IELTS Writing Essay

Presenting arguments

With some question types in Task 2, you need to discuss more than one type of evidence, argument or point of view before reaching your conclusion. This is called the evidence-led approach.

Look at the Task 2 prompt below and answer these questions.

1 Is the main topic a) modern lifestyles,

b) positive changes in lifestyles or

c) positive and negative changes in lifestyles?

2 What information do you have to give in your conclusion?

Modern lifestyles are completely different from the way people lived in the past. Some people think the changes have been very positive, while others believe they have been negative.

Discuss both these points of view and give your own opinion.

2 a Read the sample answer on page 43 and answer these questions.

1 What is the purpose of the first paragraph?

2 What is the purpose of the first sentence in paragraphs 2 and 3?

3 Which opinion does the writer agree with? Where does he state his opinion?



It is undeniable that the average person’s lifestyle has changed enormously during the last few decades owing to the huge impact of modern technology and economic development.

Some people believe that modern life is much better than in the past. As evidence of this, they point to improvements in healthcare and education and the general increase in the standard of living. Furthermore, they argue that machines have changed working conditions and reduced the need for hard physical labour, and they talk about the large leisure industries that have transformed people’s free time.

On the other hand, it can also be argued that some changes have had a negative impact on our lives. For example, there has been a negative impact on both the natural and human environments. In addition, stress from all the pressure in today’s schools and workplaces may have reduced the quality of life in social terms. Having access to more things and more entertainment cannot compensate for the loss of social relationships. One reason for this loss is that families spend less time together and, as a result, crime rates and divorce rates have increased and people have lost any sense of community.

In conclusion, I think there is evidence to suggest that some of the changes we have experienced in the modern world have affected our lives in a negative way, especially in terms of the family and the environment. But overall, it is clear that most of these changes have been good for the majority of people. Nevertheless, I feel we need to ensure that these positive changes can be sustained and shared more in the future.

Find the expressions in the answer that introduce opinions. Add them to your Vocabulary notebook. Put them in two groups:
Expressions that introduce subjective, personal opinions.
Example: I think …
Expressions that introduce objective opinions, based on fact.
Example: It is undeniable that …
4 a Add the correct prepositions to these expressions. Then check in the sample answer above.

b Mark the mistakes with prepositions in these student responses.

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