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Does advertising make us buy things we don't need?
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
July 12, 2012
9:47 am
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Today, the high sales of popular consumer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold.  To what extent do you agree or disagree?


We are living in a world packed with advertisements. There are teenagers distributing flyers on the street, with huge billboards along the way,and those commercials seem would never stop when we watch TV... It is undeniable that advertising significantly promote the commodity sales, and thus boost economic development and social welfare. But some argue that excessive advertising entices people to buy something that they do not need. As far as I am concerned, the advantages of advertising overcome its disadvantages.

Advertising played a pivotal role in the economic prosperity during the past centuries. Advertising is a efficient way for factories and companies to communicate with potential consumers. How could consumers buy certain products if they know nothing about it? Commercials broadcast on television, radio, or now through internet, enable us to learn about the superiority of new technology and inventions, and dramatically enhance commodity sales. In this business world practically no company or corporation could survive without advertising. And nearly everyone of us would lose our job, if it were not for the benefits of advertising. 

Yet sometimes the power of advertising goes to such an extent that it entices people to buy something they do not need or can not afford to. Take a recent report for example, a high school boy sold his kidney to get enough money for ipad 2, which was followed up by another report in which a girl was trading her virginity for an iphone. The various functions of ipad and iphone illustrated by commercials are powerful and tempting, but I think vanity and peer pressure also contributed to insane acts of these youngsters.

Overall, I think advertising is imperative for economic development and our social welfare, even though we need to curb the proliferation of fake and exaggerated commercials. More importantly, we need to be less materialistic. Obviously we can not blame advertising for weaknesses in our character.

July 13, 2012
1:47 pm
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writefix
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Hi  Lifei

Thanks for this essay!

As usual from you, a good, clear, organized essay.

Your essay is 313 words, which is a little long. Try to keep to about 300 if you can. Remember to practice by hand as well as on the computer: it’s tough to write within the time and impossible to reorganize if you make a mistake.

Your average sentence length is 19.75. I recommend having an average sentence length of between 12 and 15 words per sentence. Longer sentences tend to have more mistakes in punctuation, agreement and structure, as well as being more complicated for the reader. 

Aim for a mix of sentences - long and short, simple, complex and compound. Short sentences are very effective and they can be very good for topic sentences. Your opening sentence is short and effective.

I would like a more exciting thesis sentence: You wrote: “As far as I am concerned, the advantages of advertising overcome its disadvantages” and it’s fine, but it could be a little more interesting!

Overall

Overall, there’s very little to change again in your essay.  You have good ideas and they are developed. If you could reduce the word count in each sentence, you could add even more ideas and examples.   How many ideas are in your third paragraph?

I really like your concluding sentence: You wrote:

More importantly, we need to be less materialistic. Obviously we can not blame advertising for weaknesses in our character.

Word Choice/Word Form/Usage

  • those catch TV   OR  those seemingly endless ads on TV (6 words)
     
  • commercials seem would never stop when we watch TV  (10 words) → those ads which never seem to stop when we we watch TV
  • even though we need to curb the proliferation of fake and exaggerated commercials. → although we need to curb the proliferation of fake and exaggerated commercials.

You wrote:

Overall, I think advertising is imperative for economic development and our social welfare, even though we need to curb the proliferation of fake and exaggerated commercials.

I would rewrite this to change the order:

Overall, although we need to curb false or exaggerated advertising, I think advertising is imperative for economic development and our social welfare. OR

Overall, despite some false or exaggerated adverttising, I think advertising is imperative for economic development and our social welfare.

Agreement

  • advertising significantly promote → advertising significantly promotes

Articles/Plurals

  • the commodity sales → commodity sales  OR sales of commodities.
  • advertising entices people to buy something  they don’t need→ advertising entices people to buy things they don’t need
  • contributed to insane acts of these youngsters. → contributed to the/these/such  insane acts of these youngsters.

Shorten/Simplify

You wrote a 27-word sentence here. It could be tightened up.

Yet sometimes the power of advertising goes to such an extent that it entices people to buy something they do not need or can not afford to. (27 words)

Here’s one possible rewrite:

Yet sometimes advertising is so powerful that it makes people buy things they don’t need and can’t afford. (18 words)

Punctuation

There's a problem with a comma splice here. Read more about Comma Splices. You wrote:

Take a recent report for example, a high school boy sold his kidney to get enough money for ipad 2, which was followed up by another report in which a girl was trading her virginity for an iphone. (38 words)

Make the phrase “Take a recent report, for example” into a separate sentence, or make it shorter and part of the main sentence.

For example, take recent reports of a high school boy selling his kidney to buy an ipad or a girl trading her virginity for an iPhone. (26 words. This sentence needs to be followed up with another particular structure.)  OR

Recent media reports, for example, are shocking. A high school student sold his kidney to buy an iPad, while a girl traded her virginity for an iPhone.

I prefer to remove “take… “ completely.  Here’s most of your Paragraph Three in one long sentence:

Recent reports of students selling their kidneys or trading their virginity for iPhone or iPads show that advertising, vanity and peer pressure are driving some consumers crazy. (28 words)  

July 15, 2012
8:05 pm
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Mr. writefix ,thank you very much for your comments. They are useful, accurate and valuable. I conclude from your comments that the topic sentence and concluding sentence need to be short and effective, in order to be powerful and impressive. Do you think so? And the thesis sentences that are inclusive are prefered, is that right?

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