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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of governments and private companies and which ones should carry out scientific research.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Governments and Private Companies

Scientific research should be carried out and controlled by the governments rather than private companies.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some feel that scientific research should be conducted by governments instead of private entities. I am largely in disagreement with this sentiment since the risks for public health entailed do not outweigh the competencies of corporations.

Those in favor of state control over research argue governments are not motivated to generate revenue. Companies are inherently concerned with amassing capital and maximizing returns for shareholders and equity partners. An illustrative example of the threat here would be the opioid crisis currently ravaging the United States. Purdue, a privately-owned pharmaceutical manufacturer, produced a pill with knowledge of its extremely addictive properties and intentionally misled the public. The results have been millions of deaths and rising addiction rates to opioids such as heroin. In contrast, the government is able to prioritize public health since they do not have to earn a profit.

However, the example above is an extreme exception as most companies are motivated to innovate and contribute to the public good. The examples of this behavior abound though they are less likely to receive excessive media attention. Such breakthroughs include medicines such as the vaccine for Covid-19 developed by Pfizer and the technologies that companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung have pioneered in recent decades. These private companies are able to hire and pay the best employees and are often led by visionary leaders who are driven to excel and overcome competition from other firms. The corporate environment creates the catalyst for scientists and researchers to develop transformative devices and make discoveries that benefit the general citizenry.

In conclusion, although companies are likely to pursue profits at all costs, they are also more motivated to innovate. The role of government is therefore to contain the worst excesses of the corporate world.

Analysis

1. Some feel that scientific research should be conducted by governments instead of private entities. 2. I am largely in disagreement with this sentiment since the risks for public health entailed do not outweigh the competencies of corporations.

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

1. Those in favor of state control over research argue governments are not motivated to generate revenue. 2. Companies are inherently concerned with amassing capital and maximizing returns for shareholders and equity partners. 3. An illustrative example of the threat here would be the opioid crisis currently ravaging the United States. 4. Purdue, a privately-owned pharmaceutical manufacturer, produced a pill with knowledge of its extremely addictive properties and intentionally misled the public. 5. The results have been millions of deaths and rising addiction rates to opioids such as heroin. 6. In contrast, the government is able to prioritize public health since they do not have to earn a profit.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Vary long and short sentences.
  6. Finish development.

1. However, the example above is an extreme exception as most companies are motivated to innovate and contribute to the public good. 2. The examples of this behavior abound though they are less likely to receive excessive media attention. 3. Such breakthroughs include medicines such as the vaccine for Covid-19 developed by Pfizer and the technologies that companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung have pioneered in recent decades. 4. These private companies are able to hire and pay the best employees and are often led by visionary leaders who are driven to excel and overcome competition from other firms. 5. The corporate environment creates the catalyst for scientists and researchers to develop transformative devices and make discoveries that benefit the general citizenry.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.

1. In conclusion, although companies are likely to pursue profits at all costs, they are also more motivated to innovate. 2. The role of government is therefore to contain the worst excesses of the corporate world.

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

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Some feel that scientific research should be conducted by governments instead of private entities. I am largely in disagreement with this sentiment since the risks for public health entailed do not outweigh the competencies of corporations.

Those in favor of state control over research argue governments are not motivated to generate revenue. Companies are inherently concerned with amassing capital and maximizing returns for shareholders and equity partners. An illustrative example of the threat here would be the opioid crisis currently ravaging the United States. Purdue, a privately-owned pharmaceutical manufacturer, produced a pill with knowledge of its extremely addictive properties and intentionally misled the public. The results have been millions of deaths and rising addiction rates to opioids such as heroin. In contrast, the government is able to prioritize public health since they do not have to earn a profit.

However, the example above is an extreme exception as most companies are motivated to innovate and contribute to the public good. The examples of this behavior abound though they are less likely to receive excessive media attention. Such breakthroughs include medicines such as the vaccine for Covid-19 developed by Pfizer and the technologies that companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung have pioneered in recent decades. These private companies are able to hire and pay the best employees and are often led by visionary leaders who are driven to excel and overcome competition from other firms. The corporate environment creates the catalyst for scientists and researchers to develop transformative devices and make discoveries that benefit the general citizenry.

In conclusion, although companies are likely to pursue profits at all costs, they are also more motivated to innovate. The role of government is therefore to contain the worst excesses of the corporate world.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

