IELTS Writing Task 2 essay with model answer

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic.

In the modern world, the image (photograph or film) is becoming a more powerful way of communicating than the written word. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer:

The advent of smartphones with their integrated cameras and easy access to image sharing software has greatly increased the use of images as means to convey a message. While there is no question that photographs and videos have the power to elicit strong emotional responses, I strongly disagree that they are a superior communication tool compared to long-form journalism that relies on written articles.

Images are excellent at getting under people’s skin. Take the photo of the dead toddler on a Mediterranean beach, for example, that caused an international outcry and brought the plea of the refugees arriving in Southern Europe onto the front pages of international newspapers. There are no words that could have elicited a similar response. Thus, there is certainly a place for evocative images to get attention and spur people into action.

However, photographs and videos have significant limitations. For one, they mainly speak to the emotional part of the human brain, so they are not a good way to engage rational thinking. Secondly, images are inherently biased in that they can only tell one side of a story. The viewer is therefore limited to the perspective of the person who took the picture or shot the video, without access to a broader point of view.

The written word, on the other hand, can easily tell more than one side of a story, thus providing a more balanced view. Furthermore, reading text engages the rational part of the brain, allowing for a more complex response from the reader. The downside is that writing a comprehensive article takes time, so the written word will never be as instantaneous as the image. From my own journalistic experience, I know that it takes days to research and compose a balanced piece of writing. However, both reading and generating written prose are worth the effort due to the added value that is found in a well-written article.

In summary, it can be stated that both images and the written word have their respective strengths and weaknesses. I thus believe that it would be an over-simplification to elevate one over the other. Rather, the two work very well together and should be seen as complementary.

Total Words: 365

Task Achievement: 9

Coherence & Cohesion: 9

Lexical resources: 9

Grammar: 9

Overall Score: Band 9

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