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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from IELTS Cambridge 12 and it is one of the trickier IELTS questions in my opinion.

Understand the question is simple enough – it is basically asking whether or not research in various fields should be shared or not.

But there are so many tricky parts to that! Are we talking about government secrets? Should you just focus on scientific research? What if you don’t talk about academic and business research.

To be completely honest, I do not think it is a very good IELTS question even though it is from the real test. I think some students might only write about scientific research and some picky examiners will mark them down.

I would not mark down a candidate who mainly focused on scientific research.

If you have read my other sample answers, then you know that my main tip is to write very clear, specific and detailed examples. This question is begging for a more general, safe argument that touches on different types of research.

You should still find a way to write a specific example though. Read below to see how I dealt with this problem so that you can do a good job if you get a question like this on the real IELTS test.

Here is another sample answer from IELTS Cambridge 12 on the topic of young people and populations.

 

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Scientific Research (IELTS Cambridge 12) by Dave

Some people believe that it is good to share as much information as possible in scientific research, business, and the academic world. Others believe that some information is too important or too valuable to be shared freely.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

The question of how much information relevant to various areas of scientific and academic research should be shared is becoming more and more important as the pace of technological innovation quickens and the internet allows for instant collaboration. In my opinion, information is a valuable, potentially dangerous asset and should only be shared freely in particular circumstances.

Advocates of freely sharing information rightly argue that collaboration leads to faster results. This applies to scientists, who can help each by offering their individual research results, businesses, which can work together as long as they are not competitors on advertising or product development, as well as academics, who need fresh perspectives to push their work to higher plateaus. Take for example the potential for sharing information in the business world. Google has built their successful advertising business by working together with various companies and sharing information. Google collects a variety of statistics related to users including their location and interests. This information is shared with advertisers who can then better target ads for users. It allows the consumer to see more relevant products and services and the companies advertising to target their audience more efficiently.

While there are decided advantages like the one mentioned above, information is still a valuable asset that individuals and companies should safeguard. In a perfect world, we might expect people to openly share everything they know but the social and economic constructions of our actual world make this a naive proposition. One interesting example of this is from a recent news article about Elon Musk where he explained why his rocket company SpaceX does not apply for patents on any new technology. He reasoned that his main competitors are governments, not private companies. If his company discloses its innovations then domestic and foreign governments can take advantage of the shared technology and potentially disrupt his business. This is just one example of how sharing can prove damaging in a capitalist society.

In conclusion, though sharing might be a valid standpoint in a perfect world, it is not feasible under current global conditions. Instead of looking to increase sharing, governments should do more to support innovative companies and researchers. This will have a larger overall impact.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. The question of how much information relevant to various areas of scientific and academic research should be shared is becoming more and more important as the pace of technological innovation quickens and the internet allows for instant collaboration. 2. In my opinion, information is a valuable, potentially dangerous asset and should only be shared freely in particular circumstances.

1. The first sentence says the topic of the essay – don’t waste time on this sentence!

2. My second sentence is my opinion. Say your opinion (clearly!) in the introduction for full marks! 

 

1. Advocates of freely sharing information rightly argue that collaboration leads to better results. 2. This applies to scientists, who can help each by offering their individual research results, businesses, which can work together as long as they are not competitors on advertising or product development, as well as academics, who need fresh perspectives to push their work to higher plateaus. 3. Take for example the potential for sharing information in the business world. 4. Google has built their successful advertising business by working together with various companies and sharing information. 5. Google collects a variety of statistics related to users including their location and interests. 6. This information is shared with advertisers who can then better target ads for users. 7. It allows the consumer to see more relevant products and services and the companies advertising to target their audience more efficiently.

1. The first sentence is a topic sentence and clearly gives the main idea for the paragraph. ONLY focus on this main idea! For me is ‘better results.’

2. My second sentence lists the various areas where there are better results. I include this to make sure that I cover all the areas mentioned in the topic, even though I will focus on business for the example.

3. My third sentence begins my specific, detailed example.

4. The fourth sentence continues with the example of Google ads.

5. The fifth sentence continues the example.

6. The sixth sentence extends the result of this example.

7. The seventh sentence concludes my example with more specific details.

 

1. While there are decided advantages like the one mentioned above, information is still a valuable asset that individuals and companies should safeguard. 2. In a perfect world, we might expect people to openly share everything they know but the social and economic constructions of our actual world make this a naive proposition. 3. One interesting example of this is from a recent news article about Elon Musk where he explained why his rocket company SpaceX does not apply for patents on any new technology. 4. He reasoned that his main competitors are governments, not private companies. 5. If his company discloses its innovations then domestic and foreign governments can take advantage of the shared technology and potentially disrupt his business. 6. This is just one example of how sharing can prove damaging in a capitalist society.

1. The first sentence is the topic sentence for my second body paragraph that focus on my overall opinion – that information is too valuable to share freely.

2. My second sentence explains further why I think sharing information is unrealistic in a general sense.

3. The third sentence begins my specific example of something that Elon Musk said.

4. My fourth sentence expands on this example by explaining his reasoning – always a good way to continue an example.

5. The fifth also develops the example further by supporting his reasoning.

6. The sixth sentence summarises the paragraph and makes my point more general.

 

1. In conclusion, though sharing might be a valid standpoint in a perfect world, it is not feasible under current global conditions. 2. Instead of looking to increase sharing, governments should do more to support innovative companies and researchers. 3. This will have a larger overall impact.

