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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of communicating with other life forms from the real IELTS exam.

For my complete IELTS PDFs and more, learn more about my Patreon here, my online courses here and my writing corrections here.

Dave

IELTS Essay: Communicating with Other Life Forms

Some think scientists should be allowed to send messages into space to communicate with other life forms while others believe this is too dangerous.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

Many are of the belief that contacting possible alien life is a desirable goal, while others are wary of the potential dangers. In my opinion, though this satisfies basic human curiosity, the risk is too great relative to the benefits.

The reason to try to communicate with extraterrestrials is to learn more about the universe. Some might claim alien life could have technology or insight to share, but the chances of this are too small to justify the effort. Instead, the average person and the scientist alike simply want to learn if there are other forms of life. Humans have dreamed of aliens in novels and films for decades and some feel every attempt to realise these dreams is warranted. If alien life is discovered, not only would it satisfy this desire but it might also help humanity understand their own origins, place in the universe, and answer fundamental existential questions.

However, curiosity alone is not enough to condone accepting even the smallest chance of the danger inherent in alien contact. The likelihood of an alien life form turning against humanity like a scene from a science fiction film are infinitesimally small but the consequences are too great to ignore. In the event that aliens were found and hostile to humanity it could pose a serious problem and in the worst case scenario threaten the survival of the human race. This far-fetched but disastrous downside logically dictates the more sensible approach of continuing to develop human technology and wait until the distant future to venture to locate alien life.

In conclusion, the self-interested pursuit of other life forms has too much potential for species-threatening danger to be advisable. Instead, governments should focus on maximising resources for more advanced technology.

Analysis

1. Many are of the belief that contacting possible alien life is a desirable goal, while others are wary of the potential dangers. 2. In my opinion, though this satisfies basic human curiosity, the risk is too great relative to the benefits.

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

1. The reason to try to communicate with extraterrestrials is to learn more about the universe. 2. Some might claim alien life could have technology or insight to share, but the chances of this are too small to justify the effort. 3. Instead, the average person and the scientist alike simply want to learn if there are other forms of life. 4. Humans have dreamed of aliens in novels and films for decades and some feel every attempt to realise these dreams is warranted. 5. If alien life is discovered, not only would it satisfy this desire but it might also help humanity understand their own origins, place in the universe, and answer fundamental existential questions.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea or make qualifications/caveats.
  3. Begin developing your main idea.
  4. Develop it fully.
  5. Finish developing the same main idea.

1. However, curiosity alone is not enough to condone accepting even the smallest chance of the danger inherent in alien contact. 2. The likelihood of an alien life form turning against humanity like a scene from a science fiction film are infinitesimally small but the consequences are too great to ignore. 3. In the event that aliens were found and hostile to humanity it could pose a serious problem and in the worst case scenario threaten the survival of the human race. 4. This far-fetched but disastrous downside logically dictates the more sensible approach of continuing to develop human technology and wait until the distant future to venture to locate alien life.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific detail.
  4. Conclude with a strong statement to make your argument clear.

1. In conclusion, the self-interested pursuit of other life forms has too much potential for species-threatening danger to be advisable. 2. Instead, governments should focus on maximising resources for more advanced technology.

  1. Summarise your main ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final thought/detail. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many are of the belief that contacting possible alien life is a desirable goal, while others are wary of the potential dangers. In my opinion, though this satisfies basic human curiosity, the risk is too great relative to the benefits.

The reason to try to communicate with extraterrestrials is to learn more about the universe. Some might claim alien life could have technology or insight to share, but the chances of this are too small to justify the effort. Instead, the average person and the scientist alike simply want to learn if there are other forms of life. Humans have dreamed of aliens in novels and films for decades and some feel every attempt to realise these dreams is warranted. If alien life is discovered, not only would it satisfy this desire but it might also help humanity understand their own origins, place in the universe, and answer fundamental existential questions.

However, curiosity alone is not enough to condone accepting even the smallest chance of the danger inherent in alien contact. The likelihood of an alien life form turning against humanity like a scene from a science fiction film are infinitesimally small but the consequences are too great to ignore. In the event that aliens were found and hostile to humanity it could pose a serious problem and in the worst case scenario threaten the survival of the human race. This far-fetched but disastrous downside logically dictates the more sensible approach of continuing to develop human technology and wait until the distant future to venture to locate alien life.

In conclusion, the self-interested pursuit of other life forms has too much potential for species-threatening danger to be advisable. Instead, governments should focus on maximising resources for more advanced technology.

