Band 7 IELTS Advantages Disadvantages Essay

fossil fuels vs renewable energy

Band 7 IELTS advantages and disadvantages essay.


Question
Renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, have shown great promise. However, they have often disappointed in practice. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these forms of power generation compared to fossil fuels?

In this question, you need to compare the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy (not just just solar and wind) with the advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels.

Be careful when you talk about fossil fuels. Don’t only refer to one kind.

You would probably brainstorm something like the following: for this IELTS Task 2 question:

Advantages / disadvantages

Renewable resources

Positives

+ will never run out
E.g. Solar and wind never end

+ have no carbon emissions (CO2 emissions)
E.g. wave power

Negatives

– Some kinds cause other kinds of environmental damage. E.g. wind farms may interfere with birds. Hydroelectric dams require large areas to be flooded

– Most do not generate constant power. Wind is sometime strong or weak.

– The demand for electricity is often nowhere near where the electricity is generated, so a lot of power lines need to be built

Fossil fuels

Positives

+ there is a lot of it. E.g. natural gas.

+ it is very cheap to produce in some places

+ it is easy to transport

negatives

– carbon emissions (CO2)

– environmental damage from spills and accidents from transportation e.g. Oil spills

– fossil fuels will eventually run out or be too expensive to get

Let’s see how the student deals with it. Remember, I have not changed anything about this essay. All the errors are still there.

Student Answer


Over the years, there has been enormous research underway throughout the world to find a perfect solution for ever increasing energy demand; renewable energy is one of them. The question is, is it better than traditional gasoline?

On the one hand, there are several benefits of using renewable energy than fossil fuel. One of them is it is more environment friendly. For instance, a recent study conducted by Harvard University shows that air pollution is less in Netherland due to extensive use of renewable
energy such as wind power, whereas China facing difficulties to control pollution for high use of so-called petroleum. Another bright side is less costly to produce power. Typically, solar, wind and water are being used to generate power to be converted to renewable energy. Such arrangements need lesser production cost in compare to traditional power generation. As a result, developed countries are becoming increasingly interested to use those alternative forms of energy.

On the other hand, renewable power is not entirely free from drawbacks. The biggest issue is over dependency on nature. As formation of this type of energy is heavily reliant on availability of sun and wind, it could hinder possible production target. As a result, it is not always trustworthy in compare to conventional power generation. Another shortcoming is it cannot produce large amount of energy to meet the current demand. Therefore, even if a government wants to produce such energy at a large scale, it has its own limitations. To illustrate, solar panel is not able to work when the sun is down whereas, fuel can produce energy 24×7.

In conclusion, I think renewable energy has the potential to become mainstream source of energy in future although it needs a lot of transformation and technological advancement.

Words: 293

Writing Feedback


Task Achievement: 7


In the introduction, don’t just refer to gasoline because this is only one of many kinds of fossil fuels. Also, in the conclusion try to summarize your main points as well as answer the question directly. (See the sample answer).

Referencing: Them → these
In the second body paragraph, the way the ideas are joined are a bit clunky. You introduce your second point like this “Another shortcoming is …”
So you mean to organize the paragraph this way:

1. Dependency on nature
More detailed explanation about this problem
→ Result: Unreliable
2. Another shortcoming is it is not trustworthy compared to traditional power generation

However, I think you really mean:

1. Dependency on nature
More detailed explanation about this problem
→ Result: Unreliable
→ Result: It is not trustworthy compared to traditional power generation
So, you need to change the Linker / Linking phrase. I suggest “This also means that “

Coherence and Cohesion: 7


Referencing: Them → these
In the second body paragraph, the way the ideas are joined are a bit clunky. You introduce your second point like this “Another shortcoming is …”
So you mean to organize the paragraph this way:

1. Dependency on nature
More detailed explanation about this problem
→ Result: Unreliable
2. Another shortcoming is it is not trustworthy compared to traditional power generation

However, I think you really mean:

1. Dependency on nature
More detailed explanation about this problem
→ Result: Unreliable
→ Result: It is not trustworthy compared to traditional power generation
So, you need to change the Linker / Linking phrase. I suggest “This also means that “

Lexical Resource (Vocabulary): 7


Environment friendly → environmentally friendly
Check how you use “compare”. Either write “in comparison to” or “compared to”

“Bright side” . We use this to introduce the positive aspects of something. Such as “It was raining. On the bright side, it wasn’t hot.” We don’t use it to introduce one specific point. Instead, you could write “Another positive point”

Grammatical range and accuracy : 7


Remember to use the present simple tense to talk about what is normal or typical.
“Typically, solar, wind and water are being used to … “ → “Typically, solar, wind and water are used to …”

Sometimes, there are missing words such as a subject. E.g.
Another bright side is [subject] less costly to produce power” → “Another bright side is it less costly to produce power “

There are quite a few unnecessary words in the second paragraph. If possible, don’t use modals (could, maybe), try to use factual statements instead.
“As formation of this type of energy is heavily reliant on availability of sun and wind, it could hinder possible production target.”
→As this type of energy is heavily reliant on availability of sun and wind, it hinders production.

Overall : 7


This essay is a solid 7. If the introduction was a bit better and the second paragraph was organized a little more directly, it would probably get a 7.5

IELTS Task 2 Sample Answer

This sample answer is mainly the same essay with some corrections, especially in the second paragraph.


Over the years, there has been enormous amount of research underway throughout the world to find a perfect solution for ever increasing energy demand; renewable energy is one of these. The question is, is it better than traditional gasoline?

On the one hand, there are several benefits of using renewable energy than fossil fuel. One of them is it is more environmentally friendly. For instance, a recent study conducted by Harvard University shows that air pollution is less in Netherland due to extensive use of renewable
energy such as wind power, whereas China faces difficulties controlling pollution for high use of so-called petroleum. Another positive point is it less costly to produce power. Typically, solar, wind and water are used to generate electricity. Such arrangements have lower production costs than traditional power generation. As a result, developed countries are becoming increasingly interested in using these alternative forms of energy.

On the other hand, renewable power is not entirely free from drawbacks. The biggest issue is over dependency on nature. As this type of energy is heavily reliant on availability of sun and wind, it hinders production. As a result, it is not always trustworthy compared to conventional power generation. This also means that it cannot produce large amounts of energy to meet the current demand. Therefore, even if a government wants to produce such energy at a large scale, there are limitations. To illustrate, solar panels are not able to work when the sun is down, whereas burning gas or coal can produce energy 24 hours a day.

In conclusion, while renewable forms of energy are currently limited by the need for sunlight or wind, they are better for the environment and in some cases are cheaper than fossil fuels. Therefore, despite these limitations, I think renewable energy has the potential to become mainstream source of energy in the future.

Words: 311

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