1. The first sentence explains my opinion and the justification for it.

2. My second sentence has some extra detail that many examiners require for band 7 and up for task achievement.

3. This final sentence draws a firm conclusion to the essay – it is not totally necessary but helpful if you have time to write it!

Sample Answer Vocabulary

The question of how much information relevant to various areas of scientific and academic research should be shared is becoming more and more important as the pace of technological innovation quickens and the internet allows for instant collaboration. In my opinion, information is a valuable, potentially dangerous asset and should only be shared freely in particular circumstances.

Advocates of freely sharing information rightly argue that collaboration leads to faster results. This applies to scientists, who can help each by offering their individual research results, businesses, which can work together as long as they are not competitors on advertising or product development, as well as academics, who need fresh perspectives to push their work to higher plateaus. Take for example the potential for sharing information in the business world. Google has built their successful advertising business by working together with various companies and sharing information. Google collects a variety of statistics related to users including their location and interests. This information is shared with advertisers who can then better target ads for users. It allows the consumer to see more relevant products and services and the companies advertising to target their audience more efficiently.

While there are decided advantages like the one mentioned above, information is still a valuable asset that individuals and companies should safeguard. In a perfect world, we might expect people to openly share everything they know but the social and economic constructions of our actual world make this a naive proposition. One interesting example of this is from a recent news article about Elon Musk where he explained why his rocket company SpaceX does not apply for patents on any new technology. He reasoned that his main competitors are governments, not private companies. If his company discloses its innovations then domestic and foreign governments can take advantage of the shared technology and potentially disrupt his business. This is just one example of how sharing can prove damaging in a capitalist society.

In conclusion, though sharing might be a valid standpoint in a perfect world, it is not feasible under current global conditions. Instead of looking to increase sharing, governments should do more to support innovative companies and researchers. This will have a larger overall impact.

Answers:

relevant: important and related to what is being discussed

technological innovation quickens: faster inventions and developments in science

instant collaboration: can work together quickly and easily

asset: something useful or valuable

particular circumstances: an individual context, specific situation

advocates: proponents or supporters

rightly argue: correctly believe/think

product development: making your products better

fresh perspectives: new ideas/views

push their work to higher plateaus: get better

target ads: place ads with the right people

more relevant products: products that are important and related to you

decided advantages: clear advantages

safeguard: keep safe

in a perfect world: in an ideal world, the best case/scenario

naive proposition: innocent idea, lacking understanding of the real world

patents: government license saying that you invented something and own it

reasoned: to think about the reasons/justifications for something

discloses: reveals

take advantage: exploit, use for yourself

disrupt: interrupt or cause a problem

prove damaging: have a negative impact

capitalist society: economy based on capital, companies, etc. opposite of socialism/communism

valid standpoint: understandable/defensible view

not feasible: impossible, very unlikely

global conditions: the way the world is now

larger overall impact: bigger effect overall

 

Vocabulary Practice

The question of how much information ______________ to various areas of scientific and academic research should be shared is becoming more and more important as the__________________________ and the internet allows for

______________________. In my opinion, information is a valuable, potentially dangerous ________________ and should only be shared freely in _______________.

___________________ of freely sharing information ___________________ that collaboration leads to faster results. This applies to scientists, who can help each by offering their individual research results, businesses, which can work together as long as they are not competitors on advertising or ____________________, as well as academics, who need ____________________ to ____________________. Take for example the potential for sharing information in the business world. Google has built their successful advertising business by working together with various companies and sharing information. Google collects a variety of statistics related to users including their location and interests. This information is shared with advertisers who can then better ____________________ for users. It allows the consumer to see ____________________ and services and the companies advertising to target their audience more efficiently.

While there are ____________________ like the one mentioned above, information is still a valuable asset that individuals and companies should ________________________________________, we might expect people to openly share everything they know but the social and economic constructions of our actual world make this a ____________________. One interesting example of this is from a recent news article about Elon Musk where he explained why his rocket company SpaceX does not apply for ____________ on any new technology. He ____________________ that his main competitors are governments, not private companies. If his company ____________________ its innovations then domestic and foreign governments can ____________________ of the shared technology and potentially ____________________ his business. This is just one example of how sharing can ____________________ in a ____________________.

In conclusion, though sharing might be a ____________________ in a perfect world, it is ____________________ under current ____________________. Instead of looking to increase sharing, governments should do more to support innovative companies and researchers. This will have a____________________.

 

Links from YouTube

Here are some links to videos to get more ideas and review some of the vocabulary used in my sample answer.

If you need ideas about reading the news and improving your English you can read about it here.

How Collaboration Leads to Great Ideas

Collaboration: The Key to Scientific Success

How Open Science Protects Us 

Elon Musk on Sharing Patents

 

 

 

Comment below – Should companies/academics/researchers share information more or less freely?

I’m gonna have to say that…

I’ll only say that…

This may not be exactly true, but in most cases…

In my country, …

If you want more helpful resources check out my private Facebook group, my YouTube channel and my Instagram – keep up to date with your English and your IELTS!


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