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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of pictures being used in newspapers and the media from the real IELTS general training exam.

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IELTS Essay: Newspapers & Learning

Some people think that newspapers are the best way to learn about current events. However, others believe that they can learn news better through other media.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Many are of the view that news is best received through traditional newspapers while others feel that more modern media is preferable. In my opinion, despite the better habits engendered by reading the newspaper, it is impossible to argue convincingly against the convenience of newer mediums.

On the one hand, reading the newspaper allows for a healthy, distraction-free environment. This relates to both the content and the presentation of newspapers. Newspapers undergo rigorous editing and articles are necessarily published more slowly, allowing for better writing and fewer sensationalist headlines. An individual reading the newspaper can be compared to someone eating healthy foods or doing exercise. Similarly, newspapers are not vulnerable to the wide array of potential distractions on digital devices. There is less chance a newspaper reader will be distracted by social media or their personal communications.

On the other hand, there are a wide variety of functions only provided by more recent forms of media. Newspapers are primarily based on text, with images adding slight variety. In contrast, online media enables an individual to watch videos, listen to audio, cross-reference sources, consult primary sources, and generally take full advantage of the digital world. For example, a person who reads an article about a politician’s remarks can then check for the video in order to hear their words in context and later visit a site such as Twitter to analyze reactions from the general public, journalists, experts, and the politician. This information can then be easily shared through online messaging services or social media.

In conclusion, there are definite advantages to non-digital news sources, however, these are overshadowed by the versatility of modern media. It is the duty of individuals to ensure they enjoy the positives without the drawbacks of spending too much time online.

Analysis

1. Many are of the view that news is best received through traditional newspapers while others feel that more modern media is preferable. 2. In my opinion, despite the better habits engendered by reading the newspaper, it is impossible to argue convincingly against the convenience of newer mediums.

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

1. On the one hand, reading the newspaper allows for a healthy, distraction-free environment. 2. This relates to both the content and the presentation of newspapers. 3. Newspapers undergo rigorous editing and articles are necessarily published more slowly, allowing for better writing and fewer sensationalist headlines. 4. An individual reading the newspaper can be compared to someone eating healthy foods or doing exercise. 5. Similarly, newspapers are not vulnerable to the wide array of potential distractions on digital devices. 6. There is less chance a newspaper reader will be distracted by social media or their personal communications.

  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. You can have a second main idea.
  6. And develop it as well.

1. On the other hand, there are a wide variety of functions only provided by more recent forms of media. 2. Newspapers are primarily based on text, with images adding slight variety. 3. In contrast, online media enables an individual to watch videos, listen to audio, cross-reference sources, consult primary sources, and generally take full advantage of the digital world. 4. For example, a person who reads an article about a politician’s remarks can then check for the video in order to hear their words in context and later visit a site such as Twitter to analyze reactions from the general public, journalists, experts, and the politician. 5. This information can then be easily shared through online messaging services or social media.

  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. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!

1. In conclusion, there are definite advantages to non-digital news sources, however, these are overshadowed by the versatility of modern media. 2. It is the duty of individuals to ensure they enjoy the positives without the drawbacks of spending too much time online.

  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.

Many are of the view that news is best received through traditional newspapers while others feel that more modern media is preferable. In my opinion, despite the better habits engendered by reading the newspaper, it is impossible to argue convincingly against the convenience of newer mediums.

On the one hand, reading the newspaper allows for a healthy, distraction-free environment. This relates to both the content and the presentation of newspapers. Newspapers undergo rigorous editing and articles are necessarily published more slowly, allowing for better writing and fewer sensationalist headlines. An individual reading the newspaper can be compared to someone eating healthy foods or doing exercise. Similarly, newspapers are not vulnerable to the wide array of potential distractions on digital devices. There is less chance a newspaper reader will be distracted by social media or their personal communications.

On the other hand, there are a wide variety of functions only provided by more recent forms of media. Newspapers are primarily based on text, with images adding slight variety. In contrast, online media enables an individual to watch videos, listen to audio, cross-reference sources, consult primary sources, and generally take full advantage of the digital world. For example, a person who reads an article about a politician’s remarks can then check for the video in order to hear their words in context and later visit a site such as Twitter to analyze reactions from the general public, journalists, experts, and the politician. This information can then be easily shared through online messaging services or social media.

In conclusion, there are definite advantages to non-digital news sources, however, these are overshadowed by the versatility of modern media. It is the duty of individuals to ensure they enjoy the positives without the drawbacks of spending too much time online.

Answers

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

best received better to get this way

traditional newspapers normal papers like The New York Times

modern media online forms of news (and TV)

preferable better

despite regardless of

better habits improved actions

engendered by created by

impossible can’t happen

argue convincingly against make a good contrary point

convenience comfort and ease

mediums modes of delivery

on the one hand on the one side

allows for enables one

distraction-free environment able to focus

relates to concerning

content what’s inside

presentation how it is shown

undergo rigorous go through meticulous

necessarily must be

allowing for enabling

fewer sensationalist headlines not so many big headline stories

compared to relative to

similarly a lot like

vulnerable to at risk of

wide array many types

potential distractions possible ways to lose focus

digital devices phones, computers, etc.

distracted not focused

social media Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc.

