Advantages and Disadvantages Essay Structure

Lilie King

Lilie King

Scored a 7 on the Writing Test Twice

Today, I will use this essay question from Cambridge IELTS 15 Test 4 Writing Task 2 to show you a band 7+ structure of the ‘what are the advantages and disadvantages’ essay type.

In some cultures, children are often told that they can achieve anything if they try hard enough.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of giving children this message?

How Many Advantages and Disadvantages Should I Write?

Even though the question uses the plural nouns ‘advantages’ and “disadvantages”, it’s better to write about only one advantage and one disadvantage. In this way, you can fully develop them.

Here is a screenshot of my IELTS Score Explainer.

ielts score explainer

If you include 2-3 advantages in your first body paragraph and 2-3 disadvantages in your second body paragraph, you’re just listing points. You won’t be able to fully develop those advantages and disadvantages.

How to State Your Opinion

The question doesn’t ask whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. So, you simply state what the advantage is and what the disadvantage is: I believe the main advantage is…, while the principal disadvantage is…

Advantages and Disadvantages Essay Structure

Introduction Paragraph
  • Paraphrase the Question Statement
  • State Your Opinion: I believe the main advantage is…, while the principal disadvantage is…
Body Paragraph 1
  • Summarize the Main Advantage (This should be the same as the advantage you summarised in your introduction paragraph.)
  • Explain the Advantage
  • Give an Example (you don’t need to write an example for each of the body paragraphs. It’s completely fine to write an example for only one body paragraph.)
Body Paragraph 2
  • Summarize the Main Disadvantage (This should be the same as the disadvantage you summarised in your introduction paragraph.)
  • Explain the Disadvantage
  • Give an Example
Conclusion Paragraph
  • Summarize the Advantage and Disadvantage Again

Sample Essay

In some cultures, children are often given the message that as long as they work hard enough, they can accomplish anything. I believe the main downside of sending them this message is that it can be detrimental to their mental well-being, while the principal upside is that it helps them to become successful individuals.

On the one hand, telling children that they can make anything happen through hard work can harm their mental health. They are too young to be mentally strong enough to face the failures they meet while chasing their goal. They may end up falling into self-doubt that in turn decreases their confidence.

On the other hand, sending children the message that they can realize any of their dreams if they put in enough effort increases their chances of success in life. This is because the message makes them believe in their talents and abilities. Such self-assurance can motivate them to dedicate themselves to their goal. For example, when Michael Phelps was just 6 years old, his coach told him that he was very talented at swimming and as long as he trained hard, one day he would be standing on the Olympic podium. He believed his coach and practiced harder than any other swimmer out there. Eventually, he became the greatest Olympian of all time, winning a total of 23 Olympic gold medals in his career.

In conclusion, while telling children anything is achievable as long as they are devoted enough is likely to affect their mental health, it helps them succeed in life.

258 Words

Click here to learn how to answer “do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages”.
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3 Responses

  1. Hi, could you give me some advice for my essay? I am self studying so it will help me a lot. Thank you.
    In many parts of the world, children are advised to try their best to achieve their goals. In my view, this motto can lead to personal success, but it can adversely affect their mental health.
    On the one hand, it helps if children are encouraged to try their best in most aspects of life. This message can act as a motivation to push them to perform well in school subjects and many other extra-curricular activities. Parents and teachers understand how much competition there is in the world, and teenagers are often willing to receive advice from them. If a student wants to be a doctor, he needs to study hard at school, do homework regularly and get good marks, all of which cannot be achieved if he is lazy. Furthermore, children can develop a sense of determination and ambition, which helps them work successfully as adults. For example, when getting the first prize in a sporting event, children may learn that innate skills are not enough, but hard work is equally significant.
    On the other hand, there seem to be some negative effects if children are constantly given this message. They might become stressed and fall into depression, which is harmful to their mental and physical health. There are some areas, such as art and music, in which hard work is not as important as talent. Children might encounter a situation when they can not be the best singer or drawer in the class however hard they try, just because they are not talented enough. In that case, they might be disappointed and suffer from peer pressure, ending up losing interest and determination in other areas of study. Furthermore, life is not a race, and children should learn that there is always something we can not achieve, and we need to respect the person who has beaten us.
    In conclusion, encouraging children to try their best is beneficial in some ways, but it does have several drawbacks for several reasons.

  2. Hi.
    How are you?
    thanks for this sample.
    To be honest I couldn’t realize the relation of first paragraph with the question. why this message that children should try hard to reach their goal can avoid facing obstacle ? did you mean children should not know about goals to have mental health?
    I would be appreciate if you make it clear for me,
    thanks.

    1. No, that’s not what I mean. I mean if children try very hard to achieve their goal but end up not achieving their goal, they may run into self-doubt. Hope this helps.

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