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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of large and small businesses.

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IELTS Essay: Large Businesses

In the past, most people worked for small businesses, while more people now work for large businesses.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working for large businesses?

The rise of large corporations has led to a fundamental shift in the workforce towards large businesses. The chief advantages of this relate to opportunity and the downsides are larger, societal dilemmas.

Proponents of big business can point to career advancement and the variety of roles within a large company. Small businesses, by their nature, draw on a limited possible source of revenue that naturally caps promotions. Large companies have nearly unlimited profit potential and can thus employ a large number of managers, executives and other high-salaried positions. Moreover, a small business is more likely to be limited in the number of roles, while larger companies will have departments ranging from legal to marketing to research and development to human resources, all of which are potential destinations for motivated employees.

The disadvantages of these large companies relate less directly to individuals and more to society at large. Firstly, although there are more quality jobs available in big companies, the disappearance of small, local entrepreneurs means that capital becomes concentrated in the company’s chief shareholders, who are often living in other countries and already extremely rich. Over time this has led to the division of wealth that defines the 21st century. Secondly, as executive decisions become further removed from local communities it is harder to regulate large companies. A good example of this would be the environmental cost of drilling for oil and extracting natural gas, which hurts local residents but continues unabated because those in authority are unaffected.

In conclusion, the opportunities provided by big business do not outweigh the negative potential for all of society when power becomes concentrated and distant. It is therefore important to check the reach of corporations and empower individuals.

Analysis

1. The rise of large corporations has led to a fundamental shift in the workforce towards large businesses. 2. The chief advantages of this relate to opportunity and the downsides are larger, societal dilemmas.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Include your main ideas if possible in the introduction. Read more about introductions here.

1. Proponents of big business can point to career advancement and the variety of roles within a large company. 2. Small businesses, by their nature, draw on a limited possible source of revenue that naturally caps promotions. 3. Large companies have nearly unlimited profit potential and can thus employ a large number of managers, executives and other high-salaried positions. 4. Moreover, a small business is more likely to be limited in the number of roles, while larger companies will have departments ranging from legal to marketing to research and development to human resources, all of which are potential destinations for motivated employees.

  1. Write a topic sentence with your main ideas.
  2. Begin to develop the first one.
  3. Develop it deeply and specifically.
  4. Switch to a second advantage and develop it fully.

1. The disadvantages of these large companies relate less directly to individuals and more to society at large. 2. Firstly, although there are more quality jobs available in big companies, the disappearance of small, local entrepreneurs means that capital becomes concentrated in the company’s chief shareholders, who are often living in other countries and already extremely rich. 3. Over time this has led to the division of wealth that defines the 21st century. 4. Secondly, as executive decisions become further removed from local communities it is harder to regulate large companies. 5. A good example of this would be the environmental cost of drilling for oil and extracting natural gas, which hurts local residents but continues unabated because those in authority are unaffected.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Develop that main idea.
  3. State the full results of your idea.
  4. Move on to another disadvantage.
  5. Develop it fully with an example.

1. In conclusion, the opportunities provided by big business do not outweigh the negative potential for all of society when power becomes concentrated and distant. 2. It is therefore important to check the reach of corporations and empower individuals.

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

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

The rise of large corporations has led to a fundamental shift in the workforce towards large businesses. The chief advantages of this relate to opportunity and the downsides are larger, societal dilemmas.

Proponents of big business can point to career advancement and the variety of roles within a large company. Small businesses, by their nature, draw on a limited possible source of revenue that naturally caps promotions. Large companies have nearly unlimited profit potential and can thus employ a large number of managers, executives and other high-salaried positions. Moreover, a small business is more likely to be limited in the number of roles, while larger companies will have departments ranging from legal to marketing to research and development to human resources, all of which are potential destinations for motivated employees.

The disadvantages of these large companies relate less directly to individuals and more to society at large. Firstly, although there are more quality jobs available in big companies, the disappearance of small, local entrepreneurs means that capital becomes concentrated in the company’s chief shareholders, who are often living in other countries and already extremely rich. Over time this has led to the division of wealth that defines the 21st century. Secondly, as executive decisions become further removed from local communities it is harder to regulate large companies. A good example of this would be the environmental cost of drilling for oil and extracting natural gas, which hurts local residents but continues unabated because those in authority are unaffected.

In conclusion, the opportunities provided by big business do not outweigh the negative potential for all of society when power becomes concentrated and distant. It is therefore important to check the reach of corporations and empower individuals.

