage. A good example of this would be the recent rise of online news. Online news goes up immediately and is therefore much more likely to contain mistakes than news verified and published in newspapers. Retractions in newspapers are rarely read and they are almost unheard of for online news, despite their increasing frequency. This is a decided consequence of the way people consume news today but readers can avoid this by only trusting reputable sources like The New York Times or the BBC and not naively believing every article they happen across

In conclusion, I believe that the merits of staying informed far outweigh any perceived drawbacks. People should take the time to find reliable news sources and vet the articles most pertinent to them.

Answers

It is commonly held that main believe

invasive force negative power

viewpoint opinion

contributes greatly adds to

decision making process how choices are made

discerning citizens intelligent, skeptical people

properly consumed read in the right way

quality decisions regarding good choices pertaining to

own interests what is important for them

democratic countries that elect their government representatives

staying informed being knowledgeable about

political developments events in politics

harmful effects negative impact

advocate push for/support

ballot box where people vote/elections

general public sentiment what the public feels

reforms changes

overhaul of policies reforming laws

environmental conservation protecting the environment

direct result clear consequence of

gleaned learned from

rightly argue correctly believe

trustworthy can be trusted, reliable

twist lie about

recent rise recent increase

verified checked to be accurate

retractions taking back what was written

unheard of not common

frequency how common they are

decided consequence clear result

reputable trustworthy

naively innocently

happen across find randomly

merits positive parts

perceived drawbacks what people think are the negatives

reliable trustworthy

pertinent relevant

Pronunciation

ɪnˈveɪsɪv fɔːs 
ˈvjuːpɔɪnt 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)ts ˈgreɪtli 
dɪˈsɪʒən ˈmeɪkɪŋ ˈprəʊsɛs 
dɪˈsɜːnɪŋ ˈsɪtɪznz 
ˈprɒpəli kənˈsjuːmd 
ˈkwɒlɪti dɪˈsɪʒənz rɪˈgɑːdɪŋ 
əʊn ˈɪntrɪsts 
ˌdɛməˈkrætɪk 
ˈsteɪɪŋ ɪnˈfɔːmd 
pəˈlɪtɪkəl dɪˈvɛləpmənts 
ˈhɑːmfʊl ɪˈfɛkts 
ˈædvəkɪt 
ˈbælət bɒks 
ˈʤɛnərəl ˈpʌblɪk ˈsɛntɪmənt 
ˌriːˈfɔːmz 
ˈəʊvəhɔːl ɒv ˈpɒlɪsiz 
ɪnˌvaɪərənˈmɛntl ˌkɒnsə(ː)ˈveɪʃən 
dɪˈrɛkt rɪˈzʌlt 
gliːnd 
ˈraɪtli ˈɑːgjuː 
ˈtrʌstˌwɜːði 
twɪst 
ˈriːsnt raɪz 
ˈvɛrɪfaɪd 
rɪˈtrækʃənz 
ʌnˈhɜːd ɒv 
ˈfriːkwənsi 
dɪˈsaɪdɪd ˈkɒnsɪkwəns 
ˈrɛpjʊtəbl 
nɑːˈiːvli 
ˈhæpən əˈkrɒs 
ˈmɛrɪts 
pəˈsiːvd ˈdrɔːbæks 
rɪˈlaɪəbl 
ˈpɜːtɪnənt 

Vocabulary Practice

_______________________ the news has become an _______________________ in people’s everyday lives. In my opinion, I completely disagree with this _______________________ because the news _______________________ to the _______________________ of _______________________.

Modern news media _______________________ improves its readership’s ability to make _______________________ their _______________________. One standout example of this is the way that people follow political issues. In _______________________ countries, it is difficult to argue that there is anything more important than _______________________ of _______________________. When Americans learned about the _______________________ of global warming on our environment they began to _______________________, through the _______________________ and _______________________, for _______________________ . This has led to the election and _______________________ related to _______________________ and is the _______________________ of information _______________________ from experts on the news.

Some _______________________ that the news is not always _______________________. Individuals and organisations are always attempting to _______________________ the news to their advantage. A good example of this would be the _______________________ of online news. Online news goes up immediately and is therefore much more likely to contain mistakes than news _______________________ and published in newspapers. _______________________ in newspapers are rarely read and they are almost _______________________ for online news, despite their increasing _______________________. This is a _______________________ of the way people consume news today but readers can avoid this by only trusting _______________________ sources like The New York Times or the BBC and not _______________________ believing every article they _______________________

In conclusion, I believe that the _______________________ of staying informed far outweigh any _______________________. People should take the time to find _______________________ news sources and vet the articles most _______________________ to them.

Listening Practice

Listen and use some of these activities to practice:

Reading Practice

Read this really interesting article from Wired.com and use these activities to practice:

https://www.wired.com/story/future-of-journalism-gawker-fake-news-facebook/

Student Corrections

Read the corrections that I made for a student in the downloadable file below to get some sense of where your IELTS writing score may be:


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