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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of the internet and book.

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IELTS Essay: The Internet and Books

In the past, knowledge was contained in books. Nowadays, knowledge is uploaded to the internet.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

It is a fact of modern life that most information today is stored online, rather than in physical books as it was in the past. In my opinion, this is a negative overall despite its obvious conveniences.

Supporters of this trend can point to the numerous ways knowledge kept online can be disseminated and used. Online information is almost universally accessible, narrowing socioeconomic differences in society and allowing for various conveniences. First of all, users can find relevant information on search engines from a wide range of sources including user-generated sites like Wikipedia to news outlets like The New York Times and academic journals as well. Once an individual locates the information they are looking for, it is also easier to search within that article, share it with others, have it wherever they go and store more than would be possible if it were a hard copy.

Nonetheless, storing information online encourages a dependence on computer technology that is harmful for the human mind. In the past, if a person wanted to research a given topic, they would have to check out a library book or talk with an expert. This process was much slower and open to the possibility of bias. However, it also meant that individuals were more conscientious and patiently learned from fuller, more nuanced sources. Nowadays, most people read short articles, hastily written to attract more clicks and generate advertising revenue. These tap into a fundamental human need to be constantly engaged and feeling pleasure. Over time, this has led to a generation addicted to devices, lacking the healthy habits engendered by careful research and study.

In conclusion, despite the handiness of online information, the impact on the human psyche makes this a negative trend on level. Individuals must themselves find ways to counter these potentially injurious effects.

Analysis

1. It is a fact of modern life that most information today is stored online, rather than in physical books as it was in the past. 2. In my opinion, this is a negative overall despite its obvious conveniences.

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

1. Supporters of this trend can point to the numerous ways knowledge kept online can be disseminated and used. 2. Online information is almost universally accessible, narrowing socioeconomic differences in society and allowing for various conveniences. 3. First of all, users can find relevant information on search engines from a wide range of sources including user-generated sites like Wikipedia to news outlets like The New York Times and academic journals as well. 4. Once an individual locates the information they are looking for, it is also easier to search within that article, share it with others, have it wherever they go and store more than would be possible if it were a hard copy.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Begin to develop it with specific examples.
  4. Finish developing the same main idea fully.

1. Nonetheless, storing information online encourages a dependence on computer technology that is harmful for the human mind. 2. In the past, if a person wanted to research a given topic, they would have to check out a library book or talk with an expert. 3. This process was much slower and open to the possibility of bias. 4. However, it also meant that individuals were more conscientious and patiently learned from fuller, more nuanced sources. 5. Nowadays, most people read short articles, hastily written to attract more clicks and generate advertising revenue. 6. These tap into a fundamental human need to be constantly engaged and feeling pleasure. 7. Over time, this has led to a generation addicted to devices, lacking the healthy habits engendered by careful research and study.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea again.
  3. Begin to add detail.
  4. Use specific support and don’t switch to new main idea.
  5. Use specific examples as support
  6. Draw out the results/conclusions of your examples.
  7. Conclude with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, despite the handiness of online information, the impact on the human psyche makes this a negative trend on level. 2. Individuals must themselves find ways to counter these potentially injurious effects.

  1. Summarise your 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?

It is a fact of modern life that most information today is stored online, rather than in physical books as it was in the past. In my opinion, this is a negative overall despite its obvious conveniences.

Supporters of this trend can point to the numerous ways knowledge kept online can be disseminated and used. Online information is almost universally accessible, narrowing socioeconomic differences in society and allowing for various conveniences. First of all, users can find relevant information on search engines from a wide range of sources including user-generated sites like Wikipedia to news outlets like The New York Times and academic journals as well. Once an individual locates the information they are looking for, it is also easier to search within that article, share it with others, have it wherever they go and store more than would be possible if it were a hard copy.

Nonetheless, storing information online encourages a dependence on computer technology that is harmful for the human mind. In the past, if a person wanted to research a given topic, they would have to check out a library book or talk with an expert. This process was much slower and open to the possibility of bias. However, it also meant that individuals were more conscientious and patiently learned from fuller, more nuanced sources. Nowadays, most people read short articles, hastily written to attract more clicks and generate advertising revenue. These tap into a fundamental human need to be constantly engaged and feeling pleasure. Over time, this has led to a generation addicted to devices, lacking the healthy habits engendered by careful research and study.

In conclusion, despite the handiness of online information, the impact on the human psyche makes this a negative trend on level. Individuals must themselves find ways to counter these potentially injurious effects.

Answers

a fact of modern life true about the world now

stored online kept on the internet

physical books real books

negative overall bad in general

obvious conveniences clearly helpful

supporters of this trend those in favour of it

point to argue about

numerous ways many methods

disseminated spread around

almost universally accessible nearly used by everyone

narrowing socioeconomic differences less difference between classes

allowing for opening up the possibility of

first of all firstly

relevant information what you are looking for

search engines Google, etc.

