Writing » B1+ Writing Exercises and Tests » A for and against essay – a balanced essay
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  • A for and against essay – a balanced essay

    Exercise 1

    Check the ‘Explanation’ tab above before doing these exercises. Read the following for and against essay sample. For each gap, choose the correct option from the expressions in the box below.

    although      An important advantage      Another point in favour      For example      Furthermore      However      In addition      On the other hand      To sum up

    Having an only child is easier for parents and better for kids.

    Several centuries ago, it was unbelievable that having only one child could have any advantages. The higher number of children, the bigger opportunities your family had to survive. 0 However, nowadays families with just one child are most common. And as a parent, you will ask yourself what are the advantages and disadvantages of being or having an only child.

    1 for parents who have just one child is that they need to spend less money and time and can survive with just a small two-bedroom house. 2 , an only child doesn’t have to share anything, and they get all their parents’ attention and affection. 3 of only children is that having just one child prevents traditional problems related to the partition of the parents’ last will.

    4 , there are also well-known disadvantages. 5 , only children tend to become more selfish and have a more difficult personality. 6 , if you have a brother or sister, you will always have someone to play with or talk to if you need help or advice. And 7 you are the centre of the universe as a child, when your parents grow old, you will be the only one to look after them.

    8 , either having or being an only child has numerous advantages and disadvantages, and if you are thinking of becoming a parent, you will have to think carefully what you believe is the best for you as a parent, but also for your child.


  • A for and against essay – a balanced essay

    List three advantages and three disadvantages

    The first thing you have to do before writing a for and against essay is make a list of three advantages and three disadvantages. For example, we are going to write an balanced essay about the pros and cons of streaming video platforms like Netflix or HBO.
    A for an against essay – argumentative writing

    Write the composition using linking expressions

    Discuss the pros and cons of streaming video platforms like Netflix or HBO

    Everyone knows about streaming platforms. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, and the list goes on. It’s true that they offer their audiences numerous advantages, but maybe they are not for everyone, and before you sign up for one of them, you should also consider their disadvantages.

    The main advantage of streaming video services is that you can take your favourite shows and movies anywhere, you just need a phone or tablet and an internet connection, and you are good to go. Another advantage is the great availability; you can access almost any show or film you can think of, and you don’t have to wait a week to see another episode of your favourite series. Furthermore, if you are learning a language, you can easily find movies in the original version and decide whether you want to add subtitles.

    However, not everything is positive about these platforms; there are also some disadvantages that we should consider. An important disadvantage is that if you go somewhere with a poor internet connection or with no internet connection, then you’d better go straight to bed or read a book because you’re not going to watch your series. In addition, although you can watch almost anything, there are significant limitations. Not everything you want to watch is there; for instance, if you love old movies, you will probably not find what you are looking for, and if you have Netflix, forget about watching Game of Thrones. Another negative point is that since so many films and series episodes are available, you may end up sleeping less than you need.

    In conclusion, streaming video platforms are great, and they are the present and future of TV entertainment, but people who want to use one of these platforms should know that not everything is positive about these services.


    Use linking expressions…

    to list advantages and disadvantages:

    • The main advantage of … is that …
    • An important advantage of … is that …
    • Another advantage is that …
    • Another point in favour of … is that …
    • Another negative point is that …

    to add more points:

    • In addition,
    • Furthermore,

    to introduce examples:

    • For example,
    • For instance,

    to introduce contrasting points:

    • On the other hand,
    • However,
    • Although

    to introduce the conclusion:

    • To sum up,
    • In conclusion,


    Don’t give your opinion unless you are asked to do it

    This is a ‘for and against’ essay where you will discuss two contrasting views about a topic. You should only give your opinion if you are explicitly instructed to do so.

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