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.

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