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IELTS advertising essay

This is one of my model IELTS essays lessons where you can

  • read the essay
  • do a vocabulary exercise
  • get a full lesson on how to write the essay

Read the IELTS advertising essay

Consumers are faced with increasing numbers of advertisements from competing companies. To what extent do you think are consumers influenced by advertisements? What measures can be taken to protect them?

In today’s material world, we are inundated with various forms of advertising. In my view, this can be dangerous as it encourages us to spend without thinking and young people, in particular, need some protection from it.

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to. There are nowadays so many different ways companies promote their products and services, ranging from television commercials to simple flyers that we cannot escape it. If, for example, you watch a football match on television, you will see the logos of the tournament sponsors. Likewise, if you watch the latest blockbuster movie, very probably you will see a product placed in the film by some advertising agency. The  volume of this advertising means that we, as consumers, tend to be profoundly influenced by it and buy without thinking.

It is not easy to decide how to regulate advertising. Clearly, governments ought to restrict advertisements for harmful products such as alcohol and tobacco. They do not have the power, however, to control other forms of advertising. This means we need to use our common sense when we go to the shops, and ask ourselves whether we really need to make that purchase. Parents should, however, ensure that young people are protected from too much exposure to advertising. This can mean simply explaining that it is not in fact necessary to buy the newest Xbox, or simply turning the television off.

My conclusion is that while we cannot escape advertising or its effects in the modern world, children should be encouraged not to pay too much attention to it.

Practise writing the essay

Reading the essay question and getting the structure right

Consumers are faced with increasing numbers of advertisements from competing companies. To what extent do you think are consumers influenced by advertisements? What measures can be taken to protect them? 

This is one of those double questions types. It is absolutely essential that you answer both parts of the question. One logical way to do this is use a main body paragraph for each part of the question. So, my essay uses this structure:

Introduction: identify theme of essay and outline your position

Main body 1: answer to what extent advertising does influence us

Main body 2: answer what measures we can take to protect consumers

Conclusion: return to main theme of essay and underline your position

The benefit of this structure is that it is simple (and simple tends to be good in exam circumstances) and coherent in that it follows a logical progression. It makes sense to talk about the influence of advertising before discussing protection measures, and the conclusion reflects the introduction and so tops and tails the essay.

Step 1 – getting ideas to write the essay – ask yourself questions

One problem many candidates have is finding ideas for essays. Very often, the place to get these ideas is in the question itself. The trick is to look at the words in the question and ask yourself some WH questions (who/where/what/why/when etc). That gives you your start, then it often works to try and think of differences. So, for example:

numbers of advertisements: Ask yourself what different types of advertising do you know? TV commercials/bilboards/leaflets and flyers/promotions/logos and slogans/product placement/sponsorship

Are all these the same? Is one type more dangerous than others?

consumers: Ask yourself what different types of consumer are there? high street shoppers/online shoppers/impulse buyers/regular customers/children/adults.

Are all these the same? Do some need more protection than others?

competing companies: Ask yourself what does this mean? It’s about the free market and competition.

Is it possible to regulate the free market?

influenced: Ask yourself how we are influenced by advertising? Is it the same in all cases?

Which is the most dangerous form of advertising?

measures: You can ask yourself what measures need to be taken, but you can also ask yourself who should take those measures.

Can the government regulate advertising? If they cant’t who can? The consumers themselves? Some other body?

Step 2 – 0rganising the ideas – making your paragraphs coherent

Another common problem is that candidates have enough ideas to write an essay, but they don’t organise them well. If you try and include all your ideas, your writing will almost certainly become incoherent – and that’s bad for your band score. Here is how to avoid that problem:

Each paragraph is about one main idea only

Yes, that’s right – just one main idea per para. This means that you need to select what ideas you use – if you try and use all your ideas in a 250 word essay, it is likely to become confused.

The main ideas are simple ideas – normally found in the question

Yes, this is right too. Your big (or main) ideas are simple. They are things like, “I agree with this proposal” or “This opinion is partly right and partly wrong”. So each paragraph begins with a simple sentence like:

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to.

This means it does influence us. All you have to do now is explain why and how.Or

It is not easy to decide how to regulate advertising.

This means that controlling advertising is complex. All you have to do now is explain why that is so and what can be done.

