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Writing Task 2: How to Write an Advantages and Disadvantages Essay



In this class, we're going to:

  1. ๐Ÿ—’๏ธ Look at a model essay

  2. ๐Ÿ”ฌ Analyse the question

  3. ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Look at the bullet-point plan

  4. โœ๏ธ Examine how to paraphrase the question

  5. ๐ŸŽฏ Look at how to write a thesis statement

  6. ๐Ÿงฑ Analyse the structure of the main body paragraphs

  7. ๐Ÿ‘ See how to write a conclusion.


1. ๐Ÿ—’๏ธ The Model Essay


Look at the question below.

  • How would you answer this question?


Then, compare your ideas with the model essay below.


  • Would you have written something similar?

Many museums charge for admission while others are free.


Do you think the advantages of charging people for admission to museums outweigh the disadvantages?

A large number of museums charge visitors for entry while others do not. One drawback in doing this is that these museums might be too expensive for some people, but in my opinion, there are more benefits to charging for entry as it allows for better maintained museums with better exhibitions.
The main disadvantage of charging people an admission fee to enter museums is that it may cost too much for some potential visitors. Some people only earn enough money to pay the rent and for basic necessities such as food and electricity, and for them paying to visit a museum is an unnecessary luxury. For example, in developing countries such as Thailand, there are families who cannot afford to enter their local museums. As such, museums which charge for admission can be relatively inaccessible to these economically disadvantaged people.
Nevertheless, despite this disadvantage, charging people for entry to museums provides great benefits as it allows them to maintain and improve their exhibitions. When exhibiting important historical artifacts or world-famous works of art, it is crucial that museums have the funds to ensure that these items are kept in optimum conditions, as well as to repair and refurbush spaces when necessary. The Louvre in Paris is a prominent example of a museum which charges for entry and then reinvests this money in its own upkeep. Further, due to the revenue gained through entrance fees, museums like these are also able to continuously innovate in how they display their contents.
In conclusion, charging an entry fee could make it difficult for people who have tight budgets to enter museums; however, the advantages of doing this outweigh the disadvantages, as the fee paid by visitors can be used to maintain exhibitions for the future and to make them better.


297 words, band 9.



2. ๐Ÿ”ฌ Analyzing the Question


This is how I read the question, and began to think about the content and structure of my essay.

Note:


In most Advantages vs. Disadvantages essays, you need to give your opinion about whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, but occasionally you don't - you just have to describe the Advantages and Disadvantages without giving your opinion about which outweighs the other.


Make sure you always read the question to understand exactly what you have to do.



3. ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ The Bullet Point Plan


I then planned all of the ideas I would include in my essay.


The plan for my intro and conclusion is just two main bullet points for my two main arguments; the plan for my main body paragraphs has one bullet point for every POINT, EXPLANATION, and EXAMPLE.


______________________


Key:


1) Main argument

2) Main argument


- Point

- Explanation / Development

- Example


_______________________


1) Disadvantage: Museums can become too expensive for some people

but this is outweighed by the fact that

2) Advantages: Musuems which charge can maintain and improve their exhibitions


- Charging for entry makes it too expensive for some people

- some people only have enough money to pay for basics and museums would be a luxury

- in developing countries such as Thailand, people can't afford to go to local museums

- museums are inaccessible to these economically disadvantaged people


- However, charging helps musuems pay for maintainence and improvements

- museums need money to store artefacts in good conditions and to pay for refurbishment

- the Louvre charges for entry and reinvests this money in its upkeep

- Further, by charging, museums can innovate in how they display their contents



Notice how the above plan corresponds to the finished essay below.



A large number of museums charge visitors for entry while others do not. One drawback in doing this is that these museums might be too expensive for some people, but in my opinion, there are more benefits to charging for entry as it allows for better maintained museums with better exhibitions.
The main disadvantage of charging people an admission fee to enter museums is that it may cost too much for some potential visitors. Some people only earn enough money to pay the rent and for basic necessities such as food and electricity, and for them paying to visit a museum is an unnecessary luxury. For example, in developing countries such as Thailand, there are families who cannot afford to enter their local museums. As such, museums which charge for admission can be relatively inaccessible to these economically disadvantaged people.
Nevertheless, despite this disadvantage, charging people for entry to museums provides great benefits as it allows them to maintain and improve their exhibitions. When exhibiting important historical artifacts or world-famous works of art, it is crucial that museums have the funds to ensure that these items are kept in optimum conditions, as well as to repair and refurbush spaces when necessary. The Louvre in Paris is a prominent example of a museum which charges for entry and then reinvests this money in its own upkeep. Further, due to the revenue gained through entrance fees, museums like these are also able to continuously innovate in how they display their contents.
In conclusion, charging an entry fee could make it difficult for people who have tight budgets to enter museums; however, the advantages of doing this outweigh the disadvantages, as the fee paid by visitors can be used to maintain exhibitions for the future and to make them better.

