This type of essay gives you a statement and then ask you to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of it. The question also asks you to include your opinion. In this article, we’re going to discuss the one that requires your opinion. The question is from IELTS past papers.
Here’s the question we’re going to work on in this article:
Nowadays, more people would rather purchase food than cook at home. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend? Give ideas about which is the better way according to you and why?
Frequently asked questions:
- Can I talk about the advantages and disadvantages and only include my opinion in the conclusion?
Answer: The conclusion, by nature, cannot include a new idea. It’s only for a summary of all your points. Simply put, you must paraphrase and summarize your idea in the conclusion, but you must first mention it in your body paragraph and introduction. You should also be clear about it throughout the essay.
2. Do I need a separate paragraph for my idea?
Answer: It depends! If you side with either advantages or disadvantages, you can write your opinion in the same paragraph as the one you side with; however, if you have a different one that doesn’t go with either side, or if you want to take the middle ground, you’ll need a third body paragraph to explain why you think so.
Now, let’s get started with our question!
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, every word counts! You can find a detailed explanation of how you should analyze the question here.
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.
Here’s my plan:
Introduction: Paraphrase the question + your thesis statement
Paraphrase: People…ready-made food….
Thesis statement: Despite merits….issues → unsuitable for many: I …buying …not wise.
Body paragraph 1: The advantages (not my side)
Main idea: Two main advantages
Support 1: Ordering food…avoid inconveniences of cooking at home.
Example: shopping, cooking, washing,…
Support 2: freedom of choice: all memebers can order whatever they want + no one is in charge of cooking responsibilities.
Body paragraph 2: The disadvantages (my side)
Main idea: regular consumption= health and financial problems.
Support 1 : additives and preservatives→allergy+food poisoning
Support 2: hidden costs: cooking and packing.
My opinion: home-cooked meals don’t have these problems→everyone….time to cook.
Conclusion: Summary of all the points very briefly. No new ideas!!!!
order… optimal… busy/picky eaters. BUT sanitation + money →home-cooked is better
Step 3: Write your full essay in 25 minutes.
Here’s my full essay:
People, these days, tend to opt for ready-made food over cooking their own meals at home. Despite its merits, consuming industrially-made food brings about some issues, making such meals unsuitable for many people. I, therefore, believe that buying meals is not a wise choice and that people should make time to cook at home.
On the one hand, some might find two main advantages to purchasing food. First, this is the option that some people take in order to avoid the inconveniences of cooking meals at home. For instance, shopping for the ingredients, cooking the actual meal, and doing the dishes are the three time-consuming tasks that can easily be avoided if one decides to buy their meal. Second, all family members, each with a different taste, can order the foods they desire without putting one person in charge of all the cooking responsibilities. Hence, ordering food is considered by some to be a labor-saving option.
On the other hand, I firmly believe that regular consumption of restaurant foods may cause some health-related and financial problems. Simply put, these foods are made with a lot of questionable additives and preservatives that may cause allergic reactions or even food poisoning. Moreover, such foods come with hidden costs, namely the cost of cooking and the packaging, but home-cooked meals do not have any of these disadvantages; therefore, I believe that people should allocate some time in their daily schedules to the preparation of their own meals.
In conclusion, ordering food may seem to be the optimal choice for someone with a hectic lifestyle or a family with choosy eaters, but the disadvantages are too significant to ignore. Hence, home-cooked meals seem healthier and more economical.
Step 4: Review your work and correct your mistakes in 5 minutes.
Here’s the summary of what we just did:
- Read and completely understand the question in 2 minutes.
- Plan your essay in 8 minutes.
- Write your essay in 25 minutes.
- Review your work in 5 minutes.
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