Answers

rise of large corporations more big companies

fundamental shift basic change

workforce employed people

chief advantages main benefits

relate to have to do with

downsides disadvantages

societal dilemmas problems affecting all people

proponents supporters

big business large companies

point to career advancement argue about promotions and opportunities

variety of roles many different jobs

by their nature naturally, of course

draw on take from

limited possible source of revenue only so much money they can make

naturally caps of course limited to

nearly unlimited profit potential no limits on the money that can be made

employ give jobs to

executives CEOs, CFOs, etc.

high-salaried positions well-paying jobs

departments ranging fromto parts of the company including

legal lawyers

research and development coming up with new ideas

human resources managing employees, HR

all of which are everything is

destinations places to go

motivated employees workers who really want to

relate less directly don’t have much to do with

society at large all people

disappearance going away

local entrepreneurs small businesses

capital money and resources

concentrated focused

chief shareholders those who own the country

division of wealth how money is spread out

defines the 21st century represents 2000 to 2100

executive decisions choices from the higher ups

further removed more and more distant

local communities small businesses

regulate control

environmental cost negative impact on the environment

drilling for oil getting oil out of the ground

extracting natural gas taking gas from the Earth

hurts local residents does not benefit locals

continues unabated keeps going on without slowing down

authority power

unaffected no effect

outweigh stronger than

distant far away

check the reach control the influence

empower individuals give power to people

Pronunciation

raɪz ɒv lɑːʤ ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz 
ˌfʌndəˈmɛntl ʃɪft 
ˈwɜːkˌfɔːs 
ʧiːf ədˈvɑːntɪʤɪz 
rɪˈleɪt tuː 
ˈdaʊnˌsaɪdz 
səˈsaɪətl dɪˈlɛməz
prəˈpəʊnənts 
bɪg ˈbɪznɪs 
pɔɪnt tuː kəˈrɪər ədˈvɑːnsmənt 
vəˈraɪəti ɒv rəʊlz 
baɪ ðeə ˈneɪʧə
drɔː ɒn 
ˈlɪmɪtɪd ˈpɒsəbl sɔːs ɒv ˈrɛvɪnjuː 
ˈnæʧrəli ˈkæps 
ˈnɪəli ʌnˈlɪmɪtɪd ˈprɒfɪt pəʊˈtɛnʃəl 
ɪmˈplɔɪ 
ɪgˈzɛkjʊtɪvz 
haɪ-ˈsælərɪd pəˈzɪʃənz
dɪˈpɑːtmənts ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm … tuː
ˈliːgəl 
rɪˈsɜːʧ ænd dɪˈvɛləpmənt 
ˈhjuːmən rɪˈsɔːsɪz
ɔːl ɒv wɪʧ ɑː 
ˌdɛstɪˈneɪʃənz 
ˈməʊtɪveɪtɪd ˌɛmplɔɪˈiːz
rɪˈleɪt lɛs dɪˈrɛktli 
səˈsaɪəti æt lɑːʤ
ˌdɪsəˈpɪərəns 
ˈləʊkəl ˌɒntrəprəˈnɜːz 
ˈkæpɪtl 
ˈkɒnsəntreɪtɪd  
ʧiːf ˈʃeəˌhəʊldəz
dɪˈvɪʒən ɒv wɛlθ 
dɪˈfaɪnz ðə ˈtwɛnti fɜːst ˈsɛnʧʊri
ɪgˈzɛkjʊtɪv dɪˈsɪʒənz 
ˈfɜːðə rɪˈmuːvd 
ˈləʊkəl kəˈmjuːnɪtiz 
ˈrɛgjʊleɪt 
ɪnˌvaɪərənˈmɛntl kɒst 
ˈdrɪlɪŋ fɔːr ɔɪl 
ɪksˈtræktɪŋ ˈnæʧrəl gæs
hɜːts ˈləʊkəl ˈrɛzɪdənts 
kənˈtɪnju(ː)z ˌʌnəˈbeɪtɪd 
ɔːˈθɒrɪti 
ˌʌnəˈfɛktɪd
aʊtˈweɪ 
ˈdɪstənt
ʧɛk ðə riːʧ 
ɪmˈpaʊər ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəlz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The r____________________________s has led to a f____________________t in the w_______________e towards large businesses. The c____________________s of this r___________o opportunity and the d_______________s are larger, s_____________________s.

P_______________s of b_____________s can p_________________________t and the v_____________________s within a large company. Small businesses, b_______________________e, d_____________n a l___________________________e that n_____________________s promotions. Large companies have n__________________________________l and can thus e_________y a large number of managers, e_____________s and other h_______________________s. Moreover, a small business is more likely to be limited in the number of roles, while larger companies will have d_________________________m l_______l t__ marketing to r_________________________________t to h__________________s, a______________________________e potential d________________s for m_________________________s.

The disadvantages of these large companies r_____________________y to individuals and more to s_____________________e. Firstly, although there are more quality jobs available in big companies, the d__________________e of small, l________________________s means that c_____________l becomes c_________________d in the company’s c______________________s, who are often living in other countries and already extremely rich. Over time this has led to the d_______________________h that d____________________y. Secondly, as e_________________________s become f___________________d from l___________________________s it is harder to r________________e large companies. A good example of this would be the e____________________t of d__________________l and e_________________________s, which h_________________________s but c___________________d because those in a_______________y are u________________d.

In conclusion, the opportunities provided by big business do not o_____________h the negative potential for all of society when power becomes concentrated and d___________t. It is therefore important to c__________________h of corporations and e___________________s.

Listening Practice

Listen about a related business topic and practice:

Reading Practice

Read about this topic and use some of these ideas to improve your reading too:

Speaking Practice

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

Talk about a family business that you know. Include

What it does

Where it is

If you go there a lot

Writing Practice

Write about the related question below and check with my sample answer:

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

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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