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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of advertising from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Advertising

Some feel that the effects of advertising are positive for individuals and businesses, while others think they are negative.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

As advertising becomes increasingly invasive, there has been an increase in debates concerning its effects. In my opinion, advertising is on the whole a negative due to its impact on the average individual, though it is clearly beneficial for businesses.

It is hard to argue against the positive boon that advertising has brought to a variety of industries. In the 1950s and 60s, the growth of American advertising in particular ushered in an age of rampant commercial opportunity. Corporations ranging from automoblie manufacturers to airlines to soft drink companies took advantage of the emerging medium of television to reach wider audiences. By appealing to basic human psychology, they were able to tap into a nearly limitless market that eventually expanded globally and is now supported by ruthlessly efficient and profitable online marketing methods.

Nonetheless, advertising mainly serves to distract and entice. The purpose of advertisements is not simply to inform. Consumers can find information about products from a number of sources of their own volition. Advertising attracts individuals and creates new desires that distract from healthier modes of living. For example, the average person would be better served by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. However, ubiquitous advertisements for fast food make this difficult, in some cases impossible, to achieve. Generalised across a range of consumer products, it is clear that people are being drawn unhealthily towards their worst impulses.

In conclusion, the benefits of advertising for the business world do not outweigh its psychological impact on the average citizen. A world without advertising is not feasible but it is still possible to limit one’s exposure.

Analysis

1. As advertising becomes increasingly invasive, there has been an increase in debates concerning its effects. 2. In my opinion, advertising is on the whole a negative due to its impact on the average individual, though it is clearly beneficial for businesses.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. It is hard to argue against the positive boon that advertising has brought to a variety of industries. 2. In the 1950s and 60s, the growth of American advertising in particular ushered in an age of rampant commercial opportunity. 3. Corporations ranging from automoblie manufacturers to airlines to soft drink companies took advantage of the emerging medium of television to reach wider audiences. 4. By appealing to basic human psychology, they were able to tap into a nearly limitless market that eventually expanded globally and is now supported by ruthlessly efficient and profitable online marketing methods.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific detail as fully as possible.
  4. Continue to develop it and don’t change to a new idea.

1. Nonetheless, advertising mainly serves to distract and entice. 2. The purpose of advertisements is not simply to inform. 3. Consumers can find information about products from a number of sources of their own volition. 4. Advertising attracts individuals and creates new desires that distract from healthier modes of living. 5. For example, the average person would be better served by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. 6. However, ubiquitous advertisements for fast food make this difficult, in some cases impossible, to achieve. 7. Generalised across a range of consumer products, it is clear that people are being drawn unhealthily towards their worst impulses.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Continue with your explanation if you need to.
  4. Start developing your idea.
  5. Use a specific example.
  6. Develop the example.
  7. Fully.

1. In conclusion, the benefits of advertising for the business world do not outweigh its psychological impact on the average citizen. 2. A world without advertising is not feasible but it is still possible to limit one’s exposure.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

As advertising becomes increasingly invasive, there has been an increase in debates concerning its effects. In my opinion, advertising is on the whole a negative due to its impact on the average individual, though it is clearly beneficial for businesses.

It is hard to argue against the positive boon that advertising has brought to a variety of industries. In the 1950s and 60s, the growth of American advertising in particular ushered in an age of rampant commercial opportunity. Corporations ranging from automoblie manufacturers to airlines to soft drink companies took advantage of the emerging medium of television to reach wider audiences. By appealing to basic human psychology, they were able to tap into a nearly limitless market that eventually expanded globally and is now supported by ruthlessly efficient and profitable online marketing methods.

Nonetheless, advertising mainly serves to distract and entice. The purpose of advertisements is not simply to inform. Consumers can find information about products from a number of sources of their own volition. Advertising attracts individuals and creates new desires that distract from healthier modes of living. For example, the average person would be better served by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. However, ubiquitous advertisements for fast food make this difficult, in some cases impossible, to achieve. Generalised across a range of consumer products, it is clear that people are being drawn unhealthily towards their worst impulses.

In conclusion, the benefits of advertising for the business world do not outweigh its psychological impact on the average citizen. A world without advertising is not feasible but it is still possible to limit one’s exposure.

