How to analyse, plan, and write a “To what extent” IELTS essay question…

Hello, welcome to my second video about essay writing for IELTS. This is basically me, going through the writing process in real time, thinking aloud, and trying to show how the whole analyzing, planning, and writing process works.

You can see the video here…

This is the question..

Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine. However, at best these methods are ineffective, and at worst they may be dangerous.

To what extent do you agree with this statement?

And below is the essay….

Alternative medicine is increasing in popularity in many countries, despite this many people believe such methods are ineffective and possibly harmful. I disagree with this opinion, and shall argue that acupuncture, for example is effective and safe, and secondly, that traditional medicines are far from perfect.

Firstly, alternative medicine such as acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular. Many people use this for the treatment of back pain, and to stop smoking. That this is safe is proven by a recent survey of Drs in the UK which shows that 70 per cent of GPs have recommended this treatment to their patients. If there were any doubt about the safety of this treatment, then no Dr would prescribe it for their patients.

Secondly, traditional medicines have possible harmful side effects also. If we consider antibiotics, such as penicillin, there have been several health warnings by Drs regarding overuse of these drugs. A recent article in The Lancet in 2015 suggested that over prescription of penicillin may give rise to so-called “super bugs” which are immune to treatment and can kill anyone who is sick. As a consequence, even though penicillin has been regarded as a safe traditional medicine, it still has potential to cause harm unlike acupuncture…………..

In conclusion, despite alternative medicine being criticised, some forms such as acupuncture have been proven to be beneficial and are as safe, if not safer than some conventional treatments like penicillin. My recommendation would be that both alternative and traditional medicines may well have a part to play in the treatment of some illnesses.

This is just the general idea of what you need to do, this essay is not the best I ever wrote but it is realistic under the conditions of time, so have a look, and any questions let me know at