Others ideas are supporting ideas that explain or give examples

The key here is to see that we just need a couple of explanations of the one big idea. Looking at the “ideas” from step I, I chose these for my first paragraph:

explanation; the most dangerous type of adverts are those that we see all the time and don’t think about

examples: tv commercials/flyers/sponsorship/product placement

So the final paragraph looks like this:

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to. There are nowadays so many different ways companies promote their products and services, ranging from television commercials to simple flyers that we cannot escape it. If, for example, you watch a football match on television, you will see the logos of the tournament sponsors. Likewise, if you watch the latest blockbuster movie, very probably you will see a product placed in the film by some advertising agency. The volume of this advertising means that we, as consumers, tend to be profoundly influenced by it and buy without thinking.

Step 3 – paragraphs are like essays: it can better to repeat/rephrase an idea than to give a new idea

The next point to note is that one possible paragraph structure is to repeat/rephrase your main idea rather than give a new one. This works best in more complex paragraphs like the one above. The main idea is:

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to.

I then use a mixture of reasons and examples to explain this idea. At the end of the paragraph, I don’t try and say something different. Rather I come back to the main idea:

The volume of this advertising means that we, as consumers, tend to be profoundly influenced by it and buy without thinking.

This should be a familiar idea to you. It is really just using the introduction – main body – conclusion structure of an essay for a paragraph. You wouldn’t add a new idea in the conclusion of your essay, so why would you in a paragraph?

Read the essay again

You can read the essay and writing notes on the use of pronouns and introductions and conclusions here.

Consumers are faced with increasing numbers of advertisements from competing companies. To what extent do you think are consumers influenced by advertisements? What measures can be taken to protect them?

In today’s material world, we are inundated with various forms of advertising. In my view, this can be dangerous as it encourages us to spend without thinking and young people, in particular, need some protection from it.

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to. There are nowadays so many different ways companies promote their products and services, ranging from television commercials to simple flyers that we cannot escape it. If, for example, you watch a football match on television, you will see the logos of the tournament sponsors. Likewise, if you watch the latest blockbuster movie, very probably you will see a product placed in the film by some advertising agency. The  volume of this advertising means that we, as consumers, tend to be profoundly influenced by it and buy without thinking.

It is not easy to decide how to regulate advertising. Clearly, governments ought to restrict advertisements for harmful products such as alcohol and tobacco. They do not have the power, however, to control other forms of advertising. This means we need to use our commonsense when we go to the shops, and ask ourselves whether we really need to make that purchase. Parents should, however, ensure that young people are protected from too much exposure to advertising. This can mean simply explaining that it is not in fact necessary to buy the newest Xbox, or simply turning the television off.

My conclusion is that while we cannot escape advertising or its effects in the modern world, children should be encouraged not to pay too much attention to it.

(266 words)

notes

My introduction and conclusion are both quite short: 2 sentences and 1 sentence. There are different ways of writing introductions and conclusions. The benefit of this approach is that it allows me more words for the main body of the essay – perhaps the most important part.

If you are writing an academic essay, it is conventional to try and not use personal pronouns unless you need to. In this essay, I use first person, second person and third person pronouns.

I/MY

If the question asks you for your opinion, you are probably going to need to use first person pronouns in order to answer the question. You should try and use “I”/”my” as little as possible. Here I use them in my introduction and conclusion to show the examiner what my personal point of view is. 

We

I use “we” and “ourselves” to talk more impersonally about people/consumers. This is one academic convention and it is perfectly acceptable in IELTS.

You

Normally, in my essays I avoid using “you”. It is fairly informal and avoided in academic writing. Some/many teachers will tell you that it is wrong to use “you” in academic essays because it is more spoken and not written language. In IELTS, however, you can get away with this provided you use enough more formal/written language elsewhere – this is one way IELTS is not exactly like academic writing. My best advice: try to find another solution if you can.

He/They

In my view, perfectly acceptable. In fact, you are going to need these pronouns if you use examples. It is better to use a pronoun rather than repeat the noun.

 

 

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38 Responses to IELTS advertising essay

  1. Dang Van Truong December 16, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Firstly, thanks for your useful analysis and writing!

    Could I change the phrase noun “in today’s material world” to “in this materialistic life” ?

    • Dominic Cole December 17, 2011 at 12:07 am #

      Yes, that would work too. I think my phrase is a little more idiomatic though.

      • durai December 21, 2013 at 12:03 am #

        hi, Dominic,

        Just preparing for my ielts, come across your website, find it very useful.

        comment on this essay,

        In introduction , you particularly mentioned “children should be protected” continues in 2nd main paragraph, up to the conclusion.

        but the question doesn’t ask how to protect young people, it asks in general, I assumed , all age groups.

        Does it mean that we not answering question?

  2. maryam June 12, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Dear Dom, you rock ! I have so many books in regards to Ielts test but none have better self study style compared to your blog.