Answers

are of the belief believe

contacting possible alien life talking to aliens

desirable goal worthy pursuit

wary worried about

potential dangers possible risks

satisfies fulfills

basic human curiosity fundamental desire to know

risk danger

relative to compared to

extraterrestrials aliens

claim think

insight important information

share give to use

justify the effort are the reason to do it

instead however

alike the same

decades 20+ years

attempt try

realise now know

warranted justified

discovered found

satisfy this desire fulfill the want

origins where something comes from

answer fundamental existential questions learn about life, the universe, god, etc.

curiosity alone interest on its own

condone sanction

smallest chance almost impossible

danger inherent risk included

likelihood possibility

turning against humanity fight with humans

scene from a science fiction film from a movie

infinitesimally small very, very unlikely

consequences results

ignore not pay attention to

in the event that if it happens that

hostile mean

pose a serious problem make trouble

worst case scenario threaten most extreme situation could

survival continued living

far-fetched very unlikely

disastrous downside negative side

logically dictates follows reason that

more sensible approach more reasonable method

distant future far in the future

venture try

self-interested pursuit trying to satisfy one’s desires

species-threatening danger could kill all humans

advisable good idea

instead however

maximising resources using money, time, people, etc. well

Pronunciation

ɑːr ɒv ðə bɪˈliːf 
ˈkɒntæktɪŋ ˈpɒsəbl ˈeɪliən laɪf 
dɪˈzaɪərəbl gəʊl
ˈweəri
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈdeɪnʤəz
ˈsætɪsfaɪz 
ˈbeɪsɪk ˈhjuːmən ˌkjʊərɪˈɒsɪti
rɪsk 
ˈrɛlətɪv tuː 
ˌɛkstrətɪˈrɛstrɪəlz 
kleɪm 
ˈɪnsaɪt 
ʃeə
ˈʤʌstɪfaɪ ði ˈɛfət
ɪnˈstɛd
əˈlaɪk 
ˈdɛkeɪdz 
əˈtɛmpt 
ˈrɪəlaɪz
ˈwɒrəntɪd
dɪsˈkʌvəd
ˈsætɪsfaɪ ðɪs dɪˈzaɪə 
ˈɒrɪʤɪnz
ˈɑːnsə ˌfʌndəˈmɛntl ˌɛgzɪˈstɛnʃəl ˈkwɛsʧənz
ˌkjʊərɪˈɒsɪti əˈləʊn 
kənˈdəʊn 
ˈsmɔːlɪst ʧɑːns 
ˈdeɪnʤər ɪnˈhɪərənt 
ˈlaɪklɪhʊd 
ˈtɜːnɪŋ əˈgɛnst hju(ː)ˈmænɪti 
siːn frɒm ə ˈsaɪəns ˈfɪkʃən fɪlm 
ˌɪnfɪnɪˈtɛsɪməli smɔːl 
ˈkɒnsɪkwənsɪz 
ɪgˈnɔː
ɪn ði ɪˈvɛnt ðæt 
ˈhɒstaɪl 
pəʊz ə ˈsɪərɪəs ˈprɒbləm 
wɜːst keɪs sɪˈnɑːrɪəʊ ˈθrɛtn 
səˈvaɪvəl 
ˈfɑːˈfɛʧt 
dɪˈzɑːstrəs ˈdaʊnˌsaɪd 
ˈlɒʤɪkəli dɪkˈteɪts
mɔː ˈsɛnsəbl əˈprəʊʧ 
ˈdɪstənt ˈfjuːʧə 
ˈvɛnʧə 
sɛlf-ˈɪntrɪstɪd pəˈsjuːt 
ˈspiːʃiːz-ˈθrɛtnɪŋ ˈdeɪnʤə 
ədˈvaɪzəbl
ɪnˈstɛd
ˈmæksɪmaɪzɪŋ rɪˈsɔːsɪz 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many a_____________f that c_________________________________e is a d_____________l, while others are w____y of the p_____________s. In my opinion, though this s__________s b______________________y, the r___k is too great r___________o the benefits.

The reason to try to communicate with e_________________s is to learn more about the universe. Some might c____m alien life could have technology or i________t to s______e, but the chances of this are too small to j_______________t. I_________d, the average person and the scientist a_____e simply want to learn if there are other forms of life. Humans have dreamed of aliens in novels and films for d_________s and some feel every a_________t to r_________e these dreams is w____________d. If alien life is d___________d, not only would it s__________________e but it might also help humanity understand their own o__________s, place in the universe, and a____________________________________________s.

However, c________________e is not enough to c____________e accepting even the s_________________e of the d_________________t in alien contact. The l____________d of an alien life form t____________________y like a s_______________________________m are i________________________l but the c_________________s are too great to i_________e. I_________________t aliens were found and h_________e to humanity it could p______________________m and in the w_________________________________n the s___________l of the human race. This f____________d but d___________________e l______________________s the m_________________________h of continuing to develop human technology and wait until the d_______________e to v_________e to locate alien life.

In conclusion, the s______________________t of other life forms has too much potential for s____________________________r to be a____________e. I_________d, governments should focus on m__________________s for more advanced technology.

Listening Practice

Listen about this topic and practice with these ideas:

Reading Practice

Learn more about this topic here and use these activities to practice:

https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/alien-worlds/

Speaking Practice

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

Science

  1. Do you like science?
  2. Did you learn about science in primary school?
  3. How often do you read about science?
  4. Why is science important to learn about?

Writing Practice

Write about this related topic and then check with my sample answer below:

In the future, people may have to live on other planets. Some think that it is therefore important to spend money researching other planets such as Mars.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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