Advantage/disadvantage essays usually present you with a statement and then ask you to write the advantages and disadvantages of it.
In this article, I’m going to go through an example and write a sample. I will walk you through all the steps so that you will be able to write a high-quality essay. The question is from IELTS past papers.
Here is the essay question we’re going to work on:
In some countries, young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decided to do this.
Frequently asked questions:
- Should I include my opinion?
Answer: This type of question doesn’t ask for your opinion. As you can see, there’s nothing about your opinion in the rubric. So only discuss the advantages and disadvantages.
2. How many advantages and disadvantages should I include?
Answer: One is not enough for high scores. You should write at least two advantages and two disadvantages.
Step 1: Spend 2 minutes reading and understanding the question. Once you have fully understood what the question asks of you, you can move on to the next step. Remember that every word counts! You can find a detailed explanation of how you should analyze the question.
Step 2: Spend 8 minutes to come up with a plan, from introduction to conclusion. If you don’t do this step properly, it will be nearly impossible to get to band 7 or above.
Note 1: To learn how you can do steps 1 and 2 properly, take a look at this article.
Note 2: It might be difficult for you to understand every part of my plan without reading my essay. My planning shows my thinking process with signs and shortened statements. I’ve put it here so that you see how I plan. Once you do your planning like this, it will make sense to you.
Here’s my plan:
Introduction: Paraphrase the question + your thesis
Paraphrase: Ss…advise… gap year… before academic studies
Thesis: while…benefits …. only one… also dire costs
Body paragraph 1: The advantages
Main idea: …financial and mental advantages
Support 1: earn money→help with uni tuition
Support 2: traveling→life experience. ex: Japan (long and healthy lives)
→begin with a fresh perspective
Body paragraph 2: The disadvantages
Main idea: may not always end with them returning
Reason 1: business too lucrative to return to college.
Example: YouTubers→may not look at uni and college as the doorways to success.
Reason 2: traveling→forget math…→decide not to continue.
Conclusion: Summary of all the points
gap year helps them financially and makes them wiser….careful not to become disenchanted with edu.
Step 3: write your full essay.
Here’s my full essay:
High school graduates are sometimes advised to take a gap year before they begin their academic studies. While there are certain benefits for young people in doing so, the disadvantages of leaving school for a year should be considered as well.
Students who find it rewarding to take a gap year often claim that it provides them with financial and mental benefits. Simply put, by working and earning money before they embark on university studies, students will find it much easier to manage the high expenses and tuition fees of universities. Moreover, the ones who opt to travel gain life experience, which will help them improve their quality of life. For instance, students who travel to Japan always return to their home countries knowing how to lead a long and healthy life. This way, they begin their studies with a fresh perspective toward life and the challenges that it brings.
However, spending a year away from their studies may not always end with the students returning to school. For one thing, some students may find their business opportunities too exciting or lucrative to leave and return to school life. For example, upon graduation, some students decide to become YouTubers. After they have made some money this way, they may not look at college or university as the doorways to success. For another, the ones who travel for an entire year may realize that they have forgotten many of the concepts, such as mathematics, that are required to succeed during tertiary education. As a result, they decide not to continue with their education. Hence spending a year away from school might not be beneficial for some graduates.
In conclusion, working or traveling for a year after high school graduation may help students financially and make them wiser, but it may also lead to disenchantment with education once the gap year is over.
Step 4: Spend 5 minutes reviewing your essay to find and correct your mistakes.
Here’s the summary of all the steps:
- Understand the question in 2 minutes.
- Plan your essay in 8 minutes.
- Write your essay in 25 minutes.
- Edit your work and correct your mistakes in 5 minutes.
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