    • b0obuur October 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      yes.i comlitely agree with you,thanks a looooooooooot

  3. Roy June 27, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    hi thanks for the tips.but in case of first question cant u discuss both the positive and negative influence and then the measures.

  4. NP July 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Your blog is really helpful for self study. I have a question regarding the last part of the question. When writing the measures, do we need to write separate paragraph for two different ideas??

    • Dominic Cole July 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

      It really depends on whether you want a 4 or 5 paragraph structure and how much you have to say about each measure. If you have two strong ideas that you can write more aboutt hen try two spearate paras,if you have less to say then put them in one. This is where you need to plan carefully about what you know and not write simply according to a model essay.

      • Abdulhaseeb Khalil October 11, 2016 at 6:42 am #

        can u plz remove the social media buttons from left side as I cant see some words

        • Dominic Cole October 11, 2016 at 7:46 am #

          Hmmm . I’ll experiment with moving them to the right

  5. neesha desai August 9, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    hello,
    Thanks a lot for this great help

  6. Yao August 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    Your lessons are very helpful ! I have a question here. You just write the bad effect of advertising in the second paragraph. Can I also mention the possitive influence of it ?

  7. Jane Nguyen August 12, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    I just want to say thank you for your lesson. Keep on w/ the good work okay ^^?

  8. NITA August 18, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    hi
    i like .
    thanks .
    if any one to learn ielts excam so pls contact me

  9. Mitsu September 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    Hi Dominic, thanks for your valuable posts.

    Let me ask you some questions about word order.
    The question reads “To what extent do you think are consumers influenced by advertisements?” but I thought this should be “consumers are influenced”

    The next sentence is the one below.
    Ask yourself what different types of consumer are there?
    Shouldn’t it be “what different types of consumers there are”?

  10. Reshma November 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Hai Dominic,

    This site is very helpful to me …and iam goin to wrte ielts on feb…I have gne thrgh ielts 2 times and not able to scre band 7 bt this time i will scre it,Your site will .Tmakes me to scre band .Thnq

  11. faryal December 22, 2012 at 1:19 am #

    In todays world,we are surrounded by various types of advertising.Despite the fact that advertising has become a vital part of business world today,I would argue that it has influenced people to such an extent that people start spending money even without thinking and advertising should be regulated to avoid its negative impacts.
    Adverts forced consumers to buy things that they event don’t need in many different ways.T.V commercials ,billboards alongside roads and in train stations,leaflets and magazines ,product placement in popular websites,all these forms of advertisement present products in such a glamourised way that we ,as consumers,are forced to buy them.For instance,many textile,garment and other industries pay huge amounts to media stars and top models to endorse their products and people,in particular youngsters,buy these products because their favourite star is in that particular product’s advert.
    Moreover,sometimes people are not even aware that they are getting convinced and influenced by adverts.For instance,matches and big sports events are sponsored by companies nowadays and inturn they advertise their products and people get influenced by logos and signboards while watching a match.Similarly products are placed in websites so that people can see adds while watching dramas or movies.To put into a nutshell,we cant avoid commercials even we want to do that.
    However,we can minimise potential hazards of advertising by some simple measures.Firstly, there should be a regulating body to keep check on advertising industry.Secondly government should banned advertisement of those things that can be dangerous for health such as fast food,fizzy drinks,ciggaretes and alcohol.Similarly sports events can be sponsored but it is important to make sure that products of sponsored companies are not something that can have negative infuence on people such as tobacco products.
    In the end ,I believe that advertisements have very strong inflence on people and it is the responsibility of authorities to make positive use of this influence. Thats why advertising should be regulated and negative effects can be avoided by banning dangerous products and adverts that are aimed at children.

  12. faryal December 22, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    please any body correct my mistakes or atleast tell me in which area I should focus more..Is it vocabulary,coherence,organizing ideas ,grammar?

  13. rajendra January 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Dear sir/madam,

    I want get good score 6.5. i written 2 times i got very less band like 4.5 & 5.00. pls help me in ielts exam pls . i spend more money & time .

    Thanku
    Bestregards
    Rajendra.

    • Ari September 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

      Hi Dear
      I strongly recommed you to learn the structure for example,
      Introduction which it include general statement, thesis statement
      paragraph 1= one main point at the first sentence with some example to support your poind, use link sentence, conclusion, short restatement your main point
      thanks

  14. jimmy May 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Can u please have a quick look at my introduction

    Nowadays, several forms of advertisement are being used to attract consumers. while it is possible to claim that advertisement is highly beneficial for both consumer and businesses but often people are being manipulated.In my view, it is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed.