wide range of sources many places to find information

user-generated sites websites where people visiting create the content

news outlets the media

academic journals formal papers, magazines

locates finds

search within find inside of

share give to others

more than would be possible couldn’t happen with

hard copy real edition

nonetheless regardless

encourages makes people want to

dependence can’t stop using

harmful injurious

a given topic whatever they are looking up

check out take out

expert person who knows a lot

process steps

possibility of bias maybe prejudiced

conscientious careful

patiently slowly and carefully

fuller, more nuanced sources more complete articles, books

hastily written quickly written

attract more clicks get more people to go to it

generate advertising revenue make money

tap into exploit

fundamental human basic human

constantly engaged always occupied

feeling pleasure happy

over time in the long-term

led to caused

generation group of people around the same age

addicted to devices can’t stop using phones

lacking not having

healthy habits good habits

engendered by created by

despite regardless of

handiness convenience

human psyche human mind, psychology

on level overall

counter fight against

potentially injurious effects possibly harmful results

Pronunciation

ə fækt ɒv ˈmɒdən laɪf 
stɔːd ˈɒnˌlaɪn
ˈfɪzɪkəl bʊks 
ˈnɛgətɪv ˈəʊvərɔːl 
ˈɒbvɪəs kənˈviːniənsɪz
səˈpɔːtəz ɒv ðɪs trɛnd 
pɔɪnt tuː 
ˈnjuːmərəs weɪz 
dɪˈsɛmɪneɪtɪd 
ˈɔːlməʊst ˌjuːnɪˈvɜːsəli əkˈsɛsəbl
ˈnærəʊɪŋ ˌsəʊsɪəʊˌɛkəˈnɒmɪk ˈdɪfrənsɪz 
əˈlaʊɪŋ fɔː 
fɜːst ɒv ɔːl
ˈrɛlɪvənt ˌɪnfəˈmeɪʃən 
sɜːʧ ˈɛnʤɪnz 
waɪd reɪnʤ ɒv ˈsɔːsɪz 
ˈjuːzə-ˈʤɛnəreɪtɪd saɪts 
njuːz ˈaʊtlɛts 
ˌækəˈdɛmɪk ˈʤɜːnlz 
ləʊˈkeɪts 
sɜːʧ wɪˈðɪn 
ʃeə 
mɔː ðæn wʊd biː ˈpɒsəbl 
hɑːd ˈkɒpi
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤɪz 
dɪˈpɛndəns 
ˈhɑːmfʊl 
ə ˈgɪvn ˈtɒpɪk
ʧɛk aʊt 
ˈɛkspɜːt
ˈprəʊsɛs 
ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪti ɒv ˈbaɪəs
ˌkɒnʃɪˈɛnʃəs 
ˈpeɪʃəntli 
ˈfʊləmɔː nju(ː)ˈɑːnst ˈsɔːsɪz
ˈheɪstɪli ˈrɪtn 
əˈtrækt mɔː klɪks 
ˈʤɛnəreɪt ˈædvətaɪzɪŋ ˈrɛvɪnjuː
tæp ˈɪntuː 
ˌfʌndəˈmɛntl ˈhjuːmən 
ˈkɒnstəntli ɪnˈgeɪʤd 
ˈfiːlɪŋ ˈplɛʒə
ˈəʊvə taɪm
lɛd tuː 
ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃən 
əˈdɪktɪd tuː dɪˈvaɪsɪz
ˈlækɪŋ 
ˈhɛlθi ˈhæbɪts 
ɪnˈʤɛndəd baɪ 
dɪsˈpaɪt 
ˈhændɪnəs 
ˈhjuːmən ˈsaɪki(ː) 
ɒn ˈlɛvl
ˈkaʊntə 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəli ɪnˈʤʊərɪəs ɪˈfɛkts

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

It is a________________________e that most information today is s______________e, rather than in p_________________s as it was in the past. In my opinion, this is a n____________________l despite its o____________________________s.

S__________________________d can p__________o the n__________________s knowledge kept online can be d___________________d and used. Online information is a_____________________________e, n_______________________________________s in society and a___________________r various conveniences. F____________l, users can find r________________________n on s__________________s from a w_________________________s including u____________________s like Wikipedia to n_________________s like The New York Times and a____________________s as well. Once an individual l___________s the information they are looking for, it is also easier to s_________________n that article, s_________e it with others, have it wherever they go and store m__________________________e if it were a h____________y.

N________________s, storing information online e_________________s a d________________e on computer technology that is h______________l for the human mind. In the past, if a person wanted to research a_______________c, they would have to c_____________t a library book or talk with an e_________t. This p________s was much slower and open to the p_________________s. However, it also meant that individuals were more c________________s and p____________y learned from f________________________________s. Nowadays, most people read short articles, h_______________n to a_____________________s and g___________________________________e. These t_____________o a f_____________________________n need to be c_____________________d and f_________________________e. O___________e, this has l_______o a g________________n a______________________s, l____________g the h________________s e__________________y careful research and study.

In conclusion, d_________e the h____________s of online information, the impact on the h______________e makes this a negative trend o__________l. Individuals must themselves find ways to c___________r these p_______________________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic below and use these ideas to practice:

Reading Practice

Read more about doing research online here and practice with these ideas:

https://www.elearners.com/education-resources/online-learning/how-to-conduct-research-online/

Speaking Practice

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

The Internet

  1. How often do most people use the internet?
  2. Are there drawbacks to its overuse?
  3. What kind of information can people find online?
  4. How has this changed the way that people get their information?
  5. How will the internet change society in the future?

Writing Practice

Practice with the writing below then check with my sample answer:

In the future, nobody will buy printed newspapers or books because they will be able to read everything they want online without paying.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?


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