IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|23. The impact of IT on society

How has IT improved people’s lives? Are there any aspects which have got worse?

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Comment on the relevance of each idea for society

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Look at the writing task and underline the key ideas

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Use your ideas from the warm-up to write a plan for an essay

Read the sample answer below ignoring the gaps and answer the questions

Dealing with Writing task 2 IELTS candidates need to present a balanced view, i.e. the position including both arguments and counter arguments.

Discourse markers (even though, nevertheless) function as signposts to show that the idea is moving from one side of the argument to the other (or the counter argument).

Using discourse markers helps readers to follow the argument clearly and will help test takers to achieve a higher band score in the exam.

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1. How does the structure of the writer’s answer reflect this view?

2. Has the writer referred to the three areas specified in the task?

3. How does the writer link paragraphs 2 and 3?

4. How does the writer link paragraphs 3 and 4?

5. How does the writer link paragraphs 4 and 5?

6. In what three ways is the last paragraph an effective summary?

Fill in the gaps with appropriate discourse markers

Match the words/phrases in two columns to make collocations from the sample writing

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Complete these sentences with the collocations from the previous task

Underline references in the sample conclusion and identify what they refer to

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Referencing

We can use referencing devices to refer to things mentioned earlier and in this way avoid repeating them. Good writers make use of a mix of reference devices and linkers.

Pronouns

  • We use they/them for people in the singular when we are talking in general about males and females, but we cannot specify their gender:
    When a child plays a computer game, they are often training their reflexes.
  • We use it, this and that (in the plural they, these and those) to refer to something we have already mentioned. Often more than one of them is correct in the context. However: this and that are more emphatic.

We often use this when:

  • we still have something more to say about the thing we are referring to:

We’ve recommended opening an office in Belgrade. This will be discussed at the Board meeting next month.

  • we refer to the second of two things mentioned in the previous sentence. Compare:

The severe drought has resulted in a poor harvest. This has led to famine in certain parts of the country. (this = a poor harvest)

The severe drought has resulted in a poor harvest. It has also affected livestock. (it = the severe drought)

We often use that:

  • in conditional sentences:

It would be good to experience both lifestyles if that were possible.

  • when giving reasons:

The children spent all day in front of the television and that’s why we decided to throw it away.

Note: we use this, that, they, these, those, such + collective noun/noun phrase to refer back to something previously mentioned: People feel the new software is expensive and hard to navigate. This criticism is seriously affecting sales.

One, another, the ones, the other, the others, both, neither, all, none

  • We use one to refer to singular countable nouns from a group:

There are a lot of good tablet PCs on the market now. The one I use is quite expensive but very versatile.

  • We use a(n)/the … one with an adjective:

There are several modern word-processing programmes, so I don’t know why they’re still using an old one.

  • We use another to refer to the second, third, etc. singular countable noun from a group:

One app gives you a weather forecast, while another brings you your favourite radio station.

  • We use ones to avoid repeating a plural noun:

She has several mobile phones and she keeps the ones she’s not using in a drawer in the kitchen.

  • We use the other when referring to the second of two things/people already mentioned:

Pam has two cars: one is a Ferrari and the other is a Rolls.

  • We use the others when referring to the rest of a number of things/people already mentioned:

Three of my classmates went abroad to study, whereas the others stayed in my country.

  • We use both and neither to refer to two things/people:

He’s got two houses. Both are by the sea, neither was very expensive.

  • We use all and none to refer to more than two things/ people:

Tanya has three computers. All of them are old and none of them works.

Using so

  • We use so to avoid repeating a clause:

«Have you met my brother. Joe?» «I think so.» (= I think I’ve met him.)

  • We use do(ing) so to avoid repeating a verb + the words which follow:

City planners decided to widen the highway without considering the disadvantages of doing so. (= widening the highway)

Read the paragraph, identify correct references and click on the wrong option in italics

Read the writing task below and underline the key words

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Decide on your position and write an essay plan


Exam tips

Writing Task 2

1. When you write an essay evaluating advantages and disadvantages, present a balanced viewpoint, but make your own opinions clear.

2. Use reference devices and discourse markers to make your essay clear and coherent.

3. Use collocations to make your English sound natural and more persuasive.

Read the introduction and the body paragraph below and answer the questions

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Write about the following topic.

Information technology enables many people to do their work outside their workplace (e.g. at home, when travelling, etc.).

Do the benefits of this mobility outweigh the disadvantages?

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

Mobile technology has become an integral part of our lives, and the existence of mobile phones, laptops and iPads has altered the way many people work. While there are distinct advantages to this, it is important to guard against overuse and possible detrimental effects on health and relationships.

