The advantage -disadvantage type essay is a very common type in the IELTS writing task 2. It involves a situation that you are asked to comment on, emphasising the advantages and the disadvantages.

We are here with some common topics on this category of essay questions.

Sample IELTS Essay Topics for Advantage Disadvantage Essay

The sample topics in this area are widely varied. As it is a kind of analytical essay, it can be understood that social issues are the most common for topics. Here is a rough list:

  • Advertisement: Advantages and disadvantages of celebrity endorsements, graphic advertisements, foreign products, etc.
  • Transportation: Advantages and disadvantages of public transports, various aspects of commuting etc.
  • Tourism: Advantages and disadvantages of development of the tourism industry, travel agencies etc.
  • Education: Advantages and disadvantages of public schools, any particular curriculum, vocational courses etc.
  • Economy: Advantages and disadvantages of different taxes, government expenditure etc.
  • Business: Advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce, recruitment from within a company etc.
  • Food/Health: Advantages and disadvantages of growing fast food joints, veganism etc.
  • Social Media: Advantages and disadvantages of social media, online news etc.
  • Family/ Parenting: Advantages and disadvantages of joint family, nuclear family, religious upbringing etc.

Sample Questions on IELTS Essay Topics

  • Small businesses are disappearing and being replaced by large multinational companies. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?
  • Many products that we buy are made in other countries. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this and give your own opinion.
  • increasing numbers of students are going to university instead of working after high school. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who do this.
  • School children are using computers in school more than ever. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this and give your own opinion.
Some more Sample Questions
  • As countries become more developed, many fast food outlets move into the country giving local people greater access to fast food. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?
  • Many businesses choose to recruit from within their own company rather than sourcing staff from overseas. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?
  • With the advent of social media, more people are getting their news online instead of from print media. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for people who read news online.

Also Read : How to Use Past Tense Correctly to Avoid Mistakes in IELTS Writing and Speaking Test?

Model Answers for Achieving IELTS 9 Band

Sample Question

Nowadays, more people would rather purchase food than cook at home. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend?  Give ideas about which is a better way according to you and why?


Due to the busy lifestyle, people are consuming more of the processed food in spite of cooking food for themselves. There could be several merits and demerits of this uprising trend. In my opinion, homemade food is far more beneficial as compared to readymade food.

Break the Paragraph and Write the Benefits

To commence with the benefits, packaged products such as pasta, noodles, etcetera are easily available in the market. They are instant food products and just need boiling or reheating which in turn save our time. Also, people get so tired after their hectic routine that they lack the energy to prepare meals.

Therefore, they find it useful to buy readymade food products. In addition, this type of processed food is easy to carry everywhere, even while travelling. In fact, due to additives and taste enhancers, individuals, especially children, love their taste and their salivary buds are stimulated by these sorts of meals.

Break the Paragraph and Write the Disadvantages

Despite these benefits, there are ample drawbacks. Firstly, these products are processed and lack their natural nutrition. What is more, many preservatives are added to increase their shelf life which has several health hazards to consumers.

For example, sodium benzoate is one of the popular compounds used for preservation of packed foods which occasionally can be life-threatening. Secondly, although they are vacuum packed, they can get contaminated by various microbes and cause an abdominal disturbance sometimes causing other lethal diseases like food poisoning, botulinum and many more. Additionally, these products can also be expensive for consumers to afford.

Break the Paragraph and Give Your View

To recapitulate, I believe that the use of readymade foods has a plethora of detrimental effects and home-cooked food can provide plenty of nutrients to stay healthy and develop immunity.

ALSO READ 5 Previous IELTS Writing Task 2 Exam Questions and Answers To Target Band 9

Sample Question

In some countries, young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decided to do this.


Before embarking on college many young people are advised that a year working or travelling may be a good option. This essay will suggest that saving money is the biggest advantage of this and a reduced motivation to study is the primary disadvantage.

Break the Paragraph and Write the Benefits

Third level education is very expensive and lots of students decide to work for 12 months and save up money before they begin their studies. This allows them to pay for their living costs, tuition fees and accommodation and focus on their studies, rather than struggle financially or have to get a part-time job on top of their academic work. The Times recently reported that the average student at a UK university requires over $12,000 per annum just to survive and many drop out because they cannot afford to stay.

Break the Paragraph and Write the Disadvantages

Despite these advantages, many students often get used to working or travelling and don’t want to return to a life of study after a year off. This short term view can cause some to bypass university altogether and go straight into a job that is beneath their capabilities or may not offer the same prospects their future career might have done. For instance, a recent survey by the British Government found that 26% of students who take a gap-year never enter tertiary education.

Break the Paragraph and Give Your View

In conclusion, taking a break from studies can be advantageous if it allows people to gather up savings, however, they should also be careful that it does not lead to disillusionment with education altogether.


Topics of the problem solution essay IELTS questions are usually social issues that have both positive and negative sides. You will be clearly asked to point out both sides of a particular issue. This type of question is very straightforward and requires organised preparation to achieve a high score.

Hopefully, by following the IELTS essay writing tips you will be able to achieve your desired band but remember to practise these on a daily basis.

Best of luck!

Also Read : IELTS Writing Task 1/ 2 Essay with its Evaluation by an Expert

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Indulekha Prabha

My name is Indulekha Prabha. I am an English teacher and a content writer by profession. When I'm not working you can find me writing fiction, reading poetry and painting.

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