  15. Robbie July 14, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Hi
    Its a great website …can you add up few recent ielts topics

    thanks
    robbie

  16. Anonymous October 31, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Well written essay by factual

  17. Vivek July 31, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    I was just thinking, when there is a question that asks, To what extent? Is it not essential to mention the degree of agreement like..I totally agree, some what agree or something like that.

  18. Anonymous October 31, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    I have my ielts tomorrow and this is the best site to revise ur study. Thanks so much for the wrk , Dominic. Really appreciate it.

    • Dominic Cole October 31, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

      Hope it all goes well. Let me know.

      • sara November 25, 2015 at 10:20 am #

        Hey Dominic,

        Thank you for your great, halpful website

        I am preparing acadimc IELTS , i’am improuving in all sections but the writings one i find some diffiuclties, i feel like i’am stuck and i can’t even write simple phrases

        Any help or Advice?

      • sara December 11, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

        Thanks alot

  19. kenneth November 20, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi Dominic

    This is fantastic website. You helped thousands of students around the world. You keep up the good work. More power to you.

  20. Terence January 28, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    thank you veeeeeeeeeeeeery much

  21. vitoka March 9, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    Hi Dominic,
    I wanted to thank you for your time that you saved to write all the information and share it to the public.
    Your website is one of the best websites that can gives you a clear instruction to get good grade in IELTS exam.
    I have a friend who rely on your website and he get 8 in the writing exam.
    Thanks again,

  22. deep May 31, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

    I want to get 7 band in writing and my exam is on 18 june plz suggest me

  23. Harry September 28, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    Hello! Dominic. First , thanks for your amazing website that totally changed my thought about ILETS essay writing. And here I have written an essay under the same topic given on this page , about advertisements. Can you give my essay a grade and give me some advices? Looking forward to your repply.

    Question:Consumers are faced with increasing numbers of advertisements from competing companies. To what extent do you think are consumers influenced by advertisements? What measures can be taken to protect them?

    Advertisements can be seen every corner of our society today. People receive messages given by advertisements consciously or unconsciously. Some of them are really instrumental. But most of them are misguiding. And here I will give some suggestions to prevent consumers from being much influenced by advertisements.
    Advertisements, whether benefit people or not, have become a integral part of our life. People be affected by the advertisement gradually. If a consumer saw advertisements recommending the same brand for several times. He may incline to choose this brand rather than others, even its products are of awful quality. To make benefit more from their products, companies might make their advertisements misleading. Consumers like the odd and children with sick common knowledge can be easily persuaded to buy their goods.
    There are several measures to take to hold the advertisement in check. First, government should play a role as a supervisor. If an advertisement were to be shown in public, then the government should check whether the quality of the product match the description on the advertisement. Second, the amount and frequency of advertisements showing on the TV or Internet should be limited. If a consumer saw advertisements less, then he may be influenced by them less.
    Advertisements have both advantages and disadvantages. Since it is impossible to prevent them from affecting our daily life, we would better to set a supervising system and regulations to them.

    • Dominic Cole September 28, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

      Nice essay. Quick comment. You answer the question well and task response is good.

      You need to work on your core language a bit. Some good if clauses but be careful with sentence structure. You have quite a few very short sentences. Can you join these two together for instance:

      Some of them are really instrumental. But most of them are misguiding. [While some of ….]

      Your conclusion is a bit odd. What are the advantages and disadvantages? Better to refer back to your first content para and say that they do mislead us.

      • Harry September 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

        Thanks for your advices and I will try in my later essays. I am worried about my next ILETS exam, especially writing and speaking. In fact, I only get a score of 5.5 in the writing part just half a month ago. I think there are several reasons. First, I spent too much time on the TASK 1(around half an hour), I do not have enough time to think over the topic of task 2(I always need 50 min’s to finish it ) . Second, my handwriting is really ugly (I can not change it in a short time). Third,I always make too many small mistakes( wrong forum or wrong spelling of the vocabulary) I plan to write task1 and task2 per essay in the next month ,hope I can at least get 6 in writing and speaking.

  24. Brooke April 10, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I am working on an advertising essay for my marketing class, and I am having trouble getting started. I found a lot of free essay examples here that have been helpful, you should take a look: Advertising Essay

  25. Lu April 22, 2017 at 10:42 am #

    Is that academic to have ‘you’ and ‘I’ in an Ielts essay?

    • Lu April 22, 2017 at 11:33 am #

      Sorry, I forgot to see the following. You explained.

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