One of the biggest benefits of mobile technology is that people no longer have to work in an office. In fact, many businesses now permit their staff to work from home on some days of the week. This is particularly helpful for busy parents; it can reduce stress levels and help people manage their daily lives better.

Another benefit for many people and businesses is that work can continue outside the office. Phone calls can be made almost anywhere, and documents can be read or written on public transport or in cafés. This is extremely beneficial for people who have long trips to work.

Despite the advantages mentioned above, care must be taken to ensure that …

1. What is the author’s position on the problem judging from the extract?

2. How does the structure of the writer’s answer reflect this view?

3. What benefits have been presented in the extract?

4. What drawbacks have been mentioned in the introduction?

Write two paragraphs presenting the drawbacks of technology at work mentioned in the introduction


Exam tips

Writing Task 2

1. When you write an essay evaluating advantages and disadvantages, present a balanced viewpoint, but make your own opinions clear.

2. Use points of reference and discourse markers to make your essay clear and coherent.

3. Use collocations to make your English sound natural and more persuasive.

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Read the extract from a candidate’s essay and correct any lexical, grammar or spelling mistakes

Read the task in the box and click on the key words. It will let you be focused on the key points of your essay

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Here is the introduction and the beginning of the second paragraph from a sample answer. Complete each gap with appropriate options from the box

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Use the right discourse markers to complete sentences

Think of the ideas to be included into an essay and plan your writing. Make sure you have a balanced view (i.e. including positive and negative sides)

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  1. Introduction
  2. Item 1
  3. Item 2
  4. Item 3
  5. Conclusion

Write your answer to the Writing task. Use your own ideas, provide at least two or three counter arguments, and use discourse markers where relevant

Write about the following topic.

Over-reliance on modern technology means that people are failing to learn, or are forgetting many basic skills.

To what extent is this true? Are people becoming so reliant on modern technology that they are no longer able to do some things without it?

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

Write at least 250 words.

Useful language

  • the biggest drawbacks
  • a detrimental effect
  • to guard against
  • a huge benefit
  • instant access
  • an integral part
  • an invaluable resource
  • to keep an eye
  • in leaps and bounds
  • in the long run
  • regular exercises

Reliance on technology


Exam tips

Writing Task 2

1. When you write an essay evaluating advantages and disadvantages, present a balanced viewpoint, but make your own opinions clear.

2. Use reference devices and discourse markers to make your essay clear and coherent.

3. Use collocations to make your English sound natural and more persuasive.

  • Warm-up
  • Identifying your position
  • Discourse markers
  • Giving a cutting edge
  • Is that true?
  • Working smart
  • Working round-the-clock
  • Making better
  • Losing independence
  • Doing without tech
  • The problem of choice
  • Losing independence
  • Doing without tech
  • The problem of choice
  1. 1. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|1. Being a high achiever
  2. 2. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|2. University life
  3. 3. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|3. Getting a qualification
  4. 4. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|4. Career plans
  5. 5. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 1
  6. 6. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|5. Perceiving colours
  7. 7. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|6. The art of colour
  8. 8. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|7. The best colour
  9. 9. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|8. Adding colour
  10. 10. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 2
  11. 11. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|9. In therapy
  12. 12. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|10. Placebo effect
  13. 13. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|11. Changing life expectancy
  14. 14. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|12. Leading a healthy life
  15. 15. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 3
  16. 16. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|13. Works of art
  17. 17. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|14. Aboriginal art
  18. 18. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|15. Being good at arts
  19. 19. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|16. What is a masterpiece?
  20. 20. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 4
  21. 21. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|17. Collecting fossils
  22. 22. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|18. Evolution and survival
  23. 23. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|19. The Earth's interior
  24. 24. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|20. A valuable possession
  25. 25. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 5
  26. 26. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|21. The role of technology
  27. 27. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|22. Film making and technology
  28. 28. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|23. The impact of IT on society
  29. 29. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|24. Number one website
  30. 30. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 6
  31. 31. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|25. Environmental issues
  32. 32. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|26. Wildlife wonders
  33. 33. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|27. Endangered species
  34. 34. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|28. A symbol of a nation
  35. 35. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 7
  36. 36. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|29. Exploring space
  37. 37. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|30. Observing the stars
  38. 38. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|31. Space tourism prospects
  39. 39. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|32. Extraterrestrial phenomena
  40. 40. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Revise and Check 8
  41. 41. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Exam Part 1
  42. 42. IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|Exam Part 2