scientific research studying topics such as medicine and technology

conducted by done by

governments nations, countries, federal governments

instead of rather than

private entities companies

largely in disagreement mostly don’t agree

sentiment opinion

risks threats

public health entailed how healthy people are included

outweigh stronger than

competencies abilities

corporations companies

those in favor of people who support

state control governments in charge

argue point out

motivated encouraged to

generate revenue make money

inherently concerned naturally care about

amassing capital making more money

maximizing returns making the most possible money

shareholders investors

equity partners people who own part of the company

threat risk

opioid crisis using drugs derived from the poppy flower

currently ravaging now destroying

privately-owned pharmaceutical manufacturer drug company

pill tablet, medicine

extremely addictive properties makes people very dependent

intentionally misled deliberately lied to

results effects

rising addiction rates more people using the drugs

heroin an opioid drug

prioritize public health care more about the health of people

earn make

profit money

extreme exception rare outlier case

innovate come up with new ideas

contribute to add to

the public good the welfare of all

abound are common

receive excessive media attention are on the news a lot

breakthroughs new discoveries, advances

vaccine shot that prevents a disease

pioneered first made

hire give a job

led by visionary leaders created by smart founders

driven motivated

excel do really well

overcome do better than

firms companies

environment atmosphere

catalyst cause

develop transformative devices make new products

make discoveries uncover things

benefit get a lot out of

general citizenry all people, the public

pursue profits try to make a lot of money

at all costs by any means necessary

innovate create something new

role part

contain have inside them

worst excesses biggest harms

corporate world companies

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˌsaɪənˈtɪfɪk rɪˈsɜːʧ 
kənˈdʌktɪd baɪ 
ˈgʌvnmənts 
ɪnˈstɛd ɒv 
ˈpraɪvɪt ˈɛntɪtiz
ˈlɑːʤli ɪn ˌdɪsəˈgriːmənt 
ˈsɛntɪmənt 
rɪsks 
ˈpʌblɪk hɛlθ ɪnˈteɪld 
aʊtˈweɪ 
ˈkɒmpɪtənsiz 
ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz
ðəʊz ɪn ˈfeɪvər ɒv 
steɪt kənˈtrəʊl 
ˈɑːgjuː 
ˈməʊtɪveɪtɪd 
ˈʤɛnəreɪt ˈrɛvɪnjuː
ɪnˈhɪərəntli kənˈsɜːnd 
əˈmæsɪŋ ˈkæpɪtl 
ˈmæksɪmaɪzɪŋ rɪˈtɜːnz 
ˈʃeəˌhəʊldəz 
ˈɛkwɪti ˈpɑːtnəz
θrɛt 
əʊpi:ɔɪd ˈkraɪsɪs 
ˈkʌrəntli ˈrævɪʤɪŋ 
ˈpraɪvɪtli-əʊnd ˌfɑːməˈsjuːtɪkəl ˌmænjʊˈfækʧərə
pɪl 
ɪksˈtriːmli əˈdɪktɪv ˈprɒpətiz 
ɪnˈtɛnʃənli mɪsˈlɛd 
rɪˈzʌlts 
ˈraɪzɪŋ əˈdɪkʃ(ə)n reɪts 
ˈhɛrəʊɪn
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz ˈpʌblɪk hɛlθ 
ɜːn 
ˈprɒfɪt
ɪksˈtriːm ɪkˈsɛpʃən 
ˈɪnəʊveɪt 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)t tuː 
ðə ˈpʌblɪk gʊd
əˈbaʊnd 
rɪˈsiːv ɪkˈsɛsɪv ˈmiːdiə əˈtɛnʃ(ə)n 
ˈbreɪkˌθruːz 
ˈvæksiːn 
ˌpaɪəˈnɪəd 
ˈhaɪə 
lɛd baɪ ˈvɪʒnəri ˈliːdəz 
ˈdrɪvn 
ɪkˈsɛl 
ˌəʊvəˈkʌm 
fɜːmz
ɪnˈvaɪərənmənt 
ˈkætəlɪst 
dɪˈvɛləp ˌtrænsˈfɔːmətɪv dɪˈvaɪsɪz 
meɪk dɪsˈkʌvəriz 
ˈbɛnɪfɪt 
ˈʤɛnərəl ˈsɪtɪznri
pəˈsjuː ˈprɒfɪts 
æt ɔːl kɒsts
ˈɪnəʊveɪt 
rəʊl 
kənˈteɪn 
wɜːst ɪkˈsɛsɪz 
ˈkɔːpərɪt wɜːld

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Some feel that s_________________h should be c_____________y g______________s i___________f p____________s. I am l____________________t with this s___________t since the r_____s for p___________h e___________d do not o__________h the c______________s of c_____________s.

T___________________f s____________l over research a_____e governments are not m___________d to g____________________e. Companies are i______________________d with a____________________l and m______________________s for s______________rs and e____________________s. An illustrative example of the t___________t here would be the o________________________g the United States. Purdue, a p_______________________________________________r, produced a p____l with knowledge of its e____________________________s and i______________________d the public. The r________s have been millions of deaths and r__________________s to opioids such as h________n. In contrast, the government is able to p_____________________h since they do not have to e____n a p______t.

However, the example above is an e_________________n as most companies are motivated to i______________e and c__________________o t______________________d. The examples of this behavior a________d though they are less likely to r________________________________n. Such b________________s include medicines such as the v_________e for Covid-19 developed by Pfizer and the technologies that companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung have p___________d in recent decades. These private companies are able to h____e and pay the best employees and are often l_________y v______________________s who are d_______n to e_______l and o____________e competition from other f_______s. The corporate e______________t creates the c___________t for scientists and researchers to d________________________________s and m_______________s that b_________t the g__________________y.

In conclusion, although companies are likely to p______________s a_______________s, they are also more motivated to i____________e. The r_____e of government is therefore to c________n the w____________________s of the c_______________d.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

https://www.nytimes.com/spotlight/opioid-epidemic

Speaking Practice

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

Science

  1. Were you good at science when you were in school?
  2. What was your favorite scientific subject?
  3. How do you use science in your life now?
  4. Are science majors common in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Research into medical treatments are essential to improve health and fight disease.

Who do you think should fund this research: individuals, private companies or governments?


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