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Sample 1. IELTS Task 2: Advertising (band 7)

Today, the high sales of consumer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Advertising has become extremely popular and powerful over the past two decades. In fact, it has become so powerful that companies use it to manipulate us into thinking that we need their products and services. This essay will argue that companies scarcely advertise products that we need. On the other hand, we have little to no use for most of the advertised products.

Major companies recognize the power of advertising; therefore, they spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on what they call an internal marketing department, which is responsible for advertising their products. Sony for instance spent 700 million US dollars on advertising last year; here one may wonder, why did they not spend that on improving their products? The answer is simple, like every huge company, Sony knows that people do not buy the better product, but the better advertised product.

As mentioned above, sometimes the advertised goods are items we need, such as the first iPhone, which revolutionized the mobile industry, and Microsoft Office, which is a must have for millions of students, employees and companies worldwide. However, most of the advertised products are goods that we think that we need, but we do not. For instance, does an owner of an iPhone 5 really need to upgrade to an iPhone 5s? Millions of people annually spend a couple of hundreds of dollars on top of their iPhones to upgrade to the next iPhone once they watch a mind-blowing advertisement that features Johnny Depp or any other famous character. The advertisements usually magnify small features that the average person would barely use and lead people into believing that it is the next big thing.

To conclude, Companies realize how influential advertising is. Thus, they spend astonishing figures to market their products. In addition, although we need some of the advertised products, we hardly need the majority of them.

Overview: Applicant provides a very well-argued essay with very good reasons and strong examples. The introduction is excellent, other than the transition issue, and the writing shows style and flow and some good range. Where the applicant seems to have some issues is with the transition, which lead to illogical connections that can confuse the reader. Some expressions are well-intended, but miss the mark.

Review: transitions, punctuation, logical connections

Task 2 likely score: 7

Task completion—8       Cohesion & Coherence—6.5

Lexical Resource—7       Grammatical Range & Accuracy—7.25