IELTS Writing Sample #41

With the increasing popularity of computers and calculators, student literacy is decreasing dramatically. What are the positive and negative effects the progress of science and technology has brought about?

  • You should write at least 250 words.
  • You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

model answer:

It has been widely noted that, with the growing use of computers and calculators both in the classroom and in the home, the level of literacy and mathematical ability of students is dropping. This raises serious doubts about the value of the progress of science and technology. Here I will discuss the pros and cons of this question.

First of all, advances in science and technology have certainly brought about many benefits for mankind. They have made our lives more comfortable and healthier. In addition, they have eased the burden of work for most people and provided them with more leisure opportunities, while at the same time increasing productivity dramatically.

Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that technology has some negative side-effects. As mentioned above, with computers which check spelling, grammar and calculation for them, students have little incentive to learn how to do these things for themselves. Also, the availability of TV programs and videos encourages an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle.

Another aspect of this issue is that technology may be good or bad, depending on how we use it. For instance, dynamite may be used to make road construction easier, or it may be used to kill people. Again, nuclear reactors can supply huge amounts of cheap electricity, but if they are carelessly handled they can cause devastating pollution.

We can conclude that the progress of science and technology has both positive and negative effects. What we must do is to make sure that the positive ones are encouraged and the negative ones are eliminated as far as possible. Among other things, this means that students are warned not to let computers and calculators do all their work for them.

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