Positive or negative development essay lesson…IELTS writing task 2

Another student essay to have a look at, this time the “Positive or negative development” question type. In this video, I take a student essay (with their kind permission) and use it as an example of how to approach this type of question. I won’t write anymore, suffice to say the video is below, and the files I use below that. Any questions as always, you can write to me at kevin@prepareielts.com.

Essay structure..essentially the same as “To what extent”…

For this type of essay, I suggest using a typical four paragraph structure. Although the structure sentence by sentence may vary according to how the question is worded, this is the general structure we might use. Of course, it is possible to combine several of these elements in a single sentence, the exact wording is up to you, as long as you remember the keywords from the criteria, logical progression/sequencing, and develop/extend/support of your ideas.

Essay structure.

Paragraph 1: introduction

Sentence 1: paraphrase question/restate topic.

Sentence 2: Thesis/opinion statement.

Sentence 3: outline statement/main idea 1 (for paragraph 2), and main idea 2 (for paragraph 3).

Body paragraph 1.

Sentence 1: topic sentence (main idea 1).

Sentence 2: explain/expand on main idea 1.

Sentence 3: example (the more specific the better).

Sentence 4: option 1(concession sentence)/option 2 (reinforce/reiterate example/main idea).

Body paragraph 2.

Sentence 1: topic sentence (main idea 2).

Sentence 2: explain/expand on main idea 2.

Sentence 3: example (the more specific the better).

Sentence 4: option 1(concession sentence)/option 2 (reinforce/reiterate example/main idea).


Sentence 1: summary (restate question/topic + main idea 1 and 2).

Sentence 2: suggestion/recommendation (depends on how the question is worded/if you can think of anything).

Student essay….

Question: For some people shopping is not about buying what is necessary but a form of entertainment. Is this a positive or negative development?

Nowadays , shopping has become an imperative part of our everyday life. It is an obvious necessity especially to a working person and also it gives a feeling of satisfaction. However, some people believe that shopping is also a form of recreation. This essay will discuss the positive and negative impact in our society.

A Shopping habit on the one hand, has a negative impact for a nation. An extravagant shopping habit makes us greedy and unwise. People should restrict themselves to purchase what is a necessity instead saving for future use. Furthermore, addictive shopping can significantly interfere with the function of an individual. Though in work, some people are preoccupied with shopping, shopping to excess that can result in debt and a habitual purchasing of items that sometimes things are unused. The quality of work of an individual will be greatly affected if they are obsessed with shopping. In addition, going to the mall and buying items that you don’t really need is not a productive thing you can do with your spare time. it’s just a waste of money and time.

On the other hand, I do believe that shopping is a positive trend. Nowadays, some people have a good job which means a good income and consequently spending more money. In the modern world, there is more construction of malls and there are more numbers of brands and shops. As a result, people will move out to their home to have quality time to friends. Also, after a stressful day at work they will reward themselves by treating themselves. Moreover, shopping is a source of entertainment and describe the positive development as it shows the people are having good money to enjoy which means the country is dramatically improving. Furthermore, window shopping is other option to relax without spending more money.

To sum up, although the trends have some of the drawbacks.I believe that shopping is not about purchasing but also a form of quick getaway to recharge from exhausted work.

Sample essay…

Question: For some people shopping is not about buying what is necessary but a form of entertainment. Is this a positive or negative development?

In many parts of the world shopping has changed from being about buying necessities to instead being an entertaining activity. This essay will argue that this is indeed a negative development and encourages personal dissatisfaction, as well as being a waste of time.

For many people the act of shopping is not about satisfying a physical need, such as buying food, instead it is about personal happiness. Adverts constantly tell us we will be happier, thinner, more successful, etc, if we own a certain brand or product. In this way, we are encouraged to spend our money on things we don’t need, or that certainly are not necessary for our existence, unlike food. If we take the case of the I-phone for example, Apple bring out new models every year, none of which are very different or better than the previous version, yet we are told we are somehow “un-cool” or unsuccessful if we do not buy them.

Secondly, spending time on shopping for non-food items can be a major waste of time. If we go to the supermarket, we usually find the foods we want, buy them then leave. However, endlessly shopping just for the sake of shopping can be very time consuming. A recent survey by the University of London said that 90% of all women questioned admitted to spending 7-8 hours a week looking through shops in a shopping mall. This time is not spent on learning new skills, or developing themselves personally, only on looking at and trying on clothes which they do not need.

In conclusion, people who shop for entertainment often end up feeling unsuccessful and dissatisfied with their lives, as well as wasting a lot of time wile doing so.