An IELTS candidate we’ve been tutoring emailed us the following writing task 2 question from her IELTS Academic exam a couple of weeks ago, and asked us about how she should have answered it.
“Nowadays most private companies pay for and carry out more scientific research than governments. Do the disadvantages of this situation outweigh the advantages?”
For me, and I guess for many of you, this would be a particularly difficult essay question to answer; the topic of funding scientific research is not something that most of us talk about (or think about) very often.
Anyway, the candidate who emailed us was uncertain about whether she had to discuss the advantages/disadvantages of research funded by governments (or just those relating to research paid for by private companies).
This is what we said:
A fully developed answer to this question would talk about the advantages and disadvantages of research paid for by private companies in relation to government funded research.
A short example:
“One disadvantage is that if business funds research, the research needs to result in a profit; governments, however, may fund very important but unprofitable research.”
This is how I would have organised my answer:
- Paragraph 1: Introduction
- Paragraph 2: The advantages of research being funded/carried out by private companies (e.g. business generally has more money to invest than governments do)
- Paragraph 3: The disadvantages (e.g. if business funds research, the research needs to result in a profit; governments, however, may fund very important but unprofitable research)
- Paragraph 4: The conclusion – whether or not the disadvantages outweigh the advantages
Without the bullet points, of course!
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