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IELTS essay, topic: Social media helps people to keep in touch with friends and stay on top of news and events (advantages/disadvantages)

IELTS Model Essay Sample Band 8 August 2023

This essay topic was seen in a recent IELTS test in Canada.

Social media helps people to keep in touch with friends and stay on top of news and events. Do you think the advantages of social media outweigh the disadvantages?

Sample Band 8 Essay

Since its inception, social media has revolutionised the way people connect and access information. It has become a prevalent tool for keeping in touch with friends and staying updated on news and events. While there are clear advantages to social media in terms of connectivity and information dissemination, it is crucial to critically examine whether these benefits outweigh the potential disadvantages.

On the one hand, social media offers numerous advantages. Firstly, it serves as a powerful platform for individuals to maintain and strengthen relationships with friends. Through features such as messaging, video calls, and photo sharing, people can connect with their loved ones, regardless of geographical barriers. This enhances interpersonal connections and fosters a sense of belonging, especially in a fast-paced and globalised world. Additionally, social media plays a pivotal role in keeping users updated on news and events. It provides a real-time stream of information, allowing individuals to stay informed about local and global affairs.

Despite these advantages, it is crucial to consider the potential drawbacks of social media. One significant concern is the impact on mental well-being. Extensive use of social media has been linked to increased levels of anxiety, depression, and feelings of social isolation. The constant exposure to carefully curated highlights and reels of others’ lives can lead to self-comparison and feeling of inadequacy. Privacy and security concerns are another set of drawbacks associated with social media. Users often share personal information and details of their lives, making them susceptible to privacy breaches and identity theft.

In conclusion, while social media undeniably provides valuable means for keeping in touch with friends and staying informed about news and events, it is also crucial to acknowledge the potential disadvantages associated with its usage. Personally, I appreciate the benefits social media has to offer and believe that its drawbacks can be mitigated by fostering responsible usage practices and advocating for platform improvements, so that individuals and society can harness the benefits of social media while minimising its negative impacts.

Teacher’s comment:

This is a good example of a Band 8 essay.

Task Response: Band 8

Your essay effectively addresses the task prompt by discussing both the advantages and disadvantages of social media. It presents a clear introduction, discusses the advantages in one paragraph and the disadvantages in the next, and concludes with a balanced viewpoint. Your personal opinion is clearly stated.

Coherence and Cohesion: Band 8

The structure of your essay is clear, you are using paragraphs appropriately for the introduction, advantages, disadvantages, and conclusion. Within paragraphs, ideas are logically developed, and appropriate linking words and phrases are used to connect sentences and ideas. This helps create a smooth flow of information throughout the essay.

Lexical Resource: Band 8

You’ve demonstrated a good range of vocabulary. There were no significant issues with word choice or repetition. Well done for using words such as:
“revolutionised”- to convey the idea that social media has brought about significant and transformative changes
“prevalent” – to describe the widespread nature of social media
“interpersonal connections” – to refer to relationships between individuals
pivotal role” – to emphasize the significance of social media

Grammatical Range and Accuracy: Band 8

Overall, the essay exhibits strong grammatical control. A variety of sentence structures is used effectively. There are only minor grammatical errors, such as slight articles or preposition misuse. For example, “feeling of inadequacy” should be “feelings of inadequacy.”

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