This is a 'concession' style essay, meaning that I'm considering both sides of the argument; first by introducing the weaker point which I might only partially agree with, then by comparing it to the stronger point which I do agree with more strongly.


This type of essay is very effective for answering Advantages and Disadvantages and Discussion questions. It can also be used for other types of questions but it's especially useful for essays where you have to consider two sides of an argument.


In the following sections, I'll explain how to organise a concessional essay and will highlight useful language which indicates that I'm comparing two arguments while making a concession.



4. โœ๏ธ Paraphrasing the Question


The Question:


Many museums charge for admission while others are free.



The Paraphrasal:

A large number of museums charge visitors for entry while others do not.

  • 'A large number' is a useful synonym for 'many'. You can also say 'a great number'. I'd avoid saying 'lots of' or 'a lot of' because these sound too conversational/informal.

  • Here, I've added the key word 'visitors', but I've kept the key word 'charge' the same.

  • Here I've changed 'admission' to 'entry'.

  • And here I've used a differently grammatical structure ('do not') to say 'are free'.


5. ๐ŸŽฏ Writing the 'Thesis Statement'


The first part introduces a disadvantage, and it tells the reader what my first paragraph will be about, the second part tells the reader that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and the third part introduces the advantages and tells the reader what my second paragraph will be about.

A large number of museums charge visitors for entry while others do not. One drawback in doing this is that these museums might be too expensive for some people, but in my opinion, there are more benefits to charging for entry as it allows for better maintained museums with better exhibitions.

Notice how I make a 'concession' in that I admit there 'might be' a disadvantage, 'but' that this disadvantage is outweighed by by the advantages.


The use of 'might be' weakens the disadvantage by making it less definite, and the order of the ideas with the word 'but' show the reader the whole structure of the argument throughout the essay.



6. ๐Ÿงฑ The Main Body Paragraphs

Notice how in the topic sentence of the 'concession' paragraph, I've also used the words 'may' and 'some potential visitors' to make the point less strong.

The main disadvantage of charging people an admission fee to enter museums is that it may cost too much for some potential visitors. Some people only earn enough money to pay the rent and for basic necessities such as food and electricity, and for them paying to visit a museum is an unnecessary luxury. For example, in developing countries such as Thailand, there are families who cannot afford to enter their local museums. As such, museums which charge for admission can be relatively inaccessible to these economically disadvantaged people.


For the second, stronger paragraph which I actually agree with, I've used started with the phrase 'Nevertheless, despite this disadvantage', which reflects the 'but' used in the introduction; I've said that there are 'great benefits'.


I've also included two arguments in my topic sentence - that charging for entry allows museums to 1) 'maintain' and 2) 'improve' their exhibitions. These two points are then developed in this order in the paragraph.


Nevertheless, despite this disadvantage, charging people for entry to museums provides great benefits as it allows them to maintain and improve their exhibitions. When exhibiting important historical artifacts or world-famous works of art, it is crucial that museums have the funds to ensure that these items are kept in optimum conditions, as well as to repair and refurbush spaces when necessary. The Louvre in Paris is a prominent example of a museum which charges for entry and then reinvests this money in its own upkeep. Further, due to the revenue gained through entrance fees, museums like these are also able to continuously innovate in how they display their contents.


7. ๐Ÿ‘ The Conclusion


The conclusion is just a brief summary of the main arguments - a repetition of the main points in the introduction and the two topic sentences. It is more or less the same as the introduction, but without the paraphrasal.


Notice how my conclusion follows the same 'concessional' structure as the introduction and the main body paragraphs. I concede that there 'could' be a disadvantage for certain people; however, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.


In conclusion, charging an entry fee could make it difficult for people who have tight budgets to enter museums; however, the advantages of doing this outweigh the disadvantages, as the fee paid by visitors can be used to maintain exhibitions for the future and to make them better.
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