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This is a discuss both sides IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer about the topic of newspapers and media from the real test. I’m a real former British Council IELTS examiner so you can fully trust the answer below to be accurate and the exercises to help you boost your score.

The structure of these essays is simple: one paragraph agreeing and one paragraph disagreeing. If you need some more help, you can read about all the IELTS essay structures here.

My other sample answers from the real tests and IELTS Cambridge books are here.

Let’s go!

 

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer from Cambridge 13: Newspapers and the Media (by Dave)

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

Newspapers have been considered the most reliable news source for more than a century but in recent decades newer forms of media have supplanted their influence. Some feel that these new sources of news are better but in my opinion, newspapers are by far better because of the amount of time and research that writers put into their articles.

The main reason that many people prefer newer media outlets is that they deliver news more quickly across a variety of convenient platforms. The most notable example of this is online news. The vast majority of people get their news from Facebook and other social media websites which aggregate articles from various online publishers, including the online version of print newspapers in some cases. The problem here is that websites are solely concerned with increasing traffic and getting news up as fast as possible. It is a common occurrence for a website to publish news quickly in order to beat others to the scoop before it has been properly verified or even thoughtfully analysed. The result is hordes of people clicking on links to amuse themselves for a minute without casting a critical eye over the veracity of the news. These articles are then shared online or by word of mouth and false information spreads rapidly.

Despite the conveniences of online media, the news that is printed in newspapers has been better researched and verified in most cases. Newspapers frequently devote entire departments to long-term investigative journalism. A standout example of this would be the Boston Globe’s years long investigation into sexual abuse by the Catholic church. They carefully interviewed victims and put together a convincing case which led to long-lasting reforms and convictions of some individuals. They also published stories on the topic for over a year which allowed for detailed and thoughtful analysis of the problem, suggestions for solutions, and articles on wider societal implications. This type of reporting is anathema to the fervent pace of online media.

In conclusion, even though newspapers are a dying industry I think they are more informative and trustworthy than the largely online institutions that are replacing them. This trend is irreversible and will have consequences for the future of democracies around the world as people become less informed.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. Newspapers have been considered the most reliable news source for more than a century but in recent decades newer forms of media have supplanted their influence. 2. Some feel that these new sources of news are better but in my opinion, newspapers are by far better because of the amount of time and research that writers put into their articles.

1. In your first sentence just restate the topic quickly – this sentence is not that important so write it as fast as you can!

2. The second sentence makes my opinion 100% clear – the clearer the better!

1. The main reason that many people prefer newer media outlets is that they deliver news more quickly across a variety of convenient platforms. 2. The most notable example of this is online news. 3. The vast majority of people get their news from Facebook and other social media websites which aggregate articles from various online publishers, including the online version of print newspapers in some cases. 4. The problem here is that websites are solely concerned with increasing traffic and getting news up as fast as possible. 5. It is a common occurrence for a website to publish news quickly in order to beat others to the scoop before it has been properly verified or even thoughtfully analysed. 6. The result is hordes of people clicking on links to amuse themselves for a minute without casting a critical eye over the veracity of the news. 7. These articles are then shared online or by word of mouth and false information spreads rapidly.

1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that has the main idea for the whole paragraph (they are faster and more convenient).

2. The second sentence begins my example by focusing on online news.

3. The third sentence makes my example more specific by focusing on sites like Facebook.

4. My fourth sentence continues with the example by describing why this is a problem.

5. My fifth sentence further develops why this is a problem.

6. The sixth sentence continues with the impact of this problem.

7. The seventh sentence continues more with the impact so that I have a fully developed example.

1. Despite the conveniences of online media, the news that is printed in newspapers has been better researched and verified in most cases. 2. Newspapers frequently devote entire departments to long-term investigative journalism. 3. A standout example of this would be the Boston Globe’s years long investigation into sexual abuse by the Catholic church. 4. They carefully interviewed victims and put together a convincing case which led to long-lasting reforms and convictions of some individuals. 5. They also published stories on the topic for over a year which allowed for detailed and thoughtful analysis of the problem, suggestions for solutions, and articles on wider societal implications. 6. This type of reporting is anathema to the fervent pace of online media.

1. The first sentence is a topic sentence focused on why newspapers are better (better researched, more reliable news).

2. My next sentence develops this idea by making it more specifically about newspaper departments and investigative journalism. Being specific is great fro your task achievement score and will help bring out really good vocabulary.

3. The third sentence gives a very specific example of a news story from a real newspaper.

4. The fourth sentence continues with this example.

5. My fifth sentence also continues with this example.

6. The sixth sentence concludes the paragraph by comparing it to online news.

1. In conclusion, even though newspapers are a dying industry I think they are more informative and trustworthy than the largely online institutions that are replacing them. 2. This trend is irreversible and will have consequences for the future of democracies around the world as people become less informed.

