Ielts task 2 presenting counter arguments – advertising

I hope you enjoyed brainstorming those topics. Today we will look at a model answer with some of those phrases highlighted.

We follow the structure – claim – evidence – argument =

  • your claim e.g. Computers are more reliable than humans;
  • your reasons e.g. They can deal with large amounts of information and are not prone to making mistakes;
  • your evidence e.g. This can be see in large assembly plants where there are few injuries and high productivity
  • your argument We should invest in building automated workforces.

We are using the topic from last time related to advertising. You can study the advantages and disadvantages of advertising here.

Here is today’s question:

Some of the methods used in advertising are unethical and unacceptable in today’s society. To what extent do you agree with this view?

Here is my answer. Notice how the answer is structured and the signposting language that I introduced in the previous blog:

In this digital age, we see an endless number of advertisements daily, from adverts on our cell phones to personal soliciting. Nonetheless, many of the methods used to advertise can be considered unacceptable and immoral.

There is no doubt that many advertisers aim to increase sales at any cost. They do this by creating a need in the audience who would feel deprived if they didn’t buy the advertised product or service.  A case in point is the latest Apple product that many people feel they couldn’t live without. Most people would agree that this strategy is unacceptable and maybe a little underhanded. Research shows that advertisers are increasingly using the tactic of ‘product scarcity’ where they claim their products are limited in number or available for a limited amount of time.  This taps into human psychology, where we are scared that an item might run out so it releases a sense of panic in us.

In addition, it seems clear that we can’t escape from advertising as it intrudes on our personal privacy in many ways. Statistics indicate that  we have never experienced such a barrage of products being advertised through the internet. To illustrate, when browsing, ads appear at any moment, and our details seem to manipulated in evermore sophisticated ways to pitch us a new product or service.

In brief, I agree with the notion that many of the tactics used for adverting in today’s world are both unacceptable and unethical because they are manipulative and violate a person’s privacy.

So, choose one of the topics that I gave last time and write an answer:

All blood sports should be banned.

The traditional music of a country is important and should be preserved

Education is not a luxury, but a basic human right and as such should be free

Some people think old buildings should be knocked down and replaced by news ones.

Continual assessment should replace formal examinations.

Advertising is unethical and unacceptable in today’s society.

Famous people should be given more privacy,

You will often have to give counter arguments. To do this you could use:

a verbs such as: argue, claim, point out, and state (normally in the present perfect or present simple tense) or believe, maintain, and contend (normally in the present simple).

Clarkson argues / has argued that …

Clarkson believes/ maintains / contends that …

b phrases that may include view or opinion.

In the view/opinion of Clarkson, …

In Clarkson’s view/ opinion, …

According to Clarkson, …

Some people believe/think that …


ALISTAIR BROWN: As a writing and speaking examiner for more than 10 years, I bring a lot of experience. I have seen the frustrations that students have with IELTS from a career where I have actively guided and corrected students’ studies. I am looking for the most effective ways to teach IELTS as I understand students’ needs.

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