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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of large supermarkets and smaller shops from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay General Training: Supermarkets and Small Shops

Many large supermarkets are being built today while the number of small shops is decreasing.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

The increasing number of large supermarkets has called into question their value for locals relative to smaller shops. In my opinion, though supermarkets are more convenient, local people benefit more from supporting their community rather than large conglomerates.

The obvious benefits to supermarkets relates to their convenience. They allow consumers to select from a wide variety of products that are consistently available, clearly labelled, fresh, and reasonably priced, depending on the supermarket in question. This contrasts with local shops which are necessarily smaller and therefore cannot stock as many products. These smaller stores are also more likely to run out of goods and charge higher prices. A supermarket can typically operate on smaller profit margins because of the volume of shoppers, which then allows them to offer discounts and special deals. All these factors combine to explain the inevitable dominance of large chain supermarkets over local retailers.

Regardless, by contributing to small shops, consumers fund those in their immediate community and deprive large companies of outsized profits. The money spent at a supermarket barely trickles down to the local area, through subsistence wages for employees, while the majority of the profits go to distant corporate executives and shareholders. Over time, these large companies have amassed considerable capital, as in the case of a company like Walmart, and now generate disproportionately large sums of money for a handful of individuals while paying minimum wage to most workers and leveraging their distribution power to slash rates with their suppliers. In effect, this means that the people producing and selling the food are not reaping the rewards of their efforts.

In conclusion, the modern conveniences of supermarkets do not outweigh their pernicious economic impact. Buying from a local shop is one way to better disperse power within a community.

Analysis

1. The increasing number of large supermarkets has called into question their value for locals relative to smaller shops. 2. In my opinion, though supermarkets are more convenient, local people benefit more from supporting their community rather than large conglomerates.

  1. Here I paraphrased the overall essay topic.
  2. Then I added my overall opinion and included my main ideas. Read more about introductions here.

1. The obvious benefits to supermarkets relates to their convenience. 2. They allow consumers to select from a wide variety of products that are consistently available, clearly labelled, fresh, and reasonably priced, depending on the supermarket in question. 3. This contrasts with local shops which are necessarily smaller and therefore cannot stock as many products. 4. These smaller stores are also more likely to run out of goods and charge higher prices. 5. A supermarket can typically operate on smaller profit margins because of the volume of shoppers, which then allows them to offer discounts and special deals. 6. All these factors combine to explain the inevitable dominance of large chain supermarkets over local retailers.

  1. I wrote a clear topic sentence with my main idea at the end.
  2. Then I explained it with specific examples.
  3. I contract with local shops to make my argument strong.
  4. Next, I wrote a shorter sentence and developed the comparison.
  5. Here I keep developing the comparison.
  6. I conclude the paragraph with a strong statement.

1. Regardless, by contributing to small shops, consumers fund those in their immediate community and deprive large companies of outsized profits. 2. The money spent at a supermarket barely trickles down to the local area, through subsistence wages for employees, while the majority of the profits go to distant corporate executives and shareholders. 3. Over time, these large companies have amassed considerable capital, as in the case of a company like Walmart, and now generate disproportionately large sums of money for a handful of individuals while paying minimum wage to most workers and leveraging their distribution power to slash rates with their suppliers. 4. In effect, this means that the people producing and selling the food are not reaping the rewards of their efforts.

  1. I wrote another clear topic sentence with a new main idea.
  2. Then I explain and begin to develop my idea.
  3. Here I wrote a long sentence fully developing why people should not contribute to large supermarket companies.
  4. I state the full results at the end of the paragraph.

1. In conclusion, the modern conveniences of supermarkets do not outweigh their pernicious economic impact. 2. Buying from a local shop is one way to better disperse power within a community.

  1. I repeat my opinion and include my main ideas.
  2. Finally, I include a final thought/extra detail. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

The increasing number of large supermarkets has called into question their value for locals relative to smaller shops. In my opinion, though supermarkets are more convenient, local people benefit more from supporting their community rather than large conglomerates.