1. My first sentence concludes the essay by summarising my main ideas and opinion.

2. The second sentence adds in an extra detail. Be sure to include one extra detail at the end for full task achievement points!

Sample Answer Vocabulary

How many of the words in bold below do you know? You might understand them a bit, not 100%. To practice try to write a dictionary definition of each one and then check your answers below.

Newspapers have been considered the most reliable news source for more than a century but in recent decades newer forms of media have supplanted their influence. Some feel that these new sources of news are better but in my opinion, newspapers are by far better because of the amount of time and research that writers put into their articles.

The main reason that many people prefer newer media outlets is that they deliver news more quickly across a variety of convenient platforms. The most notable example of this is online news. The vast majority of people get their news from Facebook and other social media websites which aggregate articles from various online publishers, including the online version of print newspapers in some cases. The problem here is that websites are solely concerned with increasing traffic and getting news up as fast as possible. It is a common occurrence for a website to publish news quickly in order to beat others to the scoop before it has been properly verified or even thoughtfully analysed. The result is hordes of people clicking on links to amuse themselves for a minute without casting a critical eye over the veracity of the news. These articles are then shared online or by word of mouth and false information spreads rapidly.

Despite the conveniences of online media, the news that is printed in newspapers has been better researched and verified in most cases. Newspapers frequently devote entire departments to long-term investigative journalism. A standout example of this would be the Boston Globe’s years long investigation into sexual abuse by the Catholic church. They carefully interviewed victims and put together a convincing case which led to long-lasting reforms and convictions of some individuals. They also published stories on the topic for over a year which allowed for detailed and thoughtful analysis of the problem, suggestions for solutions, and articles on wider societal implications. This type of reporting is anathema to the fervent pace of online media.

In conclusion, even though newspapers are a dying industry I think they are more informative and trustworthy than the largely online institutions that are replacing them. This trend is irreversible and will have consequences for the future of democracies around the world as people become less informed.

Answers:

reliable: can be trusted, unchanging and consistent

supplanted: take over or take the place of

by far better: much better

deliver news: give or show the news

platforms: the places where you can read the news such as on Facebook, Instagram, on Google, etc.

most notable example: the best example of

vast majority: by far the most

aggregate: choose/collect

solely concerned: only interested in

getting news up: posting news online

common occurrence: happens a lot

scoop: exclusive news published before anyone else publishes it

properly verified: checked to make sure it is 100% true

hordes: lots of people

casting a critical eye: looking critically at something

veracity: truth

word of mouth: what people say about something; a movie might have good or bad word of mouth

devote: commit fully to

long-term investigative journalism: when a newspaper researches a story for a long time

convincing case: compelling argument

long-lasting reforms: changes that are permanent or last for a long time

wider societal implications: impacts all of society

anathema: hateful to/repugnant

fervent pace: very fast

largely: mostly

irreversible: cannot be changed or reversed or put back to the way it was before

Vocabulary Practice

Newspapers have been considered the most _________________ news source for more than a century but in recent decades newer forms of media have _________________ their influence. Some feel that these new sources of news are better but in my opinion, newspapers are _________________ because of the amount of time and research that writers put into their articles.

The main reason that many people prefer newer media outlets is that they _________________ more quickly across a variety of convenient _________________. The _________________ of this is online news. The _________________ of people get their news from Facebook and other social media websites which _________________ articles from various online publishers, including the online version of print newspapers in some cases. The problem here is that websites are _________________ with increasing traffic and _________________ as fast as possible. It is a _________________ for a website to publish news quickly in order to beat others to the _________________ before it has been _________________ or even thoughtfully analysed. The result is _________________ of people clicking on links to amuse themselves for a minute without _________________ over the _________________ of the news. These articles are then shared online or by _________________ and false information spreads rapidly.

Despite the conveniences of online media, the news that is printed in newspapers has been better researched and verified in most cases. Newspapers frequently _________________ entire departments to _________________. A standout example of this would be the Boston Globe’s years long investigation into sexual abuse by the Catholic church. They carefully interviewed victims and put together a _________________ which led to _________________ and convictions of some individuals. They also published stories on the topic for over a year which allowed for detailed and thoughtful analysis of the problem, suggestions for solutions, and articles on _________________. This type of reporting is _________________ to the _________________ of online media.

In conclusion, even though newspapers are a dying industry I think they are more informative and trustworthy than the _________________ online institutions that are replacing them. This trend is _________________ and will have consequences for the future of democracies around the world as people become less informed.

Links about News and the Media

Watch these videos to review some of the ideas and vocabulary from the sample answer above. This will help you to improve for all parts of IELTS, not just the writing.

How to Choose your News

The New York Times YouTube Channel

The Atlantic YouTube Channel

Wired YouTube Channel

BBC News YouTube Channel 

 

Comment below – how often do you read the news?

I’m not really into the news so just…

I’m really keen on reading the news so maybe…

In my country, the news…

I’m not interested in reading the news because…

 


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