IELTS Writing Practice 50

 
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The Writing Task 2 of the IELTS Academic/General test requires you to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. You will be presented with a topic and will be tested on your ability to respond by giving and justifying an opinion, discussing the topic, summarizing details, outlining problems, identifying possible solutions and supporting what you write with reasons, arguments and relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

  • - Write in a formal style
  • - Write at least 250 words

Write about the following topic:

Some universities now offer their courses on the Internet so that people can study online.  Is this a positive or negative development?  Discuss both sides

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Word Count: 0
 
Question

Some universities now offer their courses on the Internet so that people can study online.  Is this a positive or negative development?  Discuss both sides

Your Essay

Please click MOCK TEST to write an essay for this question.

 
Model Essay
Some universities now offer their courses on the Internet so that people can study online.  Is this a positive or negative development?  Discuss both sides

Transition words are highlighted in red
Topic vocabulary are highlighted in blue

In recent years, a small but growing number of universities have put their courses online for people to study.  In my opinion, while some people feel there could be a few drawbacks, I believe the positives far outweigh the negatives.

On the face of it, the main disadvantage to utilizing online content to study is that it results in less meaningful support.  This means that students mostly communicate with their professors through writing rather than face-to-face.  Therefore an issue or problem that may be discussed in one session, may take weeks to discuss online, not to mention the potential for misunderstandings.  Additionally, online education fails to account for the support from peers.  For instance, in a classroom environment, peers may learn from each other’s questions, support each other, or more easily engage in teamwork and collaborate together.  Online learners, on the other hand, may seldom encounter their classmates.

Notwithstanding these negatives, online university courses are a positive development in several ways.  For a start, learners have much greater flexibility while studying.  This means they while many may have jobs, families or other commitments, by studying online, they can participate at anytime, anywhere and at their own speed.  Secondly, the cost is much cheaper due to few overheads such as reduced support.  That’s why universities can afford to offer first class content at a price accessible to everyone.  Most importantly, online courses are available to everyone.  When online, everyone can enroll, irrespective of age, background or even location, meaning that literally anyone can do an online course in the way that works best for them.

In conclusion, while I consider that some downsides to distance learning do exist, I believe it to be a considerably positive development in general.

Revision Exercise
Each sentence in the report below contains one or two errors. Errors may be grammar or punctuation based. A list of the common errors used with answer is given at the end.

Notwithstanding these negative, online university courses are positive development in several ways.  Learners have much greater flexibility while studying. This means they while many may has jobs, families or other commitment, by studying online, they can participate at anytime anywhere and at their own speed.  The cost is much cheaper due to few overheads such as reduction support. That’s why university can affording to offer first class content a price accessible to everyone. Most importantly, online course are available to everyone.  When online, everyone can enroll, irrespective of age, background or even location, meaning that literally anyone can do online course. This works best for them.

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Step 1: Planning
Some universities now offer their courses on the Internet so that people can study online.  Is this a positive or negative development?  Discuss both sides

Type:  Positive or Negative Development

  1. What is the topic of the question?
  2. How many questions are there?
  3. How many sides do you need to consider?  

The question topic is about whether flexible work time is a good thing. There is one question with two parts; one regarding is this fact is positive, and one considering if the fact is negative.

 

Plan:  

  1. Analyse the question.
  2. Brainstorm a number of main points that you wish to talk about
  3. Choose which points you wish to use and think of two supporting details for each
  4. Decide on the order of your main points before writing since some points are more important than others.

Thesis

Despite few drawbacks, overall positives outweigh the negatives

Negative

Main disadvantage is lack of support

  • Students communicate with professors through writing, not in person
  • May take weeks to discuss a problem online, potential for misunderstandings
  • No support from peers
  • In a classroom, peers can ask questions, help each other, collaborate
  • Online learners may seldom encounter classmates

Positive

Online university courses many positives

  • Much greater flexibility
  • No matter commitments, participate anytime/anywhere, at own speed

Costs is much cheaper, few overheads

  • High quality content offered at low prices

Online courses are available to everyone

  • Anyone can enroll, do course in a suitable way

POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE DEVELOPMENT QUESTIONS  - Key TIPS

  1. The “or” in the title means that this is an opinion style question. The question doesn’t say that you have to give both
  2. Give your first opinion in the first body paragraph, then the stronger second opinion in the second paragraph.
  3. Repeat the topic in each main point of each body paragraph.
Step 2: Write the essay

In recent years, a small but growing number of universities have put their courses online for people to study.  In my opinion, while some people feel there could be a few drawbacks, I believe the positives far outweigh the negatives.

On the face of it, the main disadvantage to utilizing online content to study is that it results in less meaningful support.  This means that students mostly communicate with their professors through writing rather than face-to-face.  Therefore an issue or problem that may be discussed in one session, may take weeks to discuss online, not to mention the potential for misunderstandings.  Additionally, online education fails to account for the support from peers.  For instance, in a classroom environment, peers may learn from each other’s questions, support each other, or more easily engage in teamwork and collaborate together.  Online learners, on the other hand, may seldom encounter their classmates.

Notwithstanding these negatives, online university courses are a positive development in several ways.  For a start, learners have much greater flexibility while studying.  This means they while many may have jobs, families or other commitments, by studying online, they can participate at anytime, anywhere and at their own speed.  Secondly, the cost is much cheaper due to few overheads such as reduced support.  That’s why universities can afford to offer first class content at a price accessible to everyone.  Most importantly, online courses are available to everyone.  When online, everyone can enroll, irrespective of age, background or even location, meaning that literally anyone can do an online course in the way that works best for them.

In conclusion, while I consider that some downsides to distance learning do exist, I believe it to be a considerably positive development in general.

 
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