The obvious benefits to supermarkets relates to their convenience. They allow consumers to select from a wide variety of products that are consistently available, clearly labelled, fresh, and reasonably priced, depending on the supermarket in question. This contrasts with local shops which are necessarily smaller and therefore cannot stock as many products. These smaller stores are also more likely to run out of goods and charge higher prices. A supermarket can typically operate on smaller profit margins because of the volume of shoppers, which then allows them to offer discounts and special deals. All these factors combine to explain the inevitable dominance of large chain supermarkets over local retailers.

Regardless, by contributing to small shops, consumers fund those in their immediate community and deprive large companies of outsized profits. The money spent at a supermarket barely trickles down to the local area, through subsistence wages for employees, while the majority of the profits go to distant corporate executives and shareholders. Over time, these large companies have amassed considerable capital, as in the case of a company like Walmart, and now generate disproportionately large sums of money for a handful of individuals while paying minimum wage to most workers and leveraging their distribution power to slash rates with their suppliers. In effect, this means that the people producing and selling the food are not reaping the rewards of their efforts.

In conclusion, the modern conveniences of supermarkets do not outweigh their pernicious economic impact. Buying from a local shop is one way to better disperse power within a community.

Answers

increasing number becoming more common

called into question questioned, dubious

value importance

locals relative to people who live around there related to

convenient easy

benefit more more advantageous

supporting their community help the local area

large conglomerates big companies

relates to has to do with

convenience ease

select from a wide variety choose from a lot of

consistently available can be found at any time

clearly labelled priced, clear ingredients

fresh not old

reasonably priced not too expensive

depending on hinging on

in question being discussed

contrasts differences

necessarily smaller must be not as large

stock products placed on shelves

more likely probably will happen

run out not have anymore

goods products

charge higher prices foods cost more

operate stay open

smaller profit margins making less money per product

volume of shoppers number of customers

offer discounts coupons, reduced prices

special deals discounts

factors combine elements add up to

explain show the reason how

inevitable dominance will be in control

large chain supermarkets big supermarkets owned by companies

local retailers neighborhood shops

regardless nonetheless

contributing to adding to

fund give money to

immediate community nearby area

deprive take away from

outsized profits disproportionate money

barely trickles down doesn’t reach many people

local area local community

subsistence wages just enough money to survive

majority most

distant corporate executives far away rich guys

shareholders people invested in the company

over time over a long period

amassed considerable capital accumulated a lot of money

Walmart a big supermarket/department store in America

generate disproportionately large sums make too much money

handful of some

paying minimum wage low salaries

leveraging their distribution power exploiting their control of sales

slash rates reduce prices

suppliers people/companies that sell to supermarkets

in effect overall

reaping the rewards get the benefits

efforts attempts

outweigh stronger than

pernicious economic impact bad for the economy

better disperse spread out better

within a community in a local area

Pronunciation

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋ ˈnʌmbə 
kɔːld ˈɪntuː ˈkwɛsʧən 
ˈvæljuː 
ˈləʊkəlz ˈrɛlətɪv tuː 
kənˈviːniənt
ˈbɛnɪfɪt mɔː 
səˈpɔːtɪŋ ðeə kəˈmjuːnɪti 
lɑːʤ kənˈglɒmərɪts
rɪˈleɪts tuː 
kənˈviːniəns
sɪˈlɛkt frɒm ə waɪd vəˈraɪəti