personal communications chatting and emailing

on the other hand however

wide variety many different types

functions features

provided by presented by

primarily based on text mostly written

images pictures

slight variety small amount of different stuff

in contrast however

enables allows for

cross-reference sources check articles

consult primary sources look at where it first came from

generally take full advantage of the digital world overall use the internet

remarks what a person said

in context in the full situation

analyze reactions look at what people are saying

general public society

journalists reporters

experts people who know a lot about it

easily shared can be sent out quickly

through online messaging services Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.

definite clear

non-digital news sources papers, not online

overshadowed stronger than

versatility flexibility

ensure make sure of

positives advantages

drawbacks negatives

Pronunciation

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

bɛst rɪˈsiːvd 
trəˈdɪʃənl ˈnjuːzˌpeɪpəz 
ˈmɒdən ˈmiːdiə 
ˈprɛfərəbl
dɪsˈpaɪt 
ˈbɛtə ˈhæbɪts 
ɪnˈʤɛndəd baɪ 
ɪmˈpɒsəbl 
ˈɑːgjuː kənˈvɪnsɪŋli əˈgɛnst 
kənˈviːniəns 
ˈmiːdiəmz
ɒn ðə wʌn hænd
əˈlaʊz fɔː 
dɪsˈtrækʃən-friː ɪnˈvaɪərənmənt.
rɪˈleɪts tuː 
ˈkɒntɛnt 
ˌprɛzɛnˈteɪʃən 
ˌʌndəˈgəʊ ˈrɪgərəs 
ˈnɛsɪsərɪli 
əˈlaʊɪŋ fɔː 
ˈfjuːə sɛnˈseɪʃənlɪst ˈhɛdlaɪnz 
kəmˈpeəd tuː 
ˈsɪmɪləli
ˈvʌlnərəbl tuː 
waɪd əˈreɪ 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl dɪsˈtrækʃənz 
ˈdɪʤɪtl dɪˈvaɪsɪz
dɪsˈtræktɪd 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈmiːdiə 
ˈpɜːsnl kəˌmjuːnɪˈkeɪʃənz
ɒn ði ˈʌðə hænd
waɪd vəˈraɪəti 
ˈfʌŋkʃənz 
prəˈvaɪdɪd baɪ 
ˈpraɪmərɪli beɪst ɒn tɛkst
ˈɪmɪʤɪz 
slaɪt vəˈraɪəti
ɪn ˈkɒntrɑːst
ɪˈneɪblz 
krɒs-ˈrɛfrəns ˈsɔːsɪz
kənˈsʌlt ˈpraɪməri ˈsɔːsɪz
ˈʤɛnərəli teɪk fʊl ədˈvɑːntɪʤ ɒv ðə ˈdɪʤɪtl wɜːld
ˈrɪˈmɑːks 
ɪn ˈkɒntɛkst 
ˈænəlaɪz ri(ː)ˈækʃənz 
ˈʤɛnərəl ˈpʌblɪk
ˈʤɜːnəlɪsts
ˈɛkspɜːts
ˈiːzɪli ʃeəd 
θruː ˈɒnˌlaɪn ˈmɛsɪʤɪŋ ˈsɜːvɪsɪz
ˈdɛfɪnɪt 
nɒn-ˈdɪʤɪtl njuːz ˈsɔːsɪz
ˌəʊvəˈʃædəʊd 
ˌvɜːsəˈtɪlɪti 
ɪnˈʃʊə 
ˈpɒzətɪvz 
ˈdrɔːbæks 

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:

Many are of the view that news is b_______________d through t_____________________s while others feel that more m________________a is p_______________e. In my opinion, d_______e the b________________________________y reading the newspaper, it is i______________e to a_________________________t the c________________e of newer m___________s.

O___________________d, reading the newspaper a______________r a healthy, d___________________________t. This r_________o both the c__________t and the p____________n of newspapers. Newspapers u_________________s editing and articles are n___________y published more slowly, a_________________r better writing and f______________________________s. An individual reading the newspaper can be c_______________o someone eating healthy foods or doing exercise. S_____________y, newspapers are not v_______________o the w___________y of p__________________s on d______________s. There is less chance a newspaper reader will be d__________d by s_________________a or their p________________________s.

O________________d, there are a w____________y of f_____________s only p______________y more recent forms of media. Newspapers are p_______________________t, with i__________s adding s____________y. I__________t, online media e________s an individual to watch videos, listen to audio, c______________________s, c__________________s, and g_____________________________________________d. For example, a person who reads an article about a politician’s r_________s can then check for the video in order to hear their words i____________t and later visit a site such as Twitter to a_____________s from the g___________c, j___________s, e__________s, and the politician. This information can then be e_______________d t________________________________________s or social media.

In conclusion, there are d_________e advantages to n_________________________s, however, these are o__________________d by the v___________y of modern media. It is the duty of individuals to e______e they enjoy the p________s without the d___________s of spending too much time online.

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.forbes.com/sites/berlinschoolofcreativeleadership/2017/02/01/10-journalism-brands-where-you-will-find-real-facts-rather-than-alternative-facts/

Speaking Practice

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

Newspapers/Magazines

  1. Do you prefer to read newspapers or magazines?
  2. Do you like reading the news online?
  3. Is it more convenient nowadays to read the news online?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Some people think that newspapers are the best way to learn news. However, others believe that they can learn news better through other media. Discuss both views and give your opinion


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