IELTS essay, topic: Athletes and entertainers’ enormous salaries reflect our dependence on entertainment (agree/disagree)

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is close to IELTS Band 9.

Set 4 General Training book, Practice Test 16

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Professional sportsmen and sportswomen and professional entertainers can often command enormous salaries today and this situation reflects society’s dependence on being entertained.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this?

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

You should write at least 250 words.

Sample Band 9 Essay

It is no secret that today’s entertainment industry is extremely popular, with nearly everyone being engaged at some time in watching TV shows, movies and sports games. The North American sports industry alone generates a massive $67.7 billion every year. With the present emphasis on entertainment, sportsmen and women and professional entertainers can earn enormous salaries, with figures in the millions for one game, appearance or film. This situation certainly does reflect today’s society’s obsession with entertainment.

Many people argue that celebrities do not deserve such payment when work in other professions considered of equal or higher value to society is underpaid. A-list celebrities can make over $20 million per movie, whilst many average workers can barely make ends meet. Of course there are lots of people who say that there are better ways the money could be used, rather than allowing such a vast amount to go to just one person. This is a fairly naive point of view, though. So long as people wish to watch entertainment, advertising in turn will be present and the most watched celebrities will be able to earn high salaries, as their presence will ensure the high viewing figures the advertisers desire.

Though celebrities and sportsmen and sportswomen often make very large sums of money, it can also be seen as unfair to say that they do not deserve it or propose their money be used for something else. While it is true that they did not find a cure for cancer or made a life-changing scientific discovery, their hard work and expertise created a product that the public wants to see and the high payment merely reflects their value.

In conclusion, it is clear that today’s society is indeed a society obsessed with being entertained and the high salaries paid to those who entertain society clearly reflect this. The high payments, however, are not necessarily out of place or undeserved.

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