kənˈsɪstəntli əˈveɪləbl
ˈklɪəli ˈleɪbld
frɛʃ
ˈriːznəbli praɪst
dɪˈpɛndɪŋ ɒn 
ɪn ˈkwɛsʧən
ˈkɒntrɑːsts 
ˈnɛsɪsərɪli ˈsmɔːlə 
stɒk 
mɔː ˈlaɪkli 
rʌn aʊt 
gʊdz 
ʧɑːʤ ˈhaɪə ˈpraɪsɪz
ˈɒpəreɪt 
ˈsmɔːlə ˈprɒfɪt ˈmɑːʤɪnz 
ˈvɒljʊm ɒv ˈʃɒpəz
ˈɒfə ˈdɪskaʊnts 
ˈspɛʃəl diːlz
ˈfæktəz ˈkɒmbaɪn 
ɪksˈpleɪn 
ɪnˈɛvɪtəbl ˈdɒmɪnəns 
lɑːʤ ʧeɪn ˈsjuːpəˌmɑːkɪts 
ˈləʊkəl riːˈteɪləz
rɪˈgɑːdlɪs
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)tɪŋ tuː 
fʌnd
ɪˈmiːdiət kəˈmjuːnɪti 
dɪˈpraɪv 
ˈaʊtsaɪzd ˈprɒfɪts
ˈbeəli ˈtrɪklz daʊn 
ˈləʊkəl ˈeərɪə
səbˈsɪstəns ˈweɪʤɪz 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈdɪstənt ˈkɔːpərɪt ɪgˈzɛkjʊtɪvz 
ˈʃeəˌhəʊldəz
ˈəʊvə taɪm
əˈmæst kənˈsɪdərəbl ˈkæpɪtl
wɔːl mɑːt
ˈʤɛnəreɪt ˌdɪsprəˈpɔːʃnɪtli lɑːʤ sʌmz 
ˈhændfʊl ɒv 
ˈpeɪɪŋ ˈmɪnɪməm weɪʤ 
ˈliːvərɪʤɪŋ ðeə ˌdɪstrɪˈbjuːʃən ˈpaʊə 
slæʃ reɪts 
səˈplaɪəz
ɪn ɪˈfɛkt
ˈriːpɪŋ ðə rɪˈwɔːdz 
ˈɛfəts
aʊtˈweɪ 
pɜːˈnɪʃəs ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˈɪmpækt
ˈbɛtə dɪsˈpɜːs 
wɪˈðɪn ə kəˈmjuːnɪti

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The i______________________r of large supermarkets has c_____________________n their v_______e for l__________________o smaller shops. In my opinion, though supermarkets are more c______________t, local people b________________e from s_________________________y rather than l_________________________s.

The obvious benefits to supermarkets r___________o their c_______________e. They allow consumers to s_________________________y of products that are c__________________________e, c_________________d, f_______h, and r___________________d, d________________n the supermarket i______________n. This c______________s with local shops which are n____________________r and therefore cannot s_______k as many products. These smaller stores are also m___________y to r___________t of g_________s and c____________________s. A supermarket can typically o__________e on s______________________s because of the v______________________s, which then allows them to o_________________s and s_________________s. All these f_________________e to e____________n the i___________________e of l_________________________s over l__________________s.

R_____________s, by c____________________o small shops, consumers f_______d those in their i___________________y and d__________e large companies of o__________________s. The money spent at a supermarket b____________________n to the l____________a, through s__________________s for employees, while the m______________y of the profits go to d_______________________s and s_______________s. O____________e, these large companies have a_________________________________l, as in the case of a company like W_______________t, and now g_________________________________________s of money for a h_______________f individuals while p__________________________e to most workers and l_______________________________________r to s_____________s with their s______________s. I_________________t, this means that the people producing and selling the food are not r_________________________s of their e___________s.

In conclusion, the modern conveniences of supermarkets do not o___________h their p_____________________________t. Buying from a local shop is one way to b______________________e power w____________________y.

Listening Practice

Watch the difference between supermarkets and farmer’s markets below:

Reading Practice

Read about the death of supermarkets below:

https://www.wired.com/2016/04/supermarket-must-die-app-fueled-services-can-kill/

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Food

  1. What kinds of foods do you like to eat?
  2. How different is food in your country today from when you were younger?
  3. Which foods do you dislike?
  4. What foods do people in your country buy at the market?

Writing Practice

Write about the following related topic then check with my sample answer below:

Some people think that it is better to build more public parks and sports facilities in new towns rather than shopping malls.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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