IELTS Writing Task 2 – Band 9 Strategies – Digital Privacy

Hi Students! Here is the Task 2 writing question that we covered recently. Remember to get editing feedback on your writing by clicking, “Task 1 or Task 2” green buttons in your My Student Account at (Use code A8TW9 to get a 10% discount when you join the Premium Package) Good studies.

Look at the ‘Writing Section Criteria/Marking online” and you will see that for band 7 to 9 essays the ‘Task Completion’ category indicates that these band levels require original essays that are well-developed with specific points.

The IELTS template essays that you see in many places online and elsewhere which simply state to paraphrase the task 2 question and the write “This essay will discuss the benefits and deficits of…” is NOT considered satisfactory for band 7 to 9 ‘Task Completion’ marking criteria. (These types of essays are absolutely unacceptable at the college and university level.)

IELTS Task 2 Writing
You should spend 40 minutes on this task.

It is common these days to pay for services and products with personal information, like email addresses and shopping locations, especially online, rather than money. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this and give your own opinion.

Write at least 250 words.

Frequently, nowadays, individuals exchange their private information, like email and location, often on the internet, instead of paying with money.

What are the benefits and negatives of this trend and what is your perspective on this?

What might be my IELTS task 2 question?

It can be any question within the confounds of,
A. most people (99%) should have some knowledge of it.
B. it should be non-biased, equal for cultures, genders, ages, religions
C. it should be original
D. students of various English abilities should be able to write some information about it.
E. Whenever possible is should be a topic of interest

Topic = method/mode of payment (What are we talking about?)

Controlling Idea = advantages and disadvantages of paying with personal information rather than money

Q: What is a “method of payment”?
A: It is a perceived value that can be exchanged for a product or a service.

Q: Why do people and society support modes of payments?
A: It is needed to fulfill our needs and desires

How are these methods of payment in society?

There is a fiat system of currency in place, there is personal information, commodities, precious metals, etc.

Why do we choose to pay with personal information rather than cash? (VISUALIZE)
It seems to save a lot of money. It seems to be convenient. To feel important and needed. It is the only way to access the service or product.
To get updates on products and information

Why do companies want my personal information instead of money? (What’s in it for them?)
To send ads and lure people to buy products. For marketing and promotions. To have the power to manipulate the user. To sell to third parties.
Manipulating your personality, your wishes, your choices, your time and energy (attention).


The benefits of exchanging personal data for goods and services are monetary savings and up-to-date information; however, the deficits are a loss of time and identity. I personally believe that it is better to pay with money and keep private information private whenever possible.
H.W. Hook and background for tomorrow, so we can finish the essay.

Payment systems and mediums have been changing for centuries. Today, there are several widely accepted means of payment including precious metals, commodities, fiat, and private information all of which have perceived value for retailers. It is extremely important to be certain of the true cost the customer is paying. The benefits of exchanging personal data for goods and services are monetary savings and up-to-date information; however, the deficits are a loss of time and identity. I personally believe that it is better to pay with money and keep private information private whenever possible.

BODY 1 (Topic Sentence – deeper definition of point 1 in the thesis – positives of saving money and getting updates).
(Top) The perceived benefits of giving up personal data in exchange for services and merchandise are not needing to pay with credit or debit, and providing companies the opportunity to notify shoppers of sales and upgrades. (Exp) Many mobile applications and websites, like gaming and video streaming, offer the option of either paying a few dollars or giving personal data, such as emails, to use their products. Once they have personal information, they can push advertisements and updates to the client. (Ex) In fact, I can use video chat, storage, and many other functions of Facebook without ever having to pay a single dollar, just by simply giving them rights to analyze and use all of the personal assets that I upload. In this way, I can also stay informed about my friends and products. (Con) Nevertheless, these so-thought advantages are overshadowed by the hidden negatives of paying with personal information.

BODY 2 (Negatives – loss of time and identity) By giving up private information, companies can manipulate the customer’s, behavior, attention, and energy by influencing their decision-making process daily. (Exp.) Large corporations have algorithms, artificial intelligence, psychologists, and sociologists that create behavioral conditioning strategies through text, sounds, and images that can subconsciously impact the way people choose to spend their time on entertainment, work, and family. (Ex.) About a week ago, I was talking to my friend about mountain climbing, and I turned on my phone and logged into Facebook, I got an ad from the nearest sporting goods store about sales on mountain climbing equipment. (Personal opinion)

CONCLUSION (Restatement of key points, argument strengthened (personal opinion) + Take-home-message (personal opinion)

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