Answers

increasingly invasive more and more personal

debates concerning controversy around

on the whole in general

average individual normal person

clearly beneficial definitely good for

hard to argue against difficult to disagree with

boon good for

variety of industries many types of

ushered in an age of rampant commercial opportunity started an era of more business

ranging from including

manufacturers makers

took advantage exploited

emerging medium new type

reach wider audiences find more people

appealing attractive

basic human psychology how people think

tap into exploit

nearly limitless market unlimited potential

eventually expanded globally after a while became international

supported by ruthlessly efficient backed up by useful

profitable making money

nonetheless regardless

distract take attention from

entice pull in

inform give information about

of their own volition their own choice

attracts entices

healthier modes of living ways of being healthy

better served is better for

regularly usually

ubiquitous common

in some cases impossible sometimes can’t be

achieve accomplish

generalised applies to lots of

drawn unhealthily towards their worst impulses enticed to do bad things

business world industry

outweigh stronger than

psychological impact effect on one’s mind

not feasible impossible

limit extent

exposure open to

Pronunciation

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ɪnˈveɪsɪv 
dɪˈbeɪts kənˈsɜːnɪŋ 
ɒn ðə həʊl 
ˈævərɪʤ ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəl 
ˈklɪəli ˌbɛnɪˈfɪʃəl 
hɑːd tuː ˈɑːgjuː əˈgɛnst 
buːn 
vəˈraɪəti ɒv ˈɪndəstriz 
ˈʌʃəd ɪn ən eɪʤ ɒv ˈræmpənt kəˈmɜːʃəl ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti 
ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm 
ˌmænjʊˈfækʧərəz 
tʊk ədˈvɑːntɪʤ 
ɪˈmɜːʤɪŋ ˈmiːdiəm 
riːʧ ˈwaɪdər ˈɔːdiənsɪz 
əˈpiːlɪŋ 
ˈbeɪsɪk ˈhjuːmən saɪˈkɒləʤi 
tæp ˈɪntuː 
ˈnɪəli ˈlɪmɪtlɪs ˈmɑːkɪt 
ɪˈvɛnʧəli ɪksˈpændɪd ˈgləʊbəli 
səˈpɔːtɪd baɪ ˈruːθlɪsli ɪˈfɪʃənt 
ˈprɒfɪtəbl 
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs 
dɪsˈtrækt 
ɪnˈtaɪs 
ɪnˈfɔːm 
ɒv ðeər əʊn vəʊˈlɪʃən 
əˈtrækts 
ˈhɛlθɪə məʊdz ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ 
ˈbɛtə sɜːvd 
ˈrɛgjʊləli 
ju(ː)ˈbɪkwɪtəs 
ɪn sʌm ˈkeɪsɪz ɪmˈpɒsəbl 
əˈʧiːv 
ˈʤɛnərəlaɪzd 
drɔːn ʌnˈhɛlθɪli təˈwɔːdz ðeə wɜːst ˈɪmpʌlsɪz 
ˈbɪznɪs wɜːld 
aʊtˈweɪ 
ˌsaɪkəˈlɒʤɪkəl ˈɪmpækt 
nɒt ˈfiːzəbl 
ˈlɪmɪt 
ɪksˈpəʊʒə 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

As advertising becomes i_____________________e, there has been an increase in d____________________g its effects. In my opinion, advertising is o_________________e a negative due to its impact on the a_________________l, though it is c_________________l for businesses.

It is h__________________t the positive b____n that advertising has brought to a v___________________s. In the 1950s and 60s, the growth of American advertising in particular u__________________________________________________y. Corporations r_________________m automoblie m________________s to airlines to soft drink companies t______________e of the e_________________m of television to r____________________s. By a_____________g to b__________________________y, they were able to t__________o a n______________________t that e_______________________y and is now s_________________________________t and p____________e online marketing methods.

N_____________s, advertising mainly serves to d_________t and e_______e. The purpose of advertisements is not simply to i_______urces o______________________n. Advertising a________s individuals and creates new desires that distract from h_________________________g. For example, the average person would be b_______________d by eating a healthy diet and exercising r_________y. However, u_____________s advertisements for fast food make this difficult, i____________________________e, to a_________e. G______________d across a range of consumer products, it is clear that people are being d____________________________________________________s.

In conclusion, the benefits of advertising for the b_____________d do not o_________h its p_____________________t on the average citizen. A world without advertising is n______________e but it is still possible to l________t one’s e___________e.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.wired.com/story/why-dont-we-just-ban-targeted-advertising/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Beauty

  1. What is beauty for you? 
  2. Do you think the media influences our idea of beauty? 
  3. Do you think advertisements portrayal of beauty is correct? 
  4. How has people’s idea of beauty changed over the last few decades?
  5. Do you think beauty only relates to a person’s appearance? 

Writing Practice

Practice with the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Some people say that advertising is extremely successful at persuading us to buy things. Other people think that advertising is so common that we no longer pay attention to it.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.


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